Top

Search

Results for:

1.1 Introduction

Relationship of Policy, Procedures and Guidance - Procedures indicate what must or may be done in specified circumstances and define the limits of professional discretion.

1.1 Introduction

Relationship of Policy, Procedures and Guidance - For staff in those agencies that formally adopt them, these procedures havethe status of instructions and any inability or failure to comply with them should be accompanied by a brief explanation.

1.1 Introduction

Relationship of Policy, Procedures and Guidance - In order to maintain the strategic advantage of a Sussex approach, any such supplementary policies should be consistent with those in this manual.

1.1 Introduction

Relationship of Policy, Procedures and Guidance - If necessary, agencies may develop supplementary 'internal' policies which represent higher standards or which reflect an agency-specific contribution to child protection.

1.1 Introduction

Relationship of Policy, Procedures and Guidance - Policy statements set out:

1.1 Introduction

Relationship of Policy, Procedures and Guidance - Any supplementary internal procedures developed by agencies should also refer to, and comply with these procedures.

1.1 Introduction

Relationship of Policy, Procedures and Guidance - It is anticipated that these procedures will also inform and support effective collaboration with the large number of non-statutory agencies and organisations and individual professionals whose contributions also assist in safeguarding children in Sussex.

1.1 Introduction

Relevant Staff - Where LSCB agencies commission services from private or voluntary organisations, they should seek to make compliance with this document a contractual requirement.

1.1 Introduction

Relevant Staff - The contents of this manual are for application by those working, whether paid or unpaid, in LSCB member agencies and in private or voluntary sector organisations with responsibilities for children living or present in the LSCB area.

1.1 Introduction

Relationship of Policy, Procedures and Guidance - This manual has included guidance only to the extent that it is required to understand a procedure and facilitate day-to-day practice.

1.1 Introduction

Relationship of Policy, Procedures and Guidance - Guidance provides contextual information or addresses the question of 'why' specified actions may be required.

1.1 Introduction

Context - The development of the procedures manual is one of the core functions of the LSCB in its role to coordinate local work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

1.1 Introduction

Preface - It is important that all members of the community understand that Child Protection is a concern for everyone and that effectiveness of professional agencies will depend on the awareness and support of the public. If any member of the public is concerned that a child or young person may be

1.1 Introduction

Preface - All children should be safe and able to develop to their full potential. The protection of vulnerable children is vital and child protection procedures must be effective and work consistently across organisational boundaries.

1.1 Introduction

Preface - The responsibility for safeguarding children belongs to everyone. Children will only be safe if families, communities and professionals work together to promote their welfare.

1.1 Introduction

Relevant Staff

1.1 Introduction

Relationship of Policy, Procedures and Guidance

1.1 Introduction

Context - The procedures encourage close working between agencies to facilitate early intervention in a supportive way to meet the needs of children and their families.

1.1 Introduction

Relationship of Policy, Procedures and Guidance - The Policy Framework chapters within which all procedures should be read are set out in Section 1 of the Manual. All users should be familiar with these chapters before accessing other Parts of the Manual.

1.1 Introduction

Preface - Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) have commissioned the policies and procedures in this manual, which reflects a significant consensus about best practice across the 3 LSCBs, and all those agencies in Sussex that contribute to the pre

1.1 Introduction

Preface - The Pan Sussex Procedures Sub-Group will continue to keep these procedures under review to take account of changes in legislation, government policy, research findings and professional experience.

1.1 Introduction

Context - The manual complies with current legislation together with other government statutory guidance and expectations, and reflects accepted best practice. Further development is required with regards to Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.

1.1 Introduction

Relationship of Policy, Procedures and Guidance - The inter-relationship of law, policy, guidance and procedures is represented diagrammatically below.

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Safeguarding and Promoting Children's Welfare - Protecting children from maltreatment is important in preventing the impairment of health or development. Protecting children from maltreatment and preventing impairment of children's health or development are necessary, but not sufficient to ensure that children are growing up in circumst

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Principles Underpinning all Work to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children - The Local Safeguarding Children Boards and all managers, employees, professionals, volunteers, carers, independent contractors and service providers must ensure that their practice reflects an approach which is: Child-centredThe child should be seen (alone when appropriate) by the Lead Soc

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Shared Beliefs - Practitioners should be aware that to facilitate social inclusion and equality of potential outcome, they should take all reasonable steps to support parents and children who have experienced racism and other forms of prejudice. This stance needs to be incorporated into planning, deliverin

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Shared Beliefs - During enquiries, the involvement and support of those who have parental responsibility for, or regular care of a child, should be encouraged and facilitated, unless doing so compromises that enquiry or the child's immediate or long term welfare.

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Working in Partnership with Children and Families - Work in partnership with families must be based on the following principles: Treat all family members with dignity and respect and offer a caring and courteous service; Enable all family members to participate in the assessment process, regardless of race, culture, religion, gender, sexual

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Case Recording - The following is intended to ensure the security of children's case records and the integrity of the information that they contain.

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Case Recording - Good quality case recording is essential in ensuring: Continuity of service to children and families when staff are unavailable or change, or when a service resumes after a period of time; Effective risk management practices to safeguard the well-being of children, especially in emergency

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Shared Beliefs - The wishes and feelings of children are vital elements in assessing risk and formulating protection plans, and must always be sought and given weight according to the level of understanding of the child.

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Shared Beliefs - Statements about, or allegations of abuse, or neglect made by children, must always be taken seriously.

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Child Protection - Effective child protection is essential as part of wider work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. However, all agencies and individuals should aim pro actively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children so that the need for action to protect children from harm is reduce

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Safeguarding and Promoting Children's Welfare - and undertaking that role so as to enable those children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Shared Beliefs - The needs of the child are paramount and should underpin all child protection work and resolve any conflict of interests.

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Shared Beliefs - All children deserve the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Shared Beliefs - Responsibility for the protection of children must be shared because children are safeguarded only when all relevant agencies and individuals accept responsibility and co-operate with one another.

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Shared Beliefs - All children have the right to be safeguarded from harm and exploitation whatever their: Race, religion, first language or ethnicity; Gender or sexuality; Age; Health or disability; Location or placement; Any criminal behaviour; Political or immigration status.

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Safeguarding and Promoting Children's Welfare - Throughout this manual, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as: Protecting children from maltreatment; Preventing impairment of children's health or development; Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effec

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Child Protection - Child protection is part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering or at risk of suffering Significant Harm.

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Working in Partnership with Children and Families

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Principles Underpinning all Work to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children

1.2 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values

Safeguarding and Promoting Children's Welfare

1.3 Early Help Plan

Case Recording - See also "The Common Assessment Framework for children and young people: Practitioners' Guide", 2006, and "The Common Assessment Framework for children and young people: Managers' Guide", 2006, which can be found at the Department for Education website.

1.3 Early Help Plan

Case Recording - The Early Help Plan is a nationally standardised approach to conducting an assessment of the needs of a child or young person and deciding how those needs should be met.

1.3 Early Help Plan

Case Recording - The Early Help Plan is not for when there is concern that a child may have been harmed or may be at risk of Significant Harm. In these circumstances the procedures set out in Section 3, Recognition and Referral of Abuse and Neglect must be followed.

1.3 Early Help Plan

Case Recording - For the local Early Help Plan procedures for each LSCB please go to: Brighton and Hove LSCB; East Sussex LSCB; West Sussex LSCB.

1.3 Early Help Plan

Case Recording - The Early Help Plan is not for when there is concern that a child may have been harmed or may be at risk of Significant Harm. In these circumstances the procedures set out in Section 3, Recognition and Referral of Abuse and Neglect must be followed.

1.3 Early Help Plan

Case Recording - Use of the Early Help Plan should not delay a referral to Children's Social Care if there are concerns that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer Significant Harm. If a Early Help Plan has already been completed, or is in progress, when the concerns are recognised, this can be used t

1.4 Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families

Click here to view Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families 

1.5 Thresholds

The Concept of Significant Harm - The documents for each area are listed below: East Sussex Child protection contacts West Sussex Integrated tools Brighton and Hove Brighton & Hove Inter-Agency Threshold Criteria for Children in Need 

1.6 Early Help

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - The Early Help documents for each area are listed below: Click on the relevant local authority to access the document: East Sussex East Sussex Guide to Early Help; East Sussex Continuum of Need; East Sussex The Continuum of Need - Information and Guidance For Services Providing Early Help;

1.6 Early Help

AMENDMENT In March 2015, information was added with regards to Early Help in Brighton and Hove and West Sussex.

1.7 Statutory Framework for Child Protection

Click here to view Appendix B: Statutory Framework (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015) 

1.8 Terminology

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - A glossary of terms which have a technical significance or for which abbreviations have been used in the text, is provided in the Keywords & Contacts resource.

1.8 Terminology

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - To facilitate understanding of the procedures, users should note that the following social work related terms are used throughout the text: Child to refer to anyone under 18 years old; Children's social care refers to the functional division within what have traditionally been termed socia

1.8 Terminology

Confidentiality and Consent

2.1 Introduction

Further Reading - Staff in adults' services are aware that problems faced by those with responsibilities as parents are often likely to affect children and other family members. However this information is not always shared and opportunities to put preventative support in place for the children and the fami

2.1 Introduction

Further Reading - Practitioners are sometimes uncertain about when they can share information lawfully. It is important therefore that they: Understand and apply good practice in sharing information at an early stage as part of preventative work; Understand what information is and is not confidential, and t

2.1 Introduction

Further Reading - Where a practitioner has concerns that a child may be at risk of Significant Harm, it may be possible to justify sharing information without consent; the circumstances in which this can happen are set out in the following sections of this chapter.

2.1 Introduction

SCOPE OF THIS SECTION This section takes account of Information Sharing: Guidance for practitioners and managers published in October 2008. There are other guidance documents, including a pocket guide, case examples and training materials which can also be accessed from this page of the 

2.1 Introduction

Further Reading - There is a positive duty under the Human Rights Act 1998 to protect life (Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights) and to protect others from inhuman and degrading treatment (Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights). All public authorities must ensure that everyth

2.1 Introduction

Further Reading - Sharing information is vital for early intervention to ensure that children with additional needs receive the services they require. It is also essential to protect children from suffering Significant Harm.

2.1 Introduction

Further Reading

2.2 Information Sharing

The Concept of Information Sharing - Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 states that: “Effective sharing of information between professionals and local agencies is essential for effective identification, assessment and service provision. Early sharing of information is the key to providing effective early help where

2.2 Information Sharing

Key Points for Workers when Sharing Information - The general principle is that information will only be shared with the consent of the subject of the information. Sharing confidential information without consent will normally be justified in the public interest in the circumstances shown in Section 4, Confidentiality and Consent. The Se

2.2 Information Sharing

RELATED GUIDANCE Information sharing: advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services (March 2015)  This chapter was added to the manual in September 2015.

2.2 Information Sharing

National Guidance on Sharing Information - Working Together 2015 states that: “… all organisations should have arrangements in place which set out clearly the processes and the principles for sharing information between each other, with other professionals and with the LSCB; and no professional should assume that someone else w

2.2 Information Sharing

Introduction - Effective information-sharing underpins integrated working and is a vital element of both early intervention and safeguarding. Research and experience have shown repeatedly that keeping children safe from harm requires professionals and others to share information: About a child's health a

2.2 Information Sharing

Confidentiality and Consent - Information sharing: advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services (March 2015)states that: Wherever possible, you should seek consent or be open and honest with the individual (and/or their family, where appropriate) from the outset as to why, what, how and with whom, their inf

2.3 Caldicott Guardian

Risk Indicators - The Caldicott Guardian is not there to prevent information sharing between health and social care organisations, but is there to make sure that this is done in a way which safeguards people's rights to privacy and confidentiality, and in accordance with data protection principles.

2.3 Caldicott Guardian

National Guidance on Sharing Information

2.3 Caldicott Guardian

Risk Indicators - The six Caldicott principles are: Justify the purpose of every proposed use or transfer; Don't do it unless it is absolutely necessary; Use the minimum necessary; Access to the information should be on a strict need to know basis; Everyone with access to it should be aware of their respons

2.3 Caldicott Guardian

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - Caldicott Guardians were introduced in 1997 following concerns about the use of patient identifiable information in health agencies. In particular, the government felt that despite the introduction of the Data Protection Act in 1984, patient information was not sufficiently secure. Caldico

2.3 Caldicott Guardian

Risk Indicators - A Caldicott Guardian is therefore appointed in each NHS or social care organisation and has specific responsibilities to oversee information sharing in the organisation in relation to patient and service user identifiable information - to ensure that it takes place in accordance with the d

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - Bruises are difficult to age accurately because they change colour at differing rates.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Neglect - Where there are any concerns about the neglect of a child in a household, consideration must be given to the possibility that other children in the household may also be at risk of neglect or abuse.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - Bite marks can leave clear impressions of the teeth. Human bite marks are oval or crescent shaped. Those over 3cm in diameter are more likely to have been caused by an adult or older child.te treatment or adequate explanation.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Risk Indicators - It should be recognised that those who pose a risk to children often will not be honest with others. Staff should be mindful of this. Of particular note are carers who present a risk due to either fabricating or inducing illnesses within the children they are responsible for - see Fabricat

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Risk Indicators - The factors described in this section are frequently found in cases of child abuse. Their presence is not proof that abuse has occurred, but: Must be regarded as indicators of possible Significant Harm; Must prompt the professional to seek further information; Justify the need for careful

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance misuse. Once the child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: Provide adequate food and clothing, shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); Protect a child from physical and emotional har

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health and development.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Neglect - Indicators in the Care Provided Failure by parents or carers to meet basic essential needs e.g. adequate food, clothes, warmth, hygiene, sleep; Failure by parents or carers to meet the child's health and medical needs e.g. poor dental health, failure to attend or keep appointments with hea

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Risk Indicators - In an abusive relationship the child may: Appear frightened of the parent(s); Act in a way that is inappropriate to her/his age and development  (though full account needs to be taken of different patterns of development and different ethnic groups). The parent or carer may: Persistently

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Risk Indicators - Consideration must be given to the impact on the care of the child of any issues / problems affecting the parents e.g. substance misuse, mental health problems, learning disabilities, childhood experiences of severe neglect.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - Further useful information can be found on the Core Info website, about a series of systematic reviews defining the evidence base for the recognition and investigation of physical child abuse and neglect. The following are often regarded as indicators of concern: An explanation which is in

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - This section provides information about the sites and characteristics of physical injuries that may be observed in abused children. It is intended primarily to assist staff in the recognition of bruises, burns and bites which should be referred to Children's Social Care and / or require me

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Risk Indicators - Staff should be aware of the potential risk to children when individuals, previously known or suspected to have abused children, move into or have substantial access in the household (see Risk Management of Known Offenders and Those who Pose a Risk).

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - Children can have accidental bruising, but the following must be considered as highly suspicious of a non-accidental injury unless there is an adequate explanation provided and experienced medical opinion sought: Any bruising or other soft tissue injury to a pre-crawling or pre-walking inf

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - Caution must be used when interpreting an explanation by parents/carers that an injury or series of injuries was self-inflicted or caused by a sibling. This is especially important in young or disabled children not able to offer a reliable explanation themselves.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Sexual Abuse - Boys and girls of all ages may be sexually abused and are frequently scared to say anything due to guilt and/or fear. This is particularly difficult for a child to talk about and full account should be taken of the cultural sensitivities of any individual child / family.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - There are grounds for concern if: The history provided is vague, non-existent or inconsistent with the fracture type; There are multiple fractures or old fractures (in the absence of major trauma, birth injury or underlying bone disease); Medical attention is sought after a period of delay

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Emotional Abuse - Recognition of Emotional Abuse is usually based on observations over time and the following offer some associated indicators: Parent / Carer and Child Relationship Factors Abnormal attachment between a child and parent / carer e.g. anxious, indiscriminate or failure to attach; Persistent n

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - In suspected cases it is essential that an opthalmological examination and skeletal survey are carried out.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Emotional Abuse - Indicators of Emotional Abuse are also often associated with other forms of abuse.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Sexual Abuse - Recognition can be difficult, unless the child discloses and is believed. There may be no physical signs and indications are likely to be emotional / behavioural.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Sexual Abuse - Evidence of neglect is built up over a period of time and can cover different aspects of parenting.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - A large number of scars or scars of different sizes or ages, or on different parts of the body, may suggest abuse.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Sexual Abuse - Physical Indicators Pain or itching of genital area; Vaginal discharge; Sexually transmitted infections; Blood on underclothes; Pregnancy; Physical symptoms e.g. injuries to genital or anal area, bruising to buttocks, abdomen and thighs, sexually transmitted infection, presence of semen on

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Sexual Abuse - Behavioural Indicators Inappropriate sexualised conduct; Sexually explicit behaviour, play or conversation, inappropriate to the child's age; Continual and inappropriate or excessive masturbation; Self-harm (including eating disorder), self-mutilation and suicide attempts; Involvement in p

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Sexual Abuse - Where there are any concerns about the neglect of a child in a household, consideration must be given to the possibility that other children in the household may also be at risk of neglect or abuse.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - Non-mobile children rarely sustain fractures.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - Fractures may cause pain, swelling and discolouration over a bone or joint.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Emotional Abuse - Emotional Abuse may be difficult to recognise, as the signs are usually behavioural rather than physical.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - In these circumstances a referral to Children's Social Care should be made in accordance with the Making a Referral Procedure 

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - Due consideration must be given to the possibility that the injury may: Be non-accidental, particularly if the explanation appears discrepant for the nature of the injury; Possibly have occurred in circumstances where neglect is a consideration.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Neglect - Evidence of neglect is built up over a period of time and can cover different aspects of parenting.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Neglect - Obesity Obesity in children is an increasingly common problem in the general population and differentiating when there is a Safeguarding issue can be difficult and complex. Neglect can result in poor supervision of food intake, or an inappropriate diet being offered to the child with resu

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - Shaking a baby often results in no visible injury. Nevertheless, significant internal injuries may be caused, e.g. intra-cranial bleeding, brain injury, small fractures to the ends of the long bones, other fractures (such as ribs and neck) and retinal haemorrhages. Signs and symptoms can b

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - Scalds to the buttocks of a small child, particularly in the absence of burns to the feet, are indicative of dipping into a hot liquid or bath.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - It can be difficult to distinguish between accidental and non- accidental burns and scalds, and will always require experienced medical opinion. Any burn with a clear outline may be suspicious e.g: Circular burns from cigarettes are characteristically punched out lesions 0.6 - 0.7 cm in di

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - A medical opinion from a forensic dentist / odontologist should be sought where there is any doubt over the origin of the bite.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Neglect - Child Related Indicators An unkempt, inadequately clothed, dirty or smelly child; A child who is perceived to be frequently hungry; A child who is observed to be listless, apathetic and unresponsive with no apparent medical cause; displaying anxious attachment; aggression or indiscriminate

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse - The infant can present with: Lethargy; Poor feeding; Vomiting; Stops in breathing; Pallor; Variable consciousness; Irritability; Convulsions.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - Severe neglect of young children is associated with major impairment of growth and intellectual development. Persistent neglect can lead to serious impairment of health and development, long-term difficulties with social functioning, relationships and educational progress. Neglect can also

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Sexual Abuse

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Emotional Abuse

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Recognising Physical Abuse

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

The Concept of Significant Harm - Section 47 of the Act requires that if a local authority has 'reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives or is found in their area is suffering or is likely to suffer Significant Harm,  the authority shall make, or cause to be made, such enquiries as they consider necessary…'

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

The Concept of Significant Harm - In Section 31 Children Act 1989 as amended by the Adoption and Children Act 2002: 'Harm' means ill treatment, or the impairment of health or development, including, for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another; 'Development' means physical, intellect

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may cause or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family, or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely by a stranger. They m

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 includes definitions of the four broad categories of abuse which are used for the purposes of recognition: Physical Abuse; Emotional Abuse; Sexual Abuse; and Neglect.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - In law children under 16 years of age cannot consent to any sexual activity occurring, although in practice young people may be involved in sexual contact to which, as individuals, they may have agreed.  Children under 13 years cannot in law under any circumstances consent to sexual activ

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - These categories overlap and an abused child does frequently suffer more than one type of abuse. This chapter provides definitions of these categories and information to help identify potential abuse and neglect and the required response.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetration (for example r

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

The Concept of Significant Harm

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - The Sexual Offences Act 2003 introduced a range of new sexual offences designed to address all inappropriate activity with children.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - Child Sexual Abuse includes: Rape, vaginal, anal or oral penetration committed by a male on a female or male without consent (this is the only sexual offence that can be committed exclusively by a man, as the penetration must be by a penis); Sexual assault by penetration: penetration of th

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - Some level of Emotional Abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - These may include interactions that are beyond the child's developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It m

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - It may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child. This unusual and potentially dangerous form of abuse is described as fabricated or induced illness in a child (see Fabricated or Induced Illness Procedure). See also Recogn

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - Emotional abuse involves the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development.

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

Categories of Abuse and Neglect - It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or 'making fun' of what they say or ho

3.1 Recognition of Abuse and Neglect

The Concept of Significant Harm - The Children Act 1989 provides the legal framework for defining the situations in which a local authority has a duty to make enquiries about what, if any, action to take to safeguard or promote a child's welfare.

3.2 Making a Referral

Parental Consultation - A decision by any professional not to seek parental consent before making a referral to Children's Social Care must be recorded and the reasons given.

3.2 Making a Referral

Parental Consultation - Referrals from named professionals cannot be treated as anonymous, so the parent will ultimately become aware of the identity of the agency making the referral.

3.2 Making a Referral

Parental Consultation - For further guidance, see Information Sharing and Confidentiality 

3.2 Making a Referral

Listening to the Child - Regardless of a child's expressed view, it remains the responsibility of the professional to take whatever action is required to ensure her/his safety and that of any other children

3.2 Making a Referral

Listening to the Child - Responsibility for making enquiries and investigating allegations rests with Children's Social Care and the Safeguarding Investigations Unit, along with other relevant agencies.

3.2 Making a Referral

Urgent Medical Attention - Except in cases where emergency treatment is needed, Children's Social Care and the Safeguarding Investigations Unit are responsible for ensuring that any paediatric assessment or medical treatment required as part of a Section 47 Enquiry are initiated (see Section 47 Enquiries Procedure,

3.2 Making a Referral

Urgent Medical Attention - If the child is suffering from a serious injury, medical attention must be sought immediately from Accident and Emergency (A&E). In these circumstances, Children's Social Care and the duty consultant paediatrician must be informed.

3.2 Making a Referral

Listening to the Child - Where abuse is alleged, the initial response should be limited to listening carefully to what the child says in order to: Clarify the concerns; Offer reassurance about how (s)he will be kept safe; and Explain what action will be taken.

3.2 Making a Referral

Listening to the Child - The child must not be pressed for information, led or cross-examined, or given false assurances of absolute confidentiality.  Such well-intentioned actions could prejudice police investigations, especially in cases of Sexual Abuse.

3.2 Making a Referral

Parental Consultation - Where the parent refuses to give consent for the referral, further advice should, unless this would cause undue delay, be sought from a manager or the nominated child protection officer and the outcome fully recorded.

3.2 Making a Referral

Listening to the Child - If the child is thought to be able to understand the significance and consequences of making a referral to Children's Social Care, (s)he should be asked her/his view.

3.2 Making a Referral

Parental Consultation - Where practicable, concerns should be discussed with the family and agreement sought for a referral to Children's Social Care unless this may: Place the child at risk of Significant Harm e.g. by the behavioural response it prompts (e.g. where fabricated or induced illness is suspected) or

3.2 Making a Referral

Making a Referral to Children's Social Care - Professionals - If there is no acknowledgement by Children's Social Care of the referral within a further 24 hours, the professional should contact Children's Social Care to establish the current status of the referral.

3.2 Making a Referral

Referrals by Members of the Public - The NSPCC help line offers an alternative means of reporting concerns

3.2 Making a Referral

Referrals by Members of the Public - In urgent situations outside office hours, the member of the public should contact the relevant Emergency Duty Service/Out of Hours Team (See Local Contact Details).

3.2 Making a Referral

Referrals by Members of the Public - When members of the public are concerned about the welfare of a child or an unborn baby, they should contact the local Children's Social Care of the area in which the child lives / is found or, in the case of an unborn baby, where the mother lives (seeLocal Contact Details).

3.2 Making a Referral

Referrals by Members of the Public - Individuals may prefer not to give their name to Children's Social Care or the NSPCC. Anonymous referrals by members of the public will be investigated thoroughly by Children's Social Care.

3.2 Making a Referral

Referrals by Members of the Public - Alternatively the member of the public making the referral may disclose their identity, but not wish for it to be revealed to the parents / carers of the child concerned.

3.2 Making a Referral

Referrals by Members of the Public - All referrers will have an opportunity to discuss their concerns with a qualified social worker.

3.2 Making a Referral

Referrals by Members of the Public - Local publicity material should make the above position clear to potential referrers.

3.2 Making a Referral

Referrals by Members of the Public - Wherever possible, staff should respect the referrer's request for anonymity. There are however, certain limited circumstances in which the identity of a referrer may have to be given i.e. the court arena.

3.2 Making a Referral

Making a Referral to Children's Social Care - Professionals - The referrer should keep a written record of: Discussions with child; Discussions with parent; Discussions with managers; Information provided to Children's Social Care; Decisions taken (clearly timed, dated and signed).

3.2 Making a Referral

Ensuring the Child's Immediate Safety - See also the sub-section Immediate Protective Action in the Action on Receipt of Referrals Procedure 

3.2 Making a Referral

Making a Referral to Children's Social Care - Professionals - If the child is known to have an allocated social worker, referrals should be made to her/him or in her/his absence the manager or a duty officer in the relevant social work team. Where this is considered to be a child protection referral the referrer should follow this up in writing and C

3.2 Making a Referral

Making a Referral to Children's Social Care - Professionals - In urgent situations outside office hours, the referral should be made to the relevant Emergency Duty Service/Out of Hours Team (see Local Contact Details).

3.2 Making a Referral

Making a Referral to Children's Social Care - Professionals - Referrals should be made to the Children's Social Care office where the child is living or is found (see Local Contact Details).

3.2 Making a Referral

Making a Referral to Children's Social Care - Professionals - All referrers should have an opportunity to discuss their concerns with a qualified social worker.

3.2 Making a Referral

Making a Referral to Children's Social Care - Professionals - Where available, the following information should be provided with the referral (but absence of information must not delay the referral): Cause for concern including details of any allegations, their sources, timing and location; What the child said; The child's current location and emotio

3.2 Making a Referral

Making a Referral to Children's Social Care - Professionals - Professional referrals cannot be anonymous and should be made in the knowledge that during the course of enquiries it will be made clear which agency has originated the referral.

3.2 Making a Referral

Making a Referral to Children's Social Care - Professionals - All professional referrals made verbally must be confirmed in writing ideally using the Interagency Referral Form but in all cases covering the areas above (in the bullet points above) by the referrer, within 24 hours.  A child protection referral does not require an Early Help Plan form

3.2 Making a Referral

Parental Consultation - If, having taken full account of the parent's wishes, it is still considered that there is a need for a referral: The reason for proceeding without parental agreement must be recorded; Children's Social Care should be told that the parent has withheld her/his consent; The parent should be

3.2 Making a Referral

Parental Consultation - Where a parent has agreed to a referral, this must be recorded and confirmed in the referral to Children's Social Care.

3.2 Making a Referral

Listening to the Child

3.2 Making a Referral

Urgent Medical Attention

3.2 Making a Referral

Ensuring the Child's Immediate Safety

3.2 Making a Referral

Parental Consultation

3.2 Making a Referral

Making a Referral to Children's Social Care - Professionals

3.2 Making a Referral

Ensuring the Child's Immediate Safety - Where abuse is alleged, suspected or confirmed in a child presented at A&E or admitted to hospital, (s)he must not be sent home / discharged until: Children's Social Care has been notified by phone that there are child protection concerns; A Strategy Discussion/Meeting has been held in

3.2 Making a Referral

Referrals by Members of the Public

3.2 Making a Referral

Referral Criteria for Professionals

3.2 Making a Referral

Ensuring the Child's Immediate Safety - The law (Section 3(5) of the Children Act 1989) empowers anyone who has actual care of a child to do all that is reasonable in the circumstances to safeguard her/his welfare.

3.2 Making a Referral

Referral Criteria for Professionals - Staff in LSCB member agencies and contracted service providers must make a referral to Children's Social Care if there are signs that a child under the age of 18 years or an unborn baby: Is or has suffered Significant Harm; Is likely to Significant Harm; or With the agreement of a person w

3.2 Making a Referral

Ensuring the Child's Immediate Safety - The law (Section 3(5) of the Children Act 1989) empowers anyone who has actual care of a child to do all that is reasonable in the circumstances to safeguard her/his welfare.

3.2 Making a Referral

Referral Criteria for Professionals - An adopted child may divulge when (s)he is in placement, that they have been abused at some time in their previous history. An adopted child may also be vulnerable to physical, sexual or emotional abuse and / or neglect whilst they are placed for adoption.

3.2 Making a Referral

Ensuring the Child's Immediate Safety - The safety of children is paramount in all decisions relating to their welfare. Any action taken by members of staff from an LSCB agency should ensure that no child is left in immediate danger.

3.2 Making a Referral

Referral Criteria for Professionals - Professionals in most agencies should have internal procedures, which identify child protection designated / named managers /staff, able to offer advice and decide upon the necessity for a referral. However, a formal referral or any urgent medical treatment must not be delayed by the need

3.2 Making a Referral

Referral Criteria for Professionals - The timing of such referrals must reflect the level of perceived risk, but should usually be within one working day of the recognition of risk.

3.2 Making a Referral

Referral Criteria for Professionals - Consultation may also be made directly with Children's Social Care. Where consultation with Children's Social Care is sought, and Children's Social Care then conclude that a referral is required, the information provided will be regarded and responded to as such.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Outcome of Referrals - A manager must sign and approve the outcomes of the referral and ensure a chronology has been commenced and / or updated.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Outcome of Referrals - Where there are concerns identified about any adults at risk of harm or abuse, a referral should be made to Adult Social Care under the Pan Sussex Safeguarding Adults Procedures.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Outcome of Referrals - Where there is to be no further action, feedback should be provided to family and referrers about the outcome of this stage of the referral.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Outcome of Referrals - The immediate response to a referral may be: No further action, provision of information and advice or signposting to another agency Referral for services under the Early Help Plan procedures - see Early Help Plan  A Child and Family Assessment Emergency action to protect a child - see I

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Screening of Referrals by Children's Social Care - The first line manager should be informed of any potential Section 47 Enquiries  and authorise the decision to initiate a Strategy Discussion. If the child and/or family are well known to Children's Social Care and/or the facts clearly indicate that Section 47 Enquiries are required, it m

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Outcome of Referrals - In the case of referrals from members of the public, feedback must be consistent with the rights to confidentiality of child and her/his family.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Screening of Referrals by Children's Social Care - The threshold may be met for a Section 47 Enquiry at the time of referral, during Child and Family Assessment or at any point of Children's Social Care involvement.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Where a Crime may have been Committed - The police must be informed at the earliest opportunity if a crime may have been committed. The police must decide whether to commence a criminal investigation and a discussion held to plan how parents are to be informed of concerns without jeopardising police investigations (see Section 4

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Immediate Protective Action - Responsibility for immediate action rests with the authority where the child is found, but should be in consultation with any 'home' authority.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Immediate Protective Action - Planned immediate protection will normally take place following a Strategy Discussion (see Strategy Discussions Procedure 

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Immediate Protective Action - The agency taking protective action must always consider whether action is also required to safeguard other children in The same household, The household of an alleged perpetrator or elsewhere.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Immediate Protective Action - Children's Social Care should only seek police assistance to use their powers in exceptional circumstances where there is insufficient time to seek an Emergency Protection Order or other reasons relating to the child's immediate safety.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Immediate Protective Action - Where an agency has to act immediately (prior to a Strategy Discussion) to protect a child, a Strategy Discussion should take place within 1 working day of that emergency action, to plan the next steps.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Immediate Protective Action - Immediate protection may be achieved by: An alleged abuser agreeing to leave the home Removal of the alleged abuser Voluntary agreement for the child(ren) to move to a safer place with / without a protective person Application for an Emergency Protection Order  Removal of the child(ren) u

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Immediate Protective Action - Where there is a risk to the life of a child or the possibility of serious immediate harm, the police officer or social worker must act quickly to secure the safety of the child.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Immediate Protective Action - Emergency action may be necessary as soon as the referral is received or at any point during involvement with the child(ren), parents or carers.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Screening of Referrals by Children's Social Care - This screening stage must involve immediate evaluation of any concerns about either the child's health and development, or actual and/or potential harm, which justify further enquiries, assessments and/or interventions.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Outcome of Referrals - Where a referrer is dissatisfied with the outcome of the referral, consideration to further action identified in Resolution of Professional Disagreements Procedure  should be considered.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Screening of Referrals by Children's Social Care - Personal information about non-professional referrers should not be disclosed to third parties (including subject families and other agencies) without consent.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Initial Action by Children's Social Care on Receipt of a Referral - All contacts by public and professionals expressing any concerns about the welfare of a child must be treated as a referral and recorded as such (i.e. not screened out on a contact record e.g. of the Integrated Children's System).

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Initial Action by Children's Social Care on Receipt of a Referral - Children's Social Care must acknowledge referrals within one working day of receipt.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Initial Action by Children's Social Care on Receipt of a Referral - When taking a referral, staff must establish as much of the following information as possible: Cause for concern including details of any allegations, their sources, timing and location; Child's current location and emotional and physical condition; Whether the child needs immediate protec

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Immediate Protective Action

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Initial Action by Children's Social Care on Receipt of a Referral

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Screening of Referrals by Children's Social Care

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Where a Crime may have been Committed

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Initial Action by Children's Social Care on Receipt of a Referral - Referrers should be asked specifically if they hold any information about difficulties being experienced by the family/household due to domestic abuse, mental illness, substance misuse, and/or learning difficulties Referrer's relationship and knowledge of child and parents / carers.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Screening of Referrals by Children's Social Care - Screening of Referrals by Children's Social Care The screening process should establish: The nature of the concern; How and why it has arisen; What the child's needs appear to be; Whether the concern involves abuse or neglect; and Whether there is any need for any urgent action to protect

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Screening of Referrals by Children's Social Care - Children's Social Care will also take account of the Thresholds for Services to Children in Need. Each LSCB has their own threshold documents which can be accessed by clicking on the links below: Brighton & Hove; East Sussex; West Sussex.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Initial Action by Children's Social Care on Receipt of a Referral - All referrals to Children's Social Care should initially be regarded as children in potential need, and the referral should be evaluated on the day of receipt (and no later than within one working day), and a decision made and recorded (by the locally defined appropriate level of social wo

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Screening of Referrals by Children's Social Care - This above process will involve: Discussion with referrers; Consideration of any existing records for the child and for any other members of the household (including the List of Children with Child Protection Plans); Involving other agencies as appropriate (including the police if any offe

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Screening of Referrals by Children's Social Care - The first line manager should authorise any decision to discuss the referral with other agencies without parental knowledge or permission and the reasons for such action recorded.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Immediate Protective Action - The social worker must seek the agreement of her/his first line manager and obtain legal advice before initiating legal action.

4.1 Action on Receipt of Referrals

Screening of Referrals by Children's Social Care - Parents' consent should be sought before discussing a referral about them with other agencies unless this may: Place the child at risk of Significant Harm  e.g. by the behavioural response it prompts or by leading to an unreasonable delay; Lead to the risk of loss of evidential material.

4.2 Flow chart 1: Action taken when a child is referred to local authority children's social care services

  Immediate Protection Where there is a risk to the life of a child or a likelihood of serious immediate harm, local authority social workers, the police or NSPCC should use their statutory child protection powers to act immediately to secure the safety of the child. If it is necessary t

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Process of Child and Family Assessments - If during the course of the assessment it is discovered that a school age child is not attending an educational establishment, the local authority with education responsibilities must be contacted to establish the reason for this.

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Outcomes of Child and Family Assessments - Feedback should be provided to non-professional referrers about the outcome of this stage of the referral in a manner consistent with respecting the confidentiality and welfare of the child.

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Outcomes of Child and Family Assessments - Taking account of confidentiality, written information on the outcome of the Child and Family Assessment should be provided to professional referrers and family members. Exceptions are justified only where this might jeopardise an enquiry or place any individual at risk.

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Outcomes of Child and Family Assessments - A manager must sign and approve the outcomes of a Child and Family Assessment and ensure: The child(ren) have been seen and spoken to or there has been a recorded management decision that this is not appropriate e.g. where a Section 47 Enquiry has been or is to be initiated which will plan

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Outcomes of Child and Family Assessments - Where there are concerns identified about any adults at risk of harm or abuse, a referral should be made to Adult Social Care under the Pan Sussex Safeguarding Adults Procedures.

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

RELATED GUIDANCE Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015   

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Single Assessment Process Flowchart - single_assess_flow_brighton

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Timescales for Child and Family Assessments

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Process of Child and Family Assessments

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Outcomes of Child and Family Assessments

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Timescales for Child and Family Assessments - The Child and Family Assessments must be completed within a maximum of 45 working days of the date of the referral to Children's Social Care.

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Outcomes of Child and Family Assessments - The possible outcomes of the Child and Family Assessment are: No further action, provision of information and advice or signposting to another agency; Referral for services under the Early Help Plan procedures - see Early Help Plan; Immediate provision of Child In Need  services under a

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Process of Child and Family Assessments - The planning process and decisions about the timing of the different assessment activities should be taken in collaboration with all those involved with the child and family. It should involve: Seeing and speaking with the child (according to age and understanding) and family members where

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Process of Child and Family Assessments - The Child and Family Assessment should be led by a qualified and experienced social worker supervised by a highly experienced and qualified social work manager. It should be carefully planned, with clarity about who is doing what, as well as when and what information is to be shared with p

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Timescales for Child and Family Assessments - The timescale will be shorter where the criteria for initiating Section 47 Enquiries  are met at any stage during a Child and Family Assessment, in which case the Child and Family Assessment should be regarded as concluded and a Strategy Discussion/Meeting  held immediately to decide if

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Timescales for Child and Family Assessments - Any extension to this time scale must be authorised by the first line manager, with reasons recorded. For example, there may be a need to delay in order to arrange for an interpreter, or to avoid a religious festival. Any such delay must be consistent with the welfare of the child.

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Outcomes of Child and Family Assessments - A Child and Family Assessment is deemed completed once the assessment has been discussed with the child and family and authorised by the manager.

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Process of Child and Family Assessments - Parents' permission should be sought before discussing a referral about them with other agencies (see Information Sharing and Confidentiality)  unless this may: Place the child at risk of Significant Harm  e.g. by the behavioural response it prompts or by leading to an unreasonable delay

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Process of Child and Family Assessments - If the child and / or carers have moved into the authority, all professionals should seek information covering previous addresses from their respective agencies. This is equally important for children and carers who have spent time abroad.

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Process of Child and Family Assessments - Children's Social Care should make it clear to families (where appropriate) and other agencies, that the information provided for this assessment may be shared with other agencies and contribute to the written form completed at the end of the assessment.

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Process of Child and Family Assessments - Professionals approached by Children's Social Care and asked to share information about the child and the family must respond in accordance with the guidance in Information Sharing and Confidentiality  and record: The explanation provided by Children's Social Care for sharing information

4.3 Child and Family Assessments

Process of Child and Family Assessments - The first line manager should authorise any decision to discuss the referral with other agencies without parental knowledge or permission and the reasons for such action recorded.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Participants to Strategy Discussion/Meeting - Where issues have significant medical implications, or a paediatric examination has taken place or may be necessary, a paediatrician should always be included.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Timing of Strategy Discussion/Meeting - Where the concerns are particularly complicated e.g. complex abuse, a Strategy Discussion must occur on the day of the referral, but the (first) face to face meeting may be delayed to within a maximum of 5 working days, unless there is a need to provide immediate protection to a child.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Timing of Strategy Discussion/Meeting - The plan made at the Strategy Discussion/Meeting should reflect the requirement to convene an Initial Child Protection Conference  within 15 working days of the Strategy Discussion/Meeting or, where more than one Strategy Discussion has taken place, within 15 working days of the Strategy

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Timing of Strategy Discussion/Meeting - In the following circumstances, a Strategy Discussion must be held on the day of the referral: Allegations / concerns indicating a serious risk to the child (e.g. serious physical injury or serious neglect); Allegations of recent penetrative Sexual Abuse  (to ensure forensic evidence).

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Timing of Strategy Discussion/Meeting - Initial Strategy Discussions and any follow up discussions should generally be held within 3 working days, but see exceptions below.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Recording of Strategy Discussion/Meeting - Parents seeking access to these records should follow the appropriate agency's disclosure processes. All parties need to be consulted prior to disclosure of the records.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Timing of Strategy Discussion/Meeting

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Recording of Strategy Discussion/Meeting

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Purpose of Strategy Discussion/Meeting

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Participants to Strategy Discussion/Meeting

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Strategy Discussion or Meeting - If there is reasonable cause to suspect a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer Significant Harm, Children's Social Care should convene a Strategy Discussion.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Location of Strategy Discussion/Meeting

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Strategy Discussion or Meeting

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Recording of Strategy Discussion/Meeting - For telephone discussions, a copy of the notes authorised by the first line manager should be distributed to all participants.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Timing of Strategy Discussion/Meeting - Where immediate action was required by any agency to safeguard and protect the child prior to a Strategy Discussion, a discussion must be held within one working day of the action - see also Immediate Protective Action of the Referrals Procedure.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Strategy Discussion or Meeting - More than one Strategy Discussion may be required.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Strategy Discussion or Meeting - Strategy Discussions by telephone will usually be adequate to plan a straightforward enquiry or joint investigation. Meetings are likely to be more effective in complex types of maltreatment or neglect such as when there is: Allegations against staff, carers and volunteers or anyone profes

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Recording of Strategy Discussion/Meeting - It is the responsibility of the chair of the Strategy Discussion/Meeting to ensure that the decisions and agreed actions are fully recorded using the agreed form. A copy should be made available as soon as possible and within one working day for all participants.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Purpose of Strategy Discussion/Meeting - The discussion should be used to: Share available information; Agree the conduct and timing of any criminal investigation; Decide whether a Child and Family Assessment and Section 47 Enquiry  should be initiated, or continued if it has already begun; Plan how the Section 47 Enquiry should

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Purpose of Strategy Discussion/Meeting - Relevant matters will include: Agreeing a plan for how the Child and Family Assessment will be carried out - what further information is required about the child(ren) and family and how it should be obtained and recorded; Agreeing who should be interviewed, by whom, for what purpose, and w

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Participants to Strategy Discussion/Meeting - The Strategy Discussion requires professionals sufficiently senior to be able to contribute, although exceptional circumstances may arise where others may usefully contribute.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Participants to Strategy Discussion/Meeting - The discussion must involve, both Children's Social Care and the Safeguarding Investigations Unit, Health and other agencies involved with the child including, in particular the referring agency, the child's nursery / school, any health services the child or family members are receiving

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Participants to Strategy Discussion/Meeting - The local authority solicitor's involvement may be appropriate.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Participants to Strategy Discussion/Meeting - Consideration should be given to the need to include a professional with expertise in particular cases of complex forms of alleged abuse and neglect.  Where parents or adults in the household are experiencing problems such as domestic abuse, substance misuse or mental illness, it will als

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Participants to Strategy Discussion/Meeting - The Strategy Discussion should ordinarily be coordinated by the Children's Social Care first line manager, who will chair any Strategy Meetings held.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Strategy Discussion or Meeting - Depending on the nature of the concerns and the urgency of the situation, this may be undertaken via an actual meeting and / or through a series of telephone discussions with the participants.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Participants to Strategy Discussion/Meeting - If the child is or has recently been receiving services from a hospital or child development team, the discussion should involve the responsible medical consultant and, in the case of in-patient treatment, a senior ward nurse or medical consultant must be considered essential.

4.6 Strategy Discussions

Location of Strategy Discussion/Meeting - Discussions that take the form of a face to face meeting should be held at a convenient location and time for the key attendees e.g. Children's Social Care office, police station, hospital, GP surgery or school.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - Where circumstances do not allow permission to be obtained and the child needs emergency medical treatment the medical practitioner may: Regard the child to be of an age and level of understanding to give her/his own consent; Decide to proceed without consent.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - In these circumstances, parents must be informed as soon as possible and a full record must be made at the time.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - Where a paediatrician assessment is requested, prior to the assessment, the paediatrician should be briefed. Where an assessment is undertaken as part of a joint investigation, a Safeguarding Investigations Unit officer must directly brief the doctors and be present at the examination, and

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - In cases of severe neglect, physical injury or penetrative sexual abuse, the assessment should be undertaken on the day of the referral, where compatible with the welfare of the child.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - Wherever possible, the permission of a parent should be sought for children under 16 prior to any paediatric assessment and/or other medical treatment.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - Specific practical procedures may vary according to local arrangements.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - Child Sexual Abuse paediatric assessments should be undertaken in accordance with the guidance for paediatricians and FMEs issued by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Association of Police Surgeons Child Health Guidelines.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - Paediatric assessments are the responsibility of the consultant paediatrician, although an appropriately trained registrar or staff grade or exceptionally a police forensic medical examiner (FME) may conduct them.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - Referrals for child protection paediatric assessments from a social worker or a member of the Safeguarding Investigations Unit are made to the local paediatric service. The paediatrician may arrange to examine the child her/himself, or arrange for the child to be seen by a member of the p

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - In non-emergency situations, when parental permission is not obtained, the Lead Social Worker and manager must consider whether it is in the child's best interests to seek a court order.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - In other circumstances the Strategy Discussion or Meeting will determine, in consultation with the paediatrician, the need and timing for a paediatric assessment.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - Where the child appears in urgent need of medical attention (s)he should be taken to the nearest A&E Department e.g. suspected fractures, bleeding, loss of consciousness.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - Normally the order in which the paediatric assessment takes place (as part of the Section 47 Enquiry) will be decided at the Strategy Discussion. The need for a specialist assessment by an appropriate mental health professional should also be considered at the Strategy Discussion.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child - If the parent/carer refuses to allow the Lead Social Worker  to see the child alone  and/or allows a discussion about the concerns the Lead Social Worker, in consultation with her/his manager, should have a Strategy Discussion with the police and seek legal advice as appropriate. In all

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child - If a child's whereabouts are unknown, or they cannot be traced by the Lead Social Worker within 24 hours, the following action must be taken: A Strategy Discussion /Meeting held with the Safeguarding Investigations Unit; Agreement reached with the responsible manager as to what further act

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child - All subsequent events up to the time of any video interview must be fully recorded.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child - The conduct of and criteria for visually recorded interviews with children are clearly laid out in the guidance Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - A paediatric assessment involves a holistic approach to the child and considers the child's wellbeing, including development, if under 5 years old and her/his cognitive ability if older (educational psychologists can offer further expertise).

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - This assessment should always be considered when there is a suspicion or disclosure of child abuse and/or neglect involving: A suspicious or serious injury (thought to be non-accidental or obvious/an inconsistent explanation); Suspected Sexual Abuse or assault; Suspected neglect.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - *A child of any age who has sufficient understanding (generally to be assessed by the doctor with advice from others as required) to make a fully informed decision can provide lawful consent to all or part of a paediatric assessment or emergency treatment.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - *A young person aged 16 or 17 has an explicit right (Section 8 Family Law Reform Act 1969) to provide consent to surgical, medical or dental treatment and unless grounds exist for doubting her/his mental health, no further consent is required.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - When a child is Accommodated under Section 20 and a parent / carer has given general consent authorising medical treatment for the child, legal advice must be taken about whether this provides consent for paediatric assessment for child protection purposes (the parent / carer still has ful

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - The following may give consent to a paediatric assessment: A child of sufficient age and understanding (i.e. who is Fraser Competent*); Any person with Parental Responsibility; The local authority when the child is the subject of a Care Order  (although the parent/carer should be informed

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - Additional considerations are the need to: Secure forensic evidence; Obtain medical documentation; Provide reassurance for the child, parent and Children's Social Care; Provide treatment follow up and review for the child (any injury, infection, new symptoms including psychological).

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - Only doctors may physically examine the whole child, but other staff should note any visible marks or injuries on a body map and document details in their recording. Recording a photographic image of any injuries should only be arranged and undertaken by the police, or as part of a paediat

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - Although a child of sufficient understanding (and who is subject of an Interim Supervision or Care Order, a Child Assessment Order, Emergency Protection Order or a full Supervision Order) may refuse some or all of the paediatric assessment, the High Court can (potentially) override such re

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - Before approving the Section 47 Enquiry outcome, the manager must ensure that: There has been direct communication with the child and her/his views and wishes have been recorded and taken into account; All the children in the household have been seen and their needs considered; The parent

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Timescales - The Child and Family Assessment must be completed within 45 working days from the date of the Strategy Discussion/Meeting.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Timescales - The maximum period from the Strategy Discussion to the date of the Initial Child Protection Conference is 15 working days, which means that initial conferences may be held prior to the completion of the Child and Family Assessment.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Timescales - Where more than one Strategy Discussion is held, the period of 15 working days starts from the Strategy Discussion that initiated the Section 47 Enquiry.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Timescales - The initial Strategy Discussion instigates the Section 47 Enquiry.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Disputed Decisions - Any such request that is supported by a senior manager or a named or designated professional should normally be agreed. Where differences of views remain then the Resolution of Professional Disagreements Procedure  should be followed.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Feedback from Section 47 Enquiries - If there are ongoing criminal investigations, the content of the Lead Social Worker's feedback should be agreed with the Safeguarding Investigations Unit.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Disputed Decisions - Professionals and agencies involved with the child and the family have a right to request that Children's Social Care convene a Child Protection Conference  if they have serious concerns that the child's welfare may not be adequately safeguarded.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Timescales - The time-scales above are the minimum standards required by Working Together to Safeguard Children. Where the welfare of the child requires shorter time-scales, these must be achieved.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Timescales - There may be exceptional circumstances where it is not in the child's interests to work to the above time-scales. The circumstances which may lead to an alternative time-scale include: A need to engage interpreters, translators etc. for those with communication needs (including disabled ch

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Recording of Section 47 Enquiries - Practitioners should wherever possible, retain signed and dated rough notes until the completion of anticipated legal proceedings.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Recording of Section 47 Enquiries - Children's Social Care recording of enquiries should include: Agency checks; Content of contact cross referenced with any specific forms used; Date(s) when the child was seen alone by the Lead Social Worker and if the child was not seen alone, who was present and the reasons for their pres

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Recording of Section 47 Enquiries - At the completion of the Section 47 Enquiry the social work manager should ensure that the concern and outcome have been entered on a chronology kept at the front of each file / on the electronic record.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Recording of Section 47 Enquiries - The responsible manager must authorise Children's Social Care Section 47 recording and forms.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Recording of Section 47 Enquiries - A full written record must be completed by each agency involved in a Section 47 Enquiry, using the required agency pro-formas, (legibly) signed and dated by the staff or inputted into their electronic record.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Timescales - Any proposal to justify variation of routine time scales must be agreed by the authorised manager following line manager's consultations with the Safeguarding Investigations Unit and any relevant agencies.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Timescales - Reasons for diverging from statutory time-scales must be fully recorded together with a plan of action detailing alternative arrangements.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Feedback from Section 47 Enquiries - Feedback about outcomes should be provided to referrers who are members of the public, in a manner that respects the confidentiality and welfare of the child.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Feedback from Section 47 Enquiries - Parents, children (depending on level of understanding), professionals and other agencies that have had significant involvement should be provided with written feedback of the outcome of the Section 47 Enquiry (in a letter for the family and in an appropriate format for professionals).

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - All reports and diagrams should be signed and dated by the doctor undertaking the examination.  

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Analysis and Assessment of Risk - The scope and focus of the assessment during the Section 47 Enquiry and Child and Family Assessment should specifically address the risks for the child(ren) and: Identify clearly the initial cause for concern; Collect information from agency records and other agencies; Describe the family

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Analysis and Assessment of Risk - Where the child's circumstances are about to change, the assessment must include the safety of the new environment e.g. if a child is to be discharged from hospital, the assessment must have established the safety of the home environment and implemented any support plan required to meet th

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - The report should include: A verbatim record of the carer's and child's accounts of injuries and concerns noting any discrepancies or changes of story; Documentary findings in both words and diagrams; Site, size, shape and where possible age of any marks or injuries; Date, time and place o

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - The timing of a letter from the paediatrician to parents should be determined in consultation with Children's Social Care and the Safeguarding Investigations Unit.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - In planning the paediatric assessment, the Lead Social Worker, the manager responsible, the Safeguarding Investigations Unit and relevant doctor must consider whether it might be necessary to take photographic evidence for use in care or criminal proceedings. Where such arrangements are ne

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - The paediatrician should supply a report or statement to the social worker, GP and where appropriate the Safeguarding Investigations Unit. Reports should be produced in accordance with the Sussex Police forensic medical examination record.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - At the completion of the Section 47 Enquiry, a Strategy Discussion should share information, agree the outcome of the enquiry or plan any further enquiries and ensure all parties are clear about the final outcome.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - Outcomes of Section 47 Enquiries must be clearly recorded by the Lead Social Worker, with the reasons for decisions clearly stated and signed off by her/his manager on the Record of Section 47 Enquiries.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - Where concerns are substantiated and the child is assessed to be at continuing risk of Significant Harm, the authorised manager must authorise the convening of an Initial Child Protection Conference.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - The manager may also agree / decide to initiate legal action.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - In these circumstances, consideration must be given to the completion of the Child and Family Assessment (if incomplete), provision of services and/or any future monitoring by agencies (including through the Early Help Plan). If Children's Social Care continues to provide services to the

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - Where the concerns are substantiated, but the child is not judged at continuing risk of Significant Harm, this decision must be endorsed by a suitably experienced and qualified social work manager.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child - To avoid undermining any subsequent criminal case, in any contact with a child prior to an interview, staff must: Listen to the child rather than directly questioning her/him; Never stop the child freely recounting significant events; Fully record the discussion including timing, setting,

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - When the outcome is agreed, the original concerns may be: Unsubstantiated; Substantiated, but the child is not judged at continuing risk of Significant Harm; Substantiated and the child is judged to be at continuing risk of Significant Harm.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment - The Lead Social Worker should (unless this would cause undue delay) consult parents about the gender of the medical practitioner prior to the examination being conducted.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Parents and Other Family Members - In communicating with parent(s) about the planned intervention, the following points must be covered: An explanation of the reason for concern and where appropriate the source of information; The procedures to be followed (this must include an explanation of the need for the child to be se

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - Once a decision is made to initiate a Section 47 Enquiry, the first line Children's Social Care manager should ensure that the case is discussed with the Safeguarding Investigations Unit before a decision is made regarding whether a single agency or joint investigation should take place. T

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - Where both agencies have responsibilities with respect to a child, they must cooperate to ensure the joint investigation (combining the process of a Section 47 Enquiry and a criminal investigation) is undertaken in the best interests of the child. This should be achieved primarily through

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Thresholds for Section 47 Enquiries - If professionals are concerned about the decision made by Children's Social Care, they may wish to challenge it through using the Resolution of Professional Disagreements Procedure.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Thresholds for Section 47 Enquiries - A decision to cease a Section 47 Enquiry should, after checks have been completed (and where relevant in consultation with the Safeguarding Investigations Unit and other involved agencies) be taken in a flexible manner when it is clear that the criteria for Section 47 are not satisfied. In

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Thresholds for Section 47 Enquiries - A Section 47 Enquiry must always be commenced immediately there is a disclosure, allegation or evidence that a child is suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm. This applies equally to new, re-referred and open cases.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Thresholds for Section 47 Enquiries - In making a final decision about whether the threshold for a Section 47 Enquiry is met, Children's Social Care must consult the Safeguarding Investigations Unit and other appropriate agencies so that relevant information can be taken into account.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - Generally there should be a presumption of a joint investigation unless agreed otherwise.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - If the agencies agree that a single agency enquiry or investigation is appropriate, there should still be an exchange of relevant information, possible involvement in Strategy Discussions and agreement reached as to the feedback required by the non-participating agency.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - In other cases of minor injury, the circumstances surrounding the incident must be considered to determine the 'seriousness' of the alleged abuse. The following factors should be included in any consideration by the Safeguarding Investigations Unit and Children's Social Care: Age, special

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - There will be times when, after discussion or preliminary work, cases will be judged less serious and it will be agreed that the best interests of the child are served by a Children's Social Care-led intervention, rather than a joint investigation.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - Cases of minor injury should always be considered for a joint investigation if the: Child is already subject to a Child Protection Plan; Child is Looked After by the local authority.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - A joint investigation must always be initiated whenever there is an allegation or reasonable suspicion that one of the circumstances described below has been committed against a child, regardless of the likelihood of a prosecution: Any intra familial sexual offence committed against a chil

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - Any decision to terminate enquiries must be communicated to the other agency for it to consider, and the rationale recorded by both agencies.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - The decision regarding single or joint agency investigations should be authorised and recorded by first line managers in both the Safeguarding Investigations Unit and Children's Social Care.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Thresholds for Section 47 Enquiries - In reaching her/his conclusion as to the justification for a Section 47 Enquiry, the manager must consider the following variables: Seriousness of the concern(s); Combinations of concerns; Repetition or duration of concern(s); Vulnerability of child (through age, developmental stage, disab

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Thresholds for Section 47 Enquiries - The Children's Social Care first line manager has the responsibility, on the basis of available information, to authorise a Section 47 Enquiry. In undertaking the necessary assessment of risk, the manager must consider both the probability of the event or concern in question and its actual

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Duty to Conduct Section 47 Enquiries - The home authority should take responsibility for further support of the child or family following the Section 47 Enquiry.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Duty to Conduct Section 47 Enquiries - The Police have a responsibility to: Investigate allegations of criminal offences against children; Refer any suspicion, allegation or disclosure that a child is suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm  to Children's Social Care; Pass relevant information received by the Safeguardi

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Duty to Conduct Section 47 Enquiries - In this case, the child's 'home' authority should be informed as soon as possible and involved in Strategy Discussions / Meetings. It may sometimes be appropriate for the 'home' authority to undertake the necessary enquiries on behalf of the host authority e.g. in the case of a Looked Afte

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Duty to Conduct Section 47 Enquiries - The responsibility for undertaking Section 47 Enquiries lies with Children's Social Care in the local authority for the area in which the child lives or is found. Where the child's home address is in another authority (the 'home' authority), the 'host' authority has responsibility for unde

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Duty to Conduct Section 47 Enquiries - All agencies have a duty to assist and provide information in support of Section 47 Enquiries.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Duty to Conduct Section 47 Enquiries - Children's Social Care is the lead agency for Section 47 Enquiries and has the duty to: Make, or cause to be made, enquiries when the circumstances defined in Section 47 Children Act 1989 exist; Safeguard and promote the child's welfare (Section 17 Children Act 1989); Inform the Police in

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Duty to Conduct Section 47 Enquiries - In dealing with alleged offences involving a child victim, the police should normally work in partnership with other agencies. Whilst the responsibility to instigate a criminal investigation rests with the police, they should consider the views expressed by the other agencies.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Purpose of Section 47 Enquiries - A Child and Family Assessment is the means by which a Section 47 Enquiry is carried out. It should be led by a qualified and experienced social worker. A Child and Family Assessment, using the Assessment Framework, must be completed within a maximum of 45 working days. Children's Social Ca

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Thresholds for Section 47 Enquiries - If at any point during assessment, the threshold for Section 47 Enquiries is reached, the procedures outlined in this chapter should be followed.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Thresholds for Section 47 Enquiries - Section 47 Enquiries start when: There is reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives in, or is found in, a local authority area is suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm; Following an Emergency Protection Order  or Police Protection.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Thresholds for Section 47 Enquiries - A child's status - e.g. In Need, or 'at risk of Significant Harm' must be ascribed in a flexible manner, which recognises the possibility of change and a consequent need to re-ascribe that status.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Purpose of Section 47 Enquiries - Those making the enquiries should always be alert to the potential needs and safety of siblings, or other children in the household of the child in question. In addition, the Section 47 Enquiry may also need to cover children in other households, with whom the alleged offender may have had

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Purpose of Section 47 Enquiries - The Child and Family Assessment, under Section 47 of the Children Act, should begin by focusing primarily on information identified during the referral and Assessment  and which appears most important in relation to the risk of Significant Harm. It should, however cover all relevant dime

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - In all cases the welfare of the child remains paramount and always takes precedence over the need to commence or conclude any criminal investigation.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - Where Children's Social Care assess that the circumstances of the case satisfy one of the following criteria, it may, following discussion with the Safeguarding Investigations Unit (and making relevant checks) progress single agency enquiries: Purely Emotional Abuse  with no apparent phys

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Parents and Other Family Members - It is also essential that factors such as race, culture, religion, gender and sexuality together with issues arising from disability and health are taken into account.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Parents and Other Family Members - It may be necessary to provide the information in stages and this must be taken into account in planning the enquiry.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Parents and Other Family Members - Consideration must be given to those for whom English is not their first language or who may have a physical / sensory / learning disability and may need the services of an appropriate interpreter.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Parents and Other Family Members - Due consideration must be given to the capacity of the parents to understand this information in a situation of significant anxiety and stress.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Parents and Other Family Members - The Lead Social Worker has the prime responsibility to engage with family members in order to assess the overall capacity of the family to safeguard the child, as well as ascertaining the facts of the situation causing concern.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Parents and Other Family Members - Parents and those with Parental Responsibility  should; Be informed at the earliest opportunity of concerns, unless to do so would place the child at risk of Significant Harm, or undermine a criminal investigation; Be offered a verbal explanation of the child protection enquiry process; b

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Parents and Other Family Members - Parents should be provided with an early opportunity to explain their perception of the concerns, recognising that there may be alternative accounts and discrepancies.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child - Exceptionally a joint enquiry/investigation team may need to speak to a suspected child victim without the knowledge of the parent or caregiver. Relevant circumstances would include the possibility that a child would be threatened or otherwise coerced into silence, a strong likelihood that

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child - The objectives in seeing the child are to: Record and evaluate her/his appearance, demeanour, mood state and behaviour; Hear the child's account of allegations or concerns; Observe and record interactions of child and her/his carers; See and record the circumstances in which the child is c

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child - The Strategy Discussion / Meeting must decide where, when and how the child(ren) should be seen and if a video interview is required.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child - It may be necessary to seek information from the child in stages and this must be taken into account in planning the enquiry. Children may need time, and more than one opportunity, in order to develop sufficient trust to communicate any concerns they may have.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child - Consideration should also be given to the gender of interviewers, particularly in cases of alleged Sexual Abuse.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child - All children within the household must be directly communicated with during a Section 47 Enquiry. Those who are the focus of concern should always be seen and communicated with alone by the Lead Social Worker. The Record of Section 47 Enquiry should include the date(s) when the child was s

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child - Consideration must be given to the child's developmental stage and cognitive ability. Specialist help may be needed if: The child's first language is not English (see Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills Procedure); (S)he appears to have a degree of psychiatric

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involvement of Other Agencies - In the course of a Section 47 Enquiry it may be necessary for Children's Social Care and/or the Police to make decisions or initiate actions to protect children, or require the parents to agree to such action. The Lead Social Worker must inform relevant agencies of any such decisions or ac

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involvement of Other Agencies - Agency checks should include accessing any relevant information that may be held in other local authorities, or abroad (see National Contacts  for sources of information for children from abroad).

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - If there is any disagreement between the agencies about the need for a joint investigation or the 'seriousness' of alleged abuse, further discussion should occur between the line managers.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - If line managers disagree, the disputes should be resolved by agreement between senior managers from the agencies involved (see Resolution of Professional Disagreements Procedure). A note of the resolution must be recorded.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - Where the police conduct a single agency investigation out of hours (because they have a duty to respond and take action to protect the child or obtain evidence), Children's Social Care must be informed immediately and, if appropriate, a joint investigation commenced.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - In all cases where the police undertake a single agency investigation, details of any victim aged under 18 must be referred to Children's Social Care, which is responsible for assessing if the investigation raises any Child Protection issues and if supportive or therapeutic services are ap

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - Where a minor crime, initially agreed by the Safeguarding Investigations Unit as inappropriate of further police investigation, is subsequently discovered to be more serious than originally perceived, the case must be referred back to the Safeguarding Investigations Unit.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - Criteria for police single agency investigations are those where the: Allegation is by an adult of abuse which occurred in childhood and there are no current child protection issues; Alleged offender is not known to the child or child's family i.e. stranger abuse  - however in these circu

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Role of the Lead Social Worker - All Section 47 Enquiries must be undertaken by qualified social workers, referred to as the Lead Social Worker, who will be: A duty social worker will usually undertake enquiries on closed or unallocated cases; A duty social worker or the allocated social worker will undertake the Section

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Role of the Lead Social Worker - The Lead Social Worker should: Obtain clear, detailed information about the concerns, suspicion or allegation; Make a check on the child database; Ascertain if there is or has been a previous Section 47 Enquiry or Child Protection Plan; Obtain history and background information including a

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involvement of Other Agencies - Even when there has been a recent Child and Family Assessment, agencies should be consulted and informed of the new information / referral. The checks should be undertaken directly with the involved professionals and not through messages with intermediaries.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involvement of Other Agencies - The relevant agency should be informed of the reason for the enquiry, whether or not parental consent has been obtained and asked for their assessment of the child in the light of information presented.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involvement of Other Agencies - The responsible manager should record the reasons for such a decision. See Information Sharing and Confidentiality  for further discussion of the issues involved in information sharing.

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involvement of Other Agencies - Generally consent is sought from parents prior to seeking such information, but the first line manager may authorise 'checks' to be completed without such permission if: Seeking permission is likely to increase the risk to children concerned or other individuals; A request for permission h

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involvement of Other Agencies - The Lead Social Worker must consult with other agencies involved with the child and family in order to obtain a fuller picture of the child's circumstances and those of any others in the household, including risk factors and parenting strengths - see Obligations and Responsibilities of Al

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child - The child should be seen within 24 hours if the child Is reported to have sustained a physical injury; Has disclosed Sexual Abuse and is to be returned to a situation that might place her/ him at risk; Is already subject to a Child Protection Plan; Is suffering from severe neglect or other

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Purpose of Section 47 Enquiries - Section 47 Enquiries should be initiated, usually following a Child and Family Assessment, or whenever the threshold criteria are met (see Threshold for Section 47 Enquiries). However, Section 47 Enquiries may be justified at the point of referral, during the early consideration of a refer

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Recording of Section 47 Enquiries

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Role of the Lead Social Worker

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Disputed Decisions

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Feedback from Section 47 Enquiries

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Duty to Conduct Section 47 Enquiries -  

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Thresholds for Section 47 Enquiries

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involvement of Other Agencies

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Purpose of Section 47 Enquiries

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Analysis and Assessment of Risk

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Paediatric Assessment

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Child

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Involving the Parents and Other Family Members

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries -  

4.8 Section 47 Enquiries

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations

4.9 Cross-Border Child Protection Cases

Taking Action when a Child Usually Lives in Another State - If a local authority identifies a child in need of immediate protection, it must exercise its duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of that child under the Children Act 1989. In urgent cases the Convention provides the local authority with the jurisdiction to take any necessary steps

4.9 Cross-Border Child Protection Cases

The Central Authority - Each country is required to establish a Central Authority to help ensure effective communication between child welfare authorities in contracting states. For England the day-to-day administration of the Central Authority's role will be carried out by the International Child Abduction and C

4.9 Cross-Border Child Protection Cases

Providing a Report to Support Parents Contacting a Child - If a parent in England is seeking by court proceedings to obtain or maintain contact with a child living in another contracting state, he/she can ask their local authority to prepare a report on their suitability to have this contact for submission as evidence to the authorities in the oth

4.9 Cross-Border Child Protection Cases

Making Requests for Information or Action - The Convention enables a local authority to: Ask another state to provide a report/information to inform decisions on whether child protection measures should be taken; Take action to protect a child at immediate risk of harm, even if the child is usually resident in another contracting st

4.9 Cross-Border Child Protection Cases

Asking Another State to Protect a Child Living in that State - The Convention enables a local authority to ask another contracting state to consider the need to protect a child from harm who is habitually resident in that state. Local authorities should provide sufficient information for the authority in the other state to make a decision. This reques

4.9 Cross-Border Child Protection Cases

RELATED GUIDANCE Non-statutory advice from the Department for Education: The 1996 Hague Convention - Departmental Advice Working with Foreign Authorities: Child Protection Cases and Care Order Departmental Advice for Local Authorities, Social Workers, Service Managers and Children’s Serv

4.9 Cross-Border Child Protection Cases

Key Points - The Convention applies to situations where contracting states need to cooperate over child protection and welfare cases when there is an international dimension. This can include Care Proceedings, contact cases and foster placements abroad. The aim of the Convention is to bring about bette

4.9 Cross-Border Child Protection Cases

Transferring Jurisdiction - A local authority can seek a transfer of jurisdiction for a child who is habitually resident in another state if it feels it is better placed to make decisions about that child’s welfare. This is done via an application to the High Court, who will then make the request to the child’s h

4.9 Cross-Border Child Protection Cases

Placing a Child Living in England in Foster/Residential Care - The types of situation that this part of the Convention apply to include those where: A local authority feels that the most appropriate placement for a child is with family or other Connected Persons  in another state; A child’s foster carer may want to move abroad and the local author

4.9 Cross-Border Child Protection Cases

Handling Requests from Other Contacting States - Just as local authorities in this country can ask for certain types of help or information from other contracting states, other contracting states can ask for a similar range of help from our authorities. Handling a request for information on a child’s situation A local authority may be

4.9 Cross-Border Child Protection Cases

Asking Another State to Trace a Child - If a local authority has taken steps to safeguard a child’s welfare (or plans to do so) and believes that he/she has been taken out of the local authority area to another contracting state, the Convention enables the local authority to ask another contracting state for help in determinin

4.9 Cross-Border Child Protection Cases

Introduction - The 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children (‘the Hague Convention’) (implemented in the UK on 1 November 2012) provides an agreed set of legal pr

4.9 Cross-Border Child Protection Cases

Requesting Information on the Need for Protective Measures - If a local authority is considering action to protect or safeguard a child, it can ask a competent authority in another contracting state to communicate information it holds that is relevant to the case, regardless of where the child is habitually resident. If a local authority has welfare

5.1 Guiding Principles

Relevant Staff - All agencies must make reasonable efforts to ensure that staff involved in child protection work are committed to and achieve: Sharing of information; Careful preparation for conferences, including the provision of reports; Attendance at conferences; Contribution to decision making; Delive

5.1 Guiding Principles

Relevant Staff - The focus of the Child Protection Conference is to decide what future action is required to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child(ren) and any siblings.

5.10 Absence of Parents and/or Children

If parents and/or children do not wish to attend the conference they must be provided with full opportunities to contribute their views. The social worker must facilitate this by: Exploring the use of an advocate or supporter to attend on behalf of the parent or child; Enabling the child o

5.1 Guiding Principles

Relevant Staff - All those participating in conferences, either directly or through the provision of written information should clearly distinguish between fact, observation, allegation and opinion.

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

Information from Children and Families

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

Information from Other Agencies

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

Where Professional Differences Remain

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

Where Professional Differences Remain - All reports must make it clear which children are the subjects of the conference (previously decided by the social worker and her/his manager). Even if not the subject of the conference, all children in the household need to be considered at the Initial Conference and information must be p

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

Information from Other Agencies - Where any agency representatives are unable to attend the conference they must ensure that a written report is made available to the conference, through the chair and, if possible, that a well-briefed colleague attend in their place.

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

All Written Reports - All written reports will be attached to the chair's report for circulation or incorporated into the conference record.

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

Information from Other Agencies - Where the agency has information to share but is unable to share such information in the presence of a parent or family member, then discussion should take place with the conference chair prior to the conference regarding how this will best be managed within the conference arena - see Excl

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

Where Professional Differences Remain - The report should be provided to the chair at least three days prior to the Initial Conference and five working days in advance of the Review Conference.

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

Where Professional Differences Remain - The report should be provided to parents and older children (to the extent that it is believed to be in their interests) at least three working days in advance of Initial Conferences, and five working days before Review Conferences, to enable any factual inaccuracies to be identified, amen

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

Where Professional Differences Remain - The Child Protection Conference report should include: A chronology of significant events, agency and professional contact Information on the child's current and past state of developmental needs The dates when the child was seen by the Lead Social Worker during the Section 47 Enquiry, if

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

Information from Other Agencies - For agencies in contact with the family, the reports should be shared with the child and parents before the conference, (three working days before an Initial Conference and five working days before a Review Conference) and where necessary, should be translated into the appropriate language

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

Information from Other Agencies - It is the responsibility of all the agencies who have participated in the Section 47 Enquiry, or who have relevant information, to make this available to the conference. Contributors should, wherever possible, provide in advance a written report to the conference that should be made availa

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

Information from Children and Families - Children and family members should be helped in advance to consider what they wish to convey to the conference, how they wish to do so and what help and support they will require e.g. they may choose to communicate in writing, by tape or with the help of an advocate. Families may benefit f

5.11 Information for a Conferenc

Where Professional Differences Remain - The report will be sent out after the conference (with the conference record) to those invited but who did not attend the conference.

5.12 Chairing of Conferences

Information from Children and Families - At the start of the conference the chair will: Set out the purpose of the conference; Confirm the agenda; Emphasise the need for confidentiality; Address equal opportunities issues e.g. specifying that racist, homophobic, religious hatred and threatening behaviour will not be tolerated; Cl

5.12 Chairing of Conferences

Information from Children and Families

5.12 Chairing of Conferences

Information from Children and Families - Where necessary, interpreters, etc. should be made available to facilitate family participation.

5.12 Chairing of Conferences

Information from Children and Families - The chair of a Child Protection Conference will be a social work manager or an independent chair. (S)he must not have operational or line management responsibility for the case. The conference chair is accountable to the Director of Children's Services.

5.12 Chairing of Conferences

Information from Children and Families - During the conference the chair will ensure that: The conference maintains a focus on the welfare of the child(ren); Consideration is given to all the children in the household; All those present, including the parents and child(ren) if present, make a full contribution and that full consi

5.12 Chairing of Conferences

Information from Children and Families - The chair must meet with the family, child and social worker prior to the conference to ensure they understand the purpose of the conference and how it will be conducted.

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Categories of Abuse or Neglect - The category used (Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse. Sexual Abuse or Neglectwill indicate to those consulting the child's social care record the primary presenting concern at the time the child became subject to a Child Protection Plan.

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Categories of Abuse or Neglect - Multiple categories should not be used to cover all eventualities, and 'other significant concerns' recorded instead. On occasions it may be appropriate to use more than one category if: Each of the categories reaches the threshold for Significant Harm; and A specific risk might otherwise

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Categories of Abuse or Neglect - Emotional Abuse should only be used as a second category if substantial concern is indicated.

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

If a Child is made the subject of a Child Protection Plan - Where a child is made the subject of a Child Protection Plan, it is the role of the conference to consider and make decisions on how agencies, professionals and the family should work together to ensure that the child will be safeguarded from harm in the future. This should enable both pro

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

If a Child is made the subject of a Child Protection Plan - The chair must ensure that the following tasks are completed: That a Lead Social  Worker is identified, and if this is not possible that a first line manager from Children's Social Care is identified to act in that role in the interim; Identify the membership of the Core Group; Establish

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Categories of Abuse or Neglect

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

If a Child is made the subject of a Child Protection Plan - Where a child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, Significant Harm in the future, it is the local authority's duty to consider the evidence and decide what, if any, legal action to take. The information presented to the Child Protection Conference should inform that decision-making proc

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Categories of Abuse or Neglect - The need for a Child Protection Plan should be considered separately in respect of each child in the family or household.

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

If a Child is made the subject of a Child Protection Plan

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Outline Child Protection Plan - The Outline Child Protection Plan should be outcome focussed and: Identify factors associated with the likelihood of the child suffering Significant Harm and ways in which the child can be protected through an inter-agency plan based on the current findings from the assessment and informat

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan - The discontinuation of the Child Protection Plan should not lead to the automatic withdrawal of help. The Lead Social Worker must discuss with parents and child(ren) what services are wanted and needed, based on the re-assessment of the child and family. The Core Group should also consider

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

If a Child is not made the subject of a Child Protection Plan - The decision must be put in writing to the parent(s), and where appropriate the child, as well as communicated to them verbally.

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

If a Child is not made the subject of a Child Protection Plan - Subject to the family's views and consent, it may be appropriate to: Make recommendations about support and help, including through the Early Help Plan process Establish commitment to inter-agency working, particularly where the child's needs are complex (this should involve a regularly re

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan - Where one or more agencies currently working with a child are not present at the conference deciding on whether to discontinue the Child Protection Plan, the chair may decide to seek their views first. This should be done in writing within 10 working days and written responses provided wit

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan - As indicated in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, Flow Chart 5, What Happens After the Child Protection Conference, Including the Review? a child should no longer be the subject of a Child Protection Plan if: It is judged that the child is no longer continuing to, or is likely t

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Information from Children and Families - The test for likelihood of suffering harm in the future should be that either: The child can be shown to have suffered ill-treatment  or impairment of health or development as a result of Physical, Emotional, or Sexual Abuse or Neglect, and professional judgement is that further ill-treat

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Information from Children and Families - As described in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, Flowchart 4, Action following a strategy discussion the conference should consider the following questions when determining whether the child should be the subject of a Child Protection Plan: The child is likely to suffer Signifi

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan - When a child is no longer the subject of a Child Protection Plan, notification should be sent, as minimum, to all those agency representatives who were invited to attend the initial Child Protection Conference that led to the plan.

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan - Consideration should be given to holding a multi-agency meeting 10 days following the discontinuing of the Child Protection Plan  to develop a detailed child's plan and 3 months afterwards to provide a first review to the child's plan. Subsequently the plan should be reviewed at least eve

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Information from Children and Families - If the child is at continuing risk of Significant Harm, (s)he will require inter-agency help and intervention delivered through a formal Child Protection Plan.

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

If a Child is not made the subject of a Child Protection Plan

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Information from Children and Families

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Categories of Abuse or Neglect - If the decision is that the child is in need of a Child Protection Plan, Working Together to Safeguard Children paragraph 5.10 states the chair should determine under which category of abuse or neglect the child has suffered or likely to suffer.

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Information from Children and Families - The decision making process will normally take place with parents / carers present.

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

If a Child is not made the subject of a Child Protection Plan - If it is decided that the child is not at risk of continuing Significant Harm, but the child is in need of support to promote her/his health or development, the conference must ensure that recommendations are made to this effect.

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Information from Children and Families - The chair must make a decision about the need for a Child Protection Plan 'based on the views of all agencies represented at the conference and also take into account any written contributions that have been made.

5.13 Actions and Decisions of the Conference

Information from Children and Families - The chair of a conference is responsible for the conference decision. (S)he will consult conference members, aim for a consensus as to the need for a plan or not, but ultimately will make the decision and note any dissenting views.

5.14 Challenges by Professionals and Parents

Professionals' Concerns about the Conference process

5.14 Challenges by Professionals and Parents

Professionals' Concerns about the Conference process - A senior manager of an agency may support these concerns and write to the senior child protection manager, with copy to the chair and the agency professional.

5.14 Challenges by Professionals and Parents

Professionals' Concerns about the Conference process - See also Resolution of Professional Disagreements Procedure 

5.14 Challenges by Professionals and Parents

Professionals' Concerns about the Conference process - When professionals are concerned about the management of the conference (s)he must seek advice from her/his named / designated / lead professional or manager.

5.14 Challenges by Professionals and Parents

Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan - See also Complaints by Service Users Procedure and Resolution of Professional Disagreements Procedure.

5.14 Challenges by Professionals and Parents

Disagreement by Parents - If parents/carers disagree with the Conference's decision, the chair must discuss the issue with them and explain their right to and the process for challenge (seeComplaints by Service Users Procedure).

5.14 Challenges by Professionals and Parents

Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan

5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences

Conference Record - The conference record should be sent to all those who attended or were invited, within 10 working days of the conference. Any amendment to accuracy of record should be sent, in writing, within 10 working days of the receipt of that record to the chair.

5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences

Conference Record - The parents' copy of the conference record should be clearly 'marked ' on all pages that it is a parent's copy. Confidential material may be excluded from the parents' copy.

5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences

Responsibility for Administration - Each authority must have clear arrangements for the organisation of Child Protection Conferences including: Information leaflets for children and for parents translated into appropriate languages; and Standard invitations to children, parents / carers and professionals; Report formats for

5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences

Responsibility for Administration - Children's Social Care is responsible for administering the Child Protection Conference service.

5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences

Recording the Conference - In order to protect the confidentiality of all individuals involved in conferences, and to protect the integrity of the information discussed, recording devices are not permitted at conferences.

5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences

Conference Record - Conference records are confidential and should not be passed to third parties without the consent of either the conference chair or order of the court. In criminal proceedings the police may reveal the existence of child protection records to the Crown Prosecution Service and in Care Proce

5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences

Conference Record - Where an advocate, supporter or solicitor has been involved the parent should decide whether they give a copy of the conference record.

5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences

Decision Letter - The decision letter (indicating whether the child(ren) was/were made the subject of a Child Protection Plan(s), a brief summary of the reasons for the decision, the outline Child Protection Plan, name of the Lead Social Worker and details about the right to complain) should be dispatched w

5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences

Conference Record - Where a child has attended a Child Protection Conference, the social worker must arrange to see her/him and arrange to discuss relevant sections of the record. Consideration should be given to whether that child should be given copies of the record. They may be supplied to a child's legal

5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences

Conference Record - Where parents and / or the child(ren) have a sensory disability or where English is not their first language, steps must be taken to ensure that they can understand and make full use of the conference record.

5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences

Recording the Conference - All initial and review conferences should be noted by a dedicated person whose sole task within the conference is to provide a written record of the meeting in a consistent format.

5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences

Conference Record - Every agency must establish arrangements for the storage of Child Protection Conference records in accordance with their own confidentiality and record retention policies.

5.15 Administrative Arrangements and Record Keeping for Child Protection Conferences

Conference Record - Conference records should include: Name, date of birth and address of the subject(s) of the conference, parents / carers and other adults in the household; Who was invited, who attended the conference and who submitted their apologies; A list of written reports available to conference and

5.2 Initial Child Protection Conference

Purpose of the Initial Child Protection Conference - The conference must consider all the children in the household, even if concerns are only being expressed about one child.

5.2 Initial Child Protection Conference

Timing of Initial Child Protection Conference - The Initial Conference should, where possible, be held before expiry of an Emergency Protection Order, if further legal action is planned.

5.2 Initial Child Protection Conference

Timing of Initial Child Protection Conference - Any delay must have written agreement from the authorised manager (including reasons for the delay) and Children's Social Care must ensure risks to the child are monitored and action taken to safeguard the child.

5.2 Initial Child Protection Conference

Purpose of the Initial Child Protection Conference - The Initial Child Protection Conference brings together family members, the child where appropriate, and those professionals most involved with the child and family. Its purpose is: To bring together and analyse, in an inter-agency setting, the information which has been obtained about the

5.2 Initial Child Protection Conference

Purpose of the Initial Child Protection Conference - In some cases, it may be appropriate to develop a Child Protection Plan for only one (or more) of the children within a household. If significant concerns arise subsequently about a sibling (or others in the household), a further Initial Conference must be held. It should be combined with

5.2 Initial Child Protection Conference

Purpose of the Initial Child Protection Conference

5.2 Initial Child Protection Conference

Timing of Initial Child Protection Conference - The Initial Child Protection Conference should take place within 15 working days of the  Strategy Discussion or, where more than one Strategy Discussion took place, of the Strategy Discussion at which the Section 47 Enquiry was initiated.

5.2 Initial Child Protection Conference

Timing of Initial Child Protection Conference - Where a Child Assessment Order has been made the conference should be held immediately on conclusion of examinations and assessments.

5.2 Initial Child Protection Conference

Timing of Initial Child Protection Conference

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

Timing of Conference - Where there is a known likelihood of a premature birth, the conference should be held earlier.

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

Lead Social Worker Role - All agencies involved with pregnant women who have concerns should consider the need for an early Referral to Children's Social Care, so that assessments are undertaken, and family support services provided, as early as possible in the pregnancy.

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

Timing of Conference - The pre-birth conference should take place ideally at least 3 months before the due date of delivery, so as to allow as much time as possible for planning support for the pregnancy and the birth of the baby.

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

The Development of a Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan - If a decision is made that the child requires a Child Protection Plan, the main cause for concern must determine the category of concern and a protection plan be outlined to commence prior to the birth of the baby

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

Lead Social Worker Role - A pre-birth child protection conference should be conducted as if it were an Initial Child Protection Conference concerning an unborn child.

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

Lead Social Worker Role - A pre-birth conference should be held where a: Pre- birth assessment gives rise to concerns that an unborn child may be at risk of Significant Harm; Previous child has died or been removed from parent(s) as a result of Significant Harm; A child is to be born into a family or household whic

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

Attendance - Those who normally attend an Initial Child Protection Conference must be invited (seeMembership of Child Protection Conference Procedure). In addition representatives of the midwifery and relevant neo-natal services should also be invited.

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

Lead Social Worker Role - Other risk factors to be considered are: The impact of parental risk factors such as mental ill-health, learning disabilities, substance misuse and domestic violence; A mother under 16 for whom there are concerns regarding her ability to self-care and/or to care for the child.

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

Timing of Review Conference Following a Pre-Birth Conference

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

The Development of a Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

The Development of a Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan - The Core Group must be established and is expected to meet prior to the birth, and certainly prior to the baby's return home after a hospital birth.

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

Timing of Conference

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

Timing of Review Conference Following a Pre-Birth Conference - The Child Protection Plan only comes into effect when the child is born and the plan should be reviewed at a Review Conference scheduled to take place within 3 months of the child's birth. The conference chair will determine the date.

5.3 Pre-Birth Conference

Lead Social Worker Role

5.4 Transfer Child Protection Conference

Timing of Review Conference Following a Pre-Birth Conference

5.4 Transfer Child Protection Conference

Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan who go Missing or are Absent - The Transfer Conference should be treated as an Initial Conference in the receiving authority. The discontinuing of the Child Protection Plan should only be agreed following a full risk assessment of the child and family in their new situation.

5.4 Transfer Child Protection Conference

Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan who go Missing or are Absent - When Children's Social Care is notified that a child subject to a Child Protection Plan moves into the authority's area, the responsibility for the Child Protection Plan rests with the original authority until the conference has been held, but local staff should co-operate with the Lead So

5.4 Transfer Child Protection Conference

Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan who go Missing or are Absent - The originating Children's Social Care should send a written request and key documents to the receiving authority, in accordance with locally agreed protocols, before a Transfer Conference is convened.

5.4 Transfer Child Protection Conference

Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan who go Missing or are Absent - A Transfer Conference should be held within 15 working days of the agreement between the two authorities. This should be based on the principle that the child is now normally resident in the receiving area.

5.4 Transfer Child Protection Conference

Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan who go Missing or are Absent - The Lead Social Worker from the originating authority must be invited to the Transfer Conference and expected to submit a report at least five working days before the conference having shared this with the child and the family.

5.5 Child Protection Review Conference

Purpose of the Review Child Protection Conference

5.5 Child Protection Review Conference

Timing of the Review Child Protection Conference - Consideration should always be given to bringing the date of a conference forward: Where child protection concerns relating to a new incident or allegation of abuse have been sustained; When there are significant difficulties in carrying out the Child Protection Plan; Where a child is to b

5.5 Child Protection Review Conference

Purpose of the Review Child Protection Conference - Consider whether the child protection plan should continue in place or should be changed.

5.5 Child Protection Review Conference

Purpose of the Review Child Protection Conference - The purpose of the Review Conference is to: Review the safety, health and development of the child against the planned outcomes set out in the child protection plan; Ensure that the child continues to be safeguarded from harm.

5.5 Child Protection Review Conference

Timing of the Review Child Protection Conference - If a child becomes the subject of a Child Protection Plan, the first Review Conference must be held within 3 months of the Initial Conference.

5.5 Child Protection Review Conference

Timing of the Review Child Protection Conference - Further reviews must be held at intervals of not more than 6 months, for as long as the child remains the subject of a Child Protection Plan.

5.5 Child Protection Review Conference

Timing of the Review Child Protection Conference

5.6 Membership of Child Protection Conference

Legal Attendance at Conferences - The Law Society provides professional guidance on attendance by lawyers at Child Protection Conferences. Their role is as a supporter or representative for the child, parents or on behalf of the local authority, but the process is not a court or tribunal and the adversarial role is not app

5.6 Membership of Child Protection Conference

Legal Attendance at Conferences

5.6 Membership of Child Protection Conference

General Attendance - Those who have a relevant contribution to make may include: The child, (if of sufficient age and understanding: (see Involving Children and Family Members Procedure, Criteria for Presence of Child at Conference) or his or her representative; Family members (including the wider family); Chi

5.6 Membership of Child Protection Conference

General Attendance - Those attending conferences should be there because they may have a significant contribution to make, arising from professional expertise, knowledge of the child or family or both.

5.6 Membership of Child Protection Conference

Legal Attendance at Conferences - The solicitor for a parent or child may attend in the role of representative of child or supporter of parent to assist her/his clients to participate and, with the chair's permission to speak on their behalf.

5.6 Membership of Child Protection Conference

Legal Attendance at Conferences - The local authority solicitor is both a legal adviser to the chair and to the local authority, although will not normally provide this advice during the conference. (S)he may not question parents directly and in exceptional circumstances may have to withdraw if there are any indications th

5.7 Quorate Conferences

Legal Attendance at Conferences - In these circumstances, consideration should be given to arranging an early Review Conference.

5.7 Quorate Conferences

Legal Attendance at Conferences - Another conference date, usually within a month, must be set immediately.

5.7 Quorate Conferences

Legal Attendance at Conferences

5.7 Quorate Conferences

Legal Attendance at Conferences - The primary principle for determining quoracy is that there should be sufficient agencies or key disciplines present to enable safe decisions to be made in the individual circumstances. Normally, minimum representation is Children's Social Care and at least two other agencies or key discip

5.7 Quorate Conferences

Legal Attendance at Conferences - Where a conference is inquorate it should not ordinarily proceed and the chair must ensure that either: An interim protection plan is produced; or The existing plan is reviewed with the professionals and family members that do attend, so as to safeguard the welfare of the child(ren).

5.7 Quorate Conferences

Legal Attendance at Conferences - In the following circumstances the chair may decide to proceed with the conference despite lack of agency representation. This would be relevant where: Children's Social Care and one other agency are represented; A child does not have relevant contact with 3 agencies; There are local diffi

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Criteria for Presence of Child at Conference

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Criteria for Presence of Child at Conference - In order to establish her/his wish with respect to attendance, the child must be first provided with a full and clear explanation of purpose, conduct, membership of the conference and potential provision of an advocate or support person.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Criteria for Presence of Child at Conference - Written information translated into the appropriate language should be provided to those able to read and an alternative medium e.g. tape, offered those who cannot read.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Criteria for Presence of Child at Conference - A declared wish not to attend a conference (having been given such an explanation) must be respected.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Criteria for Presence of Child at Conference - The primary issues to be addressed are: The child's level of understanding of the process; Any expressed or implicit wish to be involved; The parent / carer's views about the child's proposed presence; Whether inclusion is assessed to be of benefit to the child.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Involving Children - Where it is assessed, in accordance with the criteria below, that it would be inappropriate for the child to attend, alternative arrangements should be made to ensure her/his wishes and feelings are made clear to all relevant parties - e.g. use of an advocate, written or taped comments.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Involving Parents and Carers - The role of the supporter is to enable the parent/carer to put her/his point of view, not to take an adversarial position or cross-examine participants.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Involving Children - The child, subject to her/his level of understanding, needs to be given the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the conference.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Involving Children - In practice, the appropriateness of including an individual child must be assessed in advance and relevant arrangements made to facilitate attendance at all or part of the conference.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Criteria for Presence of Child at Conference - Consideration should be given to the views of and impact on parent(s) of their child's proposed attendance.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Criteria for Presence of Child at Conference - Consideration must be given to the impact of the conference on the child e.g. if they have a significant learning difficulty or where it will be impossible to ensure they are kept apart from a parent who may be hostile and/or attribute responsibility onto them.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Direct Involvement of a Child in a Conference - Those for whom English is not a first language should be offered and provided with an interpreter.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Direct Involvement of a Child in a Conference - Provision should be made to ensure that a child who has any form of disability is enabled to participate.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Direct Involvement of a Child in a Conference - Consideration should be given to enabling the child to be accompanied by a supporter or an advocate.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Direct Involvement of a Child in a Conference - If the child attends all or part of the conference, it is essential that (s)he is prepared by the social worker or independent advocate, who can help her/him prepare a report or rehearse any particular points that the child wishes to make.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Direct Involvement of a Child in a Conference - In advance of the conference, the chair and social worker should agree whether: The child attends for all or part of the conference, taking into account confidentiality of parents and/or siblings; (S)he should be present with one or more of her/his parents; The chair meets the child alone

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Criteria for Presence of Child at Conference - In such cases, energy and resources should be directed toward ensuring by means of an advocate and/or preparatory work by a social worker, that the child's wishes and feelings are effectively represented.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Indirect Contributions When a Child is not Attending - Indirect contributions from a child might include a pre-meeting with the conference chair.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Indirect Contributions When a Child is not Attending - Other indirect methods include written statements, emails, text messages and taped comments prepared alone or with independent support, and representation via an advocate.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Involving Parents and Carers - Written information about conferences should be left with the family and include references to: The right to bring a friend, supporter or an advocate; The fact that if the family is accompanied by a solicitor her /his role is limited to that  of a supporter; Details of local advice and ad

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Criteria for Presence of Child at Conference - The test of 'sufficient understanding', is partly a function of age and partly the child's capacity to understand. Generally, a child of less than 12 years of age is unlikely to be able to be a direct and/or full participant in a conference. An older child is potentially able to contribute

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Direct Involvement of a Child in a Conference

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Involving Parents and Carers - If parents / carers feel unable to attend the conference, alternative means should be provided for them to communicate with the chair of the conference.

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Involving Parents and Carers

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Indirect Contributions When a Child is not Attending

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Involving Parents and Carers - The social worker must facilitate their constructive involvement by ensuring in advance of the conference that they are given sufficient information and practical support to make a meaningful contribution. This includes: Explaining to parents/carers the purpose of the meeting, who will att

5.8 Involving Children and Family Members

Involving Parents and Carers - Parents and carers must be invited to conferences (unless exclusion is justified as described in Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference Procedure). Parents/ others with Parental Responsibility who no longer live with the children should also be invited.

5.9 Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager - Where a parent is on bail, or subject to an active police investigation, it is the responsibility of the chair to ensure that the police can fully present their information and views and also that the parents participate as fully as circumstances allow. This may involve the chair and polic

5.9 Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager - It may also become clear at the beginning or in the course of a conference, that its effectiveness will be seriously impaired by the presence of the parent(s). In these circumstances, the chair may ask them to leave.

5.9 Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference

Process of Child and Family Assessments - If, in planning a conference, it becomes clear to the chair that there may be conflict of interests between the children and parents, the conference should be planned so that the welfare of the child can remain paramount. This may mean arranging for the child and parents to participate in

5.9 Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference

Process of Child and Family Assessments - Exceptionally it may be necessary to exclude one or more family members from part or all of a conference. These situations will be rare, and the conference chair must be notified by the social worker, or a worker from any agency, if they believe based on the criteria below, that a parent s

5.9 Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference

Process of Child and Family Assessments - The chair should make a decision in response to: Indications that the presence of the parent might seriously prejudice the welfare of the child; Sufficient evidence that a parent / carer may behave in such a way as to interfere seriously with the work of the conference e.g. violence, threa

5.9 Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager - The decision of the chair over matters of exclusion is final regarding both parents and the child(ren).

5.9 Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager

5.9 Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager - The parent must be informed about how to make their views known, how (s)he will be told the outcome of the conference and about the Complaints by Service Users Procedure. The parent should be advised on the possibility of preparing a contribution for the conference e.g. a letter, others at

5.9 Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager - Those excluded should be provided with a copy of the social worker's report to the conference (three working days before an Initial Conference and five working days before a Review Conference) and be provided with the opportunity to have their views recorded and presented to the conference

5.9 Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager - If a decision to exclude a parent is made, this must be fully recorded in the minutes. Exclusion from one conference is not reason enough in itself for exclusion from a further conference.

5.9 Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference

Process of Child and Family Assessments - The worker concerned must indicate which of the grounds it believes are met and the information, or evidence, the request is based on. The chair must consider the representation carefully and may need legal advice.

5.9 Exclusion of Family Members from a Conference

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager - If the chair has decided, prior to the conference, to exclude a parent, this must be communicated to the parent prior to conference, ideally in writing. If this is not possible then the Chair must still confirm in writing the reasons for their decision. The social worker should have prepar

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Core Group - Professionals and foster carers in direct contact with the child should also be included.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - Each child subject to a Child Protection Plan must have a written Child Protection Plan, using the Child Protection Plan pro-forma.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - The purpose of this plan is to facilitate and make explicit a coordinated approach to the protection from further harm of each child subject to a Child Protection Plan.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Core Group - Dates for future meetings must be agreed at the first Core Group meeting following each conference.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - The parents should be clear about: The evidence of Significant Harm which resulted in the child becoming the subject of a  Child Protection Plan; What needs to change in the future; and What is expected of them as part of implementing the plan.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Core Group - See Resolution of Professional Disagreements Procedure  for additional information on the procedure to be followed.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Core Group - Membership of the Core Group will have been identified at the Child Protection Conference and must include the Lead Social Worker / Lead Social Worker's manager as chair.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Core Group - Good practice would be for the Core Group to meet within 6 weeks of their initial meeting, and at a minimum frequency of once every 2 months following the first Review Conference. More regular meetings may be required according to the needs of the child.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Core Group - Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, Flowchart 5, What happens after the child protection conference, including the review?  states that the date of the first Core Group meeting must be within 10 working days of the Initial Child Protection Conference. This date must be arranged a

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Core Group - It will include both parents/carers, child (if appropriate) and other relevant family members. If the Core Group is unable to include both parents due to risk or because one or other of the parents is unable to attend due to work or other commitments, then the lead Social Worker should ens

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Core Group - Where the Review Conference recommends major changes to the Child Protection Plan, the Core Group should meet within 10 days of the conference.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Further Assessment - Updated assessments may be helpful in the following circumstances: On transfer of a case; Following the birth of a child who was subject to a Child Protection Plan before birth; When a child has been subject to a Child Protection Plan for a year; Prior to consideration of discontinuing the

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Lead Social Worker Role - Parents and child must be informed of planned absences of the Lead Social Worker, who will be covering the role and what contacts will be made.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Children's Social Care First Line Manager Role - The first line manager has a vital role in managing the progress of the case and supporting the Lead Social Worker.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Children's Social Care First Line Manager Role - The manager should: Read and countersign all significant recordings, assessments and decisions on the child's file / electronic record, including the chronology; Discuss the progress of the Child Protection Plan and any concerns in supervision, including ensuring that there has been adequa

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Children's Social Care First Line Manager Role - The manager must arrange cover for the Lead Social Worker in case of sickness and ensure arrangements are in place when the Lead Social Worker is on annual leave and training, including the checking and any necessary action, resulting from post, e-mails and telephone contacts.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Lead Social Worker Role - It is the responsibility of the Lead Social Worker, in liaison with the social work manager to ensure that clear cover arrangements are made when the Lead Social Worker is absent on planned annual leave, training etc.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Lead Social Worker Role - The request to bring forward the date of a Review Conference should be made by a Strategy Discussion/Meeting of a Section.47 Enquiry or by the Lead Social Worker following consultation with Core Group members, the conference chair, and must be authorised by the first line manager.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Lead Social Worker Role - See also Uncooperative or Hostile Parents Procedure.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Lead Social Worker Role - The Lead Social Worker must maintain a complete and up-to-date signed record on the current electronic record, to include: The time and date of every home visit, stating who was present, confirmation that the Lead Social Worker spoke with the child (including if alone), or providing a clea

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Lead Social Worker Role - The Lead Social Worker is responsible, in liaison with the conference chair and administrator, for convening the Review Child Protection Conference, the dates for which should have been set at the previous conference for no more than: 3 months after the Initial Conference; 6 months after a

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Lead Social Worker Role - Consideration should be given to bringing forward the date of a review conference in the following circumstances: Following a new and significant incident relating to concerns about child protection, usually involving a Section 47 Enquiry; When there is a significant change in the circumst

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Children's Social Care First Line Manager Role - If the Lead Social Worker is to be absent from work for an extended period her / his manager should consider reallocating the case

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Children's Social Care First Line Manager Role - If the Lead Social Worker is to be absent from work for an extended period her / his manager should consider reallocating the case

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan who go Missing or are Absent - If a professional/agency becomes aware that a child who is subject to a Child Protection Plan has gone missing, or is absent from school/educational or daycare settings, they should inform the Lead Social Worker immediately

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan who go Missing or are Absent - If the child cannot be traced the Lead Social Worker should inform the senior Child Protection Manager and follow the Children and Families who Go Missing Procedure   

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Death of a Child Subject to a Child Protection Plan - When a child who is subject to a Child Protection Plan dies, from whatever cause, the Lead Social Worker or her/his manager must inform the senior child protection manager, who will notify the chair of the LSCB.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Death of a Child Subject to a Child Protection Plan - Consideration will need to be given to the need for a Serious Case Review.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Intervention - Critically, decision-making must consider if the child's developmental needs can be responded to within the family taking account of the Assessment Framework andwithin timescales appropriate for that child.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Intervention - Intervention should address the child's needs and may involve action to promote her or his health, development and safety, particularly with regard to the need to develop a secure parent-child attachment.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Further Assessment - The Lead Social Worker and first line manager must, in supervision, regularly consider the risks to the child and whether updated Child and Family Assessment or further specialist assessments should be undertaken

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Core Group - If members are concerned that there are difficulties implementing the Child Protection Plan arising from disagreement amongst professional agencies or a Core Group member not carrying out agreed responsibilities this must be addressed: Firstly, by discussion with other Core Group members a

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Intervention - Intervention must be provided to give the child and family the best opportunities of achieving the required changes. If a child cannot be cared for safely at home, (s)he will need to be placed elsewhere whilst work is undertaken with both child and family.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Lead Social Worker Role - In these circumstances formal agreement must be reached that a member of another agency carry out the face-to-face contact, or that a Review Conference is called. Such a decision must be recorded and authorised by managers of the agencies concerned and agreed in the Child Protection Plan.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Lead Social Worker Role - If the Lead Social Worker has difficulty obtaining direct access to the child, the Children's Social Care line manager must be informed, as well as other Core Group members.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - There should be no reduction in service level or significant change to the Child Protection Plan without: The recorded agreement of other Core Group members; and The recorded agreement of the first line manager; and Consulting the conference chair; and Consideration with the chair and line

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - Professionals and parents/caregivers should develop the details of the Child Protection Plan in the Core Group. The overall aim of the plan is to: Ensure the child is safe from harm and prevent him or her from suffering further harm by supporting the strengths, addressing the vulnerabiliti

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - The Child Protection Plan should be based on the findings from the assessment, following the dimensions relating to the child's developmental needs, parenting capacity and family and environmental factors, and drawing on knowledge about effective interventions. Where the child is also the

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - The content of the Child Protection Plan should be consistent with the information set out in the Child Protection Plan Record (on ICS). It should set out what work needs to be done, why, when and by whom. The plan should: Describe the identified developmental needs of the child and what t

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - An outline plan must be drawn up at Initial and Review Conferences, following the decision to develop a Child Protection Plan or continue with that plan. (see Actions and Decisions of the Conference Procedure, Outline Child Protection Plan) . The aim of the outline plan is to assist the C

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - The Child Protection Plan should be used to clarify expectations and assist in joint working towards shared goals. It can also be used as evidence, in any legal proceedings, of the efforts made to work in partnership (this must be made clear to parents).

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - The plan will be outlined at the Child Protection Conference and the Lead Social Worker and Core Group are responsible for ensuring it is drawn up in detail and acted upon.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - The Core Group will, as described above, regularly review and where necessary modify the Child Protection Plan.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - The Child Protection Plan will constitute an agenda item at each Review Conference.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - The Child Protection Plan should take into account the wishes and feelings of the child, and the views of the parents, insofar as they are consistent with the child's welfare. Both child and parents should be provided with the opportunity to record their comments, including areas of disagr

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - Any dissent about the plan, by family or professionals, must be recorded, with reasons. If family members' preferences are not accepted about how best to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child, the reasons for this should be explained. Families should be told about their right to c

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Lead Social Worker Role - At every initial conference, where a child is made subject to a Child Protection Plan, the chair will name a qualified social worker, identified by the social work team manager, to fulfil the role of Lead Social Worker for the child.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Lead Social Worker Role - The Lead Social Worker should: Ensure that Core Groups take place with frequency; Ensure that the outline Child Protection Plan is developed, in conjunction with members of the Core Group (see Core Group Membership) , into a detailed multi-agency protection plan; Clearly note and include i

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Lead Social Worker Role - Ensure the child(ren) is/are seen at least every 10 working days by the Lead Social Worker or in exceptional circumstances by another member of the Core Group. If is not the Lead Social Worker, this should be agreed within the notes of  the Core Group; Where possible the child should be s

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Lead Social Worker Role - The frequency of contact by Lead Social Worker or Core Group members detailed above is the minimum standard. In exceptional circumstances the Core Group may decide that the required contact level should be less frequent. Any such decision should be authorised by Children's Social Care line

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - All agencies are responsible for the implementation of the Child Protection Plan and all professionals must ensure they are able to deliver their commitments, or if not possible, that these are re-negotiated.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - The Lead Social Worker must record the Child Protection Plan and circulate it to all Core Group members and the conference chair within 5 working days of the meeting.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - The Lead Social Worker should make every effort to ensure that the child and parents have a clear understanding of the planned outcomes; that they accept the plan and are willing to work to it. If the parents are not willing to cooperate in the implementation of the plan the local authorit

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - The plan should be constructed with the family in their preferred language and they should receive a written copy in this language.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - The Child Protection Plan should be explained to and agreed with the child in a manner which is accordance with their age and understanding.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Formulation of Child Protection Plan - All parties must be clear about the respective roles and responsibilities of family members and different agencies in implementing the plan.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Core Group - Where any member of the Core Group is aware of difficulties implementing the Child Protection Plan due to changed or unforeseen circumstances, the Lead Social Worker must be informed immediately and consideration given to recalling the Core Group meeting to re-consider the Child Protection

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Core Group - If the difficulty in implementing the Child Protection Plan impacts on the safety of the child, the Lead Social Worker and all Core Group members should consider the need for a Section 47 Enquiry and / or bringing forward the date of the Review Child Protection Conference and / or for imme

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan who go Missing or are Absent

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Introduction - The Core Group is responsible for the formulation and implementation of the detailed Child Protection Plan, previously outlined at the conference.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

RELATED GUIDANCE Agreement about how local authorities and Cafcass can work effectively in a set of care proceedings and pre-proceedings in the English family courts (Association of Directors of Children’s Services [ADCS] and Cafcass, February 2017)

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Core Group - Circumstances, about which the Lead Social Worker should be informed, include the inability to gain access to the child who is subject to a Child Protection Plan, for whatever reasons, on two consecutive home visits.

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Introduction - When the decision is made by an Initial Child Protection Conference to make a child subject to a Child Protection Plan, the Conference must Formulate an outline Child Protection Plan (see Actions and Decisions of the Conference Procedure, Outline Child Protection Plan); Ensure a Lead Socia

6.1 Implementation of the Child Protection Plan – Lead Social Worker and Core Group Responsibilities

Core Group - All members of the Core Group are jointly responsible for: Collecting information to assist the Lead Social Worker in completing the Child and Family Assessment; Participating in the compilation of the Child and Family Assessment; Formulating and implementing the Child Protection Plan, ref

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Keeping a record of Children with a Child Protection Plan - These categories help indicate the nature of the current concerns - (see Actions and Decisions of the Conference Procedure).

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Managing and Providing Information about Children - Each local authority should designate a manager, normally an experienced social worker, who has responsibility for: Ensuring that records on children who have a Child Protection Plan are kept up to date; Ensuring enquiries about children about whom there are concerns or who have Child Prot

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Managing and Providing Information about Children - This manager should be accountable to the Director of Children's Services.

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Managing and Providing Information about Children - Information on each child known to Children's Social Care should be kept up-to-date on the Local Authorities ICS IT system, and the content of the child's record should be confidential, available only to legitimate enquirers.

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Keeping a record of Children with a Child Protection Plan - Each Local Authority is required to have in place an IT system which meets Working Together guidance requirements of supporting the Integrated Children's System (ICS) and being capable of producing a list of all the children resident in the area (including those who have been placed there

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Keeping a record of Children with a Child Protection Plan - Children with a Child Protection Plan should be recorded as having been abused or neglected under one or more of the categories of Physical Abuse; Emotional Abuse; or Sexual Abuse; or Neglect. according to a decision by the chair of the Child Protection Conference.

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Keeping a record of Children with a Child Protection Plan - It is equally important that agencies and professionals can obtain relevant information about other children who are known or have been known to the Local Authority. Consequently, agencies and professionals who have concerns about a child should be able to obtain information about a child

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Keeping a record of Children with a Child Protection Plan - Arrangements are to be in place for legitimate enquirers such as police and health professionals to be able to obtain this information both in and outside office hours.

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Managing and Providing Information about Children - This information should be accessible at all times to such enquirers. The details of enquirers should always be checked and recorded on the system before information is provided.

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Keeping a record of Children with a Child Protection Plan - The principal purpose of having the IT capacity to record that a child is the subject of a Child Protection Plan is to enable agencies and professionals to be aware of those children who are judged to be at continuing risk of Significant Harm and who are the subject of a Child Protection P

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Keeping a record of Children with a Child Protection Plan - Recording information in this way also allows for the collation and analysis of information locally and nationally and for its use in planning the provision of services.  

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Managing and Providing Information about Children - If an enquiry is made about a child and the child's case is open to Children's Social Care, the enquirer should be given the name of the child's Lead Social Worker and the Lead Social Worker informed of this enquiry so that they can follow it up. If an enquiry is made about a child at the

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Keeping a record of Children with a Child Protection Plan

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Managing and Providing Information about Children - The Department for Education holds lists of the names of designated managers and should be notified of any changes in designated managers.

6.2 Record of Children with a Child Protection Plan and Enquiries of the Record

Managing and Providing Information about Children - If an enquiry is made but the child is not known to Children's Social Care, this enquiry should be recorded on a contact sheet together with the advice given to the enquirer. In the event of there being a second enquiry about a child who is not known to Children's Social Care, not only sho

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 2 - Formal Consideration - The Panel must be provided with the following documentation: A formal request to convene; A copy of the relevant conference record and the reports that were made available to the conference; Stage 1 meeting notes and correspondence; A list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of the c

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Immediate Resolution - An expressed concern about the conference itself, which arises in the course of the meeting, must be noted and an attempt made by the chair to resolve it with the service user.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 2 - Formal Consideration - The Panel membership should include at least two from amongst Safeguarding Investigations Unit, Children's Social Care, education and health agencies and the individuals should have had no previous or present direct line management responsibility for the case in question.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 2 - Formal Consideration - The complaints manager in liaison with the senior child protection manager will make arrangements for this meeting, and the representative of the agency least directly involved in the case will normally fulfil the role of Panel chair.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 2 - Formal Consideration - If, within 20 working days of days of receipt of the Stage 1 letter, the complainant notifies the complaints manager that (s)he remains dissatisfied and specifies reasons, arrangements must be made to convene, within 20 working days, a panel of a minimum of 3 individuals from the LSCB or i

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 2 - Formal Consideration - The Panel should be convened within 20 working days of the receipt of the complainant's letter and consider whether: Relevant inter-agency protocols and procedures have been observed correctly; and If any decision in dispute follows reasonably from the processes employed and information pr

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 2 - Formal Consideration - A recommendation must be made to re-convene the conference, under a different chair if: Procedures / protocols relating to the conference were not correctly followed; or The procedures / protocols were correctly followed but the decision of the conference was unreasonable.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Reconvened Conference - The chair of a reconvened Child Protection Conference (initial or review) must ensure that all those present have seen or are briefed at the conference about the decisions reached by the Panel.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Reconvened Conference - A distinction must be made by the chair between the need to discuss the conclusions of the Panel and the task of the Child Protection Conference, which is to consider the child(ren)'s current circumstances.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Further Challenge - No further internal processes exist in those cases where the Panel concludes that all relevant processes were followed and that the decisions which were made were reasonable..

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 2 - Formal Consideration - The Panel should also consider any specific concerns that may be relevant to communicate to agencies involved with the case and may make recommendations relating to practice or procedure to any LSCB agency.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 2 - Formal Consideration - If the Panel concludes that procedures relating to the conference were correctly followed and that the decision(s) reached were reasonable, it must confirm that the conclusions of the original conference stands and will be routinely reviewed when the Review Conference is held.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 2 - Formal Consideration - The Panel chair should ensure that the Panel's conclusions should be put in writing to the complainant within 10 working days of its meeting and will: Confirm membership of the Panel; State the decision reached; Provide concise information about how the decision was reached.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Reconvened Conference

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 2 - Formal Consideration - The Panel will: Hear (either directly or in writing) from the complainant, the chair of the relevant Child Protection Conference and any other relevant person; Consider written material; Reach a decision; Agree the content of their decision letter to the complainant.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Eligibility - Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010 paragraph 5.107 (now archived) clarifies that parents / carers or a child (considered by the conference chair to have sufficient understanding), may make a complaint in respect of one or more of the following aspects of the Child Protection Confe

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Eligibility - All parties must be made aware that: This complaints process cannot itself change the decision to have a Child Protection Plan; and During the course of the complaints process, the decision made by the conference stands.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Immediate Resolution - If this initial attempt to resolve matters fails, the service user should be reminded of the conference complaints process, and be invited (and if necessary assisted by the social worker) to write within 10 working days of their receipt of the minutes, to the conference chair.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager - The conference chair should inform the senior child protection manager, social services complaints manager, and all the professionals who attended the conference, that (s)he has received the complaint.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Further Challenge - A complainant who nonetheless remains dissatisfied may wish to pursue her/his grievances via the Ombudsman or a Judicial Review.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager - Complaints made outside the 10 working days' time limit may, in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the conference chair, be accepted.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Eligibility - The end result for a complainant will be either that A conference is re-convened under a different conference chair; A Review Conference is brought forward; or It confirms the status quo.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Eligibility - Complaints about individual agencies, their performance and provision (or non-provision) of services should be responded to in accordance with the relevant agency's ordinary complaints handling processes.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager - The response provided to the complainant should be copied to the Children's Social Care complaints manager.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager - Within a further 10 working days, the conference chair should provide a written response to the complainant including notes of their meeting. This letter should include information on how to pursue concerns further if the complainant remains dissatisfied.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager - The conference chair should meet with the complainant (who may be supported by a friend or relative) within 10 working days of receipt of the complaint so as to: Ensure the complainant sufficiently understands the child protection process; Clarify the grounds for, and nature of, the compla

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 1 - Exploration by Conference Chair and/or their Manager - At the meeting with the complainant, the conference chair should be accompanied by a colleague who can take minutes.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 2 - Formal Consideration

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Stage 2 - Formal Consideration - The complaints manager will liaise with the complainant throughout, and be available at the Panel, to advise on relevant processes.

7.1 Complaints by Service Users

Further Challenge - In what are likely to be very rare cases, where a re-convened conference has been recommended, held and the complainant does not accept the outcome, the same Panel may (at the discretion of the complaints manager in liaison with the senior child protection manager) be asked to re-convene a

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Professional Dissent at Child Protection Conference - If the chair of a conference is unable to achieve a consensus as to the need for a Child Protection Plan or the discontinuing of a plan, (s)he will make a decision and note any dissenting views.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Professional Dissent at Child Protection Conference - The agency or individual who dissents from the chair's decision must consider whether (s)he wishes to further challenge the decision.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent with decision to call a Child Protection Conference - As a last resort the decision to hold the conference will be made by the senior child protection manager following discussion with the relevant LSCB members.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent with decision to call a Child Protection Conference

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent with decision to call a Child Protection Conference - Where there remain differences of view over the need for a conference in a specific case, every effort will be made to resolve them through discussion and explanation.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Professional Dissent at Child Protection Conference - If the dissenting professional believes that the decision reached by the chair places a child at (further) risk of Significant Harm, it is expected that (s)he will formally raise the matter with the senior child protection manager.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent regarding the Implementation of the Child Protection Plan - Concern or disagreement may arise over another professional's decisions, actions or lack of actions in the implementation of the Child Protection Plan, including Core Group meetings.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent regarding the Implementation of the Child Protection Plan - Records of discussions must be maintained by all the agencies involved.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Where Professional Differences Remain - In the unlikely event that the issue is not resolved by the steps described above and serious professional disagreements remain unresolved /or the discussions raise significant policy issues, the matter should be raised with the professional leads for safeguarding and child protection with

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent regarding the Implementation of the Child Protection Plan - At any stage advice should be sought from designated/named/lead officer/ child protection adviser) or other designated professional such as the designated doctor or nurse.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent regarding the Implementation of the Child Protection Plan - If agreement cannot be reached following discussions between the above 'first line' managers the issue must be referred without delay through the line management to the equivalent of service manager / detective inspector / head teacher.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Professional Dissent at Child Protection Conference

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent regarding the Implementation of the Child Protection Plan - In the first instance the line managers of the professionals involved should always address concerns at a local level.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Professional Dissent at Child Protection Conference - The senior child protection manager will review available documentation, liaise with the conference chair and either: Uphold the decision reached by the conference chair; Require the conference be re-convened.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Where Professional Differences Remain - Records of challenges should be kept for statistical purposes by the Chair of the LSCB and included in the annual report.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent at Enquiry Stage - Records of discussions must be maintained by all the agencies involved.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Where Professional Differences Remain

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent at Enquiry Stage - At any stage advice should be sought from designated/named/lead officer/ child protection adviser or other designated professional such as the designated doctor or nurse.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent at Enquiry Stage - If agreement cannot be reached following discussions between the above 'first line' managers the issue must be referred without delay through the line management to the equivalent of service manager / detective inspector / head teacher.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent at Enquiry Stage - Disagreements over the handling of concerns typically occur when: The referral is not considered to meet eligibility criteria for assessment by Children's Social Care; Advice is sought and a social worker has concluded that a referral is required, however the professional does not want to

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent at Enquiry Stage - If the professionals are unable to resolve differences through discussion and/or meeting within a time scale, which is acceptable to both of them, their disagreement must be addressed by more experienced / more senior staff.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent with decision to call a Child Protection Conference - A request to convene a Child Protection Conference may be made by a senior staff member of any of the member agencies and should be made and responded to in writing to either a Service Manager or a Child Protection Adviser.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent at Enquiry Stage - With respect to most day-to-day difficulties, this will require a Children's Social Care team manager liaising with her/his equivalent in the relevant agency, e.g.: A detective sergeant in the Safeguarding Investigations Unit; A senior health visitor / nurse / GP; Designated Teacher.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent with decision to call a Child Protection Conference - A decision not to convene a conference must be confirmed in writing to the requesting agency/ies giving reasons.

7.2 Resolution of Professional Disagreements

Dissent regarding the Implementation of the Child Protection Plan

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

The Return - The child should be given the opportunity to talk to someone independent of their family or of their placement about their absence. In some instances, this person could be a police officer. It may be however that the child would prefer to speak to a social worker or to an independent agenc

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Police Powers - Any child unlawfully at large from a secure unit or penal establishment may be liable to arrest and returned by police.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

The Return - The accountable manager in the authority responsible for the child's care should ensure that an independent return interview is arranged. If there are concerns that the child ran away as a result of circumstances relating to their family or to their placement then this interview would need

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

The Return - Where an allegation of physical or sexual abuse is made or becomes evident, child protection procedures must be implemented and contact made immediately with the Safeguarding Investigations Unit and the child protection service at the authority where the child is living if the child is in

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Police Powers - There will be occasions when a child is found in a location that may be considered unsuitable, but where there would not be legal grounds for taking them into Police Protection. In such cases, police and the accountable manager from the responsible social services authority will need to li

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

The Return - If there is any suggestion that the child has been a victim or perpetrator of crime, consideration must be given to the securing evidence by police including by forensic examination. This should also include securing clothing and delaying washing/bathing in relevant cases. It must be remem

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - Clearly some children absent themselves for a short period and then return and their whereabouts are known. Sometimes children stay out longer than agreed, either on purpose or accidentally, and may be testing boundaries.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - This kind of boundary testing is within the range of normal teenage behaviour and not necessarily considered a risk, although a more general response such as additional parenting support and advice may be helpful as behaviour of this nature may fall within the wider safeguarding remit for

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Informing the Media - The Police are responsible for advising the media regarding children missing from local authority care, however decisions to publicise will always be made in consultation with Children's Social Care who will consult the parents and/or foster carers.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Police Powers - Police powers are limited and difficulties can arise when missing children are found but do not want to return to their placement.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - Children who make telephone contact and agree a time to return, but subsequently fail to do could also fall within this definition.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

The Return - Carers, police, social workers and any other persons informed of the child's absence, should be advised of the child's return without delay.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Police Powers - Where there is reasonable cause to believe that the child could suffer Significant Harm the police can take the child into Police Protection under the Children Act 1989, and remove to suitable accommodation which could include the home from which the child originally went missing. The poli

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - A person not at the place where they are expected to be.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

The Return - For a child in care, the social worker and line manager should decide in consultation with residential staff/foster carer, the Independent Reviewing Officerand the child, whether they should convene a statutory Looked After Review of the child's Care Plan.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Children who Go Missing Abroad - If the matter is reported to an agency within Sussex, as with any other missing child the police should be informed. The police may decide to commence their own enquiries and/or investigation.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Longer Absences - This meeting will review the action taken up to this point, and satisfy themselves that all possible steps are being taken to locate and return the child.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - The term "looked after children" has a specific legal meaning deriving from Children Act 1989. Under the Children Act 1989 a child is "looked after" if he or she is: Provided with accommodation for a continuous period of more than 24 hours ( Children Act 1989, Section 20 and 21 ); or Is su

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - Children within this group are composed of: Those who are 'not known' in the sense that although they will be known to a universal service such as school or a GP there has not been previous contact with a targeted service; Children who are receiving additional support from a targeted servi

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Children who Go Missing Abroad - Any reports of missing children overseas will, in the first instance, be investigated by the relevant agency within the country where they went missing.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - A child in this category must be reported to the police.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - Where the child's location or reason for absence is unknown and/or there is cause for concern for the child because of their vulnerability or there is a potential danger to the public.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Children who Go Missing Abroad - Should it be necessary for the UK investigators to liaise directly with their overseas counterparts, or if there is a need to visit the country conducting the enquiries is identified, the first approach should be made through the Interpol Bureau in London. Interpol will then advise on the

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Longer Absences - A meeting will be called to develop a strategy whenever a child is missing for a longer period, and within a maximum of 7 working days. This will be based on the assessment and will depend upon the child's individual circumstances.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Children in Care who go Missing during External Activity of a Residential Home - If a child becomes absent outside their area, the carer in charge of the external activity or holiday will: Arrange a search in the area where the child became absent; Notify the local police for that area; Notify the child's parents or guardian (the decision of when to inform parents/thos

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Longer Absences - This meeting will involve: The accountable manager from the authority responsible for the child's care; The local police inspector (or their nominee); Other relevant staff representatives from the authority where the child is living; The registered manager of the children's home or fosteri

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - This Policy is not intended to respond to families who go missing to evade contact with professionals. If a child is missing in this context professionals should consultChildren and Families who Go Missing Procedure.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - Children who because of their age or due to a degree of intellectual impairment become separated from their carers, become temporarily disorientated and become missing as a result and would wish to be found. This is clearly very frightening and upsetting for all involved

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - A small number of young people enter care after they have been remanded to local authority accommodation (RLAA) by a Youth Court. A child who absconds from local authority accommodation when RLAA is unlawfully at large and has, in legal terms, escaped from custody. If a child who has been

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Children who Go Missing Abroad - Further guidance for the police on this issue in contained within Force policy.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care - Details of children who are absent should still be notified to the police in order that a record of the child's absence can be made, and agreement reached on what needs to be done, and who will do what.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Planning to Address Incidents of Specific Concern - If the running away/going missing of a child or young person is causing specific concern, e.g., by its frequent repetition or indicators of particular risk such as contact with a person who poses a risk to children, there should be a meeting to discuss the combined response to such inciden

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Risk Assessment - Planning before the Event - If appropriate the child should have this policy explained to them so that they understand what actions will be taken if they absent themselves without permission.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Risk Assessment - Planning before the Event - In assessing the significance of a child's absence either before the event or once it has happened the following should be borne in mind: The age and level of understanding of the child; The legal status of the child; Previous behaviour patterns; The emotional needs of the child e.g. wheth

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Risk Assessment - Planning before the Event - In these circumstances there will be a planning meeting. Children's services staff and police will discuss associated risks of the child absenting themselves. This discussion should be recorded in writing using the appropriate risk assessment tool.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Recording - Throughout the process identified within this policy, a full record of all actions taken and messages received and given must be kept by all agencies.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Risk Assessment - Planning before the Event - As far as possible there should be an assessment in advance of any child who is judged to be likely to go missing.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Risk Assessment - Planning before the Event - Once a child has gone missing, both children's services and police staff should avoid dismissing the potential significance of repeated periods of absconding. Often such children are immediately labelled as 'the problem' and insufficient consideration is given to why they are persistently

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Response - The responsibility for responding to reports of children who go missing and undertaking enquires to locate them and ensure their return to a safe caring environment lies with the police.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Planning before the Event for Children in Care - This assessment should include information on the following: The likelihood of the child going missing; The child's view; The level of supervision /support that care staff propose to provide for the child; The views of social care staff/foster carers on their child needs and the action tha

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Planning before the Event for Children in Care - Once again, the child should have this policy explained to him/her and the potential dangers that they may encounter so that he/she understands the implications of running.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Planning before the Event for Children in Care - In addition to the planning processes above, where there is a likelihood that a child in care may go missing from their established placement the social care pre-incident assessment should be used to assess the likelihood that the child might go missing and the risk they may face as a cons

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Risk Assessment - Planning before the Event - Some of the 'pull factors' identified may include: Wanting to be with family or friends; Peer pressure to conform to established patterns of behaviour; The attractions of street life or people who may present a risk.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Risk Assessment - Planning before the Event - In relation to reasons for going missing, a range of 'push' and 'pull' factors have been identified. 'Push factors' may include: Conflict with carers, feeling powerless, bullying, being unhappy at home or in care; Wanting attention by provoking a reaction to demonstrate that someone cares

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Response - Anyone may report a child as missing to the police; they no not have to be a parent, carer, or other relative.  Any report of a missing child must be recorded by the police area receiving the report.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - In the case of an asylum seeking child, Children's Services are required to notify the UK Border and Immigration Agency, that National Missing Person's Helpline and the Refugee Council.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Planning before the Event for Children in Care - Across Sussex there is a consistent approach to the planning and assessment of children in care. This ensures that thorough planning will take place and offers a full opportunity to all the statutory agencies to contribute. Planning is recorded on Looked After Children (L.A.C.) forms. When

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care - Although there is an expectation that residential staff and foster carers should continue to make reasonable enquiries to locate the child, it may also be appropriate for the police to initiate some enquiries as well.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Response - The detailed police response to children who go missing is contained in the relevant Force policy and national guidance, and will not be repeated in this policy.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - If staff are concerned that trafficking or sexual exploitation may be the reason for underlying prolonged or repeated periods of absence, additional guidance can be found both with the Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures,Trafficked Children Procedure and within 'Safeguardin

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care - Residential staff and foster carers should continue to regularly review the circumstances in the light of any enquiries made or information received, and inform the police of any developments. If the period of absence continues for six hours, consideration should be given as to whether the

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - For children who are not within the care system local policies on Children Missing Education may help identify children who are not only missing from school but are also missing from home.  There may also be a further link for some children from Black and Minority Ethnic communities to Fo

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care - Any case of an absent child which causes significant concern, or gives rise to the suspicion of harm, should be brought to the attention of the accountable team manager from the authority responsible for the child's care.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care - If the child is considered to fall within the definition of absent, the decision to record the child as such, together with the evidence supporting that decision must be recorded.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care - If the child is considered to fall with the definition of missing, the foster carers or residential staff must without delay inform: The police; The parents and those who have Parental Responsibility (the decision of when to inform parents/those with Parental Responsibility must be made in

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Response - Even after reporting a child missing, staff should recognise that Children's Social Care are responsible for children in their care at all times, and this responsibility  remains after they have reported a child missing to the police.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Response - Children's Social Care staff will be expected to help the police in finding the child and to work cooperatively with police during any enquiry.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Response - When a child or young person is missing from home or has become detached from their social care staff/foster carers, the priority must be ensuring immediate safety of the child by finding them and returning them to social care staff /foster carers, providing this does not place any child a

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Information to be made Available - When reporting to the police, the person taking the report will need the following information: A description of the child and their clothing; Details of when the child was last seen and with whom; A recent photograph (if available); Family addresses; Known associates and addresses frequen

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care - When a member of children's home staff or a foster carer realise that a child is missing from their care they should consider which definition the absence falls within. Support and advice in making this decision will be available from the Children's Social Care Department responsible for t

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - In some cases young people are placed in secure accommodation on welfare grounds under Section 25 of the Children Act 1989. Once in a secure setting these young people are unlikely to abscond. Should they do so, the usual missing persons procedures would apply. When a child subject to a Se

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Future Pregnancies - Children's Social Care will convene a multi-agency Strategy Meeting and make a plan to address any potential risk within a future pregnancy. Sharing information openly will be a critical factor in safeguarding the unborn child and professionals will need to accept this may be without the c

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Response - West Sussex:                   Assessment and Treatment Service (ATS): The ATS is a joint agency team which is based within the West Sussex Children and young people’s services (ChYPS), provided by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The Service is commissioned to

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Response - East Sussex:  In East Sussex the SWIFT Service works with harmful sexual behaviour: Any concerns about a child or young person not already known to Children’s Services should be reported via SPOA (Single Point of Access) 01323 464222 0-19.SPOA@eastsussex.gcsx.gov.uk. SWIFT Specialist F

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Response - Consideration should also be given to safeguarding children in contact with the child /young person who may be demonstrating harmful sexual behaviour, including siblings. See procedure on Children who Harm other children  

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Response - If you are concerned that a child/young person is presenting with HSB then speak to your manager or designated child protection lead. Action should be taken in accordance with child protection procedures: Making a Referral.  Ultimately what action is taken to help the child should depend

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Causes - Professionals should be open to the idea that disadvantage and/or traumatic experiences may be impacting on the child/young person’s behaviour and this may not necessarily be as a result of their own sexual abuse.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Risks/Protection Issues

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

This guidance provides practitioners with a ‘working definition’ of harmful sexual behaviour when considering the actions of children and young people, and a brief overview of the features of behaviours that may be demonstrated. It also outlines the local service responses and referral

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Assessments - See also Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession/Witchcraft - Practice Guidance for Social Workers.

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Causes - Other forms of victimisation – neglect, physical abuse – are as significant, as is witnessing domestic violence. However the possibility of child sexual abuse MUST be thoroughly and robustly investigated and the child given appropriate opportunities to discuss such a possibility.

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Causes - Evidence shows that own victimisation by sexual abuse is a poor single explanation for why children/young people may present with HSB. The younger the child, with more serious/abusive behaviours, the more likely they are to have witnessed or experienced highly sexualised environments or ac

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Definition - Harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) is the umbrella term for those actions that are either: • Sexually abusive, where there is an element of manipulation, force or coercion or where the subject of the behaviour is unable to give informed consent, or• Sexually problematic, where there may no

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Definition - Children’s sexual behaviour should be thought about as being on a continuum, ranging from healthy, through problematic, to abusive. Defining what behaviours fit where on the continuum can be a difficult task and should be thought about within the context of the behaviour itself and the d

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Definition - A concealed pregnancy is when A woman knows she is pregnant but does not tell anyone; or A woman appears genuinely not aware she is pregnant.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Definition - Concealment may be an active act or a form of denial where support from appropriate carers and health professionals is not sought.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Definition - This can become apparent at any stage of the pregnancy. Concealment of pregnancy may be revealed: Late in pregnancy; In labour; or Following delivery. The birth may be unassisted and may carry additional risks to the child and mother's welfare.

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Recognition - Healthy Sexual Behaviours: Age appropriate Mutual Consensual Exploratory No intent to cause harm Fun No power differential Shared decision making

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Recognition - Problematic Not age appropriate One off incidents or low key, such as touching over clothing Peer pressure Spontaneous rather than planned Self-directed, e.g. public masturbation Other balancing factors, e.g. lack of intent to cause harm or level of understanding, or acceptance of responsi

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Assessment - Children and young people’s use of IT equipment and social media is now widespread. The above prompts can also be used in connection with such behaviour.  Accessing pornography may be problematic for children and could lead to them acting in abusive ways to others.  Also, social networ

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Assessment - One tool recommended by NICE is the Brook Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool which can assist assessment when considering children and young peoples’ sexual behaviours.

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Assessment - A number of checklists are available within the nice guidance which can assist in considering children and young peoples’ sexual behaviour https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng55  

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Recognition - Abusive Not age appropriate Elements of planning, secrecy, force or coercion Power differentials, e.g. age, size, status, strength The response of others, e.g. fear, anxiety, discomfort The response of the child, e.g. fear, anger, aggression Child blames others and takes no responsibility

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Recognition and Referral - Action on Suspecting Concealed Pregnancy

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Concerns - The initial concerns referred have been about: Issues of neglect such as not being fed properly or being 'fasted', not being clothed, washed properly etc. but left to fend for themselves especially compared to the other children in the household; Often the carer is not the natural parent a

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Concerns - Note: This means that the child may have been subjected to serious harm for a period of time already.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Introduction - Where the concerns relate to a number of children, consideration should be given to whether the Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse Procedure should be implemented.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Concerns - All agencies should be alert to the indicators above and should be able to identify children at risk of this type of abuse and intervene to prevent it by using the procedures for Action on Receipt of Referrals, Initial and Section 47 Enquiries and, when appropriate, Strategy Discussions/Me

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Assessments - All referrals must be responded by Children's Social Care Services with a thorough Child and Family Assessment and, depending on the seriousness of the referral information, a Strategy Discussion which takes into account the dimension of the beliefs expressed by the child and family. The a

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Concerns - Concerns reported in the cases known from research usually involve children aged 2 to 14, both boys and girls, and have generally been reported through schools or non-governmental organisations. The referrals usually take place at a point when the situation has escalated and become visible

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

The Child - Any siblings or other children in the household may be well cared for with all their needs met by the parents and carers. The other children may have been drawn in by the adults to view the child as "different" and may have been encouraged to participate in the adult activities.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

The Child - Such abuse generally occurs when a carer views a child as being "different", attributes this difference to the child being "possessed" or involved in "witchcraft" and attempts to exorcise him or her.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

The Child - A child could be viewed as "different" for a variety of reasons such as, disobedience; independence; bed-wetting; nightmares; illness; or disability. There is often a weak bond of attachment between the carer and the child.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

The Child - There are various social reasons that make a child more vulnerable to an accusation of "possession" or "witchcraft". These include family stress and/or a change in the family structure.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

The Child - The number of known cases of child abuse linked to accusations of "possession" or "witchcraft" is small, but children involved can suffer damage to their physical and mental health, their capacity to learn, their ability to form relationships and to their self-esteem.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

The Child - The attempt to "exorcise" may involve severe beating, burning, starvation, cutting or stabbing and isolation, and usually occurs in the household where the child lives.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Assessments - Careful assessment at all stages is needed with close communications, which include key people in the community especially when working with new immigrant communities and with all the various faith groups, are essential.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Introduction - Any concerns about a child which arise in this context must be taken seriously.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Assessments - Further contacts for advice can be found from the local representatives for some faiths, from organisations such as the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) who provide information about exorcism; the African Caribbean Evangelical Alliance (ACEA); Churches Together in Englan

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Assessments - In assessing the risks to the child, the siblings or any other children in the household must also be considered as they may have witnessed or been forced to participate in abusive or frightening activities.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Assessments - The Manager of the Safeguarding Unit will collate information and keep the Sussex Safeguarding Children Boards updated when necessary so that liaison and communication with local faith groups can be monitored and developed.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Future Pregnancies

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Actions on Discharge

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Assessments - Although the research has found a number of parents and carers to have some form of mental health problem, this must not distract from the child's situation nor be seen as a factor to explain away the potential risks to the child.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Assessments - The child must be seen and spoken to on his or her own. The child's bedroom or sleeping arrangements must be inspected.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Assessments - In view of the nature of the risks, a full health assessment of the child should take place to establish the overall health of the child, the medical history and current circumstances.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Assessments - Any suggestions that the parent or carers will take the child out of the country must be taken seriously and legal advice sought regarding possible prevention.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Introduction - The definition which is commonly accepted across faith-based organisations, non-governmental organisations and the public sector is the term 'possession by evil spirits' or 'witchcraft'.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

Introduction - The belief in "possession or "witchcraft" is widespread. It is not confined to particular countries, cultures or religions, nor is it confined to new immigrant communities in this country.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Definition - A late booking is defined as presenting for maternity services after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Definition - There may also be longer-term outcomes for consideration for example what did the mother intended for the child i.e. did she hope it would survive?

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention - The Police must be notified of any child protection inquiries made by Children's Social Care following a concealed pregnancy. Consideration will be given to whether a joint investigation is needed. This will be dependent upon whether an offence may have been committed or if the child is at

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention - In both situations Children's Social Care should consider allocating the assessment to a worker with mental health expertise.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention - If the child has been harmed, has died or been abandoned, child protection procedures will apply and a joint investigation will be conducted with the relevant Children's Social Care team.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Actions on Discharge - Midwives should ensure that: Information regarding the concealed pregnancy is placed on the child's records, as well as the mother's records; The discharge summary from maternity services to primary care must record if a pregnancy was concealed or booked late (after 24 weeks).

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Actions on Discharge - Following a concealed pregnancy or unassisted delivery, midwives need to be alert to: The level of professional engagement allowed to the mother (and her extended family); and The receptiveness to future contact with health professionals.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention - In normal circumstances this would be through a voluntary agreement, although clearly there could be circumstances in which it might be necessary to consider an application for an Emergency Protection Order, or to seek the assistance of the Police, e.g. Police Protection, in preventing the

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention - If a young girl/woman presents following unassisted delivery at the end of a concealed pregnancy then a Section 47 Enquiry must commence.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention - In all cases where a young girl/woman arrives at the hospital in labour or following an unassisted delivery, which has been the result of a concealed pregnancy, an immediate referral must be made to Children's Social Care - see Making a Referral Procedure.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention - The Police must be notified of any child protection inquiries made by Children's Social Care following a concealed pregnancy. Consideration will be given to whether a joint investigation is needed. This will be dependent upon whether an offence may have been committed or if the child is at

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention - The baby should not be discharged until a Strategy Meeting has been held and relevant assessments undertaken. This Strategy Meeting must consider the initiation of a psychiatric assessment.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention - Where the referral is received out of hours in relation to a baby born as the result of a concealed pregnancy, the Emergency Out of Hours Service will take steps to prevent the baby being discharged from hospital until Children's Social Care have been informed and given their approval for

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention - In the situations where a young girl/woman presents during labour then consideration should be given to commencing a Section 47 Enquiry.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Future Pregnancies - Following a concealed pregnancy where significant risk has been identified, Children's Social Care should take the lead in developing a multi-agency contingency plan, to address the possibility of a future pregnancy. This will include a clearly defined system for alerting Children's Social

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Future Pregnancies - Where it is known there is a history of previous concealed pregnancy, referral must be made to Children's Social Care as soon as any subsequent pregnancy is known. Women who have already concealed a pregnancy are at a particular risk of doing so in the future.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Introduction - Children who are missing invariably place themselves at risk. The reasons for their absence are varied and complex and cannot be viewed in isolation from their home circumstances. Every 'missing' episode should attract proper attention from the professionals involved with the child and tho

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Introduction - Although this policy will seek to give guidance in all these circumstances, obviously the reasons underlying why children go missing are very different for each group and so responses need to be tailored to fit the specific situation.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Introduction - The police are frequent partners of children's services in managing 'missing' episodes and it is important that staff in both agencies work together. This joint policy has been developed to assist in this and combines aspects of children's services and police procedures in relation to miss

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - Where the policy refers to 'child' or 'children' these terms include young people under the age of 18 years.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established and where the circumstances are out of character, or the context suggests the person may be the subject of crime or at risk of harm to themselves or another.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Introduction - Within the overall numbers of children who are missing there are groups of children who enter this category either briefly, for longer periods or repeatedly for distinct and different reasons. These include: Children who go missing from home; Children who go missing from their care placeme

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Introduction - Within Sussex there is a high correlation between the numbers of children who are missing and those who are also in the care system, either in a foster placement or a residential placement. Of the top 30 locations for repeat periods of being missing, 20 were children's homes in 2005-07 wit

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Future Pregnancies - Only when the underlying reasons for a previous concealed pregnancy are revealed, explored and addressed, can the risk associated with future concealment be substantially reduced.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Future Pregnancies - Where there is a known plan in place, it should be activated as soon as professionals become aware of a subsequent pregnancy. The urgency of the meeting will depend on the stage of pregnancy. It is important that all key professionals working with the family are included. At any stage in t

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Introduction - Recent research by The National Missing Persons Helpline tells us over 100,000 children and young people (hereafter called children) every year run away or are forced to leave home to escape problems (one every 5 minutes). Approximately 77% of those are children under the age of 16 who are

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Introduction - Each year in Sussex 62% of the 4,820 people reported missing to the police are children who go missing. The peak age for children to go missing is between the ages of 13-16 with girls approximately twice as likely as boys to go missing. Being a regular missing person increases the likeliho

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention - Assessments should identify clear expectations of parents and ensure that should they fail to comply this would constitute a significant risk factor and point to the need to activate further child protection processes and / or Care Proceedings. Under such circumstances then legal advice sh

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention - Only when the underlying reasons for a previous concealed pregnancy are revealed, explored and addressed, can the risk associated with future concealment be substantially reduced.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Risks/Protection Issues - Lack of antenatal care can mean that: Any potential risks to mother and child may not be detected; Inappropriate advice is given; or Investigations being undertaken, such as potentially harmful medications being prescribed by a medical practitioner unaware of the pregnancy or exposure to h

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Risks/Protection Issues - Other possible implications for the child arising from mother's behaviour could be:

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Risks/Protection Issues - An unassisted delivery can be dangerous for both mother and baby, due to complications that can occur during labour and the delivery.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Risks/Protection Issues - Post natal risks include A lack of willingness/ability to consider the baby's health needs; or Lack of emotional attachment to the child following birth; or Poor adaptation.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Risks/Protection Issues - All of the above highlight the need for increased monitoring in the period following the birth of the baby.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Risks/Protection Issues - Concealment may indicate ambivalence towards the pregnancy, immature coping styles and a tendency to dissociate, all of which are likely to have a significant impact on bonding and parenting capacity.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Risks/Protection Issues - The implications of concealment are wide-ranging. Concealment of a pregnancy can lead to a fatal outcome, regardless of the mother's intention.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Risks/Protection Issues - The reason for the concealment will be a key factor in determining the risk to the child and that reason will not be known until there has been a systematic multi-agency assessment.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Risks/Protection Issues - Where there is concealment, there can be risks for the child's health and development in utero as well as subsequently, especially if this is a result of alcohol or substance misuse. There may be risks to the unborn baby from prescribed medications.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Risks/Protection Issues - A pregnancy may be concealed in situations of domestic abuse which is more likely to begin or escalate during pregnancy.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Risks/Protection Issues - There may be risks to both mother and child if the mother has concealed the pregnancy due to fear of disclosing the paternity of the child, for example where the child has been conceived as the result of sexual abuse, or where the father is not the woman's partner. Young teenage women may

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Recognition and Referral - If a young person under 16 is thought to be pregnant and denying or concealing, the professional who has the concern should consider the appropriateness of asking the young person if they are pregnant.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Recognition and Referral - If the professional still has a concern, then they should make a referral to Children's Social Care in the name of the young person and a Child and Family Assessment will be carried out.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Recognition and Referral - Multi-agency  liaison should occur  involving GP, midwife, health visitor and any other relevant agency to assess the information and to construct a plan.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Recognition and Referral - Clearly no woman can be forced to undergo a pregnancy test, or any other medical examination, but in the event of refusal, social workers should proceed on the assumption that the woman is pregnant until or unless it is proved otherwise, and endeavour to make plans to safeguard the baby's

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Recognition and Referral - It may be appropriate to invite a representative from Mental Health Services (child or adult as appropriate) so that support, advice and/or consultation is available at an early stage.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Recognition and Referral - Where there are additional concerns, e.g. lack of engagement, possibility of sexual abuse, or substance misuse, the referral should be dealt with under child protection procedures (see Section 47 Enquiries Procedure), which may include convening a pre-birth Child Protection Conference (see

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Planning and Intervention - An unborn child has no legal standing. Law cannot force an expectant mother, to have any medical intervention at birth unless she is deemed not 'of sound mind'. It is only possible to make appropriate contingency plans and to ensure that the woman/girl is fully aware of the consequences of

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Recognition and Referral - Where the 'expectant mother' is over 16, every effort should be made to resolve the issue of whether she is pregnant or not.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Recognition and Referral - If the young person continues to refuse to engage in constructive discussion, and the professionals have clear reasons to suspect pregnancy in the face of continuing denial then Children's Social Care should inform her parents and continue to assess the situation with a focus on the needs/

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Recognition and Referral - It may still be appropriate for a professional from any agency to make initial approaches to the young woman to discuss the possibility of her being pregnant. She should be provided with the opportunity to satisfy an appropriate professional she is not pregnant, by undertaking appropriate

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Recognition and Referral - If the young woman refuses to engage in constructive discussion, in the face of clear reasons to continue to suspect that she is pregnant, the professionals involved should consider informing the young person's parents.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Recognition and Referral - In these circumstances, the potential risks to the unborn child would outweigh the young woman's right to confidentiality.

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

Recognition and Referral - If a young person under 16 is thought to be pregnant but denying it, or concealing it, the practitioner should be mindful that there could be many reasons for this.

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Definitions - Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established and where the circumstances are out of character, or the context suggests the person may be the subject of crime or at risk of harm to themselves or another.

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Response - Brighton and Hove:  The Clermont Family Assessment Centre has a team (TACT) which works with children and young people who display harmful sexual behaviour. A consultation from TACT/the Clermont should be considered when there is concern about a pattern of problematic sexual behaviour, th

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Planning before the Event for Children in Care

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Planning to Address Incidents of Specific Concern

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Information to be made Available

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Risk Assessment - Planning before the Event

8.10 Concealed Pregnancy

AMENDMENT This sub-section was updated in February 2012.

8.1 Abuse Linked to Spiritual and Religious Beliefs/Ritual Abuse

RELATED GUIDANCE For additional reading, see Research Report RR750 by Eleanor Stobart: Child Abuse Linked to Accusations of "Possession and Witchcraft", published in 2010 and the government guidance document 'Safeguarding Children from Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession'. See al

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care

8.1 Guidance on Children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Useful Information - https://www.nspcc.org.uk/globalassets/documents/publications/harmful-sexual-behaviour-framework.pdf https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng55

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Children in Care who go Missing during External Activity of a Residential Home

8.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex

Note: that the police have adopted a revised definition of 'missing' with effect from 2013 - see Interim Guidance on the Management, Recording and Investigation of Missing Persons (ACPO, 2013), which should be read in conjunction with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Guidanc

8.11 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children

6. Reviewing Decisions - If legal advice is received that the decision should be reviewed, written application for a review must be submitted within 56 days of the date of the original decision. A review form will be sent with the decision. Any additional evidence in support of the claim must be submitted. If it w

8.11 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children

1. Introduction - The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is a government-funded scheme to compensate victims of violent crime, administered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Where a Looked After Child appears to qualify (see Section 2, Eligibility), legal advice must always be soug

8.11 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children

7. Appealing Decisions - A review decision can be challenged by appealing, within 90 days of the date of the review decision, to the First-tier Tribunal (Criminal Injuries Compensation). An appeal form will be sent with the review decision. The form and supporting evidence should be sent to: First-tier Tribunal (C

8.11 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children

8. The Award - Payment of compensation is usually by a single lump sum, but if the medical situation is unclear, one or more interim payments may be made. No compensation will be paid until the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority receives an acceptance of the award in writing. Every effort must ther

8.11 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children

10. When a Young Person is 18 - When the young person reaches the age of 18 years, responsibility for handling the money awarded by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority will be handed over to him/her unless he/she is felt to be incapable of dealing with it. If the CICA receive evidence which shows it would not be

8.11 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children

9. Advancing Money from the Award to the Child - The CICA may allow advances if these are needed for the child’s sole benefit, education or welfare (not for general spending money). They may consider making a full payment if the child is 16 or 17 years of age and living independently. The CICA will need evidence (normally a receipt) pr

8.11 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children

5. Accepting a Payment - Legal advice should be sought without delay as to whether or not the offer should be accepted. The acceptance form must be completed and returned within 56 days of it being sent. If it is not returned within 56 days, and no written request has been made for a review or an extension of time

8.11 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children

4. Making an Application - Applications can be made: Online, at Gov.uk; and By telephone to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. Customer Service Centre advisors can assist in making a claim over the telephone. Supporting Evidence The following supporting evidence must be supplied: Proof of satisfaction of

8.11 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children

2. Eligibility - A child/young person may be eligible if they: Were a direct victim of a crime of violence; Were not to blame for the incident; Sustained an injury while taking an exceptional and justified risk, while trying to remedy or prevent a crime; Sustained a mental injury as a result of witnessing

8.11 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children

RELATED GUIDANCE A Guide to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 AMENDMENT This chapter was updated in September 2014.

8.11 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children

3. Timescales - In general, applications must be made within 2 years of the event giving rise to the claim. Different rules apply, however, where the applicant was under 18 years of age on the date of the incident. The application should always be made as soon as possible. However, the CICA recognise that

8.12 Dangerous Dogs

Practitioner Guidance - Any agency aware of a dog that could be prohibited or considered dangerous should collect as much information as possible: The dog's name and breed; The owner’s details; Clear discussions with the owner regarding planned management of the dog where there are children in the household or

8.12 Dangerous Dogs

Owners and Families (including extended family and temporary carers) - Many commentators will insist that 'the owner, not the dog' is the problem; There will be occasions when even the 'best' of owners fails to anticipate or prevent their dog's behaviour; The care, control and context of a dog's environment will undoubtedly impact on their behaviour and poten

8.12 Dangerous Dogs

Dangerous Dogs - The Dangerous Dogs Act (1991) (amended with effect from 13 May 2014 by the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014) provides detailed information on the legislation covering certain types of dogs, the responsibilities of owners and the actions that can be taken to remove and/or c

8.12 Dangerous Dogs

Aims of this Guidance - The primary aim of this guidance is to protect children in Sussex from the serious injuries that can be inflicted by dogs that are prohibited, dangerous or poorly managed. The guidelines set out to explain and describe: The children most likely to be vulnerable and the dogs most likely to

8.12 Dangerous Dogs

The Dog and the Child: Family Context - When you visit a family that has a dog you need to consider whether or not the dog poses any threat to the child's health, development or safety. All children are potentially vulnerable from attack(s) from dog(s); Young and very small children are likely to be at greatest risk; A young chi

8.13 Disabled Children

Definition - Any child with a disability is by definition a 'Child in Need' under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

8.13 Disabled Children

Response - Where a child is unable to tell someone of her/his abuse, (s)he may convey anxiety or distress in some other way, e.g. behaviour or symptoms and carers and staff must be alert to this.

8.13 Disabled Children

Response - Each child should be assessed carefully and supported where relevant to participate in the child protection and criminal justice system. It should never be assumed that a disabled child cannot communicate and appropriate communication methods and professionals with the appropriate skills m

8.13 Disabled Children

Response - Agencies must consider how best to enable a disabled child to give credible evidence and to withstand the rigours of the court process (see also Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills Procedure).

8.13 Disabled Children

Response - As part of the response, the Local Authority has a duty to meet the needs of parents and carers of disabled children (under the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000) and this should be included as part of an assessment of the child.

8.13 Disabled Children

Response - The procedures in Section 4 of this manual, Response to Child Protection Referrals apply equally to disabled children, as well as the guidance contained in Information Sharing and Confidentiality.

8.13 Disabled Children

Definition - The Equality Act 2010 says that someone is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment; the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities.

8.13 Disabled Children

Recognition - Research indicates that the incidence of Emotional Abuse, Neglect and Sexual Abuse is much higher for disabled children. The level of risk may be raised by: A need for practical assistance in daily living, including intimate care from what may be a number of carers; Carers and staff lackin

8.13 Disabled Children

Recognition - In addition to the universal indicators of abuse / neglect listed in Recognition of Abuse and Neglect, the following abusive behaviours must be considered: Force feeding; Unjustified or excessive physical restraint; Rough handling; Extreme behaviour modification including the deprivation l

8.13 Disabled Children

Definition - The Children Act 1989 states that 'a child is disabled if he is blind, deaf or dumb or suffers from mental disorder of any kind or is substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or congenital deformity or such other disability as may be prescribed'.

8.13 Disabled Children

Recognition - A disabled child, if abused, suffers the same consequences as any other. There are many reasons why disabled children may be more vulnerable to abuse and require additional vigilance.

8.13 Disabled Children

For additional guidance, please see Safeguarding Disabled Children: Practice Guidance(issued by the DCSF in July 2009).

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Introduction - As part of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people in accordance with the Children Act 2004 and Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government, 2015), the three Boards have developed this e-safety strategy built on four key areas: Policies, practices and

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Introduction - Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and the three Safeguarding Children Boards (West Sussex, Brighton & Hove and East Sussex) in Sussex take seriously the statutory role they have to ensure that member agencies co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and you

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Introduction - As part of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people in accordance with the Children Act 2004 and Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government, 2015), the three Boards have developed this e-safety strategy built on four key areas: Policies, practices and

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Purpose of the Strategy - This strategy has been written to provide the e-safety framework for member agencies of the three Boards and other agencies and organisations who work with children and young people within the Sussex area. 

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Purpose of the Strategy - It cannot, and does not attempt to, cover all arrangements for agencies, organisations and educational establishments working in the area and should be seen as guidance to help inform what local agencies, organisations and educational establishments need to do to ensure they are equipped t

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Intervention - Women with children fleeing domestic violence and abuse may receive support from the Housing Department. Children's Social Care should be included in planning the course of action if relocation is necessary.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Purpose of the Strategy - The Sussex Safeguarding Boards are committed to raising awareness of e-safety issues to all partner organisations and promoting good practice to reduce risks to children and young people when they are online or when using digital electronic technologies.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic Violence Protection Orders and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (‘Clare’s Law’) - If a potentially violent individual is identified as having convictions for violent offences, or information is held about their behaviour which reasonably leads the police and other agencies to believe they pose a risk of harm to their partner, the police will consider disclosing the info

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic Violence Protection Orders and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (‘Clare’s Law’) - The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) (also known as ‘Clare’s Law’) commenced in England and Wales on 8 March 2014. The DVDS gives members of the public a formal mechanism to make enquires about an individual who they are in a relationship with, or who is in a relationship

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic Violence Protection Orders and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (‘Clare’s Law’) - Before the scheme, there was a gap in protection, because police couldn’t charge the perpetrator for lack of evidence and so provide protection to a victim through bail conditions, and because the process of granting injunctions took time.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic Violence Protection Orders and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (‘Clare’s Law’) - With DVPOs, a perpetrator can be banned with immediate effect from returning to a residence and from having contact with the victim for up to 28 days, allowing the victim time to consider their options and get the support they need.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic Violence Protection Orders and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (‘Clare’s Law’) - Members of the public can make an application for a disclosure, known as the ‘right to ask’. Anybody can make an enquiry, but information will only be given to someone at risk or a person in a position to safeguard the victim. The scheme is for anyone in an intimate relationship regard

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic Violence Protection Orders and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (‘Clare’s Law’) - Partner agencies can also request disclosure is made of an offender’s past history where it is believed someone is at risk of harm. This is known as ‘right to know’.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Intervention - The three central imperatives of any intervention for children living with domestic violence and abuse are: To protect the children, including unborn children; To empower the non-abusing parent to protect the children; To identify the abusing partner and hold him or her accountable for the

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Background - “All agencies providing services to children have a duty to understand e-safety issues, recognising their role in helping children to remain safe online while also supporting adults who care for children.” Becta 2008, Safeguarding Children in a Digital World.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Intervention - The local authority may pursue legal options of: Relocation of alleged perpetrators of abuse; Injunctions attached to Prohibited Steps Orders; Exclusion conditions attached to Emergency Protection Orders and Interim Care Orders; An injunction under the Housing Act 1996 to restrain anti-soc

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Background - ICT is used daily as a tool to improve teaching, learning, communication and working practices to the benefit of our children and young people and those that work to support them. The use of ICT is recognised as being of significant benefit to all members of our community, in personal, soc

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Contacts -   CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) Safety Centre http://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre   Childnet International http://www.childnet.com   Know IT All http://www.childnet-int.org/kia/   Professionals Online Safety Helpline (UKSIC) Email helpline@saferinternet.org.uk or

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Contacts -   A Parent’s Guide to Technology (UKSIC) http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources/a-parents-guide   Connect Safely http://www.connectsafely.org   Digizen http://www.digizen.org   KidSmart http://www.kidsmart.org.uk/   Get Safe Online http://www.getsafeonline.org/   Know

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Standards and Inspection - Quality assurance activity is essential to ensuring that policies and strategies are effective. This may include: Gathering relevant information to establish the extent of current awareness and training resources available; Review and evaluate all internal policies and procedures (at least

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Education & Training - There are many training resources and support materials dealing with the issues of e-safety with children, young people, parents and professionals which can be used by your organisation.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Education & Training - An organisation should also consider their role in giving e-safety information and guidance to children, young people, parents and carers.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic Violence Protection Orders and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (‘Clare’s Law’) - They provide protection to victims by enabling the police and magistrates to put in place protection in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Education & Training - E-safety training should be incorporated into the organisation’s children’s workforce training strategy, e.g. safety awareness, acceptable use, safeguarding procedures. This should include induction of new staff, plus on-going support and supervision of existing staff. Staff should be

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Monitoring and Review of this Strategy - This strategy will be monitored and reviewed on an annual basis (or sooner in response to new technologies or e-safety incidents).

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Glossary of Related Terms - Click here to view Glossary of Related Terms.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Purpose of the Strategy

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Education & Training - Any organisation that has contact with children and young people should aim to raise awareness of e-safety through education and training.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

E-Safety Risks & Issues - E-safety risks and issues can be roughly classified into three areas: content, contact and conduct. The following are basic examples of the types of e-safety risk and issues that could fall under each category.     Commercial Aggressive Sexual Values Content (child as recipient) Adverts

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Policies & Practices - Any organisation that has contact with children and young people should: Appoint a dedicated e-safety lead; Create and maintain an e-safety policy; Make sure that appropriate Acceptable Use of ICT Policy and Staff User Agreements are in place; Have a procedure in place for reporting an e-s

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Infrastructure & Technology - All organisations providing services to children and young people which also provide access to ICT should: Identify all technologies used within the organisation itself and carry out risk assessments with regards to e-safety; Consider the use of additional software and/or settings for tech

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Procedures Diagram - Click here to view Procedures Diagram.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Background - E-safety is the process of limiting risks to children and young people when using Information and Communications Technology (ICT). E-safety is primarily a safeguarding issue not a technological issue, which relates to the use of all ICT- fixed or mobile; current, emerging and future ICT.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Response - In addition the Police will notify Children's Social Care whenever they become aware of an incident of domestic violence and abuse, including details and information about the family in the referral.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Definition - Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Definition - Women are more likely to experience the most serious forms of domestic violence and abuse but it is important to acknowledge that there are female perpetrators and male victims and that domestic violence and abuse also occurs within same sex relationships.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Definition - The definition of 'harm' in Section 31A of the Children Act 1989 (introduced by the Adoption and Children Act 2002) recognises that a child may suffer harm through witnessing domestic violence and abuse.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Recognition - Significant Harm may result from the adverse psychological effect on children of being aware of threats or actual violence between adults, as well as the extra risk of physical injury, either by accident in the midst of a violent incident or by design from a violent adult.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Recognition - Where there is domestic violence and abuse, the implications for the children in the household must be considered because research evidence indicates a strong link between domestic violence and abuse and all types of abuse and neglect. These children should be regarded as Children in Need

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Recognition - Abuse of children as a result of domestic violence and abuse may manifest itself in a variety of ways including physical violence, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual violence, financial control and the imposition of social isolation or movement deprivation.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

12b E-Safety Strategy - AMENDMENT In September 2015, this chapter was updated to reflect the Serious Crime Act (2015) which introduced an offence of sexual communication with a child. This applies to an adult who communicates with a child and the communication is sexual or if it is intended to elicit from the chi

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

RELATED GUIDANCE For additional information please see: Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, Appendix C Further Sources of Information Responding to Domestic Abuse: A Handbook for Health Professionals (DoH 2005) Home Office Domestic Violence website A Vision for Services for Childr

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

12a Elective Home Education - AMENDMENT East Sussex and Brighton and Hove have added new information in September 2014. The documents for each area are listed below: East Sussex and West Sussex Elective Home Education Brighton and Hove Elective Home Education 1. Introduction The responsibility for a child’s educat

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic Violence Protection Orders and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (‘Clare’s Law’)

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Recognition - Any agency assessment should consider the possibility of domestic violence and abuse and ensure the response safeguards both the child and the non-abusing parent.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Recognition - Local arrangements set out how this assessment is undertaken including use of theDASH Risk Assessment Tool and referral to the MARAC process.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Assessment - The alleged victim of domestic violence and abuse should be advised of the availability of legal advice and options available through the Protection from Harassment Act, 1997 and the Family Law Act 1996 Part IV.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Assessment - Many victims of domestic violence and abuse feel unable to disclose its existence or severity. The following issues should be discussed with the alleged victim as part of any assessment: Severity, frequency and history of any violence, threats etc; Circumstances of the domestic violence an

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Assessment - Intervention in families where there is domestic violence and abuse should give careful consideration to the wording of any letters sent out to the family and provide opportunities for both partners to be interviewed separately. It is important to create a safe environment to enable disclo

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Assessment - The interview with the alleged perpetrator of the violence should be planned carefully between the worker and their line manager. Care must be taken not to collude with the alleged perpetrator such as disclosing addresses, making unsafe contact arrangements etc.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Assessment - If there is an acknowledgement of domestic violence and abuse, the interview should clarify the points in the list of bullet points above. Where there is no acknowledgement of violence and it is not possible to share the victim's account, there should be general discussions about the child

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Assessment - If a Child Protection Conference is held, consideration should be given to any need to exclude the violent partner for part or all of the meeting.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Assessment - The children should be interviewed (if sufficient age and understanding) and their experiences explored. It is important to consider the possibility that the child may have experienced direct abuse themselves and /or may be inhibited from disclosing concerns due to fear of (further) abuse

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Response - Where the family refuse to co-operate with an Assessment, consideration should be given to the justification for a Section 47 Enquiry.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Response - Whenever an Assessment is undertaken, or at any time thereafter, all agencies involved with the family should be informed of any domestic violence and abuse incidents.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Information and Organisations - Click her to view Information and Organisations.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Response - Police and health are often the first point of contact and they (or any other agency that becomes aware of domestic violence and abuse) should safeguard the safety of the victim and: Ascertain whether there are any children living in the household or if the victim is pregnant; Make a preli

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Recognition - A MARAC is a multi-agency meeting, which has the safety of high risk victims of domestic violence and abuse as its focus. The MARAC is a process involving the participation of all the key statutory and voluntary agencies who might be involved in supporting victims of domestic violence and

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Response - On notification of an incident of domestic violence and abuse within a family, theminimum response by Children's Social Care must be to consult existing records and consider what else is known of the family.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Response - For any serious incidents of domestic violence and abuse between adults, where there is a child in the household, a Child and Family Assessment must be undertaken.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Response - If a child has experienced Significant Harm during any domestic violence and abuse incident, a Section 47 Enquiry must be undertaken.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Response - Lesser incidents should be considered individually, but no more than three minor incidents should be allowed to occur without the completion of at least an Assessment.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic Violence Protection Orders and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (‘Clare’s Law’) - Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) were implemented across England and Wales from 8 March 2014.

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Key Measures for Limiting E-Safety Risks - The three Sussex Safeguarding Boards support the use of the Becta PIES model which offers an effective strategic framework for approaching e-safety. This model illustrates how a combination of effective policies and practices, education and training, infrastructure and technology underpinn

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Monitoring and Review of this Strategy

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Standards and Inspection

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Information and Organisations

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Key Measures for Limiting E-Safety Risks

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

E-Safety Risks & Issues

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Glossary of Related Terms

8.14 Domestic Violence and Abuse

Infrastructure & Technology

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Pre-birth Child Protection Conference - A pre-birth child protection conference should be convened if, following Section 47 Enquiries either the unborn child's health is considered to be at risk or the baby is likely to be at risk of harm following his or her birth.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - There may be substantiated concerns that a child has suffered Significant Harm, but it is agreed between agencies that a plan for ensuring the child's future safety and welfare can be developed and implemented without the need of a Child Protection Conference. In such circumstances agencie

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - Where concerns are substantiated and the child is judged to be currently suffering or at risk of suffering Significant Harm, a Child Protection Conference must be convened.  All evidence should be thoroughly documented by this stage and the Child Protection Plan already agreed at the Stra

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Initial Child Protection Conference - These are matters which can be extremely complex in these cases and should be addressed outside the conference and in advance of the conference date with the conference chair and other key professionals.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - Where test results are inconclusive and/or where it is not possible to draw firm conclusions and fabrication is still a possibility it is important to try to understand the origin of the symptoms and to consider whether further help for the family is required.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Pre-birth Child Protection Conference - A pre-birth conference should be convened where there is evidence of illness having been fabricated or induced in an older sibling or other child, and given consideration during the pregnancy of a woman who is known to have abused a child in this way. Consideration should also be given to

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Initial Child Protection Conference - Usual consideration should be given to the involvement of family members. However it may not be possible for all family members to be present at the same time. The extent and manner of involvement of family members should be informed by what is known about them. The abusing carer may not b

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Initial Child Protection Conference - Attendance at the conference should be as for other initial conferences, with the additional experts invited as appropriate: The lead paediatrician who is coordinating the health information; Professional with expertise in working with children in whom illness is fabricated or induced and

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Introduction - This form of abuse has also been known as: Fabricated illness by proxy; Factitious illness by proxy; Munchausen Syndrome by proxy; Illness Induction Syndrome.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Introduction - This section outlines the procedures to follow when professionals are concerned that the health or development of a child is likely to be significantly impaired by the actions of a carer having fabricated or induced illness. In these cases the issue of information sharing is particularly d

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Introduction - Further guidance and flowcharts are provided in document 'Safeguarding Children in Whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced'. (DCSF 2008)

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Introduction - The Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health, updated in October 2009 'Fabricated or induced illness by Carers', provides further guidance for medical clinicians. (LINKS)

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Professional Differences - Because of the difficult nature of Fabricated illness there is even greater likelihood of differences of opinion between professionals. For all agencies where there is disagreement between professionals the Resolution of Professional Disagreements Procedure should be followed.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Police Investigation - The primary aim of covert video surveillance is to identify if a child is having illness induced. Obtaining criminal evidence is of secondary importance.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Police Investigation - The safety and health of the child is the over-riding factor in the use of covert video surveillance, and the medical consultant responsible for the child's care should ensure that the necessary medical and nursing staff supports the police operation.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Police Investigation - Once this decision has been made, the police will be responsible for applying for the appropriate authority under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. If that authority is granted, the police have sole responsibility for implementing and undertaking any such surveillance. Good

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - As with all Section 47 Enquiries, the outcome may be that concerns are not substantiated e.g. tests may identify a medical condition, which explains the signs and symptoms. In this situation, it is important to discuss with the parents, drawing on knowledge of the implications of the medic

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Referral to Children's Social Care

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Initial Child Protection Conference

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Police Investigation - Covert video surveillance is a legitimate investigative tool, but its use should only be considered when a multi-agency Strategy Discussion has agreed there is no other available way of obtaining information that will explain the child's signs and symptoms. (Police Officers planning survei

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Pre-birth Child Protection Conference

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Initial Response to the Referral

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Professional Differences

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

RELATED GUIDANCE Safeguarding Children in whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced (DCSF 2008) (including Flowcharts) AMENDMENT In September 2015, 8.13.35 was amended to reflect who must be invited to a Strategy Meeting and 8.13.40, to state that it is very likely that more than one Strategy

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Definition - Fabricated or induced illness in a child is a condition whereby a child suffers harm through the deliberate action of her/his main carer and which is duplicitously attributed by the adult to another cause.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Professional Differences - When there is a difference of medical opinion regarding any matter relating to fabricated or induced illness, the Designated Doctor should be asked to review the case and will draw the final conclusion.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Police Investigation - All non-police staff involved will receive appropriate training from the police, and understand the need for strict secrecy during the operation.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Strategy Meeting - When it is decided that there are grounds to initiate a Section 47 Enquiry, decisions should be made about how the Section 47 Enquiry, as part of the Child and Family Assessment, will be carried out.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Strategy Meeting - The following must be invited: The referrer, if a professional; Named Doctor or Paediatrician if the child is currently an inpatient in an acute NHS Trust, the Named Nurse and or Doctor for Child Protection and / or the Consultant in charge of the child's care and senior member of nursing

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Strategy Meeting - In addition to the decisions usually taken at a Strategy Meeting, additional factors to address are: Identification of a lead paediatrician to coordinate the health information; What information is shared with parents, by whom and within what time frame, bearing in mind the safety of the c

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Strategy Meeting - Investigating this specific circumstance is complex and disturbing for practitioners and one worker should not undertake the investigation in isolation. The Strategy Meeting should recognise the need to ensure multi-agency coordinated working and good supervision.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Strategy Meeting - If at any point there is medical evidence that the child's symptoms are being fabricated or induced, action may be required to ensure the child's life is not put at risk. If emergency action is required e.g. if a child's life is in danger through toxic substances being introduced into the

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Strategy Meeting - This meeting requires the involvement of key senior professionals responsible for the child's welfare. At a minimum this must include Children's Social Care, the Police and the paediatric consultant responsible for the child's care.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Definition - There are 3 main ways of the carer fabricating or inducing illness in a child: Fabrication of signs and symptoms, including fabrication or exaggeration of past or current medical history; Fabrication or exaggeration of signs and symptoms and falsification of hospital charts, records, lette

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Confidentiality - As set out in Information Sharing and Confidentiality, a referral should be made without the consent or knowledge of the parents where to do so would place the child at increased risk of Significant Harm.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Confidentiality - In cases of possible fabricated illness the decision about what the parents will be told, by whom and when will be agreed between the referrer and Children's Social Care. This will be further agreed at any Strategy Meetings.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Initial Response to the Referral - A decision should be made whether a Strategy Meeting is required to decide whether to carry out a Section 47 Enquiry and what further action should be taken.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Strategy Meeting - Careful attention should be given to ensuring that all professionals involved in the Strategy Meeting are clear about each other's concerns and that adequate opportunity is given to pursue all professional perspectives and to consider the full range of explanations and potential avenues of

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Strategy Meeting - It is very likely that more than one Strategy Meeting will be necessary. This is likely where the child's circumstances are complex and a number of discussions are required to consider whether and, if relevant, when to initiate a Section 47 Enquiry.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Strategy Meeting - It may also be necessary to have an interim protection plan for the child or children concerned pending the holding of a Child Protection Conference - and this should be determined at the Strategy Meeting.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Section 47 Enquiry - Before placing children with members of either extended family, be sure that a thorough assessment of them has taken place. Illness induction may be a feature of the family behaviour in previous generations. Any alternative carer should demonstrate an ability to believe that the suspected

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Section 47 Enquiry - An adult psychiatrist should be involved at the point at which there is moderate to high suspicion that a parent has been inducing symptoms or a court has made a finding of fact that such behaviour has occurred.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Police Investigation - Any evidence gathered by police should be available to other relevant professionals, to inform discussions and decisions about the child's welfare and contribute to the Section 47 Enquiry and Child and Family Assessment, unless this would be likely to prejudice criminal proceedings.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Police Investigation - It is important that suspects' rights are protected by adherence to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, which would normally rule out any agency other than the police confronting any suspect persons.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Section 47 Enquiry - Children under the age of 5, especially pre-verbal children and children with an existing diagnosed illness, disability and/or communication difficulties, are at greatest risk because of their inherent vulnerability.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Section 47 Enquiry - It is important to keep a focus on the impact of the carer's behaviour on the child when assessing levels of risk.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Section 47 Enquiry - The Child and Family Assessment should include the systematic gathering of information about the history of the child and each family member, building on that already gathered during the course of each agency's involvement with the child. Particular emphasis should be given to health (phys

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Section 47 Enquiry - It is important to assess the child's understanding, if old enough, of their symptoms and the nature of their relationship with each significant family member (including all caregivers), each of the caregiver's relationships with the child, the parents' relationship both with each other an

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Section 47 Enquiry - A full chronology from each agency should be developed which may assist in informing the Child and Family Assessment.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Section 47 Enquiry - Any decision to confront any person should not be made unless in conjunction and with the full agreement of the police (see Police Investigation).

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Confidentiality - Professionals should in general seek to discuss any concerns about a child's welfare with the family. Discussion with the parents or carer about the referral should only be done where such discussion and agreement seeking will not place a child at increased risk of Significant Harm.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Strategy Meeting - A Strategy Meeting must be chaired by, at a minimum level, the first line manager or child protection adviser. If operational managers chair the Strategy Meeting, a child protection adviser or manager should be informed and consulted.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Recognition - Consultation with peers, named or designated professionals or colleagues in other agencies will be an important part of the process of making sense of the underlying reason for these signs.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Recognition - For a small number of children, concerns will be raised when it is considered that the health or development of a child is likely to be significantly impaired or further impaired by the actions of a carer or carers having fabricated or induced illness. Where the impairment is such that the

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Recognition - Professional staff should consult or seek support from their designated or named professional if they are concerned about a child.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Recognition - If there is suspicion that a member of staff is responsible for unexplained or inexplicable symptoms in a child, then the Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children Procedure must be followed, as well as referral to Children's Social Care to ensure the sa

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Medical Evaluation - Please see Flow chart 1 - medical evaluation where there are concerns regarding signs and symptoms of illness, which is on page 57 of the government guidance document Safeguarding Children in whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced (DCSF 2008) (including Flowcharts).

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Recognition - There may be a number of factors that staff working in schools and early years settings should be aware of that can indicate a child may be at risk of harm. Some of these factors can be: Regular absences to keep doctor or hospital appointment; or Repeated claims by parent that a child is f

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Recognition - Doctors / paediatricians may be concerned at the possibility of a child suffering Significant Harm as a result of having illness fabricated or induced by her/his carer. These concerns may arise when: Reported symptoms and signs found on examination are not explained by any medical conditi

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Definition - The above are not mutually exclusive.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Recognition - Carers exhibit a range of behaviours when they wish to convince others that their child is ill. Fabricated or induced illness is often but not exclusively associated with emotional abuse. The following list of behaviours exhibited by carers can be associated with fabricating or inducing i

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Recognition - Concerns may be raised by  professionals who are working with the child e.g. nurses, teaching staff, social workers and early years staff in a variety of setting, and who may notice discrepancies between reported and observed medical conditions.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Recognition - Professionals working with the child's parents may also note these concerns, e.g. mental health professionals, may identify a child being drawn into the parents illness.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Medical Evaluation - A lead paediatrician identified at the Strategy Discussion/Meeting will coordinate the medical information.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Medical Evaluation - The signs and symptoms require careful medical evaluation for a range of possible diagnoses. This should be informed by a medical chronology, which should include events in relation to any siblings of the child.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Medical Evaluation - Medical evaluation can be complicated by some parents' reluctance to leave the child. Where appropriate every effort should be made to see the child alone.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Medical Evaluation - Normally, the doctor would tell the parent(s) that (s)he has not found the explanation and record the parental response.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Referral to Children's Social Care - The Making a Referral Procedure should be followed when there are concerns that a possible explanation for the signs and symptoms of illness is that they may have been fabricated or induced by a carer.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Referral to Children's Social Care - As with all other child protection concerns, the response by Children's Social Care will be in accordance with Section 4, Response to Child Protection Referrals.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Medical Evaluation - All tests and their results should be fully and accurately recorded. It is important that the child's record is not altered in any way, e.g. through tampering with test results.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Medical Evaluation - Parents should be kept informed of findings from these medical investigations but at no time should concerns about the reasons for the child's signs and symptoms be shared with the parent if this information would jeopardize the child's safety.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Medical Evaluation - Where a reason cannot be found for the signs and symptoms, specialist advice and tests may be required.

8.15 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Medical Evaluation - The name of the person reporting any observations should be legibly recorded and dated.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Mandatory Reporting Duty - The duty applies to cases you discover in the course of your professional work, if you do not currently undertake genital examinations in the course of delivering your job, then the duty does not change this. Most professionals will only visually identify FGM as a secondary result of under

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Mandatory Reporting Duty - The duty is a personal duty which cannot be delegated and it does not breach any confidentiality requirement.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Mandatory Reporting Duty - The duty does not apply if a relative/carer discloses that a child has undergone FGM however safeguarding guidance should be followed. See Section 8.15

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - The FGM Prevalence Dataset Information Standard instructs all clinicians to record into clinical notes when FGM is identified, and what type it is. For further information see: Information Standards Board for Health and Social Care Female Genital Mutilation Prevalence Dataset Specification

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Prevention - Wherever possible the aim must be to work in partnership with parents and families to protect children through parents' awareness of the harm caused to the child.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Prevention - Agencies should work together to promote a better understanding of the damaging consequences to health (physical and psychological) of female genital mutilation.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Assessment - In order to make sensitive and informed professional judgements about the child's needs, it is important that professionals are sensitive to differing family patterns and lifestyles and to child-rearing patterns that vary across different racial, ethnic and cultural groups. At the same tim

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Further Advice - Useful contacts are: Foundation for Women's Health, Research and Development, (FORWARD) Tel: 020 8960 4000; The African Well Woman Clinic at Central Middlesex Hospital, Acton Lane, Park Royal, NW10 7NS.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Mandatory Reporting Duty - The safety of the girl is the priority, reports under the duty should be made as soon as possible and best practice is before close of the next working day. The Police service should be the one in which the child resides, ring 101 explain that you are making a report under the FGM mandator

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - NHS hospitals are required to record: If a patient has had Female Genital Mutilation; If there is a family history of Female Genital Mutilation; If a Female Genital Mutilation-related procedure has been carried out on a patient. All acute hospitals must report this data centrally to the De

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Flowcharts - These flowcharts and risk assessment tools are for use by rofessionals accross Sussex: Flowchart: Child/Young Adult (under 18rs) at risk of FGM Flowchart: Pregnant Women Flowchart: Non Pregnant Adult Women (over 18yrs) - routine enquiry or unplanned disclosure of FGM or potential FGM ri

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Mandatory Reporting Duty - To be considered in conjunction with Section 8.15 of the Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures Manual.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Mandatory Reporting Duty - The FGM mandatory reporting duty is a legal duty provided for in the FGM Act 2003 and amended by the Serious Crime Act 2015. The legislation requires regulated Health and Social Care Professionals and Teachers in England and Wales to make a report to the Police on the single non-emergency

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Mandatory Reporting Duty - For the purposes of the duty, the relevant age is the girl’s age at the time of disclosure/identification (i.e. it does not apply where a woman aged 18 or over discloses she had FGM when she was under 18)

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Definition - This practice is not required by any major religion and medical evidence indicates that female genital mutilation causes harm to those who are subjected to it.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Mandatory Reporting Duty - The safety of the girl is the priority, reports under the duty should be made as soon as possible and best practice is before close of the next working day. The Police service should be the one in which the child resides, ring 101 explain that you are making a report under the FGM mandator

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Mandatory Reporting Duty - Where there is a risk to life or of serious immediate harm professionals should report the case immediately to Police, dialling 999 if appropriate.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Mandatory Reporting Duty - The duty applies to all regulated health, teaching and social work professionals. For teachers this includes persons employed to carry out teaching work in schools and other institutions.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

The Law - Female circumcision, excision or infibulation (female genital mutilation) is illegal in this country by the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, except on specific physical and mental health grounds.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Recognition - Many girls may not be aware that they may be at risk of undergoing FGM but suspicions may arise in a number of ways that a child is being prepared for FGM to take place abroad. These include knowing that the family belongs to a community in which FGM is practised and is making preparations

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - An appropriate response to a child suspected of having undergone FGM as well as a child at risk of undergoing FGM could include: Arranging for an interpreter if this is necessary and appropriate; Creating an opportunity for the child to disclose, seeing the child on their own; Using simple

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Mandatory Reporting Duty - Non-regulated practitioners under their safeguarding children responsibilities must take appropriate safeguarding action in relation to any identified or suspected case of FGM but do not have to follow the mandatory reporting duty.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Mandatory Reporting Duty - For additional resources and guidance:- https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/512906/Multi_Agency_Statutory_Guidance_on_FGM__-_FINAL.pdf  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/573782/FGM_Mandatory_Reporting_-_procedur

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Definition - Female genital mutilation is a collective term for procedures which include the removal of part or all of the external female genitalia for cultural or other non therapeutic reasons.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Definition - Girls may be circumcised or genitally mutilated illegally by doctors or traditional health workers in the UK, or sent abroad for the operation.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

RELATED GUIDANCE Female Genital Mutilation - Multi-Agency Guidelines (February 2011) Female Genital Mutilation: resource pack (GOV.UK) Femail Genital Mutilation: fact sheet (GOV.UK)   RELATED CHAPTERS Forced Marriage Domestic Violence and Abuse Procedure Recognition of abuse and neglect A

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Recognition - Girls are at particular risk of FGM during school summer holidays as this is the time when families may take their children abroad for the procedure.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

The Law - It is an offence to: Undertake the operation (except in specific physical or mental health grounds); Assist a girl to mutilate her own genitalia; Assist a non-UK person to undertake female genital mutilation of a UK national outside the UK (except in specific physical or mental health grou

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - Female genital mutilation is a one-off event of Physical Abuse (albeit one that may have grave permanent sexual, physical, and emotional consequences), not an act of repeated abuse and organisational responses need to recognise this.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Recognition - Any medical provision for a pregnant woman who has herself been the subject of female genital mutilation provides the opportunity for recognition of risk and preventative work with parents.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - A second Strategy Meeting should take place within 10 working days of the first meeting, with the same chair. This meeting must evaluate the information collected in the enquiry and recommend whether a Child Protection Conference is necessary.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - A girl who has already been genitally mutilated should not normally be the subject of a Child Protection Conference or subject to a Child Protection Plan unless additional protection concerns exist, though she should be offered counselling and medical help. Consideration must however be gi

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - The main emphasis of work in cases of actual or threatened genital mutilation should be through education and persuasion. This approach will be reflected in the Child Protection Plan.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - A girl believed to be in danger of genital mutilation may be made the subject of a Child Protection Plan under the category of risk of Physical Abuse if the criteria are applicable including the need for the future protection of the child.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - If necessary, legal advice must be taken on the options which could be considered to protect a child. Under the Children Act 1989, possible legal proceedings could include a Prohibited Steps Order with or without a Supervision Order. Removal from home should be considered only as a last r

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - If the child has already suffered female genital mutilation, the meeting will need to consider carefully whether to continue enquiries or whether to assess the need for support services.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - Any suspicion of intended or actual female genital mutilation must be referred to Children's Social Care, in accordance with the Making a Referral Procedure.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Recognition - Possible indicators are similar to other forms of abuse, especially Sexual Abuse, including: Bleeding, discharge, urinary infections; Reluctance to receive medical attention or to participate in sporting activities; Prolonged absence from school, with noticeable behaviour change on return

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Recognition - A child may be considered to be at risk if it is known that older girls in the family have been subject to the procedure. Prepubescent girls of 7 to 10 are the main subjects, though the practice has been reported amongst babies.

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - Children's Social Care must inform the Safeguarding Investigations Unit at the earliest opportunity and convene a Strategy Meeting within two working days if: There is suspicion that a girl or young woman, under the age of eighteen, is at risk of undergoing this procedure; It is believed t

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - A Children's Social Care manager who has attended female genital mutilation training or a child protection adviser / senior manager should chair the Strategy Meeting. Health providers or voluntary organisations with specific expertise should be invited. Consideration may be given to inviti

8.16 Female Genital Mutilation

Response - In planning any intervention it is important to consider the significance of cultural factors. Female genital mutilation is generally performed because of the significance it has in terms of cultural identity. Any intervention is more likely to be successful if it involves workers from, or

8.17 Forced Marriages

Definition and Legal Position

8.17 Forced Marriages

RELATED GUIDANCE See the Government guidance published in November 2013 entitled "The Right to Choose - Multi Agency Guidance in Relation to Forced Marriage". See also the Multi Agency Practice Guidance: Handling Cases of Forced Marriages(published by the Forced Marriage unit in June 2009)

8.17 Forced Marriages

Definition and Legal Position - Anyone threatened with forced marriage or forced to marry against their will can apply for a Forced Marriage Protection Order. Such an order can be granted to prevent a marriage occurring or, where a forced marriage has already taken place, to offer protective measures. Orders may contain

8.17 Forced Marriages

Response - All referrals to Children's Social Care involving suspected forced marriage (either actual or prospective) can involve complex and sensitive issues and social workers should inform their first line manager and consult the senior child protection manager.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Recognition - Where there is information of an existing or prospective forced marriage of a child aged less than 18 years, child protection issues should be addressed by a referral to Children's Social Care, without prior discussion with the family or community.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Recognition - Staff should seek consultation and advice from the designated / named professional and the Forced Marriage Unit see National Contact Details.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Response - Where there are concerns for an individual under 18 (or for their children) a Strategy Discussion / Meeting with the Safeguarding Investigations Unit and other relevant agencies must be initiated to decide whether the young person is suffering, or at risk of suffering Significant Harm and

8.17 Forced Marriages

Response - Allegations received by the police should be dealt with by the Safeguarding Investigations Unit.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Response - The social worker and / or police officer should not attempt to act as a mediator with the family. In addition: Do provide the child, wherever possible, with the choice of race and gender of social worker and / or police officer; Make sure you inform the child of their right to seek legal

8.17 Forced Marriages

Response - In all cases efforts should be made to see the child immediately, on their own, in a secure and private place, even if the child is with others or the police have been called to the home.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Response - Information to obtain in these cases includes: Details of referrer and relationship with child; Details of individual child under threat (including nationality, date of birth, passport details, school and employment details); Full details of the allegation; Name and address of those with P

8.17 Forced Marriages

Recognition - The needs of victims of forced marriage vary. They may need help to avoid a threatened forced marriage or dealing with the consequences of a forced marriage that has already taken place.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Recognition - The child must be provided with the opportunity to speak on her / his own, in a private place. (S)he may face Significant Harm if her/his family learn that (s)he has sought help or advice and mediation should not be attempted.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Definition and Legal Position - Whilst the majority of cases encountered in the UK involve South Asian families, partly reflecting the composition of the UK population, there have been cases involving families from East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Some forced marriages take place in the UK with no overseas

8.17 Forced Marriages

Definition and Legal Position - Forced marriages of children may involve non-consensual and/or underage sex, emotional and possibly physical abuse and should be regarded as a child protection issue and referred to Children's Social Care.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Definition and Legal Position - A forced marriage is when one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of some vulnerable adults, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Definition and Legal Position - Third parties such as relatives, friends, voluntary workers and police officers can apply for a protection order with the leave of the Court. Since 1 November 2009, local authorities can apply for a protection order for a vulnerable adult or child without the leave of the court.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Definition and Legal Position - For further advice and information about how to make such an application, see theForced Marriage Guidance for Local Authorities on Applying for Protection Orders, published by the Ministry of Justice in November 2009.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Recognition - Staff should not make assumptions that a child is at risk solely on the basis of an imminent extended family holiday. All efforts should be made to establish the full facts from the child at the earliest opportunity, without making assumptions. Professionals should discuss cases of forced

8.17 Forced Marriages

Recognition - Victims of existing or prospective forced marriages may be fearful of discussing their worries with friends and teachers, but may come to the attention of professionals for various behaviours or circumstances consistent with distress. These may include: A family history of siblings being f

8.17 Forced Marriages

Definition and Legal Position - The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, made it a criminal offence, with effect from 16 June 2014, to force someone to marry. This includes: Taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place); Marrying someone who lacks the menta

8.17 Forced Marriages

Response - Information to be obtained in discussion with the child includes: List of any friends and family to be trusted; Possible code to ensure you are communicating with the right person in future (e.g. in telephone calls); Background details of family including experiences of other family member

8.17 Forced Marriages

Definition and Legal Position - Forced marriage is primarily, but not exclusively, an issue of violence against girls and young women: "Most cases involve young women aged between 13 and 30, although there is evidence to suggest that as many as 15% of victims are male" Young people and vulnerable adults facing forced mar

8.17 Forced Marriages

Assessment - In order to make sensitive and informed professional judgements about the child's needs, it is important that professionals are sensitive to differing family patterns and lifestyles and to child-rearing patterns that vary across different racial, ethnic and cultural groups. At the same tim

8.17 Forced Marriages

Intervention - If there is an overseas dimension Children's Social Care and police should liaise closely with the Forced Marriage Unit.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Intervention - If the child does not want Children's Social Care to intervene, the social worker will have to consider whether the child's safety (or that of others) requires that further action be taken.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Intervention - Where a child spouse has come to the UK from overseas without their family and states they were forced into marriage and do not want to remain with their spouse, Children's Social Care should consider the young person in the same manner as an unaccompanied asylum-seeking minor, and should

8.17 Forced Marriages

Intervention - If the risk of forced marriage is immediate, it may be necessary to take emergency action to protect the child e.g. Police Protection or Emergency Protection Orders 

8.17 Forced Marriages

Response - NB. Cases involving suspicions of a forced marriage are NOT suitable for a Family Group Conference to be arranged because of the risk of physical danger and emotional manipulation which the young person may experience as a result.

8.17 Forced Marriages

Response - If the individual is going overseas and there is concern that they may be forced into a marriage the following information is required: Photocopy of the individual's passport (he/she should also keep details of their passport number, place and date of issue); Father's name; Any addresses w

8.17 Forced Marriages

Response - The child should be reassured of confidentiality and the allegations must not be shared with the child's family, friends or influential people within the community without the express consent of the child (and even then with due consideration of the implications to her / his safety).

8.18 Foreign Exchange Visits

Intervention - Schools should not place a pupil from an overseas school with a: Household which includes a child subject to a Child Protection Plan; Family currently subject to a Section 47 Enquiry.

8.18 Foreign Exchange Visits

Intervention - Where a professional is aware of a child, under 16 (or under 18 if disabled), who is staying or it is proposed will stay in a family for more than 27 days, (s)he should make a referral to Children's Social Care because the child will be considered to be Privately Fostered. This imposes s

8.18 Foreign Exchange Visits

Intervention - Children on foreign exchange visits typically stay with a family selected by the school in the host country and are vulnerable for reasons comparable to others living away from home.

8.18 Foreign Exchange Visits

Intervention - Schools should take reasonable steps to ensure that relevant schools abroad take a comparable approach.

8.19 Historical Abuse Allegations

Significance - Organisational responses to allegations by an adult of abuse experienced as a child must be of as high a standard as a response to current abuse because: There is a significant likelihood that a person who abused a child(ren) in the past will have continued and may still be doing so; Crimi

8.19 Historical Abuse Allegations

Response - Children's Social Care should initiate a Section 47 Enquiry if the alleged perpetrator is known currently to be caring for, or has access to children (including making the necessary referral to the area where the alleged perpetrator is now known to live). Where the alleged perpetrator has

8.19 Historical Abuse Allegations

Response - As soon as it is apparent that an adult is revealing childhood abuse, the member of staff must record what is said by the service user and the responses given by the staff member. A chronology should be undertaken and all records must be dated and the authorship made clear by a legible sig

8.19 Historical Abuse Allegations

Response - Consideration must be given to the therapeutic needs of the adult and reassurance given that, even without her/his direct involvement, all reasonable efforts will be made to look into what (s)he has reported.

8.19 Historical Abuse Allegations

Response - If possible, staff should establish if the adult is aware of the alleged perpetrator's recent or current whereabouts and contact with children.  If a child under 18 makes a disclosure to a professional about historical abuse this should be responded to as any other disclosure of abuse (i.

8.19 Historical Abuse Allegations

Response - An adult service user should be asked whether (s)he wants a police investigation and must be reassured that the Safeguarding Investigations Unit is able and willing to undertake such work even for those adults who are vulnerable as a result of mental health or learning difficulties. The ad

8.19 Historical Abuse Allegations

Response - The Safeguarding Investigations Unit must be informed about allegations of crime at the earliest opportunity. Whether the Police become involved in an investigation will depend of a number of factors including the victims' wishes and the public interest.

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Introduction - This procedure supplements the more detailed guidance contained in the Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex, and is designed to outline the action to be taken when a child goes missing from any setting.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Referral to Disclosure and Barring Service or Regulatory Body

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Introduction - The Joint Policy should be referred to for further details of: Risk assessment and planning before a child goes missing; Planning to address incidents of specific concern; How to respond to longer absences; Police powers.

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Definitions - Where the procedure refers to 'child' or 'children' these terms include young people under the age of 18 years.

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Definitions - Where the child's location or reason for absence is unknown and/or there is cause for concern for the child because of their vulnerability or there is a potential danger to the public. A child in this category must be reported to the police.

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Definitions - Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established and where the circumstances are out of character, or the context suggests the person may be the subject of crime or at risk of harm to themselves or another.

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Definitions - Children who because of their age or due to a degree of intellectual impairment become separated from their carers, become temporarily disorientated and become missing as a result and would wish to be found. This is clearly very frightening and upsetting for all involved

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Restrictions on Identifying Teachers Against Whom Allegations of Criminal Misconduct Have Been Made

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - Initial Response to Allegation or Concern

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Disciplinary or Suitability Process and Investigations

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Response - Details of all children who go missing should routinely be passed to children's social care by the police, in order that any safeguarding issues can be considered.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

AMENDMENT In September 2015, this chapter was updated to reflect Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.

8.20 Honour Based Violence

Introduction - Honour based violence is the term used to describe murders in the name of so-called honour, sometimes called 'honour killings'. These are murders in which predominantly women are killed for perceived immoral behaviour, which is deemed to have breached the honour code of a family or communi

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

The Return - If there is any suggestion that the child has been a victim or perpetrator of crime, consideration must be given to the securing evidence by police including by forensic examination. This should also include securing clothing and delaying washing/bathing in relevant cases. It must be remem

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

The Return - Where an allegation of physical or sexual abuse is made or becomes evident, child protection procedures must be implemented and contact made immediately with the Safeguarding Investigations Unit or a referral made to children's social care.

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

The Return - The child should be given the opportunity to talk to someone independent of their family about their absence. In some instances this person could be a police officer. It may be however that the child would prefer to speak to a social worker or to an independent agency. When a child has bee

8.20 Honour Based Violence

Recognition - A child who is at risk of honour based violence is at significant risk of physical harm (including being murdered) and/or neglect, and may also suffer significant emotional harm through the threat of violence or witnessing violence directed towards a sibling or other family member. Signifi

8.20 Honour Based Violence

Disclosure and Response - When receiving a disclosure from a child, professionals should recognise the seriousness / immediacy of the risk of harm. For a child to report to any agency that they have fears of honour based violence in respect of themselves or a family member requires a lot of courage, and trust that

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Information to be made Available

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Informing the Media - The police are responsible for advising the media regarding children missing from home. Decisions to publicise will always be made in consultation with the parents or carers

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Information to be made Available - When reporting to the police, the person taking the report will need the following information: A description of the child and their clothing; Details of when the child was last seen and with whom; A recent photograph (if available); Family addresses; Known associates and addresses frequen

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Response - When a child or young person is missing from home or has become separated from their parents/carers, the priority must be to ensure the immediate safety of the child by finding them and returning them to their parents or carers, providing this does not place any child at greater risk of si

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Response - Anyone may report a child as missing to the police; they do not have to be a parent, carer, or other relative. Any report of a missing child must be recorded by the police area receiving the report.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Roles and Responsibilities - Working Together 2015 states: County level and unitary local authorities should ensure that allegations against people who work with children are not dealt with in isolation. Any action necessary to address corresponding welfare concerns in relation to the child or children involved should

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Response - In addition, professionals should always consider the potential safeguarding issues surrounding children who may either have been lost or missing, and whether these indicate a child has or is suffering abuse or neglect.  Where appropriate, a referral should be made to children's social ca

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Response - Where any professional becomes aware that a child is missing from home, and it appears that the child's parent or carer has not reported the matter to the police, they must themselves report the child as missing to the police.

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Response - The responsibility for responding to reports of children who go missing and undertaking enquires to locate them and ensure their return to a safe caring environment lies with the police.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Restrictions on Identifying Teachers Against Whom Allegations of Criminal Misconduct Have Been Made - With effect from 1 October 2012, the Education Act 2011 introduced reporting restrictions  preventing the publication of any material that may lead to the identification of a teacher who has been accused by, or on behalf of, a pupil from the same school (where that identification would id

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Restrictions on Identifying Teachers Against Whom Allegations of Criminal Misconduct Have Been Made - The case manager should take advice from the LADO, Police and Children’s Social Care services to agree the following: Who needs to know and, importantly, exactly what information can be shared; How to manage speculation, leaks and gossip; What, if any information can be reasonably given

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Strategy Discussion or Meeting - Wherever possible, a Strategy Discussion should take the form of a meeting, however on occasions a telephone discussion may be justified. The following is a list of possible participants: Local Authority Designated Officer; Relevant social worker and his/her manager; Detective sergeant (Sa

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - References in this document to 'Strategy Discussions' should be read to include 'Initial Evaluations' where appropriate.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - The police must be consulted about any case in which a criminal offence may have been committed. If the threshold for Significant Harm is not reached, but a police investigation might be needed, the Local Authority Designated Officer should immediately inform the police and convene an Init

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - There are up to 3 strands in the consideration of an allegation: A police investigation of a possible criminal offence; Children's Social Care enquiries and/or assessment about whether a child is in need of protection or services; Consideration by an employer of following the disciplinary,

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - The Local Authority Designated Officer and Designated Senior Manager should consider first whether further details are needed and whether there is evidence or information that establishes that the allegation is false or unfounded. Care should be taken to ensure that the child is not confus

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - If the allegation is not demonstrably false and there is cause to suspect that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer Significant Harm, the Local Authority Designated Officer should refer to Children's Social Care and ask them to convene an immediate Strategy Discussion.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Strategy Discussion or Meeting - All participants should be aware that the Strategy Meeting is a confidential meeting and the notes of the meeting should not be shared with any other person without the express consent of the Chair. Where an invitee is from a non-statutory organisation a confidentiality agreement should be

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Strategy Discussion or Meeting - The Strategy Discussion/Meeting should: Decide whether there should be a Section 47 Enquiry and/or police investigation and consider the implications; Consider whether any parallel disciplinary/standards of care process can take place and agree protocols for sharing information; Consider t

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Section 47 Enquiry and Police Investigation - Where a decision is made that criminal proceedings cannot be pursued, it should then be decided whether further investigation be undertaken, which may clarify whether the allegation is substantiated on a balance of probabilities, i.e. using the burden of proof used in civil cases (as oppos

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Section 47 Enquiry and Police Investigation - Wherever possible, the Police and Children's Social Care should, during the course of their investigations and enquiries, obtain consent to provide the employer and/or regulatory body with statements and evidence for disciplinary purposes.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Section 47 Enquiry and Police Investigation - Where an allegation involves a person who is not a member of an organisation represented on the LSCB, evidence from the case will not be released by the police for disciplinary proceedings until the following has been considered and established: Does the company/organisation have disciplin

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Section 47 Enquiry and Police Investigation - This information should be recorded and given as a written record to the employer and the Local Authority Designated Officer (as per the procedures or, if in East Sussex, the operating instruction (OICS)).

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Section 47 Enquiry and Police Investigation - At the completion of the police investigation and/or Section 47 Enquiry, then a further Strategy Discussion should be held to ensure that all tasks have been completed. This Strategy Discussion should: Ensure that the member of staff has been informed of the outcome of the Police investiga

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Strategy Discussion or Meeting - The Strategy Discussion/Meeting should also: Ensure that arrangements are made to protect the child(ren) involved and any other child(ren) affected, including taking emergency action where needed; Consider what support should be provided to all children who may be affected; Consider what s

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Allegations against Carers - The Strategy Meeting should be chaired by a suitable experienced and independent manager. This could be the Local Authority Designated Officer, or a suitable Children's Social Care Manager.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Section 47 Enquiry and Police Investigation - If at the Strategy Discussion it is decided that either the police and/or Children's Social Care are to undertake enquiries or investigations then the progress of these enquires should be reported back to the employer and the Local Authority Designated Officer at agreed intervals.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - Similarly an allegation made to Children's Social Care should be immediately reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - If a police officer receives an allegation, he or she should, without delay, report it to the Safeguarding Investigations Unit who should then immediately inform the Local Authority Designated Officer.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Resignations and Compromise Agreements - 'Compromise agreements' must not be used, e.g. where a member of staff agrees to resign provided that disciplinary action is not taken and that a future reference is agreed.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Organised and Historical Abuse - Investigators should be alert to signs of organised or widespread abuse and/or the involvement of other perpetrators or institutions. They should consider whether the matter should be dealt with in accordance with Complex (Organised or Multiple) Abuse Procedure which, if applicable, will t

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Whistle Blowing - All staff should be made aware of the organisation's whistle-blowing policy and feel confident to voice concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Resignations and Compromise Agreements - In these circumstances consideration should be given to making referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service's Barred Lists and regulator/registration bodies.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Resignations and Compromise Agreements - Every effort should be made to reach a conclusion in all cases even if: The individual refuses to cooperate, having been given a full opportunity to answer the allegation and make representations; It may not be possible to apply any disciplinary sanctions if a person's period of notice exp

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Managing Interim Risk - Only the employer, however, has the power to refrain/suspend an accused employee and they cannot be required to do so by a local authority or the police.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Managing Interim Risk - The possible risks to children should be evaluated in terms of the child(ren) involved in the incident. Additionally, consideration must be given to the risks of any children related to, living with or in contact with through other work or community life, to the accused member of staff.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Managing Interim Risk - If the child also lives with the member of staff, for example in situations such as foster care or boarding school, then the welfare of the child should be considered paramount and the risk managed in a way which ensures the minimum of disruption, and encourages placement stability, but ma

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Whistle Blowing - If a member of staff believes that a reported allegation or concern is not being dealt with appropriately by their organisation, (s)he should report the matter to the Local Authority Designated Officer.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - It is in everyone's interest for cases to be dealt with expeditiously, fairly and thoroughly and for unnecessary delays to be avoided. The target timescales provided in these procedures are realistic in most cases, but some cases will take longer because of their specific nature, or comple

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - When informed of a concern or allegation, the Designated Senior Manager should not investigate the matter or interview the member of staff, the child concerned or potential witnesses. He/she should: Obtain written details of the concern/allegation, signed and dated by the person receiving

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - If the allegation meets the criteria set out in Section 1, Scope, the Designated Senior Manager should report it to the Local Authority Designated Officer within one working day. Referral should not be delayed in order to gather information and a failure to report an allegation or concern

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - If an allegation requires immediate attention, but is received outside normal office hours, the Designated Senior Manager should consult the Social Care Emergency Duty Team or local Police and inform the Local Authority Designated Officer as soon as possible.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - He or she should: Make a written record of the information (where possible in the child/adult's own words), including the time, date and place of incident(s), persons present and what was said; Sign and date the written record; and Immediately report the matter to the Designated Senior Man

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - He or she should not: Investigate or ask leading questions if seeking clarification; Make assumptions or offer alternative explanations; or Promise confidentiality, but give assurance that the information will only be shared on a 'need to know' basis.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - An allegation against a member of staff may arise from a number of sources, e.g. a report from a child, a concern raised by another adult in the organisation, or a complaint by a parent or carer.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Timescales - The person to whom an allegation or concern is first reported should treat the matter seriously and keep an open mind.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Section 47 Enquiry and Police Investigation - Any case involving such a person should therefore be considered by the Police at the appropriate time, and the LADO informed. Even when the above has been confirmed there will be a presumption against the release on an investigative video recording, particularly if they contain evidence of

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Section 47 Enquiry and Police Investigation - If the Police or Crown Prosecution Service decides not to charge, or decide to administer a caution, or the person is acquitted, the police should pass all relevant information to the employer without delay.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Record Keeping and Monitoring Progress - If a police investigation is to be conducted, the police should set a date for reviewing its progress and consulting the Crown Prosecution Service about continuing or closing the investigation or charging the individual. Wherever possible, this should be no later than 4 weeks after the Str

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Referral to Disclosure and Barring Service or Regulatory Body - If the allegation is substantiated and the person is dismissed or the employer ceases to use the person's services, or the person resigns or otherwise ceases to provide his or her services, the Local Authority Designated Officer should discuss with the employer whether a referral should be

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Referral to Disclosure and Barring Service or Regulatory Body - Consideration will then be given as to whether the individual should be barred from, or have conditions imposed in respect of, working with children.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Record Keeping and Monitoring Progress - The Local Authority Designated Officer should keep comprehensive records in order to ensure that each case is being dealt with expeditiously and that there are no undue delays. The records will also assist the LSCB to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the procedures for managing al

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Record Keeping and Monitoring Progress - The Local Authority Designated Officer should monitor and record the progress of each case, either fortnightly or monthly depending on its complexity. This could be by way of review Strategy Discussions or direct liaison with the police, Children's Social Care, or employer, as appropriate.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Record Keeping and Monitoring Progress - The record should include details of how the allegation was followed up and resolved, the decisions reached and the action taken. It should be completed in collaboration with the Local Authority Designated Officer.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Record Keeping and Monitoring Progress - A copy of this summary should be: Placed on the person's confidential personnel file; Given to the individual; and Given to the Local Authority Designated Officer.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Record Keeping and Monitoring Progress - It should be kept at least until the person reaches normal retirement age or for 10 years if longer.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Referral to Disclosure and Barring Service or Regulatory Body - If a referral is to be made, it should be submitted within one month.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Learning Lessons - The employer and the Local Authority Designated Officer should review the circumstances of the case to determine whether there are any improvements to be made to the organisation's procedures or practice. Where appropriate, this should include agreement to an action plan for future practic

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Flowcharts - Click here to view the Allegations or Concerns Against Staff and Volunteers, Children Protection Process Flowchart - under review Click here to view Allegations or Concerns Against Staff and Volunteers, Disciplinary or Suitability Process Flowchart 

8.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing

Note that the police have adopted a revised definition of 'missing' with effect from 2013 - seeInterim Guidance on the Management, Recording and Investigation of Missing Persons (ACPO, 2013), which should be read in conjunction with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Guidance

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Allegations Against Staff in their Personal Lives - In some cases, an allegation of abuse against someone closely associated with a member of staff, e.g. partner, member of the family, or other household member, may present a risk to child(ren) for whom the member of staff is responsible. In these circumstances, a Strategy Discussion should

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Allegations Against Staff in their Personal Lives - If the member of staff lives in a different authority area to that which covers his/her workplace, liaison should take place between the relevant agencies in both areas and a joint Strategy Discussion convened.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Allegations Against Staff in their Personal Lives - If an allegation or concern arises about a member of staff, outside of his/her work with children, and this may present a risk to child(ren) for whom the member of staff is responsible, the general principles outlined in these procedures will still apply.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Allegations Against Staff in their Personal Lives - The Strategy Discussion should decide whether the concern justifies: Approaching the member of staff's employer or organiser for further information, in order to assess the level of risk; and Inviting the employer to a further Strategy Discussion about dealing with the possible risk; or Wh

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Record Keeping and Monitoring Progress - Employers should keep a clear and comprehensive summary of the case record and give a copy to the individual

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Suggested Timescales - On receipt of the report the employer should decide, within 2 working days, whether a disciplinary hearing is needed. If a hearing is required, it should be held within 15 working days.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Disciplinary or Suitability Process and Investigations - The discussion should consider any potential misconduct or gross misconduct on the part of the member of staff, and take into account: Information provided by the police and/or Children's Social Care; The result of any investigation or trial; The different standard of proof in disciplinary

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Disciplinary or Suitability Process and Investigations - In the case of supply, contract and volunteer workers, normal disciplinary procedures may not apply. In these circumstances, the Local Authority Designated Officer and employer should act jointly with the providing agency, if any, in deciding whether to continue to use the person's service

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Disciplinary or Suitability Process and Investigations - If a refrained/suspended person is to continue to work with children after the investigation into the process has been completed, the employer should consider what help and support might be appropriate, e.g. a phased return to work and/or provision of a mentor, and also how best to manage

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Disciplinary or Suitability Process and Investigations - The Local Authority Designated Officer and the Designated Senior Manager should discuss whether disciplinary/standards of care action is appropriate in all cases where: It is clear at the outset or decided by a Strategy Discussion that a police investigation or Section 47 Enquiry is not ne

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Section 47 Enquiry and Police Investigation - Such allegations are rare and may be a strong indicator of abuse elsewhere which requires further exploration. If an allegation deliberately invented and demonstrably malicious, the employer, in consultation with the Local Authority Designated Officer, should refer the matter to Children's

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Section 47 Enquiry and Police Investigation - If the person is convicted, the police should inform the employer straight away so that appropriate action can be taken.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Section 47 Enquiry and Police Investigation - Where it is concluded that there is insufficient evidence to substantiate an allegation, the chair of the Strategy Discussion or initial evaluation should prepare a separate report of the enquiry which uses the information from the Police/Children's Social Care and forward this to the Desi

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Section 47 Enquiry and Police Investigation - Such allegations are rare and may be a strong indicator of abuse elsewhere which requires further exploration. If an allegation deliberately invented and demonstrably malicious, the employer, in consultation with the Local Authority Designated Officer, should refer the matter to Children's

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Suggested Timescales - The following process suggests timescales, which are the timescales to be used to inform the Local Authority Designated Officer.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Suggested Timescales - It is important to recognise that the right outcome is far more important than meeting these timescales. The following principles should be used at all times.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Suggested Timescales - If there has not been a police investigation/Section 47 Enquiry then the process would need to also come to the conclusion as to whether the allegation was substantiated, etc. as in Section 47 Enquiries and Police Investigations.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Suggested Timescales - At any stage, new information emerges that requires a child protection referral, the investigation should be held in abeyance and only resumed if agreed with Children's Social Care and the Police. Consideration should again be given as to whether suspension is appropriate in light of the n

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Suggested Timescales - The investigating officer should aim to provide a report within 10 working days.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Suggested Timescales - The aim of an investigation is to obtain, as far as possible, a fair, balanced and accurate record in order to consider the appropriateness of disciplinary action and/or the individual's suitability to work with children.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Suggested Timescales - If further investigation is needed to decide upon disciplinary action, the employer and the Local Authority Designated Officer should discuss whether the employer has appropriate resources or whether the employer should commission an independent investigation because of the nature and/or c

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Suggested Timescales - Minimising delay; Providing full written information; Being open; Ensuring access to independent support.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Suggested Timescales - If formal disciplinary action is not required, the employer should institute appropriate action within 3 working days. If a disciplinary hearing is required, and further investigation is not required, it should be held within 15 working days.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Managing Interim Risk - Decisions around risk are best made in an inter professional forum, if a Strategy Discussion/Meeting is to be held or if Children's Social Care or the Police are to make enquiries, the Local Authority Designated Officer should canvass their views on refraining/suspending and inform the emp

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Organised and Historical Abuse - Historical allegations should be responded to in the same way as contemporary concerns. It will be important to ascertain if the person is currently working with children and if that is the case, to consider whether the current employer should be informed and a Strategy Discussion/Meeting

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Procedures in Specific Organisations - Where organisations do have specific procedures, they should be compatible with these procedures and additionally provide the contact details for: The Designated Senior Manager to whom all allegations should be reported; The person to whom all allegations should be reported in the absence

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Persons to be Notified - In principle, as soon as possible after an allegation is made, the employer should inform the parent(s) or carer(s) of the child(ren) involved. The LADO should be consulted first to ensure that this does not impede the disciplinary or investigative processes. In some circumstances, however

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Procedures in Specific Organisations - It is recognised that many organisations will have their own procedures in place, some of which may need to take into account particular regulations and guidance, e.g. schools, registered child care providers, foster carers, etc.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Terms used Throughout this Section - The term 'disciplinary process' includes procedures contained within: An organisation's Human Resources manual setting out an employer's expectation; A fostering service's procedures concerning a review of a foster carer's suitability to foster according to the Fostering Services Regulatio

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Terms used Throughout this Section - For the purposes of this procedure the term 'employer' will be used to describe the different types of organisation or agency which will either employ, or be recruit and support a volunteer.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Terms used Throughout this Section - The term 'member of staff' is used to describe the person subject to the allegation or concern. This covers roles such as volunteer, foster carer, childminder or employee.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Persons to be Notified - The responsibility for carrying out the LADO duties rests with the LADO for the area where the person works. Where a person works in more than one area, a discussion should take place between the relevant LADOs to determine who should take the lead in managing the case.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Persons to be Notified - The parent(s)/carer(s) and the child, if sufficiently mature, should be helped to understand the processes involved and kept informed about the progress of the case and of the outcome where there is no criminal prosecution. This will include the outcome of any disciplinary process, but not

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Persons to be Notified - They should also be invited to take part in any subsequent Strategy Discussion/Meeting. Where the member of staff is agency teaching staff, a referral should be made to the LADO and the agency who supplied the teacher must be informed.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Confidentiality - Every effort should be made to maintain confidentiality and guard against publicity while an allegation is being investigated or considered. Apart from keeping the child, parents and accused person up to date with progress of the case, information should be restricted to those who have a n

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Persons to be Notified - Ofsted should also be informed of all allegations or concern made against a: Foster carer; Prospective adopter; Member of staff in a residential child care facility; Member of staff in any day care establishment for children under 8; or Registered childminder.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Persons to be Notified - The member of staff should: Be treated fairly and honestly and helped to understand the concerns expressed and processes involved; Be kept informed of the progress and outcome of any investigation and the implications for any disciplinary or related process; and If suspended, be kept up to

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Persons to be Notified - In principle the employer should, as soon as possible, inform the person who is subject to the allegation or the concern relates to about the nature of the allegation, how enquiries will be conducted and the possible outcome e.g. disciplinary action. Advice should first be sought from the

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Sussex Police - The Head of Specialist Investigations Branch will: Have strategic oversight of the police arrangements for managing allegations against staff and volunteers; Liaise with the LSCB on the issue; and Ensure compliance.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Employers or Organisations - Employers, Voluntary Organisations and organisations such as independent foster care agencies should designate: A named Senior Officer who is responsible for ensuring that procedures in relation to allegations and concerns are in place; and Designated Senior Manager(s) to whom allegations

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Scope - They should be followed by all organisations providing services for children and staff or volunteers who work with or care for children.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Scope - These procedures are based on the framework for dealing with allegations of abuse made against a person who works with children, detailed in Chapter 2 of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Scope - Compliance with these procedures will help to ensure that allegations of abuse are dealt with expeditiously, consistent with a thorough and fair process. Local Safeguarding Children Boards should therefore have arrangements in place for monitoring and evaluating their effectiveness.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Scope - These procedures should be applied when there is an allegation or concern that any person who works with children, in connection with his/her employment or voluntary activity, has: Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child; Possibly committed a criminal offence a

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Local Safeguarding Children Board - Each LSCB member organisation should identify a Named Senior Officer with overall responsibility for: Ensuring that the organisation deals with allegations in accordance with these procedures; Resolving any inter-agency issues; and Liaising with the LSCB on the subject.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Local Safeguarding Children Board - Local Authorities should designate an officer(s) (LADO) or team of Designated Officers to: Be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases; Provide advice and guidance to employers, voluntary organisations and community groups; Liaise with the police and other agencies; and

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Scope - All references in this document to 'members of staff' should be interpreted as meaning all staff, whether they are in a paid or unpaid capacity (including contracted staff).

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Scope - These include concerns relating to inappropriate relationships between adults and children or young people, e.g. having a sexual relationship with a child under 18 if in a position of trust in respect of that child, even if consensual (Sections 16-19 Sexual Offences Act 2003; 'grooming', i

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Scope - These behaviours should be considered within the context of the four categories of abuse i.e. Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Emotional Abuse and Neglect.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Confidentiality - The Police should not provide identifying information to the press or media, unless and until a person is charged, except in exceptional circumstances, e.g. an appeal to trace a suspect. In such cases, the reasons should be documented and partner agencies consulted beforehand.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Sussex Police - Each Specialist Investigation Unit detective inspector will: Liaise with the Local Authority Designated Officer; Ensure a Safeguarding Investigations Unit detective sergeant takes part in Strategy Discussions; Review the progress of cases in which there is a police investigation; Ensure in

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Support - It should be clear to the child and their family who will keep them informed of the progress of the allegation or complaint.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Managing Interim Risk - If this is the case then various options are open to the employer including: Redeployment so not to come into contact with one or more children; Refraining (agreeing that the person will not work with children during the investigation); or Suspension.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Support - The employing organisation together with Children's Social Care and/or the Police, where they are involved, should consider the impact on the child concerned and provide support as appropriate. Liaison between the agencies should take place in order to ensure that the child's needs are add

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Support - As soon as possible after an allegation has been received, the person subject to the allegation or concern should be advised to contact his/her union or professional association.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Support - Human Resources should be consulted at the earliest opportunity in order that appropriate support can be provided via the organisation's occupational health or employee welfare arrangements.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Managing Interim Risk - In all situations the perceived level of risk during the investigation needs to be considered and managed.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Support - The person should be clear on who will update them on the progress of the investigation. This is an ongoing process and should be continued throughout any police investigation, Section 47 Enquiry or disciplinary investigation.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Managing Interim Risk - In certain situations the level may require the member of staff not to be working with specific children or young people or all children and young people until the investigation is completed.

8.2 Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children

Managing Interim Risk - Refraining or suspension should be considered neutral acts and should not be automatic or considered as a default option. They should be considered in any case where: There is cause to suspect a child is at risk of Significant Harm; The allegation warrants investigation by the police; or T

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Strategy Discussion - The Strategy Discussion must initiate a Section 47 Enquiry whenever it is confirmed that a parent or carer of child(ren), or someone with access to child(ren) has been involved in the activities listed above.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Referrals and Child and Family Assessment - Police must be informed of any information that a person may be in possession of abusive images of children or have placed / accessed abusive images of children on the internet.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Referrals and Child and Family Assessment - Parents should inform police if they are aware that a child has been the recipient of any suspicious contact through the internet or in receipt of abusive images, as described above.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Strategy Discussion - Where appropriate, the Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children Procedure should be followed.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Use of the Internet - Parents may wish to seek advice from their Internet service provider about software programmes to limit access to sites that may be unsuitable for children.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Strategy Discussion - The Strategy Discussion must consider all access the individual has to children.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Strategy Discussion - The Police must inform Children's Social Care and a Strategy Discussion held whenever it is suspected that a parent or carer of children or someone with access to children in other context(s) e.g. employment: Is in possession of child abusive images of children; and/or Has taken, shown or

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Referrals and Child and Family Assessment - Where there are concerns about a child being groomed, exposed to pornographic material or contacted by someone inappropriately, via the Internet or other ICT tools like a mobile phone, referrals should be made to the Police and to Children's Social Care, using the Making a Referral Procedu

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Referrals and Child and Family Assessment - The police can provide advice generally on matters of abusive images of children to other agencies.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Referrals and Child and Family Assessment - Any information that a child may have been inappropriately contacted or approached, directly or via the internet, should also be passed to the police.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Referrals and Child and Family Assessment - All referrals to Children's Social Care will be followed by a Child and Family Assessment and information should be shared between the Police and Children's Social Care in order to determine whether a Strategy Discussion should take place.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Referrals and Child and Family Assessment - Where appropriate, the Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children Procedure should be followed.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Referrals and Child and Family Assessment - Whenever the police are informed of concerns that an individual may be involved in the creation, distribution or possession of abusive images of children, consideration must be given to the possibility that the individual might also be involved in the active abuse of children and her/his a

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Use of the Internet - Some adults use it to establish contact with children with a view to grooming them for inappropriate or abusive relationships. This may be accomplished through 'chat rooms' or contact by e-mail and may constitute an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Unlawful Material - Legally, an abusive image of a child is defined by reference to an 'indecent photograph'. This is any indecent photograph of a child under the age of 18 years old.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Unlawful Material - The term 'photograph' includes film, copies of photographs or films, negatives, video tape, data stored on computers that can be converted into a photograph and 'pseudo-photographs' (images made by computers graphics, or other means, which appear to be a photograph). This also covers elect

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Unlawful Material - It is for a court to decide what is 'indecent' by application of recognised standards of propriety.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Abusive Images - Abusive images material may be found in the possession of those who use it for personal use or distribute to children as part of the grooming process.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Abusive Images - For the purposes of child protection, abusive images of children can be divided into: Those which are unlawful; and Material, which although lawful, would give cause for concern and indicate that the person possessing it may pose a risk to children

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Referrals and Child and Family Assessment

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Unlawful Material - Possession of such material is an offence. Taking, showing or distributing such material amounts to a more serious offence.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Use of the Internet - The Internet has become a significant tool in the distribution of abusive images of children, enabling ready access to such material. It may be downloaded and printed off in picture form or stored electronically on the hard drive of a computer, CD/DVD, disc etc.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

RELATED CHAPTER Children who Harm Other Children Procedure RELATED GUIDANCE For additional information please see: CEOPS - Child Exploitation and Online Protection Resources for parents and children - Think you know ACPO Guidance on Young people who Post Self-Taken Indecent Images

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Use of the Internet - Children may be encouraged to access abusive images of children themselves through using apparently innocent words in an Internet search engine.

8.21 Information Communication Technology

Lawful Material - Lawful material falls outside the above definition, but may involve children in an indecent or sexual context. This could include pictures, cartoons, literature or sound recordings e.g. books, magazines, audio cassettes, tapes, CD's.

8.22 Learning Disabled Parent or Carer

Definition - The term "learning disabled" does not describe a homogenous group. For the purposes of these child protection procedures, "learning disabled parent" refers to those who are or may become parents / carers for children and who meet the following three core criteria which describe an individu

8.22 Learning Disabled Parent or Carer

Definition - Additionally these procedures apply in circumstances where parents / carers lack mental capacity and decision-making abilities as a result of injury or disease e.g. brain injury, pre-senile dementia.

8.22 Learning Disabled Parent or Carer

Response - When a child is deemed to have suffered or is likely to suffer Significant Harm, or there are detrimental effects on the health or development of a child, a referral must be made to the Children's Social Care - see the Making a Referral Procedure. A decision will be made if a Child and Fam

8.22 Learning Disabled Parent or Carer

Response - The Strategy Meeting will then decide whether the threshold has been met for: Section 47 Enquiries as part of a Child and Family Assessment, leading to a possible Initial Child Protection Conference; or A Child and Family Assessment to be discussed at a Section 17 Child In Need meeting; or

8.22 Learning Disabled Parent or Carer

Response - Assessments of families with parents / carers with "learning disabilities" will need to integrate specialist assessment functions provided by Adult Services. Where evidence of a learning disability is present in one or both parents, the paramount consideration of all the agencies will be t

8.22 Learning Disabled Parent or Carer

Response - The Assessment Framework remains the primary tool for assessing the vulnerability of children living in households with parents/carers who have learning difficulties.

8.22 Learning Disabled Parent or Carer

Response - Additional support to child protection professionals in the way of consultation and/or supervision may also be available from specialist adult services both within Children's Social Care and health in particularly complex cases.

8.22 Learning Disabled Parent or Carer

Recognition - The following can provide evidence of learning disability: Reference to medical records; Reference to educational records (where it is less than 5 years since leaving school) can provide evidence of a learning disability (Education, Health and Care Plans); Personal history involving attend

8.22 Learning Disabled Parent or Carer

Response - The response is the same as for any other child, namely to consider the extent of vulnerability of the child(ren). Part of the social services assessment should address the needs of the parent/carer to enable them to parent effectively and resources to achieve this should be provided. Addi

8.22 Learning Disabled Parent or Carer

Response - Children's Social Care has a responsibility to assess need and where justified, offer supportive or protective services.

8.22 Learning Disabled Parent or Carer

Response - Where a learning disabled parent appears not to be able to meet her/his child's needs, a referral should be made to Children's Social Care under the Making a Referral Procedure.

8.23 Looked After Children

Reviews, Care Planning and Conferences

8.23 Looked After Children

Reviews, Care Planning and Conferences - Where there is disagreement within the subsequent Child Protection Conference the situation must be brought to the attention of the operational service manager, who in consultation with the senior child protection manager, will decide whether or not to proceed with the plan made at the chi

8.23 Looked After Children

Reviews, Care Planning and Conferences - Where a Looked After Review or other local authority planning meeting proposes the return of a child subject to a Child Protection Plan to their parents or carers - or any other change which might significantly affect the level of risk - the decision (unless this formed part of the origina

8.23 Looked After Children

Section 47 Enquiry

8.23 Looked After Children

Reviews, Care Planning and Conferences - Where a child subject to a Child Protection Plan is removed from accommodation by parents or where a child in care is returned to parents or carers in court proceedings, against the recommendation of the local authority, a Review Child Protection Conference must be convened to consider the

8.23 Looked After Children

Reviews, Care Planning and Conferences - Where a Looked After child remains the subject of a Child Protection Plan, consideration should be given to how best to ensure that the child protection aspects of the child's Care Plan are reviewed.

8.23 Looked After Children

Reviews, Care Planning and Conferences - In most cases where a child who is the subject of a Child Protection Plan becomes Looked After, it will no longer be necessary to maintain the Child Protection Plan - see Discontinuing the Child Protection Plan.

8.23 Looked After Children

Discontinuing Child Protection Plans - When a Looked After child is no longer living in the situation which gave rise to the child protection concerns that resulted in the Child Protection Plan, and there is no current plan for them to be returned, the Child Protection Plan should be discontinued by the decision of the Review C

8.23 Looked After Children

Discontinuing Child Protection Plans

8.23 Looked After Children

Discontinuing Child Protection Plans - Should the Care Plan subsequently include returning the Looked After child to the situation that previously resulted in the Child Protection Plan, consideration should be given to holding a Child Protection Conference first to consider if a Child Protection Plan is required.

8.23 Looked After Children

Reviews, Care Planning and Conferences - There are however a relatively few cases where safeguarding issues will remain and a Looked After child will also have a Child Protection Plan. These cases are likely to be where a local authority obtains an Interim Care Order but the child subject to a Child Protection Plan remains at hom

8.23 Looked After Children

Section 47 Enquiry - In any situation in which there is reason to suspect that a Looked After child is suffering or is likely to suffer Significant Harm, a formal Section 47 Enquiry must be initiated.

8.23 Looked After Children

Reviews, Care Planning and Conferences - If necessary the local authority must take action to protect a child prior to a Review Conference. This must not be delayed until a Review Conference is convened if a Section 47 Enquiry or assessment indicates it is required sooner.

8.23 Looked After Children

Reviews, Care Planning and Conferences - Looked After Reviews and Child Protection Conferences are separate meetings with different purposes. The plans made at Looked After Reviews must be consistent with the Child Protection Plan and this may be achieved by the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) who chairs the Looked After Revi

8.24 Male Circumcision

Doctors’ Response - Doctors are under no obligation to comply with a request to circumcise a child and circumcision is not a service which is provided free of charge. Nevertheless, some doctors and hospitals are willing to provide circumcision without charge rather than risk the procedure being carried out in

8.24 Male Circumcision

Recognition of Harm - Circumcision may constitute significant harm to a child if the procedure was undertaken in such a way that he: Acquires an infection as a result of neglect; Sustains physical functional or cosmetic damage; Suffers emotional, physical or sexual harm from the way in which the procedure was c

8.24 Male Circumcision

Multi-agency Response - If a professional in any agency becomes aware, through something a child discloses or another means, that the child has been or may be harmed through male circumcision, a referral must be made to Children's Social Care in line with local procedures. Children's Social Care should assess th

8.24 Male Circumcision

Principles of Good Practice - The welfare of the child should be paramount, and all professionals must act in the child's best interests. Children who are able to express views about circumcision should always be involved in the decision-making process: Even where they do not decide for themselves, the views that child

8.24 Male Circumcision

Role of community / Religious Leaders - Community and religious leaders should take a lead in the absence of approved professionals and develop safeguards in practice. This could include setting standards around hygiene, advocating and promoting the practice in a medically controlled environment and outlining best practice if co

8.24 Male Circumcision

Circumcision for Therapeutic / Medical Purposes - The British Association of Paediatric Surgeons advises that there is rarely a clinical indication for circumcision. Doctors should be aware of this and reassure parents accordingly. Where parents request circumcision for their son for assumed medical reasons, it is recommended that circumc

8.24 Male Circumcision

Legal Position - The legal position on male circumcision is untested and therefore remains unclear. Nevertheless, professionals may assume that the procedure is lawful provided that: It is performed competently, in a suitable environment, reducing risks of infection, cross infection and contamination; It i

8.24 Male Circumcision

Introduction - Male circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis. The procedure is usually requested for social, cultural or religious reasons (e.g. by families who practice Judaism or Islam). There are parents who request circumcision for assumed medical benefits. There is no requir

8.24 Male Circumcision

Non-therapeutic Circumcision - Male circumcision that is performed for any reason other than physical clinical need is termed non-therapeutic circumcision

8.25 Missing Children

Interventions and Support - 8.21.1 Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex  8.21.2 Reporting All Children who Go Missing 8.21.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care 8.21.4 Safeguarding Foreign National Children Who Go Missing   The National charity, Missing People has been commissioned by East Sussex Cou

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - The Strategy Discussion/Meeting should consider whether the details of the expectant mother/family should be circulated to other local authorities. If so, then the LA child protection adviser should notify other LA children's social care services and Local Safeguarding Children Boards.

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - The Strategy Discussion/Meeting should also consider whether other agencies could be notified (e.g. designated nurses in CCGs can be notified in writing, and they may circulate details to neighbouring maternity units and health visiting teams).

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

When the Expectant Mother/Family is Found - When an expectant mother / family is found the police must be informed so that they can cancel the missing person report.

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

When the Expectant Mother/Family is Found - When an expectant mother/family is found, there should, if practicable, be a Strategy Discussion/Meeting between previously involved agencies within one working day, to consider: Immediate safety issues; Whether to instigate a Section 47 Enquiry and any police investigation; Who will inter

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - If, following the above procedures, the expectant mother / family has not been traced, a Strategy Discussion/Meeting should be convened within five working days.

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Immediate Action - Children's Social Care should consider whether to notify members of the missing expectant mother / family's extended family, and if so how.

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

When the Expectant Mother/Family is Found

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Recognition and Referral - Professionals in local agencies should be alert to the possibility that an expectant mother / family missing appointments or repeatedly being unavailable for home visits may indicate that a child or unborn child is at risk of, or is experiencing, Significant Harm.

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Immediate Action - The manager of the List of Child Protection Plans must be informed if a child subject of a Child Protection Plan or an unborn child subject of a pre-birth Child Protection Plan goes missing.

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Immediate Action - Children's Social Care must complete the assessment of risk to the child / unborn child, and of their needs. The assessment will require Children's Social Care to engage with all the agencies that have current or recent involvement with the child or expectant mother / family. Existing reco

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Recognition and Referral - Professionals should involve all the agencies with current or recent contact with the expectant mother / family to assess the child's or unborn child's vulnerability.

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Recognition and Referral - Professionals should take reasonable steps to reassure themselves as soon as possible that an expectant mother/family is not missing, whereabouts unknown.

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Recognition and Referral - If the expectant mother is a child, then the Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care Procedure should be followed.

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Recognition and Referral - The assessment may have been very brief because the degree of concern for the child(ren) or unborn child may have triggered an immediate referral to LA children's social care and the police.

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Recognition and Referral - If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, or an agency reaches the judgement that a child or unborn child is at risk of Significant Harm on the basis of the assessment, a referral should be made to Children's Social Care in line with theMaking a Referral Procedure and, in the cas

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Recognition and Referral - Professionals should consider questions such as: Is the mother a child herself, is she subject to a Child Protection Plan and/or is she a Looked After Child? Is there good reason to believe that the expectant mother / family may be the victim of a crime? Has there been a pre-birth conferen

8.26 Children and Families who Go Missing

Immediate Action - Children's Social Care, the Safeguarding Investigations Unit and Police Missing Person's Unit should exchange information and work together.

8.27 Parent or Carer Involved in Prostitution

When the Expectant Mother/Family is Found - Involvement of family members in prostitution does not necessarily mean children will suffer Significant Harm.

8.27 Parent or Carer Involved in Prostitution

When the Expectant Mother/Family is Found

8.27 Parent or Carer Involved in Prostitution

When the Expectant Mother/Family is Found - The risks to the children in these circumstances come from the following potential sources: Exposure of the child to unsuitable adults and sexual activity / materials, especially if the parent works from home; The child being left alone whilst the parent is working; The child being left wi

8.27 Parent or Carer Involved in Prostitution

When the Expectant Mother/Family is Found - The child protection procedures described in Section 4, Response to Child Protection Referrals apply in these circumstances.

8.28 Parental Mental Health

Response and the Importance of Working in Partnership

8.28 Parental Mental Health

Recognition - In some cases, especially with regard to enduring and / or severe parental mental ill health, the parent's condition will seriously affect the safety, health and development of children. Where professionals believe that this may be the case a referral must be made to Children's Social Care

8.28 Parental Mental Health

Recognition - The following parental risk factors may justify a referral to Children's Social Care for an assessment of the child's needs: Previous history of parental mental health especially if severe and / or enduring condition; Predisposition to, or severe post natal illness; Delusional thinking inv

8.28 Parental Mental Health

Definition - For the purposes of safeguarding children, the mental health or mental illness of the parent should be considered in the context of the impact of the illness on the care provided to the child.

8.28 Parental Mental Health

Response and the Importance of Working in Partnership - Care programme meetings about parents who have mental health difficulties must include consideration of any needs or risk factors for the children concerned. Children's Social Care along with other relevant agencies should be involved in planning discharge arrangements.

8.28 Parental Mental Health

Response and the Importance of Working in Partnership - Where a parent,/ carer, of a child is deemed to be a danger to self or others by agency professionals, a referral must be made to  Children's Social Care, who should be invited to any relevant planning meetings.

8.28 Parental Mental Health

Response and the Importance of Working in Partnership - Strategy Discussions and Child Protection Conferences must include any psychiatrist, community psychiatric nurse, psychologist and adult mental health social worker involved with the parent / carer.

8.28 Parental Mental Health

Response and the Importance of Working in Partnership - Children's Social Care may be requested to assess whether it is in the best interests of a child to visit a parent or family member in a psychiatric hospital. (See Visits by a Child to High Secure Hospitals and Prisons Procedure, including Broadmoor, Ashworth and Rampton). Psychiatric hosp

8.28 Parental Mental Health

RELATED GUIDANCE Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat- Improving Outcomes for People Experiencing Mental Health Crisis AMENDMENT In September 2014, a link was added in the Related Guidance section to the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat- Improving Outcomes for People Experiencing Mental

8.28 Parental Mental Health

Response and the Importance of Working in Partnership - Adult and child mental health professionals, child care social workers, health visitors and midwives, school nurses and education services must share information in order to be able to assess risks - see Information Sharing and Confidentiality.

8.28 Parental Mental Health

Recognition - The following factors may lead to the conclusion that a child might have suffered or is at risk of suffering Significant Harm: A child acting as a young carer for a parent or a sibling; Impact has been observed on child's growth, development, behaviour and/or mental / physical health, incl

8.28 Parental Mental Health

Recognition - The majority of parents who suffer significant mental ill-health are able to care for and safeguard their child(ren) and / or unborn child.

8.28 Parental Mental Health

Recognition - If a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering Significant Harm as the result of commission or omission on the part of the parent/ carer, then the welfare of the child must be paramount.

8.29 Parental Substance Misuse

Definitions - Parental misuse of drugs or alcohol becomes relevant to child protection when misuse of substances impacts on the care provided to child(ren).

8.29 Parental Substance Misuse

Definitions - Substance misuse may include experimental, recreational, poly-drug, chaotic and dependent use of alcohol and / or drugs.

8.29 Parental Substance Misuse

Recognition - Misuse of drugs and/or alcohol is strongly associated with Significant Harm to children, especially when combined with other features such as domestic abuse and parental mental illness.

8.29 Parental Substance Misuse

RELATED GUIDANCE Postnatal Care – NICE Clinical Guideline 37 AMENDMENT In September 2015, a link was added to Postnatal Care – NICE Clinical Guideline 37 in the Related Guidance section.

8.29 Parental Substance Misuse

Response - Importance of Working in Partnership - Strategy Discussions and Child Protection Conferences must include workers from any drug and alcohol service involved with the family in question.

8.29 Parental Substance Misuse

Response - Importance of Working in Partnership

8.29 Parental Substance Misuse

Response - Importance of Working in Partnership - Care programme meetings regarding drug or alcohol abusing parents must include consideration of any needs or risk factors for the children concerned. Children's Social Care must be given the opportunity and should contribute to such discussions.

8.29 Parental Substance Misuse

Recognition - The risk to child(ren) may arise from: Use of the family resources to finance the parents' dependency, characterised by inadequate food, heat and clothing for the children; Exposing children to unsuitable care givers or visitors - e.g. customer or dealers; Effects of alcohol which may lead

8.29 Parental Substance Misuse

Response - Importance of Working in Partnership - Professional staff in drug and alcohol services must exchange information with child care social workers, health visitors, school nurses and midwives to be able to assess risks for the unborn baby and child - see Information Sharing and Confidentiality.

8.29 Parental Substance Misuse

Response - Importance of Working in Partnership - Working in partnership across agencies and services is vital for an effective assessment of risk and to ensure the safety of child(ren).

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Definitions - Where the procedure refers to 'child' or 'children' these terms include young people under the age of 18 years.

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Introduction - This procedure supplements the more detailed guidance contained in the Joint Policy for Children Missing in Sussex, and is designed to outline the action to be taken when a child goes missing from care.

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Introduction - The Joint Policy should be referred to for further details of: Risk assessment and planning before a child in care goes missing; Planning to address incidents of specific concern; How to respond to longer absences; Children in care who go missing during an external activity of a residentia

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Response - The responsibility for responding to reports of children who go missing and undertaking enquires to locate them and ensure their return to a safe caring environment lies with the police.

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Definitions - This kind of boundary testing is within the range of normal teenage behaviour and not necessarily considered a risk, although a more general response such as additional parenting support and advice may be helpful as behaviour of this nature may fall within the wider safeguarding remit for

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Definitions - A person not at the place where they are expected to be.

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Response - Anyone may report a child as missing to the police; they no not have to be a parent, carer, or other relative.  Any report of a missing child must be recorded by the police area receiving the report.

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Response - Children's Social Care staff will be expected to help the police in finding the child and to work cooperatively with police during any enquiry.

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Response - Even after reporting a child missing, staff should recognise that Children's Social Care are responsible for children in their care at all times, and this responsibility remains after they have reported a child missing to the police.

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Definitions - The term "looked after children" has a specific legal meaning deriving from Children Act 1989. Under the Children Act 1989 a child is "looked after" if he or she is: Provided with accommodation for a continuous period of more than 24 hours ( Children Act 1989, Section 20 and 21 ); or Is su

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Definitions - Children who because of their age or due to a degree of intellectual impairment become separated from their carers, become temporarily disorientated and become missing as a result and would wish to be found. This is clearly very frightening and upsetting for all involved

8.3 Safeguarding Foreign National Children Who Go Missing

2. Children in the Care of the Local Authority - When the whereabouts of a child in the care of the local authority is unknown, it will be the responsibility of that authority to conduct any enquiries necessary to locate the child or report the child missing to the local police. The local authority will also notify the Home Office Eviden

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Definitions - Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established and where the circumstances are out of character, or the context suggests the person may be the subject of crime or at risk of harm to themselves or another.

8.3 Safeguarding Foreign National Children Who Go Missing

1. Introduction - Home Office staff must always make a referral to a statutory agency responsible for child protection or child welfare such as the local police, the Health Service, or the Children’s Department of a local authority in a number of circumstances including; when a child is identified as havi

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Timing of Review Conference Following a Pre-Birth Conference - The Child Protection Plan only comes in to effect when the child is born and the plan should be reviewed at a Review Conference scheduled to take place within 3 months of the child's birth. The conference chair will determine the date.

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Definitions - Where the child's location or reason for absence is unknown and/or there is cause for concern for the child because of their vulnerability or there is a potential danger to the public. A child in this category must be reported to the police.

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

The Development of a Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan - The Core Group must be established and is expected to meet prior to the birth, and certainly prior to the baby's return home after a hospital birth.

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Note that the police have adopted a revised definition of 'missing' with effect from 2013 - seeInterim Guidance on the Management, Recording and Investigation of Missing Persons (ACPO, 2013), which should be read in conjunction with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Guidance

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Pre-Birth Multi-Agency Strategy Meeting - The purpose of the meeting is the same as that of other Strategy Discussion/Meetings and should determine: Particular requirements of the pre-birth Child and Family Assessment; Whether a Section 47 Enquiry is to be initiated; Role and responsibilities of agencies in the assessment; Role an

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Pre-Birth Multi-Agency Strategy Meeting - This Strategy Meeting will be chaired by a Children's Social Care line manager and involve: Community midwife; Maternity services manager; GPs; Health visitor; Police; Social worker for the unborn baby and social worker for the parent(s) if applicable; Other professions as appropriate e.g.

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Pre-Birth Multi-Agency Strategy Meeting - The assessment plan must be consistent with standards required for possible court proceedings, including clear letters of instruction.

8.3 Safeguarding Foreign National Children Who Go Missing

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER This guidance applies to children and Vulnerable Adults who are ‘subject to restriction’, i.e. who has/have been: Proceeds through immigration control without obtaining leave to enter; or Leaves the border control area Border Force accommodation without permission

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Pre-Birth Assessment - The overall aim of the pre-birth assessment is to identify and understand: Parental and family history, life style and support networks and their likely impact on the child's welfare; Risk factors; Parental needs; Strengths in the family environment; Factors likely to change and why; Facto

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Pre-Birth Multi-Agency Strategy Meeting - Parents should be informed as soon as possible of the concerns and the need for assessment, except on the rare occasions when medical guidance advice suggests this may be harmful to the health of the unborn baby and/or mother.

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Response - All pre-birth Referrals to Children's Social Care must be subject to a Child and Family Assessment and a multi-agency Strategy Meeting must be held in the circumstances described in Recognition above.

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Recognition - Concerns should be shared with prospective parent(s) and consent obtained to refer to Children's Social Care unless this action in itself may place the welfare of the unborn child at risk e.g. if there are concerns that the parent(s) may move to avoid contact.

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Introduction - Such concerns should be addressed as early as possible to maximise time for: Full assessment, including establishing the whereabouts of any previous children; Enabling a healthy pregnancy; Supporting the parents so that (where possible) they can provide safe care.

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Introduction - In some circumstances, agencies or individuals are able to anticipate the likelihood of Significant Harm with regard to an expected baby.

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Recognition - Where agencies or individuals anticipate that prospective parents may need support services to care for their baby or that the baby may be at risk of Significant Harm, a referral to Children's Social Care must be made at the earliest opportunity, using theMaking a Referral Procedure.

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Recognition - Referrals must always be made in the following circumstances: There has been a previous unexplained death of a child whilst in the care of either parent; A parent or other adult in the household is a person identified as presenting a risk, or potential risk, to children; Children in the ho

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Recognition - Delay must be avoided when making referrals to Children's Social Care in order to: Provide sufficient time to make adequate plans for the baby's protection; Provide sufficient time for a full and informed assessment; Avoid initial approaches to parents in the last stages of pregnancy, at w

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Recognition - Where the concerns centre around a category of parenting behaviour e.g. substance misuse, the referrer must make clear how this is likely to impact on the baby and what risks are predicted.

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Pre-Birth Conference - A pre-birth conference should be conducted as if it were an Initial Child Protection Conference concerning an unborn child. Such a conference has the same status and purpose and must be conducted in a comparable manner to an Initial Child Protection Conference.

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Pre-Birth Conference - A pre-birth conference should be held where a: Pre- birth assessment gives rise to concerns that an unborn child may be at risk of Significant Harm; A previous child has died or been removed from parent(s) as a result of Significant Harm; A child is to be born into a family or household wh

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

The Return - If there is any suggestion that the child has been a victim or perpetrator of crime, consideration must be given to the securing evidence by police including by forensic examination. This should also include securing clothing and delaying washing/bathing in relevant cases. It must be remem

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Informing the Media - The Police are responsible for advising the media regarding children missing from local authority care, however decisions to publicise will always be made in consultation with Children's Social Care who will consult the parents and/or foster carers.

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

The Return - Carers, police, social workers and any other persons informed of the child's absence, should be advised of the child's return without delay.

8.3 Safeguarding Foreign National Children Who Go Missing

5. Action to be Taken when a Missing Child or Vulnerable Adult is Found - Found by Home Office Staff The local police and local authority must be informed immediately. In consultation with the local police and local authority, a decision will be made as to where the child or vulnerable adult is to be taken if they are not to be left at the address where they are

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

The Return - For a child in care, the social worker and line manager should decide in consultation with residential staff/foster carer, the Independent Reviewing Officer and the child, whether they should convene a statutory review of the child's care plan

8.3 Safeguarding Foreign National Children Who Go Missing

4. Children or Vulnerable Adult Family Members of Persons in Immigration Detention - If the child or vulnerable adult family member of a foreign national offender is a British Citizen or has valid leave to enter or remain in the UK, the police and local authority should be informed immediately of the concerns for the child or vulnerable adult’s safety.  

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

The Development of a Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan - If a decision is made that the child requires a Child Protection Plan, the main cause for concern must determine the category of concern and a Child Protection Plan should be outlined to commence prior to the birth of the baby and made available to midwifery staff 4 weeks prior to the expe

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Pre-Birth Conference - Those who normally attend an Initial Child Protection Conference must be invited (see Membership of Child Protection Conference Procedure). In addition representatives of the midwifery and relevant neo-natal services and social worker(s) for the parents, if applicable should also be invite

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Pre-Birth Conference - All agencies involved with pregnant women who have concerns should consider the need for an early Referral to Children's Social Care, so that assessments are undertaken, and family support services provided, as early as possible in the pregnancy.

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Pre-Birth Conference - Other risk factors to be considered are: The impact of parental risk factors such as mental ill-health, learning disabilities, substance misuse and domestic violence; A mother for whom there are concerns regarding her ability to self-care and/or to care for the child or to protect the chil

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Pre-Birth Conference - The pre-birth conference should take place ideally at least 3 months before the due date of delivery, so as to allow as much time as possible for planning support for the pregnancy and the birth of the baby.

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Response - When a child or young person is missing from home or has become detached from their social care staff/foster carers, the priority must be ensuring the immediate safety of the child by finding them and returning them to social care staff/foster carers, providing this does not place any chi

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Pre-Birth Conference - Where there is a known likelihood of a premature birth, the conference should be held earlier.

8.3 Safeguarding Foreign National Children Who Go Missing

3. Accompanied Children in the Care of their Parent(s) or a Family Member - If it is believed by Home Office staff that a child is being coerced to abscond or go missing, this must be reported as a child protection issue with the local police and children’s services. As soon as there is sufficient information for the Home Office to make a decision that a child i

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Definitions - Clearly some children absent themselves for a short period and then return and their whereabouts are known. Sometimes children stay out longer than agreed, either on purpose or accidentally, and may be testing boundaries. Children who make telephone contact and agree a time to return, but

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

The Return - The accountable manager in the authority responsible for the child's care should ensure that an independent return interview is arranged. If there are concerns that the child ran away as a result of circumstances relating to their family or to their placement then this interview would need

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care - Residential staff and foster carers should continue to regularly review the circumstances in the light of any enquiries made or information received, and inform the police of any developments. If the period of absence continues for six hours, consideration should be given as to whether the

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care - Any case of an absent child which causes significant concern, or gives rise to the suspicion of harm, should be brought to the attention of the accountable team manager from the authority responsible for the child's care.

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care - Details of children who are absent should still be notified to the police in order that a record of the child's absence can be made, and agreement reached on what needs to be done, and who will do what. Although there is an expectation that residential staff and foster carers should contin

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care - If the child is considered to fall within the definition of absent, the decision to record the child as such, together with the evidence supporting that decision must be recorded.

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Information to be made Available - When reporting to the police, the person taking the report will need the following information: A description of the child and their clothing; Details of when the child was last seen and with whom; A recent photograph (if available); Family addresses; Known associates and addresses frequen

8.3 Breast Ironing

Breast Ironing also known as “Breast Flattening” is the process whereby young pubescent girls breasts are ironed, massaged and/or pounded down through the use of hard or heated objects in order for the breasts to disappear or delay the development of the breasts entirely. It is believe

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Recording of Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan - Where a pre-birth conference has decided that an unborn child is to be the subject of a Child Protection Plan, her/his name and expected date of birth may be placed on the child's social care record immediately and their name and date of birth confirmed at birth.

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

AMENDMENT In March 2015, 8.26.9, Pre-Birth Multi-Agency Strategy Meeting was amended to confirm who should attend. Pre-Birth Conference was amended to include social worker(s) for the parents, if applicable should be invited and where the parent is a care leaver and the social worker is un

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care - If the absence is considered to fall with the definition of missing, foster carers or residential staff must without delay inform: The police; The parents and those who have Parental Responsibility (the decision of when to inform parents/those with Parental Responsibility must be made in c

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care - When a member of children's home staff or a foster carer realise that a child is missing from their care they should consider which definition the absence falls within. Support and advice in making this decision will be available from the LA Children's Social Care Department responsible fo

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

The Return - Where an allegation of physical or sexual abuse is made or becomes evident, child protection procedures must be implemented and contact made immediately with the Safeguarding Investigations Unit and the child protection service at the authority where the child is living if the child is in

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

The Return - The child should be given the opportunity to talk to someone independent of their family or of their placement about their absence. In some instances this person could be a police officer. It may be however that the child would prefer to speak to a social worker or to an independent agency

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Information to be made Available

8.3 Reporting Children who Go Missing from Care

Notification of Absence for a Child in Care

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Recording of Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

The Development of a Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Pre-Birth Multi-Agency Strategy Meeting

8.30 Pre-Birth Child Protection Procedures

Timing of Review Conference Following a Pre-Birth Conference

8.31 Racial and Religious Harassment

Recording of Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan

8.31 Racial and Religious Harassment

Recording of Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan - Children and families from black or ethnic minority groups are likely to have experienced harassment, racial discrimination and institutional racism.

8.31 Racial and Religious Harassment

Recording of Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan - All agencies have a responsibility to recognise racial harassment. Children's Social Care and the Police must respond effectively when incidents of racial harassment and attacks place a child at risk of Significant Harm.

8.31 Racial and Religious Harassment

Recording of Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan - Families may suffer religious and/or racial harassment sufficient in frequency and seriousness to undermine parenting capacity. In responding to concerns about children in the family, full account needs to be taken of this context and every reasonable effort made to end the harassment.

8.31 Racial and Religious Harassment

Recording of Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan - Experience of racism is likely to affect how a child behaves, in particular when being assessed by a worker, or being cared for by a carer of a different ethnic origin.

8.31 Racial and Religious Harassment

Recording of Pre-Birth Child Protection Plan - Failure to protect a child from racism (whether it originates from within or outside of the family) or take action when racism is being alleged is likely to undermine all other efforts being made to promote the welfare of the child.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Gang-Related Activity - What is the Risk? - Practitioners should consider the risks to young people involved in gangs from violence and weapons, drugs, and sexual exploitation.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Gang-Related Activity - What is the Risk? - Local evidence-gathering and profiling of local gang problems will be needed to establish what the risks are in a particular area. The TGAP Practice Document (seeTackling Gangs: A Practical Guide) offers an easy to follow guide on ways to profile gangs in local areas. 

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Definition of a Gang - At the top level (Level 3) are organised criminal gangs, composed principally of adult men. At the bottom level (Level 1) are peer groups.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Gang-Related Activity - What is the Risk? - Young people who are involved in gangs are more like to suffer harm themselves, through retaliatory violence, displaced retaliation, territorial violence with other gangs or other harm suffered whilst committing a crime. Young people involved in gangs are more likely to possess and use wea

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Referral and Assessment - It is particularly important that girls and young women who have been sexually abused or exploited by gang members have access to appropriate support and counselling, in an environment where they feel safe and secure.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Gang-Related Activity - What is the Risk? - Dealing with drugs can also bring gang members into organized crime and can increase the threat of violent situations. Some gang members deal in drugs either as a way to make money or to fund their own use of drugs.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Gang-Related Activity - What is the Risk? - Some children and young people are at risk of exposure to or involvement with groups or individuals who condone violence as a means to political end. Violent extremist causes range from animal rights to far right politics to international terrorism.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Gang-Related Activity - What is the Risk? - Practitioners should bear in mind when assessing either victims or perpetrators of crime of the potential for young people to become involved in gangs and gang-related violence as a result of being a victim of crime.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Gang-Related Activity - What is the Risk? - Safeguarding principles should be a priority for girls who are sexually exploited and abused, which can be a particular risk for girls associated with or targeted by gang members, but it may also affect male gang members. The risk of sexual exploitation and abuse has been highlighted in s

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Gang-Related Activity - What is the Risk? - According to Female Voice in Violence there has been an increase in female members in gangs. There is often pressure for girls associated with young boys in gangs to ‘link’ with gang members to attain status, for their own protection and perhaps to benefit from a criminal lifestyle. S

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Definition of a Gang - The evidence from intelligence and analysis suggests that gangs are predominantly male with an average age of 20 and extensive criminal histories with the average age of a first conviction of 15.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Gang-Related Activity - What is the Risk? - Gangs use violence to assert their power and authority in a local area and may have to assert their power in relation to other gangs in the area. This is why so much gang-related crime and violence is perpetrated against other members of gangs and their relatives and rarely against the pol

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Introduction - Addressing the problem of gang involvement is a multi-agency issue; partnership working and information sharing is therefore a key to safeguarding children and young people at risk of gang-related harm.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Gang-Related Activity - What is the Risk? - Research has shown that victims of crime can become offenders because of their experience. Retaliation and the need for respect can be factors in the progression from victim to offender; carrying a weapon following an attack can help a young person to rebuild respect, as well as offering a

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Referral and Assessment - An Osman Warning (a warning given following intelligence received about a threat to life) is so named after the Osman v United Kingdom (23452/94) ECHR 101 (28 October 1998) which placed a positive obligation on the authorities to take preventative measures to protect an individual whose li

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Support and Interventions - Support and interventions should be proportionate, rational and based on the child’s needs identified during assessment. The diagram on page 28 of the government guidance sets out the areas of intervention for the different tiers of need based on the risk factors identified. These will r

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Support and Interventions - Practitioners should consider their own safety whilst working with young people and visiting a household. It may be appropriate to interview the child and the parents in a neutral setting. Information sharing about high risk families and individuals (such as those carrying lethal weapons)

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Introduction - Young people are put at risk by gang activity both through participation in and as victims of gang violence.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Definition of a Gang - The TGAP found that there has been a noticeable and significant lowering of the age profile of recognised gang members. Issues of respect, territory and gang identity often motivate these young gang members. They may engage in a lower level of criminality to begin with, including street ro

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Definition of a Gang - Being part of a friendship group is a normal element of growing up and it can be common for groups of children and young people to gather together in public places to socialise. Although some group gatherings can lead to increased antisocial behaviour and youth offending, these activities

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Introduction - Victims and offenders are often the same people. When adults treat a young person as just a victim or just an offender, they are not taking into account the complex, cyclical nature of the victim-offender link and the factors that influence young people’s lives.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Referral and Assessment - The Child and Family Assessment should be led by a qualified and experienced social worker. As always, evidence and information sharing across all relevant agencies will be key. It may be appropriate for the social worker to be embedded in or work closely with, a team, which has access to

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Definition of a Gang - A gang is defined as a “relatively durable group who have a collective identity and meet frequently. They are predominantly street-based groups of young people who see themselves (and are seen by others) as a discernible groups for whom crime and violence is integral to the groups’ ide

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Referral and Assessment - Any agency or practitioner who has concerns that a child may be at risk of harm as a consequence of gang activity should contact the Local Authority’s Children’s Social Care Service or police for the area in which the child is currently located.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Referral and Assessment - The Early Help Plan may be crucial in the early identification of children and young people who need additional support due to risk of involvement in gang activity.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Definition of a Gang - The Pyramid of Gang Involvement on page 13 of the government guidance sets out a tiered approach to defining gangs.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Referral and Assessment - Please refer to Identification and Referral Flowchart on page 28 of the Government Guidance.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Identification and Risk Factors - This is not an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide, amended as appropriate in light of local knowledge of the risk factors in a particular area.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Definition of a Gang - The guidance focuses on safeguarding those children and young people at Level 2, i.e. those on the cusp of/vulnerable to making the transition to gang involvement as well as those already involved in gangs.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Referral and Assessment - Where there is a risk to the life of a child or the likelihood of Significant Harm, emergency action might be necessary to secure the immediate safety.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Identification and Risk Factors - Risk indicators may include: Becoming withdrawn from family; Sudden loss of interest in school – decline in attendance or academic achievement; Starting to use new or unknown slang words; Holding unexplained money or possessions; Staying out unusually late without reason; Sudden change i

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Identification and Risk Factors - There are particular risk factors and triggers that young people experience in their lives that can lead to them becoming involved in gangs. Many of these risk factors are similar to involvement in other harmful activities such as youth offending or violent extremism.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Identification and Risk Factors - Risk factors for a person becoming involved in gangs are illustrated in the assessment triangle on page 19 of the government guidance.

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER This chapter summarises Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families in 2010. This non-statutory guidance is intended for frontline practitioners across the children’s work

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Introduction - Overall, children particularly vulnerable to suffering harm in the gang context are those who are: Not involved in gangs, but living in an area where gangs are active, which can have a negative impact on their ability to be safe, health, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and

8.32 Safeguarding Children and Young People Who May be Affected by Gang Activity

Referral and Assessment - Practitioners should be aware that children who are Looked After by the Local Authority can be particularly vulnerable to becoming involved in gangs. There may be a need to review their Care Plan in light of this information and to provide additional support.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Child referred to Children's Social Care - For cases where self harm has been reported but the child is not in immediate danger, a Child and Family Assessment should be undertaken to determine what course of action should follow. This will include consideration as to whether a referral to CAMHS is necessary and if a Section 47 Enqu

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Child referred to Children's Social Care - In all cases where self harm or attempted suicide is suspected or known the child should be seen by a physician at the local A&E department.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Child referred to Children's Social Care

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Responding to Incidents of Self-Harm - This must be undertaken as a matter of urgency for any child aged under 5.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Definition - The possibility that self-harm, including a serious eating disorder, has been caused or triggered by any form of abuse or chronic neglect should not be overlooked.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Definition - In most cases of deliberate self harm the young person should be seen as a Child in Need and offered help via the school counselling service, the GP, child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) or other therapeutic services e.g. paediatric or psychiatric services.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Definition - Self harm, self mutilation, eating disorders, suicide threats and gestures by a child must always be taken seriously and may be indicative of a serious mental or emotional disturbance.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Definition - The above possibility may justify a referral to Children's Social Care using the Making a Referral Procedure for consideration and assessment of whether the child is in need of services and/or protection.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Definition - Consideration must also be given to protect children who engage in high risk behaviour which may cause serious self injury such as drug or substance misuse, running away, partaking in daring behaviour i.e. running in front of cars etc. All of which may indicate underlying behavioural or em

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Child referred to Children's Social Care - In all cases an assessment should consider whether: There is evidence the parents / carers are failing to protect the child from harm or are failing to diminish the risks of further attempts at harm; The child is exhibiting behaviour beyond the control of their parent / carer and they cont

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Responding to Incidents of Self-Harm - Any child aged under 12 reported to be self harming must be the subject of a comprehensive paediatric assessment leading to a possible referral to CAMHS.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Responding to Incidents of Self-Harm

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Child Presented at Hospital - Where the child has presented at hospital, the doctor should undertake a preliminary examination and decide what further assessment is required. For younger children, a comprehensive paediatric assessment should be sought - see Responding to Incidents of Self-Harm above.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Child Presented at Hospital - Where a child has been hospitalised as a result of self-harm, any discharge should involve co-ordinated planning with community services, including Children's Social Care and CAMHS.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

RELATED GUIDANCE Royal College of Psychiatrists Managing Self-harm in Young People Guidance for Developing a Local Suicide Prevention Action Plan: Information for Public Health Staff in Local Authorities AMENDMENT In March 2015, a link was added to Royal College of Psychiatrists Managing S

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Child Presented at Hospital - In cases of attempted suicide a hospital admission will usually be arranged to enable a psycho - social assessment, which should consider whether or not the child is at risk of Significant Harm and the need to refer to Children's Social Care for assessment under the Making a Referral Proce

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Child Presented at Hospital

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Responding to Incidents of Self-Harm - In addition to the normal child protection procedures in Section 3 of this manual, Recognition and Referral of Abuse and Neglect, the following procedures may apply.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Responding to Incidents of Self-Harm - It is good practice, whenever a child or young person is known to have either made a suicide attempt or been involved in self harming behaviour, to undertake a multi-disciplinary risk assessment, along with an assessment of need.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Child Presented at School - The school should make arrangements to interview the child and ascertain whether the difficulties presented can be resolved with her/him and their parents within the school environment or whether outside help from other professionals is required. However, if aged under 12, a comprehensive

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Child Presented at School - Information should also be passed to the school nurse who can liaise with the child's GP where necessary.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Child Presented at School - All school personnel who come into contact with a child who is self harming should inform the school's designated member of staff.

8.33 Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Child Presented at School

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Definition - Sexual exploitation is used to describe a broader range of abusive situations than children involved in prostitution. This enables greater awareness and understanding of the issue and lower thresholds for intervention. Where 'children involved in prostitution' is the basis for a protocol

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Principles - Under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 young people under the age of 18 are deemed to be children and would be considered Children in Need if being sexually exploited.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Principles - The prevention of sexual exploitation and intervention with children thought to be at risk of sexual exploitation will be treated with equal importance.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Principles - As much as possible it is important that the young person is involved in decisions that are made in respect of them.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Definition - "Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wa

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Legal Position - Children under the age of 16 cannot lawfully consent to sexual activity.  Anyone engaging in sexual activity with a child under 16 is committing a criminal offence.  Specific serious offences, including rape, apply to anyone engaging in sexual activity with a child under the age of 13 as

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Definition - There is also often a presumption that children are sexually exploited by people they do not know. However evidence shows that this is often not the case and children are often sexually exploited by people with whom they feel they have a relationship, e.g. a boyfriend/girlfriend.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Definition - The majority of sexually exploited children are hidden from public view. They are unlikely to be loitering or soliciting on the streets. Research and practice has helped to move the understanding away from a narrow view of seeing sexual exploitation as a young person standing on a street c

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Principles - Preventing child abuse requires a collaborative response and is a shared responsibility. All children thought to be sexually exploited will be the subject of a joint investigation and there is a need for effective joint working between all agencies and professionals.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Principles - Children involved in any form of sexual exploitation should be treated primarily as the victims of abuse and their needs carefully assessed; the aim should be to protect them from further harm and they should not be treated as criminals. The primary law enforcement response should be direc

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Definition - The following definition appears in the Department for Education guidance Child sexual exploitation: Definition and a guide for practitioners, local leaders and decision makers working to protect children from child sexual exploitation (February 2017).

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Principles - Due to the nature of the grooming methods used by their abusers, it is very common for children and young people who are sexually exploited not to recognise that they are being abused. Practitioners should be aware that particularly young people aged 17 and 18 may believe themselves to be

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

RELATED GUIDANCE Child sexual exploitation: Definition and guide for practitioners, local leaders and decision makers working to protect children from child sexual exploitation (Department for Education, February 2017) Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation (Supple

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Immediate Protection - Where immediate action to safeguard a child or young person is required, it may involve removing the child from the home of a person who is exploiting them to a safe place. However, those working with children in these circumstances must never underestimate the power of perpetrators to fin

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Immediate Protection - Such children will need placements with carers who have experience of building trusting relationships and skills at containing young people.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Intervention and Support - A strategy should therefore be developed, with the child and family wherever possible, to address the child's needs and help him or her to move on from the exploitative situation. It could include specialist therapeutic support, mentoring to assist a return to education or employment, outr

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Response - Children’s Social Care should involve professionals with specialist experience in sexual exploitation as part of the assessment of the child/young person and in the Strategy Discussion. Where there is a concern regarding a child or young person’s level of risk of involvement in sexual

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Response - Consideration should also be given to referring the child or young person to local services such as the Sussex Central YMCA’s Sexual Exploitation Project.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Recognition - Children and young people are more vulnerable to abuse through sexual exploitation if they have experience of: Childhood sexual abuse; Domestic abuse within the family; Family breakdown; Physical and emotional deprivation; Bullying in or out of school; Parents with high level of vulnerabil

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Recognition - All agencies, parents and carers must be aware of the following indicative behaviours associated with a child who is experiencing sexual exploitation; however they are not conclusive signs in themselves: Physical symptoms (Sexually Transmitted Infections, chronic fatigue, bruising suggesti

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Response - If you suspect that a child or young person is experiencing sexual exploitation or they have made a disclosure to you, your organisation's child protection procedures must be followed and you should make a referral to Children's Social Care - see Making a Referrals Procedure.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Intervention and Support - The particular circumstances of the child should be taken into account in developing the multi -agency response and the plan for services should be tailored to meet their specific needs, e.g. whether they are Looked After and/or preparing to leave care, not receiving a suitable education,

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Identifying and Prosecuting Perpetrators - Identifying, disrupting and prosecuting perpetrators are key parts of work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people from sexual exploitation.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme - The scheme has been operating in all 43 Police areas in England and Wales since 2010. The scheme is managed by the Police and information can only be accessed through direct application to them.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme - If a disclosure is made, the information must be kept confidential and only used to keep the child in question safe. Legal action may be taken if confidentiality is breached. A disclosure is delivered in person (as opposed to in writing) with the following warning: That the information mus

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme - If the person is unwilling to sign the undertaking, the police must consider whether the disclosure should still take place.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme - Police will reveal details confidentially to the person most able to protect the child (usually parents, carers or guardians) if they think it is in the child’s interests.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme - The Child Sex Offender Review (CSOR) Disclosure Scheme is designed to provide members of the public with a formal mechanism to ask for disclosure about people they are concerned about, who have unsupervised access to children and may therefore pose a risk. This scheme builds on existing, w

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Identifying and Prosecuting Perpetrators - While the police and criminal justice agencies lead on this, the support of all partners in gathering and recording information/evidence is vital. All those involved in caring for a child who is suspected to be at risk of sexual exploitation should continually gather, record and share info

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Identifying and Prosecuting Perpetrators - Where a young person wants and is able to be part of a prosecution, it is essential that they are supported through this process and after the prosecution has taken place. Many of the issues facing young victims and witnesses are addressed in aCPS 2006 Policy DFocument on Prosecuting Cases

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Intervention and Support - Agencies should recognise that there may be a strong relationship between the child and the coercer/abuser and it may be difficult for the child to break this relationship.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Important Information About Sexual Exploitation - Technology can play a part in sexual abuse, for example, through its use to record abuse and share it with other like-minded individuals or as a medium to access children and young people in order to groom them. A common factor in all cases is the lack of free economic or moral choice.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Important Information About Sexual Exploitation - Sexual exploitation has strong links with other forms of 'crime', for example, domestic violence, online and offline grooming, the distribution of abusive images of children and child trafficking. Many adults involved in prostitution describe difficult childhood experiences that include do

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Important Information About Sexual Exploitation - The perpetrators of sexual exploitation are often well organised and use sophisticated tactics. They are known to target areas where children and young people gather without much adult supervision, e.g. parks or shopping centres or sites on the Internet.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Important Information About Sexual Exploitation - What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power within the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim, increasing the dependence of the victim as the exploitative relationship develops.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Important Information About Sexual Exploitation - Sexual exploitation can take many forms from the seemingly 'consensual' relationship where sex is exchanged for attention, accommodation or gifts, to serious organised crime and child trafficking.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Legal Position - Sections 47 - 50 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 make the following serious criminal offences: Paying for a sexual act involving a child (under 18); Causing or inciting sexual exploitation of a child; Facilitating, buying, possessing or exchanging abusive images of children; Trafficking a

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Aims - To help the child understand the risks involved in certain activities; To gather evidence and build a prosecution case against those involved in abusing the child; To protect children from further abuse and support them to find ways out of exploitative situations and relationships.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Recognition - Sexual exploitation results in children and young people suffering harm, and causes significant damage to their physical and mental health. It can also have profound and damaging consequences for the child's family. Parents and carers are often traumatised and under severe stress. Siblings

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Legal Position - In exceptional circumstances the use of criminal action can be considered for 16 and 17 year olds involved in sexual exploitation, under the Street Offences Act 1959.

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Important Information About Sexual Exploitation

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Identifying and Prosecuting Perpetrators

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Intervention and Support

8.34 Sexual Exploitation

Immediate Protection

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Definitions - Sexual activity involving a 16 or 17 year old, even if it does not involve an offence, may still involve harm or the likelihood of harm being suffered. Professionals should still bear in mind the considerations contained in this guidance in assessing whether harm is being suffered, and sho

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Definitions - The Sexual Offences Act 2003 states that a person is not guilty of aiding, abetting or counselling a sexual offence against a child where they are acting for the purpose of: Protecting a child from pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection; Protecting the physical safety of a child; Prom

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Definitions - See Additional Guidance for additional guidance documents that are available for professionals working with these issues.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Definitions - This exception, in statute, covers not only health professionals, but anyone who acts to protect a child, for example teachers, school nurses, Connexions personal advisers, youth workers, Children's Social Care practitioners and parents.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Assessment and Recognition - This assessment must be carried out in accordance with: Working Together to Safeguard Children (WT) 2015; Department of Health Best Practice Guidance for Doctors and other Health Professionals on the provision of Advice and Treatment to Young People Under 16 On Contraception, Sexual, and R

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Definitions - Young people still have a right to confidential advice on contraception, condoms, pregnancy and abortion even if they are less than 16 years old. See Department of Health Best Practice Guidance for Doctors and other Health Professionals on the provision of Advice and Treatment to Young Peo

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Assessment and Recognition - As set out in Working Together 2015 the purpose of assessment is: To gather important information about a child and family; To analyse their needs and/or the nature and level of any risk and harm being suffered by the child; To decide whether the child is a child in need (section 17) and/o

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Assessment and Recognition - All young people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, who are involved in sexual activity, must have their needs for health, education, support and/or protection assessed by the agency involved.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Assessment and Recognition - There may also be an imbalance of power if the young person's sexual partner occupies a position of trust e.g. teacher, youth worker, carer etc. (In these circumstances, see also Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children Procedure.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Definitions - Sexual activity with children under 13 is always illegal as children of this age can never legally give their consent. There should always be a referral made to Children's Social Care or the police in cases involving children aged less than 13 - see Making a Referral Procedure.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Introduction - The major task for child protection agencies is to ensure that all children and young people are given appropriate protection from Sexual Abuse whilst ensuring that they are also able to access advice and treatment about contraception, sexual and reproductive health including abortion.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Introduction - Research has shown that more than a quarter of young people are sexually active before they reach 16 years. Young people under 16 are the group least likely to use contraception and concern about confidentiality remains the biggest deterrent to seeking advice.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Assessment and Recognition - In assessing the nature of any particular behaviour, it is essential to look at the facts of the actual relationship between those involved.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Definitions - The legal age for young people of either gender to consent to have sex is 16 years irrespective of their sexual orientation.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Definitions - Sexual activity with a child aged under 16 is also an offence.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Definitions - Although the age of consent is 16 years, there is no intention to prosecute young people of a similar age involved in mutually agreed consensual sex unless it involves abuse or exploitation.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Definitions - In consenting under age relationships, both parties are committing offences.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Definitions - Consideration should be given in every case of sexual activity involving a child aged 13 to 15 as to whether there should be a discussion with other agencies and whether a referral should be made to Children's Social Care. Where it is consensual it may be less serious than if the child is

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Action - All members of staff working for member agencies of the LCSB have a responsibility to ensure all children and young people are appropriately safeguarded. Where staff have concerns that a child or young person is being sexually abused this must be referred to the police and Children's Socia

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Police and Children's Social Care Staff - Both police and Children's Social Care staff together may decide that there is no need for prosecution but young people should be advised that their confidentiality cannot be maintained if staff from these agencies are involved.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Additional Guidance - Best practice guidance for doctors and other health professionals on the provision of advice and treatment to young people under 16 on contraception, sexual and reproductive health - DOH gateway reference 3382; 'Sex and relationship Education Guidance' DfES 0116 / 2000; Quality Standards

8.35 Sexually Active Children

AMENDMENT In September 2015, this chapter was updated to reflect Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Assessment and Recognition - The following factors in the sexual activity indicate a risk to the child: The age of the child. Sexual activity at a young age is a very strong indicator that there are risks to the welfare of the child (whether boy or girl) and, possibly, others; The level of maturity and understanding o

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Police and Children's Social Care Staff - The priority for the police is the identification and investigation of under -age sexual activity where the relationship is abusive, either by being intra-familial in nature, or where there is a significant age / power gap between the parties involved.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Police and Children's Social Care Staff - In those circumstances it may be more important that the child receives appropriate advice regarding sexual health and contraception. This may be difficult if the young person is concerned that the police will be involved. Such a decision should always be made following consultation with l

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Police and Children's Social Care Staff - The police must investigate all criminal activities even if they may decide that there is no need for prosecution.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Police and Children's Social Care Staff

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Assessment and Recognition

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Police and Children's Social Care Staff - This is likely to be where the sexual relationship is considered consensual and not abusive and may be most relevant in respect of Looked After children where the social worker is also acting as the 'corporate parent' for the child.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Police and Children's Social Care Staff - Where young people of similar age are involved in consensual sexual activity, or in other sensitive cases, the police role may be confined to the undertaking of information checks only. In such cases police will not become directly involved in the investigation unless enquiries by the poli

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Confidentiality - Research and experience have shown repeatedly that keeping children safe from harm requires professionals and others to share information. Such information sharing must be in accordance with legal requirements and professional guidance (see also Information Sharing and Confidentiality).

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Confidentiality - Where there is a serious child protection risk to the health, safety or welfare of a young person or others this outweighs the young person's right to privacy. In these circumstances professionals should act in accordance with Section 3 of this manual, Recognition and Referral of Abuse and

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Police and Children's Social Care Staff - Recent guidance for Children's Social Care staff indicates that as Working Together is issued under S.7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 the decision not to inform the police where an offence has been committed against a child should only be made where 'exceptional circumsta

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Action - Cases involving under -13s should always be discussed with a nominated child protection lead in the organisation. There should be a presumption that the case will be reported to Children's Social Care and that a Strategy Discussion will be held - see Strategy Discussions Procedure.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Action - Professionals working with young people have different statutory responsibilities both with regard to advice given to young people and the actions they take when aware of under-age sexual activity. These differences are detailed below:

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Action - All cases involving under 13s should be fully documented including detailed reasons where a decision is taken not to share information.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Health Staff - If a request for contraception is made, doctors and other health professionals should establish rapport and give a young person support and time to make an informed choice by discussing: The emotional and physical implications of sexual activity, including the risks of pregnancy and sexual

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Confidentiality - The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 in any setting is the same as that owed to any other person, but the right to confidentiality is not absolute.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Education Staff - Young people should be made aware that confidentiality might be breached if they or another young person is at risk. In these circumstances staff should consult the young person and endeavour to gain their co-operation to a child protection Referral but if that is not possible they should

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Police and Children's Social Care Staff - Whilst Police and Children's Social Care staff may provide advice and guidance to a young person involved in under-age sexual activity both agencies have specific responsibilities with regards to criminal activities.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Education Staff - Young people need to be able to talk to a trusted adult about sex and relationship issues. Although it is desirable that this person is their parent or carer, this is not always possible. The law allows staff to respect young people's rights to confidentiality when discussing sex and relat

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Health Staff - Doctors and other health professionals should consider the following issues when providing advice or treatment to young people under 16 on contraception, sexual and reproductive health.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Health Staff - Additionally they should follow the Fraser Guidelines and establish that: The young person understands the health professional's advice; The health professional cannot persuade the young person to inform her/his parents or allow the doctor to inform the parents that (s)he is seeking contr

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Assessment and Recognition - See also Sexual Exploitation Procedure or Information Communication Technology Procedure.

8.35 Sexually Active Children

Police and Children's Social Care Staff - Children's Social Care staff should inform police of criminal offences at the earliest possible opportunity in order to consider jointly how to proceed in the best interests of the child. Any decisions not to do so must be made at a senior level and recorded on the child's file.

8.36 Surrogacy

Additional Guidance

8.36 Surrogacy

Additional Guidance - A professional in any agency may become aware of the surrogacy arrangement and have concerns about: The suitability of the intended parents to care for the child; Conflict between the adults in a surrogacy arrangement e.g. that the surrogate mother is under pressure to relinquish the child

8.36 Surrogacy

Additional Guidance - It is illegal to advertise for a surrogate in the UK. Most people have a family member or friend willing to carry the child, others join a surrogacy organisation.

8.36 Surrogacy

Additional Guidance - Surrogacy is legal in the UK, with reasonable expenses only being paid to the surrogate mother. Surrogacy arrangements are not legally enforceable.

8.36 Surrogacy

RELATED GUIDANCE Policy Regarding Management of Surrogacy (East Sussex Healthcare NHS). AMENDMENT In March 2014, a link to Policy Regarding Management of Surrogacy (East Sussex Healthcare NHS) was added.

8.36 Surrogacy

Additional Guidance - Partial surrogacy uses the egg of the surrogate mother and the sperm of the intended father, thus the baby is biologically related to the intended father and the surrogate mother. This can make it difficult for the surrogate mother to give up her own biological child, but also for the inte

8.36 Surrogacy

Additional Guidance - Total surrogacy uses the egg of the intended mother combined with the sperm of her husband or donor sperm. A baby conceived by this method has no biological connection to the surrogate mother, making it easier for her to give up the child she is carrying.

8.36 Surrogacy

Additional Guidance - In these circumstances, any agency holding such concerns has a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of the unborn or new-born child, and professionals should follow the Making a Referral Procedure to Children’s Social Care.

8.36 Surrogacy

Additional Guidance - An unborn or new-born child in these circumstances could be at risk of physical and emotional abuse and/or neglect.

8.36 Surrogacy

Additional Guidance - For example, hospital staff and midwives may become aware that a baby about to be born, or just born, is the product of a surrogacy arrangement and have grounds to doubt the commissioners’ identity / suitability to care for the baby, or the degree of voluntarism involved.

8.36 Surrogacy

Additional Guidance - Children's Social Care responses should be proportionate to what are likely to be very individual circumstances and legal advice will probably be required.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - Professional interpreters, who have been approved and DBS checked, should be used where English is not the child's preferred language. Under no circumstances should the interpreter be the sponsor or another adult purporting to be the parent, guardian or relative.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Important Information about Trafficking - In order to recruit children, a variety of coercive methods are used such as abduction or kidnapping as well as more subversive ways such as the promise of education, respectable employment or a better life. It has been suggested that children have been brought in via internet transaction

8.37 Trafficked Children

Important Information about Trafficking - Children may be trafficked from a number of different countries for a variety of different reasons. Factors which can make children vulnerable to trafficking are varied and include such things as poverty, lack of education, discrimination and disadvantage, political conflict and economic t

8.37 Trafficked Children

Important Information about Trafficking - Many children travel to the UK on false documents. The creation of a false identity for a child can give a trafficker direct control over every aspect of the child's life. Even before they travel to the UK children may be subject to various forms of abuse and exploitation to ensure that th

8.37 Trafficked Children

Important Information about Trafficking - Any port of entry into the UK may be used by traffickers via air, rail and sea and as checks on main entry points are increased evidence suggests that traffickers are using more local entry points.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Important Information about Trafficking - Trafficked children are victims of serious crime and this will impact on their health and welfare. In order to coerce and control, they are commonly subject to physical abuse including use of drugs and alcohol, emotional and psychological abuse, sexual abuse and neglect as a result of a la

8.37 Trafficked Children

Important Information about Trafficking - There is increasing evidence that children of both UK and other citizenship are being trafficked internally within the UK for very similar reasons to those outlined above. There is evidence of teenage girls born in the UK being targeted for internal trafficking between towns and cities for

8.37 Trafficked Children

Important Information about Trafficking - Trafficked children may be used for: Sexual exploitation; Domestic service; Sweatshop, restaurant and other catering work; Credit card fraud; Begging or pick pocketing or other forms of petty criminal activity; Agricultural labour, including tending plants in illegal cannabis farms; Benefi

8.37 Trafficked Children

Important Information about Trafficking - Most children are trafficked for financial gain. This can include payment from or to the child's parents. In most cases, the trafficker also receives payment from those wanting to exploit the child once in the UK. Trafficking is carried out by organised gangs and individual adults or agent

8.37 Trafficked Children

Definitions - Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Trafficked Children who are Looked After

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - The Strategy Discussion should decide whether to conduct a joint interview with the child and if necessary, with the family or carers. Under no circumstances should the child and their family members or carers be interviewed together.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Definitions - Any child transported for exploitative reasons is considered to be a trafficking victim, whether or not they have been forced or deceived. This is partly because it is not considered possible for children in this situation to give informed consent. Even when a child understands what has ha

8.37 Trafficked Children

Definitions - This definition is inclusive of internal trafficking or trafficking of children within borders. Care of Unaccompanied and Trafficked Children: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities on the Care of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking and Trafficked Children (2014) provides that where the age of

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - All practitioners who come into contact with children and young people in their everyday work need to be able to recognise children who have been trafficked, and be competent to act to support and protect these children from harm.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - The nationality or immigration status of the child does not affect any agency's statutory responsibilities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Nationality and immigration issues should be discussed with the UK Visas and Immigration only when the child's need for protection fr

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - Decision making following the receipt of a referral will normally follow discussions with the Police, the person making the referral and may involve other professionals and services - see those identified in Support Services and Useful Contacts.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - Prompt decisions are needed when the concerns relate to a child who may be trafficked in order to act before the child goes missing.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - Specific action during the Child and Family Assessment of a child who is possibly trafficked should include: Seeing and speaking with the child and family members as appropriate - the adult purporting to be the child's parent, sponsor or carer should not be present at interviews with the c

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - Even if there are no apparent concerns, child welfare agencies should continue to monitor the situation until the child is appropriately settled.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - The Strategy Meeting should consider video interviewing the child, and taking photographs and fingerprints which would assist in identifying the child at a later date.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - On completion of a Section 47 Enquiry a meeting should be held with the social worker, their supervising manager, the referring agency as appropriate, the Police and other relevant professionals to decide on future action. Further action should not be taken until this meeting has been held

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - Any agency or individual practitioner or volunteer who has a concern regarding the possible trafficking of a child should immediately make a referral under the Making a Referral Procedure. Practitioners should not do anything which would heighten the risk of harm or abduction to the child.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - Children internally trafficked in the UK, indicators include: Physical symptoms indicating physical or sexual assault; Behaviour indicating sexual exploitation; Phone calls or letters from adults outside the usual range of contacts; Persistently missing; missing for long periods; returning

8.37 Trafficked Children

Support Services and Useful Contacts

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - Identification of trafficked children may be difficult as they might not show obvious signs of distress or abuse. Some children are unaware that they have been trafficked, while others may actively participate in hiding that they have been trafficked.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - The following indicators are not a definitive list and are intended as a guide to be included in a wider assessment of the child's circumstances.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - At port of entry, the child: Has entered the country illegally, has no passport or means of identification or has false documentation; Is unable to confirm the name and address of the person meeting them on arrival; Has had their journey or visa arranged by someone other than themselves or

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - Whilst resident in the UK, the child: Does not appear to have money but does have a mobile phone; Receives unexplained/unidentified phone calls whilst in placement / temporary accommodation; Has a history of missing links and unexplained moves; Is required to earn a minimum amount of money

8.37 Trafficked Children

Definitions - "Trafficking of persons" shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of person, by means of the threat of or use: Of force or other forms of coercion; O abduction; Of fraud; Of deception; Of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability; or Of the giv

8.37 Trafficked Children

International and UK Legislation

8.37 Trafficked Children

Trafficked Children who are Looked After - The local authority should continue to share information with the Police, which emerges during the placement of a child who may have been trafficked, concerning potential crimes against the child, risk to other children, or relevant immigration matters.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Trafficked Children who are Looked After - Whilst the child is looked after, residential and foster carers should be vigilant about, for example, waiting cars outside the premises, telephone enquiries etc.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Trafficked Children who are Looked After - Significant numbers of children who are categorised as UASC have also been trafficked. Some of these children go missing before they are properly identified as victims of trafficking. Such cases should be urgently reported to the police. Local authorities should consider seriously the risk

8.37 Trafficked Children

Returning Trafficked Children to their Country of Origin

8.37 Trafficked Children

International and UK Legislation - International agreements and legal instruments relevant to trafficked and exploited children include: Council Of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking Human Beings (2005); The Yokohama Global Commitment on the Commercial Exploitation of Children (Yokohama 2001); UN Convention on

8.37 Trafficked Children

Trafficked Children who are Looked After - The assessment of their needs to inform their Care Plan should include a risk assessment of how the local authority intends to protect them from any trafficker being able to re-involve the child in exploitative activities. This plan should include contingency plans to be followed if the ch

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - Where it is found that the child is not a family member and is not related to any other person in this country, consideration should be given as to whether the child needs to be moved from the household and/or legal advice sought on making a separate application for immigration status.

8.37 Trafficked Children

What Trafficked Children Need - Trafficked children need: Professionals to be informed and competent in matters relating to trafficking and exploitation; Someone to spend sufficient time with them to build up a level of trust; To be interviewed separately, at no stage should adults purporting to be the child's parent, sp

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations - Any law enforcement action regarding fraud, trafficking, deception and illegal entry to this country is the remit of the Police and the local authority should assist in any way possible.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Returning Trafficked Children to their Country of Origin - In many cases, trafficked children apply to the UK Visas and Immigration for asylum or for humanitarian protection. For some, returning to their country of origin presents a high risk of being re-trafficked, further exploitation and abuse.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Returning Trafficked Children to their Country of Origin - If a child does not qualify for asylum or humanitarian protection and adequate reception arrangements are in place in the country of origin, the child will usually have to return. It is important that this is handled sensitively and with assistance with reintegration which is available thr

8.37 Trafficked Children

Trafficked Children who are Looked After - Trafficked children identified as Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) may be accommodated by the local authority under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989.

8.37 Trafficked Children

RELATED GUIDANCE 'Safeguarding Children Who May Have Been Trafficked', non-statutory good practice guidance issued by the Department for Education and the Home Office in October 2011 ECPAT - UK Briefing Paper on Child Trafficking - Begging and Organised Crime (published in September 2010)

8.37 Trafficked Children

Trafficked Children who are Looked After - The Missing People Helpline and the NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice and Information Helpline (0800 107 7057) can offer support.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Introduction - This guidance provides information about trafficking, the roles and functions of relevant agencies and the procedures practitioners should follow to ensure the safety and well-being of children who it is suspected have been trafficked.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Important Information about Trafficking

8.37 Trafficked Children

Definitions - The definition of trafficking contained in the 'Palermo Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children' (ratified by the UK in 2006) is as follows:

8.37 Trafficked Children

What Trafficked Children Need

8.37 Trafficked Children

Managing Individual Situations

8.37 Trafficked Children

International and UK Legislation - In 2000 trafficking became enshrined in international law for the first time through the Palermo Protocol.

8.37 Trafficked Children

Introduction - It is essential that professionals working across social care, education, health, immigration and law enforcement develop an awareness of this activity and an ability to identify trafficked children. Everyone involved in the care of unaccompanied and trafficked children should be trained t

8.37 Trafficked Children

Support Services and Useful Contacts - UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC)(0114 252 3891) CEOP - Child Exploitation and On-line Protection Centre (020 7238 2320) NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice and Information Line (0800 107 7057) - an advice and information service for professionals available since October 2007, a case consulta

8.37 Trafficked Children

International and UK Legislation - UK legislation and guidance relevant to trafficked and exploited children includes: Children Act 1989 - Sections 17, 20, 47, 67 (Private Fostering); Children Act 1989 - Parental Responsibility; Children Act 2004; The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 - Sections 54 and 55 (sectio

8.37 Trafficked Children

Introduction - The organised crime of child trafficking into the UK has become an issue of considerable concern to all professionals with responsibility for the care and protection of children. Any form of trafficking children is an abuse. Children are coerced, deceived or forced into the control of othe

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Introduction - There can be a wide range of uncooperative behaviour by families towards professionals.  From time to time agencies will come into contact with families whose compliance is apparent rather than genuine, or who are more obviously reluctant or sometimes angry or hostile to their approaches.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Response to Uncooperative Families

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Dealing with Hostility and Violence

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Multi Agency Work

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Introduction - In extreme cases, professionals can experience intimidation, abuse, threats violence and actual violence.  The child's welfare should remain paramount at all times and where professionals are too scared to confront the family, they must also consider what life is like for a child in the f

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Introduction - All agencies should support their staff by: Ensuring professionals are trained for the level of work they are undertaking; Publishing a clear statement about unacceptable behaviour by those accessing their services (such as seen in hospitals and on public transport); Providing training to

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Assessment - The professional needs to be mindful of the impact the hostility to outsiders may be having on the day-to-day life of the child.  Professionals and their supervisors should keep asking themselves the question: what might the children have been feeling as the door closes behind a professio

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Dealing with Hostility and Violence - Professionals should consider whether: They are prepared that the response from the family may be angry or hostile. They should ensure they have discussed this with their manager and planned strategies to use if there is a predictable threat (e.g. an initial visit with police to establish

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Dealing with Hostility and Violence - Working with potentially hostile and violent families can place professionals under a great deal of stress and can have physical, emotional and psychological consequences, which may impact on their capacity to make effective decisions.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Dealing with Hostility and Violence - Threats can be covert or implied (e.g. discussion of harming someone else), as well as obvious.  In order to make sense of what is going on in any uncomfortable exchange with a parent, it is important that professional are aware of the skills and strategies that may help in difficult and

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Assessment - The presence of violence or intimidation needs to be included in any assessment of risk to the child living in such an environment.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Dealing with Hostility and Violence - Despite sensitive approaches by professionals, some families may respond with hostility and sometimes this can lead to threats of violence and actual violence.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Dealing with Hostility and Violence - It is critical both for the professional's personal safety and that of the child that risks are accurately assessed and managed.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Multi Agency Work - Each agency should have a supervisory system in place that is accessible to the professional and reflects practice needs.  Supervision discussions should focus on any hostility being experienced by professionals or anticipated by them in working with families and should address the impact

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Multi Agency Work - Supervision and support from managers in working with uncooperative families is essential (see Agency Roles and Responsibilities Procedure and Supervision and Management of Staff Procedure).

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Dealing with Hostility and Violence - (Also refer to Violence Towards Staff Procedure)

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Dealing with Hostility and Violence - Managers have a statutory duty to provide a safe and working environment for their employees under the Health and Safety at Work legislation.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Assessment - When assessing uncooperative parents a written contract should always be used that explicitly states the safeguarding concerns, the action that the parents / carers should take and the consequences of continued lack of co-operation.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Multi Agency Work - Sometimes parents may be hostile to specific agencies or individuals.  If the hostility is not universal, then agencies should seek to understand why this might be and learn from each other. The risks are of splitting between the professionals / agencies, with tensions and disagreement t

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Dealing with Hostility and Violence - Professionals have a responsibility to plan for their own safety, just as the agency has the responsibility for trying to ensure their safety. Professionals should consult with their line manager to draw up plans and strategies to protect their own safety and that of other colleagues. Th

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Assessment - In order to assess to what extent the hostility of the parent(s) is impacting on the assessment of the child, professionals in all agencies should consider whether they are: Colluding with the parent(s) by avoiding conflict; Filtering out or minimising negative information; Conversely, pla

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Multi Agency Work - Any professional or agency faced with incidents of threats, hostility or violence should routinely consider the potential implications for any other professional or agency involved with the family in addition to the implications for themselves and should alert to the nature of the risks. 

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Assessment - Professionals in all agencies should consider: Whether the child is keeping 'safe' by not telling professionals things; Whether the child has learned to appease and minimise; Whether the child is blaming himself or herself; What message the family is getting if the professional / agency do

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Multi Agency Work - Where hostility towards most agencies is experienced, this needs to be managed on an inter-agency basis otherwise the results can be as follows: Everyone 'backs off', leaving the child unprotected; The family is 'punished' by withholding of services as everyone 'sees it as a fight', at the

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Dealing with Hostility and Violence - If threats and violence have become a significant issue for a professional, the line manager should consider how the work could safely be progressed, document their decision and the reason for it.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Assessment - Professionals from all agencies should explicitly identify and record what area of assessment are difficult to achieve and why, and record what plan of action is to be taken.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Response to Uncooperative Families - Families may develop increased resistance or hostility to involvement if they perceive the professional as disrespectful and unreliable or if they believe confidentiality has been breached outside the agreed parameters.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Response to Uncooperative Families - Professionals need to ensure that parents understand what is required of them and the consequences of not fulfilling these requirements, throughout. Professionals must consider whether: A parent has a low level of literacy, and needs verbal rather than written communication; A parent need

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Response to Uncooperative Families - When a professional begins to work with a family who is known, or discovered, to be uncooperative, the professional should make every effort to understand why a family may be uncooperative or hostile. This entails considering all available information, including whether a Common Assessmen

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Multi Agency Work - Although working with hostile families can be particularly challenging, the safety of the child is the first concern.  If professionals are too scared to confront the family, consider what life is like for the child.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Multi Agency Work - Working with hostile and uncooperative parents is complex and for meetings to be successful the following questions should be considered: Discussing with the chair the option of excluding the parents if the quality of information shared is likely to be impaired by the presents of threateni

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Assessment - Accurate information and a clear understanding of what is happening to a child within their family and community are vital to any assessment. It is important that focus on the children is not lost.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Multi Agency Work - When working with families who may be uncooperative or hostile, it is vital that professionals remain child focused and consider the impact on the child and the child's perspective on what is happening.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Response to Uncooperative Families - Professionals should be aware that some families, including those recently arrived from abroad, may be unclear about why they have been asked to attend a meeting, why the professional wants to see them in the office or to visit them at home.  They may not be aware of roles that different

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Assessment - Engaging with a parent who is resistant or even violent and / or intimidating is more difficult. The behaviour may be deliberately used to keep professionals from engaging with the parent or child, or can have the effect of keeping professionals at bay. There may be practical restrictions

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Impact on Multi Agency Work - Professionals in different settings and tiers of responsibility may have different thresholds for concern and different experience of having to confront difficult behaviour.  It is vital the differing risks and pressures are acknowledged and supported.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Response to Uncooperative Families - Professionals who anticipate difficulties in engaging with a family may want to consider the possibility of having contact with the family jointly with another person in whom the family has confidence.  Any negotiations about such an arrangement must be underpinned by the need for confide

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Response to Uncooperative Families - Professionals should seek expert help and advice in gaining a better understanding, when there is a possibility that cultural factors are making a family resistant to having professionals involved.

8.38 Uncooperative or Hostile Parents

Definition - There are four types of uncooperativeness: Ambivalence: can be seen when people are always late for appointments, or repeatedly make excuses for missing them; when they change the conversation away from uncomfortable topics and when they use dismissive body language.  Ambivalence is the m

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a Child Clinical and Social Information

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Background - All professionals need to strike a balance between managing the sensitivities of a bereaved family and identifying and preserving anything that may help to explain why a child has died. A minority of unexpected deaths will be the consequence of abuse or neglect, or be found to have abuse o

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Information for the Pathologist

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Speaking to the Coroner

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Acute Life Threatening Event

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Introduction - The aim of the protocol is to provide guidance to professionals confronted with the unexpected death of a child. It is acknowledged that each death has unique circumstances and each professional has their own experience and expertise to draw on in their handling of individual cases. There

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

The Coroner - The Coroner has control of what happens to the child's body in these circumstances and decides which pathologist will complete the post-mortem.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

General Advice for Professionals when Dealing with the Family

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Inter-Agency Working

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

The Coroner - Individual cases can always be discussed with a Coroner's Officer or, in an emergency, with the Coroner directly. The Coroner should normally be contacted via the Coroner's Officer.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

What is in the Protocol?

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Background - The type of response to each child's unexpected death will depend to a certain extent on the age of the child and the circumstances of the death; there are clear differences between an infant who dies unexpectedly and a child who dies as a result of a road traffic collision. However, there

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Background - The majority of unexpected child deaths have natural causes and are unavoidable tragedies. The incidence of unexpected child deaths is highest in infancy. About three hundred babies die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the UK.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Background - Professionals from a number of different agencies and disciplines will become involved following an unexpected child death to enquire into and evaluate the child's death, and where the cause is unknown, to try to establish the cause of the death and support the family.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Children to whom the Protocol should be Applied

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Early Joint Home Visit for Unexpected Deaths of Young Children

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Early Case Discussion

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Children to whom the Protocol should be Applied - Each LSCB has access to a designated paediatrician1 and a designated nurse2 for unexpected deaths in childhood. Who provide advice about unexpected child deaths. Where professionals are uncertain as to whether a death is unexpected they should always discuss the circumstances with the cons

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Children to whom the Protocol should be Applied - When a child with a known life limiting and or life threatening condition dies in a manner or at a time that was not anticipated, the rapid response team should liaise closely and promptly with a member of the medical, palliative or end of life care team who knows the child and family, to

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Children to whom the Protocol should be Applied - An unexpected death is one where the death of an infant or child was not anticipated as a significant possibility, for example, 24 hours before the death, or where there was a similarly unexpected collapse or incident leading to or d child precipitating the events that lead to the death. I

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Introduction - This is the fourth version of the Sussex Joint Agency Protocol for Unexpected Child Deaths, which was originally published in 1999. This latest version takes account of "Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy" published in September 2004 by the Royal College of Pathologists and the Royal Colle

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

The Coroner - The Coroner must be informed at the earliest opportunity of any violent or unnatural death, sudden death of unknown cause, or death within 24 hours of admission to hospital.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Factors which may Arouse Suspicion

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Late Multi-Agency Case Discussion

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

History and Examination

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Recommended Medical Investigations

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Background - This protocol is intended to provide guidance to the professionals confronted with one of these tragic events.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - The interim or final findings of the post-mortem should be provided immediately after the post-mortem examination is completed. The interim result may well be "awaiting histology/ virology/ toxicology" etc.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Recommended Medical Investigations - b. In children over the age of 2 years - The Paediatrician should consider which of the investigations listed above are indicated on the basis of the medical history and findings. If the Paediatrician feels that medical investigations are indicated, the Sussex Coroners have given permissi

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Recommended Medical Investigations - The following guidance about medical investigations following the death of an older child has been given by the Depts of Histopathology Great Ormond Street Childrens Hospital and of Paediatric Metabolic Medicine Guy's Hospital 2009.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Recommended Medical Investigations - Where there is any possibility of infection, the taking of samples shortly after death may improve the chances of growing the organism responsible.  In these circumstances, blood cultures, throat and nose swabs should be taken routinely in A/E. CSF should be collected if the clinical info

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Recommended Medical Investigations - Skin biopsy for fibroblast culture should be taken routinely (See Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a Child Clinical and Social Information).

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Recommended Medical Investigations - Virology samples must be sent to an appropriate laboratory.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Recommended Medical Investigations - After death: a. In children under 2 years - samples for medical investigations should be taken routinely as soon as possible. The recommended samples in Table 1 have been agreed by the Sussex Coroners. If there is definite external evidence of injury early samples should only be taken afte

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Recommended Medical Investigations - Routine minimum samples to be taken immediately after Sudden Unexpected Deaths in children under 2 years - 2004 National Working Party Recommendations1 Take blood from a venous / arterial site if possible e.g. femoral vein. Cardiac puncture can make PM findings difficult to interpret

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Recommended Medical Investigations - Click here to view Table 1

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Recommended Medical Investigations - If the post mortem is to take place within 24 hours of death, arrangements can be made by the paediatrician for samples to be taken by the pathologist.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Skeletal Survey - A full skeletal survey will be arranged at post mortem. However, consideration should always be given to undertaking a full skeletal survey before the post mortem if there is particular concern that the death of a young child may have unnatural causes. An urgent opinion from a specialist r

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Information for the Pathologist - The paediatrician should send the pathologist details of the child's recent and  past medical history, resuscitation attempts at home and hospital including needle sites, any physical findings and any investigations. A pro-forma for this is available in Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Information for the Pathologist - The Accident and Emergency department should check if any of the family are known to children's social care.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - A member of staff should keep the parents informed about what is happening.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Speaking to the Coroner - The doctor who declares death cannot issue a death certificate and must inform the Coroner or Coroners' Officer about the death.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Mementos - Mementos should be offered routinely. If there are marks on the child's body which might be masked by taking mementos these areas must be avoided.  Details must be sent to the pathologist (e.g. lock of hair cut or palm or sole prints taken). If mementos are not taken in A&E the Corone

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Skeletal Survey - For all children keep all clothing removed from the child in labelled specimen bags and give to the senior police officer. The clothing may assist the pathologist and occasionally be required for forensic examination. Clothing may not be returned to the parents until the Coroner agrees.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Skeletal Survey - The child's body should not be washed or cleaned as this may interfere with the pathologist's investigation. How well the baby has been cared for and the presence of secretions or substances on the face may be important.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Recommended Medical Investigations - During attempted resuscitation, various investigations may be initiated including urea and electrolytes, full blood count, blood sugar, blood culture and gases, blood, and urine for metabolic studies.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

History and Examination - A full examination should be undertaken by a paediatrician and a careful record of any findings made on a body chart, including: The child's general appearance, cleanliness, any blood or secretions around nose or on clothes; Marks on skin, bruises, abrasions, other injuries, skin condition

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - The reason for this is to enable the process for investigating the cause of death to start as soon as possible after the event. It has been shown that cell and tissue deterioration occurs extremely quickly in children and this can have a dramatic effect on whether a definitive cause of dea

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - In these circumstances the crew should: Explain fully the reason for transport to hospital to the parents; Inform the receiving hospital via a pre-alert through the Emergency Despatch Centre (EDC) before leaving scene. EDC should make arrangements with the paediatrician on duty to meet the

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Parents have the right to find out what has caused their child to die and getting the investigation underway as soon as possible will give them the best chance of getting that answer.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - *All children who suffer cardiac and respiratory arrest must be taken to hospital, this will not be a difficult decision on most occasions as the child or baby will be actively resuscitated. However, there are some occasions, although extremely rare, when the decision is made not to resusc

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Any suspicions should be reported directly to the police and the receiving doctor at the hospital as soon as possible.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - The recording of the initial call to the ambulance service should be retained in case it is required for evidential purposes.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Ambulance staff should follow the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee Guidelines and the South East Coast Ambulance Service Child Protection Procedures.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Do not automatically assume that death has occurred, clear the airway and if in any doubt about death apply full cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Transport the child to an accident and emergency department *(see below); Inform the accident and emergency department giving estimated time of ar

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - The only exceptions to the above would be when the death has occurred following planned end of life or palliative care, or when the cause of death is very obvious such as in the case of severe trauma. Under these circumstances transfer to local mortuaries (under the direction of the police

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - There are times when a GP is called to the child first. In such circumstances the GP should adhere to the same general principles as the ambulance staff (see above).

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Allocate a nurse to look after the family to keep them informed about what is happening. The nurse should record any medical or other information they obtain.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

History and Examination - A detailed history and examination are extremely important in the process of trying to identify the cause of death. Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a Child Clinical and Social Information provides a pro-forma.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

History and Examination - A paediatrician should record a detailed verbatim history of events leading up to the death, past and recent symptoms, any resuscitation attempts at home and any family history of childhood deaths or serious illness.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Call the duty consultant paediatrician and the resuscitation team. Find out the identity of the people with the child and their relationship to the child. Use the child's first name.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Ensure that the child is taken to the appropriate area of the Accident and Emergency Department even if they appear to have been dead for some time. The child should not be taken straight to the mortuary.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - It is essential for the GP to contact the police or Coroner's officer if they are the first on the scene, after taking into account their primary responsibility of saving life or declaring death. The best route is the Police Call Centre.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - A GP may not issue the death certificate in these circumstances. Children who have died without explanation should be seen in the Accident and Emergency Department by a paediatrician and not sent directly to the mortuary. This enables the clinical history, examination and any initial inves

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - When the child has been pronounced dead, the paediatrician should break the news to the parents and review the child's history. The paediatrician should explain that investigations will be done into possible medical causes of the death, that the Police and Coroner also have to investigate

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - Parents should be informed that sometimes there is a delay of several days before the post mortem and that their child may need to be transferred to another hospital for this. They should be told that the Coroner's Officer is the Coroner's representative and will keep them informed. Parent

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - The Coroner's Officer will arrange the release of a copy of the report to the paediatrician, A&E consultant, and police with the permission of the Coroner.  In cases where an inquest is to be held, the Coroner may not be prepared to release a copy of the report until the Inquest is co

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - The Investigating Officer should ensure that a copy is forwarded to the Safeguarding Investigations Unit for inclusion on file for future reference. The report must not be shared with other agencies without the permission of the Coroner.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - Leaflets When a baby dies suddenly and unexpectedly Download from www.lullabytrust.org.uk The Lullaby TrustArtillery House11-19 Artillery RowLondon, SW1P 1RT 020 7222 8001

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - When a Home Office Pathologist has been used, the pathologist should provide an interim report within two working days of the post-mortem, either orally or in pro-forma. A full written report should be provided to the Investigating Officer, normally via the Coroner, within 15 days or rece

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - The final result must be notified in writing to the Coroner as soon as it is known. The final report should then be sent to the Coroner within seven to fourteen days of the final result being known.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - The Investigating Officer should attend the post-mortem. If this is not possible, then he/she must send a representative who is aware of all of the facts of the case.  A full Scenes of Crime Officer team, including a photographer, must attend all post-mortems conducted by a Home Office pa

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - A number of investigations will be arranged by the Pathologist at post-mortem. If the paediatrician has arranged any medical investigations before or after death, the pathologist and Coroner must be informed and the results forwarded.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - All professionals must endeavour to conclude their investigations expeditiously. This should include the post-mortem results such as histology. The funeral of the dead infant must not be delayed unnecessarily.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - A guide to the post mortem examination procedure involving a baby or child - Department of Health PublicationsPO Box 777London SE1 6XH

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - Memory folderChild Bereavement Trust Aston HouseWest WycombeHigh Wycombe, Bucks HP14 3AG

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a Child Clinical and Social Information - Click here to view Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a Child Clinical and Social Information

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

RELATED GUIDANCE ACPO: A Guide to Investigating Child Deaths AMENDMENT In September 2014, this chapter was updated.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

What is in the Protocol? - The protocol contains general guidance about responding to unexpected child deaths and information about individual agency responsibilities. It describes some of the factors that may raise concern about a death.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

The Lullaby Trust - Address: 11 Belgrave RoadLondonSW1V 1RB Helpline: 0808 802 6828General: 020 7802 3200Fundraising: 020 7802 3201Press office: 020 7802 3202 Email: office@lullabytrust.org.uk Website: www.lullabytrust.org.uk

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

The Lullaby Trust - The Foundation has a wide range of leaflets and information for bereaved families and professionals. It also has a network of befrienders who are previously bereaved parents. Arrangements can be made for a befriender to contact the bereaved family to offer additional support.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

The Lullaby Trust - The Lullaby Trust has a 24 hour helpline offering support and information to anyone who has suffered the sudden death of an infant.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

The Lullaby Trust - The helpline is also available for family and friends and those professionals involved with the death. The telephone advisors personally answer the telephone every day of the year.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - The Coroner's Officer should inform all relevant professionals of the time and place of the post-mortem, including the Senior Investigating Police Officer and consultant paediatrician. The family should also be informed.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - Both the Coroner and the pathologist must be provided with a full history at the earliest possible stage. This will include a full medical history from the paediatrician, any relevant background information concerning the child and the family and any concerns raised by any agency. The Inv

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - The Coroner's Officer will provide the consultant paediatrician with preliminary post mortem results. They will send them a copy of the final post-mortem report together with confirmation from the Coroner that they can discuss this with the family. The paediatrician may have to contact the

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - Immediate information sharing and planning discussion (see Inter-Agency Working, Immediate Information Sharing and Planning Discussion).

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - Early case discussion (see above)

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - The paediatrician should inform the GP and health visitor about their involvement and follow up plan.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - After the unexpected death of a young child an early joint home visit by a consultant paediatrician or designated nurse and a police officer will be organised by the police. See Inter-Agency Working. The aim is to review the medical history and circumstances of the death, address parents'

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - Parents should be encouraged to hold and spend time with their baby/child. If resuscitation has been attempted, intravenous and intra-arterial lines and endotracheal tube should be removed (checking the tube had been correctly placed). Professional presence should be discreet during parent

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Early Case Discussion

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - As soon as the final post-mortem result is available, children's social care will arrange a further inter-agency case discussion including the GP, health visitor, paediatrician, police and other relevant professionals to review the outcome of the investigation and follow up. See Inter-Age

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - The paediatrician is responsible for chairing the meeting and producing a summary for all the agencies. The paediatrician should advise the family about any further investigations for metabolic or genetic conditions in surviving or future children.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Acute Life Threatening Event - Child protection checks must be initiated for the child and any siblings. Any suspicions must be reported immediately to the duty social worker.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - If there are no suspicious circumstances, after an evaluation of initial information;  from the ambulance service, hospital and previous records, primary care, police and children's social care records - the post-mortem should be conducted by a  pathologist with special expertise in paed

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Post-mortem, Pathologist and Coroner - If the Coroner has any concerns, having been made aware of all the facts, that the death may be of suspicious nature, then a Home Office pathologist will be used in conjunction with a paediatric pathologist. Where a pathologist is qualified both as a forensic and paediatric pathologist the

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Acute Life Threatening Event - Most acute life threatening events have a medical or physiological basis, although a precise explanation is not always found. Some have unnatural causes and assessment should always include consideration of these through careful history taking, examination and investigation similar to the

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - The paediatrician's role includes taking a full medical history and if possible, conducting a brief clinical examination and arranging any appropriate initial investigations and an early joint home visit. The aim is to help identify at an early stage possible underlying medical conditions

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - Any child whose death is unexpected should be taken to the Accident and Emergency Department to confirm that no resuscitation is possible and to address medical, child protection and bereavement issues. If, for some reason, a child's body is taken directly to the mortuary, the mortuary wil

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - The Safeguarding Investigations Unit will then be informed and will contact the duty consultant paediatrician.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - The ambulance service communication centre will immediately notify the police control room when there is a call to the scene of an unexpected child death.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Care of the Family and Follow up by Hospital - Accident and Emergency staff will discuss how the parents are getting home and will inform all relevant professionals and agencies about the death, (i.e. GP, health visitor, records departments etc) and discuss contacting friends, family, employers etc.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Factors which may Arouse Suspicion - Evidence of drug, alcohol or substance misuse particularly if the parents are  intoxicated or sedated at the time if the death.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Factors which may Arouse Suspicion - The presence of blood must be carefully noted and recorded. A pinkish frothy residue around the nose or mouth may be found in some children whose deaths are due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Fresh blood from the nose or mouth is uncommon, and should lead to the consideration of possible

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - It is important for police officers to remember that most unexpected child deaths have natural causes. Police actions therefore need to be a careful balance between consideration for the bereaved family, and the possibility that a crime has been committed.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Factors which may Arouse Suspicion - The account given by the parents or carers of the circumstances of the child's death should be documented verbatim. Inconsistencies in the story given on different occasions or to different professionals should raise suspicion, although it is important to be aware that inconsistencies may

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Factors which may Arouse Suspicion - Observations about the condition of the accommodation, cleanliness, adequacy of clothing, bedding and the temperature of the environment in which the child is found are important. A history of previous concerns about neglect may be relevant.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Factors which may Arouse Suspicion - Some factors in the history or examination of the child may give rise to concern about the circumstances surrounding the death.  If any of these are identified it is important that the information is documented and shared with senior colleagues and relevant professionals in other key agen

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Factors which may Arouse Suspicion - Two or more unexplained child deaths occurring within the same family is unusual and should raise questions both about an underlying medical or genetic condition as well as possible unnatural events.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Factors which may Arouse Suspicion - Unexplained bruising, burns, bite marks on the dead child or a previous history of these injuries should cause serious concern. A child may have no external evidence of trauma but have serious internal injuries.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - In cases where the death does not appear suspicious but is unexplained, the Safeguarding Investigations Unit should be involved at the earliest opportunity and assume responsibility for the investigation.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - In cases where the cause is death is apparent, as in a road traffic collision, or is homicide or suspected homicide, the investigation will be undertaken by the most appropriate department for the presenting circumstances of the death. However, the local Safeguarding Investigations Unit de

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Officers should at all times be sensitive in the use of personal radios and mobile phones, etc. Whenever possible, the officers liaising with the family, whilst remaining contactable, should have such equipment turned off. Remember not to use Police jargon or phrases like "crime scene" and

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Explain to the parents or carers that your attendance at such deaths is routine, and that you are trying to determine how the child died. Consider the general advice given in General Advice for Professionals when Dealing with the Family section.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - It must be established whether the child's body has been moved and the current position (of the child) should be recorded. All other relevant matters should also be recorded.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Normally the first officer attending the scene will be responding to an emergency call relating to a child's death. This officer will assume control of the situation and ensure that the appropriate following specialist officers are contacted and attend: A detective inspector (DI) must atte

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - The first officer at the scene must make a visual check of the child and his/her surroundings, noting any obvious signs of injury. Handle the child as if he or she were alive; ascertain and use the child's name whenever referring to the child.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Police attendance should be kept to the minimum required. Several police officers arriving at the house can be distressing, especially if they are uniformed officers in marked police cars. Whenever possible consideration should be given to the initial response being from plain clothed spec

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - The provision of medical assistance to the child is obviously the first priority. If an ambulance is not present ensure one is called immediately, and consider attempting to revive the child unless it is absolutely clear that the child has been dead for some time. Ensure that the Detective

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Late Multi-Agency Case Discussion - An agreed record of the case discussion meeting should be sent to the Coroner.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Late Multi-Agency Case Discussion - During the course of the meeting there should be an explicit discussion of whether abuse or neglect could have been a contributory factor to the child's death, and any decisions recorded. This should include whether there is any indication of factors that suggest a need for a serious case

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Inter-Agency Working - Where a child is initially taken to a hospital other than the local hospital for the area where they reside, the relevant paediatrician at the receiving hospital should be involved in the discussion. Following the discussion, the paediatrician at the hospital should then contact the approp

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Inter-Agency Working - Areas to be addressed include: Agreeing whether there is a need for a joint home visit; Involving the Coroner; Ensuring that any agencies involved with the child (CAMHS, school or early years) are advised of the death; To enable consideration of any child protection risks to siblings or ot

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Early Joint Home Visit for Unexpected Deaths of Young Children - Following the unexpected death of a young child all families should be visited at home within 24-48 hours by a police officer responsible for investigating the child's death and a consultant paediatrician or other health professional experienced in responding to unexpected child deaths. Th

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Inter-Agency Working - When a child dies unexpectedly the police should initiate an immediate information sharing and planning discussion between lead agencies (i.e. health, police and children's social care) to decide what should happen next and who will do what. This should take place as soon as possible after

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

General Advice for Professionals when Dealing with the Family - Click here to view the Summary of professional responsibilities following unexpected child deaths Flowchart.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Principles - When dealing with an unexpected child death all agencies need to follow five principles: Sensitive, open minded balanced approach; Inter-agency response; Sharing of information; Appropriate response to the particular circumstances; Preservation of evidence.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Principles - These are of equal importance.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

General Advice for Professionals when Dealing with the Family - This is a very difficult time for everyone. The time spent with the family may be brief but events and words used can greatly influence how the family deals with their bereavement in the long term. It is essential to maintain a sympathetic and supportive attitude, whilst objectively and pr

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Early Joint Home Visit for Unexpected Deaths of Young Children - This joint visit may also be appropriate following the unexpected death of an older child.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Early Joint Home Visit for Unexpected Deaths of Young Children - Aims: To complete and jointly review the medical history at an early stage so as to   identify any possible medical or child protection factors contributing to the death and inform the Coroner and pathologist; To provide the family with immediate and later information and advice about me

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Late Multi-Agency Case Discussion - As soon as the final post-mortem result is available a further multi-agency case discussion should then be organised by children's social care, ideally at the GP's surgery. This should include the health visitor, police, GP, paediatrician, coroner's officer and relevant representatives fr

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Late Multi-Agency Case Discussion - Aims: To review the circumstances of the child's death and to share the outcome of the investigation; To ensure that no information has been overlooked; To decide how detailed information about the cause of death will be shared, and by whom, with the parents; To make plans for any future a

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Late Multi-Agency Case Discussion - At this meeting all the relevant information concerning the death, the child's history, family history and subsequent investigation should be reviewed.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Early Case Discussion - The designated doctor and nurse should be invited to every discussion. Relevant information will need to be shared with the pathologist(s) and Coroner.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Early Case Discussion - Contributors must include: Health - Information from the doctor who declared the death, family health visitor, GP, duty consultant paediatrician or their representative, designated doctor or their representative, the A&E department, and Ambulance Service, school nurse; Children's socia

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Early Case Discussion - A multi-agency case discussion will be convened by children's social care after the initial post-mortem results are known to share information relevant to the investigation of the death, and plan support of the parents. The police officer responsible for investigating the child's death or

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Early Case Discussion - The purpose of this discussion is: For each agency to review and share information in current or previous case notes or other records which may shed light on the circumstances leading up to the child's death. This includes: medical and family history to help identify possible underlying me

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - An early record of events from the parent or carer is essential, including details of the child's recent health. All comments should be recorded. Any conflicting accounts should raise suspicion but it must not be forgotten that any bereaved person is likely to be in a state of shock and po

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Factors which may Arouse Suspicion - History or evidence of domestic abuse.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - A multi-agency case discussion will be convened by children's social care as soon as the initial post-mortem result is known to share information relevant to the investigation of the death, and plan support of the parents. The police officer responsible for investigating the child's death

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - As soon as the final post-mortem result is available  a further inter-agency meeting should be held to review the findings of the post-mortem report and any other information gained about the child, their family and the circumstances leading to the death. When appropriate, this meeting wi

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - When a child dies unexpectedly the police should initiate an immediate information sharing and planning discussion between lead agencies (i.e. health, police and children's social care) to decide what should happen next and who will do what. This discussion will normally be arranged by the

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Where the unexpected death of a child under 2 is explained following initial enquiries, or the child is older than 2 years, a joint visit may not be done routinely, but may be considered. In all cases the need for any joint visit must be discussed with the consultant paediatrician, usually

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Continue to maintain contact with the family and keep them informed of any developments.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Following the unexpected and unexplained death of a young child under 2 years, all families should be visited at home within 24-48 hours by a paediatrician or other health professional, together with the police officer responsible for investigating the child's death or their representative

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - This meeting should include the paediatrician involved, the GP, health visitor, coroner's officer, other relevant health professionals, children's social care, police and any other appropriate agencies.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - When enquiries are completed, and unless they are required to be retained for any inquest, at the earliest opportunity, any articles taken from the scene that the family wish to retain should be returned to them.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Ensure all the relevant documentation is contained in the C5 family file, which should be clearly marked "child death in family". An overview report concerning the investigation must be completed by the Safeguarding Investigations Unit DS, and submitted to the SIU DI.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Attending the unexpected death of a child or baby will always be a difficult incident to manage. The situation will be highly charged and emotionally stressful so it is important that all practitioners who may come across this scenario are confident about what to do.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - The preservation of the scene and the level of investigation will be relevant and appropriate to the presenting factors.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

What is in the Protocol? - The key events described in the protocol are: Child taken to an A&E Department; Immediate information sharing and planning discussion; Early investigation; Joint home visit; Early inter-agency case discussion; Paediatric pathology; Late multi-agency case discussion.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Ensure that all police documentation is removed, and that the property is returned in new and appropriate bagging. Appropriate bags are retained in the Safeguarding Investigations Unit offices.  If soiled articles were taken, ask the parents about their return, and if  they would like th

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Always make an appointment with the parents to return any property, and remember this could be a significant event for them.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Police officers need to be aware of other professionals' responsibilities, i.e. resuscitation attempts, taking details from the parents, examination of the dead child and looking after the welfare needs of the family. Officers may need to wait until some of these things have happened and t

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - This meeting should be arranged by the children's social care. The precise timing will depend on the progress of the police/coroners investigations.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Record any environmental features which may indicate neglect or could have contributed to the death such as temperature of scene, condition of accommodation, general hygiene and the availability of food/drink.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - At home, unless the death is clearly unnatural, there is no reason why parents cannot hold their dead child. This should however take place under the discreet observation of a police officer.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - If the parents/carers wish to accompany the child's body from the home to the hospital, then this should be facilitated, unless the death is viewed as unnatural. Ensure that they are accompanied by police or coroner's officer. On those occasions a parent/carer may insist on physically hold

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - The above is NOT an exhaustive list of considerations and should be treated only as a guide. They will not be necessary in every case. Refer to the earlier section "Factors which may arouse suspicion"

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Officers initially attending the scene should ensure it is preserved until the DI attends. Any relevant items should be drawn to their attention, but the DI will decide what items will be retained and removed from the scene.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Consideration should be given to: Commencing a scene log; Photographs/video of the scene; Only retain bedding if there are obvious signs of forensic value such as blood, vomit or other residues. The routine collection of bedding is neither necessary for any investigative purpose, nor appro

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Offer to contact friends or relatives who might support parents, and employers to explain absence.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - If it is necessary to remove items from the house, do so with consideration for the parents. Explain that it may help to find out why their child has died. Ask the parents if they want the items returned.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Any decision to take a body directly to a hospital or a mortuary, must only be made following a discussion with a consultant paediatrician in order to consider the need for an examination of the body, what tests should be arranged, and for medical information to be collated. However, w

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Normally the Ambulance Service will transport a child's body from the scene to an A&E department. However, on rare occasions this may not occur, and the child's body may be taken to a mortuary.  This could be appropriate in circumstances where an older child has died (16-18) and it is

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - A G5 (Report of Death Form) must be completed at an early stage. This will be completed by the Coroner's Officer if they are in attendance. However, in order to avoid delay, it may be appropriate for the police officer present to complete the form.

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - Questions regarding the child's recent health can be recorded on the G5 under the appropriate heading. These questions should include the basic medical history of the child and family. Other relevant details which are thought to be pertinent to the child's death should also be included, an

8.39 Unexpected Child Death

Individual Agency Response - The issues of the continuity of identification must be considered. This will preferably be done by the Coroner's Officer but could be done by a police officer and should be carried out appropriately and sensitively.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Legal Issues - A balance must be struck between the needs of the child and the resultant impact of any therapy on the criminal proceedings. However, where this balance becomes critical, the best interests of the child are paramount.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Pre-Trial Therapy Support - Counselling will address a number of issues, including: The impact on the child of the abuse; Improving self-esteem and confidence; Information on abusive and safe relationships.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Pre-Trial Therapy Support - Therapeutic work can broadly be placed in two categories: Counselling and Psychotherapy.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Pre-Trial Therapy Support - Psychotherapy will address issues including: Treatment for emotional and behavioural disturbance; Treatment of a traumatised child who may display mental health symptoms.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Pre-Trial Therapy Support - Therapists may work within the Health Service, Children's social care, the voluntary sector or privately.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Pre-Trial Therapy Support - In addition they should have a clear understanding of the effects of abuse on children, together with knowledge of the rules of evidence, and how these may be affected by any therapy provided to a child. They should have read the practice guidanceProvision of Therapy for Child Witnesses Pr

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Legal Issues - All people who work with children before a criminal trial must be aware of the possible impact of their work upon subsequent evidence in the trial.  Some types of therapeutic work are more likely to undermine the credibility of a child witness than others. Any discussion by a child of the

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Pre-Trial Therapy Support - When it has been agreed that such services will be provided to a child witness, it is imperative that the therapist/counsellor has had the appropriate training for the type of work to be undertaken. Membership of an appropriate professional body or other recognised competence may be an ind

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Pre-Trial Therapy Support - For those children who are subject to the Child Protection Conference process, it will be the responsibility of the CPC to identify therapeutic needs and make the necessary link to the police if they are not in attendance at the Conference.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Threshold - In such cases the police will make referrals to the young witness service, who will then liaise with Children's social care to identify a support worker to undertake the appropriate work with the witness.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Legal Issues - Before commencing therapy, the therapist should be made aware of any pending criminal proceedings.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Threshold - The service will be offered to every child who is a victim of an offence that is subject to criminal proceedings or is to be called as a witness at such proceedings.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Response - All staff from Children's Social Care, the young witness service, and police officers involved in supporting children through the court process, must have undergone the appropriate training as provided by each agency. They must have been evaluated to be competent in providing the service.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Definition of Child Witness Support - This service will seek both to prepare the witness in practical terms to give evidence in criminal proceedings, and provide support to witnesses during the period leading up to any trial, which is bound to be a time of high anxiety and stress.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Pre-Trial Therapy Support - In these cases the child witness supporter will highlight the need for parents/carers to inform them if they are considering therapy for their child in advance of it commencing. The child witness supporter will then alert the officer in charge of the case so that negotiations may take plac

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Pre-Trial Therapy Support - Where a child is a witness in criminal proceedings and therapy is being considered for that child or young person, contact should be made with the police officer in charge of the case before therapy commences. This will allow the Crown Prosecution Service to be contacted to ascertain wheth

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Pre-Trial Therapy Support - There is a clear distinction between the use of therapy by qualified practitioners, and the formal preparation of a witness to give evidence in court.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Definition of Child Witness Support - A service available to children and young people required to give evidence in criminal proceedings, either in relation to their own abuse, or as a witness to crimes committed against another person.

8.40 Unexplained Injuries to Young Children

AMENDMENT In March 2015, 8.36.4 was amended to include the designation of the term “unexplained” should not influence staff into making assumptions that the injury is either accidental or non-accidental.8.36.6, Serious Unexplained Injury Strategy Discussion and 8.36.7, Conclusion were

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Recording - In light of this, therapists should not guarantee confidentiality in advance of any therapeutic work with a child. An understanding should be reached at the outset with a child and their carers about the requirement for any records to be disclosed.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Legal Issues - If during the course of any therapy, new allegations of abuse are made, or any information is received that is inconsistent with the original allegation, the Police or Children's Social Care must be informed.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Legal Issues - If there is a demonstrable need for therapeutic work that is likely to jeopardise the criminal proceedings, consideration may need to be given to abandoning those proceedings in the interests of the child's well being.

8.40 Unexplained Injuries to Young Children

Interventions and Support - Local pathways  Brighton & Hove  Brighton & Hove Referral flow chart for bruises for health professionals Brighton & Hove Bruising Leaflet for parents   West Sussex West Sussex Bruising in Children who are Not Independently Mobile (NIM) Guidance for Professionals Body Maps

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Legal Issues - In all cases where an allegation of abuse is received prior to any therapy taking place, the evidence should be recorded by means of a video recorded interview before any therapy commences.  Where an allegation arises from the therapy itself, then any decision as to how to proceed should

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Recording - It is vital that a comprehensive record is made of any therapeutic work undertaken, and that any such records are preserved.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Recording - Therapists may be called as witnesses themselves in any proceedings, and should be prepared for this possibility.

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Recording - The Police have a duty to reveal the existence of any information or evidence that may undermine the prosecution case or assist the defence.  Accordingly, any records kept by therapists may become part of the evidence in the case. At any time during the proceedings the police, CPS, defenc

8.4 Child Witnesses in Criminal Prosecution and Pre-Trial Therapy Support

Legal Issues - Although the decision to commence therapy with a child is not one for the police or CPS, they should be informed that any therapy is proposed or has been undertaken. The CPS will then be able to advise, if requested, on the likely impact of the therapy on the evidence.

8.40 Unexplained Injuries to Young Children

Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a Child Clinical and Social Information - It may be necessary to hold more than one serious unexplained injury Strategy Discussion to finalise enquiries into an unexplained injury to an infant or young child. Where the S47 investigation is unable to determine how an injury was caused, the minutes of the final serious unexplained i

8.40 Unexplained Injuries to Young Children

Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a Child Clinical and Social Information - Any suspicious injury in a pre or non-mobile and/or pre or non-verbal child must be regarded with extreme concern including: Minor injuries with an inconsistent explanation; Significant bruising; Any fractures; Any major injury.

8.40 Unexplained Injuries to Young Children

Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a Child Clinical and Social Information - Any injury and its explanation must be assessed in relation to the infant's developmental abilities and the likelihood of the occurrence. The designation of the term “unexplained” should not influence staff into making assumptions that the injury is either accidental or non-accidental.

8.40 Unexplained Injuries to Young Children

Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a Child Clinical and Social Information - Young children and infants are highly vulnerable and may have a serious injury without obvious physical signs e.g. shaking injuries may result in internal head injuries. Nevertheless significant internal injuries may be caused and result in: Lethargy, poor feeding, apnoea or irregular brea

8.40 Unexplained Injuries to Young Children

Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a Child Clinical and Social Information - If at the outset or before the conclusion of initial S47 Enquiries the mechanism for an injury to an infant or young child remains unknown, a serious unexplained injury strategy discussion should be convened. This Strategy Discussion should be undertaken as outlined in Strategy Discussion

8.40 Unexplained Injuries to Young Children

Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a Child Clinical and Social Information - Click here to view Flowchart on Injuries to Young Children.

8.40 Unexplained Injuries to Young Children

Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a Child Clinical and Social Information - Physical injuries in young children may be life threatening or cause permanent neurological damage. Reviews children under 1 year old are especially vulnerable.

8.40 Unexplained Injuries to Young Children

Appendix 1: Unexpected Death of a Child Clinical and Social Information

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Interviews of Children where there are Communication Issues - It may be necessary to seek further advice and assistance with the interview from professionals who know the child well or are familiar with the type of impairment (s)he has e.g. paediatrician at the child development centre or for child's school, social worker from the deaf services team

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Preparing Interpreters -   Social workers need to first meet with the interpreter to explain the nature of the investigation, the aim and plan of the interview, and clarify: The interpreter's role in translating direct communications between professionals and family members; The need to avoid acting as a represen

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Interviews of Children where there are Communication Issues - Every effort should be made to enable such a child to give her/his account directly to those undertaking enquiries.

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Interviews of Children where there are Communication Issues - Professionals should be aware that interviewing is possible when a child communicates by means other than speech and should not assume that an interview, which meets the standards for purposes of criminal proceedings, is not possible.

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Who may act as Interpreters? - Interpreters used for child protection work should have been subject to references, DBS checks and a written agreement regarding confidentiality. Wherever possible they should be used to interpret their own first language and not have any significant links to the community in which the fam

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Interviews of Children where there are Communication Issues - Interviews with witnesses with special communication needs are generally much slower. The interview may be long and tiring for the witness and might need to be broken into two or three parts, preferably, but not necessarily held on the same day.

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Who may act as Interpreters? - Suitable professionals are likely to be drawn from the following groups: Speech and language therapists; Teachers of the hearing impaired; Specialist teachers for children with learning difficulties; Professional translators (including people conversant with British Sign Language (BSL) for

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Interviews of Children where there are Communication Issues - All interviews should be tailored to the individual needs of the child and a written explanation included in the plan about any departure from usual standards.

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Interviews of Children where there are Communication Issues - A witness should be interviewed in the language of their choice and vulnerable or intimidated witnesses, including children, may have a supporter present when being interviewed.

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Who may act as Interpreters? - Generally speaking, it is not appropriate to use family members as interpreters in child protection work although it may be appropriate to ask family members to clarify the child's or person's communication needs.

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Interviews of Children where there are Communication Issues - Careful planning is required of the role of this adviser and the potential use of specialised communication equipment.

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

General - All agencies need to ensure they are able to communicate fully with parents and children when undertaking child protection work and ensure that children, family members and professionals fully understand the exchanges that take place. If the family's first language is not English and even

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Interviews of Children where there are Communication Issues

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

General - When taking a referral, social workers must establish the communication needs of the child, parents and other significant family members. Relevant specialists may need to be consulted e.g. a language therapist, teacher of hearing impaired children, paediatrician etc.  

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

General - The use of accredited interpreters, signers or others with special communication skills must be considered whenever undertaking enquiries involving children and/or family: For whom English is not the first language (even if reasonably fluent in English, the option of an interpreter must be

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Interviews of Children where there are Communication Issues - Achieving Best Evidence provides guidance on interviewing vulnerable witnesses, including learning disabled (at page 53, Chapter 3) and on the use of interpreters and intermediaries.

8.41 Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills

Interviews of Children where there are Communication Issues - The particular needs of a child who is thought to have communication problems should be considered at an early point in the planning of a Section 47 Enquiry (i.e. at the Strategy Discussion stage).

8.42 Young Carers

Recognition and Response

8.42 Young Carers

Recognition and Response - The local authority should consider whether any provisions of the Children Act 1989 or Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 should be applied.

8.42 Young Carers

Recognition and Response - Depending on the extent and effect of caring responsibilities, the young carer may come within the definition of a Child In Need under Section17 of the Children Act 1989.

8.42 Young Carers

Recognition and Response - If any agency is concerned that the young carer is at serious risk of neglect, abuse or harm, this must be referred to Children's Social Care under the Making a Referral Procedure. The response should be the same as for any other child and the procedures in Section 4 of the manual, Respond

8.42 Young Carers

Recognition and Response - All agencies in contact with young carers should consider if they are in need of support services in their own right.

8.42 Young Carers

Recognition and Response - Many young carers experience: Low level of school attendance; Some educational difficulties; Social isolation; Conflict between loyalty to family and their wish to have their own needs met.

8.42 Young Carers

Definition - A young carer is a young person under 18 who has a responsibility for caring on a regular basis for a relative (or very occasionally a friend) who has an illness or disability, including some-one with mental health or substance misuse problems.

8.42 Young Carers

Definition - A child under 8 who is carrying out significant caring duties should always regarded as coming within this definition.

8.42 Young Carers

Recognition and Response - Unless there is reason to believe that it would put the child at risk, young carers should be told if there is a need to make a referral, in order that their trust in a worker is retained - see Information Sharing and Confidentiality. If possible, the young carer's consent should be sought

8.42 Young Carers

Definition - This can be primary or secondary caring and leads to a variety of losses for the young carer.

8.42 Young Carers

Recognition and Response - In those situations where the child does not give consent, but it is still considered necessary to make a referral, (s)he should be kept informed of all decisions made, and offered support throughout.

8.43 Violence Towards Staff

De-Brief, Supervision and Support - There should always be a de-brief session following any incidents.

8.43 Violence Towards Staff

Response - Both these factors should be considered at an inter-agency Strategy Meeting that involves the referring agency, Children's Social Care, Safeguarding Investigations Unit, health visitor and school nurse.

8.43 Violence Towards Staff

Response - The purpose of the meeting is to: Gather information from all agencies including housing, probation, adult mental health services etc; Coordinate care plans for children with personal safety strategies for workers; Consider the need for a Child Protection Conference (including the use of e

8.43 Violence Towards Staff

Recording - All threats must be documented in the child's file as well as reported in accordance with the internal agency procedures.

8.43 Violence Towards Staff

De-Brief, Supervision and Support - Violence towards staff will have a potentially detrimental effect both personally and professionally, including escalating levels of stress, physical injury / illness, professional judgement and behavioural responses.

8.43 Violence Towards Staff

Recognition - The risk of violence may increase when: Parents feel threatened, challenged, confronted including the fear of separation from their child(ren) / family e.g. during Section 47 Enquiries, Care Proceedings, divorce proceedings; Parents' experience or perceive a loss of control over events; Pa

8.43 Violence Towards Staff

Recognition - Violence towards staff is an inter-agency problem. If one agency has information that a parent / carer is known to be violent they have a responsibility to alert other agencies of the risks posed by that person - see Information Sharing and Confidentiality.

8.43 Violence Towards Staff

Recognition - Each agency must ensure the health and safety of its own staff and there should be implemented general safe working practice when working in a community setting including: Systems of reporting whereabouts of staff, times of visits and anticipated return; Staff should inform their work base

8.43 Violence Towards Staff

Recognition - Predisposing indicators include: Previous convictions for violence; History of threats and/or violence towards staff; Disinhibiting effects of alcohol and / or substance misuse; Known violence / domestic abuse.

8.43 Violence Towards Staff

Response - The threshold for responding to violence towards staff is not related to the presence or absence of identified Significant Harm indicators in the child. However, the experience of violence or threats to staff should be used as evidence of the situation of the family and included in assessm

8.43 Violence Towards Staff

De-Brief, Supervision and Support - Levels of personal and case management supervision should be adjusted to provide organisational support and consultation to staff working in these conditions. Therapeutic services, specialist supervision or training may need to be provided.

8.43 Violence Towards Staff

De-Brief, Supervision and Support

8.43 Violence Towards Staff

Definition - This section applies to any incident where a member of staff of any LSCB agency is verbally abused, threatened or assaulted by a service user or member of the public in circumstances relating to her / his employment.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Further Reading - DfES (2005), Every Child Matters: Change for Children, Young People and Drugs, DfES, Nottingham (outlines the government's proposals for integrating substance use services for young people within general children's services).

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Response - Workers in universal and targeted services should consult with the local young people's substance use services in deciding whether a young person's substance use is an issue of Significant Harm or escalating risk.  Where there are actual or potential issues of Significant Harm relating to

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Response - Certain vulnerable groups such as children of substance misusing parents for whom there may be a concern around whether or not they are using substances, should always be referred to specialist services for joint assessment purposes.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Confidentiality and Consent - The duty of confidentiality owed a young person under 16 is the same as that owed to any other person, but the right to confidentiality is not absolute.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Response - Any agency concerned that the young person's drug/alcohol use is a child protection matter must also refer to the young persons' substance misuse service as well Children's Social Care. If the use is that problematic there is probably a need for a rapid response to reduce risk, the double

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Response - If it is felt that that the young person's substance use has or is likely to become a child protection issue the general processes laid out in this guidance with regard to referring to Children's Social Care must be followed - see Making a Referrals Procedure. If workers are not sure of th

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Confidentiality and Consent - Where there is a child protection risk associated with the young person's substance use this outweighs the young person's right to privacy - see Information Sharing and Confidentiality. In these circumstances professionals should act in accordance with the Making a Referral Procedure.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Confidentiality and Consent - A young person should be encouraged to accept a referral to specialist young peoples substance use services but as above, in cases where actual or potential Significant Harm are arising, professionals need to seek the advice and support of colleagues in specialist services when acting to s

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Assessment - The younger the child, the more problematic it is to guarantee or maintain confidentiality. Given the problems of establishing competence, and therefore capacity to consent, young people under the age of 13 are unlikely to be offered confidential treatment for substance use, and should ha

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Assessment - The more serious the drug (or substance) misuse, the more likely it is that disclosure of confidential information to other agencies will have to be considered.  In deciding whether to disclose, the service must take into account the patterns and levels of drug taking, the risks of morbid

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Assessment - Harm from drug-taking needs to be assessed with consideration of past, present and potential future behaviour. If there is a clear risk to the child or young person arising from present behaviour, or evidence of an escalation of risk to an unacceptable level, it is important that the servi

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Assessment - The 'Four Parameters' guidance below sets out a framework for identifying when a young person's substance use may be actually or potentially a child protection issue.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Further Reading - (SCODA/CLC) Standing Conference on Drug Abuse and Children's Legal Centre (1999) Young people and drugs: Policy guidance for drug interventions London: DrugScope (original document which lays out the four parameters guidance).

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Confidentiality and Consent - In cases of potential Significant Harm relating to a young person's substance use consideration will need to be given to the involvement of parents and carers, if they do not already know about or recognise the young person's substance use as an issue of Significant Harm.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Confidentiality and Consent - In relation to substance use the case law (Fraser Guidelines) suggests that young people using substances problematically may be less able to give informed consent.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Confidentiality and Consent

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Assessment - Where the child or young person has multiple problems, it is likely that they may be more at risk of misuse, having less protective factors available to them. Services must assess the child's full circumstances and determine whether to disclose confidential information against the child's

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Introduction - Not all problematic use will need to be considered in terms of child protection processes but for some young people their problematic substance use, and related issues, will need to be considered as an issue of actual or potential Significant Harm.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Recognition - In terms of the recognition of problematic substance use, the following common indicators should be considered: Daily use; Daily use more than once a day; Excessive mood swings, which seem to follow periods of use; Marked deterioration in a young person's mental wellbeing; Frequent tension

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Recognition - As with all general risk factors it is important to appreciate that there can be other reasons underlying the difficulties and careful assessment is needed.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Introduction - All substances, including alcohol carry potential risks if misused. For example, statistically there are more deaths among school age children from inhaling chemical substances than from all other illegal drugs.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Introduction - For the purposes of this guidance problematic use is looked at in terms of frequency, patterns of use, method of use, amounts used, social, emotional and physical effects and any other wider issues of vulnerability and risk.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Introduction - It is important for those working with children and young people to be able to recognise experimental or recreational use and distinguish this from a young person's problematic use.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Recognition - Particular attention also needs to be given to vulnerable young people who are known to fall into groups where substance misuse is likely to be more prevalent. These are: Young people whose parents and carers have used problematically; Homeless and insecurely housed young people; Young peo

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Introduction - Substance use among young people has increased in recent decades and should be routinely explored within assessments of need and risk in all children's services.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Links with Section 47 Enquires - There are a number of questions that can be asked when considering the need for a referral to Children's Social Care as a child in need of protection.

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Links with Section 47 Enquires - If the young person has a combination of these factors in their problematic substance use then careful assessment using the four parameters outlined in the assessment section should be undertaken. It is important that professionals understand how to access their local specialist young peop

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Links with Section 47 Enquires - Is the identified substance use unusual for a person of this age? Is the child/young person withholding information about the extent of their substance use? Does the young person have a mature understanding of the level and type of his/her substance use? Is the substance misuse life threat

8.44 Young Persons’ Substance Misuse

Links with Section 47 Enquires

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Introduction - Radicalisation is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and violent extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups.

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

What to do if you are worried about Radicalisation? - Any member of staff who identifies such concerns, for example as a result of observed behaviour or reports of conversations to suggest the child supports terrorism and/or violent extremism, must report these concerns to the named or designated safeguarding professional in their organisatio

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

What to do if you are worried about Radicalisation? - The named or designated safeguarding professional, in discussion with other professionals (including the local police Prevent team) as appropriate, will need to determine the most appropriate level and type of support to offer the child and their family: Level 1 - Universal support, advice

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

What to do if you are worried about Radicalisation? - The named or designated safeguarding professional should consider whether a situation may be so serious that an emergency response is required. Staff should exercise professional judgement and common sense to identify whether an emergency situation applies; examples in relation to violent

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Understanding and Recognising Risks and Vulnerabilities of Radicalisation

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER The guidance provides advice on how to manage and respond to concerns of children and young people identified as being vulnerable to and affected by the radicalisation of others. Related National Guidance:  Channel Duty Guidance 2015 Prevent Duty Guidance 2015  The

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

What to do if you are worried about Radicalisation?

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

What to do if you are worried about Radicalisation? - Children and young people at risk of radicalisation will also need to be referred for consideration under the local Channel panel, which works in conjunction with existing safeguarding procedures.

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

The Prevent Duty: Advice for Schools and Childcare Providers

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Channel: Referral and Intervention Processes

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Understanding and Recognising Risks and Vulnerabilities of Radicalisation - Potential risk indicators include: Use of inappropriate language; Possession of violent extremist literature or accessing extremist websites; Behavioural changes; The expression of extremist views; Advocating violent actions and means Association with known extremists; Articulating support

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Understanding and Recognising Risks and Vulnerabilities of Radicalisation - Some children may be at risk due to living with or being in direct contact with known extremists

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

What to do if you are worried about Radicalisation? - Staff working with children should use their LSCB Thresholds to assist them in identifying and responding to concerns about children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation or being drawn into violent extremist activity.

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Channel: Referral and Intervention Processes - Channel is the national framework to identify, refer and support vulnerable individuals. It is a multi-agency approach to protect people at risk from radicalisation. Individuals vulnerable to being drawn into terrorist related activities can expect to be supported by the ‘Channel’ mult

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Understanding and Recognising Risks and Vulnerabilities of Radicalisation - Risk of Radicalisation may be combined with other vulnerabilities. Research shows that indicators of vulnerability can include the following, although as there is no specific profile, this list is not exhaustive: Identity Crisis - Distance from cultural / religious heritage and uncomfortab

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Understanding and Recognising Risks and Vulnerabilities of Radicalisation - Children and young people can be drawn into violence or they can be exposed to the messages of extremist groups by many means.  These can include through the influence of family members or friends and/or direct contact with extremist groups and organisations or, increasingly, through the

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Introduction - The Counter Terrorism and Security Act, 2015, created a new general ‘Prevent Duty’ under section 26 (1). ‘A specified authority must in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. Specified authorities within the CT

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Introduction - Prevent is one of the four strands of CONTEST, the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy.  Safeguarding children and adults who are vulnerable to being radicalised or at risk of being drawn into terrorist-related activity is one of the main objectives of the Prevent strategy.  It is

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Introduction - A key element of the Prevent strategy is Channel, the process of identifying and referring a person at risk of radicalisation for early intervention and support. It is a multi-agency approach to protect vulnerable people using collaboration between local authorities, statutory partners (su

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

The Prevent Duty: Advice for Schools and Childcare Providers - From 1 July 2015 all schools, childcare providers, registered early years childcare providers and registered later years childcare providers are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to t

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Channel: Referral and Intervention Processes - The panel is responsible for managing the safeguarding risk which is in line with other multi-agency panels where risk is managed, such as Children and Adult Safeguarding panels and Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

The Prevent Duty: Advice for Schools and Childcare Providers - The DfE has published departmental advice which requires schools and child care providers to: Assesses the risk of children being drawn into terrorism Work in partnership with LSCB agencies and safeguarding polices Ensure staff training in Prevent awareness Ensure that children are safe fr

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Channel: Referral and Intervention Processes - Please see the below information regarding referring to the Channel Panel in your area Making a Channel referral in West Sussex Making a Channel referral in Brighton & Hove Making a Channel referral in East Sussex

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Interventions and Support - Sussex Police Prevent Team: Telephone 101 | Ext. 531355 Email: prevent@sussex.pnn.police.uk   Local Channel Panel Chairs in Brighton & Hove Nahida Shaikh, Prevent Coordinator, Brighton & Hove City Council Tel: 01273 290584 Email: Nahida.Shaikh@brighton-hove.gcsx.gov.uk   Loca

8.5 Children and Young People Vulnerable to Violent Extremism

Channel: Referral and Intervention Processes - Potential indicators include: Use of inappropriate language; Possession of violent extremist literature; Behavioural changes; The expression of extremist views; Advocating violent actions and means; Association with known extremists; Seeking to recruit others to an extremist ideology.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Assessment - Assessment of children from abroad can use the Assessment Framework, provided that it is recognised that the assessment has to address the barriers that arise from cultural, linguistic and religious differences and particular sensitivities arising from their own individual experiences. The

8.6 Children from Abroad

Assessment - Such children should be assessed as a matter of urgency as they may be very geographically mobile and their vulnerabilities may be greater. All agencies should enable the child to be quickly linked into universal services, which can begin to address educational and health needs.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Children in Need of Protection - See Trafficked Children Procedure and Sexual Exploitation Procedure.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Assessment - The first task of the initial contact is engagement. Open questions are most helpful, with a clear emphasis on reassurance and simple explanations of the role and reasons for assessment.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Assessment - Particular sensitivities which may be present include: Concerns around immigration status and fear of repatriation; Anxiety raised by yet another professional asking similar questions to ones previously asked and not understanding why an assessment needs to be carried out; Lack of understa

8.6 Children from Abroad

Assessment - Any unaccompanied child or child accompanied by someone who does not have Parental Responsibility should receive a Child and Family Assessment in order to determine whether they are a child in need of services, including the need for protection.

8.6 Children from Abroad

How to Seek Information from Abroad - It is worth noting that agencies abroad tend to respond quicker to e-mail requests / faxed requests than by letter and the internet may provide a quick source of information to locate appropriate services abroad (see National Contacts for possible sources of information).

8.6 Children from Abroad

How to Seek Information from Abroad

8.6 Children from Abroad

Parental Responsibility - Children who do not have someone with Parental Responsibility caring for them can still attend school, and schools should be pragmatic in allowing the carer to make most decisions normally made by the parent. Such children are entitled to health care and have a right to be registered with

8.6 Children from Abroad

Parental Responsibility - Emergency life-saving treatment should be given if required. Should the child need medical treatment such as surgery or invasive treatment in a non life-threatening situation, the need for consent would become an issue and legal advice required.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Parental Responsibility - Carers / parents are not eligible to claim benefits for their child unless they have both been granted some form of 'leave to remain' in this country by the Home Office.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Assessment - In such circumstances reluctance to divulge information, fear, confusion or memory loss can easily be mistaken for lack of co-operation, deliberate withholding of information or untruthfulness. The Assessment should take account of any particular psychological or emotional impact of experi

8.6 Children from Abroad

How to Seek Information from Abroad - Seeking information from abroad should be a routine part of assessing the situation of an unaccompanied child. Professionals from all key agencies should request information from their equivalent agencies in the country/ies) in which a child has lived, in order to gain as full as possible

8.6 Children from Abroad

Assessment - The ethnicity, culture, customs and identity of the child, must be a focus whilst keeping the child central to the assessment. The pace of the interviewing of a child should aim to be at the pace appropriate to the child, although the need to ensure that the child is safe may become paramo

8.6 Children from Abroad

Assessment - The possibility that some of these children are, in fact, Privately Fostered should be borne in mind.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Assessment - Where a child is being cared for by carers who do not have clear Parental Responsibility it is important to establish: The carers' ID, immigration status and any previous contact with this or other local authorities / agencies in UK and abroad; How they know the child and exact relationshi

8.6 Children from Abroad

Children in Need of Protection - A number of factors identified by the Child and Family Assessment may indicate that a child has been trafficked: The child may present as unaccompanied or semi accompanied; The child may go missing; Multiple use of the same address may indicate it is an 'unsafe house' or that it is being u

8.6 Children from Abroad

Children in Need of Protection - It has been increasingly recognised that children arriving in the UK from abroad are especially vulnerable to trafficking and sexual exploitation (See Trafficked Children Procedure).

8.6 Children from Abroad

Children in Need of Protection - Where assessment indicates that a child may be in need of protection, normal child protection procedures apply, but additional factors need to be taken into account including: Perceptions of authority, the role of the police in particular, and the level of fear which may be generated; Addi

8.6 Children from Abroad

Assessment - The assessment of family and environmental factors should take into account: The importance of economic and social hardship; Family history and functioning may include the loss of previous high status as well as periods of destitution; Different concepts of who are/have been important fami

8.6 Children from Abroad

Parental Responsibility - Children, whose parents' whereabouts are not known, have no access to their parents for consent when making important choices about their life. Whilst their parents still have Parental Responsibility they have no way of exercising it.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Assessment - The assessment of parenting capacity should take into account: Impact of war, famine and persecution on mobility: the stability of the family unit might be more important to the child than stability of place; The fact that a child seems to have been given up by a parent may not imply rejec

8.6 Children from Abroad

Children in Need of Protection - As soon as it is identified that a child may be trafficked for either sexual or commercial exploitation immediate action is required. Planning of the investigation must be undertaken within a Strategy Meeting to ensure that both the safety of this individual child and the investigation of

8.6 Children from Abroad

Children in Need of Protection

8.6 Children from Abroad

Assessment - Assessment of the child's developmental needs should take into account: Health, behaviour and social presentation can be affected by trauma and loss; Famine and poverty can have an impact upon development; Wider health needs of child and carer may need to be considered, including HIV, Hepa

8.6 Children from Abroad

Children in Need of Protection - Children, who enter the country, apparently as part of re-unification arrangements, can be particularly vulnerable to domestic exploitation.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Children in Need of Protection - Children are also trafficked for the purpose of domestic labour. These children may be less obvious, and their use to the family may be more likely to be picked up during a private fostering assessment, or because someone notices that they are living at a house, but not in school etc.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Assessment - Within the first contact with the child and carer(s), it is vital not to presume that the child's views are the same as their carer, or that the views and needs of each child are the same. Seeing each child alone is crucial, particularly to check out the stated relationships with the perso

8.6 Children from Abroad

Identification and Initial Action - Where families are subject to immigration legislation that precludes support to the family many will disappear into the community and wait until benefits can be awarded to them. During this interim period the children may suffer particular hardship - e.g. live in overcrowded and unsuitable

8.6 Children from Abroad

Status of Children who Arrive from Abroad - Children who arrive in the UK alone or who are left at a port of entry by an agent invariably have no right of entry and are unlawfully present. They are likely to be in a position to claim asylum and this should be arranged as soon as possible if appropriate. Such children are the respon

8.6 Children from Abroad

Principles - The key principles underpinning practice within all agencies in relation to unaccompanied children from abroad or those accompanied by someone who does not hold Parental Responsibility are: Children from abroad are children first - this can often be forgotten in the face of legal and cultu

8.6 Children from Abroad

Status of Children who Arrive from Abroad - Children who arrive in the UK with, or to be with carers without Parental Responsibility may have leave to enter or visas, or may be in the UK unlawfully. Children's Social Care may have responsibilities towards them under the Private Fostering Regulations. If the child is assessed to be i

8.6 Children from Abroad

Status of Children who Arrive from Abroad - Some children who arrive in the UK with their parents belong to families of EEA nationals migrating into the UK. Such families cannot be supported by Children's Social Care except for the provision of return travel (and associated accommodation). If such families decide to stay and seek f

8.6 Children from Abroad

AMENDMENT In March 2015, 8.5.13, Independent Family Returns Panel was added and the chapter was updated to reflect Care of Unaccompanied and Trafficked Children: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities on the Care of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking and Trafficked Children (2014) in particul

8.6 Children from Abroad

Status of Children who Arrive from Abroad - Under s. 54A Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (inserted by s.3 Immigration Act 2014), the Secretary of State must consult the Independent Family Returns Panel in each family returns case, on how best to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children of the family, and in ea

8.6 Children from Abroad

introduction - Large numbers of children arrive into this country from overseas every day. Many do so legally in the care of their parents and raise no concerns for statutory agencies. However, recent evidence indicates that some children are arriving into the UK: In the care of adults who have no Parent

8.6 Children from Abroad

Scope - Whilst these procedures do touch on the wider safeguarding agenda, the focus is primarily on child protection, and on those children who are unaccompanied or who are accompanied or met by adults who have no documents to demonstrate their relationship with the child. See also Trafficked Chi

8.6 Children from Abroad

introduction - A small number of these children may be exposed to the additional risk of commercial, sexual or domestic exploitation.

8.6 Children from Abroad

introduction - The possibility that some of these children are, in fact, Privately Fostered should be borne in mind.

8.6 Children from Abroad

introduction - Immigration legislation impacts significantly on work under the Children Act 1989 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people from abroad.

8.6 Children from Abroad

introduction - The regulations and legislation in this area of work are complex and subject to constant change through legal challenge etc. Social workers will usually require legal advice on individual cases.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Scope - The purpose of this guidance and procedures is to assist staff in all agencies to: Understand the issues which can make children from abroad particularly vulnerable; Identify children from abroad who may be in need of protection; Know what action to take in accordance with their responsibi

8.6 Children from Abroad

Parental Responsibility - An adult whose own immigration status is unresolved cannot apply for a Child Arrangements Order to secure a child for whom (s)he is caring.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Establishing the Child's Identity and Age

8.6 Children from Abroad

Establishing the Child's Identity and Age - Age is central to the assessment and affects the child's rights to services and the response by agencies. In addition it is important to establish age and development so that services are appropriate.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Establishing the Child's Identity and Age - Unaccompanied children very rarely have possession of any documents to confirm their age or identity and physical appearance may not necessarily reflect her/his age.Care of Unaccompanied and Trafficked Children: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities on the Care of Unaccompanied Asylum S

8.6 Children from Abroad

Establishing the Child's Identity and Age - Here an assessment of age is conducted, it must be Merton Compliant. Assessment of age is a complex task, often relying on professional judgement and discretion. The advice of a paediatrician with experience in considering age may be needed to assist in the context of a holistic assessment

8.6 Children from Abroad

Parental Responsibility - In some cultures child rearing is a shared responsibility between relatives and members of the community. Adults may bring children to this country whom they have cared for most of their lives, but who may be unrelated or 'distantly' related and for whom they do not have 'Parental Responsi

8.6 Children from Abroad

Parental Responsibility

8.6 Children from Abroad

introduction - Evidence shows that unaccompanied children, or those accompanied by someone who is not their parent, are particularly vulnerable. The children and many of their carers will need assistance to ensure the child receives adequate care and accesses health and education services.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Identification and Initial Action - The immigration status of a child and his/her family has implications for the statutory responsibilities towards the family. It governs what help, if any, can be provided to the family and how help can be offered to the child.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Identification and Initial Action - Whenever any professional comes across a child who they believe has recently moved into this country, confirmation of the following basic information should be sought (in an unthreatening way as possible): Child's identity and immigration status; Carer's relationship with the child and her

8.6 Children from Abroad

Identification and Initial Action - If this information indicates that the child has come from overseas and is being cared for by an unrelated adult or one whose relationship is uncertain, Children's Social Care should be notified in order that an assessment can be undertaken.

8.6 Children from Abroad

Status of Children who Arrive from Abroad

8.6 Children from Abroad

Identification and Initial Action

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children who are Left 'Home Alone' or are Left Unattended - If the child is already known to LA Children's Social Care, professionals should check whether the case record indicates a plan of action to take if the child is found alone. It may be that the file indicates the need for Police Protection or an application for an Emergency Protection Orde

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children of Families Living in Temporary Accommodation

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - Every setting in which they live should provide the same basic safeguards against abuse, founded on an approach that promotes their general welfare, protects them from harm and treats them with dignity and respect.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Residential Settings - Clear records must be kept and reviews and inspections must take place in accordance with National Minimum Standards and regulations.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Residential Settings - ll residential settings where children and young people are placed, including children's homes and residential schools, whether provided by a private, charitable or faith based organisation, or a local authority, must adhere to the Children's Homes Regulations and all other relevant regula

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Residential Settings - Children in such settings are particularly vulnerable and must be listened to.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Residential Settings - All such establishments must have in place complaints procedures for children and young people, visiting and contact arrangements with social workers and Independent Visitors (for Looked After children), as well as parents, advocacy services.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Hospital - Hospitals should be child-friendly, safe and healthy places for children. Wherever possible, children should be consulted about where they would prefer to stay in hospital, and their views should be taken into account and be respected. Care should be provided in an appropriate location and

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Residential Settings - Where there is reasonable cause to believe that a child in a residential setting has suffered or is at risk of suffering Significant Harm, a referral must be made in accordance with the Making a Referral Procedure. The concerns may range from bullying or abuse by other children to allegati

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Private Fostering - When there are concerns about Significant Harm to a child who is privately fostered the local authority and all the other agencies have the same duties to make enquiries as they do to any other child. The concerns must be reported to the local authority where the private foster placement i

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Private Fostering - All arrangements and regulations in relation to private fostering are set out in theChildren (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations 2005.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Private Fostering - A private fostering arrangement is essentially one that is made without the involvement of a Local Authority for the care of a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative for 28 days or more. Privately fostered children are a diverse an

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Foster Care - Foster carers should monitor the whereabouts of their foster children, their patterns of absence and contacts, and follow the recognised agency procedure whenever a foster child is missing from their home.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Private Fostering - Under the Children Act 1989, private foster carers and those with Parental Responsibility are required to notify the local authority of their intention to privately foster or to have a child privately fostered, or where a child is privately fostered in an emergency.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Private Fostering - Teachers, health and other professionals should notify the local authority of a private fostering arrangement that comes to their attention, where they are not satisfied that the arrangement has been or will be notified.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Private Fostering - It is the duty of every local authority to satisfy itself that the welfare of the children, who are privately fostered within their area, is being satisfactorily safeguarded and promoted. This includes an initial visit to the child and private foster carers within one week of receiving not

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Hospital - Children under 16 should not usually be cared for on an adult ward although if they are aged 14 or over they may be given a choice as to whether they wish to be cared for on an adult ward. Hospital admission data should include the age of children, so that hospitals can monitor whether chi

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Hospital - Hospitals must have policies in place to ensure that their facilities are secure and regularly reviewed.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children of Families Living in Temporary Accommodation - Placement in temporary accommodation, often a distance from previous support networks or involving frequent moves, can lead to individuals and families falling through the net.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children of Families Living in Temporary Accommodation - Temporary accommodation, for example bed and breakfast accommodation or women's refuges, may be a location which is not secure and safe and where other adults are also resident who may pose a risk to the child.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children of Families Living in Temporary Accommodation - All concerns of Significant Harm to a child should be referred to Children's Social Care Services in accordance with the Making a Referral Procedure.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

AMENDMENT: Added Private Fostering to the title to enable this chapter to come up in a search for that term.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Custody - Specific institutions in an area must ensure that there are links in place with the Local Safeguarding Children Boards and local authorities.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Custody - Young Offenders Institutions which accommodate Juveniles (16-18) must have policies and procedures in place which set out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children and young people in their care.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Hospital - When the child has been in hospital for three months or more, the appropriate health/hospital trust must notify the Responsible Authority i.e. the local authority for the area where the child is normally resident or, if this is unclear, where the child is Accommodated. This is so that the

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Hospital - Any concerns about Significant Harm to a child within a hospital or health based setting must be referred to the Children's Social Care Services in whose area the hospital is located in accordance with the Making a Referral Procedure.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Hospital - No child known to Children's Social Care who is an inpatient in a hospital and about whom there are child protection concerns should be discharged home without a referral to establish that the home environment is safe, the concerns by medical staff are fully addressed and there is a plan i

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Hospital - For further reading and information see the National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services (NSF) 2004 and the Public Inquiry into Children's Heart Surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary 1984-1995: Learning from Bristol.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children in Custody - The local authority has the same responsibilities towards children in custody as it does to other children in the local authority area.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Foster Care - As foster care is undertaken in the privacy of the carers' own home, it is important that children have a voice outside the family. Social workers are required to see children in foster care on their own and evidence of this should be recorded on the child's records.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Children of Families Living in Temporary Accommodation - It is important that effective systems are in place to ensure that children from homeless families receive services from health and education, social care and welfare support services as well as any other specific services, because with frequent moves they may become disengaged from servic

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - These values are reflected in regulations and in the National Minimum Standards, which contain specific requirements on safeguarding and child protection for each particular regulated setting where children live away from home - see also Arrangements Regarding Recruitment and Selection of

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Essential Safeguards - The following essential safeguards should be observed in all settings such as foster care, residential care, private fostering, armed forces bases, healthcare, boarding schools (including residential special schools), Prisons, Young Offenders' Institutions, Secure Training Centres and secu

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - Concerns for the safety of children living away from home have to be put in the context of attention to the overall developmental needs of such children and a concern for the best possible outcomes for their health and development.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Foster Care - In these circumstances, enquiries should consider the safety of any other children living in the household, including the foster carers' own children, grand-children or any children cared for by the foster carers in their home as well as any children whom the foster carers may be caring fo

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Essential Safeguards - All settings must ensure that: Children feel valued and respected and their self-esteem is promoted; There is an openness on the part of the institution to the external world and to external scrutiny; including contact with families and the wider community; Staff and foster carers are trai

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Liaison between Children's Social Care and the Police - Single or Joint Agency Enquiries/Investigations - Revelations of the widespread abuse and neglect of children living away from home have done much to raise awareness of the particular vulnerability of such children. Many of these revelations have focused on sexual abuse, but physical and emotional abuse and neglect - including peer abuse,

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Essential Safeguards - At the Strategy Discussion/Meeting it should be decided which Local Authority should take responsibility for the next steps, which may include a Section 47 Enquiry.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Foster Care - The Local Authority's duty to undertake a Section 47 Enquiry, when there are concerns about Significant Harm to a child, applies on the same basis to children in foster care as it does to children who live with their own families.

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Essential Safeguards - Where there is reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered Significant Harm, the Local Authority for the area in which the child is living has the responsibility to convene a Strategy Discussion/Meeting, which should include representatives from the responsible Local Authority th

8.7 Children Living Away from Home (Private Fostering)

Foster Care - Where there is reasonable cause to believe that a child in foster care has suffered or is at risk of suffering Significant Harm in the foster placement, the Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children Procedure will apply and a Strategy Meeting will be hel

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - The outcome of enquiries is as described in the Section 47 Enquiries Procedure.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - If the information gathered in the course of enquiries suggests that the perpetrator is also a victim, or potential victim, of abuse including neglect, a Child Protection Conference must be convened.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Child Protection Conference - Consideration should be given to inviting a youth offending team representative to the conference of alleged abusers aged 10 or over, and informing YOT of the meeting in the case of younger children.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - Where there are no grounds for a Child Protection Conference, but concerns remain regarding the child's sexually abusive behaviour, (s)he will be considered as a Child In Need. In such cases, a multi-agency planning meeting should be held.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - Throughout the enquiry, the immediate protection of the child(ren) must be ensured if that is necessary.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries - However, the position of the alleged victim(s) and the alleged perpetrator must be considered separately.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - Where police decide to conduct a separate 'offender' interview, Children's Social Care will not normally be involved other than in performing any statutory responsibilities to the child e.g. as Appropriate Adult.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - The following individuals should be invited to the meeting: Social worker for the child who is suspected or alleged to have abused another person; Social worker for the child alleged to have been abused; Social workers' first line manager(s); Police; YOT representative where the alleged ab

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - The Strategy Discussion will be convened and chaired by Children's Social Care and a record made.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - The Strategy Meeting must plan in detail the respective roles of those involved in enquiries and ensure the following objectives are met: Information relevant to the protection needs of the alleged victim (and any other child or children who may be at risk) is gathered; Any criminal aspect

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - In planning the investigation the following factors should be considered: Age of both children and any other child or children who may be at risk; Seriousness of the alleged incident; Effect on the victim and their own view of their safety; Parental attitude and ability to protect their ch

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - The conduct of any investigation will be discussed within a Strategy Discussion/Meeting and the interview planning meeting to ensure the requirements of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 and Achieving Best Evidence are met.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - Where there is suspicion that the child is both an abuser and the victim of abuse, the Strategy Discussion/ Meeting must consider the order in which interviews will take place.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Child Protection Conference - As well as carrying out all of its normal functions the Child Protection Conference must consider how to respond to the child's needs as a possible abuser.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Criminal Proceedings - Best practice suggests that criminal proceedings should not be taken where: Criminalising certain types of behaviour may be detrimental to the interests of all concerned; It is inappropriate to pursue the criminal aspects of the case because the professionals are satisfied that sexual acti

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Multi-Agency Planning Meetings - Young people with inappropriate sexual behaviour who may pose a risk to children with whom they have contact or who are re-entering the community following a custodial sentence or time in secure accommodation, or who move into an area from another local authority also require such a multi-

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

RELATED GUIDANCE Preventing and Tackling Bullying - Advice for Headteachers, Staff and Governing Bodies. RELATED CHAPTER Sexually Active Children Guidance on children who present with Harmful Sexual Behaviours AMENDMENT In September 2015 Section 8.7.48 was updated.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Multi-Agency Planning Meetings - At the point of closure, the review will consider the possible need for long-term monitoring and the availability of advice and other services.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Multi-Agency Planning Meetings - On completion of the assessment, the same forum will be reconvened to consider the outcome, to identify a Lead Professional and the roles of relevant agencies in providing any identified intervention, including specialist input with regard to young people with special needs.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Multi-Agency Planning Meetings - This may include action to address the risk posed to other children in contact with the alleged abuser as well as the identified victim.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Multi-Agency Planning Meetings - Intervention should be reviewed at regular multi-agency meetings at intervals of no more than six months.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Multi-Agency Planning Meetings - In cases where the young abuser is also Looked After, consideration should be given to the need for a plan to minimise risk of future offending, agreed with the child's carers and their agency.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Multi-Agency Planning Meetings - Care must be taken to provide services culturally appropriate to the needs of the child and the family.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Criminal Proceedings - The decision as to how to proceed with the criminal aspects of a case will be made by the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). This decision will take into account any recommendations of the youth offending team and the views of other professionals.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Multi-Agency Planning Meetings - Where there are insufficient grounds for holding a Child Protection Conference, or where one has been held but the child is not subject of a Child Protection Plan as a result, a multi-agency approach will still be needed if the young abuser's needs are complex.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Multi-Agency Planning Meetings - In such cases a multi-agency planning meeting should be convened by Children's Social Care to pool information, allocate roles and set a time-table for an assessment of the needs of the child and the risk posed by them, as well as to coordinate any other interim intervention.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - A different social worker should be allocated for the victim and the abuser, even when they live in the same household, to ensure that both are supported through the process of the enquiry and that both their needs are fully assessed.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Multi-Agency Planning Meetings - Those invited should include participants of the Strategy Meeting and representatives from health (including child and adolescent mental health services), school and any other appropriate service provider, the child and her/his parents / carers.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Child Protection Conference - Where the alleged perpetrator is not subject to a Child Protection Plan, consideration should be given to the need for services to address any abusive behaviour and the multi-agency responsibility to manage any risk, through the use of multi-agency planning meetings.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Recognition of Abuse for Referral to Children's Social Care - Professionals must decide in the circumstances of each case whether or not behaviour directed at another child should be categorised as abusive or not. It will be helpful to consider the following factors: Relative chronological and developmental age of the two children (the greater the di

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Role of Schools in Recognition of Abuse

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Introduction - Severe harm may be caused to children by the abusive and bullying behaviour of other children, which may be of a physical, sexual or emotional nature.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Bullying - Bullying is a common form of deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for the victims to defend themselves. It can take many forms, but the three main types are physical (e.g. hitting, kicking, theft), verbal (e.g. racist or homophobic /

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Introduction - The effect on the victim of intimidation and peer pressure by their abuser may make disclosure difficult for the victim.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Recognition of Abuse for Referral to Children's Social Care

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Multi-Agency Planning Meetings

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Child Protection Conference

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Outcome of Section 47 Enquiries

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Bullying - The damage inflicted by bullying is often underestimated and can cause considerable distress to children to the extent that it affects their health and development. In the extreme it can cause Significant Harm, including self-harm.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Bullying - Bullying may involve an allegation of crime (assault, theft, harassment) and this must be reported to the police at the earliest opportunity.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Response to Referrals - The interests of the identified victim must always be the paramount consideration. However, whenever a child may have abused another, all agencies must be aware of their responsibilities to both individuals, and multi-agency management of the case must reflect this.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Recognition of Abuse for Referral to Children's Social Care - Where it is clear that the concern is one of child protection there should be no delay in the referral to Children's Social Care - see the Making a Referral Procedure.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Response to Referrals - It is likely that the abuser may pose a significant risk of harm to other children, have considerable needs themselves and may also be or have been the victim of abuse. The interests of any such children must also be considered as part of the response to the referral and in the multi agenc

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - In all cases where the suspected abuser is a young person, the Police and Children's Social Care must convene a Strategy Discussion/Meeting (usually a face-to-face meeting) within the Section 47 Enquiry time-scales. The Police will also decide whether a criminal offence is alleged.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - When the young people concerned are the responsibility of different local authorities, each must be represented at the Strategy Discussion/Meeting, which will usually be convened and chaired by the authority in which the victim lives.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - Where the decision is reached that the alleged behaviour does not constitute abuse or the child is under the age of criminal responsibility, and there is no need for further enquiry or criminal investigation, the details of the referral and the reasons for the decision must be recorded.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Strategy Discussion/Meeting - The Strategy Discussion/Meeting must consider the needs of both children, as well as any other children who may be at risk from the alleged perpetrator. Best practice would be for separate meetings to be convened for the victim/others at risk and the alleged abuser.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Role of Schools in Recognition of Abuse - Where further assessment is required prior to deciding the extent and nature of the concerns, the school should: Ensure the parents / guardian of both the victim and the alleged perpetrator(s) are advised and invited to be present when the children are interviewed formally; Provide pupils

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Bullying - For information about tackling bullying in other settings, please see the Safe from Bullying suite of guidance on the Department for Education website.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Bullying - Schools are required to have policies to combat bullying and in the first instance cases should be dealt with under such policies. The Government's guidance for schools on tackling bullying, Safe to learn, is available on the Department for Education website

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Role of Schools in Recognition of Abuse - Where it is clear that the concern is one of child protection there should be no delay in the referral to Children's Social Care e.g. disclosure or witnessing of Sexual Abuse.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Sexual Abuse - When there is suspicion or an allegation of a child having been sexually abused or being likely to sexually abuse another child, it should be referred immediately to Children's Social Care or the Police - see Making a Referral Procedure.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Role of Schools in Recognition of Abuse - Concerns about possible abuse by one child of another are frequently first considered within a school environment and it may frequently be unclear if the circumstances should be considered under child protection procedures or not.

8.8 Children who Harm Other Children

Sexual Abuse - When considering whether sexual abuse has occurred, it is important to determine what is developmentally normal sexual experimentation and what is coercive (see also Sexually Active Children Procedure).

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER This section should be read in conjunction with the Home Office and Department of Health 2002 Guidance 'Complex Child Abuse Investigations: Inter Agency Issues' Further advice for the police can be found in Appendix I to the Force Child Protection Policy.  Detailed g

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Information Sharing - Whenever a statement of complaint is received in respect of an alleged perpetrator, a risk assessment must be immediately undertaken with regard to what current risk that person may pose to other young children.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Strategic Management Group - The SMG should remain in existence at least until the Crown Prosecution Service has made a decision about the alleged perpetrators.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Strategic Management Group - The SMG must make arrangements to convene regularly during the investigation to: Monitor the progress, quality and integrity of the investigation; Review risk indicators for the children involved; Consider resource requirements; Consider the appropriate timing of the termination of the inv

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Strategic Management Group - The SMG must ensure that any current risks to children are acted upon immediately, whenever they emerge during the investigation and should consider developing a risk management protocol as described at appendix C of Complex Child Abuse Investigations: Inter-Agency Issues, HO and DH 2002.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Strategic Management Group - The meeting must consider a wide range of issues and agree a plan that includes: A decision on the scale of the investigation and the staff required for a Joint Investigation Management Group (see Investigation Management Group below); The focus of the investigation: protection versus pros

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Strategic Management Group - The SMG must inform the LCSB of the investigation and consideration given to the need for a Serious Case Review.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Investigation Management Group - This group led by the police senior investigating officer or her / his deputy should include representatives of Children's Social Care, education, health and local authority legal services. Other agencies should be invited as appropriate.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Investigation Team - The team members must be trustworthy and display sensitivity, honesty, empathy and personal maturity. They must all be wholly independent from any of the parties that are the subjects of the investigation.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Investigation Team - In selecting staff, consideration should be given to requirements arising from the individual needs of the relevant child(ren) - e.g. gender, culture, race, language, and where relevant, disability.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Investigation Team - The SMG should identify individuals within and outside their organisation with the required expertise. This may include experience of investigating allegations of abuse, compiling profiles, understanding methods of abusers, child protection processes, disciplinary proceedings and working w

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Investigation Management Group - The role of this group will vary, but should include: A forum for the exchange of information, tactics and strategy, and to monitor the progress of the investigation; Ensuring consistent strategy for interviewing victims; Updating the SMG of the progress of the investigation; Updating the

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Strategic Management Group - Decisions and explanatory reasoning should be recorded in the policy book, a document used by the senior investigating officer to record strategic and tactical decisions, who should also ensure the production of an action list for subsequent monitoring purposes.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Strategic Management Group - The minutes should be arranged in the following format: Time, date, location of the meeting; Persons present; Apologies; Details of all individuals subject of the enquiry (genogram); Facts and circumstances known to date; Identified actions; Parameters of investigation; Terms of reference;

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Scoping Strategy Meeting - If, after further enquiries are made, it becomes clear that the situation is more complex, the scoping meeting should be re-convened.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Scoping Strategy Meeting - If the case does not meet this threshold, then the investigation will be managed under the normal arrangements described in the Section 47 Enquiries Procedure. Where the extent of the complexity is unclear, there should be a further scoping meeting arranged to review the progress of the ca

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Scoping Strategy Meeting - Click here to view the Sequence of Events Flowchart.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Scoping Strategy Meeting - If the meeting decides that the case is likely to be sufficiently complex and resource intensive, then a full meeting of the Strategic Management Group should be convened. If the meeting decides the case does not meet this threshold but does need a specific and focused operational response

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Professionals who need to be Informed - Once the decision has been taken at the scoping meeting to initiate a complex investigation, the lead officer for Children's Social Care must be informed. (S)he must inform the LSCB Chair, the Director of Children's Services, head of the media / press office and senior managers of relevant

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Strategic Management Group - To ensure a coordinated response, a Strategic Management Group (SMG) meeting, chaired by either Children's Social Care or the Police, must be convened as early as possible. The agency initiating the meeting will provide the administrative support.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Strategic Management Group - The terms of reference of the SMG should be recorded at the first meeting. All subsequent meetings held in accordance with this procedure must be recorded, the minutes classified as 'confidential' and all copies individually numbered. Any copying of minutes should be agreed with the chair.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Strategic Management Group - Line managers of any staff implicated in the allegations of abuse must not be included in the SMG or the investigation team.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Strategic Management Group - The membership of the SMG should comprise senior staff able to commit resources and will normally include the following: Lead officer for Children's Social Care or nominee; Assistant Chief Police Officer or nominee; Police senior investigating officer (SIO); Senior child protection manager

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Investigation Team - Personnel seconded to the Investigation Team should be dedicated to the investigation and have no other responsibility.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Investigation Team - The location of the team must take account, both geographically and organisationally, of the need to maintain confidentiality, especially crucial where the investigation concerns staff or carers.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Closure - There must be a clearly defined exit strategy not only in relation to the closure of the investigation, but also with regard to the victims and witnesses, who may require on-going support at the conclusion of any trial or investigation.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries - It is essential that there is a joint SMG to provide overall planning. If it is necessary to have more than one Investigation Team, there must be close working between coordinators and processes for full information sharing.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries - The initiating Investigation Management Group and Investigation Team should undertake the investigation on behalf of the other geographical areas. A senior manager from each area should join the initiating SMG to discuss this and agree any resource implications involved

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries - Once it is recognised that there are suspected or potential victims in other areas a joint approach should be made by the SMG to the appropriate police and Children's Social Care.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Closure - Staff involved directly in the investigation as well as other operational staff who have kept day to day services running where colleagues have been seconded into the investigation team, need to be thoroughly debriefed.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Closure - At the conclusion of the investigation each agency should undertake a review, with a view to identifying any changes to policy, practice or disciplinary processes that may be necessary. Such a review will complement any Serious Case Review that may be concurrent or have been completed.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Closure - Best practice is for the files to be centrally archived at a single location, and retained for a minimum period of 6 years from the completion of the investigation, or six months beyond the completion of any sentence, whichever is the longer.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Closure - Consideration must also be given to the storage and security of the files relating to the investigation. Access to such records may well be necessary in relation to any on-going appeals, civil proceedings or applications for compensation.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Closure - The SMG should have a final meeting where concluding information and debriefing can be shared. An overview report should be compiled and presented to the LCSB.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries - At the outset, the responsibility for managing the investigation lies with Children's Social Care where the abuse is alleged to have occurred/ where the alleged perpetrator(s) are alleged to operate.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries - It may be recognised at the outset, or during the investigation, that there are suspected or potential victims in more than one geographical area.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Access to Records - A vast range of documentary information will exist on personal files, personnel files, e-mails, general establishment records and registers. Clear protocols and procedures for investigative access to this material will need to be established at an early stage.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Access to Records - One of the most difficult issues in complex abuse investigations relates to the tracing, use, management and disclosure of documentary information relevant to the investigation. The Investigation Team should consider what information is required and where it is likely to be, and take imme

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Investigation Team - Administrative support, information technology and accommodation requirements must be addressed at the outset, including the storage of confidential records.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Investigation Team - Appropriate facilities must be available for video interviews and paediatric assessment.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Access to Records - Where vital information may have been lost, damaged or destroyed over a period of time, consideration should be given to the establishment of a database containing details of known or potential witnesses and victims.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Information Sharing - Complex abuse investigations rely critically on sensitive or highly confidential information being made available, including any information known about alleged perpetrators identified in the investigation.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Information Sharing - Members of the Investigation Team should not undertake this task, but ensure that the appropriate information is shared with the multi agency risk panel situated in the area where it is believed the perpetrator is currently residing (see Risk Management of Known Offenders and Those who Pos

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Information Sharing - The need to maintain the integrity of shared information is vital, and all investigative staff must be aware and comply with the principle of a 'need to know basis'.  Consideration should be given to the use of confidentiality agreements with regard to individuals employed to undertake th

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Information Sharing - The principles set out in Information Sharing and Confidentiality should be applied to all complex abuse investigations and team members should be familiar with its provisions.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Scoping Strategy Meeting - The scoping meeting must: Assess the information known to date; Decide what further information is required at this stage; Arrange for its gathering; Establish whether, and to what extent, complex abuse has been uncovered; Undertake an initial mapping exercise to determine the scale of the

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries - If the number of victims outside the geographical boundaries of the original joint Investigation Team increases to the extent that it cannot respond, then an Investigation Management Group and / or an Investigation Team in the new geographic area should be established.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Scoping Strategy Meeting - The meeting needs to take account of the likely impact on the victim(s), the suspected offender(s) and the community in deciding whether the investigation or any course of action, is proportionate to the aim. Factors to be considered include the: Extent or seriousness of the abuse (potenti

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Definition - The abusers concerned may be acting in concert to abuse a child or children, or may be acting in isolation. One or more of the adults involved may be using an institutional framework or position of authority to recruit children for abuse.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Professionals who need to be Informed

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Investigation Management Group

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Definition - It reflects, to a greater or lesser extent, an element of organisation on the part of the adult(s) involved and may involve: Aspects of ritual to aid or conceal the abuse of children; Child Sexual Abuse networks where adults plan and develop social contacts with children for the purpose of

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Definition - Complex (organised or multiple) abuse may be defined as abuse involving one or more abusers and number of children (related or non-related).

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

General Principles - Subsequent information generated throughout the investigation should only be shared on a 'need to know' basis.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

General Principles - The protection of any children identified as being at risk of harm remains paramount, but the needs of the alleged offender should be treated with sensitivity and the investigation should aim to minimise the disruption and damage to the alleged offender's private and professional life.

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

General Principles - In all investigations of organised abuse, it is essential that staff involved maintain a high level of confidentiality in relation to the information in their possession without jeopardising the investigation or the welfare of the children involved

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

General Principles - These procedures must be implemented in conjunction with the procedures on allegations against carers, staff, and volunteers where appropriate (see Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children Procedure)

8.9 Complex (Organised and Multiple) Abuse

Response - Where there is a suspicion of complex abuse, the social / duty worker or police officer receiving the referral should immediately inform their line manager. Further advice is available from second tier managers. If managers agree that the referral constitutes a complex abuse allegation, th