The Multi-Agency Resource Service (MARS) and the Scottish Child Care and Protection Network (SCCPN) have recently joined forces and renamed themselves WithScotland. The merging of the two organisations has led to the development of a new website - a national resource for the benefit of everyone in Scotland involved in protecting children.
WithScotland information is provided for two distinct groups: public and professionals. The public information section offers guidance to those who may be worried about a child, and provides links to the NSPCC, Child Line and Parent Line services, as well as a list of local councils in Scotland that can be contacted in the event that the safety of a child is in question. This section of the website also provides information for children and young people on how to keep safe and have a better understanding of the various ways that they can be hurt, and includes links to games, quizzes and other useful websites. Information about organisations and initiatives of interest to the child and adult protection community is also brought together in the Connections area, and there are a number of downloadable reports and guidance on child protection issues.
As well as offering a research library of resources that can be searched or browsed, the professional information is sorted into three categories: Connecting, Exchanging and Protecting. The Connecting section lists all recent and archived news from across Scotland on child protection topics. This includes WithScotland's quarterly newsletter. The Exchanging section contains a series of briefing papers, and the promotion of WithScotland's communities of practice, which are made available to frontline practitioners, middle or senior managers and local policy makers who need advice and support when addressing particular issues. The Protecting area is split into children and adults and includes committees information on both.