Young Scot Award Nominations 2014

31 January 2014

Young Scot, the national youth information and citizenship agency for Scotland has launched its search for this year’s Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards. The awards celebrate the achievements for Scotland’s amazing young people aged 11-26 years. There are 11 different categories from Community, Sports and The Arts to Heritage and Unsung Hero, in which you can nominate.

Do you work with young people or know a young person who is passionate about a cause? Do they work hard and strive to make a difference to improve the lives of others or their local community? If you know a young person who you believe deserves recognised and to be celebrated for the work they do, nominate them for a Sunday Mail Young Scot Award. Every young person who is nominated will receive a certificate.

Make a nomination by Friday 18th February 2014.

A survivor of female genital mutilation speaks out

The Herald | 30 January 2014

Fatou Baldeh appears before the Equal Opportunities Committee at the Scottish Parliament today to talk about the measures needed to prevent young girls in Scotland from suffering a similar fate.

As a result of international migration, the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has become a global health problem. Women who have undergone the operation are found all over the world, including Scotland. The increase in relocation of women from practising communities to Scotland has raised concerns that FGM is being performed on young girls in the country and many children are at risk of being mutilated.

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Agenda: Time to step up and speak out for the sake of vulnerable children

The Herald | 29 January 2014

A 44% increase in calls from Scotland to the child protection charity NSPCC helpline sounds like shocking news, as if a tidal wave of abuse was sweeping the nation. Fortunately this does not constitute a wave of abuse; rather it reflects a growing awareness of the need to protect children.  

Abuse and neglect afflict children all around us every single day, but too often nobody speaks out.

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Calls for a national strategy to tackle child sexual exploitation

BBC Democracy Live | 29 January 2014

MSPs called on the Scottish government to develop a national comprehensive strategy to tackle child sexual exploitation, during the second part of the debate on the issue on 28 January 2014.

View video and access further information

Worried Scots’ calls to NSPCC up 30% in 2013

The Scotsman | 29 January 2014

CALLS to NSPCC Scotland’s helpline for adults concerned about a child rose by 30% last year, according to new figures. NSPCC Scotland said that there was a 44.5% increase in referrals made to social work services or police in Scotland.

Of 1,920 calls to the helpline from people in Scotland last year, around 60% were sufficiently serious to merit a referral to police or social services. The charity said that 1,166 referrals were made in 2012/13, involving 1,807 children in Scotland. Half of Scottish callers in 2012/13 had waited over a month to report their concerns and a further quarter had delayed speaking out for more than six months. The charity urged people to act quickly if they are concerned about a child.

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Delivering Integrated Care and Support

IRISS | 28 January 2014

A second review of research evidence on the factors that underpin best health and social care integrated practice, has been completed for ADSW by Alison Petch, Director at IRISS.

The original document, An evidence base for the delivery of adult services, published in 2011, presented the evidence for considering factors beyond those of structural change when planning to improve integrated outcomes for individuals.

This latest report, Delivering integrated care and support, further adds to the knowledge base by focusing on the key dimensions for effective implementation of change.  

IRISS - Plan P

IRISS | 27 January 2014

A decisive shift to prevention is increasingly emphasised in policy documents and directives but is still in many respects in its infancy in terms of an evidence-base, practical implementation and in gaining genuine traction amongst those planning and delivering services. This project will look at prevention in terms of older adults (aged 65 and over). This is a group of particular interest, because unlike for example early years, relatively little work has been done and there is little robust evidence about the successful interventions and support (other than around very specific areas such as prevention of falls). Nevertheless, it is a group where a move towards preventative services is strongly encouraged. Within wider area of prevention, the project will focus specifically on isolation and loneliness and on enhancing connectedness for older people.  

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Resources Uploaded to WithScotland Library on FGM

27 January 2014

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is thought to be under reported in the UK, and may be on the increase due to migration of communities where FGM is practiced, to the UK. A collation of relevant papers are now available via the WithScotland library.

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New Briefing - 'The Role of Schools In Supporting Vulnerable Children and Families'

WithScotland | 21 January 2014

A new briefing for professionals who work with vulnerable children and families will be launched at a seminar event in Aberdeen today  (Tuesday, January 21st). The new briefing, entitled ‘The Role of Schools in Supporting Vulnerable Children and Families’, was produced by WithScotland in response to over 300 practitioners who, when surveyed, said that they required more information and research on this topic. 

 It draws on research studies to increase awareness of knowledge and information that can help strengthen the responsiveness of practice, particularly within the schools system. The information which is presented highlights the importance of early intervention and a multi-agency approach to identification, assessment and intervention with vulnerable children and families.  


Imagining the Future. Animation and reports published

IRISS | 21 January 2014

What might social services look like in 2025? In 2013 IRISS ran a series of workshops to help us understand the technical, medical and cultural forces that will shape the future. These workshops informed three ‘think pieces’ or reports - on citizenship, the workforce and technology.  

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Troubled families that are crying out for help

The Herald | 21 January 2014

We know what makes stronger communities and helps troubled families thrive. We know what makes stronger communities and helps troubled families thrive. Custom byline text: Stephen Naysmith That's the claim in a study published today by think tank Demos, and it is a thought--provoking read for anyone interested in getting a better bang for the public buck. Titled A Wider Lens 2, it focuses on the 24,000 severely disadvantaged families in Scotland that a previous report - A Wider Lens - identified.  

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Aiming to give children the best start in life

Scotsman | 21 January 2014

We need to divert resources to the most needy, says Sandy Riddell The Scottish Government has branded Scotland “the best place to grow up”. What does that mean to children and young people in Scotland? For the most part, it will mean good services, like childcare and school; good opportunities to do exciting things like play sport, get involved in music or drama; good amenities locally and good transport links; having a warm house; and it will mean opportunities for work or further and higher education.  

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Do you have an idea for a student research project?

21 January 2014

Students on the undergraduate and postgraduate Social Work programmes at the University of Stirling must undertake some original research for their dissertation projects. The students are free to develop their own research, but they are encouraged to identify topics of direct benefit to practice or policy. Ideas from agencies and practitioners are always welcome to help them to do this. Data collection generally runs from January to March each year. 

This means there are limits to the scale and complexity (particularly the ethical complexity) of the projects that might be possible. However, there are no limits to the creativity and fresh ideas that soon-to-be qualified social workers can bring to a topic! If you have an idea for a research project, or just a general topic for the students to consider, please contact: Fiona Sherwood-Johnson, module co-ordinator by email on 

Information leaflet 

Child Poverty Action Group - Early Warning System

CPAG | 21 January 2014

CPAG in Scotland is setting up an Early Warning System to gather evidence about the impact of welfare reform. We are looking for 100 frontline workers to contribute to the Early Warning System by feeding in case studies from their work. 

Further information 

Help to tackle debt misery

Scottish Government | 20 January 2014

People crippled by Christmas debt are being urged to seek help before they start 2014 in the red, Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing said today. Timed to coincide with the first pay packet of the year, the Helping Hand with Debt campaign aims to help cash-strapped families who are in financial trouble after overspending at Christmas. People are being encouraged to consider credit unions as an ethical and affordable alternative to payday loans.  

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Loneliness and periods of crisis 'affect many in UK'

BBC | 20 January 2014

As many as a third of British adults feel they have no-one to turn to in a crisis, a survey has suggested. Nearly three-quarters of those questioned online for the Red Cross said they had already been through a period of crisis in their lives. And 37% thought they could suffer one again within the next five years.  

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Parents unaware of internet filters, says report | 17 January 2014

Around one in eight parents that do not have family friendly internet controls did not know they existed or did not know how to install them, says a new report. Britain is now a recognised global leader when it comes to protecting children online and, with the tools in place, it is important to measure how they are used.

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View Ofcom report

Missing children rate rises

The Courier | 16 January 2014

Courier country children in council care went missing at a rate of more than one a week last year. Sixty young people cared for in facilities run by local authorities were reported as having gone missing in Falkirk, Stirling, Dundee and Fife during the 2012/13 financial year. The figures were obtained under freedom of information legislation but the total could actually be higher as Angus Council returned figures for the calendar year, with six children reported as missing in 2013.

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What are the problems most troubling our teenagers?

SecEd | 16 January 2014

With sharp rises in racist bullying and self-harm, new figures from ChildLine provide a stark insight into the issues affecting our young people. 

In the past year, there has been an alarming rise in the number of young people contacting ChildLine about self-harm, with girls being 15 times more likely to seek help than boys. The disturbing finding is among the headline figures in ChildLine’s annual report – entitled Can I Tell You Something? – which looks to identify the key needs and concerns of young people and how they are changing over time.  

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£500m shake-up of health and social services

16 January 2014

PATIENTS have been promised a “seamless” service under a radical shake-up of health and social care in the Lothians.

The £500 million master-plan, drawn up by the city council and NHS chiefs, will look to tackle issues such as bed blocking and home care shortages. It is hoped the new system – which will see NHS Lothian pool its community care resources with the region’s four councils from April – will stop patients being shunted between health and social care providers.

The move has been sparked by the Scottish Government, which wants to reduce the amount of time people spend in hospital, benefiting the elderly and those with long-term health conditions and disabilities.

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University of Edinburgh Child Protection Research Centre - New MSc in International Child Protection Research

14 January 2014

The Master of Science degree (MSc) in International Child Protection Research at the University of Edinburgh aims to equip recent graduates and professionals with the skills to conduct and apply research that can help keep children safe in local, national and global settings.  

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Child protection strategy

Evening Times | 14 January 2014

Scotland needs a national strategy for tackling child sexual exploitation, according to a Holyrood committee.

An inquiry by the Public Petitions Committee, convened by David Stewart MSP, found there could be a "piecemeal approach" to the issue, with a lack of co-ordination among some groups. The inquiry was launched following a petition from Barnardo's Scotland.

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Charity warns children sexually exploited in every Scots city

The Herald | 14 January 2014

Youngster are suffering from sexual exploitation in every ­Scottish city and may also be victims in many towns and rural areas, the head of a leading ­children's charity has warned. Barnardo's director Martin Crewe made the claim as he said MSPs had been shocked by the scale of the evidence the charity presented to them. It came after Holyrood's Public Petitions Committee issued a call for refuges for young Scots at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE), and for all schools to offer workshops on sexual attitudes and internet safety, after an investigation into the evidence.  

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Vulnerable children who cry out for protection

The Herald | 14 January 2014

The Herald - View:  It is a hidden problem of the most disturbing kind. Child sexual exploitation, says a leading charity, is here and it is significant. Exploiting young people for sexual acts or images, with payment such as cash, drugs, or housing, is such an unpleasant issue many of us would rather not examine it. But that it is taking place in Scotland should not come as a surprise.

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Teach your child the Underwear Rule and help protect them from abuse

NSPCC Scotland | 14 January 2014

The Underwear Rule is a simple way that parents can help keep children safe from abuse - without using scary words or mentioning sex. NSPCC Scotland has developed a simple guide for parents, and a child-friendly version, to help you talk PANTS with your child.  

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Care homes given guidance on giving covert medication to residents

Community Care | 14 January 2014

Rising use of covert medication and lack of legal clarity leads Scottish watchdog to issue revised advice.  Care homes in Scotland have been provided with fresh guidance on giving residents medication covertly when they lack the capacity to consent but are refusing treatment.

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Download the guidance

Are you a practitioner doing research? Think about presenting at BASPCAN Congress 2015

14 January 2014

The Call for Abstracts for the BASPCAN Congress 2015 is now open.  Abstracts are invited from all those involved at any level in the field of child protection and child welfare. If you are involved in research (whether academic or action/practitioner-led) which addresses one or more of the congress themes and you would like to like to discuss your research in advance of submitting an abstract then WithScotland can help.

Annette Webb (Research Coordinator) is available to offer advice and support. Contact 

Further information 

Viewpoints: Despair among children and youngsters

BBC | 13 January 2014

Two major reports this new year have painted a bleak picture of children and young people's mental health. A study by the Prince's Trust suggested as many as three quarters of a million young people in the UK felt they had nothing to live for and ChildLine said it had seen a large increase in concerns about online bullying and self-harming. So is life tougher for today's youth or are children's views just better heard these days?  

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Parents urged to talk about abuse

Evening Times | 13 January 2014

A RISE in reports of child sex abuse has prompted a Scottish charity to repeat a call for parents to speak to children about the issue.

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Families hit out at safeguarding failings after care staff are jailed for abusing residents

Community Care | 13 January 2014

Three nursing home staff who mocked, bullied and assaulted residents with dementia were today jailed for their crimes, while a fourth was sentenced to a community order. The sentencings of Darren Smith, Katie Cairns, Carol Moore and Gemma Pearson follow a multi-agency investigation into abuse at the Throstle Grove home in Slyne-with-Hest, Lancaster, run by Hillcroft Nursing Homes, between May 2010 to September 2011.  

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NSPCC launches social network awareness campaign

12 January 2014

A leading children's charity has launched a campaign highlighting the risks of social networking, aimed at young people and their parents. It was introduced after many children were given smart phones, tablets or games consoles for Christmas.

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Payday loan adverts reported to the ASA for complaints about irresponsible and misleading practices

10 January 2014

Complaints about payday loan adverts from Wonga, Pounds to Pocket and are being reported to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) by Citizens Advice. In total seven payday loan adverts, from six different payday lenders and credit brokers, were flagged with the regulator for concerns about irresponsible or misleading practices.  

Failure to declare the cost of loan and trivialising borrowing by implying loans can be used for shopping sprees and birthday celebrations were some of the complaints raised by the national charity. Thirteen potential breaches of advertising codes were identified across the adverts, which were used between November 2013 and February 2014. The adverts span a range of platforms including TV commercials, text messages, email, flyers and even a sandwich wrapper.

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What is your school doing to help create a better internet for young people?

Primary Times | 07 January 2014

On Tuesday 11th February 2014 schools across the country will be helping to create a better internet by joining in the Safer Internet Day celebrations. This year’s theme ‘Let’s create a better internet together’ will encourage schools to highlight the positive and creative uses of technology whilst empowering children, families and staff to stay safe online. 

Whether it’s running class activities, holding parent sessions or creating family competitions, Safer Internet Day 2014 will offer schools across the UK a chance to showcase the fantastic things that pupils are doing to make internet safety a priority.  

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Free school meals for young primary pupils in Scotland

BBC | 07 January 2014

Free school meals are likely to be provided to all children in the first three years at Scottish primary schools. The move, expected to be announced by Scottish ministers, matches a plan being introduced in England. First Minister Alex Salmond has promised a large increase in childcare in the event of independence.  

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Intercollegiate Group draws up ground-breaking recommendations for tackling Female Genital Mutilation

07 January 2014

A unique coalition of Royal Colleges, trade unions and Equality Now launched the report 'Tackling FGM in the UK: Intercollegiate recommendations for identifying, recording and reporting'.  This ground-breaking report and collaboration recognises that implementing a comprehensive multi-agency action plan is urgently required to ensure that young girls at risk of undergoing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are protected by the existing UK legal framework (which has been in place since1985).  

The report makes nine recommendations for tackling FGM in the UK and considers issues such as the lack of consistent data collection about FGM in the NHS. The recommendations suggest that babies, children and young girls suspected of going to be cut or presenting with FGM should be considered as potential victims of crime and referred to support services and the police, as appropriate.

Download summary report 

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The role of personal storytelling in practice

IRISS | 07 January 2014

Storytelling influences change at individual practice as well as organisational level Listening to stories facilitates better person-centred care and can lead to improved services Hearing personal stories engenders greater understanding, empathy and reflection Rapport, trust and care can be nurtured in practitioner-service user relationships through storytelling .

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Project to care for elderly at home welcomed

Evening Telegraph | 06 January 2014

Health and social work professionals in Dundee have praised the first few weeks of a pilot scheme to look after older people this winter. NHS Tayside was awarded winter monies by the Scottish Government and has set up four projects in Dundee and Angus where different services will work together to try to treat elderly people in their homes. At a meeting of the Dundee Community Health Partnership, Dr Gail Young said the pilot was geared towards providing care to the older population, saying: “It’s looking at a multi-disciplinary team. The pilot is for four months. We are actively seeing and reviewing patients.

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Salmond: we need power to ease child care needs

The Herald | 06 January 2014

THE Scottish Government cannot provide 30 hours a week child care without the full powers of independence, according to First Minister Alex Salmond. Mr Salmond has responded to critics who say he has "all the powers he needs to deliver better child care" under devolution. A YouGov poll, commissioned by pro-UK campaign Better Together, found that nearly two-thirds of people believe the Scottish Government should use its current devolved powers to provide better child care .

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Elderly facing risk of financial abuse

The Herald | 06 January 2014

Protecting older people from theft by appointing someone with powers of attorney is more necessary than ever, says John Scott Moncrieff ONE uncomfortable truth of the modern age is that the vulnerable elderly, along with others at risk are, increasingly, falling prey not only to those close to them but even some legally-entrusted attorneys prepared to abuse their trust and legal powers.  

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Scottish Government provides £460,000 for extra early years training

Nursery World | 06 January 2014

Childcare training in Scotland is receiving a £460,000 boost from the Scottish government for post-graduate and professional development places.

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Fathers figure too in adoption tracing talk

Scotsman | 06 January 2014

IT is not only mothers who wish to trace children taken from them to be adopted – men also want to make contact, says Gary Clapton The film Philomena starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan was a hit last year. It tells the story of a mother (played by Judi Dench) whose son was given up for adoption after she became pregnant, in an Ireland of the 1950s that was unforgiving to women who conceived out of wedlock. The film focuses on Philomena’s search for her son which, although ultimately unsuccessful, provides some help in her coming to terms with the loss of her child.  

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Council Vows To Support Youngsters

Evening Times | 06 January 2014

COUNCIL bosses have made a commitment to help stamp out discrimination against looked-after youngsters. Friday 27/12/2013 0 Comments Share Print And as a first step towards this East Renfrewshire leaders linked with Who Cares Scotland to sign a pledge and make clear our commitment.

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Information Sharing; New Practitioner Guidance

Scottish Government | 06 January 2014

Perth & Kinross Child Protection Committee has recently published practitioner guidance on information sharing. It was produced in collaboration with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and may be of interest to other practitioners.  

New information sharing pages on GIRFEC website

Read the Perth and Kinross guidance

Care leaving age to be extended to 21

Scottish Government | 06 January 2014

Care for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children is to be extended by five years, ministers announced today. Under a Scottish Government amendment to the Children and Young People Bill currently passing through parliament, 16-year-olds in foster, kinship or residential care will be given the right to remain in care until the age of 21.

Third and independent sector children’s service providers welcomed the decision, though concerns were expressed over a “harmful and unnecessary delay” with implementation not taking place until April 2015.  

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Supporting Scotland’s children

Scottish Government | 05 January 2014

The STV Appeal raised a record £2.5 million in 2013, with a £1 million donation from the Scottish Government. For the last three years, thousands of disadvantaged children across Scotland have benefitted from money raised by the STV Appeal. The First Minister has announced that in 2014, the Scottish Government will continue to contribute up to £1million to the amount raised by the STV Appeal. So far, the Scottish Government has donated £2,650,000 to the STV Appeal.  

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Funding boost for vulnerable groups

Scottish Government | 05 January 2014

Additional £280,000 to help groups that face barriers accessing money advice. Projects which give advice to vulnerable people facing debt and welfare problems will benefit from a £280,000 funding boost. The additional projects will focus on helping the most vulnerable, such as disabled people and victims of domestic abuse.  

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