In 2004, a new multidisciplinary children’s services inspection team based in Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) started to undertake inspections of child protection services in all 32 local authorities in Scotland. The authorities were inspected against 18 quality indicators on a six point scale ranging from Level 6, ‘Excellent: Outstanding or Sector Leading’, to Level 1, ‘Major Weaknesses’. In 2007, the Scottish Government identified increasing the overall proportion of local authority areas receiving positive inspection reports as one of the 45 national indicators of success in achieving national outcomes identified within the newly introduced National Performance Framework. This literature review was commissioned in order to synthesise research evidence to improve child protection practice, and, in so doing, help local authorities meet the national indicator.
Terminology Where discussing those under twelve, or both those under twelve and those aged twelve to eighteen, we refer to ‘children’. Where the discussion is specifically about those aged twelve and over we refer to ‘young people’.