• Kenneth Gibson MSP

Progress on Child Protection in Scotland



Following the launch of Scotland’s Child Protection Improvement Programme (CPIP) in 2016, Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd MSP has provided an update on the SNP Government’s aim of ensuring that our child protection system puts children's wellbeing first, keeping them safe from abuse and neglect.

A National Child Protection Leadership Group has now been established and is overseeing the implementation of the recommendations of the Child Protection Improvement Programme, including actions to tackle neglect, to end child sexual exploitation and trafficking, to better monitor data and evidence, improve children's hearings. They are also taking forward measures to better equip the workforce for dealing with issues of child protection and to promote internet safety.

In a significant step forward in ending child exploitation, a progress report on the National Action Plan to Prevent and Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation published in April found that 17 of the total 44 actions set out in the plan had already been completed, a further 26 are in progress, and just one is yet to be commenced.

Regarding prosecutions for those who criminally neglect children, the SNP Government will shortly launch a formal public consultation on section 12 of the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937. It has been identified that the scope of the offence identified in section 12 is restricted to a child’s physical needs, excluding, for example, their emotional needs. Reframing this legislation to include acts of maltreatment such as emotional abuse, exploitation, and abandonment, will ensure that those who neglect children do not escape prosecution.

Maree Todd MSP also confirmed that during recent leadership events, the Care Inspectorate reported that they have found local services, in the majority of circumstances, to be having a good or very good impact on children and families.

Commenting on the Minister’s update, Kenneth Gibson MSP said:

“It is heartening to see that many aspects of the Child Protection Improvement Programme have already been implemented, and that significant progress is underway in others. Everyone has a role to play in child protection, not just core professionals, so it’s important that we take a holistic approach to ensuring Scotland has a robust system of protection in place.

“CPIP is part of the SNP’s wider aim of supporting the wellbeing of all Scotland’s children and young people, which is why we are also ensuring there is adequate support for child abuse survivors, and supporting proposals to introduce a legislative ban on the physical punishment of children.”

For more updates on how the programme is progressing, please click here.

ENDS