A wide-ranging review of guidance on child protection practices across Scotland – to help ensure stringent safeguards are maintained – was launched today.

The move comes as a cycle of robust inspections into all of Scotland’s multi-agency Child Protection Committees, which have undergone a major three year reform programme, is about to be completed.

Children’s Minister Adam Ingram said that, with this comprehensive programme beginning to draw to a close, the time was now right to undertake the review of guidance to child protection practitioners.

 A Child Protection Committee is a multi-agency forum which oversees child protection arrangements in a local authority area. It normally includes representation from social work, police, health, education and voluntary organisations. Its functions include strategic planning of child protection services, continuous improvement, and public awareness.

I thnk we all  would agree on the importance of protecting young people. East Lothian has a remarkable record of promoting Internet safety (recently winning a Becta award for this) and we are all very conscious of the need to ensure that children understand potential hazards of sharing personal information.

How shocking, then, was it to see  Channel 4’s news last night. No care was taken to protect some children’s identity. The report on the conviction of a parent who had kidnapped her child gave names and addresses of several children – and did not even take the basic precaution of hiding their faces. Extraordinary.