New guidance published for Child Protection in Scotland

Date: 17th September 2021
Category: Equal protection from violence

A black cartoon of a pair of hands enveloping two children.

Scottish Government has published new, non-statutory guidance that describes the responsibilities and expectations for all involved in protecting children in Scotland and replaces the 2014 version. It outlines how statutory and non-government agencies should work together with parents, families and communities to prevent harm and to protect children from abuse and neglect.

The Guidance promotes partnership between those who care about and have responsibilities for the child, and entails a collaborative approach between professionals, carers and family members. Scottish Government notes the Guidance was developed collaboratively and involved extensive engagement with stakeholder groups and individuals, to ensure that it takes full account of developments and new thinking.  It incorporates theirunderstanding of best practice and ‘what works’ from various sources, including practitioner and stakeholder experience, inspections, research and learning from Significant Case Reviews. The 2021 guidance also integrates the (previously separate) guidance for health professionals. 

Scottish Government has highlighted that the guidance has a strengthened focus on children’s rights, engagement and collaboration with children and families, and on building on strengths. It incorporates the experiences and views of children, young people and families and includes a greater emphasis on ensuring that a child’s views are taken into account in all decision-making that affects them. These views have also informed the development of the series of Practice Insights published alongside the Guidance, ensuring a central focus on the child’s voice and perspective.