Fighting for childhood in Scotland How we're standing up for children
We’re building a better future for Scotland's children through working with local services and communities and influencing national policy developments and political processes.
We use the information and learning gathered through our direct services with children and families to inform decision-making and encourage wider change to protect Scotland's children from abuse and neglect.
We want to move child welfare up the policy agenda and place it at the heart of building a better future for Scotland.
How safe are our children? in Scotland
We published How safe are our children? 2017 in June 2017. It is our fifth annual report compiling the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across each of the 4 nations in the UK.
Compiling this data is part of our commitment to evidence, to help us to understand the problems we are seeking to address.
We've analysed the data looking at how safe our children are in Scotland and used this to shape our priorities. Read our policy calls below and our Scotland briefing paper (PDF).
What we want to see
We know that early childhood experience of abuse is a major predictor of mental health issues (NSPCC, 2016).
We are calling for increased investment in infant mental health and perinatal mental health from universal to specialist services to ensure the availability of support that is proportionate and reflective of levels of need.
Reports ofagainst children have in Scotland
Explanation: Police recorded 4,097 sexual offences against children under 16 in Scotland in 2016/17.
This was a 10% increase on the 2015/16 figure of 3,715 offences. It is the highest number of sexual offences against children in the past decade.
All 4 nations saw an increase in 2016/17 possibly due to an increased willingness to report abuse following high profile sexual abuse cases in the media combined with improved police recording.
See also Indicator 4 in How safe are our children? 2018.
As in previous years, recorded sexual offences against children have continued to rise in Scotland and across the UK.
It is vital that we learn more about the nature and scale of this offending in Scotland and its impact on children and young people to inform our Child Protection Improvement Programme where child internet safety and tackling child sexual exploitation is a priority.
Key to protecting children is the provision of high quality, age-appropriate personal and social education.
The importance of healthy relationships should be introduced to the early years curriculum; this is not just about teenagers. PSE should also reflect issues that are important to young people including a greater focus on topics like online safety, violence against girls and young women, and sexual abuse and exploitation.
A great deal of work has been done over the last decade in Scotland to improve our understanding of the impact of domestic abuse on children.
However, we would like to see the needs and experiences of children affected by domestic abuse better reflected in the Domestic Abuse Bill.
Scotland consultation responses
Our policy team in Scotland respond to government consultations and write briefings to influence the development of policies and laws that affect children and young people. Below are the most recent government consultations we've responded to.
More consultation responses
Find older Scotland consultation responses.
Statistics on child protection in Scotland
Official statistics help tell us how many children have been identified as needing support or protection in Scotland.
How child protection works in Scotland
Find out how the systems and laws of Scotland work to help keep children safe from abuse and harm.
Research and resources
Getting it right for mothers and babies
Challenges from the frontline
More research from Scotland
Find more research and resources from Scotland in our library catalogue.
Services for children and families in Scotland
We have service centres across the United Kingdom which offer a combination of services to children, families and professionals. We support parents and families in caring for their children and provide therapeutic assistance to help children move on from abuse.
What you can do in Scotland
Child protection training in Scotland
Find an event near you
From marathon to skydives, bake sales to gala dinners, we've got an event for you in Scotland.
Make a donation today
A child will contact Childline every 25 seconds. Donate now and help us be there for every child.
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