EU Referendum: UK-wide statement from childrens organisations

together | 30 June 2016

A UK-wide statement has been produced by Eurochild and all sister organisations across the nations as well as a Scottish version.  

This has been created in partnership with Together, Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland, Scottish Youth Parliament, Barnardo's Scotland, Eurochild, Article 12 in Scotland and Children 1st .  

Both statements call on governments to protect children's rights, prioritise participation and focus on tackling child poverty. It warns of significant levels of social division across Europe and call on politicians to act in the best interests of future generations.

Read the Scottish statement

Read the UK statement

2016 State of Children’s Rights in Scotland Survey

together | 30 June 2016

Togther are seeking responses to the survey which will contribute to a national picture on the state of children's rights in Scotland. 

It will help to monitor Scotland's progress in fully implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the survey complements and builds on the findings of Together's State of Children's Rights seminars, held in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen in spring 2016.

Further information                  Complete the survey 

Cut in number of homeless in Scotland

BBC News | 28 June 2016

The number of people in Scotland assessed as homeless or under the threat of being homeless went down by 5% in 2015/16, official figures showed. Scotland's chief statistician said there had also been a 4% reduction in homelessness applications compared to the previous year. However, there was a rise in the number of children in temporary accommodation. The Scottish government said it wanted to work to reduce homelessness even further.

Further information

Agenda: Why teachers oppose the Prevent counter-terrorism strategy

Herald Scotland | 27 June 2016

Bill Ramsay, Equality Convener of Scotland’s largest teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS).

Most would agree that delivering national security is a core function of government. However with the advent of the Prevent duty, which forms part of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, the national security discourse has moved into the university lecture theatre, the college and school classroom, and even, absurd though it may seem, into the nursery class and early years centre. Prevent is an anti-radicalisation strategy in which all employees of public sector bodies are to be trained. The UK Government believes all such employees have a specific role to play in preventing radicalisation over and above what might properly be expected of any responsible citizen.

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Fewer than one in 12 children in care leave school with Highers

Herald Scotland | 23 June 2016

Fewer than one in 12 children in care leave school with one or more Highers, compared to three-fifths of all students in Scotland.  

In 2014-15, 60.2% of all school leavers had passed at least one qualification at SCQF level 6 - a Higher grade A, B or C, official figures revealed. But in the most deprived parts of Scotland, the proportion of pupils who achieved this was 41.2%, while just 8% of children in care leaving school achieved the same level of success.

Further information

Elderly care ‘crisis’ looming over Living Wage

The Scotsman | 23 June 2016

Homecare for elderly people in Scotland could be plunged into “crisis” amid concerns over a funding black hole, industry leaders have warned. They say the new living wage will threaten services and could even see some operators go under.  

Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive of Scottish Care fears that the implementation of the new Living Wage may result in “drastic unintended consequences.”  

Councils are now being urged to sign up to a ‘compliant’ rate for homecare services of £19.03 per hour, based on a model developed by the UK Homecare Association.  

Further information

Rise in indecent messages sent to children, says NSPCC

21 June 2016

The number of adults in Scotland targeting children under 13 with sexual messages increased by 60% in a year, according to figures from a charity. Police Scotland recorded 165 indecent communications sent to children in 2014/15 - up from 103 in the previous 12 months. Only 15 offences were recorded in 2010 when new laws came into force. The statistics were revealed as part of the NSPCC's annual How Safe Are Our Children? 

More information 

Mental Health Website Developed by Young People for Peers Launched

20 June 2016

A new website developed by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC) has been launched specifically to promote mental health and wellbeing in young people.

An estimated 83 million people across Europe suffer from some form of mental health problem, often originating from experiences early in life. In response to this, the Aye Mind website was launched at the Golden Jubilee Conference Centre attended by the young people who led its development along with partners Snook, Young Scot, and the Mental Health Foundation

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Highlands child protection review after death of two-year-old Clyde Campbell

Herald Scotland | 16 June 2016

A CHILD protection review is to be carried out in the Highlands following the death of a two-year-old Clyde Campbell. The child died in February 2014, in a case of sudden infant death, or cot death. His mother, Amanda was sentenced to 10 months in prison in May after admitting neglecting Clyde Campbell, who died from cot death in February 2014.

Highland Council said she refused to give her consent to work in partnership with the named person scheme. The Highlands is among the areas where named person has been operating ahead of it coming into force across Scotland in August.

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PM urged to speed up unaccompanied children process amid harrowing picture of abuse

Care Appointments | 16 June 2016

Children living in refugee camps in northern France are being subjected to sexual exploitation, violence and forced labour on a daily basis, a Unicef report reveals.

Further information

Children exposed to porn at risk of being 'stripped of childhood'

15 June 2016

The majority of children are exposed to pornography by their early teens, a study has suggested. Around 53% of 11 to 16-year-olds have encountered lewd material online, nearly all of whom (94%) have seen it by the age of 14, according to research by Middlesex University. A third of 13 to 14-year-old boys told researchers that they wanted to copy the behaviour they had seen. Experts say an entire generation risk having their childhoods "stripped" through exposure to pornography at a young age. Researchers spoke to more than 1,000 children aged 11 to 16 as part of the study, which is the most extensive look at the impact of porn on secondary school pupils in the UK to date

More information 

‘Why we need to make elder abuse an imprisonable offence’

Community Care | 15 June 2016

Action on Elder Abuse head Gary FitzGerald explains why the charity has launched a campaign for new laws to protect abused older people

The abuse of older people is routinely recognised as a major issue, not just in the UK, but in many countries across the world. Both the United Nations and the European Union have developed statements and policies aimed at generating awareness and action by member states, and there are widely differing but proactive approaches being taken to address it. Nevertheless it continues to be a growing cause for concern.

Full article

Engage: Revisiting Child Protection - How Do We Best Protect Our Children?

Care Appointments (Professor Cree) | 14 June 2016

Welcome to the first blog of Revisiting Child protection in Scotland. The project emerges out of academic research – out of the findings from a UK-wide study of how social workers communicate with children and young people in child and family social work settings. The Talking & Listening to Children (TLC) study will produce lots of scholarly articles and tools for practitioners which, we hope, will help our social workers and their managers to do their jobs better. But our blogs will be different to this. They will be a space for invited individuals to express their views about the current state of child protection social work in Scotland. And of course, they will inevitably talk about Liam Fee.

More information 

It's SDS Awareness Week! Read the latest on Pilotlight

14 June 2016

It's SDS Awareness Week (#SDSBlether) so we want you to know the latest about our Pilotlight project. Pilotlight is working with co-design teams of people who use and deliver services across Scotland to design pathways to self-directed support. Using a design approach, Pilotlight aims to demonstrate how to design support for seldom heard groups, provide more personalised and appropriate services and increase the marketplace of support providers. Pilotlight Ageing Well co-designed a self-directed support pathway and resources for older people living in East Renfrewshire. 

The co-design team was made up of older people with dementia, their carers, health and social care practitioners and independent information and support providers. The team met to design together each month from September 2015 to April 2016.

More information 

NSPCC calls for more action to support the mental health of babies and young children in care

14 June 2016

Today (Monday June 6th), the NSPCC launches its ‘Case for Change’ to highlight the importance of infant mental health and the need to do more to support that of babies and young children in care. The charity has revealed that the impact of infant mental health has been vastly under-estimated across the wider care system, despite the fact that children in care are four times more likely than their peers to experience mental health problems and behavioural issues in later life.  

Infant mental health refers to the healthy social and emotional development of babies and children under five, through the formation of secure and stable relationships with their parents and care-givers. Research shows that children who experience maltreatment and grow up without positive and stable relationships are at greater risk of mental health problems throughout their lives. 

Those in care are particularly vulnerable. Twenty per cent of children in care are under five years old, however, at present, mental health services for babies and young children in care are virtually non-existent.


Promoting the wellbeing and protection of children in Scotland and beyond

13 June 2016

The University of Stirling’s new Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection and Aberlour have signed a collaboration agreement. Building on a strong existing partnership they have committed to work closely together on projects that help develop research, education, training and student volunteering to promote the wellbeing and protection of children in Scotland and beyond.

More information 

Scottish government to 'refresh' guidance over named persons scheme

BBC News | 09 June 2016

The Scottish government is to "refresh" guidance about its named persons scheme after acknowledging "concerns". MSPs debated the system, which will assign a named person to everyone under 18 in Scotland from 31 August, in a Conservative-led session at Holyrood.

The Tories sought consensus by calling for a "pause" in the policy, despite backing scrapping it altogether. This was rejected by MSPs, who amended the motion to one backing the policy but agreeing "more must be done".

More information

Equally Safe Bulletin - June

09 June 2016

Equally Safe sets out Scotland's strategy to take action on all forms of violence against women and girls.

June News Bulletin

Conflating Liam Fee's death with the row over the named person scheme is political opportunism

08 June 2016

It is a cruel irony that in death, Liam Fee has attracted such an intensity of attention about his wellbeing that in life had so plainly evaded him. And while we still do not know the full circumstances or the horrors that preceded this little boy’s killing, the failures that led to it have already become the subject of close scrutiny and comment by everyone from social workers to First Ministers to the press. A two year old whose name will join a growing list of children who have led ‘almost-lives’, who have become synonymous with the most horrific cases of child abuse but also, with the inevitable inquiries and the subsequent attempts to reform the child-protection system to prevent such tragedies ever happening again.

More information 

Scams awareness month

08 June 2016

Scams Awareness Month is all about creating a self-supporting network of confident, alert, consumers. People ready, willing and able to spot scams. Whether you’re an individual consumer looking to protect yourself and family from scams or an organisation or group representing consumers, your efforts during Scams Awareness Month 2016 are important because they will help spread the message that scams can be tackled if we take our time to spot the signs and share what we learn with others.

Citizens Advice and Trading Standards Services are leading activities throughout the month of July as part of Scams Awareness Month.

More information 

Trading Standards Scotland - Scam Aware 

Addiction Recovery Companion App Launched

08 June 2016

A new new mobile phone/tablet app for the Edinburgh recovery community has been launched.  The Addiction Recovery Companion (ARC) app has been developed on behalf of the Edinburgh Alcohol and Drug Partnership and is aimed at anyone in or seeking recovery. ARC-Edinburgh brings together information and tools to help people to access recovery services, organise their time and keep motivated to stay on track. The key feature of the app is a regularly updated database of all of the recovery activity in Edinburgh – meetings, groups and events. There are over 150 regular events in the city and the app enables people to see what is going on in their area and use the information to plan their week. Recovery community groups, mutual aid groups and professional services will add information to let users know what is on.

More information  / Download the APP 

Roshni - FGM Consultation

08 June 2016

Roshni, supported by the Scottish Government, recently engaged with a cross-section of communities potentially affected by Female Genital Mutilation to gather their views on potential changes to the law on in Scotland. We are pleased to share the findings of our research with you.  

More information 

Protecting Scotland’s young people Swinney announces chair of Review at summit of Child Protection leaders

06 June 2016

Deputy First Minister John Swinney today announced an independent chair to review Child Protection in Scotland as he addressed more than 100 senior leaders from across Scotland who gathered in Perth for a summit as part of the Child Protection Improvement Programme. The summit, first announced in February, saw key child protection leaders gather to discuss how further improvements can be made to Scotland’s child protection system. Mr Swinney used his speech to announce former Procurator Fiscal and Chief Executive of the Crown Office, Catherine Dyer, will chair the independent child protection review.

Speaking at the summit Mr Swinney, said: “Our children and young people in Scotland are often faced with difficult and complex circumstances. Many children grow up affected by mental health issues, parental alcohol and substance misuse, domestic violence and poverty. We need to ensure we are doing our best to protect these most vulnerable children and young people. ”Child protection is the responsibility of every person in society, but we must also accept that those of us in leadership positions over services charged with child protection, bear a particular responsibility.

“That is why this summit is a leadership summit. One of the core elements of the improvement programme is a renewed focus on leadership. It is essential for leaders in child protection to have a clear vision of the many challenges faced, and how best to respond to these.” He continued: “An essential part of the child protection improvement programme is a review of policy, practice, services and structures so that we can identify strengths, achievements and priorities for change. 

We will look at child protection committees, initial case reviews, significant case reviews and the child protection register to ensure that they work together to create a holistic, coherent and responsive child protection system that optimises outcomes for children. “I am pleased to announce today that this review will be independently chaired by Catherine Dyer, who brings a wealth of experience from her time as Chief Executive of the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service. She will bring the expertise, experience and independence this sensitive task needs.

More information 

Scottish national child protection summit staged in Perth

BBC News | 03 June 2016

Politicians, police and council bosses are to come together for a child protection summit in Perth. Education Secretary John Swinney and Health Secretary Shona Robison will both be giving speeches at the event. Child protection professionals from across Scotland will take part in discussions and group work.

Further information

Former Crown Office chief to lead child protection review

BBC News | 03 June 2016

An independent review of the child protection system in Scotland is to be led by former Crown Office chief Catherine Dyer. Ms Dyer, who retired as chief executive of the prosecution service in March, will lead the in-depth review, which was announced in February. Education Secretary John Swinney confirmed her appointment at a child protection summit in Perth.

More information

'Work ongoing' on child protection plans

BBC News | 02 June 2016

Scotland's education secretary has said the government is working as quickly as possible to implement the recommendations of two reports into the country's child protection system. The Brock report was published in 2014, and the Daniel report in 2012.  

Full article

Child neglect in Scotland – are we prepared to be bold?

Professor Brigid Daniel | 02 June 2016

Following the sentencing of Rachel and Nyomi Fee for the murder of two-year-old toddler Liam Fee,  Professor Brigid Daniel reflects on what we need to do to tackle neglect in Scotland. 


Herald View: Liam Fee case highlights potential benefits of Named Person policy

The Herald | 01 June 2016

It is all but impossible to imagination the suffering Liam Fee endured during his short life, or the depravity that led his mother and her partner to inflict it. The pair, Rachel and Nyomi Fee, were found guilty of the two and a half-year-old’s murder yesterday, and now face life in prison. The women were also guilty of a catalogue of horrific abuse against two other young boys, one of whom they tried to blame Liam’s death on.

As has become the familiar pattern following such verdicts, questions are being asked around the role the authorities played in protecting the children at the centre of this case, and it has already been announced that a Significant Case Review (SCR) will address whether Liam’s death could have been prevented.

More information