‘Child protection’ means protecting a child from abuse or neglect. It need not have taken place; it is sufficient for a risk assessment to have identified a likelihood or risk of significant harm from abuse or neglect. 

Protecting children is the responsibility of all who work with children and families, regardless of whether that work brings them into direct contact with children. The GIRFEC (Getting it right for every child) approach is a Scotland-wide programme of action to improve the wellbeing of all children and young people. For practitioners, the focus is on: • Putting the child or young person at the centre and developing a shared understanding within and across agencies • Using common tools, language and processes, considering the child or young person as a whole, and promoting closer working where necessary with other practitioners

Key elements of the GIRFEC approach, such as Named Person and Child’s Plan, are given a statutory basis throughout the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. These provisions are not expected to be commenced until 2016; however, in the meantime guidance to support implementation of the GIRFEC approach is available. 

Please find below links to information and resources on some key areas of child protection to support those working with children at risk of harm and abuse in Scotland.

 • Child Abuse 

Child Neglect 

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Child Trafficking 

Child Protection & Disability 

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) 

Online Safety 


More useful links