Child Protection Improvement Programme
Child Protection Improvement Programme Update #12
We would like to bring your awareness to the Child Protection Committees Scotland’s (CPC Scotland) media campaign ‘Eyes Open’ (#EyesOpen) which will be launched on Monday 24 June 2019. We welcome the campaign ‘Eyes Open’ which aims to raise awareness of the important role everyone has to keep children safe from harm in the holidays. More information can be found here: http://www.celcis.org//eyes-open-2019.
The National Child Protection Leadership Group
The National Child Protection Leadership Group last met on 30 April 2019. The group received an update on the refresh of health guidance on child protection. A proposal to replace the existing guidance by developing and implementing NHS policy for Scotland including the development of a national learning and education strategy has been supported by Scottish Nursing Leadership Group, the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health CP Committee, and the National Child Protection Guidance revision steering group. Dr Sharon Vincent was invited to present some of her experience and evidence from across the UK in respect of Significant Case Reviews. As chair of the Case Review Oversight Group Alan Small led a facilitated discussion on the importance of identifying national themes while recognising that local learning is a continuous process. Alan Small is a member of the Leadership Group and represents CPC interests.
Minutes from the Group’s previous meetings are available on the Scottish Government website.
Implementing the Children’s aspects of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015
The second annual progress report of Scotland’s Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy was published on 16 June 2019 on the Scottish Government website. The report sets out the progress that has been made during the second year of implementation of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy.
Implementation of the 18 specific children’s actions within the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy is overseen by the multi-agency Child Trafficking Strategy Group (CTSG) and last convened on 29 May 2019.
The consultation on section 38 of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015; duty to notify and provide information about victims, is now open. The consultation will close on Friday 06 September 2019. The consultation can be accessed at: https://consult.gov.scot/justice/duty-to-notify-and-provide-information.
Scottish Government is holding events to hear directly from organizations that are named in the consultation paper and other interested parties on Scottish Government proposals. Three events are now live and can be booked through Eventbrite:
- Glasgow 27 June 2019 – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/human-trafficking-consultation-events-tickets-63371000368
- Edinburgh 05 July 2019 – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/human-trafficking-duty-to-notify-consultation-event-tickets-63534619758
- Inverness 27 August 2019 – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/human-trafficking-duty-to-notify-consultation-event-tickets-63534598695
We are planning other events in Aberdeen, Dumfries and Stirling during August 2019.
Online Safety for Children and Young People
As part of our commitments in the National Action Plan on Internet Safety for Children and Young People the Scottish Government continues to support the UK Safer Internet Centre and South West Grid for Learning to deliver Online Safety Live events across Scotland.
These free events are designed exclusively for those working with children and young people, and aim to highlight the latest issues, biggest trends and best resources in relation to online safety. Several of the events will also include a SELMA presentation on tackling the problem of online hate speech by promoting mutual awareness, tolerance and respect.
The next tranche of events will take place in October 2019 and registration is now open at the links below:
Sessions are also planned for South Lanarkshire and Dumfries.
Scottish Government continues to participate as an executive board member of the UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS) to ensure Scotland effectively contributes towards improving internet safety in Scotland within the UK environment. Scottish Government officials attended the last UKCIS board quarterly meeting on 1 May 2019 at Westminster, where UK Government Minsters discussed the current consultation on Online Harms and the UK Government’s proposals to establish an independent regulator. The consultation is open to anyone and closes on 1 July 2019. More information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/online-harms-white-paper.
The Scottish Government continues to engage with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport with regard to the regulation proposals to ensure that the impact in Scotland, of any legislation and regulation, is appropriately considered.
In addition to UKCIS’s existing four working groups (Evidence, Education, Digital Resilience and Technical) further proposals are being considered to undertake work on 1) An Early Warning System, 2) Better Online Conversations and 3) Better Protection for Vulnerable Users.
In May, the Scottish Government participated in a roundtable discussion, facilitated by the 5Rights Foundation at Westminster, to discuss proposals by the Information Commissioner’s Office on an age appropriate design code – a code of practice for online service providers which will provide guidance on design standards, with the protection of young people as its main aim. The Scottish Government also submitted a contribution to the accompanying consultation, which closes on 31 July 2019. More information can be found at https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/ico-and-stakeholder-consultations/age-appropriate-design-a-code-of-practice-for-online-services/.
On 24 April 2019 the Minister for Children and Young People launched a new web resource designed specifically to better support Disabled Children Young People and their Families. It hosts comprehensive information aimed at ensuring disabled young people and their families are able to access the right support, at the right time, and in the right way from birth to adulthood. The resource can be accessed at http://bit.ly/disabilitywebsite.
At the last meeting of the National Disabled Children and Young People’s Advisory Group, the Child Protection team brought to their attention, the recent report published by Internet Matters examining the needs and risks to vulnerable children in a digital world. The report can be found at: https://www.internetmatters.org/about-us/vulnerable-children-in-a-digital-world-report/. The Advisory Group expressed a keen interest to support the Scottish Government through continued engagement, on issues regarding the digital aspects and risks to young people with additional support needs.
Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation
To celebrate and support National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day on 18 March 2019, the Minister for Children and Young People attended the launch of the recent report by Barnardo’s: ‘Public Understanding of Child Sexual Exploitation’, examining the current level and nature of the Scottish public’s understanding of CSE.
The Minster also visited the Inverness offices of the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) to meet reporters and speak about their challenging roles, putting emphasis on how much the Scottish Government value their tremendous efforts to keep children safe and protected.
The National Group overseeing the implementation of the National Action Plan to Prevent and Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation, met on 20 May 2019. For their meeting in September, the Group has been asked to participate in a workshop to discuss next steps for Scotland, following the conclusion of the current Plan this year.
Neglect: Amending Section 12 (“cruelty to persons under 16”) of the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937
The Scottish Government consultation on proposed changes to section 12 (“cruelty to children”) of the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 2019 closed on 14 November 2018, with a total of 220 responses received. The Scottish Government have published all responses to the consultation online; and will publish consultation analysis and next steps shortly.
Unaccompanied Children in Scotland
Unaccompanied asylum seeking and trafficked children are deemed looked after children in Scotland and as such are eligible for all measures of protection and assistance to aid their safeguarding and recovery.
The consultation on the roles and responsibilities of the Independent Child Trafficking Guardian is being finalized. Once published, the consultation will be open for a period of 12+ weeks.
In the meantime, the Scottish Guardianship Service will continue to deliver support to trafficked children and those vulnerable to trafficking as they currently do.
Expert Group on Preventing Sexual Offending involving children and young people
The Expert Group on Preventing Sexual Offending involving Children and Young People met between January 2018 and March 2019. The Group is chaired by Catherine Dyer, former Crown Agent, and comprises a number of public and third sector organisations involved in education, health and justice. The Group’s remit is to identify fresh actions to prevent harmful sexual behavior and sexual crime involving children and young people, both for those children and young people who cause harm, and for those who have been caused harm, and to better mitigate the effects it causes.
Work is ongoing to finalise the draft report. It is anticipated that the report of the Expert Group will be published in summer 2019.
Case Review Oversight Group – (Significant Case Reviews)
The Case Review Oversight Group was established in May 2019. This Group is chaired by Alan Small and will co-ordinate Child Protection Improvement Programme and System Review recommendations relating to Significant Case Reviews and consider the purpose, criteria and governance of such reviews. This Group will make recommendations to the Child Protection National Leadership Group on a proportionate and timely approach to reviews that supports a learning culture and also the successful implementation of findings to support improvement in child protection practice.