A new child and family protection committee is set to be established in Aberdeenshire to build on the success of the former North East of Scotland Child Protection Committee.
The aim is to drive multi agency arrangements to protect children at risk of harm and abuse and adults at risk of domestic violence.
A report is going before councillors on Aberdeenshire Council’s education, learning and leisure committee today, Thursday, March 21, and the social work and housing committee next week, Thursday, March 28.
The report outlines the role of the new committee and proposes that it is chaired by the Director of Housing and Social Work Ritchie Johnson.
In summer 2012 the North East of Scotland Child Protection Committee agreed to disband in response to a range of issues such as the creation of a single police force as well as increased responsibility for child care and protection lying within Community Planning Partnerships in local authority areas.
Although there will continue to be a north east approach to some aspects of protecting children, primary responsibility will now lie with services within council boundary areas.
Additionally, services in Aberdeenshire have taken this opportunity to streamline arrangements for people at risk of harm by placing child protection and domestic violence obligations within one committee.
The new committee is part of a larger framework of ‘Public Protection’ arrangements whose overall aim is to prevent harm to vulnerable groups and which involves working with both victims and perpetrators.
The National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (2010) report states that the principles and standards for child protection, derived from Articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, underpin all code and practice in child protection.
The principles include that each child has a right to be treated as an individual; each child has the right to protection from all forms of abuse, neglect or exploitation, and any intervention by a public authority in the lfie of a child must be properly justified and should be supported by services from all relevant agencies working in collaboration.