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For Professionals

In This Section...

In this section

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.

It does not matter if you provide services to adults which childcare responsibilities or directly to children and young people. It does not matter if you are employed by one of the helping agencies or provide invaluable voluntary support, it is everyone’s job to make sure children are safe. The National Guidance on Child Protection in Scotland and Shetland Interagency Child Protection Procedures make it clear that this is a shared responsibility.

Shetland Interagency Child Protection Procedures ask that everyone follows the 4 R’s:

  • Recognise that a child is at risk
  • Respond
  • Report/refer
  • Record

When they become aware that a child or young person may be at risk of harm or neglect or if an adults own difficulties are impacting on their ability to provide safe care. Everyone should be aware of Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) approach in Shetland to the provision of support to children in need who are not at risk. For more information go to http://www.shetland.gov.uk/children_and_families/GIRFEC.asp

Everyone working with children and adults should have a basic understanding of child protection and training is available for everyone https://www.safershetland.com/for-professionals#training

Wallet cards are available and a supply can be provided by contacting the Lead Officer.

Basic information about what and how to refer is in the leaflet “What you can do to help if you are worried about a child or young person”.

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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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.

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Child Protection Training

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

SPPC 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.


  • Its Everyone’s job to keep children, young people and adults safe from harm and abuse. Here is a  link to a basic protection training  course that is recommended for everyone, but especially for colleagues working in the voluntary sector or with sports and activity groups. The course  will help you to recognise abuse, know what to do and where to get help and advice if you need it. You can print out a certificate for doing the course. If your job or voluntary role requires you to complete Level 2 Adult or Child Protection training you need to complete this eLearning first and bring your certificate with you to the half- day training course.  Please note staff working for NHS Shetland and Shetland Islands Council should access the e learning through ilearn or Turas  https://level1.safershetland.com/
  • For All Child and Adult Protection Training please follow this link and search:-


  • CPC Induction checklist for staff [pdf, 28.5Kb]
  • Sports Coach UK - Safeguarding and Protecting Children - Contact Jack Clubb - 01595 74 4045
  • APC/CPC Newsletter 2019 - New Child Protection Procedures May 2019  
  • The Scottish Government Covid-19 Stakeholder Communications Toolkit - Parent Club

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

Or contact Sports Development 01595 74 4045.

 NSPCC Library & Information Service's CASPAR Email alerts. To sign up to get this info direct, go to https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/newsletter/caspar/.

Support for IndividualsThis link is a very specific resource for those who are worried about their own thoughts or feelings towards children. It details support services from a national organisation “Stop it Now” aimed at helping any adult who is experiencing this and it provides some resources that are crucial towards achieving prevention of harm to children.

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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. Social Workers will prepare a report that include information from all agencies working with the child and family and professionals will be asked to share information with the social worker for inclusion in the report. The information shared still belongs to the agency that shared it and if at all possible staff should ensure that parents attending case conferences should be made aware of what information is being shared.  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 May 2019  Shetland inter-agency Child Protection Procedures .  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.

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 compulsory supervision order 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

Managing mental health and wellbeing: advice for families from CEOPs

Two new Parent Info articles explore how parents and carers can support their child's mental health, and highlight things they can do to manage the wellbeing challenges of family life under lockdown.

#OnlineSafetyAtHome pack is available for you to download.


You can also access our new guidance for parents and carers designed to help them manage some of the key challenges.

Child Sexual Exploitation

The Scottish Government has a national plan for tackling CSE and the Digital Safety Committee has responsibility for the local Shetland Plan.

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse in which a person(s), of any age takes advantage of a power imbalance to force or entice a child into engaging in sexual activity in return for something received by the child and/or those perpetrating or facilitating the abuse. As with other forms of child sexual abuse, the presence of perceived consent does not undermine the abusive nature of the act. (Scottish Government Definition 2016)

CSE is a form of sexual abuse and anyone who has concerns that a child or young person is being exploited in such a way should make a child protection referral immediately.

Additional Information

Guide for all practitioners and professionals  - https://www.gov.scot/publications/child-sexual-exploitation-definition-practitioner-briefing-paper/


NSPCC Inform - https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/research-resources/?topic=4576&page=2

Scottish Government TV Advertising - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdTjumU6dHg

The Upstream Project was set up to enable adults and communities in Scotland prevent child sexual abuse. We believe that preventing child sexual abuse is all our responsibility and this depends on changing the thinking and behaviour of adults. For more information visit -https://www.theupstreamproject.org.uk/   If you would like to know more about Upstream please contact scotland@stopitnow.org.uk

New resources from Upstream can be found at www.stopitnow.org.uk/stop-it-now-scotland/resources)

Services for ProfessionalsInformation for professionals about our services, including case consultation to professionals and how to make a referral.



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 744420

Outside office hours:
01595 695611

Police: 101

Children’s Reporter:
0131 244 3780