'Child protection' means protecting a child from child abuse or neglect. Abuse or neglect need not have taken place; it is sufficient for a risk assessment to have identified a likelihood or risk of significant harm from abuse or neglect. Equally, in instances where a child may have been abused or neglected but the risk of future abuse has not been identified, the child and their family may require support and recovery services but not a Child Protection Plan. In such cases, an investigation may still be necessary to determine whether a criminal investigation is needed and to inform an assessment that a Child Protection Plan is not required.
There are also circumstances where, although abuse has taken place, formal child protection procedures are not required. For example, the child's family may take protective action by removing the child from the source of risk. Children who are abused by strangers would not necessarily require a Child Protection Plan unless the abuse occurred in circumstances resulting from a failure in familial responsibility. For example, if a young child is abused by a stranger, a Child Protection Plan may be required only if the family were in some way responsible for the abuse occurring in the first instance, or are unable to adequately protect the child in the future without the support of a Child Protection Plan.
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting, or by failing to act to prevent, significant harm to the child. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. Assessments will need to consider whether abuse has occurred or is likely to occur.
A person under the age of 18 as defined in section 97 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.
A single agency or multi-agency plan which outlines a child's wellbeing needs and how they are to be supported. A child's plan forms the basis of a single planning framework which can incorporate plans that are required under other legislation. A Child's Plan is required only when identified wellbeing needs cannot be met, or fully met, without one or more 'targeted interventions'. A "young person" under section 22(2) in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 refers to those who are beyond their 18 th birthday and still at school; the Child's Plan only applies until the 18 th birthday.
Children with additional support needs
A child or young person has additional support needs if they are, or are likely to be, unable without the provision of additional support to benefit from school education provided or to be provided for them. Under the Education (Additional Support for Learning Act) (Scotland) Act 2004 (as amended), every looked after child is considered to have an additional support need by virtue of being looked after.
Co-ordinated support plan ( CSP)
A CSP is for those who have complex needs and need a high level of support from different services. A CSP will only be prepared for children who have complex or multiple additional support needs which have a 'significant adverse effect' on most areas of their learning; they need support from a local authority and at least one other non-education service or agency. These needs must last for 12 months or longer. It is a legal document, which means that the local authority must make sure that the child or young person receives the support outlined in their plan.
Corporate Parenting duties are set out in Part 9 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, and it specifies the public bodies and individual 'corporate parents' in schedule 4, who have responsibility for promoting and safeguarding the wellbeing of looked after children and care leavers. Corporate Parenting is described as the formal and local partnership needed between all services responsible for the needs of looked after children, young people and care leavers to enable them to achieve the best outcomes. The Act requires every corporate parent to be alert to matters which, or which might, adversely affect the wellbeing of looked after children, young people and care leavers under the age of 26 and:
- to assess the needs of those children and young people for the support and services it provides;
- to collaborate with each other when exercising their responsibilities in relation to looked after children and young people;
- to promote the interests of those children and young people;
- to seek to provide those children and young people with opportunities to participate in activities designed to advance their wellbeing;
- to take action it considers appropriate to help those children and young people to access opportunities and support and make use of the services it provides; and
- to take any other action as it considers appropriate for the purposes of improving the way in which it exercises its functions in relation to those children and young people.
Corporate parents are required to prepare, consult on and publish a corporate parenting plan and keep this under review. They will also be required to report on how they are exercising their duties to Scottish Ministers every three years starting from April 2018.
Equality Act 2010
Protected characteristics (within school education):
- Gender re-assignment;
- Pregnancy and maternity;
- Religion and belief; and
- Early learning and childcare
The term early learning and childcare was introduced by the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. It is defined in section 46 as "a service consisting of education and care, of a kind which is suitable in the ordinary case for children who are under school age, regard being had to the importance of interactions and other experiences which support learning and development in a caring and nurturing setting". It refers to all types of settings which offer early learning and childcare to children who have not yet reached school age. The term 'early learning and childcare settings' therefore encompasses settings previously known as nursery classes, pre-school centres, day nurseries, community nurseries, nursery schools and also now includes childminders.
Through Part 6 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, eligible children have a statutory entitlement to 600 hours a year (or a pro-rata amount for each part of a year that they are eligible) of funded early learning and childcare. Local authorities are under a statutory duty to deliver this, and can deliver it through their own settings or through partner providers.
An exclusion from school for a fixed period.
Includes colleges, placements, and extended provision provided by partner, in addition to schools.
The Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991, section 2(4A) and (4B) provides that a person under the age of 16 has legal capacity to instruct a solicitor in connection with any civil matter where they have a general understanding of what it means to do so and a child of 12 or more is presumed to be of sufficient age and maturity to have that understanding. Such a person also has legal capacity to sue or to defend in any civil proceedings. Section 41 of the 2000 Act extended appeal rights under section 28H of the 1980 Act to a pupil with such legal capacity.
Looked After Children
Section 17(6) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 (as amended by paragraph 2(4) of Schedule 5 of the Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011) provides that a child who is Looked After by a local authority is a child:
(a) for whom the local authority is providing accommodation under section 25 of the 1995 Act
(b) who is subject to a compulsory supervision order or an interim compulsory supervision order and in respect of whom they are the implementation authority (within the meaning of the Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011
(c) who is living in Scotland and subject to an order in respect of whom a Scottish local authority has responsibilities, as a result of a transfer of an order under regulations made under section 33 of the 1995 Act or section 190 of the Children's Hearing (Scotland) Act 2011
(d) in respect of whom a permanence order is in force.
The majority of children who are considered to be Looked After will come into one of the following two categories:
- Looked After at home, where the child is subject to a compulsory supervision order or an interim compulsory supervision order with no condition of residence through the Children's Hearing System section 83 of the Children's Hearing (Scotland) Act 2011. The child continues to live in their normal place of residence (i.e. often the family home); and
- Looked After away from home, (i.e. away from their normal place of residence), where the child is subject to a Supervision Order with a condition of residence through the Children's Hearing system, or is provided with accommodation under section 25 (voluntary agreement) of the 1995 Act  or is subject of a Permanence Order under section 80 of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007  . The child or young person is cared for away from their normal place of residence, e.g. in a foster care placement, residential/children's unit, a residential school or with a kinship carer.
The term parent or parent/carers includes those with parental responsibility, including those providing a foster or residential placement, or the local authority where full parental responsibility rests with them. Parent is defined in section 135(1) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 as including "guardian and any person who is liable to maintain or has parental responsibilities (within the meaning of section 1(3) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995) in relation to, or has care of, a child or young person".
Removal from the register
This refers to an exclusion which is permanent.
This is a structured process used to identify the level of support required to meet the learning needs of an individual child or young person. Staged intervention models may vary from one local authority to another but generally there are three, four or five stages. A child or young person's progress is regularly reviewed and they may move between stages.
Is defined in section 135(1) of the 1980 Act: a young person means a person over school age who has not yet attained the age of 18 years.
A 'young person' in the Children and Young people (Scotland) Act 2014 is a person who:
(a) attained the age of 18 years while a pupil at a school
(b) has since attaining that age, remained a pupil at that or another school.
Email: Douglas Forrester
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House