National Child Protection Guidance review must be comprehensive


Responding to a news investigation on the numbers of care workers being removed from the SSSC register for inappropriate behaviour, Children and Young People’s Commissioner, Nicola Killean said: 

“All children have the right to protection from all forms of abuse or harm, in all aspects of their lives.  For any child who is looked after in the care system, the State has additional obligations to provide them with special protection and assistance.   

“Scotland’s child protection system has historically been directed primarily towards the risk of neglect or abuse from parents, or within a family setting. We know as a result, the system has failed to respond effectively to abuse experienced by older children, by children in care, and abuse which is committed by professionals. My office raised these issues with Scottish Government last year as part of the review of the National Child Protection Guidance.  

“There must be a rights-based approach taken to ensure there is robust regulation and scrutiny of professionals working with children. No child in care should be subjected to abuse from the adults with responsibility for their care There needs to be a far-reaching change to the culture around this issue, including giving practitioners and organisations support on how to confidently scrutinise or challenge unacceptable practice.  

“With incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child this summer, the Scottish Government’s next review of the National Child Protection Guidance must be comprehensive and include risk of harm in all environments, not just within families. We must see a rights-based approach to the protection of all children in Scotland.” 

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