; Child Protection - Youth Work Essentials

The information in this section introduces new volunteers to the regulatory framework for protecting young people. 

The following content describes good practice that should be adopted in developing relationships of trust with young people:

What is a Child Protection Policy?

A clear and concise child protection policy is a requirement for any organisation working with young people.

A child protection policy should include a clear statement about the group's commitment to safeguarding children and state how this is implemented in practice.

Some policies also make a reference to the relevant legislation, such as the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act, or agreements, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

A sample child protection policy and procedures can be viewed here.  

The regulatory framework for protecting children and young people

In 2011, the Scottish Government introduced a new membership scheme to replace and improve upon the previous disclosure arrangements for people who work with vulnerable groups.

The Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG Scheme) aims to:

  • Help ensure that those who have regular contact with children through paid and unpaid work do not have a known history of harmful behaviour.
  • Be quick and easy to use, reducing the need for PVG Scheme members to complete a detailed application form every time an update check is required.
  • Strike a balance between protection and regulation, and make it easier for employers to determine who they should check to protect their client group.

All new volunteers will have completed the PVG process appropriate to their role as a youth work volunteer.

Learning Outcomes

Volunteers who complete this section will:

  • Be committed to the protection of children and young people and support the procedures set out in the youth group’s child protection policy.
  • Be aware of good practice as a volunteer working in a position of trust with young people and be aware of how this relates to their own practice.
  •  Know how to respond to an incident covered by the child protection policy.

The induction portfolio

youth scotland