News


How can children's services tackle child exploitation? Live Q&A

The Guardian | 26 February 2016

Join a panel of experts on Monday 29 February to discuss the challenges child sexual exploitation, trafficking and radicalisation present to social workers, children’s services and other agencies. 

Further information

Children should be protected from alcohol advertising, campaigners urge

Nursing in Practice | 26 February 2016

Campaigners in Scotland are urging the government to prioritise protecting children from alcohol marketing, amid fears it could reduce the age that young people start drinking.

Research has shown that exposure to alcohol marketing reduces the age at which young people start to drink, increases the likelihood that they will drink and increases the amount of alcohol they will consume once they have started to drink, the campaigners say.

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Jimmy Savile Investigation Report published today

25 February 2016

The BBC Trust has published in full the report by Dame Janet Smith DBE of her inquiry into the BBC’s culture and practices during the Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall years. The Review was established in October 2012 to conduct an impartial, thorough and independent review of the culture and practices of the BBC during the years that Jimmy Savile worked there. 

A further investigation, into the conduct of Stuart Hall, was undertaken by Dame Linda Dobbs DBE, and is published as part of the report. 

Further infomation and access the reports

Keeping children safe

Scottish Government | 25 February 2016

A comprehensive review of the child protection system is being commissioned by the Scottish Government. In a statement to Parliament, Education Secretary Angela Constance said the review will strengthen the steps taken when children have experienced, or are at risk from, harm.

It will make recommendations by the end of 2016 and focus on:

  • Child Protection Committees 
  • Initial Case Reviews 
  • Significant Case Reviews  
  • The Child Protection Register 

This will be backed by increased scrutiny through a revised inspection programme, a review of Child Protection legislation, steps to promote and support leadership and action to address the impact of neglect on children. 

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Social workers providing therapeutic interventions reduces trauma, study finds

Community Care | 23 February 2016

Equipping social workers with the skills to deliver therapeutic interventions reduces levels of trauma among children who have experienced sexual abuse, a study has shown. The findings are from an evaluation of the NSPCC’s ‘Letting The Future In’ project which was largely delivered by social workers already experienced in direct work with children affected by sexual abuse, most of whom were then given additional training in therapeutic support.

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Recruitment - Lead Adviser (Adult Support and Protection)

23 February 2016

Band 7 - £31,383 - £41,373

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a registered Social Worker who is interested in widening their knowledge and skills and moving into an important Professional Leadership role. NHS Highland delivers Adult Social Care on behalf of the Highland Health and Social Care Partnership and protecting people who are vulnerable is a significant part of the work we do. 

The Lead Adviser (Adult Support and Protection) leads a small team and works with the Highland Adult Support and Protection Committee and across NHS Highland and its partner agencies. The post provides professional advice, leadership and support to managers and staff to discharge duties in relation to Adult Support and Protection. 

This includes Social Workers authorised to fulfil the role of ‘Council Officer.’ The contribution of the Lead Adviser is particularly valuable where there are complex case issues and where Large Scale Investigations are being undertaken. Furthermore, the post holder makes an important contribution to decision-making, strategic planning and to the management of risk.

This post is offered on a full-time, permanent. However, practitioners who may be interested in a two-year secondment are also encouraged to apply.

For an informal discussion, please contact Janet Spence, Head of Care Services Improvement on (01463) 706825.

Closing date for applications is 2 March 2016  

Resilience Matrix – a framework for thinking

19 February 2016

The West of Scotland Child Protection Consortium in collaboration with Sally Wassell and South Lanarkshire Council has produced a short animation which gives a working explanation of the Resilience Matrix.

It was created to give Named Persons, Lead Professionals and everyone using the National GIRFEC Practice Model direction and confidence in the use of the tool in practice. The animation is designed to be used in conjunction with National GIRFEC guidance and practitioners’ local GIRFEC procedures.

The idea for the project arose from discussions amongst interagency trainers at the West of Scotland Child Protection Trainers Group, who identified some confusion amongst practitioners about the practical application of the Resilience Matrix tool. They came up with the idea of producing a short animation to show how information from assessments should be incorporated into the Resilience Matrix to analyse the negative and positive factors in a child’s life. They discussed their ideas with Sally Wassell who agreed to write and narrate the script and South Lanarkshire Council offered to produce the resource on behalf of the partnership and their graphic designer David Campbell developed the animation. 

View and download resource   

For more information contact Alex Honeyman, Argyll & Bute interagency child protection training co-ordinator: alex.honeyman@argyll-bute.gov.uk

£1 million for care worker training

Scottish Government | 18 February 2016

Funding of £1.1 million will help support social services staff across Scotland who care for the most vulnerable people in society, the Children’s Minister announced today.

The Scottish Government funding will benefit more than 1,000 employees across 80 different charities that provide housing support and care at home services.

The money will allow staff to complete qualifications needed for registration with the workforce’s national regulator, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), and will ensure staff have the skills to provide the best possible services.

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Campaign urges Scottish people to act on instinct and report suspected adult abuse

Scottish Government | 17 February 2016

People in Scotland are being urged to act on their instinct if they think an adult is being harmed, neglected or taken advantage of. The Scottish Government’s ‘Seen Something? Say Something’ campaign aims to raise awareness of adult harm and encouraging people to act on their gut instincts that somebody may be experiencing harm, or is at risk of it. Adult harm can take many forms from physical, psychological, sexual or financial exploitation to neglect, with those who can’t look after or stand up for themselves through factors such as personal circumstances, physical or learning disability, age, illness or infirmity being at more risk. The campaign also aims to educate on the warning signs that could indicate an adult is at risk such as unexplained cuts and bruises, or refusal to talk about injuries, confusion about where their money has gone, or the appearance of nervousness around certain people.

The message is simple – if you think an adult is at risk of harm and something feels wrong, you’re right to get it checked out. If you have seen something, say something. Reporting potential abuse only takes one anonymous phone call and the authorities will check the situation sensitively and support will be given, if needed.

Seen something? Say something.

2016 Campaign Materials 

For more information, visit actagainstharm.org

Minister warns smacking damages child’s long-term wellbeing

The Scotsman | 15 February 2016

Scotland’s children’s minister has launched a outspoken attack on the smacking of children warning that “any form” of physical punishment can damage the long-term wellbeing of youngsters. Aileen Campbell says there are no current plans to change the law and ban the practice.  

The Scottish Government wants to “learn” from countries where a smacking ban has been introduced such as Sweden and Ireland, after widespread calls among children’s charities for action.

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Funding announcement: Rape Crisis Scotland National Prevention Programme

11 February 2016

Rape Crisis Scotland is delighted to announce that the national sexual violence prevention programme has been funded for a further three years through core funding from the Scottish Government’s Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention Fund.

This funding will enable it to continue its education programmes with young people using our evidence-based educational resource pack addressing issues such as consent, social media, sexualisation and pornography and how to get support. Work will also continue with with local partnerships to pursue shared approaches to preventing sexual violence contributing to Equally Safe, Scotland's strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls.

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Support for child abuse survivors

Scottish Government | 11 February 2016

Legislation and support expansion part of commitments delivered.

The Education Secretary has met adult survivors of child abuse to report on progress made delivering the commitments the government has made to them. Angela Constance confirmed that draft legislation to remove the three-year time limit on bringing civil cases to court – also known as time-bar – is on track to be introduced before the end of the current parliamentary session on March 24.

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National child abuse inquiry to prioritise gathering evidence from elderly and ill victims

Herald Scotland | 10 February 2016

THE independent inquiry into the abuse of children in care is to prioritise gathering evidence from some seriously ill and elderly victims, with its chairwoman announcing it would do so "as a matter of urgency".

Susan O'Brien QC said that while the inquiry was "not quite ready" to call for survivors and witnesses to come forward, it had decided to take evidence from a small number of people.  Ms O'Brien also said there would be a name change, with the investigation now being called the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, adding that references to historical abuses were "misleading" and could deter survivors from coming forward.

Full article

Making health services “fit for the future”

Wired-Gov | 10 February 2016

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will make a major speech this morning (Wednesday, February 10) on the future of health and care services in Scotland. In a speech to nursing and healthcare students at Queen Margaret University in Musselburgh, the First Minister will set out the key challenges facing health and care services in the future and the Scottish Government’s plans to make health services “fit for the future”. She will also confirm plans to support a more sustainable healthcare workforce by increasing the number of students in Scotland’s medical schools, widening access to medical education and maximising the future contribution of the nursing profession.

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Councils secure full share of £10.3 billion

Wired-Gov | 10 February 2016

Householders, workers, healthcare and schools will all benefit from the continued Scottish Government financing of Scotland’s local authorities.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney confirmed that the 32 councils have now written to him to accept the package for 2016-17, which will:  facilitate a Living Wage for every social care worker in Scotland, protect the Council Tax freeze for a ninth year, invest £250 million in integrating health and social care services, maintain the pupil/teacher ratio in Scotland’s schools. The news follows lengthy discussions between the Scottish Government and local government body COSLA, which resulted in Ministers agreeing to extend the deadline for councils to examine the proposal.

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Safer Internet Day: 'Quarter of teenagers' subjected to trolling online

The Independent | 09 February 2016

One in four teenagers suffered hate abuse online in the last year, a major report has revealed. A survey of 13 to 18-year-olds found 24 per cent reported that they were targeted on the internet because of their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability or transgender identity.

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Information for professionals 

Family Nurse Partnership

Scottish Government | 05 February 2016

More babies born to young mothers will have a healthier start to life as the Scottish Government’s Family Nurse Partnership expands.

Since the programme began in January 2010 it has supported more than three thousand teenage mothers, with very high rates of engagement and low numbers leaving the programme. From April 2016 it will also be offered to eligible 20-24 year olds, with further adaptations rolled out over the course of the year thanks to a funding commitment of £10.7 million in 2016/17.

The Scottish Government aims to make the programme available to up to eight thousand first time mothers by 2018/19.

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Holyrood set to approve bill to provide more support to carers

BBC News | 04 February 2016

A Scottish government bill which promises to improve the lives of carers is expected to be passed by MSPs.  

The proposed legislation, which will be debated at Holyrood later, would require councils to plan how they would support adult and young carers. Local authorities would also have to set up advice services.

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Safer Internet Day - 9 February

04 February 2016

Safer Internet Day is nearly upon us. Is your school/ organisation taking part? If you're looking for ideas for activities on the day, the UK Safer Internet Centre has launched a range of new resources to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community.  

This includes a series of films for under-11s and for 11-18s which focus on how young people can play their part for a safer internet.

These films are designed to work alongside the activities within the SID Education Packs for schools and organisations which include a Primary, Secondary and Parents/ Carers pack.

They contain a range of resources such as quick activities, posters, assembly scripts and lesson plans.

More information

ThinkUKnow

Child abuse charity urges media to avoid the term 'historic' in reporting

Guardian | 03 February 2016

Use of the words “historic”, “victims” and “child pornography” should be avoided when reporting on children who have been abused, according to new media guidelines from the National Association for People Abused in Childhood.

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The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007: Section 35 (2) and (3)

Scottish Government | 03 February 2016

This consultation paper discusses possible new regulations made under section 35(2) and (3) of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 which would revoke and replace the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 (Removal of Barred Individuals from Regulated Work) Regulations 2010.

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Discussion Paper - Early Learning and Childcare 1140 hours expansion

Scottish Government | 03 February 2016

This paper sets out an overview of the Government policy on ELC, the benefits that derive from ELC and the rationale for conducting a programme of trials. It also includes a selection of case studies of existing innovative practice.

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Scottish Law Commissions Report on Adults with Incapacity

Scottish Government | 03 February 2016

In October 2014, the Scottish Law Commission ( ‘the Commission’) published a report on Adults with Incapacity which focused on the question of deprivation of liberty as it relates to persons who may be subject to the Adults with Incapacity legislation and associated issues. The report made a number of recommendations and contained a draft Bill, amending the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 (‘the 2000 Act’) and the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 (‘the 2003 Act’).

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A criminal offence of domestic abuse

Scottish Government | 03 February 2016

A consultation seeking views on a draft provision which creates a specific offence of 'abusive behaviour in relation to a partner or ex-partner'.

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National Records of Scotland: Consultation on Proper Arrangements for Archiving Public Records

National Records of Scotland | 03 February 2016

The Public Records (Scotland) Act, 2011 requires each public authority named in the Act to agree a Records Management Plan with the Keeper of the Records of Scotland, setting out the proper arrangements for the management of its records. o advance this objective, the Keeper has produced a set of guidelines on what he would wish and expect public authorities to provide by way of archive facilities and services for preserving these records and making them publicly accessible.

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Consultation on the proposals for the introduction of the role of an Independent National (Whistleblowing) Officer (INO)

Scottish Government | 03 February 2016

In response to the ‘Freedom to Speak Up Review’ the Scottish Government has made a commitment to develop and establish the role of an Independent National Whistleblowing Officer to provide an independent and external level of review on the handling of whistleblowing cases in NHSScotland.

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Consultation on Proposals for Regulations Supporting the New Licensing System for Mobile Home Sites with Permanent Residents

Scottish Government | 03 February 2016

The Scottish Government is putting in place a new system for licensing mobile home sites that have permanent residents. This consultation paper sets out what they intend to put into regulations to support that new system.

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Masterclass says 'Stop To Think - See Beyond' on child sexual exploitation

Perth and Kinross Child Protection Committee | 03 February 2016

A special all-day masterclass aimed at practitioners and professionals who investigate child sexual abuse and exploitation (CSE) and who support victims was held in Perth on Wednesday 3 February 2016. 

Organised by the Perth and Kinross Child Protection Committee and supported by the Perth and Kinross Children, Young People and Families Partnership (part of the Perth & Kinross Community Planning Partnership), the masterclass 'CSE - Stop To Think - See Beyond' featured keynote speakers from a range of public and voluntary agencies, including the Crown Office, Police Scotland, Children 1st, with whom the Council will be working on a pathfinder project 'Stop To Listen', and Barnardo's.  

More information 

Child Protection in Perth and Kinross

More information on CSE

Mentoring project to expand to all Glasgow schools

The Herald | 02 February 2016

A GROUND-breaking project which helps disadvantaged young people reach their potential in life is to announce a three-year plan to set up in every school in Scotland's largest city. MCR Pathways provides adult mentors for children who have experience of the care system within six schools in Glasgow, but is now expanding its operation to cover all others.  

More than 750 mentors have joined the scheme and has attracted the support of institutions such as Glasgow Life, Strathclyde University, Wheatley Group, Santander, Glasgow Kelvin College, the SECC and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

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Early Learning and Childcare Programme of Trials - Scottish Government Discussion Paper

Scottish Government | 02 February 2016

A Scottish Government discussion paper on establishing trials that will test a variety of models for delivering future Early Learning and Childcare provision.

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East Lothian’s GIRFEC lead Lara Neri walks us through their journey to getting it right for every child.

02 February 2016

East Lothian Council is committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for families and young people and it fully embrace the principles of Getting it Right For Every Child (GIRFEC). In its Services for Children GIRFEC inspection in 2014, East Lothian Council was recognised for strong partnership working and that children are firmly at the centre of all of its work.

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One Parent Families Scotland/North Lanarkshire

02 February 2016

One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS), through delivering one to one and group work support services in North Lanarkshire, has identified that targeted parenting programmes to support the most vulnerable parents is required to help improve outcomes for children in the early years. OPFS has received over £1 million from the Scottish Government Third Sector Early Intervention Fund over the last three years and, have recently been awarded funding for a further three years - receiving £354,000 in 2016-17. 

 Peer led Mellow Parenting (MP) Programmes were developed to improve the parenting capacity of lone fathers and young parents and OPFS has received funding through the Early Years Change Fund to test this work In North Lanarkshire using Early Years Collaborative (EYC) Improvement Methodology.

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Behaviour In Scottish Schools Survey

02 February 2016

Ipsos MORI Scotland has been commissioned by the Scottish Government to conduct the latest wave of Behaviour in Schools Research. The research is crucial as it will allow the Scottish Government and Education Scotland to review current policy and inform future support in the area of relationships and behaviour, which is fundamental to the school experiences of both pupils and staff. 

The last wave of the research in 2012 led directly to the publication of new policy guidance in the leaflet Better Relationships, Better Learning, Better Behaviour, available here 

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Scottish Law Commissions Report on Adults with Incapacity

Scottish Government | 02 February 2016

In October 2014, the Scottish Law Commission ( ‘the Commission’) published a report on Adults with Incapacity which focussed on the question of deprivation of liberty as it relates to persons who may be subject to the Adults with Incapacity legislation and associated issues. The report made a number of recommendations and contained a draft Bill, amending the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 (‘the 2000 Act’) and the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003 (‘the 2003 Act’).

More information 

Getting It Right for Older People and Self-Directed Support

Scottish Care | 02 February 2016

Scottish Care, with funding from the Scottish Government has launched an exciting new project which will run for the next 15 months. The project, titled “Getting it Right for Older People and Self Directed Support” has been developed primarily in response to research we conducted in Autumn 2015 which highlighted the number of challenges facing older individuals in accessing Self-directed Support. These challenges, in practice have resulted in a patchy and limited uptake across the country.

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Under-the-radar creativity could provide answer to desperate child neglect

The Herald | 01 February 2016

The power of art and creativity to help 'treat' the problems caused by chronic child neglect was highlighted in Glasgow recently. As many as one in 100 young people in Scotland are affected by neglect in childhood or adolescence and it is viewed by many child protection experts as an epidemic. Professor Brigid Daniel, of Stirling University, which hosted a seminar on the topic, describes child neglect as extremely damaging and intractable. But the event, run by WithScotland explored the way arts schemes are helping to undo that damage.

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Scottish Government showcases Argyll and Bute Project

Argyll and Bute Council | 01 February 2016

The growing success of Argyll and Bute’s Family Pathway Project has been showcased by the Scottish Government on their website. The project, which is part of the Early Years Collaborative (EYC), sees children’s needs assessed from pre-birth until the age of 5, and involves midwives, health visitors, nursery staff, school staff and other community services all working in partnership for the benefit of the child. 

This approach ensures that the needs of the child are assessed early in order that they and their family can get the right support at the right time.

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Tackling problem drug use

Scottish Government | 01 February 2016

A new group, Partnership for Action on Drugs in Scotland (PADS), has been set up to reduce problem drug use and complement the work of the established Road to Recovery strategy. The group will help lead and focus the sector on three priorities: building communities focused on recovery and tackling stigma quality and consistency of service planning and delivery harm reduction and reducing drug-related deaths.

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Women’s Support Project and Zero Tolerance Launch New Resources

01 February 2016

The Women’s Support Project and Zero Tolerance have launched two new resources for use in training and public education, and generally to raise awareness of the harm caused through prostitution.  

Two short films feature two Scottish women talking about their experiences of being involved in prostitution. Katy’s Story and Stephanie’s Story can be accessed via the Women’s Support Project Youtube channel.  

“Katy” and “Stephanie” were both involved in prostitution over a number of years and they talk of the realities of prostitution, how they were treated by ‘punters’, experiences of violence, and their hopes for the future. 

Katy and Stephanie were filmed during the making of the ‘Money and Power’ DVD, a joint initiative by Women’s Support Project and Zero Tolerance.  To view the resource pack - visit  Money and Power.  

Zero Tolerance

Women's Support Project

Hospital to Home gets animated

IRISS | 01 February 2016

Since July 2013, IRISS's Innovation and Improvement team has been leading a project to design a care pathway to support the transition from hospital to home for older people. The first stage of this project (July 2013-April 2014) involved gathering reflections from practitioners based nationally in Scotland on what the pathway looks like for them and the associated problems. This information was collated into a visual pathway map.  

For the past nine months the team has been working in Tayside with health and social care practitioners, older people, their families and informal carers to co-design improved care pathways from hospital to home that enable a more positive experience for all. This process generated three intervention strands which are explained on the website in a short animation. On the same web page, you can also find the work of two Masters' of Design Services students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design who supported us during the co-design phase. These graduates, Lorri Smyth and Aishwarya Iyengar, developed a tool called My Life Book that aims to enable improved communication between older people and the people who matter to them and care for them.

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Council encourages social workers to tweet day-to-day work

Community Care | 01 February 2016

Norfolk council is telling social workers to spend a day tweeting as they go to help raise awareness of their work.

It’s not often – unless you work for Twitter – that your employer will encourage you to spend a day tweeting. However, that’s exactly what is happening for social workers at Norfolk council, who are being encouraged to stand up for social work today ( Monday 1 February) and showcase what the day-to-day life of a social worker is like.

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Stand up for social work campaign

Youth & Criminal Justice in Scotland: The Young Person’s Journey

CYCJ | 01 February 2016

Youth & Criminal Justice in Scotland: The Young Person’s Journey is a new, interactive online resource that aims to simplify how the youth and criminal justice system works for under 18s in Scotland. The resource was officially launched by Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Community Safety & Legal Affairs, on 26 January 2016.

Developed by CYCJ in partnership with Iriss and in consultation with a multi-disciplinary working group, The Young Person’s Journey takes the form of a clickable ‘map’ that details and explains the entirety of the journey a young person can make from an offence allegedly being committed: routes to court, court processes and sentencing; stages in the journey should a young person be remanded or sentenced to secure care or custody or sentenced to a community disposal; and post-sentence support.

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Scotland’s ‘Year of Listening’ launched for better mental health

01 February 2016

Today is National Breathing Space Day and also marks the launch of Scotland’s Year of Listening. The annual awareness day, which urges people in Scotland to take some ‘breathing space’ to look after their mental wellbeing, will encourage Scots to take time to listen. The Year of Listening is an initiative promoted by Breathing Space and Living Life mental health telephone services to highlight that listening, and being listened to, is good for your mental health.

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Breathing Space