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For Professionals

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Do you work with children or young people?
Do you work with adults who may be parents or have caring responsibilities for children?

For ProfessionalsAll professionals working with children and young people or with their parents or carers must consider the needs of and risks to those children.

(In order to do this, those working with adults need first to identify those who have caring responsibilities, whether full-time or part time eg on contact visits or providing family childcare.)

Everyone should be working to the updated August 2015 Shetland inter-agency Child Protection Procedures [pdf, 2734Kb]. These are agreed by all the key agencies in Shetland. They explain everyone's role in child protection and exactly what should happen when a child protection referral is made.

Following them is a requirement for all staff and volunteers of the agencies represented at CPC - see About Us.

They represent good practice for all to follow, which CPC encourages other organisations to adopt.

The Shetland inter-agency Child Protection Procedures are regularly updated to take into account national and UK wide developments and to reflect best practice. To make a suggestion for improvement please contact the CPC Lead Officer.

All professionals in Shetland (staff or volunteers) working with children and young people or their carers are expected to undertake child protection training.

You should go on refresher courses at regular intervals to keep up to date. Information about the expected level of training and the courses available is in the section on Training.

It is a considered to be a professional responsibility of all those working with children and families to seek supervision and support as appropriate, and to undertake appropriate development and training activities to ensure their knowledge remains up to date, so that they remain confident and competent.

Staff should also be aware of the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) approach in Shetland to the provision of support for children in need of it who are not at risk. For more information go to www.shetland.gov.uk/children_and_families/GIRFEC.asp

OPEN Peer Mentoring Project

Our Peer Education Network (OPEN) is a peer education project, which recruits and trains young people aged 16 - 25 to become "peer educators".  OPEN's main purpose is to embed peer education across Shetland as a methodology of raising awareness and encourage positive lifestyle choices - especially on issues concering substance misuse, relationships, sexual health, and mental health; whilst promoting harm reduction at every opportunity.

For more information and to make referrals to the project contact Una.Murray@shetland.org

OPEN Peer Mentoring Project - Recruitment and Referral Information.


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Do you work with members of the public?

All organisations represented at CPC (see About Us) expect their staff and volunteers to understand their responsibility to keep children safe.

You should refer any concern that a child or young person may be in need of protection to social work, following the updated August 2015  Shetland inter-agency Child Protection Procedures [pdf, 2734Kb].

You should know how to refer any concerns you have for a child or young person's welfare. Someone in your organisation should have had the necessary training to start the GIRFEC process or where necessary to support staff to make a child protection referral in accordance with the Shetland inter-agency Child Protection Procedures. Staff should know who that person is. If you don't know, find out. Make sure the staff you are responsible for know, as well.

The induction checklist [pdf, 28.5Kb] will help with this. Wallet cards with the numbers to ring are available for staff and volunteers free of charge by contacting the Lead Officer. ALL staff should be given one, not just those working with children.

Basic information about what and how to refer and what happens next is in the leaflet 'What you can do to help if you are worried about a child or young person' [pdf, 140Kb].

All organisations represented at CPC are committed to ensuring that staff have access to supervision and training appropriate to their role.

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Child Protection Referrals

To make a child protection referral, follow the procedure in the Shetland inter-agency Child Protection Procedures. This provides for a telephone referral followed up with a form sent to Duty social work, which is generally also copied to a central collation point in each agency. Please refer to the Procedures for further details.

If you want to complete the referral form electronically it can be downloaded from this website. Duty Intake Referral Form for Child Protection Referrals  The form should be completed and printed off, signed and sent to social work to follow up your telephone referral. Please do NOT e-mail it unless you are sure you have a secure link and have been specifically requested to do so. Even then you should also submit a hard copy, to ensure it receives appropriate management oversight.

Documents and Recent Information


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Child Protection Training

For ProfessionalsGood inter-agency work is vital in keeping children safe.

Shetland CPC runs a range of courses for staff and volunteers working at all levels.

Participants especially value the inter-agency courses - training together aids working together.

Even if you have done child protection training elsewhere, these courses will place your knowledge in the local context and you may bring good practice from elsewhere to share with others. See below for the support and training available and the Training Strategy agreed by all agencies at CPC.


For more information on any of the above courses please contact SIC Workforce Development Team on Tel: 01595 743920 email: Workforce.DevelopmentTeam@shetland.gov.uk

The compilations attached above draw on a number of sources for which we are grateful, including the NSPCC Library & Information Service's CASPAR Email alerts. To sign up to get this info direct, go to www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/Applications/InformUserProfiles/ClearingHouseProfileLogon.asp. Another source of information is With Scotland - http://withscotland.org/

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I have been asked to attend a Child Protection Case Conference. What does that involve?

You should attend if you possibly can. Whether or not you can attend you must prepare a report. Careful consideration will have been given to inviting you, but if you think someone else in your organisation would be better placed to provide information, please discuss this with the conference Chair in good time.

More detailed information about Child Protection Case Conferences is in Section 10 of the updated August 2015 Shetland inter-agency Child Protection Procedures [pdf, 2734Kb]. You will find pro-formas for reports in Section 13 - Forms and Leaflets. It is important to include the child's own view of their situation as well as your professional view of their best interests.

Professionals in other disciplines should use Form 6 Section 13, Initial and Review Case Conferences. GPs should use Form 5 Section 13  Initial and Review Case Conference form.  Guidance on completing these and sharing them with the child and family as appropriate is in appendix 3 of the updated August 2015 Shetland inter-agency Child Protection Procedures.  Remember to include relevant information about the child’s parents and carers.  A chronology of your agency’s involvement should be attached.  Once the report is complete, print it off and sign it, and either send it in securely or take it to the conference with enough copies for everyone.  Please do NOT e-mail it unless you are sure you have a secure link and have been asked to do so.  This is to ensure confidentiality and make sure it does not go astray, eg. because someone is off sick.

Further information on your role is in the leaflet: Information for professionals invited to Child Protection Case Conferences [pdf, 56Kb]. You should have received a hard copy of this with your invitation. Please take time to consider it, especially if you have not attended a Child Protection Case Conference very often.


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I have been asked to prepare a report for the Children's Reporter.
I have been asked to attend a Children's Hearing.
What does that involve?

Anyone concerned about a child can tell the Children's Reporter about their concerns, and a Child Protection Case Conference may decide to make a referral to the Children's Reporter. If the Reporter thinks the child may need what are called 'compulsory measures' such as a supervision requirement then he/she will arrange a Children's Hearing. You may be asked for information or to prepare a report to help the Reporter decide what to do. If there is no need for compulsory intervention, the Reporter could ask the local authority to provide voluntary advice and assistance.

A Children's Hearing is a legal meeting arranged to consider and make decisions about children and young people who are having problems in their lives. Generally the child or young person and their parents and carers attend, together with a social worker and sometimes other people involved with the child or young person such as a teacher. The Reporter will have asked the social worker for a written report. Three Children's Panel members consider all the information and discuss the case with the people who have been asked to the Hearing. They decide if the child or young person needs legal steps to be taken to help them, and what those should be. The Children's Panel members are trained volunteers. The Children's Reporter attends the Hearing to support fair process.

For more information about Children's Hearings go to: www.scra.gov.uk/home

Child Sexual Exploitation

In February 2016 the Scottish Government has started an awareness raising campaign for Professionals to let them know about the risks of Child Sexual Exploitation.  Shetland Child Protection Committee will also be sharing information about this please look out for posters and leaflets.

Here is a link to the Scottish Government's TV advertising campaign and a links to the Barnardos and NSPCC Inform.  Remember if you are worried that a child or young person may be at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation you can always phone Duty Social Work for help on 01595 74 4400.

Child sexual exploitation - A Guide for Health Practitioners 

For your information, and dissemination within your networks, the Scottish Government have published a Guide for Health Practitioners on Child Sexual Exploitation.

This can be accessed at the following link http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/03/3288

The guide aims to

- Ensure practitioners are alert to this form of complex child abuse

- Help practitioners spot the signs that a child or young person may be at risk of, or be experiencing child sexual exploitation

- Emphasise that child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse, and requires a child protection response

- Outline the responsibilities of health practitioners to take action in line with local NHS Board and Child Protection Committee Child Protection procedures, including sharing information

- Highlight the importance of appropriate communication with children and young people in helping to identify and respond to disclosures

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On this website we have included links to a number of websites based elsewhere in the UK. They contain a lot of useful information, not all of which is as readily available in Scotland. Although the general advice given is likely to be the same across the UK, websites based in England, Wales and Northern Ireland may refer to the law, institutions and practice guidance in place in those jurisdictions, which are different from those in force in Scotland. For more information about those aspects in Scotland, please refer to Scottish-based organisations, or seek further support locally.

It is everyone’s job to make sure children and young people are alright. If you are concerned about a child’s welfare please tell someone who can help.

These are the phone numbers:

Duty Social Work
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm:
01595 744421

Outside office hours:
01595 695611

Police: 101

Children’s Reporter:
0131 244 3780