Working with Children and Vulnerable Adults Introduction

Working with Children and Vulnerable Adults

Every individual in Scotland – whatever their age -  has the right to be cared for, protected from harm and to live in a safe environment in which their rights and needs are respected. 

Some people are more vulnerable than others, and in these cases there are laws which enforce their rights and place a statutory duty on organisations to ensure that they are protected.


A child is usually defined as an individual under the age of 18. 

In Scotland, the responsibility to protect children extends to everyone. We all should be aware of our responsibility to ensure that children are effectively safeguarded from abuse, to promote the welfare of children and to report suspected child abuse to the relevant authorities.  This includes your community group.

Vulnerable Adults

Most of us will at some point in our adult lives be considered  ‘vulnerable’ and therefore have  legal rights to be protected. The definition of a ‘protected adult’ under Section 94 of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act covers:-

  • any individual aged 16 or over who is in receipt of one or more type of care, health, community care or welfare service

The Scottish Government's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme implements the provisions outlined in the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007, strengthening protection for children and other vulnerable people in Scotland.

The information in this section has been reviewed by the Central Registered Body in Scotland (CRBS).