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Clackmannanshire Council Online

Child Protection

Child Protection

Reports of online child sexual abuse and exploitation in Scotland increased by 21% in 2023-24, according to the latest police data. Three specific offences accounted for two-thirds of these reports:

  • Causing or coercing a child to see or hear sexual images/content
  • Communicating indecently with a child
  • Possessing or distributing indecent images of children

Police Scotland has created a new campaign, directing individuals to the Lucy Faithfull Foundation Stop It Now services for advice and support to prevent offending.

Child Protection Logo

The safety of our children is everyone's responsibility

Clackmannanshire Council is working in partnership with parents, families and communities in offering Child Protection and family support services to enhance the opportunities of all children and young people. 

We fully embrace the principles of The Promise, United Nations Convention of Rights of Children (UNCRC) and Getting It Right for Every Child in our practices, policies and procedures. We are trauma informed in our approach.

We aim to help as soon as we can to ensure children are safe, nurtured and healthy. We work directly with children, young people, parents and families, providing a range of family support services including:

  • advice and information
  • practical help

We have a legal duty to ensure that children are protected from abuse and neglect. Allegations and concerns relating to child abuse are investigated jointly by Social Services staff with Police Scotland.

Child abuse and neglect

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. Abuse or neglect may involve inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be maltreated at home, within a family or peer network, in care placements, institutions or community setting, and in the online and digital environment. Those responsible may be previously unknown or familiar, or in positions of trust. They may be family members. Children may be harmed pre-birth, for instance by domestic abuse of a mother or through parental alcohol and drug use.

Children can therefore be abused in different ways. They could be physically injured, sexually abused, emotionally abused or neglected.

Children who have been abused rarely tell, but there are signs which may make you worry that a child has been abused. The child may have unexplained bruising, or bruising in an unusual place, seem afraid, quiet or withdrawn, be afraid to go home, or seem hungry, tired or unkempt.

You may be concerned if a child is left alone or unsupervised, has too much responsibility for their age, is acting in a sexually inappropriate way or is misusing drugs or alcohol.

You may also see behaviour in an adult which makes you worry about any children they care for. For example, an adult may be acting violently or sexually towards a child, misusing drugs or alcohol while caring for a child or be verbally abusive towards a child.

Physical punishment and discipline of children is against the law.

In line with the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2019, all forms of physical punishment of children is against the law with children having the same legal protection from assault as adults. 

More information can be found on the Scottish Government's website including factsheets for adults and children.

Useful information is also available for parents and carers on the Parent Club website.

Who to contact if concerned that a child is being abused or is at risk of abuse

  • If you believe a child or young person is at immediate risk of harm, please call 999 and ask for the Police.
  • If you are concerned about a child, you can contact us to report child protection concerns or contact your health visitor, teacher, nursery worker, family doctor, social worker, police officer or children's reporter.

If you wish to remain anonymous when you report a case of suspected child abuse, you can. However, it is helpful if you give your contact details as there might be further information you could give. The family will not be given your details unless you agree.

Any information about you will be treated with care. Any details, including your name, will not be revealed unless the child's safety requires it. Even if you do not give your name, enquiries can still be made into the child's care and welfare. However, withholding your name may make it more difficult for those looking into these concerns. Any information you give may need to be shared with other professionals to ensure appropriate action is taken to protect the child.

What happens next

When you contact a professional about your concern that a child is being abused, unless the child is in immediate danger, they will make some initial enquiries before taking action. They will check whether the child is known to Services, such as Education, Health, Police and Social Service professionals.

All information will be treated seriously and acted upon. This may lead to immediate action or a more planned response.

Following enquiries professionals may, for example

  • take immediate action to secure the safety of the child
  • provide support, help or advice to the family
  • provide a service to the child or family (for example help with childcare)
  • refer to another agency
  • conduct criminal proceeding
  • record the concern but take no further action at this time

You will be advised of the process in the case of suspect child abuse, but the outcome of an investigation will remain confidential.

For Further Information Contact

Child Protection
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 225000 / 450000