Thursday, 9 June 2016

Review of child protection: is a joined up approach best ?

"In April 2004 the Scottish Executive published a consultation pack entitled `Getting it right for every child` as part of the first phase of the review of the Children's Hearings system."
Out of that grew the Named Person.

Child Protection Improvement Programme

"On 25 February 2016 the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance, made a statement to Parliament announcing a programme of action on child protection." This would include consideration of the "impact of changes of legislation and practice in the Children’s Hearings System."

As part of her statement she said:
"We have also modernised our unique children’s hearings system through legislation that was passed in 2011, and we have invested in professional development for social workers and all those who work with vulnerable children and families."
Recommendations will be made by the end of 2016.

Later in the year it was announced that as part of the Child Protection Improvement Programme: "an independent child protection review chaired by former Crown agent Catherine Dyer is to be commissioned in Scotland."

"This followed the conviction of a mother and her partner for the murder of her two-year-old son, Liam Fee."

"National outcry erupted over why the social work department allowed his case to slip through the system and failed to act upon concerns for the safety and welfare of the boy."

"Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced the appointment of Ms Dyer at a summit held in Perth."

"Mr Swinney said: `An essential part of the child protection improvement programme is a review of policy, practice, services and structures so that we can identify strengths, achievements and priorities for change`."

"`We will look at child protection committees, initial case reviews, significant case reviews and the child protection register to ensure that they work together to create a holistic, coherent and responsive child protection system that optimises outcomes for children`."

Given what we know about Alan Small`s involvement in GIRFEC`s  implementation, i.e. named persons,  and his later appointment to Fife`s child protection committee, how much of a coherent and holistic response to a child protection review should we really be looking for ?

Perhaps a less joined up, less coherent approach, would be more reassuring.

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