Speaking up for Scotland’s children: the NSPCC’s helpline in Scotland A year in review April 2012–March 2013

Man on phoneThis report looks at the number of contacts made to the NSPCC helpline from Scotland made between April 2012 and March 2013.

It considers the nature of the concerns, the length of time people waited before making contact and the number of cases referred to social work services or the police. It goes on to look in greater detail at a sample of contacts that resulted in referrals.

Authors: Margaret Gallagher and Joanna Barrett
Published: 2014

  • Between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013, the NSPCC's helpline responded to 1,920 contacts from people in Scotland, an increase of 30.2% on the previous year.
  • 1,166 of these contacts (involving 1,807 children) resulted in referrals to children's services or the police.
  • For the remaining 754 contacts, helpline counsellors provided information or advice, helping an estimated 1,508 children.
  • Neglect was the leading cause for referrals (46%, 487 cases).
  • 23% of referrals (245) were about physical abuse.
  • 13% of referrals (133) were about sexual abuse, a 68.4% increase compared to 2011/12.
  • 12% of referrals (122) were about emotional abuse.
  • Almost half of children involved in referrals (750) were under six years old.
  • In cases where the concerns were so significant we had to make referrals, 24% of people had waited more than six months before getting in touch.
  • The majority of contacts leading to referrals came from members of the public, not from family members or professionals.
Introduction 3
Key findings 4
How the helpline protects children 6
The NSPCC helpline in Scotland 8
What do people contact us about 12 
Waiting times 13
Key themes 14
Conclusion 15

Please cite as: Gallagher, M. (2014) Speaking up for Scotland's children: the NSPCC's helpline in Scotland: a year in review April 2012–March 2013. [Edinburgh]: NSPCC.

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