‘All children and young people in Scotland have the right to be cared for and protected from harm and to grow up in a safe environment in which their rights and needs are respected. The welfare of children is paramount’
Scottish Executive 2004.
NHS Forth Valley have a strong commitment to work with all relevant partner agencies to maximise children and young people’s full potential. We will work together to protect them from physical or emotional harm. We will ensure that Child Protection is a high priority at all levels across our organisation. We believe that all children should be:
Across Forth Valley all agencies work together
Social Work, Health, Police, Education and Voluntary Services work together to help keep children and young people safe and to ensure they reach their potential.
We take action to make sure children and young people are protected by;
- Offering support to children, young people and families when needed
- Putting plans in place to prevent children being exposed to risk
Everyone is responsible
All NHS staff have a duty to act in the best interest of children.
There is a Child Protection Department of specially trained staff who provide support and deliver training to frontline staff across NHS Forth Valley.
Each Local Authority Area has a Child Protection Committee which leads on the development of services to protect children.
In NHS Forth Valley there is the Child Protection Action Group which has representatives from across health services and local authorities which leads on the development of child protection strategy, policy and procedures in the organisation.
Confidentiality and information sharing
Patient information is confidential and if health workers have to share information for the best care to be given they ask the child or their parents for permission before doing so. However there are exceptions to this rule and information is shared without consent if:
- A child is thought to be at risk
- An investigation is being carried out
- A crime may have been committed
- It is in the public interest
Concerns about Child Welfare
Children can come to harm because of
- Physical or emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Substance abuse or domestic violence
You are concerned
Children rarely tell if they are being abused. However there may been signs which make you concerned and may be an indication of a child being abused or neglected. For example, you may notice one or more of these:
- Unexplained bruising or bruising in an unusual place
- Appearing afraid, quiet or withdrawn
- Being afraid to go home
- Constantly hungry, tired or untidy
A Child tells you
If a child discloses that they are being abused (physically, sexually or emotionally)
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Is the child in immediate danger?
If yes you should call the police as they can take a child to a place of safety.
2. Does the child need medical treatment?
If so they may need to go to a GP or A&E department.
3. Are the parents able to protect the child and meet all their needs?
If not then you should contact the local social work department to let assess the situation and put support systems in place for the children.
You must act to safeguard a child or young person by contacting any of the following as appropriate, all of whom will advise you about what you should do to safeguard the child:
If you have concerns please contact:
|Out of Hours Social Work Services||01786 470500 (after 5pm and at weekends)|
Local Social Work Departments
|Police Family Unit||01324 574958|
Reporter to the Children’s Hearing
|Falkirk||0300 200 1700|
|Stirling||0300 200 1700|
|Clackmannanshire||0300 200 1700|