Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness
The Scottish Government is rerunning the 2016 CSEthesigns awareness raising campaign.
Launched on March 3, the campaign aims to raise awareness of what child sexual exploitation (CSE) is, improve public understanding and empower those with concerns to act upon them.
Due to restrictions related to the forthcoming Parliamentary Election, the campaign will end March 24.
The campaign aims to raise awareness among those aged 11 to 17 and their parents/carers of what constitutes CSE and where they can go for advice and support if they have concerns. It is part of a coordinated response from the Scottish Government, Police Scotland and Child Protection Committees Scotland to respond to increasing reports of online child sexual abuse and exploitation, as was recently highlighted by Police Scotland.
The CSEthesigns campaign also supports complimentary public messaging by Police Scotland and Child Protection Committees Scotland, which collectively seeks to:
* educate and inform parents and carers by offering advice on how to check and monitor their child's online activity and speak to their child about online safety;
* provide information to children and young people to better equip them in protecting themselves online (with partners and carers as the route to deliver this);
* change the behaviour of perpetrators who exploit children online with a campaign encouraging them to seek help; and
* inform the public of the action being taken by Police Scotland and Scottish Government, in partnership with others, of how the growing concern of online harm is being addressed.
Green Growth Accelerator & Recycling Improvement Fund
Leaders agreed to give the go-ahead for two new Scottish Government funding streams which will be dispersed with Local Government involvement. The Green Growth Accelerator aims to unlock £200 million of additional investment in infrastructure projects to support Scotland’s transition to an inclusive, net-zero emissions economy. We expect a pilot phase to commence very soon and Councils will be invited to submit Expressions of Interest. The assessment process is to be overseen jointly by Scottish Government and COSLA.
The Recycling Improvement Fund provides £70m over five years from the Scottish Government to support Local Authorities in improving their waste infrastructure, improve recycling, reduce waste volumes, reduce carbon emissions and transition to a zero waste society. COSLA has been working intensely with Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland, who will be the fund administrators, to ensure that there is equitable and fair access for Councils across Scotland.
Waiving Charges for Children’s Funerals
In 2018, the Scottish Government and COSLA agreed to remove all local authority burial and cremation charges for children. This commitment was to ensure that parents experiencing extremely difficult circumstances after the death of a child do not face additional financial challenges due to the cost of burial or cremation, which they are unlikely to have planned for.
As the agreement comes to an end on 31 March 2021, it has been agreed that the arrangement be extended for a further period of 3 years. In addition, following an evaluation of the existing agreement, the commitment to waive fees has also been widened to include waiver of fees for stillborn babies.
Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Citizen Panel Report
This survey was commissioned by the Scottish Government and Citizens’ Panel members were asked for their input into critical decisions on resuming and supporting service provision in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Results and conclusions were presented to the Scottish Government’s Mobilisation and Recovery Group and HIS will be presenting the key findings from the report at their monthly webinar on Wednesday, March 10 at 2pm alongside the ALLIANCE.
Further information about the webinar can be found here.
The Scottish Government’s ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’ COVID vaccine campaign is continuing.
More information, including on the vaccine’s side effects and around pregnancy and breastfeeding, is available on the NHS Inform website.
Business Gateway supports thousands of women led businesses every year and over 60% of the Business Gateway National Unit team are women. It was a privilege to celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8^th March with a showcase of a few of the women-led businesses Business Gateway’s has supported, a profile of the women in the team and the launch of the latest episode of the Connections podcast series, featuring co-founder of Ooni Darina Garland. The episode is available to listen to here.
Business Gateway strives to be more than a source of information, it also has the opportunity to be a source of inspiration. As well as providing all the useful resources businesses need, the team has continued to add the uplifting success stories of those who have benefitted from Business Gateway services in these challenging times. Recent case studies can be read here.
Trading Standards Scotland
Trading Standards Scotland is the national team for trading standards in Scotland and is part of COSLA.
In the latest edition of their Scam Share Bulletin they outline scams which have been reported by consumers across Scotland, including those related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
There is some very useful information for local communities, covering issues such as counterfeit baby carriers and fake job adverts.