Other Linked processes
The Children’s Hearings System is closely aligned with other processes to protect children and young people, including the Youth Justice System and the Child Protection System. This section provides more information about these systems. It also links to where you can get more information.
As far as possible children and young people should be kept out of the Criminal Justice System, however, where offending does take place, effective and timely interventions are needed to address the behaviour and it’s causes. The Youth Justice Strategy ‘Preventing offending: getting it right for children and young people’ published in June 2015, builds on progress made in the youth justice sector since the implementation of the previous youth justice strategy in 2008 and the national roll out of the whole system approach (WSA) to offending by young people in 2011.
Whole System Approach
The Whole System Approach (WSA) is Scottish Governments programme for addressing the needs of young people involved in offending. Underpinned by Getting it Right for Every Child it highlights the importance of supporting children and young people in a multi-agency, multi-discipline basis and aims to put in place tailored support and management based on the needs of each individual child including their often differing backgrounds and demographics, placing the child or young person – and their family – at the centre.
Since 2011 the WSA has provided a clear focus on early and effective intervention, opportunities to divert young people from prosecution, court support, community alternatives to secure care and custody, managing high risk and improving reintegration back in to the community. The following suite of guidance has been produced to support local areas in implementing a whole system approach (the guidance will be reviewed and updated, as necessary, throughout 2016):
- Alternatives to Secure Care and Custody: promotes the use of alternative service to secure care and custody; through appropriate risk and need assessments and providing decision makers with accurate information.
- Reintegration and Transitions: focuses on the role of local authorities, community planning partners, SPS, secure estate and partners. The guidance highlights the importance of supporting young people throughout their time in secure care or custody to ensure a successful reintegration back to communities.
- Framework for Risk Assessment and Management of young people: Guidance for the assessment and management of young people who present a risk of harm through sexually harmful and/or violent behaviour.
- Toolkit for Diversion from Prosecution for young people under 18: This toolkit offers guidance to service providers and decision makers on what they need to do to provide a more effective, tailored and appropriate intervention – in the form of diversion from prosecution – for young people who offend.
- Toolkit to support Young People aged 16-17 in Court: The purpose of this toolkit, developed in conjunction with the judiciary and Scottish court service, is to share the best practice which has emerged, and to assist those who are involved with young people under 18 who are appearing in court, to develop efficient and effective local approaches to handling these cases.
Youth Justice priorities
The Youth Justice strategy published in June 2015 sets out three main priorities to be taken forward between 2015 and 2020 around advancing the Whole System Approach, improving life chances for young people and developing capacity and improvement throughout the youth justice sector. A Youth Justice Improvement Board has been established to support partners to drive forward this agenda. Three dedicated implementation groups have been set up to take forward specific work around the three main priorities. The work of the Improvement Board and the implementation groups will have strong links to the Children’s Hearings Improvement Partnership (CHIP) and other Scottish Government priorities.
Further information can be found on the Scottish Government website.
The National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (2014)
First published in 2010, The National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (2104) sets a national framework to help shape local practices and procedures. Child protection is a complex system requiring the interaction of services, the public, children and families. For the system to work effectively, it is essential that everyone understands the contribution they can make and how those contributions work together to provide the best outcomes for children. This guidance provides the framework for that understanding and sets out common standards for child protection services in Scotland, making it clear how all agencies should work together where appropriate to respond to concerns early and effectively and ensuring that practice is consistent and of high quality. The Guidance makes clear that partnership working is at the heart of effective child protection and plays a vital role in ensuring the protection of Scotland’s children and young people. To support this partnership, a number of new and strengthened publications in the suite of child protection have been published over recent years to complement the National Guidance. The National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (2014)
National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland: Guidance for Health Professionals in Scotland
This guidance was developed to complement the publication of the revised National Guidance on Child Protection, above. It recognises the fundamental and vital role played by health professionals in supporting children and young people, and has been developed to support health professionals to develop their practice to ensure that the needs of children and young people are the heart of it.
National Risk Framework for Assessment of Children and Young People
This National Risk Framework aims to support and assist practitioners at all levels, in every agency, to be able to approach the task of risk identification, assessment, analysis and management with more confidence and competence. It seeks to provide tools that, if used, support methodical and systematic approaches to not only better understanding risk and its presentation with children and families, but also enhance interventions and potential outcomes.
National Framework for Child Protection Learning and Development
This National Framework for Child Protection Learning & Development in Scotland is designed to complement existing training materials. It is aimed particularly at those responsible for meeting the learning and development needs of the multi-agency workforce (those who commission, develop, purchase, and deliver learning and development). However, it will also help all of those who are part of the multi-agency workforce to recognise the importance to them of child protection learning and development, and to identify their own needs.