Health and Social Care Partnership Older People's Joint Inspection

East Lothian Council | 30 April 2015

The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland will soon be carrying out a joint inspection of health and social work services for older people in East Lothian. We expect this inspection process to begin in April/May 2015. The purpose of the joint inspection is to find out how well the health and social work services partnership between East Lothian Council and NHS Lothian (referred to as the Partnership) deliver good personal outcomes for older people who use services and their carers.

View full press release

Managing Risk of Serious Harm in Young People: Launch of CARM (Care and Risk Management) and revised guidance for Movement Restriction Conditions (MRCs) in the Children's Hearing System

30 April 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 9.30am to 1pm - University of Strathclyde

The Scottish Government, in conjunction with the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ), is delighted to invite you to the launch of CARM and revised guidance for MRCs in the Children's Hearing System. You will hear from expert speakers including the Scottish Government, Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) and the Risk Management Authority (RMA) on what this means for the social work and youth criminal justice sector, and have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion.

This will take place on Tuesday, May 26 at the University of Strathclyde’s Colville Building, Room 4:20. There will be tea and coffee on arrival, and lunch and networking at 1pm. 

 Please indicate whether you can attend by emailing Contact 0141 444 8705 if you have any queries.  

Put children at the heart of policy making, say children’s organisations

Eurochild | 29 April 2015

A network of over 130 child rights organisations, including Together, has raised concern over the growing divide between commitments made to realise children’s rights and the inaction of EU institutions.

More information 

Youth-led documentary into poverty, social exclusion and inequality

29 April 2015

The Shetland Islands Council has produced a short drama based on youth-led peer research, focusing on perspectives of life in Shetland.  All children in Scotland have a right to protection from poverty, social exclusion and inequality. Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) requires governments to ensure that every child has their rights fulfilled as set out in the Convention, without discrimination of any kind. Article 27 of the UNCRC obliges government to recognise the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child's physical, mental, moral and social development.


Equally Safe - Reforming the Criminal law to Address Domestic Abuse & Sexual Offences

29 April 2015

Equally safe is a consultation on proposals including to create specific offences concerning domestic abuse and the introduction of statutory jury directions in sexual offence cases. 

More information 

Education (Scotland) Bill: call for written submissions

Scottish Government | 29 April 2015

The Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee has launched a call for written submissions on the Scottish Government’s Education (Scotland) Bill. 

More information 

How Police Scotland plans to tackle child sex exploitation by helping the missing, the abused and the vulnerable

24 April 2015

Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham writes for The Herald

Protecting our children and young people and targeting those who commit offences against children either through abuse, neglect or sexual exploitation, means we are supporting some of the most vulnerable in our society and sending a clear message to offenders that we will target those who commit such crimes.  

Since the beginning of this year, we have been building a National Child Abuse Investigation Unit within the service. With locations across Scotland in Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow and its main hub in Livingston, this unit has 50 highly trained officers who have been provided with additional specialist training that will equip them with a range of skills that will build on the good work our local child protection teams carry out across the country and ensure this additional resource is available no matter where and when the need.

View full article

Police look at how to avoid Scottish 'Rotherham' child sex scandal

The Herald | 24 April 2015

Police Scotland officers, along with health and social workers, have launched pilot projects to look at why youngsters in care run away to stop them falling in to hands of those who would groom them. They will interview children found after being reported missing to find out where they were and who they were with. Their aim is to look for evidence that youngsters, boys and girls, have fallen in to the hands of men who befriend them to use them for sex.

More information

Launch of the Scottish Women's Rights Centre

23 April 2015

The Scottish Women’s Rights Centre (SWRC) has been launched to ensure that women in Scotland who have or are experiencing gender based violence are able to access timely and appropriate legal advice and information.

Women will be able to call the new centre’s helpline for legal information and advice on any aspect of gender based violence. The Centre is a partnership project between Rape Crisis Scotland, the University of Strathclyde and the Legal Services Agency, with the helpline staffed by volunteers from the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic.

More information

For any further information on the centre please contact Sandy Brindley at Rape Crisis Scotland on 07764167501 or email

Gaps found in the care of mothers with postnatal depression

The Herald | 23 April 2015

SERIOUS gaps in the care of women who are suffering from symptoms of postnatal depression have been highlighted by a new report. Most health boards do not have a single midwife or health visitor who has received accredited training in the mental health problems which can strike mothers around the time of childbirth, according to the research.  

Children's charity NSPCC Scotland and staff forum Maternal Mental Health Scotland, who are behind the report, are calling for the Scottish Government to take action saying improvements will protect two generations - the vulnerable mothers and their children.

Further information

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day - 15th June

Action on Elder Abuse | 22 April 2015

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) happens each year on 15 June. It was established by the United Nations, following representations by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. Action on Elder Abuse are the coordinators within the UK - they provide help, support and guidance for individuals and organisations wishing to take part.  

Download an information leaflet

More information 

East and Midlothian Launch Public Protection Approach

22 April 2015

During the week of 20th—24th April, East and Midlothian formally launched its integrated approach to Public Protection.  The Public Protection Team supports operational staff across partner agencies, by providing a level of expert advice and promoting consistency of practice. The team includes Adult Support and Protection, Child Protection and Violence Against Women and Girls staff and maintains strong links with partners in Offender Management and Midlothian and East Lothian Drug and Alcohol Partnership (MELDAP). With a number of staff from the Police Public Protection Unit due to join us this month we are moving towards an operational “hub” with a staff presence from social work, police and health. This will take forward our vision of an integrated approach to all aspects of Public Protection “across the lifespan” and will promote the understanding of the impact of trauma at all ages and stages of life

Download the latest newsletter 

Falkirk care leavers get a better start

The Falkirk Herald | 22 April 2015

New Scottish Government legislation means every child in care will be entitled to additional support until they are 26 years old.  

In the Falkirk Council area, young people in care currently get help until they are 21. But in many Scottish local authorities, children leaving care at 16 have to fend for themselves. The Children and Young People Act was passed at Holyrood in February and became law on April 1. It ensures looked after children can stay in care until they are 21, no matter where they live, and receive additional support from organisations such as councils, the NHS and education bodies until they are 26.

View full article

Mikaeel Kular killing 'could not have been predicted'

BBC | 21 April 2015

A significant case review into the death of toddler Mikaeel Kular has found that the circumstances leading to it "could not have been predicted". The joint Chief Officers Group of Fife and Edinburgh said it would not be appropriate to release the full report.

More information

Executive Summary of Significant Case Review

Scottish child abuse investigation unit to be unveiled

BBC | 20 April 2015

A national task force set up to tackle child sex abuse in Scotland will be formally launched. Police Scotland Chief Constable Stephen House and Education Minister Angela Constance will unveil the National Child Abuse Investigation unit. The unit, in Livingston, has been set up to support local divisions in the investigation of child sexual abuse. Child sexual exploitation - current and historical - and online investigations will also be the focus of the team.

More information 

Decision Specific Screening Tool (Capacity Assessment) - Adult Support and Protection

20 April 2015

Following the implementation of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, the assessment of a person’s capacity to make decisions was believed to belong solely to the medical profession. The truth is that social workers and other professionals can equally provide a professional view as to whether an individual can understand and act on decisions. In 2013/2014 a Capacity Indicator Screening Tool Pilot was conducted in two areas of Edinburgh. The purpose of the pilot was to evaluate the applicability and usefulness of a specific screening tool within Social Work departments. The screening tool was designed to assess levels of capacity of adults across a range of vulnerabilities, including individuals with learning disabilities and people with dementia. The pilot also assessed whether the screening tool promoted personal confidence for workers in assessing capacity.  

Decision Specific Screening Tool - Inrtoduction 

Decision Specific Screening Tool 

Get involved in 'The View from Here' project

IRISS | 20 April 2015

IRISS is trying to understand practitioners’ experiences of delivering care and support in Scotland. Part of this project will be to undertake a survey in partnership with the Guardian to reach a broad audience across Scotland.

More information 

Ruling frees up social workers to get on with job

The Scotsman | 15 April 2015

Children’s needs are paramount, writes Harry Stevenson On 27 March, two social workers from City of Edinburgh Council won their appeal against their conviction for contempt of court. And the entire profession breathed a sigh of relief. Let’s be clear though, we do not support deliberate action to frustrate the role of the courts or Children’s Hearings. 

These are part of the checks and balances we need in order that we as social workers remain accountable for our actions. In his ruling, which supported the actions of the social workers, one of the highest Law Lords in Scotland, Lord Carloway the Lord Justice Clerk, also endorsed and clearly understood the social work profession. That’s a huge relief too for a profession that is often criticised by the media for not taking action.

More information 

Making failure to report sexual abuse a criminal offence not enough on its own to protect children

Sarah Nelson | 14 April 2015

Shocking child abuse scandals have triggered campaigns throughout Britain for legislation making failure to report abuse a criminal offence. A petition calling for "mandatory reporting" in Scotland has been lodged with the Scottish Parliament by campaigner Scott Pattinson. Campaigners say staff in faith settings, schools, sports clubs, other institutions and childcare settings must be legally obliged to report to police and or social services. Who could object to that? Yet many people experienced in working against child abuse and sexual violence have serious worries about the effectiveness of a crusade no-one, including politicians, likes to question. 

They believe it will both encourage complacency and ignore more urgent changes needed before mandatory reporting could make much difference - at least in sexual abuse, the main abuse in recent scandals.

More information 

Progress on the Inquiry

Scottish Government | 14 April 2015

The Scottish Government has been seeking views on the Terms of Reference, and attributes of a Chair and Panel, for the Scottish Inquiry into Historical Child Abuse. The engagement process finished on 26 March.   

Read more about the engagement process and next steps

Child Sexual Exploitation Conference: Implications from Rotherham for Scotland

CELCIS | 13 April 2015

WithScotland and CELCIS, supported by Police Scotland and Social Work Scotland, hosted a conference on Child Sexual Exploitation on Thursday 6 November 2014. The event gave delegates the opportunity to: hear and reflect on the findings from the Rotherham Inquiry explore possible implications in the context of policy and practice developments underway in Scotland; and hear about the work of Child Protection Committees and examples of current good practice, with opportunities for discussion which will inform future activities and information sharing. The conference aimed to provide a safe space for strategic and operational level discussion among agencies and an opportunity to shape the future of child protection in Scotland.

Read the event report

WithScotland welcomes international delegates to largest child protection event held in Edinburgh

WithScotland | 10 April 2015

The British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (BASPCAN) is holding a four-day Congress in Edinburgh from 12th – 15th April - one of the biggest child protection conferences ever to be held in Edinburgh - with over 700 delegates registered.

WithScotland, the national resource for child protection in Scotland, will be hosting the international delegates programme on Sunday, April 12th, attended by 70 delegates from 20 countries across the world, examining child protection systems in Scotland and how they compare to other cultures and societies.

The International Delegates programme will give a brief timeline of key children’s legislation in Scotland and the UK, and some of our key processes, including the children’s hearing system and child protection processes.

Beth Smith, Director, WithScotland, said: "We are looking forward to meeting with child protection professionals from across the UK and all over the world. The breadth and depth of topics to be examined will facilitate meaningful discussions and an opportunity for researchers, practitioners, policy makers and students to share their work with the wider child protection community. This is crucial in helping to improve outcomes for children in need of protection."

Beth Smith and Matt Forde, NSPCC Scotland, are Co-Chairing a plenary session with Alan Baird, the Scottish Government’s Chief Social Work Advisor, on ‘Scotland’s Approach to Child Protection’ and Sue Berelowitz, Deputy Children's Commissioner for England, entitled ‘No Longer Invisible, An Innovative Approach to Protecting Victims of Child Sexual Exploitation’.

WithScotland will host a symposium exploring how we support child protection professionals and demonstrating how we connect with a variety of communities working and researching within child protection; how we exchange knowledge and ideas from operational practice to through to the development of policy; and how we help to protect children in Scotland by responding to individual requests for advice on support – a facility unique to WithScotland.

Topics include: 

  •  ‘Taking forward national strategic priorities: Developing the SCIE Learning Together approach in Scotland’ (WithScotland and SCIE worked together to develop this approach through an innovative pilot held in the North East of Scotland.) 
  • ‘Developing and Mobilising Knowledge in Child Protection in Scotland’ – we answer individual requests for information from practitioners across Scotland with complex cases or cases that may just need a ‘critical eye’ from someone outside the organisation. 
  • 'What can research do for you? Delivering research priorities for practice’ – we have encouraged the child protection community to develop a wide range of approaches towards knowledge dissemination to support the development of the workforce, conducting surveys to help us formulate ways in which to mobilise child protection knowledge within Scotland.

For further information please visit BASPCAN Congress 2015

5 concerns for children’s rights in Scotland

SCCYP | 09 April 2015

The Commissioner has highlighted five of his concerns for children’s rights in Scotland as part of his written evidence to the UK Joint Committee for Human Rights (JCHR).

The Commissioner was one of many to provide evidence to the JCHR to inform its report into how well the UK is complying with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). In his evidence, the Commissioner draws attention to key achievements and concerns around children’s rights in Scotland, and looks at the state of children’s rights for specific groups highlighted by the Committee.

Further information

Police appeal after man, 78, scammed out of £15,000

BBC News | 08 April 2015

An elderly man from Stranraer has lost more than £15,000 in a banking scam.  

The 78-year-old was the second person in Galloway to have been conned out of a substantial sum recently. On Saturday a 64-year-old woman from Newton Stewart lost in excess of £12,000 when she was targeted by an anonymous caller. Police Scotland have issued a warning, urging people not to engage with cold callers and to report any similar incident to their officers.

Further information

Supporting children in care

Wired-Gov | 02 April 2015

Extra support and greater rights for children and young people in care come into effect on Wednesday 1 April 2015.

All teenagers in residential, foster or kinship care who turn 16 will now be entitled to remain in their care setting until they reach the age of 21. This is in addition to the Scottish Government’s commitment to provide support until reaching the age of 26 for care leavers to help them move into independent living at a pace which suits them.

More information

Domestic abuse doesn't stop at 60

CommunityCare | 02 April 2015

Abusive relationships can be difficult to leave at any age, but for older women there are particular issues that make it harder, which is why social workers need to recognise that abuse doesn't stop once you reach 60.

Read CommunityCare's special report on domestic abuse and older people, including:

  • One council’s awareness-raising campaign about domestic abuse aimed at over-50s;
  • Tips for practitioners to help identify and respond to domestic abuse of older people;
  • How the Care Act and Making Safeguarding Personal could improve social workers’ approach to tackling domestic abuse between older couples.

Visit CommunityCare

Social workers ‘not in contempt of court’ for halting contact between mother and sons

CommunityCare | 02 April 2015

Scotland's supreme civil court overturns convictions, finding social worker and manager acted in 'the best interests of the children'.

Two social workers convicted of contempt of court for ceasing weekly contact between a family have had the verdicts overturned by Scotland’s Court of Session. The pair, who work for Edinburgh council and were named in court papers as AB and CD, were found guilty in December 2013 after they stopped weekly contact between a mother and her two sons, fearing it was causing the children emotional harm. No penalty was imposed on the social workers, but they were both found jointly liable for the expenses of the original proceedings.

Further information

National Guidance for Child Protection Committees for Conducting a Significant Case Review

Scottish Government | 01 April 2015

Guidance for Child Protection Committees when conducting a Significant Case Review. This guidance replaces the National interim guidance for undertaking SCRs published in 2007.

A Significant Case Review (SCR) is a multi-agency process for establishing the facts of a situation where a child has died or been significantly harmed, within a child protection context, in order to learn lessons on how to better protect children and young people in Scotland.  

National interim guidance for undertaking SCRs was introduced in 2007. However, a key finding of a research study, commissioned by the Scottish Government in 2012, found that there was inconsistency in the way in which reviews were being undertaken across Scotland and recommended that the SCR guidance be revised. This revised guidance aims to improve consistency and practice and takes account of all changes in policy, practice and legislation since the interim guidance was published in 2007.  

This guidance replaces the National interim guidance for undertaking SCRs published in 2007.

More information 

Code of practice for the review of Significant Case Reviews of children and young people in Scotland

Scottish Government | 01 April 2015

The Scottish Government requested that the Care Inspectorate take on the role as a central collation point for Significant Case Reviews (SCR) and to review and disseminate learning nationally. 1.2 The responsibility for the decision to carry out an SCR and for conducting the review lies with local Child Protection Committees (CPC) and Chief Officers Groups (COG). 

They are advised to do so paying due regard to national guidance for Child Protection and for conducting an SCR published by the Scottish Government. This Code of Practice sets out the arrangements the Care Inspectorate will put in place to manage confidential and personal information and take account of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Data Protection Act 1998.

More information