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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 to safeguard and promote their welfare.
This document describes the core procedures that should be followed by professionals (including unqualified staff and volunteers) and managers in agencies who provide services for children, families or parents in the nine participating areas.
For these purposes a child is defined as any child or young person who has not yet reached their 18th birthday and the participating areas cover the following nine local authority areas: Birmingham, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Worcestershire.
These procedures are in line with the guidance in Working Together to Safeguard Children and underpinned by two key principles:
- Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility: for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part.
Children live in families and communities so everyone potentially has information that is important including: the child, family, neighbours, school, early years, NHS, and other services involved including adult services, private and third sector organisations, housing, police and probation services.
- A child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children.
Working Together to Safeguard Children defines safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children as:
- protecting children from maltreatment
- preventing impairment of children's mental and physical health or development
- ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care, and
- taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.