Child Protection Expert to deliver 2015 Kilbrandon Lecture in Glasgow

Care Appointments | 30 October 2015

Child protection expert and Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde, Alexis Jay, will deliver the 2015 Kilbrandon Lecture next month.

In this year’s lecture, taking place on Thursday 19 November at The Barony Hall in Glasgow, Professor Jay will acknowledge that for those responsible for children and families, there has never been such challenges in protecting children, preventing their abuse, and promoting their wellbeing.

In her lecture Alexis will draw on her experiences in Scotland and elsewhere over four decades, focusing mainly on child protection, to illustrate good and weak leadership and its impact on positive outcomes for children and young people.

Further information

Online grooming: new trends in online sexual abuse

International Business Times | 30 October 2015

Child sex offenders are grooming children for the purposes of online sexual abuse, with more using social media apps and smartphones, according to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre. Offenders may target hundreds of children at a time in order to satisfy their sexual fantasies and once initial contact is made, this often rapidly escalates into threats and intimidation. Children who are groomed into performing sexual activity online can feel ashamed, that they have lost control, desperate or even become suicidal.

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Have your say on Scotland's new National Care Standards

29 October 2015

The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland are developing Scotland’s new National Care Standards. Different care services offer different types of support, but they all need to meet the standards. They are consulting on the new standards, which will apply to hospitals, NHS surgeries, social work departments, early learning and childcare, care and support providers, and many more. They want to hear from anyone with an interest or involvement in health and social care, personal or professional, to make sure the standards meet the needs of those who use them.  

Further information

Complete the survey

Charity promotes mindfulness for disabled children

Third Force News | 29 October 2015

Children in Scotland has published a book to teach children mindfulness after a trial at the Royal Blind School .

One of Scotland's biggest children's organisations is promoting mindfulness as a way to help children control their anxiety and increase their confidence. Aimed at teachers, parents and carers Mindfulness Techniques for Children and Young People is a practical guide to the practice which has seen a boom in popularity over the past few years. The book has been published by Children in Scotland which says the meditation technique is "a serious and credible way of supporting children". 

It was created following a pilot study at the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh where its author Stan Godek, alongside two teachers at the school, used mindfulness exercises to introduce relaxation into the children’s school day.  

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Findings published from major social services workforce survey

Care Appointments | 28 October 2015

An event to launch the findings of The View from Here, a project designed to understand the working lives, attitudes and experiences of the social services workforce in Scotland, is being held today, 28 October, at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow.  

The project comprised both quantitative and qualitative research - a workforce survey, which was conducted in partnership with The Guardian; and creative, qualitative research with 74 practitioners to gain a greater understanding of their day-to-day experiences of supporting people. The qualitative research was a partnership of Scottish Care, Coalition of Care Providers (CCPS) and the University of Strathclyde. Together, this evidence gives us a more robust picture, which adds to the existing evidence base provided by other organisations, such as Social Work Scotland, Coalition of Care Providers (CCPS), Scottish Care and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

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Access workforce survey findings and qualitative analysis 

Unique seminars focus on creative ways to help professionals dealing with the neglect of children and young people

26 October 2015

The first in a series of unique seminars focusing on childhood and adolescent neglect and its impact on a child’s development, self-esteem and confidence begins in Glasgow today (October 26th). WithScotland, University of Stirling and University of Dundee have collaborated on the seminar series, following a successful £20,000 funding application to the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, also supported by Creative Scotland and NSPCC Scotland.

Childhood and adolescent neglect is often associated with a range of negative outcomes which affect life chances. The seminars, which will be attended by over 250 professionals from a range of disciplines, will explore how art, theatre and dance can help to shape healthier communities. Professionals attending are working with children and young people affected by neglect.

Beth Smith, Director, WithScotland commented: “Engagement across key sectors and organisations is one of the main aims of this series of seminars. The programme has been developed in partnership between academia and practitioner organisations, enabling us to deliver events which combine the research on child neglect with interactive arts based work, formal presentations, group work and discussions. “The collaboration between academics, policy makers and practitioners is a unique opportunity to combine theory and practice in order to develop fresh approaches to this issue and to find innovative opportunities for improving responses and effectiveness in the complex area of neglect.”

Later seminars in the series will focus on therapeutic and community interventions developed by organisations such as the Art Room, Big Noise, Licketyspit and Macrobert Arts Centre. Such organisations will demonstrate how they work collaboratively with GIRFEC Coordinators, art projects and drama therapists to develop bespoke projects.

Professor Brigid Daniel from the University of Stirling, commented: “Neglect continues to be an intractable problem for many children and young people in Scotland and is extremely damaging to children in the short and long term. The experience of neglect can affect physical, cognitive and emotional development, relationships, behaviour and opportunities. It affects children in the early years, but teenage neglect, which is often overlooked, is also extremely damaging. “Formulating an effective response still poses national and local challenges, however, children may want to seek help through conversation and young people value professionals they feel they can trust. These events will help us to explore the options which provide opportunities for children and young people to express themselves in a safe environment. When able to do this, it can lead to increased levels of confidence, resilience and emotional wellbeing in children who have experienced neglect.” 

An illustrator will also produce a creative story board animation with real time drawings which will depict elements of neglect, wellbeing and resilience which will be posted online at the end of the seminar series. 

Notes to editors:  

Seminars 2, 3 and 4 will contain input from YDance, Scottish Book Trust, Hot Chocolate, Art Room Edinburgh, MacRobert Arts Centre, Skye Dance, Starcatchers, National Galleries of Scotland and Boingboing

For more information, research and reports on neglect, please visit WithScotland  /  Scottish Universities Insight Institute  /  University of Dundee 

Care Appointments Article

FAST – Tackling scammers and helping vulnerable victims

23 October 2015

A specialist multi-agency team aimed at targeting the criminal behaviour of scammers and supporting their vulnerable victims is now operating in Angus.  

Angus Financial Abuse Support Team (FAST) came together in response to major concerns about the number of especially vulnerable people being targeted by criminals. The virtual team comprises of partners that include Police Scotland, Trading Standards and social work and health.

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Corporate 'Covenant' to mark step change in lives of care leavers in Scotland

Care Appointments | 22 October 2015

To mark the start of National Care Leavers Week 2015, a major project to support young care leavers in Scotland has been announced today. The Scottish Care Leavers Covenant asks corporate parents and others with a role to play in the lives of care leavers to take a bold step and sign up to improve the lives and opportunities of young people leaving care.

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Postgraduate Qualification in Child Protection - Edinburgh Napier

22 October 2015

Places are available for the January intake on this course.

For experienced practitioners wishing to gain evidence of postgraduate study in Child Protection, the PG Certificate in Advanced Practice (Child Protection) at Edinburgh Napier University may be the ideal first step. Successful completion of three 20-credit modules will entitle you to this award. Study online at a time and place that suits you, with ready access to support from fellow students and lecturers experienced in child protection practice. 

Each module has one optional study day in Edinburgh, and is studied over a 13-week period using a range of interactive methods. Many students choose to continue their studies beyond the PG Certificate by taking further modules to achieve a Postgraduate Diploma or an MSc, and you can also build on credit you may have achieved elsewhere.

Further information

'Concerning' changes in teenage girls' mental health

BBC News | 22 October 2015

There have been "concerning" changes in the mental health of teenage girls in Scotland, a study into the behaviour of young people has suggested. Substantially more girls than boys reported stress, nervousness, low mood and medicine use, researchers at the University of St Andrews found.

Full article

Appointment of Panel Members: Historical Child Abuse Inquiry

21 October 2015

Following the launch of the Inquiry on 1 October 2015 two panel members have now been appointed to the Historic Child Abuse Inquiry by Education Secretary Angela Constance. Glenn Houston and Professor Michael Lamb will support Susan O'Brien QC, Chair of the Historical Child Abuse Inquiry.

More information on the Panel Members, including biographies

Visit the inquiry website 

Alistair Gaw: Exploding myths over ‘named person’ law

21 October 2015

It’s not about creating a nanny state, it’s about helping and supporting children and families, writes Alistair Gaw .

Over the past year we have seen a great number of column inches, debate and discussion devoted to the “named person” legislation. 

When the policy was first mooted, as the bill went through parliament and more recently judicial review of the legislation, the media has been full of opinion and observation on what this policy means for families in Scotland.

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Recruiting - Scottish Children's Reporter Administration

21 October 2015

SCRA is looking for two new Board Members - the closing date for applications is midnight on 20 November.

Watch a short recruitment film clip 

Decision Making Guidance for Foster Carers

21 October 2015

In response to requests from foster carers through the Fostering Network the Scottish Government commissioned the Scottish Child Law Centre to develop guidance that would help clarify for foster carers what their approach should be when it comes to making day to day decisions that affecting the children they care for. The guidance is now being consulted on and responses are required by 30 November.

More information 

In numbers: Adoption in Scotland

The Scotsman | 16 October 2015

There are more than twice as many children on the Adoption Register needing a family than prospective adopters offering one, findings by Scotland’s Adoption Register reveal .

The number of children referred to the register rose from 184 to 205 in 2014-2015 while the number of adopters fell from 122 to 110. This reflects reports from a number of agencies who say it has been particularly challenging to recruit as many adopters as they would like.  

Full article

National domestic abuse and forced marriage helpline

16 October 2015

The Scottish Government has awarded Scottish Women’s Aid the contract to run the National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline. 

SWA takes over the contract on October 19, and will complete a process of moving staff to the SWA office in Edinburgh early next year. SWA will recruit volunteers to answer calls, provide information and advice and act as the first point for accessing services. The helpline will provide free and confidential information and support service to callers and will work with Respect, which will provide a service for male survivors of domestic abuse. 

The helpline number remains: 0800 027 1234

Law to support all children arriving in Scotland alone

16 October 2015

The Scottish Parliament has passed legislation to protect children at risk of trafficking and exploitation. The Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act ensures that all children who arrive in Scotland alone and separated from their families have the right to an independent ‘guardian’ to advise and assist them. The Act means that Scotland now has a comprehensive, victim-centred legal framework for tackling human trafficking. 

Further information can be found at

Charity helps men to stop viewing child porn

The Scotsman | 16 October 2015

MORE than 30 men in Scotland sought out help to stop looking at child pornography, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation reported. Stop It Now!, a child sexual abuse prevention campaign was contacted by 36 men in Scotland between April and August to get help to stop looking at indecent images of children (IIOC). This makes up just over seven per cent of the 491 calls the charity received UK wide.

Further information

"We do not find labels helpful, they are for tins and jars, not people"

Holyrood Magazine | 15 October 2015

Support for people with a Learning Disability offers an existence rather than a life, says Fiona Wallace of People First (Scotland)'s Law and Human Rights Group.

Over the last week or so I have been speaking with my colleagues in the Law and Human Rights Group. We have been talking about the language used in law and the language used in Scottish society to describe us.

Full article

All over now? Children's contact when there is domestic abuse

CRFR | 15 October 2015

The Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR)  Research Fellow Fiona Morrison reflects on the findings of her recently published work examining children and mothers' perspectives of contact with fathers following parental separation in the context of domestic abuse.

People used to think domestic abuse was something that only affected adults. However a body of research[i] has shown that simply isn’t the case. Children overhear, witness, intervene and deal with the consequences of domestic abuse. A child may call the police following an assault. They may physically intervene to stop an attack. They may become homeless because of domestic abuse. Through research, children have provided their own unique accounts of domestic abuse that have expanded our understanding of how domestic abuse affects children.

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Vacancy: Independent Chair of South Lanarkshire Child Protection Committee

South Lanarkshire Council | 14 October 2015

Location: Various Locations across South Lanarkshire
Hours: 12 full days per year plus preparation time (this includes two business meetings and attendance at relevant training).
Salary: £300 per day plus travelling expenses
Fixed Term: 3 years 

"Working together to keep children safe” is our vision statement and commitment to children and young people in South Lanarkshire. Our children have the right to be cared for and protected from abuse and harm. 

To help us achieve our vision we are seeking an independent chair for our Child Protection Committee. The Child Protection Committee is the key strategic planning group and provides leadership and direction for delivering child protection work across all agencies in South Lanarkshire. 

Find out more 

Police Scotland launch "Beat Doorstep Crime" Campaign

14 October 2015

Police Scotland have recently launched a campaign to "Beat Doorstep Crime", with the aim of making vulnerable people more aware of doorstep crime and what they can do to protect themselves against becoming a victim.  

For further information please see the campaign toolkit or visit the website for background information, social media material, and a variety of leaflets and posters that can be printed and distributed.

Views sought on Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Bill

The Scottish Parliament | 14 October 2015

The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee has issued a call for written evidence on the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Bill.

The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill, introduced into the Scottish Parliament on 8 October, aims to prevent abuse, harassment or sexual harm in a number of ways, via both the criminal and the civil law. The Bill also extends the circumstances where courts may grant non-harassment orders against individuals, and updates the law on the prevention of sexual harm by people considered to be at risk of offending.

Find out more

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'Witchcraft' abuse cases on the rise

BBC News | 13 October 2015

Child abuse linked to exorcism and witchcraft accusations is on the rise, figures obtained by the BBC suggest. The Metropolitan Police said there had been 60 crimes linked to faith in London so far this year. It saw reports double from 23 in 2013 to 46 in 2014. Half of UK police forces do not record such cases and many local authorities are also unable to provide figures. The NSPCC said authorities "need to ensure they are able to spot the signs of this particular brand of abuse".

Further information

Groundbreaking new campaign aims to tackle online child pornography use

13 October 2015

A major new public awareness campaign is launched today to tackle significantly increased viewing and sharing of indecent images of children (IIOC) in the UK by deterring would-be offenders.

Latest estimates from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) indicate that 50,000 individuals in the UK were involved in downloading or sharing IIOC material in 2013. This estimate was based on file sharing activity alone, and did not include open web searches or activity in the dark net. The new initiative has been set up by Stop it Now! UK & Ireland – a child sexual abuse prevention campaign run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF). The Lucy Faithfull Foundation is the only UK-wide charity focused solely on reducing the risk of children being sexually abused. 

Welcoming the launch of the campaign, Director of Research and Development at the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, Donald Findlater, said: “However many benefits digital technology offers, we know it is also used to cause great harm. Whilst we have tough laws concerning child sexual abuse, as well as the viewing, sharing and making of indecent images of children, we know that tens of thousands of people (mostly men) go online to access this material regularly. 

This campaign is designed to stop as many of them as possible, by clarifying what the law says; by telling them of the harm done to children by making and viewing this material; by bluntly showing them some of the likely consequences of their behaviour on their families and themselves; and by directing those who are struggling to stop to anonymous, free, confidential resources that can help. But the campaign needs the public to play their part – by talking about child sexual abuse and how to prevent it. And by being alert to the signs that a loved one may be viewing sexual images of children online and knowing how to respond.”  

Further information

Scottish Parliament backs ban on smoking in cars with children

BBC News | 09 October 2015

A bill to ban smoking in cars carrying children has passed its first hurdle in the Scottish Parliament. MSPs voted unanimously in favour of the general principles of the legislation, which aims to protect children from the effects of second-hand smoke.  

It could mean fines of up to £100 for smokers who light up in a car with a young passenger. The member's bill was introduced by the Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume.

More information

Scottish Parliament votes on ban on smoking in cars with children

BBC News | 08 October 2015

A Bill to ban smoking in cars carrying children is expected to pass its first hurdle in the Scottish Parliament. MSPs will vote in favour of legislation to protect children from the effects of second-hand smoke. It could mean fines of up to £100 for smokers who light up in a car with a young passenger.

Further information

Standards and Quality Report 2014 / 2015

Perth and Kinross Child Protection Committee | 07 October 2015

The Chief Officers of the public sector organisations in Perth and Kinross, Elected Members of Perth and Kinross Council and the NHS Tayside Board are pleased to support the latest Perth and Kinross Child Protection Committee (CPC) Standards and Quality Report 2014 / 2015.

More information 

What's New In Child Protection 

Putting children and young people first

07 October 2015

Scotland's Commissioner for Children & Young People is now known as The Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland. 

"There’s been a simple but important change to how we talk about our office. Our name now puts the rights holders – children and young people – first. They always have been first for us, and now that should be clear to everyone."

Visit the new website for further information

Progress in child protection

Scottish Government | 06 October 2015

The Scottish Government has today published a report updating on progress made in protecting vulnerable children in the past year. In November 2014 the Brock Report on child protection and the National Action Plan to Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) were published and included recommendations on how to improve the safety of children and ensure children’s services were working well together.

More information 

New Deputy Director starts

Scottish Government | 06 October 2015

Donald Henderson started as the new Deputy Director for Children’s Rights and Wellbeing on 1 Oct 2015. Previously Head of the Public Health Division in the Directorate for Population Health Improvement, Donald will bring valuable experience to the Children and Families directorate, as we continue to work with you to deliver our vision to ‘make sure Scotland is the best place in the world to grow up by putting children and their families at the heart of policy making and service delivery’.  

New Who Cares? Trust website - Propel - Launched

06 October 2015

The Who Cares? Trust launched their new website - Propel - today. Aimed at young people in care who are thinking about their future, young care leavers, and the professionals and carers supporting them, it will inspire more care-experienced young people across the UK to see that they could achieve amazing things in higher education.

More information 

Realigning Children's Services - new website

06 October 2015

A new website, giving additional information for children and families, as well as teachers and professionals, on why, how and where Scottish Government is running the Realigning Children's Services programme.

More information 

Growing up in Scotland

Scottish Government | 06 October 2015

Vocabulary among young children is improving, a ten year study has found. Growing Up in Scotland is tracking the lives of two groups of children born six years apart (around 10,000 in total). A report published by researchers ScotCen compares children born in the later age group (2010/11) with those born in 2004/05. 

More information 

Rise in early reading

05 October 2015

Hundreds more parents and carers in Scotland are using books to play, read to and engage with their very young children, according to a major Scottish Government-funded study carried about by ScotCen Social Research. Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) – which has followed the lives of two groups of children from across Scotland for the last 10 years – shows a significant increase in the number of parents and carers who use books when engaging with their children at the age of 10 months.

Extensive research has highlighted the positive impact of reading to children in their pre-school years. Previously published GUS data has shown that children who are frequently read to in the first year of life score higher in assessments of cognitive ability at age 3-4.

More information 

Scottish Parliament passes new laws to tackle human trafficking

The Herald | 02 October 2015

New laws to tackle human trafficking and better protect its victims have been passed by the Scottish Parliament. 

 The Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill strengthens existing criminal law against the practice and enhances the status of and support for victims. The Bill creates a specific offence of human trafficking for the first time as well as increases the maximum penalty for offenders to life imprisonment.

Further information

School costs 'hold back' poorer pupils in Glasgow schools

BBC News | 02 October 2015

Children from low-income families can be held back at school by the costs associated with meals, trips and every-day equipment, suggests new research.  

The year-long study by the Child Poverty Action Group involved 340 pupils and 120 staff at eight primary and secondary schools across Glasgow. It identified basic cost barriers to some pupils reaching their potential. These were identified as uniform, travel, learning, meals, trips, clubs, fun events and attitudes to poverty. The findings will be presented at a special Inclusion and Equalities conference being organised by Glasgow City Council at Celtic Park on Friday.

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Inquiry into historical care abuse gets under way in Scotland

Care Appointments | 01 October 2015

A public inquiry into the historical abuse of children in care in Scotland will formally start its work today.  

The Scottish Government pledged to ''shine a light in the dark corners of the past'' earlier this year when it announced Susan O'Brien QC would chair the inquiry. It will cover allegations of abuse of children in formal institutional care including faith-based organisations, children's homes and secure care as well as those in foster care, long-term hospital care and boarding schools.

Full article

Clare's Law abuse scheme rolled out across Scotland from today

Care Appointments | 01 October 2015

The scheme which allows people to be told if their partner has been violent in the past has been introduced in Scotland from today.

Police Scotland’s Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse (DSDAD), also known as ‘Clare’s Law’, was trialed for six months in Ayrshire and Aberdeen and saw 22 people warned that their partners had a history of domestic abuse. Clare's Law was introduced across England and Wales in March 2014 and is named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in Salford, Greater Manchester in 2009. She was unaware of his history of violence against women.

Further information

MSPs lobbied by charity ahead of human trafficking debate

BBC News | 01 October 2015

MSPs are to be lobbied by a charity ahead of a final debate on legislation to tackle human trafficking. End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes UK (ECPAT UK) want the law to be as "robust as possible". 

It has backed an amendment which would ensure children who are trafficked by their own parents are assigned an independent guardian. If passed, the new law will establish a single offence of human trafficking. 

The Scottish government's Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill will also increase the maximum penalty for offenders to life imprisonment.

More information