What is going to happen?

Here we provide answers to some of the common questions around Safeguarding

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  • They will meet and speak to the child or young person.
  • They will speak to people around the child or young person, like parents, carers, teachers, social workers, or others who are seen as important to the child or young person.
  • They will read through the information that the Children's Hearing has about the child or young person and their situation.
  • They will share what they think is in the child or young person's best interests and maybe make recommendations about what they think should be decided by the Children's Hearings Panel. This will be written as a report, and this will be shared with the child or young person if they wish to see it.
  • They will attend hearings to share their views.
  • They will keep all the information they get confidential and only share it with those people who have permission to see it.
  • They will not speak to anyone or look at the information that isn’t relevant, or 
  • They will not make a decision about what happens in a child or young person's life. Any decisions will be made by the Children's Hearings or the Sheriff.
  • They will not hold onto any information about the child or young person after their involvement has finished.

A Safeguarder looks for information about the child or young person’s life that will help them think about what would be best for that child or young person going forward. This will be different for every child and young person because the difficulties they may face in their families, in school or in the community will be very different. 

A Safeguarder is not limited to certain pieces of information or only looking at specific areas of a child or young person’s life. They may decide that they need more information to get a full picture of what’s happening for that child or young person. However, they will need to explain why they think they need to access this information; it needs to be for a very specific reason. 

Any information they gather will be held confidentially and will be disposed of correctly once their involvement with the child or young person has stopped. 

If a Safeguarder receives information about a child or adult not being safe or about a crime, it is their duty to report this.

A Safeguarder will only be involved until there is a decision made by the Hearing or the Court. This could be a very short period of time – as little as 35L days – or a slightly longer period of time, but that depends on what happens in the hearing. While the Safeguarder is involved, a child or young person may speak with them a few times, only once, or maybe not at all. 

However, unlike other adults working with a child or young person, a Safeguarder’s relationship with that child or young person will always be short-term and come to an end when a decision is made by the Panel or the Sheriff.

The place where a Safeguarder meets with a child or young person will be different for everyone. It’s important that it is a place where the child or young person feels comfortable, safe, and able to express themselves. It could be at home, at school or at a community space, or it also may be a virtual or telephone meeting.

Children and young people have the right to share their views and experiences and to have them taken seriously (Article 12 of the UNCRC), the most important part of what a Safeguarder does is to speak to a child or young person to understand how they are thinking and feeling about what is going on in their life. A Safeguarder might speak to a lot of adults in a child or young person’s life, but most importantly they want to speak directly to the child or young person themselves. 

If a child or young person doesn’t feel comfortable or doesn’t want to speak to a Safeguarder, it’s important that they have the chance to consent (agree) or not to speak with the Safeguarder. 

A Safeguarder might also decide that it isn’t appropriate for them to speak with a child or young person, and they will say why they made this decision in their report.

A Safeguarder can give their views and thoughts about what they think is in children and young people's best interests, but it is the Sheriff or Children's panel that make decisions about what happens next.  

Yes! We always want to hear from you. 

Your views and opinions help us make sure that Safeguarders are doing their best to protect the best interests of the children and young people they work with.

Fill in our online survey.

If you have a worry or concern about your Safeguarder’s work, actions or behaviour, then we want you to tell us about it. We want children, young people and families to feel comfortable with and confident in their Safeguarder, so when things have gone wrong, we want to address it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. 

Learn how to raise a concern here.