The Programme emerges from the commitment of Scottish Ministers to 'launch a programme of action on child protection'; its core objective is to deliver recommendations for sustainable improvement, building upon the observable improvements in practice that have already taken place in recent years and to seek to further embed Scotland's unique approach to child wellbeing: Getting it Right for Every Child. This objective is premised expressly upon the Scottish Government's vision for a child protection system that keeps children safer from abuse and neglect, by placing the wellbeing of Scotland's children at the heart of everything it does. Following consultation with senior leaders in the sector, the Programme was formally announced by the former Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance MSP, in Parliament on 25 th February 2016. The statement to Parliament committed the government to undertaking a substantive review of the formal elements of the child protection system in Scotland, namely Child Protection Committees; Initial Case Reviews, Significant Case Reviews and Child Protection registers. In addition, the programme will:
1. Work with the sector to develop a data and evidence programme, focussing on the use of data to inform effective practice, drive improvement and measure impact.
2. Review the impact of recent legislative changes to the Children's Hearings System (Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011), in partnership with the Children's Hearings Improvement Partnership ( CHIP).
3. Invest in activities that promote effective leadership and workforce development.
4. Review the existing programme of joint inspection, working with both the Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland.
5. Undertake significant work in the area of child neglect by supporting practitioners to develop effective neglect responses that are effectively tailored to local needs and individual circumstances; review the current criminal legislation non neglect to ensure that effective measures are in place to protect children from harm; develop a holistic picture of neglect across Scotland.
6. Continue to implement the National Action Plan to Prevent and Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation, updated in March 2016.
7. Publish a refreshed child internet safety action plan by March 2017.
8. The Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 has led to the drafting of a national trafficking strategy that includes an agenda for children and young people.
The Programme will contribute to the delivery of the following national outcomes:
1. Our children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed.
2. We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish Society.
3. We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk.
4. We live our lives safe from crime, disorder and danger.
5. Our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to local people's needs.
Email: Francois Roos, Child_Protection@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House