Progress in Child Protection

Report on work to protect vulnerable children.

The Scottish Government has today published a report updating on progress made in protecting vulnerable children in the past year.

In November 2014 the Brock Report on child protection and the National Action Plan to Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) were published and included recommendations on how to improve the safety of children and ensure children’s services were working well together.

The report highlights the progress made since last year, including:
• A summit held in February bringing together local authorities, health boards and Child Protection Committee Chairs to share best practice and another will be held in February 2016.
• A steering group established to oversee the implementations of the Brock recommendations.
• Police Scotland’s National Child Abuse Investigation Unit now fully operational.
• A national public awareness campaign on CSE launching in January 2016.
• A programme of work to raise awareness of CSE amongst night time economy workers beginning next year.

Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell said:

“We want to make sure our children grow up in safe environments. That’s why we are committed to continually improving our child protection measures. Many of the recommendations made last year in our national action plan and the Brock Report have either been completed or are underway, but this is just a starting point to improve how we protect children from harm.

“We know there are considerable strengths and positives in Scotland’s child protection system and we have a highly skilled workforce, but the Brock Report and the Care Inspectorate’s Triennial Review highlighted areas of concern which we must tackle head on.

“We must identify what needs to be done to create a child protection system that is able to meet the demands of keeping our children and young people safe in the 21st century. That is why we are developing a programme of action to strengthen the support for vulnerable children and young people. This will be done in partnership with those working in the sector and the Cabinet Secretary for Education will return to Parliament in February to update MSPs on how this work will be taken forward.”

Children in Scotland Chief Executive Jackie Brock said:

“I welcome the Scottish Government’s movement on child protection following publication of my report last autumn.

“The progress is real and the profile of child protection is being successfully raised, and over the next year I look forward to working with the Scottish Government on other priority areas that urgently need addressed.

“These include the fact that there are currently a number of children and young people who – due to neglect or risk-taking behaviour – are ‘on the radar’ of children’s services but, crucially, not subject to statutory measures such as child protection.

“In addition, frontline staff must receive more support to ensure they have the authority and skills to protect against child sexual exploitation and identify those at risk.

“I look forward to further action to implement these and my other recommendations, and to evaluating how effective implementation has been.”