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Why a child or young person might need your help

  • Children and young people have the right to be kept safe from abuse and neglect.

    Parents have the main responsibility for keeping children safe and promoting their well-being. But parents may have their own issues and problems. Babies and young children are totally dependent on their parents. Older children and young people can have their needs neglected too. They may or may not know it, and it can be hard for them to ask for help. It’s everyone’s job to make sure that children get help when they need it, where parents don’t seem to be managing to meet their needs. This can be happening within any kind of family, anywhere in Shetland.

    If you have a concern, it’s important that you share it with someone who can help. You may have a vital bit of information. Only when all the bits are joined up can professionals start to work out with the family what help a child might need. Children are entitled to expect their privacy to be respected – so share information with a professional who can help. Child Protection professionals will deal with your information and share it further only within the bounds of appropriate confidentiality. General discussion in the community generally won’t help and should be avoided. Instead, ring someone who can help.

  • Worried about a child?

    Ring one of these numbers and say you are concerned about a child. They will make sure you speak to someone who can help. More information about what will happen next is in the leaflet 'What you can do to help if you are worried about a child or young person'.

Police Scotland

Emergency - 999

Non Emergency - 101

Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration

This office is open during the following times:

  • Monday - Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
  • Friday 09:00 - 16:00

What you can do to help if you are worried about a child or young person?

What you can do to help if you are worried about a child or young person?
Children and young people have the right to be kept safe from harm. They may need your help. This leaflet tells you what to look out for, how to report any concerns and what will happen next. - PdfPDF File (182kb)
Shetland inter-agency Child Protection Procedures
The updated May 2019 Shetland inter-agency Child Protection Procedures. - PdfPDF File (3771kb)


Equal Protection from Assault Act

On 7th November 2020 the law in Scotland changed. This will mean that no adult has the right to physically punish a child - this means hitting, smacking, skelping and pinching (but it can mean other forms of physical punishment too) Factsheet and FAQs.

You may also find the following websites helpful, subject to the disclaimer below.

  • Children First
  • NSPCC- The NSPCC website has lots of useful information and links to other resources.
  • Child Protection Training section - Staff and volunteers in community groups can access free child protection training.
  • Support for you - This link is a very specific resource for those who are worried about their own thoughts or feelings towards children. It details support services from a national organisation “Stop it Now” aimed at helping any adult who is experiencing this and it provides some resources that are crucial towards achieving prevention of harm to children.

Disclaimer - 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.