Seeking parent’s permission

Investigations should be child centred.  In normal circumstances communication with children should occur to ensure that efforts are made to hear their views.

A parent’s permission should be sought to interview the child unless it is felt that this would place the child at risk of further abuse or jeopardise the investigation.

In some cases it may be appropriate to consider interviewing the child in the presence of an allegedly non-abusing parent, for example, when the parents insists on this being a condition of the child being interviewed.

In the event of both parents refusing to give permission for the child to be interviewed, and where there is an immediate risk to the safety of the child, the police can consider taking emergency child protection measures under Section61 (5) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. The social work department can consider making application for a child protection order. It may be appropriate to act swiftly to try to avoid the child being silenced by an alleged abusing adult.