Children at risk in Scotland not given protection

Half of all children at risk of abuse and neglect are not
receiving adequate protection, according to a report from the
Scottish executive, writes Nicola
Barry
.

The report reveals children still at risk despite having been
the subject of a range of referrals, and occasions when social
workers did not apply for a protection order because they were
reluctant to put their work under the scrutiny of a court.

In response, the executive has promised a three-year programme
of sustained activity. A team of experts, including the police,
will work directly with local agencies to implement the reform
programme and tackle poor performance. ChildLine Scotland is to be
given £500,000 to open a second call centre in Aberdeen.

First minister Jack McConnell said the report made “worrying and
uncomfortable reading”.

Stella Perrott, depute chief inspector of social work services
in Scotland, who led the review team, said: “In over half of the
cases investigated, children were either not getting the protection
they needed or were only partially protected.

“Inter-agency working needs to be improved substantially in
order for children to be better protected,” she said.

“We found children, their parents and members of the public
often did not trust the agencies designed to help children and many
feared that reporting concerns about a child would lead to that
child being removed from home.”

The report, ‘It’s
everyone’s job to make sure I’m alright’, is
available here

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