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For Children And Young People

Everyone has the right to be safe

For Children and Young PeopleIf something is worrying you - and perhaps your parents or other family members can't help or don't know how to, or maybe you wouldn't want to ask them -

You could speak to a teacher, a doctor or nurse at the health centre, someone like a youth worker...

Everyone has a responsibility to help.

All children and young people have the right to be protected and kept safe from harm.

Sometimes adults are not able to look after their children properly or may harm a child in some way. In most cases, help and support can be given to the family to help them to care for their children better. Many parents and children need support at some point in their lives.

If you are worried or don't feel safe, please talk to an adult you trust.

If for any reason the first person you talk to doesn't seem very helpful, try again, or speak to someone else. Your safety and welfare is very important to us.

If you'd rather speak to someone on the phone, here are the phone numbers of some people in Shetland who can help:

  • Duty Social Work
    Monday to Fri (9am to 5pm) 01595 744421
    Outside those hours/when closed 01595 695611
  • Police - 101
  • Police (in an emergency) - 999
  • Children's Reporter - 0300 200 2200

We know it can be hard to talk to anyone about some things that may be happening in your life. To speak to someone confidentially you can ring ChildLine on 0800 11 11 It's free. Keep trying till you get through or you can chat online, just go to their website www.childline.org.uk and click on the Chat Online Button.  They will be able to offer initial help and advice to children and young people of all ages.

If you like, they can help you find any other help and support you need. You can text them for advice on various issues.

For more info, go the ChildLine website at: www.childline.org.uk

Another free helpline is Young Scot InfoLine on 0808 801 0338 (Monday to Friday 10am - 6pm). They can help you find other sources of advice.

Or you can email: infoline@youngscot.org

Locally, the Children's Rights Officer may be able to help. His name is Phil Garnier and his telephone number is
01595 745073 or mobile 07954 345262.

The Scottish Child Law Centre provides free legal advice and information on Scots Law relating to children and young people.  
This service is available to children, young people their families, carers and external organisations. 

If you or anyone using your services needs free expert legal advice relating to children and young people under the age of 21 then please just contact us. 

The Advice Line No is 0131 663 6777,  Freephone for under 21’s 0800 328 8970.


You may also find the following websites helpful:

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Young people in North Ayrshire helped create more information about child protection in their area. There's one for children and one for teens. You might find them helpful, but remember that the local numbers to ring to talk to someone and get help are those on this Shetland website:

What happens if someone has reported a concern about me?

If someone has told social work that they are worried about your safety, a social worker will probably want to speak to you about these worries. Someone you know already, such as a parent or teacher, will arrange for you to meet the social worker. The social worker might have a child protection police officer with them. This is to help them find out if anything has happened that would make them concerned for your safety, not because you have done anything wrong.

The social worker and police officer should explain what will happen next - please ask them if you are not sure about anything.

Here is an example of the sort of leaflet [pdf, 143Kb] they should give you. 

Make sure they fill in their name and contact number so you can get in touch again if you want to.

In some situations there might be a Child Protection Case Conference to discuss whether you need help to keep you safe. If there is going to be a conference about your family, your social worker will talk to you about it. He or she will discuss with you how to make sure the conference knows what you think about your situation. For more information see the leaflet for children and for young people, both available at the bottom of this page. Anyone who is writing a report about you should tell you what is in their report and find out what you think about it.

Usually plans to keep you safe can be put in place by arrangement with your family. In some situations you might be invited to a Children's Hearing.

For more information go to www.scra.gov.uk/children/index.cfm

If you are not at risk of harm but just need some extra help, people may need to share information to make sure you get the help you need. Check out these leaflets to find out how this works.

Getting it right for every child - Leaflet for Children  (for children)

Getting it right for every child - Leaflet for Young People (for young people)

For more information go to: www.shetland.gov.uk/children_and_families/GIRFEC.asp

If you are helping take care of someone, for example because they are disabled, have problems with using alcohol or other drugs/substances or have mental health issues you have the right to have your own support needs considered. A useful website is www.youngcarers.net

Shetland Young Carers Group meets regularly to offer support, the chance to meet with other young people, and to take part in activities and trips of your choice. For further information or for help with transport to get to the group please call
Jo Jack on 01595 743923.


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On this website we have included links to a number of websites based elsewhere in the UK. They contain a lot of useful information, not all of which is as readily available in Scotland. Although the general advice given is likely to be the same across the UK, websites based in England, Wales and Northern Ireland may refer to the law, institutions and practice guidance in place in those jurisdictions, which are different from those in force in Scotland. For more information about those aspects in Scotland, please refer to Scottish-based organisations, or seek further support locally.

It is everyone’s job to make sure children and young people are alright. If you are concerned about a child’s welfare please tell someone who can help.

These are the phone numbers:

Duty Social Work
Monday to Fri, 9am to 5pm:
01595 744421

Outside office hours:
01595 695611

Police: 101

Children’s Reporter:
0300 200 2200