Updated National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland
The Scottish Government has published (31 August) updated National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland.
The new 2023 version replaces the Guidance document published in 2021 which is used to set out the responsibilities and expectations of everyone who works with, or comes into contact with, children and young people, families and carers in Scotland. It brings together a range of materials, research evidence, guidance and training to help leaders responsible for child protection and their colleagues to enhance and implement new ways for agencies to work together with children and young people, families, carers, and communities to protect children and young people from abuse, neglect and exploitation.
When the Guidance was published in September 2021, the Scottish Government indicated that it would be kept under review to align with developments and changes in legislation, policy and practice changes in Scotland. This 2023 update accounts for such changes and also incorporates learning from the last two years of the implementation of the Guidance.
A guide to the updates, additions and amendments are given in a table and with an indication of whether the change requires a change in practice or not. These include updates to education, health, child protection processes, child sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking, and poverty. The Practice Insights that accompany the guidance have also been updated.
The guidance reflects understanding of current best practice and was informed by engagement with children, young people and families, practitioners, and other relevant agencies and stakeholder groups, and learning from inspections, research, and child protection cases.
CELCIS was one of a number of stakeholder organisations that together formed the National Child Protection in Scotland Steering Group, which worked to plan, oversee, and facilitate the drafting of the guidance in 2021.