Disabled children and young people
The definition of 'disabled children' includes children and young people with a range of impairments in their physical, emotional, developmental, learning, communication and health care needs. Disabled children are defined as a child in need under section 93(4) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.
Disabled children may be more vulnerable to abuse and there is a belief that it is significantly underreported. Particularly vulnerable are those children with communication or sensory impairments, behavioural disorders or learning disabilities. Research advises that abuse of disabled children is more likely to start at an earlier age and reflects a range of abuse types. Neglect is most frequently reported, followed by emotional abuse.
Further helpful information can be found in the following publications or on the links noted below.
- "Safeguarding Disabled Children: Practice Guidance, Department for Children Schools and Families, 2009.
- Capability Scotland is a third sector agency which provides education, employment opportunities and support for disabled people.
- K Stalker et al Child Protection And The Needs And Rights Of Disabled Children And Young People: A Scoping Study, University of Strathclyde, 2010.
- Scottish Good Practice Guidelines for Supporting Parents with Learning Disabilities
- National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (2014): Additional Notes for Practitioners Protecting Disabled Children from Abuse and Neglect.