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Child Protection

Shetland Inter-Agency Child Protection Procedures - May 2019

E Learning It's Everyone's Job (Basic Adult and Child Protection Level 1)

Child and Adult Protection - Protecting Young People

Important information updates for Child and Adult Procedures for all agencies and staff to clarify the age that young people should be referred to Child Protection or Adult Protection if there are concerns that they are at risk of harm.

Please note that this information supersedes the guidance about the age of referral contained in the 2019 Shetland Interagency Child Protection Procedures and should be fully adopted into practice. The 2019 Shetland Interagency Child Protection procedures remain fit for purpose in all other respects and work is underway to update them with the aim of issuing new procedures later this year. (2022)

  • For any child or young person up to the age of 18 (regardless of whether they are attending school or not) a child protection referral should be made to Childrens Duty Social Work
  • For young people who are over the age of 18, but who are still attending school a child protection referral to Childrens Duty Social Work should be made. For some young people who have additional support needs this may mean that they could be 19 and still attending school, but it would be appropriate to make a child protection referral
  • Young people receiving continuing care or through care and after care (i.e. young people up to 26 who have been looked after) Childrens Duty Social Work in the first instance
  • For any other young person over the age of 18 for whom there are concerns that they may be at risk then a referral to Adult Duty Social Work under Adult Protection Procedures is appropriate

In any situation where staff are concerned about the safety of a young person it is always appropriate to seek advice from a Line Manger or Duty Social Work – remember its everyone’s job to keep young people safe

It is also important to note that Protocol 11 Vulnerable Young People, in the Shetland Interagency Child Protection Procedures can be used to refer the young person if they meet the criteria contained in the protocol. Web link to Protocol 11 - https://www.safershetland.com/assets/files/cp-procedures-final-march-2019v2.pdf

Following a referral to Duty Social Work an Interagency Referral Discussion may be held involving Social Work, Police Scotland, NHS Shetland and Schools Service (if appropriate).  In some cases there may be a joint investigation (police and social work) and in others social work may make a single agency response to the risks and needs of the young person. In all situations, a referral to Duty Social Work is the starting point if a young person is at risk either as a result of their own behaviour or the actions of others.

Childrens Duty Social Work 01595 744420

Adult Duty Social Work 01595 744468

Out of Hours 01595 695611


The Shetland Public Protection Committee undertakes all the duties of the child protection committee. The aim is to make sure all aspects of child protection work are done as well as possible so children and young people are kept safe from neglect and abuse. Children and Young People should get the help they need when they need it.

1. Picking up early on children and young people’s needs and supporting families to meet these. This helps prevent child abuse and neglect.

Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) in Shetland is the way we do this.  Services that are available to everyone help with this. 

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

In Shetland the Children and Young People’s Strategic Planning Group oversees a plan to make sure this happens. 
To view the current plan for 2017-2020 click here

2. Providing good quality timely responses to the needs of children and young people at risk of abuse and neglect so that they are protected and kept safe.

SPPC’s work concentrates on this aspect of safeguarding.  Detailed information about the work done by SPPC each year is published in its annual report.  To view the recent Annual Report click here

3. Meeting the needs of children and young people who have experienced abuse and neglect to help them recover from those adverse experiences.

Services that are available to everyone help with this, as well as more targeted or specialist services to meet particular needs.  Each child or young person will have their own plan setting out the support they need and how it will be provided. 

Shetland Public Protection Committee (SPPC) is a partnership with representation from:

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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 Friday, 9am to 5pm:
01595 744420

Outside office hours:
01595 695611

Police: 101

Children’s Reporter:
0131 244 3780