Child Protection Improvement Programme
We launched a Child Protection Improvement Programme (CPIP) in 2016 to make improvements in all areas of child protection, including:
- child sexual exploitation
- data and evidence
- children's hearings
- leadership and workforce development
- internet safety
Our aim is to ensure that Scotland's child protection system puts children's wellbeing first and keeps them safe from abuse and neglect.
In March 2017 we published the Child Protection Improvement Programme report, which set out actions we are taking to improve child protection in Scotland. Some of these are outlined below. Others are set out on pages relating to neglect, child sexual exploitation and keeping children safe online.
Refer to the CPIP blog for frequent updates on the programme.
National Child Protection Policy
We have committed to publishing a National Child Protection Policy which identifies all the responsibilities and actions across government which are aimed at supporting families and protecting children.
The policy will be published by March 2018.
National Child Abuse Prevention Plan and Framework
As part of the National Child Protection Policy, we will develop a plan to better prevent the emotional, physical and sexual abuse of Scotland's children.
This will build on existing work and be designed to respond to emerging threats and challenges, as well as incorporate evidence of practice, activities and interventions which work. The aim is to provide agencies and practitioners with an evolving resource which supports their skills, knowledge and expertise.
We are currently working with Evaluation Support Scotland to develop a Child Abuse Prevention Framework.
The Framework will set out what is understood by prevention, and identify the activities, outcomes and assumptions which underpin a prevention-focused approach and an understanding of how to evaluate prevention activities.
It will focus on:
- people and organisations that might stop abuse happening
- the situations that might increase the risk of abuse happening
- people at risk of being abusers
A short-life working group of practitioners met between November 2016 and February 2017 to create a prevention narrative. The draft prevention narrative was presented and discussed at a workshop in March 2017.
National Child Protection Leadership Group
We have established a National Child Protection Leadership Group, chaired by the Minister for Childcare and Early Years, to support, strengthen and improve activity on child protection.
In its first year, its key tasks will be to:
- oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the Child Protection Improvement Programme Report
- review the arrangements for child protection across current planning and service delivery processes
The group reports to and is accountable to Scottish Ministers.
Our communication strategy for the next phase of the Child Protection Improvement Programme sets out our vision for Child Protection in Scotland and how key messages will be communicated.