Effective child protection system ‘depends on poverty reduction and strong local services’
The Scottish Government today announced its response to the Child Protection Systems Review Report.
Amongst a raft of actions, Minister for Childcare and Early Years Mark McDonald said the government would introduce new legislation to criminalise emotional abuse and neglect of children.
Responding to today’s announcement Children in Scotland Chief Executive Jackie Brock, who was a member of the review group, said:
“Children in Scotland was pleased to be represented in the Child Protection Systems review group and I am delighted that the Scottish Government has accepted its recommendations in full.
“We commend the Scottish Government for recognising the need to strengthen our systems while acknowledging there are already strong foundations in place.
“But we cannot be complacent. I therefore warmly welcome the commitment for continued monitoring to ensure the recommendations are fully met and actioned.”
Ms Brock, author of the 2014 Brock Report which reported on the state of the Scottish child protection system, also reflected on the importance of investment, support for communities, and early intervention.
“We hope the Scottish Government acknowledges that the effectiveness of our child protection system and services relies on investment and support for children's services within the local community,” she said.
“Evidence is clear that families living in poverty are far more likely to have their children removed from them than those who are better off.
“Scotland's child protection system, therefore, must be underpinned by a strong focus on tackling poverty and supporting local children's services.
“We must move forward with the implementation of Getting it Right For Every Child, which is internationally recognised as providing the most effective approach for protecting children and intervening early if problems arise.
"With this in mind, we continue to be deeply concerned by the UK Government's attacks on our benefits system and the cuts facing local authorities and their partners.
“The Scottish Government must address these challenges if the specific recommendations of the review are to be implemented successfully.”
The Child Protection Systems review group is to be reconvened in April 2018 to review progress on the recommendations.
Notes for editors:
The Child Protection Systems Review Group was established in 2016 with representation from a wide range of professionals with child protection expertise at a national and local level, and independently chaired by Catherine Dyer (Former Crown Agent and Chief Executive of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service). The Review Group was asked by Ministers to look at the operation of the formal child protection system and to recommend what changes might be needed in order to protect children and young people more effectively. Children in Scotland Chief Executive Jackie Brock was a member of the group.
Children in Scotland is the collective voice for children, young people and families in Scotland, and organisations and businesses that have a significant impact on children’s lives in Scotland. It is an influencing and membership organisation, comprised of more than 500 representatives from the voluntary, public and private sectors.