Clackmannanshire and Stirling Child Protection Committee is a multi-agency forum responsible for the development, co-ordination and review of child protection inter-agency policy and practice across Clackmannanshire and Stirling. The Child Protection Committee includes representatives from Stirling Council, Clackmannanshire Council, NHS Forth Valley, Police Scotland and Voluntary and Independent sectors. It is responsible for ensuring that child protection practice complies with National and Local standards. We have a legal duty as Practitioners to protect child from harm and therefore must follow the individual Child Protection guidelines set within our own establishments in accordance with the local and national standards. All staff refresh there knowledge and understanding annually at Child Protection Training. Within the training staff are reminded that child protection is everyone’s concern and highlights a child within Scots law is anyone under 16 however young people under 18 may still require protection, for example if they have additional support needs. Additional guidance for Practitioners is given to minimise the risk of allegations of abuse against themselves by reflecting on their own practice and by following their own establishment’s child protection and other safeguarding policies and guidance on safe working practices and codes of conduct.
Legislation places a variety of duties and responsibilities on services and organisations. The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 remains one of the primary pieces of legislation and provides the legislative framework for Scotland’s child protection system. Having been amended and integrated with previous Acts now includes the law relating to child protection to ensure there are proper safeguards for children and reasonable opportunities for the parents/carers of the child to challenge any action that the courts may take. The act outlines parental responsibilities, rights and duties and the influences local authorities have to support children and intervene if there are concerns about a child. The key principles underpinning the 1995 Act are:
• Each child has a right to be treated as an individual
• Each child who can form a view on matters affecting him or her has the right to express those views if he or she so wishes
• Parents should normally be responsible for the upbringing of their children and should share that responsibility
• Each child has the right to protection from all forms of abuse, neglect or exploitation
• So far as is consistent with safeguarding and promoting the child’s welfare, the public authority should promote the upbringing of children by their families
• Any intervention by a public authority in the life of a child must be properly justified and should be supported by services from all relevant agencies working in collaboration.