Child Protection Info Line Launched

A one-stop-shop – designed to complement Scottish child protection services has been launched today. The 24-hour child protection information line will give people easy access to child protection services and allow them to share concerns about a child with the most appropriate local agency.

Throughout Scotland, people can call the confidential freephone number – 0800 022 3222 – to speak to a trained operator.  Depending on the nature of the call, the operator will either:

  • Transfer the caller to the most relevant agency, or
  • Provide details of who the caller should speak to next

Education Minister Hugh Henry said: “All children deserve the best possible start in life but too many find their young lives blighted by abuse or neglect. For those vulnerable youngsters, it’s vital that they get help as soon as possible. That means that we all have a duty to step in if we fear a child is in trouble. We must never assume that the authorities – police, social work or education – are already aware of the situation.

“However, we know there is often confusion about who to call or how to get help. This service will provide a single, nationwide access point, helping all of us to help vulnerable youngsters.”
The introduction of the information line follows a pilot in the North-east of Scotland in 2005 and delivers a commitment from the Children’s Charter to provide a nationwide, 24-hour child protection information service.

Inspector Peter Reilly, who is also the Grampian Police Child Protection Co-ordinator, said: “The pilot was extremely effective in raising awareness that it is everyone’s job to make sure that children are protected.  The lessons learned from the pilot have been invaluable in preparing for the wider national response and the roll out of the national Child Protection Line. The NESCPC welcomes the national launch as a means of reaching a wider audience, further raising awareness and so helping to protect our children and young people.”