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1.10 Child protection conferences

Recording and sharing the decision - The formal decision letter and outline/revised child protection plan should be sent to all those invited to the conference within one working day. The conference record, signed by the conference chair, should then be circulated within 20 working days of the conference. Any amendments shoul

1.10 Child protection conferences

Types of conference - Depending on the circumstances there are several different types of child protection conference. All types of child protection conferences should consider the needs of all other children in the household. Initial conferences Initial child protection conferences should be held when the sec

1.10 Child protection conferences

Membership - A conference should consist of those people who have a contribution to make due to their knowledge of the child and family, their expertise relevant to the case, or their potential to support a plan. Local authority children’s social care will identify those who should be invited. This w

1.10 Child protection conferences

The purpose of a child protection conference - A child protection conference brings together and analyses all relevant information in an inter-agency setting and plans how best to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child. It is a way of analysing and managing risk and NOT providing services. The conference should: Consider the e

1.10 Child protection conferences

Electronic and digital recording - Recording of child protection conferences using digital means, e.g. smart phones, can take place overtly or covertly. This may be because service users want to have a record of the conversation to refer back to, or because they have difficulties in following or recalling conversations. The

1.10 Child protection conferences

Managing complaints or disagreement - If an agency does not agree with a decision or recommendation made at a child protection conference, their professional dissent must be recorded in the record of the conference. An agency or individual who does not agree with the decision must feel able to, and know how to, use the local L

1.10 Child protection conferences

Conduct of the meeting - Every effort should be made to enable everyone to contribute fully, including family members. Everyone present must offer their view about what the decision should be with regard to a plan (including the child and family) and everyone’s view should be recorded. If agreement cannot be rea

1.10 Child protection conferences

Outcome of the conference - Initial Child Protection Conference – Decision The conference should determine whether a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm and whether a child protection plan is required to safeguard the child’s welfare. The need for a child protection plan should be considere

1.10 Child protection conferences

Professional responsibilities - Everyone who comes to a conference should know: why they have been invited what they need to bring with them what they will go away to do what support they can expect to do what is required of them. Reports        All professionals invited to attend the conference should prepare an

1.10 Child protection conferences

Convening a conference - A child protection conference will normally be convened by local authority children’s social care. The timing of a conference will depend on: the needs of the child the nature and severity of the harm the child faces the type of conference (see below). A conference should be convened if

1.10 Child protection conferences

A child protection conference must be called when a section 47 enquiry concludes that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm and a child protection plan is required to safeguard the child’s welfare. If concerns relate to an unborn child, consideration should be give

1.1 Introduction

Children are best protected when professionals are clear about what is required of them individually and understand how they need to work together. Research has also demonstrated that every day counts for children who need additional help and co-ordinated multi-agency action can be crucial

1.11 Implementing child protection plans

The Lead Social Worker - The lead social worker acts as the lead professional for inter-agency work with the child and family, co-ordinating the contribution of both family members and professionals. It is important that the role of the lead social worker is fully explained at the initial child protection conferen

1.11 Implementing child protection plans

The Core Group - Membership Membership of the core group will have been identified at the initial child protection conference and must include: The lead social worker/first line manager. (Which one of these professionals chairs the core group is dependent on the complexity of the case). The child if approp

1.11 Implementing child protection plans

Difficulties implementing the child protection plan - Where any member of the core group is aware of difficulties implementing the child protection plan, they must immediately inform the lead social worker who will convene a core group meeting/discussion. This meeting may amend the child protection plan, agree to arrange an early review confe

1.11 Implementing child protection plans

When a conference decides that a child should be the subject of a child protection plan, a qualified and experienced children's social worker must be appointed as the lead social worker to co-ordinate all aspects of the inter-agency child protection plan. The conference should also identif

1.12 Discontinuing a child protection plan

The decision to discontinue a child protection plan will normally be made by a Review conference. A child may no longer need a child protection plan if: the review conference judges that the child is no longer likely to suffer significant harm and no longer requires safeguarding by means o

1.13 Managing professional disagreements

If there are disagreements between agencies or individuals over the handling of concerns about children, or associated decision-making by an individual agency, and the agencies/professionals are unable to resolve differences through discussion and/or meetings, their disagreements must be b

1.14 Allegations against staff or volunteers

Thresholds for implementation of this procedure - These procedures should be applied when there is an allegation or concern that any person who works with children has: behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child behaved towards a child or childre

1.14 Allegations against staff or volunteers

Roles and responsibilities - LSCB member organisations Each LSCB member organisation should identify a named senior officer with overall responsibility for: ensuring that their organisation deals with allegations in accordance with these procedures resolving any inter-agency issues liaising with the relevant LSCB on t

1.14 Allegations against staff or volunteers

Outcome of allegation investigations - The evaluation or strategy meeting/discussion should take in to account the following definitions when determining the outcome of allegation investigations: Substantiated: there is sufficient identifiable evidence to prove the allegation. False: there is sufficient evidence to disprove the

1.14 Allegations against staff or volunteers

All allegations of abuse of children by those who work with children (whether in a paid or unpaid capacity) must be taken seriously.

1.14 Allegations against staff or volunteers

Underlying principles - When dealing with allegations against staff or volunteers the following principles should be applied: Confidentiality Every effort should be made to maintain confidentiality and guard against publicity while an allegation is being investigated. Apart from keeping the child, parents and acc

1.14 Allegations against staff or volunteers

Record keeping and monitoring progress - Record keeping Employers should keep a clear and comprehensive summary of the case record on a person's confidential personnel file and give a copy to the individual. The record should include details of how the allegation was followed up and resolved, the decisions reached and the action

1.14 Allegations against staff or volunteers

Responding to an allegation or concern - An allegation against a member of staff may arise from a number of sources (for example, a report from a child, a concern raised by another adult in the organisation, or a complaint by a parent). It may also arise in the context of the member of staff and their life outside work. Initial a

1.15 Organised and complex abuse

Organised or multiple abuse is defined as abuse involving one or more abusers and a number of children. It can occur both as part of a network of abuse across a family or community and within institutions such as residential homes or schools. There will also be cases of children being abus

1.16 Children and families moving across local authority boundaries

Sharing information of a planned or unplanned move - When a family is planning to move or has moved to another area and there are concerns about the welfare of a child, professionals in all agencies should: ensure that other agencies who have been working with the child and family are aware of the move seek appropriate consent to share infor

1.16 Children and families moving across local authority boundaries

Other circumstances requiring cooperation across local authority boundaries - Co-parenting arrangements Where there is a co-parenting arrangement (however imbalanced) across two different local authority areas, the professionals in the two areas should jointly plan for the child's safety. This will include an assessment of the child’s needs in both locations and

1.16 Children and families moving across local authority boundaries

It is best practice for children to receive services from agencies who are local to where they live. This particularly applies to health, education and social care services. At any stage in the process of working with a child and their family, the parents/carers and/or the child may move f

1.16 Children and families moving across local authority boundaries

Children who move during section 47 enquiries - In the event that a family moves while a section 47 enquiry is being undertaken, the authority who initiated the section 47 enquiry should convene a strategy meeting/discussion within 72 hours. This must include children’s social care and other relevant professionals from the area the ch

1.16 Children and families moving across local authority boundaries

Children who move frequently - The child protection plan will also remain with the area who initiated the plan if the family moves so frequently that the child's welfare cannot be adequately monitored. The local authority holding the case responsibility should share information with each successive authority that the fa

1.16 Children and families moving across local authority boundaries

Transfer of responsibilities - Children’s social care services are normally provided by the local authority for the area where the child is living or is found. For these purposes, 'found' means the physical location where the child suffers, or is identified to be at risk of, harm or neglect. However, where a child is

1.16 Children and families moving across local authority boundaries

Time-limited moves - There may be circumstances where the child protection plan specifies a move out of an authority for a time-limited period. For example: the child temporarily stays with friends/family in another authority there is a time-limited placement in a residential or mother and baby unit in another

1.16 Children and families moving across local authority boundaries

Responding to children and families moving into a new area - All agencies in contact with families who have moved, must establish basic information (i.e. full names, dates of birth, previous address, registration with doctor and enrolment in school etc.). The relevant agency must be notified if a child is not appropriately registered/enrolled. Facil

1.16 Children and families moving across local authority boundaries

Children in receipt of services as a ‘child in need’ - Where a child who is receiving services as a ‘child in need’ (but is not looked after or subject to a child protection plan) moves it is normally advisable that assessments, enquiries or particular pieces of work or treatment are concluded before any transfer of case responsibility tak

1.17 Child deaths

Responsibilities of organisation and agencies when an unexpected child death has been reported - The police will begin an investigation into the sudden or unexpected death on behalf of the coroner. The Designated Paediatrician (or equivalent nominated professional) should initiate an immediate information sharing and planning discussion between the lead agencies (for example, health,

1.17 Child deaths

Each LSCB must ensure that a review is undertaken of every child death in their area by a Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP). The death of a child is a tragedy and enquiries should keep an appropriate balance between forensic and medical requirements and supporting the family at a difficult

1.17 Child deaths

Unexpected child deaths - An unexpected child death is defined as the death of a child which was not anticipated as a significant possibility 24 hours before the death, or where there was a similarly unexpected collapse leading to, or precipitating, the events that led to the death. Unexpected deaths can occur when

1.17 Child deaths

Responding to an unexpected child death - IMPORTANT: if at any stage in the process described below information arises that suggests there are safeguarding concerns about surviving children in the household, then a referral should be made to the relevant local authority children’s social care in accordance with chapter 5 of the

1.17 Child deaths

Reporting the death of a child - Professionals responding to a child's death should inform: the coroner, within one working day for unexpected child deaths the Designated Person (see below), and the police and Designated Paediatrician (or equivalent) if the death is unexpected or the cause of death is uncertain: see proce

1.17 Child deaths

Child Death Overview Panels - Membership of Child Death Overview Panels (CDOPs) Each CDOP will have a fixed core membership drawn from the organisations represented on the LSCB and should include a professional from public health as well as other health professionals. In addition to the core members, the Panel may choo

1.18 Additional guidance

West Midlands Protocol - Protecting Children who Move Across Local Authority Borders - West Midlands Protocol - Protecting Children who Move Across Local Authority Borders

1.18 Additional guidance

Assessments under The Children Act 1989 - Local authority children’s social care assess the needs of individual children to determine which services to provide and what action to take. The full set of statutory assessments available under the Children Act 1989 are described on this page. Section 17 assessment of a ‘child in ne

1.18 Additional guidance

West Midlands Joint Protocol - Child Protection Enquiries and Related Criminal Investigations - West Midlands Joint Protocol - Child Protection Enquiries and Related Criminal Investigations

1.18 Additional guidance

Inter-authority arrangements for child protection enquiries - Responsibility for section 47 enquiries rests with the local authority children’s social care for the area where the child is living or is found. For these purposes, 'found' means the physical location where the child suffers, or is identified to be at risk of, harm or neglect. Usually t

1.18 Additional guidance

Medical evidence - Where the child requires medical attention (for example, suspected fractures, bleeding, loss of consciousness), they should be taken to the nearest emergency department. In other circumstances where a medical assessment may be required, the strategy meeting/discussion will determine, in co

1.18 Additional guidance

Looked after children and child protection conferences - When a child with a child protection plan becomes ‘looked after’ by the local authority, in most cases it will no longer be necessary to maintain the child protection plan. Similarly, children who are already looked after will not usually be the subject of child protection conferences.

1.18 Additional guidance

Involving the child, their parents and family - It is important that the principles of partnership with the child, their parents and family are maintained throughout the child protection process. Listening to and involving the child The interests of the child must always remain at the centre of the child protection process. The child sh

1.18 Additional guidance

Pre-birth procedures - Referral Where agencies or individuals anticipate that prospective parents may need support services to care for their baby or that the unborn child may have suffered, or be likely to suffer, significant harm, a referral to local authority children's social care must be made as soon as con

1.18 Additional guidance

Review conferences - Review conferences consider whether the child protection plan should continue or should be changed. They review whether the child is continuing to suffer, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, and review developmental progress against the child protection plan outcomes. Thorough regula

1.18 Additional guidance

The concept of significant harm - The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of significant harm as the threshold which justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interests of children. Section 47 of the Act places a duty on local authorities to make enquiries, or cause enquiries to be made, where it ha

1.18 Additional guidance

The assessment framework - The assessment stage involves gathering and analysing information under the three domains of the assessment framework. These are the: child’s developmental needs parents’ or caregivers’ capacity to respond appropriately impact of the wider family and environmental factors on parentin

1.18 Additional guidance

Transfer-in conferences - Transfer-in conferences should take place when a child who is the subject of a child protection plan moves, or plans to move, permanently from one local authority area to another. (A permanently move is usually defined as a period of more than 3 months.) A Transfer-in conference has the sa

1.18 Additional guidance

Definitions of abuse and neglect - Child abuse occurs throughout society and affects children of all ages. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Physical abuse Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocatin

1.18 Additional guidance

Adult with care and support needs - The adult safeguarding duties under the Care Act 2014 apply to an adult, aged 18 or over, who: has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect as a result of those care and support needs i

1.18 Additional guidance

Complaints by children and/or parents - Parents and, on occasion, children may wish to make representations or complain in respect of one or more of the following aspects of the functioning of child protection conferences: The process of the conference. The outcome, in terms of the fact of and/or the category of primary concern

1.18 Additional guidance

Children on child protection plans who go missing - Any professional/agency who becomes aware that a child who is subject to a child protection plan is missing must inform the lead social worker/manager and agency designated/lead professional immediately. Also see regional procedure on Children missing from care, home and education. The lea

1.18 Additional guidance

Visually recorded interviews - Visually recorded interviews serve two primary purposes: Evidence gathering in a criminal investigation. Evidence to be presented in court in criminal proceedings. Relevant information can also be used to inform section 47 Enquiries, subsequent civil childcare proceedings or disciplinary p

1.2 Early help

Providing ‘early help’ is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting when problems become more serious. This help may be needed at any point in a child’s life, from early to teenage years. All professionals, particularly those in universal services, should be a

1.3 Sharing information

Disclosure of information in cases of alleged child abuse and linked criminal and care directions hearings - The 2013 Protocol and Good Practice Model: disclosure of information in cases of alleged child abuse and care directions hearings (‘2013 Protocol’) was published on 17 October 2013 and came into force on 1 January 2014. The 2013 Protocol deals with all aspects of information exchange f

1.3 Sharing information

Sharing information between professionals and local agencies is essential to provide effective early help and to put in place child protection services. Often it is only when information is shared that it becomes clear a child may be at risk of significant harm. Indeed, Serious Case Review

1.4 Responding to concerns about a child

Responding to concerns about a child Anyone who has concerns about a child’s welfare should make a referral to local authority children’s social care. This includes professionals who work with children and their families but could also be the child themselves, family members or members

1.5 Referrals

Professional responsibilities Professionals in all agencies have a responsibility to refer a child to local authority children's social care when it is believed or suspected that the child or unborn child: has suffered significant harm is likely to suffer significant harm has a disability,

1.6 Assessment

A frequent outcome of a referral will be a decision that further assessment is required by local authority children’s social care. The type of assessment will depend on the child: a summary of the full set of statutory assessments available under the Children Act 1989 is available Pre-b

1.6 Assessment

The purpose of assessment - Whatever formal legislation the child is assessed under, the purpose of the assessment is always: 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

1.6 Assessment

The assessment process - All assessments should be planned and co-ordinated by a lead social worker. This will ensure that the child does not become lost between the different agencies involved and their different procedures. The lead social worker should ensure that the purpose of the assessment is transparent,

1.6 Assessment

Principles of a good assessment - All local authorities and their partner agencies in the wider West Midlands have developed and published their local frameworks for assessment. These ensure that all assessments: are child centred and focussed on the child’s best interests are rooted in child development and informed by

1.6 Assessment

Outcomes of an assessment - Every assessment should be focussed on outcomes, deciding which services and support to provide in order to improve the welfare of the child. The possible outcomes of the assessment are: No further action. A referral to early help services. The development of a multi-agency child in need p

1.7 Immediate protection

Where there is a risk to the life of a child, or the possibility of serious immediate harm, an agency with statutory child protection powers (the police, NSPCC or local authority children's social care in the area where the child is ‘found’) should act quickly to secure the immediate s

1.8 Strategy meeting/discussion

Frequency - Strategy meetings/discussions should be convened as soon as practicable bearing in mind the needs of the child and must take place within three working days of child protection concerns being identified, except in the following circumstances: For allegations/concerns indicating a serious r

1.8 Strategy meeting/discussion

Recording - Irrespective of whether the strategy meeting/discussion takes the form of a telephone discussion or face-to-face meeting, it is the responsibility of the chair to ensure that the decisions and agreed actions are fully recorded. All agencies attending should take notes of the actions agreed

1.8 Strategy meeting/discussion

Outcomes of the strategy meeting/discussion - The strategy meeting/discussion should: decide whether, or how, section 47 enquiries should be pursued and produce a plan for carrying out the enquiries agree an interim multi-agency plan to adequately safeguard the child or children during the period between the strategy meeting/discussio

1.8 Strategy meeting/discussion

The purpose of a strategy meeting/discussion - A strategy meeting/discussion is an opportunity to share as much of the available information as possible between participants to inform the next steps. In addition to sharing information, the meeting/discussion should be used to: agree the conduct and timing of any criminal investigation

1.8 Strategy meeting/discussion

Professional representation - The strategy meeting/discussion should be convened by local authority children's social care. In addition to children's social care, the police and relevant health professionals, the meeting/discussion should involve all other agencies (for example, schools and nurseries) who hold informat

1.8 Strategy meeting/discussion

Initiating a strategy meeting/discussion - In deciding whether to call a strategy meeting/discussion, the local authority children's social care should consider the: seriousness of the concern(s) repetition or duration of concern(s) vulnerability of child (through age, developmental stage, disability or other pre-disposing factor)

1.8 Strategy meeting/discussion

Whenever there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, a strategy meeting/discussion should be held. Strategy discussions should ideally be face-to-face but telephone discussions (for example, by a conference call or virtual meeti

1.9 Child protection enquiries

Initiating a child protection enquiry - A section 47 enquiry is normally initiated following a strategy meeting/discussion. When a section 47 enquiry is initiated, even when there has been a recent assessment, local authority children's social care will normally inform the family of the cause for concern unless to so would place

1.9 Child protection enquiries

Duty to conduct section 47 enquiries - Where a child is suspected to be suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm, the local authority is required by section 47 of the Children Act 1989 to make enquiries to enable it to decide whether it should take action to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child. A section 47 e

1.9 Child protection enquiries

Outcome of section 47 enquires - At the completion of a section 47 enquiry, local authority children's social care must evaluate and analyse all the information gathered and determine if the threshold for significant harm has been reached. The outcome of the section 47 enquiries may reflect that the original concerns are:

1.9 Child protection enquiries

Conducting a section 47 enquiry - Multi-agency checks The social worker must contact the other agencies involved with the child to inform them that a child protection enquiry has been initiated. The relevant agency should be informed of the reason for the enquiry, whether or not parental consent has been obtained, and aske

1.9 Child protection enquiries

For more detailed information on child protection enquiries, see the West Midlands Joint Protocol: Child Protection Enquiries and Related Criminal Investigations or West Mercia Police and Children Services Protocol - Section 47 Enquiries and Criminal Investigations (please note that this

2.10 Information sharing and confidentiality

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

2.10 Information sharing and confidentiality

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme - See also: Domestic Violence and Abuse procedure. The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (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 with someone they know, where there is a conc

2.10 Information sharing and confidentiality

Consent to information sharing - When any agency considers that it will need to share information in order to promote the wellbeing of a child under 16, consent should be obtained from a parent or other person with parental responsibility. In relation to young people of 16 and over, they have the right to give and withhol

2.1 Children affected by gang activity and youth violence

Protection and action to be taken - Any agency or practitioner who has concerns that a child may be at risk of harm as a consequence of gang activity should contact children’s social care or the police for the area in which the child is currently located. The Referrals Procedure should be followed. The Common Assessment F

2.1 Children affected by gang activity and youth violence

Gang injunctions - “Gang injunctions offer local partners a way to intervene and engage a young person aged 14-17 with positive activities, with the aim of preventing further involvement in gangs, violence and/or gang-related drug dealing activity.” Home Office, June 2015 The Serious Crime Act 2015 has

2.1 Children affected by gang activity and youth violence

Indicators - Child becomes withdrawn from their family. Sudden loss of interest in school or change in behaviour. Decline in attendance or academic achievement (although it should be noted that some gang members will maintain a good attendance record to avoid coming to notice). Being emotionally ‘swi

2.1 Children affected by gang activity and youth violence

Risks - The risk or potential risk of harm to the child may be as a victim, a perpetrator or both – in relation to their peers or to a gang-involved adult in or attached to their household. Teenagers can be particularly vulnerable to recruitment into gangs and involvement in gang violence. This

2.10 Information sharing and confidentiality

Introduction - Sharing information is vital for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children to facilitate early intervention to ensure that children with additional needs receive the services they require and that children are protected from abuse and neglect. Often, it is only when information fr

2.1 Children affected by gang activity and youth violence

Definition - Defining a gang is difficult. They tend to fall into three categories: peer groups, street gangs and organised crime groups. It is common for groups of children and young people to gather together in public places to socialise. Although some peer group gatherings can lead to increased an

2.1 Children affected by gang activity and youth violence

Issues - Children involved in gangs are very likely to be previously known to other services for offending behaviour or school exclusion. Common issues faced by girls and young women affected by sexual violence by gangs include domestic violence, drug and alcohol misuse, school exclusion and going

2.1 Children affected by gang activity and youth violence

Further information - Safeguarding Children and Young People who May be Affected by Gang Activity Reducing Knife, Gun and Gang Crime Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups (CSEGG) Girls and Gangs, The Centre for Social Justice, 2014 (Research Paper) Ending Gang and Youth Violence Community

2.10 Information sharing and confidentiality

Disclosure of information without consent - Disclosure of information without consent must be justifiable, as set out above. Where information is disclosed without consent, the decision and the reasons for it must be recorded, as well as the matters listed above. In addition, the person making the disclosure must advise the recipien

2.10 Information sharing and confidentiality

Disclosure of information with consent - Information should only be shared on a need-to-know basis, i.e. necessary for the purpose for which they are sharing it and shared only with those people who need it. Practitioners should ensure that the information they share is accurate, factual and up-to-date; where opinion is given, th

2.10 Information sharing and confidentiality

Where information may be shared without consent - In some circumstances, it is not appropriate to seek consent before sharing information with others and/or information can be shared where consent has been refused. This may be the case where making a referral to Children’s Social Work Services under the Referrals procedure. Information

2.10 Information sharing and confidentiality

Confidential information and the public interest - Confidential information is information of some sensitivity, which is not public knowledge, and which has been shared in a relationship where the person giving the information understood that it would not be shared with others. Confidence is only breached where the sharing of confidential

2.10 Information sharing and confidentiality

Further guidance - For further detailed guidance, see Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (March 2015).

2.11 Self-harm and suicidal behaviour

Causes - There are a number of risk factors that make a child or young person vulnerable to self-harm or suicidal behaviour, including: depression or anxiety low self-esteem abuse or neglect poor parental relationships or parental separation hopelessness domestic violence loneliness bullying, inclu

2.11 Self-harm and suicidal behaviour

Further information - Guidance for Developing a Local Suicide Prevention Action Plan: Information for Public Health Staff in Local Authorities. Public Health England. 2014. Managing self-harm in young people. Royal College of Psychiatrists. 2014. Self-harm Quality Standard. National Institute for Health and Ca

2.11 Self-harm and suicidal behaviour

Confidentiality and consent - Children and young people need to be made aware that it may not be possible for their support workers to offer complete confidentiality. If a child or young person is at serious risk of harming themselves or others, confidentiality cannot be kept. This must be explained at the outset of an

2.11 Self-harm and suicidal behaviour

Responding to self-harm or suicidal behaviour - If there is concern that a child or young people is self-harming or is demonstrating suicidal behaviour, it is important that that is a supportive response that demonstrates respect and understanding of the child or young person, and is non-judgemental. When an incident of self-harm/suicid

2.11 Self-harm and suicidal behaviour

Warning signs - Children or young people who are self-harming or who are contemplating suicide may display changes in behaviour, for example: physical marks on the body changes in mood lowering of school grades becoming withdrawn changes in eating or sleeping habits expressing feelings of hopelessness or

2.11 Self-harm and suicidal behaviour

Definition - Self-harm Self-harm is any behaviour where the intent is to deliberately cause self-harm. This could include: cutting swallowing hazardous material or substances burning over/under-using medication, e.g. insulin hitting/punching skin picking/scratching/hair pulling taking an overdose of ta

2.11 Self-harm and suicidal behaviour

These guidelines are to help people working with children and young people to support people up to the age of 18 who are harming themselves or displaying suicidal behaviour. Any agency/practitioner who is made aware of a child or young people self-harming or contemplating suicide must take

2.12 Children of parents with mental health problems

Risks - A child who has suffered, or is likely to suffer significant harm or whose well-being is affected by parental mental illness could be a child: who features within parental delusions who is involved in his/her parent’s obsessional compulsive behaviours who becomes a target for parental ag

2.12 Children of parents with mental health problems

Definition - The term ‘mental health problem’ does not in itself have one clear definition, and therefore the existence of mental health problems should not be taken as a risk factor without contextual information. ‘Mental health problems can affect the way you think, feel and behave. They affect

2.12 Children of parents with mental health problems

Indicators - To determine how a parent/carer’s mental health problem may impact on their parenting ability and the child’s development the following questions need to be considered within an assessment: Does the child take on roles and responsibilities within the home that are inappropriate? Does t

2.12 Children of parents with mental health problems

Protection and action to be taken - If there are concerns, it may be the case that the child and family will find early help services supportive and an assessment of the needs of the child should take place at an early stage for example by using the framework for assessment or Early Help (EH) Assessment taking place. Where i

2.12 Children of parents with mental health problems

Issues - Not all children who are cared for by a parent who has a mental health problem will experience difficulties – adverse effects are less likely when appropriate supervised treatment is provided, and when the mental health problem is mild, lasts a short time, is not associated with family d

2.12 Children of parents with mental health problems

Further information - Children's Needs - Parenting Capacity Mental Health and Growing Up (Royal College of Psychiatrists) Learning from Serious Case Reviews (NSPCC)

2.13 Families who resist change (including disguised compliance)

Protection and action to be taken - When a professional feels that a family may be resisting change that is necessary to safeguard the child’s welfare, they should: assess the evidence consult other professionals revisit the causes for concern weigh the level of resistance and the seriousness of the concerns ensure that ag

2.13 Families who resist change (including disguised compliance)

Summary - If it has been agreed that change is necessary to safeguard the child’s welfare, the agreed plan has not been effective unless there is progress in achieving that change. If the frequency of contact with the child is inadequate, it is not possible to know whether the risk is increasing,

2.13 Families who resist change (including disguised compliance)

Further information - Effective practice to protect children living in ‘highly resistant’ families (British Association of Social Workers)

2.13 Families who resist change (including disguised compliance)

Introduction - This guidance addresses issues that arise when working with families who are difficult to engage. Resistance may be expressed in aggression, in open refusal to cooperate, or in missed appointments and other forms of avoidance, or it may be masked by superficial cooperation. The common feat

2.13 Families who resist change (including disguised compliance)

Practice implications - The techniques by which parents/carers resist change tend to draw attention toward their needs and away from the child’s needs, and to draw the focus of work toward achieving their cooperation rather than ensuring that the child receives adequate care. The effect of this is to create a s

2.13 Families who resist change (including disguised compliance)

Indicators - Resistance may be expressed in overt refusal to cooperate with services to protect children at risk of harm. Resistance may be masked by outward compliance which is not carried through in practice, for example when parents/carers fail to carry out agreed tasks, or where there are repeated

2.14 Persons posing a risk to children

Definition - The terms ‘Schedule One Offender’ and ‘Schedule One Offence’ used to be commonly used for anyone convicted of an offence against a child listed in Schedule One of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. However, a conviction for an offence in Schedule One does not trigger any stat

2.14 Persons posing a risk to children

Further information - MAPPA Guidance Sexual Offences Act 2003 PPRC Multi-agency Good Practice Guidance Manual

2.14 Persons posing a risk to children

Indicators - Home Office guidance (Guidance on offences against Children, Home Office Circular 16/2005) explains how those who present a risk to children should be identified. The circular explains that the present method of automatically identifying as a risk to children an offender who has been convi

2.14 Persons posing a risk to children

Issues - The Sex Offenders Register and Other Legal Measures The notification requirements of Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (known as the Sex Offenders Register) are an automatic requirement on offenders, including young people, who have offended and who receive a conviction or caution for

2.14 Persons posing a risk to children

Protection and action to be taken - Once an individual has been sentenced and identified as presenting a risk to children, agencies have a responsibility to work collaboratively to monitor and manage the risk of harm to others. Where the offender is given a community sentence, offender managers monitor the individual’s ris

2.14 Persons posing a risk to children

Risks - The National Offenders Management Service (NOMS) assesses the risk of harm and the Youth Justice Board assesses the risk for under 18 year olds. There are four levels of risk: Low: current evidence does not indicate likelihood of causing serious harm. Medium: identifiable indicators of ris

2.15 Children from abroad

Practitioners should never lose sight of the fact that children and young people from abroad are children first, which may be forgotten in the face of legal and cultural complexities. The child’s immigration status should not affect the quality of care, support and services that are prov

2.15 Children from abroad

Further information - UK Visas and Immigration (formerly the UK Border Agency) Response to Unaccompanied Asylum-seeking Children (2013) A response to the inspection report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration into the handling of asylum applications made by unaccompanied children. Immig

2.15 Children from abroad

Definition - This procedure is concerned with children arriving into the UK: in the care of adults who, whilst they may be their carers, have no parental responsibility for them in the care of adults who have no documents to demonstrate a relationship with the child alone in the care of agents. Eviden

2.15 Children from abroad

Basic information - Whenever any professional comes across a child who they believe has recently moved into this country the following basic information should be sought: Confirmation of the child's identity and immigration status. Confirmation of the carer's relationship with the child and immigration status

2.15 Children from abroad

Unaccompanied children and young people - 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. They are the responsibility

2.15 Children from abroad

The assessment - The assessment has to address not only the barriers which arise from cultural, linguistic and religious differences, but also the particular sensitivities which come from the experiences of many such children and families. The needs of the child have to be considered, based on an account g

2.15 Children from abroad

Immigration status - Immigration legislation impacts significantly on work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people from abroad. 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, c

2.15 Children from abroad

National Referral Mechanism - If there are concerns that a child is a victim of trafficking, the practitioners will need to inform the National Referral Mechanism, which is a framework for identifying victims of human trafficking or modern slavery and ensuring they receive the appropriate support. The child’s details

2.15 Children from abroad

Independent Family Returns Panel - 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

2.15 Children from abroad

Age assessments - 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 so that services are age and developmentally appropriate. Unaccompanied children very rarely have possession of any documents to confirm

2.15 Children from abroad

Children or young people arriving with, or to be with, an adult who is not the parent - Children who arrive in the UK with or to be with carers without parental responsibility may have leave to enter the country or visas or they may be in the UK unlawfully. When an unaccompanied child or child accompanied by someone who does not have parental responsibility comes to the at

2.16 Children living away from home

Risks - Children living away from home are particularly vulnerable to being abused by adults and peers. Limited and sometimes controlled contact with family and carers may affect a child’s ability to disclose what is happening to them. Given that many young people live away from home because of

2.16 Children living away from home

Definition - A child is determined as living away from home when they are in a local authority foster placement, a private fostering placement, a children’s home, in hospital, in a residential school or in a custodial setting. Everywhere children live should provide the same basic safeguards against

2.16 Children living away from home

Issues - In some instances, the type of accommodation may complicate this process; all draw a wider group of professionals into the matter. Specific issues to consider in different settings are as follows: Foster care When the concerns relate to a child placed in a foster home outside the area of t

2.16 Children living away from home

Protection and action to be taken - The most important aspect is the need to listen to children to ensure that they have the mechanism for talking about concerns with people that they trust who are prepared to act on the child’s concerns. All settings must ensure that: Children have ready access to a trusted adult outside

2.17 Recruitment, supervision and training

Supervision - Supervision enables workers to develop their capacity to use their experiences to review practice, receive feedback on their performance, build emotional resilience and think reflectively about the effectiveness of the professional relationships they have formed with children, adults and f

2.17 Recruitment, supervision and training

Further information - A guide to eligibility for criminal record checks Supervision of activity with children Care Quality Commission – Disclosure and Barring Service Checks Staffing and Employment: Advice for schools Keeping Children Safe in Education

2.17 Recruitment, supervision and training

Disclosure and Barring Checks (DBS) - The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) provides two levels of disclosures which are of relevance to employers (standard and enhanced disclosures), and one or other must be sought with respect to all candidates who seek to work with children.   The requirement to seek an enhanced DBS dis

2.17 Recruitment, supervision and training

Induction of newly appointed staff - For all new staff working with children, including agency staff, their induction must cover safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare as outlined in local LSCB training strategies. This must include: an introduction to the organisation’s child protection policy and procedures ident

2.17 Recruitment, supervision and training

Recruitment process - Agencies should develop detailed internal procedures for recruitment to jobs and volunteer positions that involve working with children and young people, including ensuring that: job descriptions and person specifications reflect professional practice requirements previous employer referen

2.17 Recruitment, supervision and training

Recruitment recording - All documentation relating to the recruitment of staff must be retained on file in line with each individual employer’s records retention practices and in line with the Data Protection Act 1998. Any check completed should be confirmed in writing and retained on the candidate’s personne

2.17 Recruitment, supervision and training

Definition - All statutory and public organisations (including non-regulated activity) which employ staff and/or volunteers to work with or provide services for children have a duty to safeguard and promote the children’s welfare. This includes ensuring that safe recruitment and selection procedures

2.17 Recruitment, supervision and training

Protection and action to be taken - Safeguarding Children Board member agencies should contact their HR department for information about their own agencies safer recruitment and selection procedures. Other organisations who employ people who work with children, e.g. private or voluntary sector, who do not have access to advi

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Definition - Many young people will develop a healthy and developmentally appropriate interest in sexual relationships whilst they are still children and some will do this before they reach the age of consent. The legal age for young people to consent to have sex is still 16, whether they are straight,

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Introduction - This procedure is designed to assist professionals in identifying where children and young people’s sexual relationships may be abusive and therefore may need the provision of protection or additional services. It is based on the core principle that the child’s welfare is paramount, an

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Risks - In assessing the nature of any particular behaviour, practitioners must look at the facts of the actual relationship between those involved. Power imbalances are very important and can occur through differences in size, age and development and where gender, sexuality, race and levels of se

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Consent and the law - Sexual consent means being able to say yes and agreeing to sexual activity or sex. Consent in relationships is about an individual being in control and saying yes to doing things because they choose to – not because they are being pressured or under coercion. The age of consent (the lega

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Protection and action to be taken - Interventions must be aimed at protection of vulnerable children and the provision of information and contraception (where appropriate) for other young people. In working with young people, it must always be made clear to them that absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, and that th

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Issues - Decisions to share information with parents and carers will be taken using professional judgement, consideration of Fraser guidelines and in accordance with the local Information sharing procedure. Decisions will be based on the child’s age, maturity and ability to appreciate what is in

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Additional information - Sexual grooming Section 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 has been amended by the Serious Crime Bill (2015) and now makes it an offence for a person aged 18 or over to meet intentionally, or to travel with the intention of meeting a child under 16 in any part of the world, if he has met o

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Factors to consider - In order to determine whether the relationship presents a risk to the young person, the following factors must be considered. This list applies to both male and female young people, regardless of their sexuality. It is not exhaustive and other factors may need to be taken into account: The

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Sexual behaviours traffic lights tool - The tool uses a traffic light system (Brook Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool) to categorise the sexual behaviours of young people and is designed to help professionals: understand healthy sexual development and distinguish it from harmfulbehaviours assess and respond appropriately to s

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Young people under the age of 13 - Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, children under the age of 13 are not considered able or competent to give consent to sexual activity and penetrative sex is classed as rape. If a child under 13 years discloses penetrative sex or other sexual activity the practitioner must always discuss

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Young people between 13 and 15 - Sexual activity with a child under 16 is also a criminal offence. Where sexual activity involving a child aged 13–15 is a feature, the professional in consultation with the designated safeguarding  lead must consider carefully the nature of the relationship in light of all available inf

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Young people between 16 and 18 - Although sexual activity in itself is no longer an offence over the age of 16, young people under the age of 18 are still offered protection under the Children Act 1989/2004. Consideration still needs to be given to issues of sexual exploitation and abuse of power in circumstances outlined

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Peer on peer child abuse - The definition of sexual abuse by children is the same as for sexual abuse by adults. Abusive/inappropriate behaviour often characterised by a lack of true consent, the presence of a power imbalance and exploitation. The boundary between what is abusive and what is part of normal child

2.18 Sexually active children and young people (including under-age sexual activity)

Resources - Best practice guidance for doctors and health professionals on the provision of advice and treatment to young people under 16 on contraception, sexual and reproductive health (Department of Health) Brook Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Peer on peer abuse - Historically the focus has been on children and young people being sexually abused by adults. However, more and more we are becoming aware of abuse within peer relationships. This could involve: sharing or uploading of sexual images; forced or pressured activity in front of or with large g

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Diversity and hidden communities - Children and young people from black and minority ethnic communities may have specific vulnerabilities associated with their culture which could constitute a barrier to disclosing or reporting the abuse (for more information see Appendix A). Policies relating to honour-based violence and r

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Trafficking - Trafficking of children is defined as: Act: recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, and/or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation. Means: threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Risks - CSE is a form of child abuse and results in children and young people suffering significant harm. They will face serious risks to their physical, emotional and psychological health and wellbeing. Any child or young person may be at risk of CSE, regardless of their family background or othe

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Definition - Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is defined as: ‘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)

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Technology and the internet - Technology such as social networking sites, online gaming and apps that facilitate messaging or meeting strangers are playing an increasingly significant role in sexual exploitation, for example through their use to record abuse and share it with other like-minded individuals or as a mediu

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Offenders and locations - The perpetrators of CSE are not recognisable on sight and could be any gender, ethnicity, age, social or economic background. They may work alone or in groups and may be opportunistic, but are often well organised and use sophisticated tactics. Although this is a gendered crime most freque

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Issues - Working with sexually exploited children is a complex issue which can involve serious crime and investigations over a wide geographical area. Key principles in responding to child sexual exploitation were identified by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and set out in the See Me H

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Further information - Child sexual exploitation: definition and guide for practitioners (2017) Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation (2009) What to do if you suspect a child is being sexually exploited See Me Hear Me National Working Group Barnardos - Child Sexual Exploitation Tacklin

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Indicators - There is no definitive list of risk indicators and whilst the below may give an indication of behaviours to consider, further they should not be deemed exhaustive. Where there is no evidence of the indicators below but other behaviours or vulnerabilities are present that lead to a professi

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Consent - It must be noted that young people cannot legally consent to sex under the age of 16. Whilst the Sexual Offences Act 2003 recognises that mutually agreed, non-exploitative sexual activity between teenagers does take place and that often no harm comes from it, it acknowledges that this grou

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Use of language - Children who are identified as at risk of or victims of sexual exploitation must be recognised as victims. Practitioners must recognise that the circumstances of the exploitation and the process of targeting or grooming to which the perpetrator has subjected them may mean they do not recog

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Introduction - Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a national threat that transcends geographical boundaries and challenges our safeguarding response. The purpose of this procedure to help professionals to identify and respond where there is a concern that children and young people are at risk of or exper

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Protection and action to be taken - Professionals in all agencies working with children and young people should take responsibility to understand CSE so they are alert to the possibility that a child/young person for whom they have concerns may be at risk of being sexually exploited. They should discuss their concerns with

2.19 Child sexual exploitation

Appendix A - Children from black and ethnic minority communities (BME): Blackmail connected to shame and dishonour can be used as a method of control. In addition, if a child or young person from a BME community discloses they have been sexually exploited, they may face additional dangers from their fa

2.20 Children missing from care, home and education

Principles - Our overriding principle is ‘Every missing episode is potentially serious’.               Our joint aim is to reduce the incidence of all children and young people going missing, and if they do, to reduce the risk of them suffering harm and recover them to safety as soon as pos

2.20 Children missing from care, home and education

Introduction - The purpose of this procedure is to assist professionals in responding to children who go missing from home, care and education. The procedure has been devised in conjunction with Department for Education statutory guidance Children who run away or go missing from home or care (2014) and t

2.20 Children missing from care, home and education

Protection and action to be taken - In the event that a child cannot be located but the parent/carer has any concern about their whereabouts or safety or a risk the child may pose to others, there should be no delay in calling the police and reporting the child as missing. Initial action The expectation is that parents/carer

2.20 Children missing from care, home and education

Definitions - Based on the statutory guidance on Children who run away or go missing from home or care (2014), the definitions which should be used when working with children, young people and their families are set out as follows: Child: anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. ‘Children

2.20 Children missing from care, home and education

Children who are foreign nationals and go missing - Unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) 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 a

2.20 Children missing from care, home and education

Specific risks - Children who go missing may be at risk of harm from a number of different forms of exploitation and/or abuse; alternatively they may be going missing because they are already at risk of or experiencing such abuse or exploitation. Professionals should ensure they have an understanding of th

2.20 Children missing from care, home and education

Data collection - The Department for Education statutory guidance on children who run away or go missing from home or care states that: "Looked after children who go missing, or who are away from placement without authorisation, can be at increased risk of sexual or other forms of exploitation or of involve

2.2 Safeguarding children and young people against radicalisation and violent extremism

Introduction - The current threat from terrorism and extremism can involve the exploitation of vulnerable people, including children and young people. This can include involving them in extremist activity in the UK or abroad. Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 specifies that Local Safeguarding C

2.20 Children missing from care, home and education

Roles and responsibilities - In addition to the basic requirements in ‘Protection and Action to be Taken’, there are additional considerations for specific groups and situations that include additional statutory responsibilities and powers that are relevant in responding to  missing children and additional action

2.2 Safeguarding children and young people against radicalisation and violent extremism

Protection and action to be taken - Any practitioner identifying concerns about the child or young person should report them to the designated safeguarding lead in their organisation, who will discuss these concerns with the police. The Referrals Procedure should be followed. Consideration of referrals to the Channel program

2.2 Safeguarding children and young people against radicalisation and violent extremism

Indicators - Issues that may make an individual vulnerable to radicalisation can include: Identity crisis: Distance from cultural/religious heritage and uncomfortable with their place in society. Personal crisis: Family tensions; sense of isolation; adolescence; low self-esteem; disassociating from exi

2.2 Safeguarding children and young people against radicalisation and violent extremism

Definition - Radicalisation is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups. “Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty a

2.2 Safeguarding children and young people against radicalisation and violent extremism

Issues - Protecting children and young people from radicalisation and extremism requires careful assessment and working collaboratively across agencies as initially concerns may be inconclusive and protecting a child or young person against a potential risk can be dependent on a wider range of fact

2.2 Safeguarding children and young people against radicalisation and violent extremism

Risks - 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 in

2.2 Safeguarding children and young people against radicalisation and violent extremism

Further information - Educate Against Hate Prevent Strategy Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales Channel Duty Guidance: Protection vulnerable people from being draw into terrorism ADCS resources Radicalisation and Extremism Advice for Local Authorities – Protecting Children at Risk of Harm from Radica

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Professional response - There are three circumstances related to FGM which require identification and intervention: Where a child is at risk of FGM. Where a child has been abused through FGM. Where a prospective mother has undergone FGM.

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Identifying a child who has been subject to FGM or who is at risk of being abused through FGM - A child at risk of FGM Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in the community, need to be alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of or having experienced female genital mutilation. There are a range of potential indicators that a child may be at risk of FGM,

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Consequences of FGM - Many women in practising communities appear to be unaware of the relationship between female genital mutilation and its harmful health and welfare consequences, in particular the implications affecting sexual intercourse and childbirth, which occur many years after the mutilation has taken

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Description of FGM - Types of FGM                                 FGM has been classified by the WHO into four types: Type 1: Excision of the prepuce with or without excision of part or the entire clitoris Type 2: Excision of the clitoris with partial or total excision of the la

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Professionals and volunteers from all agencies responding to concerns - Overview of professional response Any information or concerns that a child is at risk of, or has undergone female genital mutilation should result in a child protection referral to LA Children’s Social Care/Police in line with the Referral procedure. As noted above, Regulated professio

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Adult social care - When information is received by Adult Social Care, in relation to an adult with care and support needs the referral must be discussed with the relevant Team Manager, who will inform the appropriate team in line with Safeguarding Adults and Childrens policies and procedures. In all cases, p

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Further information - AFRUCA (Child Protection of African Children) Forward (Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development) Multi Agency Practice Guidelines - Female Genital Mutilation (April 2016) Female Genital Mutilation and its Management (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 2015) Fe

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Information sharing - Professionals in all agencies need to be confident and competent in sharing information appropriately, both to safeguard children from being abused through FGM to receive physical, emotional and psychological help. Regulated professionals in health and social care professions and teachers

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Principles supporting this procedure - The following principles should be adopted by all agencies in relation to identifying and responding to children (and unborn children) at risk of, or who have experienced female genital mutilation and their parent(s): The safety and welfare of the child is paramount. All agencies act in th

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Agencies offering help and advice - Female Genital Mutilation Helpline - 0800 028 3550; fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk BCC Health Education Service - 0121 303 8200 Birmingham Against FGM – 0121 4641131 West Midlands Police - Investigative Training - 0121 626 5573 West Midlands Police - Public Protection Unit HQ - 0121 609 6909 Afric

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Local authority children’s social care - Children’s social care will investigate (initially) under Section 47 of the Children’s Act (1989). If a referral is received concerning one child, consideration must be given to whether siblings are at similar risk. Once concerns are raised about FGM, there should also be consideration

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Reducing the prevalence of FGM - The role of Local Safeguarding Children Boards Local Safeguarding Children Boards’ (LSCBs) duties and responsibilities include promoting activity amongst local agencies and in the community to: identify and prevent maltreatment or impairment of health or development, and ensure children

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Guidance - Professionals, volunteers and individuals coming across FGM for the first time can feel shocked, upset, helpless and unsure of how to respond appropriately to ensure that children are protected from harm. They may be afraid of tackling the issue due to perceived cultural sensitivities. Thi

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Context in which FGM occurs - Prevalence FGM is a deeply rooted tradition, widely practiced mainly among specific ethnic populations in Africa parts of Asia and the middle east. As a result of migration and refugee movements FGM is now being practised by ethnic minority populations in other parts of the world such as U

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Definition - The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines female genital mutilation (FGM) as: “all procedures which involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to female genital organs whether for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons” (WHO, 1996). FGM is also kno

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Legislation, policy and mandatory reporting of FGM - National legislation         In England, Wales and Northern Ireland all forms of FGM are illegal under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, and in Scotland it is illegal under the Prohibition of FGM (Scotland) Act 2005. (FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK since the Prohib

2.21 Female genital mutilation

Summary profile - It is illegal in the UK to subject a child to FGM or to take a child abroad to undergo FGM. It is also illegal to assist or encourage a child to perform FGM on themselves, or to aid, abet, counsel or procure a girl to have it done in the UK or abroad. FGM is a form of violence against fema

2.22 Trafficked children

What Trafficked Children Need -  Trafficked children need: professionals to be informed and competent in matters relating to trafficking and exploitation and to be supported by the line management structure someone to spend sufficient time with them to build up a level of trust separate interviews - at no stage should a

2.22 Trafficked children

Strategy Discussion and Section 47 Enquiries - The Strategy Discussion should decide whether to conduct a joint interview with the child or children and, if necessary, with the family or carers. Under no circumstances should the child and their family members or carers be interviewed together. The child should be offered an Independent

2.22 Trafficked children

Referrals - Any agency or individual practitioner or volunteer who has a concern regarding the possible trafficking of a child should immediately make a referral to Children's Social Care under their own Referrals Procedure. Practitioners should not do anything which would heighten the risk of harm or

2.22 Trafficked children

Support services and useful contacts - Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit (MSHTU) Barnardos National Counter Trafficking Service Support Line (0800 043 4303) Coram Children’s Legal Centre (0207 636 8505 for advice on the rights of asylum seeking and migrant children) Red Cross Family Tracing Service NSPCC Child Traffic

2.22 Trafficked children

Managing individual situations - Identification of trafficked children 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. The nationality or im

2.22 Trafficked children

These procedures provide 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.

2.22 Trafficked children

Trafficked children who are missing - 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

2.22 Trafficked children

Further information - Modern Slavery Act 2015 – Home Office Circular (Home Office, 2015) Trafficking Survivor Care Standards – Human Trafficking Foundation 2014 Care of unaccompanied and trafficked children: Statutory guidance for local authorities on the care of unaccompanied asylum seeking and trafficked

2.22 Trafficked children

Returning trafficked children to their country of origin - In many cases, trafficked children can apply for asylum to the UK Visas and Immigration. They may be granted temporary leave to remain, refugee status or humanitarian protection. For some, returning to their country of origin presents a high risk of being re-trafficked, further exploitatio

2.22 Trafficked children

Trafficked children who are looked after - Trafficked children identified as Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) should be accommodated by the local authority under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 (Hillingdon Judgement 2003).  The local authority may also give consideration to seeking an Interim Care Order – any dec

2.22 Trafficked children

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and your duty to notify - Specified public authorities now have a ‘duty to notify’ the Secretary of State of any individual encountered in England and Wales who they believe is a suspected victim of slavery or human trafficking. Specified public authorities include: A Chief Officer of Police for a police area T

2.22 Trafficked children

Definitions - Trafficking of children is defined as the "recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, and/or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation” (Article 3c of the United Nations Palermo Protocol 2000). Therefore any child moved for exploitative reasons is considered to be a traff

2.22 Trafficked children

Introduction - Child trafficking into and within the UK has become an issue of considerable concern to all professionals with responsibility for safeguarding children. National Crime Agency statistics since April 2014 show a significant increasing trend in the numbers of trafficked children being identif

2.22 Trafficked children

Important information about trafficking - Trafficking in people is a complex global business which drives significant financial benefits for traffickers. Trafficking is often systematic and organised, and can be carried out by individual adults or agents, family members or relatives or by an organised group or gang. Traffickers ca

2.23 Forced marriage

Initial steps - Remembering the ‘one chance rule’ the agency should carefully question the person concerned as cases are complex and highly sensitive to the individual. The reason behind the forced marriage may be due to sexuality or disability as well as cultural belief. The majority of victims will

2.23 Forced marriage

Procedures for safeguarding children, young people from incidents of forced marriage - Reports of forced marriage, including reports from victims who fear they may be forced to marry, must be taken seriously.  For all young people under the age of 18 years, it will be appropriate to deal with the situation as a child protection issue.  Information or a referral about force

2.23 Forced marriage

The ‘one chance’ rule - All practitioners working with victims of forced marriage need to be aware of the ‘one chance’ rule. That is, they may only have one chance to speak to a potential victim and may only have one chance to save a life. This means that all practitioners working within statutory agencies ne

2.23 Forced marriage

Legal position - There are criminal sanctions and civil remedies in relation to forced marriage. It is important to be guided by victims as to which route they wish to take. This is not an exhaustive list. In the case of safeguarding concerns any action taken should be supported by multi agency support thr

2.23 Forced marriage

Aggravating factors - There is evidence to suggest that there may be factors that increase the likelihood of someone being at risk of forced marriage. These factors include bereavement within the family. Occasionally, when a parent dies, especially the father, the remaining parent may feel there is more of an u

2.23 Forced marriage

Use of interpreters - Where necessary, the services of an interpreter should be sought who is appropriately trained. Careful consideration needs to be given as to the choice of the interpreter and to the information to which (s)he is to be made party. There must be consideration as to whether using an interpret

2.23 Forced marriage

Possible indicators that a child/young person or adult is at risk of/subject to forced marriage - People facing forced marriage may appear anxious, depressed and emotionally withdrawn with low self-esteem. They may come to the attention of practitioners for a variety of reasons. See Forced marriage victim indicators Whilst the factors set out in the diagram may be, collectively or ind

2.23 Forced marriage

Indicators - In cases of forced marriage, it is essential to consider other siblings in the family that may be at risk of, the same abuse. Accurate record keeping in all cases suspected forced marriage incidence is important. Records should: be accurate, detailed, clear and include the date use the per

2.23 Forced marriage

Appendix 3: Guidance on safety planning - Appendix 3: Guidance on safety planning

2.23 Forced marriage

Appendix 4: Flowchart for referral of a child/young person - Appendix 4: Flowchart for referral of a child/young person

2.23 Forced marriage

Appendix 2: Role and responsibility of key agencies - Role of Children’s Social Care Children’s social care has a duty under s.47 Children Act 1989 to make enquiries when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm. This includes allegations of abuse or neglect against a child.

2.23 Forced marriage

Appendix 1: Information required for all cases - Obtain details of the individual making the report, their contact details, and their relationship with the young person. Obtain details of the young person under threat including: Date of report Name of individual under threat Nationality/ethnicity Age Date and place of birth Passport deta

2.23 Forced marriage

Incidence of forced marriage - The government regards forced marriage as an abuse of human rights and a form of domestic abuse and, where it affects children and young people, child abuse. It can happen to both men and women although most cases involve young women and girls aged between 13 and 30. There is no ‘typical

2.23 Forced marriage

Further information - Relevant guidance The Right to Choose - Multi Agency Guidance in Relation to Forced Marriage (HM Government, June 2014). Multi Agency Practice Guidance: Handling Cases of Forced Marriage (June 2014) Guidance for Local Authorities on Applying for Forced Marriage Protection Orders, (Ministry

2.23 Forced marriage

Confidentiality - Confidentiality is an extremely important issue for any child/young person threatened with, or already in, a forced marriage. A breach of confidentiality could lead to the death of the adult, child or young person. Very careful consideration must be given to who is to be given what informa

2.23 Forced marriage

Reasons given for forced marriage - Cultural or religious traditions. Controlling unwanted behaviour including promiscuity or being gay or lesbian. Protecting ‘family honour’. Responding to peer group or family pressure. Attempting to strengthen family links. Ensuring land, property and wealth remain within the family. P

2.23 Forced marriage

The procedure provides information about forced marriage; the roles and functions of relevant agencies and the procedures practitioners should follow to ensure the safety and well-being of children who may be at risk, or are forced in to marriage. Also see Honour-based violence.

2.23 Forced marriage

Introduction - This policy and procedures document is produced to support all professionals working with, children, young people and their families in any capacity, to identify and respond to situations where they believe, a child or a young person may be at risk of or subject to a forced marriage.  The

2.23 Forced marriage

Definitions - Arranged marriage There is a clear distinction between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage. In arranged marriages, the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice of whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the people getting ma

2.23 Forced marriage

Religion and culture - There is a common misconception that forced marriages are confined to certain religious groups and cultures, however this is not the case. The practice of forced marriage is not confined to one culture or religious group and can happen regardless of ethnicity, culture, religion, disability

2.24 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.    H

2.24 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 tha

2.24 Honour-based violence

Also see Forced marriage. This procedure provides information about honour-based abuse; the roles and functions of relevant agencies and the procedures practitioners should follow to ensure the safety and well-being of children who may be at risk, or are abused in the so-called named of ho

2.24 Honour-based violence

Recognising honour-based violence - 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. When receiving a disclosure from a child, professionals should recognise the seriousness/immediacy of the risk

2.24 Honour-based violence

Further information - Below are some examples of national support agencies.  For a more extensive list please see page 67 of the HM Multi Agency Practice guidelines. Child Line: 0800 1111A service for any child or young person with a problem. Citizens Advice BureauOffering free, confidential and impartial inf

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

Families with additional vulnerabilities - All professionals should understand the following issues that children and their mothers may face, and take these into consideration when trying to help them: Culture: The culture amongst some communities means that it is often more difficult for women to admit to having marital problems.

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

Forced marriage and honour-based violence - Children and young people can be subjected to domestic abuse perpetrated in order to force them into marriage or to ‘punish’ him/her for bringing dishonour on the family. Whilst honour-based violence can culminate in the death of the victim, this is not always the case. The child or yo

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

Further information - National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: Domestic violence and abuse quality standard

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

Barriers to disclosure of domestic abuse - Mothers There are many reasons why a mother will be unwilling or unable to disclose that she is experiencing domestic abuse. Usually it is because she fears that the disclosure (and accepting help) will be worse than the current situation and could be fatal. A mother may:  minimise her ex

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

Substance misuse and mental health - Mothers Mothers who experience domestic abuse are more likely to use prescription drugs, alcohol and illegal substances. This can be part of a coping and safety strategy. Mothers may have started using legal drugs prescribed to alleviate symptoms of an abusive relationship. Mothers may tur

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

Impact of domestic abuse - The impact of domestic abuse and violence on children The risks to children living with domestic violence include: Direct physical or sexual abuse of the child. Research shows this happens in up to 60% of cases; also that the severity of the violence against the mother is predictive of the

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

An effective response to domestic abuse - Professionals’ responsibilites Explain the limits of confidentiality, and their safeguarding responsibilities, which will priortise the child and mothers safety. Professionals have a duty to protect the child/young person under the Children’s Act 1989 and 2004, Working Together to Safe

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

Domestic Violence Protection Orders and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme - Domestic Violence Protection Orders Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) were implemented across England and Wales from 8 March 2014. DVPOs were designed to provide immediate protection for a victim following a domestic abuse incident in circumstances where, in the view of the polic

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

Young people experiencing abuse in their own relationship - Young people aged under 16 years may find themselves in abusive intimate relationships, even if they do not live with their partner. They may also be at a higher risk of some forms of abuse such as honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). Women in the 16

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

Safety planning - A safety plan is a strategy that will support victims to seek help to secure their safety whilst at the same time not compromising them. Professionals should be mindful of the need to prioritise the safety of a/woman and her child and should be aware of the need to establish  a safety pla

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

Appendix 1: West Midlands Domestic Violence and Abuse Standards - Statutory organisations and specialist domestic abuse services across the West Midlands region (Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall & Wolverhampton) are committed to 11 standards of good practice. These West Midlands Domestic Violence and Abuse Standards are inten

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

Confidentiality and information sharing - Clarity about information sharing is essential and all agencies, including all voluntary and statutory agencies, should ensure that in sharing information they do so in line with agreed local protocols (see Information Sharing and Confidentiality procedure). It is vitally important that in

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

Definition - Domestic violence and abuse is defined by the Home Office as: “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 sex

2.25 Domestic violence and abuse

Introduction - The purpose of these procedures is to ensure that everyone working with children and young people and their families are alert to the impact of domestic abuse and the relationship between domestic abuse and the abuse and neglect of children, and is able to take action to safeguard children

2.3 Children of parents who misuse substances

Protection and action to be taken - Where there are concerns by practitioners involved with a family  about a child living in an environment of substance misuse this will always override legal, professional or agency requirements to keep information confidential. An assessment of the parent’s capacity to meet the child

2.3 Children of parents who misuse substances

Indicators - There are many reasons why adults take drugs or drink alcohol. If doing so has negative consequences then it may be regarded as misuse. Parents may be aware that their behaviour has a negative impact on their child, but there is a risk in focusing on the adult’s difficulty and in support

2.3 Children of parents who misuse substances

Definition - Substance misuse refers to the abuse of drugs and/or alcohol. Whilst there may be different treatment methodologies for adults with these problems, they are considered together because the consequences for the child are quite similar. Substance misuse refers to illicit drugs, alcohol, pres

2.3 Children of parents who misuse substances

Further information - Adfam (support to families affected by drugs and alcohol) Coap (Children Of Addicted Parents and people - the young people living with a family member with an addiction) Dual Diagnosis: A Good Practice Handbook NHS Choices Care Programme Approach Hidden Harm: Responding to the Needs of Chi

2.3 Children of parents who misuse substances

Risks - Substance misuse can consume a great deal of time, money and emotional energy, which will unavoidably impact on the capacity to parent a child. This behaviour also puts the child at an increased risk of neglect and emotional, physical or sexual abuse, either by the parent or because the ch

2.3 Children of parents who misuse substances

Issues - Parents’ own needs will need to be addressed and supported. Sometimes access to appropriate treatment resources is limited, which may cause delays in providing services however the child’s needs must not be put on hold without a contingency plan. Confidentiality is important in devel

2.4 Children with disabilities

Indicators - It is unacceptable for poor standards of care to be tolerated for children with disabilities, which would not be tolerated for children without a disability.  In addition to the universal indicators of abuse/neglect, the following behaviours should be considered as abusive: Force feeding.

2.4 Children with disabilities

Protection and action to be taken - It should be remembered that children with disabilities are children first and foremost, and have the same rights to protection as any other child. People caring for and working with children with disabilities need to be alert to the signs and symptoms of abuse. See responding to abuse and

2.4 Children with disabilities

Issues - Carers are relied upon (whether family or paid carers) as a source of information about children with disabilities and to interpret and explain behaviour or symptoms. Professional staff can potentially feel out of their depth in terms of knowledge of a child’s impairment, where the famil

2.4 Children with disabilities

Risks - Many factors can make a child with a disability more vulnerable to abuse than a child without a disability of the same age. Safeguarding children with disabilities demands a greater awareness of their vulnerability, individuality and particular needs. Children with disabilities are more vu

2.4 Children with disabilities

Law - The Children Act 1989 s17(1) creates a general duty on children’s services authorities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are ‘in need’. So far as is consistent with this duty, children’s services authorities must promote the upbringing of such c

2.4 Children with disabilities

Definition - Children with a disability are children first and foremost, and deserving of the same rights and protection as other children. By definition, any child with a disability may be eligible for assistance as a ‘child in need’. A child can be considered as having a disability if he/she has

2.4 Children with disabilities

Further information - Ofsted thematic inspection: Protecting Disabled Children Safeguarding Disabled Children: Practice Guidance Protecting Disabled Children: thematic inspection report

2.4 Children with disabilities

Special circumstances - In a pregnancy where a disability has been identified such as Down’s Syndrome or Spina Bifida, for example, and there are concerns around the unborn baby, the local Pre-birth Assessment process should be followed.

2.5 E-Safety: Children exposed to abuse through digital media

Further information - Behaviour that is illegal if committed offline is also illegal if committed online. If cases involve the criminal use of communication systems (i.e. through the use of mobile phones or the internet) the police will deal with them accordingly. Various criminal and civil laws can apply to an

2.5 E-Safety: Children exposed to abuse through digital media

Protection and action to be taken - If a child is at immediate risk of harm contact the police. Where there is suspected or actual evidence of anyone accessing or creating indecent images of children, concerns about a child being groomed, exposed to pornographic material or contacted by someone inappropriately, via the inter

2.5 E-Safety: Children exposed to abuse through digital media

Indicators - Often issues involving child abuse come to light through an accidental discovery of images on a computer or other device and can seem to emerge ‘out of the blue’ from an otherwise trusted and non-suspicious individual. This in itself can make accepting the fact of the abuse difficult f

2.5 E-Safety: Children exposed to abuse through digital media

Definition - Online or ‘E’-Safety are generic terms that refer to raising awareness about how children, young people and adults can protect themselves when using digital technology and in the online environment. ‘Online abuse’ relates to the following areas of abuse to children: Abusive images

2.5 E-Safety: Children exposed to abuse through digital media

Issues - When communicating via the internet, young people tend to become less wary and talk about things far more openly than they might when communicating face to face. Children and young people should be supported to understand that when they use digital technology they should not give out perso

2.5 E-Safety: Children exposed to abuse through digital media

Risks - Both male and female adults and some young people may use the internet to harm children. Some do this by looking at, taking and/or distributing photographs and video images on the internet of children in various states of undress, sexual poses and/or being sexually abused. Consideration sh

2.6 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Further information - Fabricated or Induced Illness (NHS Choices) Safeguarding Children in Whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced (supplementary guidance to Working Together to Safeguard Children), HM Government, 2008 Fabricated or Induced Illness by Carers: A Practical Guide for Paediatricians, Royal College of

2.6 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Risks - There are four main ways of the carer fabricating or inducing illness in a child: Fabrication of signs and symptoms, including fabrication of past medical history. Fabrication of signs and symptoms and falsification of hospital charts, records, letters and documents and specimens of bodily

2.6 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Definition - Previously known as Munchausens Syndrome by Proxy, fabricated or induced illness is a condition whereby a child suffers harm through the deliberate action of her/his main carer and which is attributed by the adult to another cause. It is a relatively rare but potentially lethal form of abu

2.6 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Protection and action to be taken - Fabricated and induced illness is a child protection issue and cannot be treated by the NHS alone but requires a truly multi-agency approach. However fabricated and induced illness should always be diagnosed by a senior, experienced paediatrician. Medical professionals who suspect fabricat

2.6 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Issues - Whilst cases of fabricated or induced illness are relatively rare, the term encompasses a spectrum of behaviour ranging from a genuine belief that the child is ill through to deliberately inducing symptoms by administering drugs or other substances. At the extreme end it is fatal, or has l

2.6 Fabricated or Induced Illness

Indicators - The following is a list of behaviours, exhibited by carers, which can be associated with fabricating or inducing illness in a child: Deliberately inducing symptoms in children by administering medication or other substances, or by means of intentional suffocation. Interfering with treatmen

2.7 Abuse linked to faith or belief

Definition - The term ‘belief in spirit possession’ is defined for the purposes of this guidance as the belief that an evil force has entered a child and is controlling him or her. Sometimes the term ‘witch’ is used to signify the belief that a child is able to use an evil force to harm others.

2.7 Abuse linked to faith or belief

Further information - 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 Engl

2.7 Abuse linked to faith or belief

Risks - 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. It is likely

2.7 Abuse linked to faith or belief

Law - Children Act 1989 Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 empowers local authorities to investigate a referral that a child may have suffered or is at risk of suffering harm. Whilst the Children Act 1989 does not mention the terms witchcraft or spirit possession, it does clarify what constitu

2.7 Abuse linked to faith or belief

Indicators - Concerns reported in the cases known from research have involved 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 o

2.7 Abuse linked to faith or belief

Protection and action to be taken - In any situation in which there are concerns for the safety and welfare of a child the Referrals procedure must be followed. An assessment should aim to fully understand the background and context to the beliefs and must involve the particular faith group or person performing or advising t

2.8 Bullying

Issues - Practitioners may often be in the position of having to deal with the perpetrators as well as the victims of bullying. Bullying behaviour may in itself be indicative of previous abuse or exposure to violence. Where bullying exists in the context of gang behaviour, there should be an instit

2.8 Bullying

Further information - Specialist organisations: The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA): Founded in 2002 by the NSPCC and the National Children’s Bureau, the ABA brings together over 100 organisations into one network to develop and share good practice across the whole range of bullying issues. Kidscape: Charity est

2.8 Bullying

Protection and action to be taken - All settings in which children are provided with services or are living away from home should have in place anti-bullying strategies and procedures on how to refer to children’s social care, if safeguarding children concerns are identified. See Referrals procedure and Assessment procedu

2.8 Bullying

Indicators - Any change in behaviour which indicates fear or anxiety is a potential indicator of bullying. Children may also choose to avoid locations and events which they had previously enjoyed - changes in attitude towards schools or organised activities are particularly significant. Any of the foll

2.8 Bullying

Risks - The child victim Any child may be bullied, but bullying often occurs if a child has been identified in some ways as vulnerable, different or inclined to spend more time on his or her own.  Children living away from home are particularly vulnerable to bullying and abuse by their peers. The

2.8 Bullying

Definition - Bullying is defined as ‘behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, which intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally’. Repeated bullying usually has a significant emotional component, where the anticipation and fear of being b

2.9 Neglect

Issues - Undertaking assessments A simple and helpful way to view neglect is to consider the needs of a child and whether or not their parents/carers are consistently meeting such needs. If not, neglect may be an issue.  Neglect is often more than a child being persistently hungry or dirty and pra

2.9 Neglect

Further information - Children with disabilities Children with disabilities are more vulnerable to neglect. Sullivan and Knutson (2000) suggest they are 3.8 times more likely to be neglected for various reasons, including the demands placed on the family’s capacity to care and children and young people not be

2.9 Neglect

Indicators - Neglect differs from other forms of abuse in that there is rarely a single incident or crisis that draws attention to the family. It is repeated, persistent neglectful behaviour that causes incremental damage over a period of time. There is no set pattern of signs that indicate neglect oth

2.9 Neglect

Definition - Neglect of children is one of the most difficult areas in child care and child protection to identify, communicate effectively to professionals, assess and intervene in. It is now emerging as the most common type of harm children experience although this has not always been the case which

2.9 Neglect

Risks - Neglect during the first two years has profound and lasting effects on brain development leading to later problems with self-esteem, emotional regulation and relationships. Neglect during the first five years of a child’s life is likely to damage all aspects of the child’s development.

2.9 Neglect

Avoidance - Difficulties in dealing with neglect may be compounded by avoidance by both families and practitioners. This can happen where families may miss appointments, ask to be seen away from their home or visitors may always be present when practitioners visit, making it difficult to discuss confi

2.9 Neglect

Protection and action to be taken - A whole system approach is vital in dealing with cases of neglect, in order that children and their families receive the right type of services when they need them. Children and their families may need to ‘step up and step down’ through the tiers of service. Practitioners need to take
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