Information for Parents

Family is important.

One of the essential principles behind the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 is that, so far as is consistent with safeguarding and promoting the child’s welfare, the local authority must promote the upbringing of children by their families. This includes extended families.

A small, but significant, number of families are not safe places for children. Some families can be helped to sustain a safe home for children. Some refuse or are unable to make use of help.

Many families who experience difficulties are able to resolve them with help from the extended family, their friends and in some cases with help from professionals. There remains a minority of parents who, for whatever reason, are unable or unwilling to make use of help and whose children continue to be abused and/or neglected.

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights states that:

1) Every one has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
2) There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic wellbeing of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

It isn't always easy being a parent. Contrary to popular belief, child protection seldom involves taking children away from their families on a permanent basis. Before compulsory measures are considered, every effort is made to work with parents to help them to become better parents and to reduce risk of serious harm to their children.

Even where it is not considered safe to leave a child with its parents, every effort is made to find someone in the wider family who is willing to look after the child.

Taking a child into Local Authority care, or putting a child up for adoption, is only done when all other attempts to protect the child within its family have failed.

Who is a Parent?

Your Rights as a Parent.

Being a Good Parent

Tips for Keeping Your Children Safe:

It is a sad fact that the majority of child abuse is carried out by people that children know rather than by strangers. These include parents and other family members as well as people who have become close friends of the family. Children seldom lie about being abused. If your child tells you that someone you love or trust has been abusing them ask the police to investigate. From January 2011 you will also be able to ask the police whether they hold any information that indicates that someone who has regular contact with your children, e.g. a new partner, is a known danger to children.

Living with domestic abuse can traumatise children and about a third of children living with violence are also abused, either deliberately or accidentally. There are things that you can do to reduce this risk.

Schools regularly offer parents the opportunity to attend sessions explaining the work that they do with children around keeping themselves safe. It is important that parents know what they can do to reinforce these messages. Two particular projects are worth noting:

Safe Strong and Free

Highland e-safety

Information disclosure about child sex offenders

Preventing abuse among children and young people

What we all need to know to protect our children

You may also find it useful to browse the Information for Children section of this website.

Help when things go wrong:

Most parents want to protect their children. Sometimes things get out of control and you may feel unable to ensure your child's safety. The links below may help you to access advice and support for a range of situations:

116000 European hotline for missing children

For those who need help with Parenting issues

For Victims of Domestic Abuse

For Victims of Ritual or Organised abuse

For those who need help Managing Anger

For those with Drug or Alcohol problems 

Help for Drug/Alcohol using parents of Newborns and Toddlers

For those with Mental Health problems

For information on Forced Marriage and Honour Crime

For paedophiles who want help

Witnesses in Scotland website link:

For men who are victims of Domestic Abuse

For Men affected by Abuse in Childhood

For Grandparents who look after grandchildren

Information about Advocacy services and how they can help you
Further information: