Scotland

Neglected children 'unnoticed' by officials - report

Teddy Image copyright Getty

Child protection officials have often missed signs neglect in cases where children have later died or come to serious harm, according to a report.

Twenty five Significant Case Reviews (SCRs), between 2015 and 2018, were considered by the Care Inspectorate.

Inspectors said Scottish agencies failed to respond adequately in some of the most serious cases.

Their report flagged a "recurring theme" of children remaining unnoticed in neglectful situations.

It said this was a factor in more than half of the SCRs reviewed.

Children seriously or fatally harmed

It continued: "As in our previous review of SCRs 2012-2015, neglect had not been sufficiently recognised or adequately responded to before risks escalated and children were seriously or fatally harmed.

"In almost all these cases, families were already known to services and were being supported on a non-statutory basis by a range of universal and statutory services."

Nine of the 25 SCRs they reviewed lacked focus on the child's experiences and perspective on their "wellbeing and safety", the report added.

Peter Macleod, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said it was "very difficult to eliminate all risk".

He added: "In the small number of cases where a child has come to harm, it is crucial that all agencies involved are fully committed to reviewing actions and decisions in each case, to learn any and all lessons that need to be learned."

Related Topics