Child Protection Improvement Programme
Child Protection Improvement Programme – Update #7
Work continues on delivering the recommendations which emerged from the first Phase of the Child Protection Improvement Programme (CPIP). The Programme includes work on Neglect; Child Sexual Exploitation; Child Trafficking; Child Internet Safety; Children’s Hearings; Inspections; Leadership; and, Data and Evidence.
The National Child Protection Leadership Group
The National Child Protection Leadership Group, chaired by the Minister for Childcare and Early Years, first met on 22 June 2017 and again in September and December. The minutes of the September meeting is now available on our webpages and the minutes for the meeting in December will be available very soon.
The remit of the Leadership Group is to support, strengthen and improve, from a national perspective, activity on child protection across Scotland and the Group will identify where there is potential for collaborative solutions to be developed and promoted nationally in order to deliver more effective, consistent protection and support for children and families and to reduce duplication of effort.
Implementing the Children’s aspects of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015
A meeting of the Child Trafficking Strategy Group was held on 24 January at Victoria Quay, to discuss progress against the child specific actions within the Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy.
The revision of the Scottish Age Assessment Guidance to better reflect the presumption of age in Section 12 of the Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 is currently underway, expected to be published in February.
Child Sexual Exploitation
The implementation of actions from the Update of the National Action Plan on Child Sexual Exploitation (2016) continue to be overseen by the National Child Sexual Exploitation Group. The group met on 27 November 2017 to discuss progress of the actions, and the development of the annual progress report, due to be published in March 2018. NSPCC delivered a presentation to the group of the findings from their recent report Right to Recover – Provision of therapeutic services in the West of Scotland for children and young people following sexual abuse.
A Learning and information sharing session was held on 24 January 2018, for members of the Child Trafficking Strategy Group and National CSE Group, to provide an update on a number of areas of common interest to both groups. This included a discussion around current data and evidence on CSA, and views from the group on considerations for future research on scale, nature and prevalence of child sexual abuse in Scotland.
Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill
The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill was introduced to Parliament by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson MSP, on 17 March 2017. The Bill is currently at Stage 2. A proposal was made during Stage 2 to expand the scope of the aggravation concerning children so that it reflects the harm caused to children growing up in an environment where their parent/carer is being abused, regardless of whether the perpetrator involves the child in the abuse, or the child happens to see or hear the abuse.
The Committee’s Stage 2 report is now available online.
The Children and Young People Improvement Collaborative (CYPIC)
In related policy areas, the Children and Young People Improvement Collaborative (CYPIC) continues to bring together the Early Years Collaborative and the Raising Attainment for All Programme to deliver quality improvement (QI) throughout a child’s journey. This aims to reinforce the link between children having positive experiences in the early years and educational attainment. The CYPIC remains closely aligned with the Maternity and Children Quality Improvement Collaborative where the focus is on maternity, neonatal and paediatric healthcare settings.
A CYPIC learning session – Working Together to Improve Outcomes – took place on 21 and 22 November 2017 at the SEC in Glasgow. In attendance there were over 700 practitioners, teachers and professionals from Community Planning Partners (CPPs) and National (third sector) Partners – representing early years, health, education, police, social work and third sector services.
Recognising the joint achievements, the importance of quality improvement and in the spirit of working together, several Scottish Government Ministers attended the event and took part in a plenary leadership Q&A session. This included John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills; Maree Todd, Minister for Childcare and Early Years; Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport; and Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities.
Across the two days there were a range of excellent quality improvement projects that were showcased, with informative and thought provoking breakouts and a number of inspiring and influential speakers. For more detail in relation to this event please visit http://www.cypic.co.uk/learning-session/
2017 Quality Improvement Awards Ceremony
Following a very successful, inaugural awards in 2016, The Scottish Government and Healthcare Improvement Scotland again supported the 2017 awards programme dedicated to Quality Improvement. The awards were held on the evening of 21 November 2017 at the Glasgow Science Centre and received 140 entries in 10 categories. These awards celebrated and showcased the fantastic range of quality improvement practice that has been taking place across the length and breadth of Scotland to make services the best they possibly can be for babies, children, young people and their families in all aspects of their lives.
The Equally Safe Joint Strategic Board, which is co-chaired by the Equalities Secretary and CoSLA Community Wellbeing Lead, last met on 15 November 2017 to discuss the findings from two participation projects, one with women and one with children and young people, and the revised draft delivery plan.
A public consultation on the draft delivery plan ran from 23 March to 30 June 2017. It received 89 responses, analysis of which is now available online at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/11/9637
The Equally Safe delivery plan will be published on 24 November 2017
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Scotland’s National Action Plan to Prevent and Eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was published 04 February 2016. A progress report providing an update on the progress since publication was published in October 2017.
The FGM National Action Plan Implementation group continues to meet to give practical assistance and strategic oversight to the work required to realise our ambitions for this agenda. It is this inclusive, partnership based approach that will allow us to progress the full range of actions and objectives set out in the plan.
Expert Group on Preventing Sexual Offending involving children and young people
An Expert Group has been established on Preventing Sexual Offending involving children and young people which will bring together expertise from across justice, education and health to contribute to fresh action to prevent and respond to sexual crime, with a particular focus on the involvement of children and young people, including from child protection perspectives.
The Cabinet Secretary for Justice and the Solicitor General, Alison di Rollo QC announced their intention to establish the Group on 26 September 2017 alongside publication of a research report which highlighted that where sexual crimes are committed online, they are much more likely to have younger victims (mainly female) and younger perpetrators (mainly male). There has also been a 34% increase in reports to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service of sexual offences involving children and young people.
In a Statement to Parliament on 14 November 2017, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice outlined the approach which will be taken and announced that Catherine Dyer will Chair the Group. Catherine was the Independent Chair of the Child Protection Systems Review, the recommendations of which were accepted by Ministers in March 2017. She will draw on insights from that Review and from her previous experience as Chief Executive of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
Invitations were issued to organisations being requested to nominate a member of the Group, including the Child Protection Committee Scotland on 15 November. The invitation letter included the remit of the group and the list of organisations invited to nominate.
Child Protection Policy Team