As Minister for Children and Young People, I am committed to improving the life chances of children and young people in Scotland. Keeping our children and young people safe continues to be a priority for this Government and, along with my colleagues, I will do all I can to ensure that they are protected from harm.
To achieve this aim we must ensure that practitioners have access to useful and practical guidance that can support the actions and decisions that often have to be taken. This guidance, first published in 2010, sets a national framework to help shape local practices and procedures. It aims to improve the way all professionals and organisations work together to give children the protection they need, quickly and effectively at the earliest possible stage. It also highlights the shared responsibility that our agencies and services have for protecting children and safeguarding their welfare.
It has now been a little over 3 years since the guidance was introduced and we made a commitment to ensure that it is regularly refreshed to ensure that it remains relevant and effective in protecting children. While we know from recent reports that there is evidence of improvement in services and good practice, we cannot be complacent. Child protection measures require constant vigilance and we all have a role to play in protecting Scotland's children and young people.
Partnership working is at the heart of everything we do and plays a vital role in ensuring the protection of Scotland's children and young people. To support this partnership, and to keep up the momentum on child protection, we have introduced a number of new and strengthened publications in the suite of child protection such as the National Risk Framework for Assessment of Children and Young People, the National Framework for Child Protection Learning and Development, the National Parenting Strategy, the revised 'Pink Book' and guidance for supporting those working with children affected by parental substance misuse, Getting Our Priorities Right. Also the Scottish Parliament has passed our Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 which we are confident, will further improve outcomes for our children and young people.
The refresh of this guidance has been led by the Scottish Government. However, it could not have been achieved without the commitment and support of many practitioners who contributed their time. Having contact with the children in need of protection gives them the expertise and insight which has been key to ensuring this guidance continues to provide the framework within which agencies can work together to safeguard our children and young people. I offer them my sincere thanks and commend this guidance to the wider professional community.
Minister for Children and Young People