Welcome to your Pan Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures Manual
The pan- Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Policies and Procedures Subgroup review chapters on a rotational basis. The website will be updated on an ‘as and when needed’ basis in response to the challenges to the safeguarding system presented by the COVID-19 crisis.
Government guidance may change over the coming days and weeks so please make sure you are kept informed and up to date with any new advice or guidance being produced, and adjust your ways of working as appropriate. We will update this page as more information is made available.
The three Safeguarding Partnerships recognise that the COVID-19 virus is putting increasing pressure on all services providing support to children, young people and their families. In this changing landscape safeguarding continues to be a priority. We urge all agencies to work together to safeguard and recognise that, whilst practice will need to change to reflect local circumstances and available resources, every area will be experiencing huge challenges.
As practitioners we need to consider how we can maintain appropriate contact with the children, young people and families we work with, provide support at this difficult time as well as maintain business as usual as much as possible. Each agency will have to consider how best to continue to safeguard children given the changing circumstances. For example, in many instances, social work visits and Child Protection Conferences won’t happen with the frequency specified in the Procedures.
A specific issue which has arisen is that of transfer-in conferences. The pan- Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Policies and Procedures Subgroup recommends that where families have moved out of the area, the originating Local Authority should continue to hold case responsibility for them. Few, if any, of the benefits derived from a transfer conference are likely to be realised, i.e. allocation of a new key worker, the establishment of a new professional safeguarding network. In our opinion, it is better for the keyworker that already knows the family to continue to be in contact with them. Local authorities will be relying heavily on phone contact to work with families and these arrangements can continue even where a family has moved out of the area. However, the originating Local Authority should continue to alert the Local Authority to which the family has moved (the host LA), that they are now resident in their area, and inform them that they will continue to work with the family. In discussion with the new authority, it might prove helpful to share information about the family.
If the risks escalate and a home visit is required the expectation should be that reciprocal arrangements are made with the host LA to request that a visit can take place. In the event of such a request, it may then be appropriate to transfer the case to the area where the family now resides.
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CHILD PROTECTION REFERRALS
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