Guardianship Scotland: National Child Trafficking Support Service

Guardianship Scotland: National Child Trafficking Support Service

Guardianship Scotland is a specialist statutory service providing Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTG) to all unaccompanied asylum seeking children, victims of trafficking and children vulnerable to trafficking who arrive in Scotland. We deliver this in partnership with Aberlour and Scottish Refugee Council on behalf of the Scottish Government and replaced the Scottish Guardianship Service on 1st April 2023.

Our Ukraine Children and Host Family Service, which operated from September 2022 to September 2023, has now come to and end. However, unaccompanied children from Ukraine can now be supported within our main Guardianship Scotland service.

Did you know?

Under s11 of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act 2015, all unaccompanied asylum seeking and trafficked children in Scotland are entitled to be referred to Guardianship Scotland. Scottish Local Authorities have a duty to refer Children and Young People as soon as reasonably practicable to the service.

Our Eligibility Criteria

We will accept referrals for any child or young person who is:

  • Under 18 years of age and
  • Separated from both parents and not being cared for by an adult who in law or by custom has responsibility to do so and
  • In the care of a Scottish Local Authority

*Unaccompanied children from Ukraine do not need to be in the care of a Scottish Local Authority to be eligible for support.

Young people remain eligible for support from Guardianship Scotland until three months after they have either been granted leave to remain or have received a conclusive grounds trafficking decision and are over 18.

How we help

Our Guardians help children and young people settle into a new life in Scotland. They help young people cope with being apart from their families in a strange, new country. This support can include:

  • Navigating the complex trafficking, asylum, welfare, criminal justice and age assessment processes
  • Ensuring decisions are taken in the best interests of the child
  • Building trusting relationships with young people and supporting them to make informed decisions about their future
  • Working collaboratively with other professionals to safeguard children
  • Upholding children’s rights by listening to them and acting as advocates on their behalf
  • Providing practical and emotional support

Any local authority or agency in Scotland can make a referral Guardianship Scotland

To refer a young person, fill out The Guardianship Scotland Referral Form to contact us please call 0141 445 8659 or email

Please Note: We cannot accept referrals from age-disputed young people until they are in the local authority’s care. However, we can provide advice and information to supporting agencies. As part of the service, we also offer the following:

  • Befriending Young Refugees
  • Mental health support through our Wellbeing Project
  • Participation Programme
Read our Scottish Guardianship Service 10th Anniversary Booklet

Guardianship Scotland is a statutory service that is contracted by the Scottish government and the sub-sections of the services (participation, mental health and befriending) are not provided by the government and funded by other means. Scottish Government Refugees and Asylum Seekers Policy – Unaccompanied Children


0141 445 8659
Scottish Guardianship Service, Scottish Refugee Council, 6th Floor, Portland House, 17 Renfield Street, Glasgow
G2 5AH
Guardianship Scotland, Aberlour and OISC logos
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