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For Parents And Carers

Calling all parents and carers.

For Parents and Carers

The biggest influence on your child is you and your greatest responsibility is to protect your child from harm and bring them up safely.

Parenting is not easy and many parents will benefit from support and advice along the way. Parents caring for children with disabilities may need extra support. Some parents have problems of their own which mean they may need extra support to make sure their children do not lose out. This could be a learning disability, a mental health issue or a problem with the use of alcohol or drugs. All children in Scotland have a Named Person who is the point of contact for parents who are looking for help and support.


Shetland Family Directory - https://www.shetland-communities.org.uk/subsites/sfid/

The Scottish Government Covid-19 Stakeholder Communications Toolkit - Parent Club


What happens if someone has reported a concern about my child?

A professional may contact you to ask you to help them set up any extra help your child may need. More information is at www.shetland.gov.uk/children_and_families/GIRFEC.asp

If there are child protection concerns, it is likely that a social worker will visit you to discuss the position. Your social worker will explain to you what will happen next, and should give you a leaflet with their contact details so that you know whom to ring if you have any questions. Examples are shown below. There may be a meeting to discuss your child's situation and make sure they are safe. This is called a child protection case conference. Parents are almost always invited and entitled to see the report that professionals take to the conference. You can usually take someone with you to help you tell your point of view - just check with the person who asked you to the meeting. You can write your own report if you wish.

More information is in the leaflets below. The detailed procedures that professionals use are in the updated May 2019 Shetland inter-agency Child Protection Procedures 


If you are asked to attend a Children's Hearing the Reporter will send you more information. You might also want to have a look at this website, where there is a section for parents and carers: www.scra.gov.uk/home

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What can I do to keep my children safe from harm?

Risk is a part of everyday life. Minor stumbles and scrapes are a part of growing up. It's important that children take part in activities and are able to play outside. But you remain responsible for their welfare. You will want to make sure the risks have been considered and are reasonable. Generally speaking you should know where your child is and with whom. For information to help you assure yourself that organised groups that your child takes part in are well managed and keep your child safe.



Online safeguarding: the dark web

The Children’s Society have published a guide to the dark web describing what it is, how young people might use it and what to do if you have safety concerns.
Online safeguarding: the dark web


You may also find the following websites helpful, subject to the disclaimer at the bottom of the page.

Here are some organisations that can help:

For confidential advice on a range of parenting issues, ring ParentLine Scotland Tel: 0808 800 2222

If you have personal issues that might affect your children, get help - not just for you, but for your children too. You may need help to come to terms with issues that affect you, or have affected you in the past, in order to be the best parent you can be. Here are some examples of the help that is available.

Childline - Zipit App

Recognising the growing problem of online safety, ChildLine launched its first ever mobile phone app called Zipit, which can be downloaded from the ChildLine website as well as all major app stores.  Zipit offers young people funny images they can use as a response to requests for naked or explicit pictures.  It has already received over 60,000 downloads.

Domestic Abuse is bad for children, whether they are in the same room or not. As many as 1 in 5 women in Scotland, and some men, will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. The issue affects children and young people too. If you need to talk to someone about this you could call the Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline FREE on 0800 027 1234 or visit their website at: www.domesticabuse.co.uk

Locally, Shetland Women's Aid provides counselling, support, advice and information for women (all ages) and children and young people (up to age 18) who have experienced, or are experiencing, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. http://www.communitydirectory.shetland.gov.uk/shetland-womens-aid-i854.html .

Men experiencing domestic abuse whether from a woman or same sex partner can get more information at www.mensadviceline.org.uk/mens_advice.php

The Respect Helpline offers information and advice to people (male or female) who are abusive towards their partners and want help to stop.

You can ring them on 0845 122 8609 Monday - Friday 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm or e-mail info@respectphoneline.org.uk

(Respect is the UK membership association for domestic violence perpetrator programmes and associated support services. www.respect.uk.net/)

If Substance Misuse affects your life, whether your own, a partner's or a child's, it is likely to be affecting the whole family.

The Substance Misuse and Recovery Service provide assessment, treatment and  support for those wishing to address their drug and/or alcohol issues. The team take self referrals either by phone on 01595 7430076 or Face to Face at The Mental Health Department, Lerwick Health Centre.

A child who is undertaking caring responsibilities for you, your partner or for brothers or sisters, whether because of disability, substance issues, mental health problems or for some other reason is a Young Carer and is entitled to have their own support needs assessed through the GIRFEC process. Shetland Young Carers Group meets regularly to offer support to such young people. For further information please call Laura Russell on 01595 743909.

If you are experiencing Relationship Problems, counselling for couples and individuals is available through Relationships Scotland Couple Counseling Shetland. www.communitydirectory.shetland.gov.uk/relationships-scotland-couple-counselling-shetland-i347.html

When parents separate, it's often not so much the separation itself but on-going arguments between their parents over issues such as contact that affect children most. Family Mediation Shetland can help parents focus on the needs of their children and make decisions together about these arrangements www.communitydirectory.shetland.gov.uk/family-mediation-shetland-i877.html

If you have experienced Bereavement, counselling support may be available through the Shetland Bereavement Support Service www.communitydirectory.shetland.gov.uk/shetland-bereavement-support-service-i371.html

If your life is affected by Sexual Abuse, support is available in Shetland through Sexual Abuse Survivors. See www.communitydirectory.shetland.gov.uk/sexual-abuse-survivors-i974.html

Men and women can also get support through the Rape and Abuse Line. Locally in there is Shetland Rape Crisis or call the 01595 747174 or email contact@shetlandrapecrisis.scot

More information on how a package of help could be arranged for you and your children if your family is affected by any of these or any other issues through 'Getting it Right for Every Child' is at http://www.shetland.gov.uk/children_and_families/GIRFEC.asp

Building Financial skills for children - Information leaflet to help

Managing mental health and wellbeing: advice for families from CEOPs

Two new Parent Info articles explore how parents and carers can support their child's mental health, and highlight things they can do to manage the wellbeing challenges of family life under lockdown.

Child Sexual Exploitation

The Scottish Government has a national plan for tackling CSE and the Digital Safety Committee has responsibility for the local Shetland Plan.

CSE is a form of sexual abuse and anyone who has concerns that a child or young person is being exploited in such a way should make a child protection referral immediately.

Additional Information

Link to guide for health staff  - https://www.celcis.org/knowledge-bank/spotlight/child-sexual-exploitation/


NSPCC Inform - https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/research-resources/?topic=4576&page=2

Scottish Government TV Advertising - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdTjumU6dHg

The Upstream Project was set up to enable adults and communities in Scotland prevent child sexual abuse. We believe that preventing child sexual abuse is all our responsibility and this depends on changing the thinking and behaviour of adults. For more information visit -https://www.theupstreamproject.org.uk/   If you would like to know more about Upstream please contact us on scotland@stopitnow.org.uk 

New Resources from UpStream:-

Support For FamiliesLeaflet on prevention services and resources we provide. Written for child protection professionals working directly with families where there is a risk of harm to children e.g. children and family’s social workers, teachers, third sector organisations etc

What we all need to know to protect our children: Guide for parents and carers, including advice on what to do if they are worried about risk to a child.

Cyber Resilience & Internet SafetyThis resource explains how to talk to children about online safety and provides up to date information on the latest websites & apps that parents should be aware of.  This is particularly useful for parents & carers.

What’s The Problem – Scottish update of guide for parents and carers worried their child has sent or received sexual images, has accessed online pornography or has been arrested for accessing indecent images of children.

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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 Friday, 9am to 5pm:
01595 744420

Outside office hours:
01595 695611

Police: 101

Children’s Reporter:
0131 244 3780