In this section,the focus is on ‘Child Protection Frameworks’ as set out in
The Children Scotland Act 1995
We seek to uphold
the protection of both
children and staff
Questions for local authorities
We address the following questions to:
Elected Councillors, Council Directors, Social Work, Child Protection Committee, Education Department, other Statutory Services and the 3rd Sector:
With reference to risk assessment, guidance and protocols, and ‘Child Protection Frameworks’ (The Children Scotland Act 1995) for the protection of children and staff – working safely with and supporting children under the age of 18 years experiencing distress linked to their biological sex, gender dysphoria, and identifying as trans or non-binary.
The following 10 questions are designed to be used in their entirety as a whole list that can be submitted - or can be used as several or individual questions - to raise a specific concern. These questions can also be used to form the basis of Freedom of Information Requests to local councils.
On 'Trans' Guidance
•Has the Council Education Department made teaching staff aware that Scottish Government school ‘trans’ guidance is not a legal requirement? This means that local authorities or individual teaching staff could be held liable should any parent raise court action against a school for socially transitioning a child without parental knowledge or consent?
•If a child has socially transitioned without parental knowledge; how are any identified risks communicated to parents if key information about a child’s wellbeing or safety is being withheld by school staff or other professionals? How are schools and staff being advised and supported on the specific issue of legal accountability?
•What training and / or qualifications do teachers have that enable them to safely make what can be considered a ‘therapeutic intervention’ of affirming a child experiencing gender distress or expressing gender dysphoria?
•It is reported that affirmation is a ‘life saving’ intervention. How is this identified, and how are any risks reflected within the Social Work Child Protection framework, and documented and reported accordingly?
Names & Pronouns
•If social transitioning (the change of name/pronouns), is occurring without parental knowledge or consent, how is this being recorded and documented in school settings, and what protocols and frameworks are being followed by school staff? Is the local authority collating this information across the locality to inform strategic policy and guidance for statutory services?
Evidence & Protocols
•What evidence-based frameworks and practice protocols are used by statutory services - Social Work, Education, and Health - to assess risk in adopting an affirmative or a non-affirmative approach?
•Where an affirmative model of response is being utilised, is this a ‘blanket approach’ across all local authority settings – or is this implemented on a ‘case by case’ individual basis? What is the rationale for decision-making and how are these interventions analysed and evaluated?
Staff Guidance & Qualifications
•What guidance has been given to school staff in relation to pupils who may be socially transitioning? Is this information shared with parents to mitigate safeguarding risks? And what qualifications do school staff have, in order to undertake the psychological intervention of social transition, given that they are not mental health clinicians?
•How is social contagion amongst pupils identifying as trans or non-binary identified and mitigated? There is clear evidence that supports a social contagion element, particularly amongst teen girls - who are susceptible to this.
Policy on CPD?
•What is the local authority policy on CPD being delivered by lobbying or activist organisations? How has this been communicated to parents and has parental consent been sought?
What social workers say
Comments taken with permission from signatories to our petition to the Scottish Government
Social work as a profession is founded on critical analysis, which is largely absent in this area. We are failing children on a drastic scale with current policy and practice and I urge ministers to consider the actions detailed above as urgently need
Social Work Educator
Evidence from multiple studies, including the Cass Review, demonstrates the harmful effects of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgery to remove the healthy body parts of young people. Gender ideology denies biological reality and promotes misogynistic and homophobic attitudes and behaviours. Professionals uncritically promoting and encouraging an ‘affirmative treatment’ model for young people are ignoring evidenced-based practice and disregarding their safeguarding responsibilities
Retired social worker
Time to write to all members of Health and Social Care Partnerships and Chief Social Work Officers to ask what they are doing to protect and safeguard children who are being groomed by gender ideologues.