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1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

What is Neglect? - Medical - minimising or denying children’s illnesses and/or health needs. Failing to seek appropriate medical attention or administer medication and treatments.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Dealing with Concerns about Neglect - In many cases even with less serious cases neglect will require a ‘Child in Need’ assessment under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - GCP2 is a national document and is recognised as a ‘standard’ assessment tool, providing fidelity on what is assessed.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2) helps professionals measure the quality of care being given to a child. It's an assessment tool that helps them to spot anything that's putting that child at risk of harm.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - It is an engagement, assessment and outcomes tracking tool that enables organisations to measure and summarise change across a range of services and support families with different levels of needs. It is also a key work tool that can help parents make changes by providing them with a map o

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - It will always be necessary to establish the difficulties underlying the neglect of children and young people. Thorough assessment through a recognised tool of the cause of neglect is required rather than practitioners simply acting to relieve its symptoms, which is often the much repe

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Neglect cases are more likely than cases of physical or sexual harm to result in disagreement about the best course of action. When there has been an incident, discussion can be more concrete, but it is more difficult with neglect, as in the majority of cases the harm happens in a more sub

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - You have a duty to ensure the child is safeguarded and this duty does not stop once the referral is made. It must be followed up.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - If First Response decides that your concern does not meet the criteria for a S17 or S47 and you disagree with this decision you must escalate it through your line manager following the BSCB’s Escalation procedure.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - ‘Children are suffering significant harm due to thresholds, lack of resources, constant changes in social workers and staff sickness. There’s a danger of issues being missed and children being lost in the system’ (Jan, Social Worker) (Action for Children 2014)'

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Dealing with Concerns about Neglect - The threshold that permits compulsory intervention in family life, in the best interests of the child, is that of actual or likely significant harm. In cases of neglect it will be necessary to demonstrate that: the child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm; and the harm, o

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Dealing with Concerns about Neglect - Referral to the Early Help Panel is recommended when there are complex issues in a family which need a co-ordinated, multi-agency response at level 3 of the Threshold document.  This should be done via a Multi-Agency Referral Form to First Response.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - GCP2 shows: strengths weaknesses what needs to be changed. By working out what parents can do better, it's easier for the person working with a family to get them the right support to improve the life of their child.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Dealing with Concerns about Neglect - Where intervention for families who require support below the threshold for social care by a single agency does not alleviate concerns, consideration should be given to undertaking a multi-agency Early Help Assessment. This requires consent by the parent / carer and child/young person as a

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Dealing with Concerns about Neglect - In view of the impact of neglect on children’s wellbeing and development, early identification of concerns by Universal Services is crucial. Universal Services, such as health and education, can offer early intervention and additional support. Research into Serious Case Reviews has highl

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Dealing with Concerns about Neglect - There is no absolute way to judge the threshold for child protection intervention. In cases of neglect, the point at which this threshold is crossed depends upon a number of factors and relies on practitioner judgement and the completion of an accurate and effective assessment. Neglect 

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Dealing with Concerns about Neglect - Many cases of low level neglect will be managed by services other than social care. Support in learning new skills, advice about risks and harm and reminders help families create change in some situations of neglect where universal or targeted services are involved.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Dealing with Concerns about Neglect - 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. 3.10.83 Children and their families may need to “step up and step down” through the tiers of service. Practitioners need

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Guard against over optimism, adopt a balanced approach and beware of over emphasising positives at the expense of negatives, especially in situations where the standard of care fluctuates.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Be aware of the many factors that may affect a parent’s ability to care for a child and understand that these can have an impact on the child in many ways. These include parental learning disability, mental health problems, alcohol and substance misuse and domestic abuse.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Look at the whole picture – not only what has happened to the child but also the child’s health and development. Also the wider family and environmental context.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Build on families’ strengths, while addressing difficulties.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - It's important we find children who are at risk of harm as early as possible so we can get them the right help.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Professionals are specially trained to use the tool. They visit families at home to do an assessment, which is a bit like filling in a questionnaire. It's called Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2) because different aspects of family life are 'graded' on a scale of 1 to 5. Questions are broken d

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Focus on the impact of the circumstances on the child, including the likely long term impact.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Once small goals are reached build on these to strengthen parent’s confidence, but a the same time keep a check on whether these goals are sustainable.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Learning Lessons from National Serious Case Reviews - Written plans are too variable, there is evidence of some very good support for children that are meeting the short term needs of the family, however very little evidence of longer term support.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Learning Lessons from National Serious Case Reviews - Some assessments focus almost exclusively on the parents’ needs rather than analysing the impact of the adults’ behaviour on the child.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Learning Lessons from National Serious Case Reviews - There is often a failure to involve men/fathers as potentially protective influences who can contribute to a child’s wellbeing.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Learning Lessons from National Serious Case Reviews - The label of ‘low level neglect’ can downgrade thinking and activity and when coupled with parental hostility this can keep professionals at bay.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Learning Lessons from National Serious Case Reviews - Professionals are reluctant to reappraise a case and change their view when new information becomes available.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Learning Lessons from National Serious Case Reviews - Neglect is not always a high priority or seen as a medical emergency, but the potentially life threatening nature of neglect is especially relevant to a new born baby.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Learning Lessons from National Serious Case Reviews - A key message for professionals is the need to be alert to any changing patterns of cooperation with families: this is not always given the significance it merits, nor weighed up in terms of potential risk. When families withdraw, or there is poor or even non-attendance at appointments, th

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Be creative in how you work with the family. Use a range of techniques and resources in communicating and working with them. This is particularly important if the parents or children are disabled.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Record everything so that you can give evidence of progress and positive outcomes for children. For example you can say they have arrived at school on time with suitable lunchbox for three weeks running.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Families find it helpful to start with specific, small, achieveable goals, for example, preparing a suitable lunch box for children, getting them to school on time, keeping doctor’s appointments.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - GCP2 is designed to be used with families where someone is concerned about the care of a child.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Be specific in relation to the changes you expect and clear about the timescales in which you expect changes to be achieved. This is important from early intervention to when there is a child protection plan.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Make full use of existing sources of information, e.g. own agency files and databases (is the child subject to a child protection plan or a child in need plan?), others who know the child, the family themselves.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Emotional: love warmth reassurance boundaries listening security affection praise cuddles value nurture attachments attention respect time

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Social: friends family play fun freedom games stories outings childhood creativity

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Learning and Understanding: learning talking reading books counting teaching explaining encouraging stimulating curiousity

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Physical: home healthy food bed care regular meals baths space safety hygience exercise

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - It can be helpful to think about neglect in terms of what children need and out of the following list what the child is not receiving. When thinking about possible neglect consider the list below and whether there are concerns in any of these areas. This tool will contribute to an evidence

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Children should be consulted about what they think they need and their views respected. But it is the job of the adults who care for them to make the final decisions about what is in their best interests. A simple example is that young children may wish just to eat sweets or stay up very l

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - Anyone who visits the home can carry out a home conditions assessment, however care must be taken to accept that organisations can adapt the tool to meet their needs and more than one version may exist in each area.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals - This is a short assessment of the home conditions and their impact on the child/ren that live there. It considers 20 aspects such as odour, cleanliness and home maintenance. It concludes with a decision about the level of concern, what actions need to be taken, what tasks need to be done a

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Try to learn more about the history of the family. New incidents can then be seen as part of a pattern.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Having targets with timescales in plans will help identify when progress is not being made quickly enough and there should be contingency plans to ensure when things are not making progress there are different approaches identified.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Analysis requires the collation and evaluation of sometimes small and seemingly insignificant events that only when viewed together provide evidence that neglect is an issue of concern, assessments should triangulate between what is reported by family, what is known by other agencies and

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Observations of a poor parent-child relationship may indicate some level of neglect; stability and boundaries may have deteriorated through a lack of attachment or a breakdown in the relationship. In some cases a child may become the scapegoat in the family and suffer neglect in this si

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Giving children and teenagers inappropriate responsibilities to care for themselves and / or others or restricting activities which will impair health and development.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Immaturity / lack of experience / apathy / impulsive behaviour can all increase the risk of neglect to a child and the implications need to be assessed and understood to identify protective and harmful factors.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Childhood experience of abuse or neglect will increase the level of risk to the person’s own child. Children who suffer abuse or neglect may become more detached and lack empathy - this can affect their parenting capacity as adults.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Direct or indirect harm can arise through children being exposed to domestic abuse/ domestic violence (physical or emotional) in the home. Consider the long term implications for children growing up in such environments. Assess the impact of the violence and the atmosphere on the adults’

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Such difficulties can significantly impact upon parenting capacity. Seek specialist advice whenever this is identified as an issue to ensure the parents / carers are able to understand the information and advice they are being given and appropriate joint assessments of parental capacity ar

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Guard against cultural stereotypes as some parenting styles may not openly show displays of affection.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Evidence of these factors may suggest the psychological neglect of a child. It may be in the teenage years that this factor (either from earlier in life or at that stage of the teenager’s development), really impacts on their behaviour and their interaction with the social world around

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Look out for 'low warmth / high criticism' environments - these are amongst the most damaging to children. Within cases of neglect this concept can be particularly useful to practitioners when considering both the child’s needs and the parental / carer response to these.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - For teenagers, the poor parent-child relationship can be more complex to assess. Children may be protective of their parents or over-identify with their parents. They may cling to their parents and be overly cautious about taking on their own identity due to poor attachment.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Low maternal self-esteem can affect the 'normal' parental/child interactions and should be considered as an elevating risk factor when neglect is an issue of concern.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - It may have immediate and long term adverse consequences for their safety and wellbeing. Assessments should consider what responsibilities the child has, whether these are age appropriate and safe and whether they are having an impact on the child’s outcomes.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Assess the risk of immediate harm e.g. is the child exposed to drug paraphernalia or drugs/alcohol, is there a lack of adequate supervision and basic care food/hygiene/clothing. Older children/teenagers may end up caring for a parent who has a substance misuse problem or may find themselve

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Remember, the use of illegal drugs is time consuming for the adult; money has to be found to pay for the drugs, the drug supply has to be located and at times the adult will be under the influence or withdrawing. Similarly, the purchase of alcohol may involve a significant proportion of th

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - It is known that children whose parents have problematic substance misuse are harmed or are likely to be harmed and that their health, emotional, physical, educational and social welfare compromised.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Neglect is about a child’s needs being unmet to such a degree that ill-treatment or impairment of health and development, physical, emotional and social occurs. Neglectful care of children may also be found in families considered 'well off' and practitioner should guard against assumpti

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Guard against the risk of 'excusing' or explaining neglectful care because a family is in poverty. Neglect is not necessarily a consequence of poverty although poverty may make it more difficult to provide good care to a child, with problems accessing services or the financial ability to

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Parents can sometimes be supported by extended family and friends networks to improve care of their children. Family Group Conferences are a positive way of raising with a wider family network the unmet needs and how they can be met.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - The full extent of neglect will only be identified after a thorough assessment of the family. It is important that practitioners are sensitive to different family patterns and lifestyles and to child rearing patterns that vary across different ethnic, cultural and faith groups. Practitio

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Consider the capacity of parents in assessments, including the impact of their mental and emotional health and any learning disability. Reflect on any past practitioner involvement with the family; what has worked, has it been maintained? Why was it effective or why have things deteriorate

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - The serious neglect of older children and adolescents is often overlooked, on the assumption that they have the ability to care for themselves. Make sure your risk assessment focuses on the age of the child. Ask the question “what is it like for this child to live in this family/enviro

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Younger children are more at immediate risk when their needs are being neglected. Neglected babies and toddlers are at most risk in terms of their immediate health and the prospects for their longer-term welfare.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Leaving children and teenagers in charge of other children in the family at an age inappropriate for the responsibility is emotionally harmful as well as possibly exposing children to physical risk. This includes the child as carer as well as the children being cared for.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - The potential risks include those above, when expectations of the child are greater than would be expected for their age and maturity. 

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Always work with other agencies. Share past and present information to obtain as many details as you can about the child and their family. Without doing this, your assessment will be incomplete and probably wrong.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - For a variety of reasons, practitioners can often think the best of families with whom they work, especially when the parents / carers seem well meaning and to be trying hard to improve their situation and the care of their children. This can lead to a lack of objectivity and loss of the f

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Low Warmth / High Criticism: Think of this when assessing a child’s circumstances – it will help you focus on the child’s overall care and whether their needs (particularly emotional) are being met. It will also help you look at the parenting capacity, i.e. are their responses to the

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Avoid drift: Ensure that the drift of cases is avoided. Make sure you regularly discuss cases in supervision and prioritise these effectively. Maintain your multi-agency links. If there is an issue affecting your ability to visit (threat of violence / intimidation) make sure you inform you

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Ethnicity and Culture: Children from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds will experience different parenting styles. Whilst some of these styles may differ from the White UK perspective of child-care, this does not make them significantly harmful to children. Any judgement of neglect

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Values and Differences: Watch out for your own assumptions and do not let them cloud your objectivity. Assess the facts of the case – any opinions you have must be backed up with evidence. ‘Gut feelings’ do not appear without cause! – look at what has made you think like this and t

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Children and young people will have their own views about engaging with services.  Remember, even older teenagers are still children and are not always in a position to decide what is right for themselves.  It may be challenging working with this age group and dealing with the type of be

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Be aware of ‘false engagement’ and ‘feigned compliance’. True engagement by parents shows by changes in their behaviour, measurable improvements in the situation for the child and visible improvements in the child’s health, educational achievement and general well-being. Remember

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Engagement: Disguised parental ‘compliance’ may reassure practitioners that the parents share the same concerns and are working towards improving matters, whereas in reality little is changing to improve the life of the child.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Avoid ‘start again syndrome’ where each new episode of neglect is dealt with as a new incident rather than building up a picture of ongoing neglect over time. Producing and maintaining a chronology of actions and outcomes will indicate the level of compliance over time and remember to

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - The motivation of the parent / carer, being ‘well meaning’ with an apparent willingness to ‘try’ to change things, and their own need for support aren’t justifiable reasons for allowing the child to continue in a neglectful environment or receive neglectful care.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Rule of optimism: Unrealistic practitioner optimism may result when small changes to a child’s circumstances are made which are given too much ‘weight’ when the overall risks remain unchanged.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Younger children will maybe at significant physical risk however, teenagers when left to their own devices may explore inappropriate behaviours and relationships; they may become vulnerable to exploitation by others, such as child sexual exploitation, radicalisation or criminal behaviours.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Focusing on parents / carers exclusively: Parents who neglect their child are often emotionally and materially deprived and they may have many unmet needs. Whilst meeting these needs may be a way of improving their parenting capacity, too much focus on the parents’ needs can detract from

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners - Neglect can cause serious harm and is linked to the deaths of children. If children are to be protected it is essential for practitioners to effectively identify, assess and plan the interventions to meet the needs of children and their families when neglect is an aspect of their care. Rev

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Top Tips - The Assessment Framework for Children in Need can help you highlight strengths and difficulties and is particularly useful to use before making a referral to Children’s Social Care.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Top Tips - Keep a chronology / history for the family and the children as far as you can, accoridng to your role. Again, from this a picture will emerge as to how things have changed over time and will be invaluable for assessment and decision making.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Top Tips - Share information with other professionals who may also have concerns. A worrying picture could emerge from which you can take joint action.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Top Tips - In cases of possible neglect early intervention is vital. Research tells us that with all types of neglect, the impact on the child may not be observable until much later and by that stage it is often too late to make a real difference.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - In summary, in assessing neglect for disabled children practitioners should ask: would this situation be acceptable if the child was not disabled?6 Further Guidance on abuse in disabled children is available with the Abuse of disabled children guidance.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Research evidence indicates that disabled children are more likely to suffer neglect than their peers but that they are less likely to be subject to Child Protection Plans under the category of neglect. When working with disabled children practitioners need to be mindful of the following:

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Sometimes children can be neglected because the adult focus is upon the need to sustain / maintain / obtain their own personal relationships, at the expense of the child.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - It is usual for teenagers to explore and take risks and these behaviours need to be tempered by a present adult who discourages and persuades away from situations of significant risks.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Learning Lessons from National Serious Case Reviews - There will be a variety of situations where you might have worries about neglect and it is not possible to cover all of these here. However, it is hoped that some of the information will assist you making judgements and coming to decisions on the most advisable course of action. If in doub

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - This assessment will identify whether or not their parents or carers are consistently meeting these needs. If not, then neglect may be an issue.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Chronologies play an important role in evidence of neglect. Different agencies may have chronologies of their involvement and gathering the information from these will help with gathering a holistic view.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Challenging Decisions about Referrals

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Introduction - The purpose of this guidance is to provide clear guidance to all practitioners working with children and families in Buckinghamshire where neglect is an aspect of the children’s care, ensuring: practitioners and the families with whom they work have clear goals to work towards to impro

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - Practitioners can use their own agency’s tools for assessment which may include: Framework for the Assessment Triangle Home Conditions Assessment Graded Care Profile 2 Hope for Children and Families

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Appendixes - Appendix 1: Guide to recognising Neglect in Children Appendix 2: My World Assessment

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

References - Understanding Serious Case Reviews and their Impact: A biennial analysis of serious case reviews 2005-7 M. Brandon et al 2009 Working Together to Safeguard Children HM Government 2015 Child Neglect: Literature Review: Centre for Parenting and Research 2005 Howarth J: Child Neglect Identifi

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Learning Lessons from National Serious Case Reviews

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Dealing with Concerns about Neglect

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Introduction - This guidance has been produced because it is recognised that neglect is a complex and multi-faceted issue. In order to work together agencies need to have a shared understanding of neglect and the best way to effect change. It also reflects practice requirements referred to in ‘Working

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Introduction - In August 2017 neglect was attributed to 57% of children on a child protection plan in Buckinghamshire (330 plans out of 580), this is an increase of 16% based on the same time period in 2016.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Factors to assess for neglect - During any professional contact with a child, consideration should always be given to the presence of the following factors that may indicate neglect is an issue or suggest that the child is at an elevated level of risk: basic needs of the child are not adquately met poverty lack of affect

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Introduction - It is intended to be used alongside other Buckinghamshire LSCB guidance including the BSCB information sharing guidance

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Recognising Neglect - Neglect is abuse. The importance of contextual information rather than incidental factors is crucial to the identification of neglect; its presentation as a "chronic condition" requires the collation and analysis of sometimes small and seemingly insignificant events that only when viewed t

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

What is Neglect? - Educational -failing to provide a stimulating environment, show an interest in the child’s education, support their learning, or respond to any additional needs or failure to comply with statutory requirements around school attendance.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

What is Neglect? - Physical - not providing appropriate clothing, food, cleanliness and living conditions. There is a need however to avoid confusion with deprivation and in making judgements based on cultural norms and standards of appropriate physical care.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

What is Neglect? - Nutritional - inadequate calories for normal growth, sometimes linked to the concept of ‘failure to thrive’ recognising that there are other reasons why a child may not develop physically as well as psychologically. More recently childhood obesity resulting from an unhealthy diet and l

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Recognising Neglect - The recognition and prompt response to indicators of neglect is crucial if the neglected child is to be protected. The longer a child is exposed to neglect, the more difficult it will be to reverse the adverse effects of neglect. Signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect must always be viewe

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Recognising Neglect - 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.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Recognising Neglect - Neglect is often more than a child being persistently hungry or dirty and practitioners must focus upon the range of needs that children have when considering this question. Although any definition of neglect will always be open to a degree of judgment, there are a number of key factors th

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

What is Neglect? - Supervision and guidance - failure to provide an adequate level of guidance and supervision to ensure a child is safe and protected from harm including: leaving a child to cope alone, abandoning them or leaving with inappropriate carers and failing to provide appropriate boundaries about b

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Recognising Neglect - Evidence should be gathered in a systematic way over time rather than at a specific point in time. Neglect is a long-term developmental issue rather than a crisis caused by a single event.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

What is Neglect? - Working Together to Safeguard Children defines Neglect as: ‘the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of materna

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Effects of neglect - Neglect is known to be damaging in the long and short term. It can seriously impair children’s emotional, physical, cognitive and behavioural development.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

What is Neglect? - Neglect has many causes and is considered a passive form of abuse which is largely due to omissions rather than parental actions or commissions (Child Neglect 2005).3 The recognition of unmet needs may not in itself indicate neglectful parenting; however it may point towards the need for

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

What is Neglect? - It is important to remember that anyone looking after children can be neglectful, including parents, carers, other relatives, child-minders, foster carers, nursery’s, care settings and residential care. Where a secondary carer is neglectful, procedures for Managing Allegations against St

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

What is Neglect? - Emotional - being unresponsive to a child’s basic emotional needs, including failing to interact or provide affection, failing to develop a child’s self-esteem and sense of identity.  This differs from emotional abuse in that it is an act of omission.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Effects of neglect - Generally however, the sustained physical or emotional neglect of children is likely to have profound, long lasting effects on all aspects of a child’s health, development and well-being.

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Effects of neglect - Relevant factors include the individual child’s means of coping and adapting (resilience) and the family support and protective networks available to them or the way in which professionals respond and the success of any intervention initiated to safeguard and promote the welfare of the c

1.1 Neglect Practice Guidance

Effects of neglect - The impact of neglect for a particular child, as with other forms of abuse, will be influenced by a number of factors that either aggravate the extent of the harm, or protect against it. For example, a new born baby going 6 hours without a feed would be much more harmful than a 15 year old

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Assessments Under the Children Act 1989 - Some Children in Need may require accommodation because there is no one who has Parental Responsibility for them, or because they are alone or abandoned. Under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989, the local authority has a duty to accommodate such children in need in their area. Following

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Process of Assessment - If there is suspicion that a crime may have been committed including sexual or physical assault or neglect of the child, the Police must be notified immediately.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Process of Assessment - If during the course of the assessment, it is discovered that a school age child is not attending an educational establishment, the social worker should contact the local education service to establish a reason for this.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Process of Assessment - The parent's consent should usually be sought, before discussing a referral about them with other agencies, unless this may place the child at risk of Significant Harm, in which case the manager should authorise the discussion of the referral with other agencies without parental knowledge

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Process of Assessment - If it is determined that a child should not be seen as part of the assessment, this should be recorded by the manager with reasons.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Process of Assessment - The qualified social worker should carefully plan that the following are carried out: see/interview the child; interview the parents and any other relevant family members; consider whether to see the child with the parents; the child should be seen by the lead social worker without their c

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Process of Assessment - The date of the commencement of the assessment will be recorded in the electronic database.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Process of Assessment - The assessment should be led by a qualified and experienced social worker supervised by a highly experienced and qualified social work manager.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Purpose of Assessment - Whatever 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 including any factors that may indicate th

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Communication - In planning the assessment and in providing the parent and child with feedback, the social worker will need to consider and address any communication issues, for example language or impairment.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Introduction - The assessment will involve drawing together and analysing available information from a range of sources, including existing records, and involving and obtaining information from professionals in relevant agencies and others in contact with the child and family. Where an Early Help Assessm

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Assessments Under the Children Act 1989 - Local authorities, with the help of other organisations as appropriate, also have a duty to make enquiries under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, to enable them to decide whethe

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Assessments Under the Children Act 1989 - Concerns about maltreatment may be the reason for a Referral to local authority children's social care or concerns may arise during the course of providing services to the child and family. In these circumstances, local authority children's social care must initiate enquiries to find out w

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Assessments Under the Children Act 1989 - When assessing Children in Need and providing services, specialist assessments may be required and, where possible, should be coordinated so that the child and family experience a coherent process and a single plan of action.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Assessments Under the Children Act 1989 - In these cases, assessments by a social worker are carried out under section 17 of the Children Act 1989. Children in Need may be assessed under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, in relation to their Special Educational Needs, disabilities, or as a carer, or because they have committed

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Assessments Under the Children Act 1989 - A Child in Need is defined under the Children Act 1989 as a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health and development will be significantly impaired, without the provision of services; or a child who is disabled.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Assessments Under the Children Act 1989 - Under the Children Act 1989, local authorities undertake assessments of the needs of individual children to determine what services to provide and action to take.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Introduction - Where a child is involved in other assessment processes, it is important that these are coordinated so that the child does not become lost between the different agencies involved and their different procedures. All plans for the child developed by the various agencies and individual profes

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Communication - Where a child or parent with disabilities has communication difficulties it may be necessary to use alternatives to speech. In communicating with a child with such an impairment, it may be particularly useful to involve a person who knows the child well and is familiar with the child's com

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Introduction - The Local Authority has published a Local Protocol for Assessment which sets out local arrangements for how a child’s needs will be managed once a child is referred to Children’s Services. This should be referenced alongside these procedures.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Introduction - All agencies and professionals involved with the child, and the family, have a responsibility to contribute to the assessment proce This might take the form of providing information in a timely manner and/or direct or joint work.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Introduction - Each child who has been referred to Children's Social Care should have an individual assessment to identify their need.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Communication - Where a child or parent speaks a language other than that spoken by the social worker, an interpreter should be provided. Any decision not to use an interpreter in such circumstances must be approved by the Team Manager and recorded.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Focus on the Child - Children should be actively involved in all parts of the process based upon their age, developmental stage and identity. Direct work with the child and family should include observations of the interactions between the child and the parents/care givers.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Focus on the Child - Children should to be seen and listened to and included throughout the assessment process. Their ways of communicating should be understood in the context of their family and community as well as their behaviour and developmental stage.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Regular Review - The social worker’s line manager must review the assessment plan regularly with the social worker and ensure that actions such as those below have been met: There has been direct communication with the child alone and their views and wishes have been recorded and taken into account when

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Contribution of agencies involved with the child and family - Agencies providing services to adults, who are parents, carers or who have regular contact with children must consider the impact on the child of the particular needs of the adult in question.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Actions and Outcomes - Every assessment should be focused on outcomes, deciding which services and support to provide to deliver improved welfare for the child and reflect the child’s best interests. In the course of the assessment, the social worker and their line manager should determine: Is this a Child in

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Actions and Outcomes - The possible outcomes of the assessment should be decided on by the social worker and their line manager, who should agree a plan of action setting out the services to be delivered how and by whom in discussion with the child and family and the professionals involved.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Actions and Outcomes - The outcomes may be as follows: no further action additional support which can be provided through universal services and single service provision; early help services. the development of a multi-agency child in need plan for the provision of child in need services to promote the child's h

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Timescales - The maximum time frame for the assessment to conclude, such that it is possible to reach a decision on next steps, should be no longer than 45 working days from the point of referral. No assessment should be open longer than 30 days without the permission of the Practice Improvement Manage

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Regular Review - The assessment plan must set out timescales for the actions to be met and stages of the assessment to progress, which should include regular points to review the assessment. The work with the child and family should ensure that the agreed points are achieved through regular reviews. Where

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Regular Review - A useful comment from ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015’ to bear in mind for all professionals when reviewing progress: “A high quality assessment is one in which evidence is built and revised throughout the process. A social worker may arrive at a judgement early in the c

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Contribution of agencies involved with the child and family - The professionals should be involved from the outset and through the agreed, regular process of review.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Recording - Recording by all professionals should include information on the child's development so that progress can be monitored to ensure their outcomes are improving. This is particularly significant in circumstances where Neglect is an issue.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Recording - Records should be kept of the progress of the assessment on the individual child’s record and in their Chronology to monitor any patterns of concerns.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Recording - Assessment plans and action points arising from plans and meetings should be circulated to the participants including the child, if appropriate, and the parents.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Recording - The recording should be such that a child, requesting to access their records, could easily understand the process taking place and the reasons for decisions and actions taken.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Recording - Supervision records should reflect the reasoning for decisions and actions taken.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Principles for a good Assessment - The assessment triangle in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 provides a model, which should be used to examine how the different aspects of the child’s life and context interact and impact on the child. It notes that it is important that: information is gathered and recorded sy

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Assessing Family Abroad - An increasing number of cases involve families from abroad, necessitating assessments of family members in other countries. However, the Court of Appeal has pointed out that it might not be professional, permissible or lawful for a social worker to undertake an assessment in another jurisd

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Contribution of agencies involved with the child and family - The social worker’s supervisor will have a key role in supporting the practitioner to ensure all relevant agencies are involved.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Contribution of agencies involved with the child and family - It is possible that professionals have different experiences of the child and family and understanding these differences will actively contribute to the understanding of the child / family.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Focus on the Child - Assessments, service provision and decision making should regularly review the impact of the assessment process and the services provided on the child so that the best outcomes for the child can be achieved. Any services provided should be based on a clear analysis of the child’s needs,

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Developing a clear analysis - Research has demonstrated that taking a systematic approach to assessments using a conceptual model is the best way to deliver a comprehensive analysis. A good assessment is one which investigates the three domains; set out in the assessment Framework Triangle. The interaction of these dom

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Focus on the Child - All agencies involved with the child, the parents and the wider family have a duty to collaborate and share information to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Planning - All assessments should be planned and coordinated by a social worker and the purpose of the assessment should be transparent, understood and agreed by all participants. There should be an agreed statement setting out the aims of the assessment process.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Planning - Planning should identify the different elements of the assessment including who should be involved. It is good practice to hold a planning meeting to clarify roles and timescales as well as services to be provided during the assessment where there are a number of family members and agencie

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Planning - Questions to be considered in planning assessments include: Who will undertake the assessment and what resources will be needed? Who in the family will be included and how will they be involved (including absent or wider family and others significant to the child)? In what grouping will th

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Planning - The assessment process can be summarised as follows: gathering relevant information; analysing the information and reaching professional judgments; making decisions and planning interventions; intervening, service delivery and/or further assessment; evaluating and reviewing progress.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Planning - Assessment should be a dynamic process, which analyses and responds to the changing nature and level of need and/or risk faced by the child. A good assessment will monitor and record the impact of any services delivered to the child and family and review the help being delivered. Whilst se

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Developing a clear analysis - An assessment should establish: the nature of the concern and the impact this has had on the child an analysis of their needs and/or the nature and level of any risk and harm being suffered by the child how and why the concerns have arisen what the child's and the family's needs appear to

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Contribution of agencies involved with the child and family - All agencies and professionals involved with the child, and the family, have a responsibility to contribute to the assessment process. This might take the form of providing information in a timely manner and direct or joint work. Differences of opinion between professionals should be resol

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Developing a clear analysis - The assessment will involve drawing together and analysing available information from a range of sources, including existing records, and involving and obtaining relevant information from professionals in relevant agencies and others in contact with the child and family. Where an Early Hel

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Developing a clear analysis - The social worker should analyse all the information gathered from the enquiry stage of the assessment to decide the nature and level of the child's needs and the level of risk, if any, they may be facing. The social work manager should provide regular supervision and challenge the social

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Developing a clear analysis - When new information comes to light or circumstances change the child’s needs, any previous conclusions should be updated and critically reviewed to ensure that the child is not overlooked as noted in many lessons from Serious Case Reviews.

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Contribution of the child and family - The child should participate and contribute directly to the assessment process based upon their age, understanding and identity. They should be seen alone and if this is not possible or in their best interest, the reason should be recorded. The social worker should work directly with the c

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Contribution of the child and family - The pace of the assessment needs to acknowledge the pace at which the child can contribute. However, this should not be a reason for delay in taking protective action. It is important to understand the resilience of the individual child in their family and community context when planning a

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Contribution of the child and family - Every assessment should be child centred. Where there is a conflict between the needs of the child and their parents/carers, decisions should be made in the child's best interests. The parents should be involved at the earliest opportunity unless to do so would prejudice the safety of the

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Contribution of the child and family - The parents’ involvement in the assessment will be central to its success. At the outset they need to understand how they can contribute to the process and what is expected of them to change in order to improve the outcomes for the child. The assessment process must be open and transpare

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Developing a clear analysis - Where a child is involved in other assessment processes, it is important that these are coordinated so that the child does not become lost between the different agencies involved and their different procedures. All plans for the child developed by the various agencies and individual profes

1.2 Definitions

1.3 Recognising Abuse and Neglect

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Principles for a good Assessment

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Assessing Family Abroad

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Purpose of Assessment

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Process of Assessment

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Focus on the Child

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Developing a clear analysis

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Contribution of the child and family

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Contribution of agencies involved with the child and family

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Assessments Under the Children Act 1989

1.2 Assessment: Procedure

Actions and Outcomes

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - When a referral is received by Children’s Social Care indicating that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm partner agencies should be informed of this and their attendance at a strategy meeting requested. Children’s Social Care will decide on which agencies are

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - When strategy meetings are held in the MASH, representatives co-located in the MASH are responsible for identifying the appropriate person from their agency and informing them of the time of the strategy discussion/meeting.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - A strategy meeting should be convened. For urgent referrals this should take place at the earliest possible point. Good practice indicates this is done within 4 hours from point of referral and no later than 24 hours, unless the referral is complex, i.e. Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), Fa

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Recording of Section 47 Enquiries - The social worker should record the information gathered and actions during the course of the enquiry and its outcomes on a Record of Section 47 Enquiries, which should be approved by the team manager.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - The Protocol sets out the agreement between Buckinghamshire County Council Children’s Social Care (also covering Buckinghamshire County Council) and Thames Valley Police and Partner agencies. The document aims to clarify key practice expectations around good practice in Section 47 enquir

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - The primary focus of this protocol is to ensure that referrals in respect of children who are suffering or who are likely to suffer significant harm are seen as paramount and that agencies work together with a co-ordinated approach to ensure the safety and well- being of the child.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Dispute Resolution - If the local authority decides not to proceed with a Child Protection Conference then other professionals involved with the child and family have the right to request that a conference be convened, if they have serious concerns that a child's welfare may not be adequately safeguarded. In t

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - Where necessary a representative from the Thames Valley Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU) and the receiving Assessment Team should either attend or contribute to the meeting by tele-conference.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - Meetings in the MASH will be held in person and if this is not possible arrangements will be made for participants to contribute by tele-conferencing.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - As a minimum, strategy meetings/discussions will involve a Children’s Social Care Manager, Police representative (normally a Sergeant) and an appropriate Health representative.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - A strategy meeting will be held using the principles above but will be chaired by a CSC Manager mirroring the above process. Police attendance will be either in person if possible or by tele-conference. Health are also required to contribute (as a minimum CSC/Health and Police must be pres

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - The record of the strategy discussion will be recorded on the Children’s Social Care system (LCS) at the time of the meeting by Children’s Social Care. A copy will be given to all attendees at the end of the meeting.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - A record of the information provided by partner agencies either involved in the discussion or otherwise will be kept on LCS.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - The strategy meeting should be the process for agreeing between the involved agencies that based on the referral information, there is reasonable cause to believe that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - Meeting structure the meeting will be chaired by a social care manager the meeting will follow a proforma to focus discussion on the following aspects: information shared by each agency immediate actions to safeguard the child risk factors protective factors decision on the threshold for S

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - In all cases the strategy meeting will include the sharing of all information within the knowledge of those agencies represented, relevant to the assessment of significant harm to the child/children concerned. Any gaps in information should be identified and arrangements on how to gain thi

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - Information shared should include the age, understanding, cultural and communication needs of the child/children to be considered and addressed in the plan for the investigation.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Outcomes of a Section 47 Enquiry - Social workers with their managers should: convene an Initial Child Protection Conference (see Child Protection Conferences: Procedure). The timing of this conference should depend on the urgency of the case and respond to the needs of the child and the nature and severity of the harm they

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - The strategy meeting should consider, identify and record the decision in relation how any interview of the victim(s) and by whom and within what timescale.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - Police and Children’s Social Care must follow the guidance set out in Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidance on interviewing victims and witnesses, and guidance on using special measures, where a decision has been made to undertake a joint interview of the child as par

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Outcomes of a Section 47 Enquiry - All involved professionals should: contribute to the information their agency provides ahead of the conference, setting out the nature of the agency's involvement with the child and family; consider, in conjunction with the police and the appointed conference Chair, whether the report can

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Conducting section 47 enquiries - The police should: help other agencies understand the reasons for concerns about the child's safety and welfare decide whether or not police investigations reveal grounds for instigating criminal proceedings make available to other professionals any evidence gathered to inform discussions

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Outcomes of a Section 47 Enquiry - Where services are to be provided under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989, the social worker or their team manager should convene a Child in Need Planning Meeting within 7 working days to agree a Child in Need Plan.  Concerns of significant harm are substantiated and the child is judged

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Conducting section 47 enquiries - In determining which professionals should be involved in a Section 47 Enquiry, consideration could include who are the family most likely to cooperate with. In all cases where there is a known propensity to violence within the family household, consideration should be given to the strategy

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Initiating Section 47 Enquiries - Where information gathered during a referral or an assessment (which may be very brief) results in the social worker suspecting that the child is suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm, a Strategy Discussion/Meeting should be held. This is usually held within 24 hours, unless a car

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Initiating Section 47 Enquiries - A multi-agency assessment is the means by which Section 47 Enquiries are carried out. The assessment will have commenced at the point of referral and must continue whenever the criteria for Section 47 Enquiries are satisfied. While the timescale within which the assessment must be complete

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Initiating Section 47 Enquiries - A Section 47 Enquiry is carried out by undertaking or continuing with an Assessment in accordance with the guidance set out in this chapter and following the principles and parameters of a good assessment as set out in the Assessments Procedure. There will need to be a particular emphasis

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Initiating Section 47 Enquiries - Local authority social workers have a statutory duty to lead Section 47 Enquiries. The police, health professionals, teachers and other relevant professionals should support the local authority in undertaking its enquiries. The Children’s Social Care Manager has responsibility for author

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Initiating Section 47 Enquiries - The Section 47 Enquiry and assessment must be led by a qualified social worker from Children's Social Care, who will be responsible for its coordination and completion. The social worker must consult with other agencies involved with the child and family to obtain a fuller picture of the c

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Purpose of Section 47 Enquiries - A Section 47 Enquiry is initiated to decide whether and what type of action is required to safeguard and promote the welfare of a child who is suspected of, or likely to be, suffering significant harm. The enquiry is carried out by undertaking or continuing with an assessment in accordance

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Conducting section 47 enquiries - Social workers with their managers should: lead the Assessment in accordance with this guidance carry out enquiries in a way that minimises distress for the child and family see the child who is the subject of concern to ascertain their wishes and feelings, assess their understanding of th

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Conducting section 47 enquiries - The social worker, when conducting a Section 47 Enquiry, must assess the potential needs and safety of any other child in the household of the child in question. In addition, Section 47 Enquiries may be required concerning any children in other households with whom the alleged abuser may h

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Conducting section 47 enquiries - The child must always be seen and communicated with alone in the course of a Section 47 Enquiry by the Lead Social Worker, unless it is contrary to his or her interests to do so. The Strategy Discussion Meeting will plan any interview with the child. The Record of Section 47 Enquiry and Re

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Outcomes of a Section 47 Enquiry - Outcomes may be: No Further Action: Enquiries have revealed that there are no causes for concern. The child may be a Child in Need but the family do not wish for services to be provided, in which case the case will be closed. Family Support to be provided: Enquiries have revealed that ther

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Conducting section 47 enquiries - Before a child is seen or interviewed parental permission must be gained unless there are exceptional circumstances that demonstrate that it would not be in the child’s interests and to do so may jeopardise the child's safety and welfare. Relevant exceptional circumstances would include:

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Conducting section 47 enquiries - In such circumstances, the social worker must take legal advice about how to proceed and whether legal action may be required, for example through an application for an Emergency Protection Order or a Child Assessment Order.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - Any delay in interviewing any of the above (particularly a child who is suspected to be the victim of abuse) should be explained and recorded as being in the best interests of the child.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Conducting section 47 enquiries - Health professionals should: undertake appropriate medical tests, examinations or observations, to determine how the child's health or development may be being impaired provide any of a range of specialist assessments, for example, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and lang

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Conducting section 47 enquiries - All involved professionals should: contribute to the Assessment as required, providing information about the child and family consider whether a joint enquiry or investigation team may need to speak to a child without the knowledge of the parent or caregiver.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Outcomes of a Section 47 Enquiry - Local authority social workers are responsible for deciding what action to take and how to proceed following Section 47 Enquiries. The outcome of a Section 47 Enquiry must be endorsed by the team manager.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Outcomes of a Section 47 Enquiry - A Section 47 Enquiry may conclude that the original concerns are: not substantiated; although consideration should be given to whether the child may need services as a Child in Need substantiated and the child is judged to be suffering, or likely to suffer, Significant Harm and an Initial

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Outcomes of a Section 47 Enquiry - Social workers with their managers should: discuss the case with the child, parents and other professionals determine whether support from any services may be helpful and help secure it consider whether the child's health and development should be re-assessed regularly against specific obj

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Outcomes of a Section 47 Enquiry - All involved professionals should: participate in further discussions as necessary contribute to the development of any Plan as appropriate provide services as specified in the Plan for the child review the impact of services delivered as agreed in the Plan.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - There is an expectation that where children are to be interviewed in relation to reasonably suspected criminal offence, the approach to those children will be joint (Police and Social Worker) from the outset, unless there are exceptional circumstances which prevent this. Social Workers sho

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - The extent to which supportive adults/parents will be involved in the process of investigating safeguarding issues should be addressed and agreed upon at the strategy meeting.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - The police will arrange for the involvement of an Intermediary in cases of a particularly young child or one who has significant communication difficulties.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

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

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - Where Children’s Social Care assess that the circumstances fall into one of the following criteria, it may progress single agency enquiries following discussion and agreement with the Police CAIU (and making relevant checks): emotional abuse with no apparent physical symptoms, unless ex

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - Where information is received indicating a person who has been identified as being a risk to children is living in, or has access to, a household where there are children, Children’s Social Care and Police CAIU must discuss the circumstances and agree the need for a single enquiry or joi

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - Where a minor crime, initially agreed by Police CAIU as inappropriate of further Police investigation, is subsequently discovered to be more serious, the case must be referred back to the Police CAIU.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - Criteria for Police single agency investigations are those where: an allegation of childhood abuse is made by adults (the possibility of current risks to children should be determined and referred to Children’s Social Care) an alleged offender is not known to the child/child’s family,

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - In all cases where the alleged abuser has current contact with children, a referral should be made to Children’s Social Care for a strategy discussion to consider joint investigation and the protection of the child victim and other children.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - In all cases where Police undertake a single agency investigation, details of any victim aged under 18 must be referred to Children’s Social Care, which is responsible for assessing if the investigation raises any child protection issues and if supportive or therapeutic services are appr

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - Telephone referrals (sharing information that a child is, or is likely to be, suffering significant harm) must be confirmed in writing using agreed format (‘Record of Child Protection Discussion between the Police and Social Services Supervisors’ forms).

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - Children’s Social Care and the Police must inform each other of any allegations or suspicions of child abuse or neglect, including ‘stranger abuse’, in line with the BSCB Information Sharing Code of Practice. Line managers must be consulted in cases of uncertainty and advice recorde

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Related Policies, Procedures and Guidance - Neglect Guidance

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - In other cases of minor injury, the circumstances surrounding the incident must be considered to determine the ‘seriousness’ of the alleged abuse. The following factors should be included in any consideration by the Police CAIU and Children’s Social Care: age, special needs and vulne

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - The primary responsibility of Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU) staff is to undertake criminal investigations of suspected, alleged or actual crime relating to child abuse.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - Children’s Social Care has the statutory duty to make, or cause to be made, enquiries when circumstances defined in Section 47 Children Act 1989, exist.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - Where a referral indicates a potential criminal offence, there is an expectation that a joint Police and Social Work investigation will take place. Police will have primacy with regard to the criminal investigation. Social Care will have primacy with regard to safeguarding of the child.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

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

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - Where the Police conduct a single agency investigation out of hours (in response to the duty to respond and take action to protect the child or obtain evidence), Children’s Social Care Emergency Duty Team must be informed immediately and, if appropriate, a joint investigation commenced.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - Cases of minor injury should always be considered for a joint enquiry/investigation if the child is: subject to a Child Protection Plan Looked After by the local authority.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - There is a presumption that delay in progressing a safeguarding investigation will prejudice the welfare of the child

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - If, in exceptional circumstances, these timescales are not met the reasons for this must be clearly recorded, e.g. would further compromise the safety of the child.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - A joint investigation must always be initiated whenever there is an allegation or reasonable suspicion that one of the circumstances below applies, regardless of the likelihood of a prosecution: a sexual offence committed against a child of either gender under 18 years of age, including se

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - In all cases the strategy discussion/meeting should take place as soon as possible after the referral being received. Where child/children are likely to be at risk of immediate harm, the strategy meeting/discussion should take place immediately and agree a plan to safeguard the child/child

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - The aim is that decisions regarding the safety of children in line with section 47 Children Act 1989 are arrived at within 24 hours of the strategy discussion. However it is acknowledged that some investigations (according to the level of risk/type of evidence present) may be more urgent t

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - Consideration should be given to concerns about any immediate safety issues for the child/children involved and plans for necessary protective action made and recorded. For Children's Social Care these should be clearly identified as an interim safety plan.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - The strategy meeting should agree and record whether any specialist assessment (for example forensic or paediatric medical examination) will be required, within what timescales and by whom that will be arranged and facilitated.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - The outcome of a safeguarding investigation will be agreed between those agencies involved in the original strategy discussion and will be based on the evidence gathered during the investigation. Agreement should be reached about whether the risk of significant harm to the child/children i

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - The joint investigation will usually involve the Police and social worker conducting joint interviews and working as co-investigators for the duration of investigation. Though the investigating social worker and Police officer may not work together in undertaking every task during the inve

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - Should there be difference of opinion that cannot be resolved cases should be escalated through the normal escalation process.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - A joint decision will be made regarding the appropriate level of intervention and of Police involvement throughout the process, depending on the individual circumstances and context of each case.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - Where initial allegations are imprecise or concerns arise gradually, it is likely that agreement will be reached for further assessment to determine whether a child is at risk of significant harm.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - If agencies agree a single agency enquiry or investigation is appropriate, there should still be an exchange of relevant information, possible involvement in strategy discussions and agreement reached as to the feedback required by the non-participating agency. A case may start with single

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - Any decision to terminate enquiries or investigations must be communicated to the other agency for it to consider, and the rationale recorded by both agencies

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Single and Joint Agency Investigation: Police and Children's Social Care - The decision regarding single or joint agency investigations should be authorised and recorded by the designated line managers in both the Police (CAIU) and Children’s Social Care, noting which agency is going ahead.

1.3 Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries: Procedure

Joint working protocol for minimum standards in inter agency working in relation to section 47 enquiries - The outcome of the investigation will be recorded on the relevant record on the LCS and emailed to those agencies involved in the strategy discussion/meeting. This record will reference all relevant information and evidence gathered during the process of the investigation by all agencies i

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Purpose and Responsibilities - The Social Worker is the Lead Professional and as such has the responsibility for ensuring that the arrangements for Core Groups are clearly communicated to children/young people, parents/carers, all professionals involved in working with the child and family. However, where a child is sub

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Purpose and Responsibilities - The Core Group as a whole also has a responsibility to progress the Core Group, should the Social Worker for any reason be absent, so any drift for the child is avoided. This includes ensuring the meeting goes ahead and providing Child Protection Plan updates to the Social Worker.

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Purpose and Responsibilities - The allocated Social Worker and Core Group members are responsible for: ensuring that the child’s plan that is in place is a plan of action and progresses in a timely manner avoiding drift ensuring that the dates of Core Group meetings are set in advance and that the frequency of all con

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Conduct of the meeting - The lead social worker can then update and distribute the Child Protection Plan within 5 working days to all attendees and those invited, and ensure it is placed on the child’s file.

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Purpose and Responsibilities - All agencies represented at the Core Group have a responsibility to ensure that they fulfil their role effectively and in accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children.

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Conduct of the meeting - It is expected that the Social Worker attends, however if they are unable to, the remaining Core Group members must continue with the meeting and send an update on the outcomes and actions of the Child Protection Plan to the Social Worker within 2 working days.

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Purpose and Responsibilities

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Agenda - Introduction Apologies Progression of the plan – feedback from all members including children/young people and family members, Social Worker, partner agencies Any revision/amendments to the plan with the tasks, outcomes and dates for completion clearly detailed Confirmation of date, time

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Conduct of the meeting - It is the responsibility of the allocated Chair of the Core Group (from whichever agency) to ensure that core groups record actions so that they can evidence implementation of child protection plans.

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Timing - Following the initial Core Group meeting further meetings should be within six weeks and every six weeks forthwith. It is important to remember that this is a guide and it may be that four weekly core groups are required dependent upon the needs and age of the child.

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Timing - The first Core Group must take place within 10 working days of the Initial Child Protection Conference.

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Membership - Core Groups are important and are an opportunity for developing positive working relationships with children and families and across agencies, and for ensuring children are safer. Where there are conflicts of interest between family members in the work of the Core Group the best interest o

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Conduct of the meeting

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Further Information

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Membership - Membership of the Core Group will normally have been identified at the most recent Child Protection Conference and ideally will include: lead Social Worker / manager (although core groups can take place without a lead social worker) the child/young person if appropriate parents and relevan

1.4 Core Groups: Procedure

Purpose and Responsibilities - The Core Group is responsible for the implementation and ongoing development of the Child Protection Plan as outlined at the Child Protection Conference (see Child Protection Conferences: Procedure).

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - The chair will make the final decision on this - if the chair judges that the child remains likely to suffer significant harm the plan must be a child protection plan.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Chairing the conference - If the conference determines that a child does not need the specific assistance of a protection plan but does need help to promote their welfare, the Chair must ensure that: the conference draws up a child in need plan , or makes appropriate recommendation for ongoing support; the conferen

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - The conference should consider the following question when determining whether a child requires a multi-agency child protection plan: Has the child suffered significant harm? and Is the child likely to suffer significant harm in the future?

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - Where a Child Assessment Order has been made, a conference should be held immediately on conclusion of examinations and assessments.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

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

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - When a child protection plan is discontinued, the social worker must discuss with the parents and child/ren what services might be needed and required, based on the re-assessment of the needs of the child and family

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Administrative arrangements for child protection conferences - The record of the decisions of the child protection conference should be retained by the recipient agencies in accordance with their record retention policies.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Administrative arrangements for child protection conferences - In criminal proceedings the police may reveal the existence of child protection records to the Crown Prosecution Service, and in care proceedings the records of the conference may be revealed in the court.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Administrative arrangements for child protection conferences - Conference records are confidential and should not be shared with third parties without the consent of either the conference Chair or an order of the court.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Administrative arrangements for child protection conferences - Where parents and / or the child/ren have a sensory disability or where English is not their first language, the social worker should ensure that they receive appropriate assistance to understand and make full use of the record. A family member should not be expected to act as an interpret

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Administrative arrangements for child protection conferences - The conference Chair should decide whether a child should be given a copy of the record of the meeting or whether a summary appropriate to the child’s age is provided. The record may be supplied to a child's legal representative on request.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Administrative arrangements for child protection conferences - Relevant sections of the record should be explained to and discussed with the child by the social worker.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Administrative arrangements for child protection conferences - Where a friend, supporter or solicitor has been involved, the Chair will not send a record of the conference.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Administrative arrangements for child protection conferences - Child Protection Conferences are managed (convened, chaired and recorded) by Buckinghamshire County Council’s Child Protection Conference service. All conferences are recorded by a dedicated person whose sole task within the conference is to provide a written record of proceedings in a

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Complaints by Children and / or parents - Complaints about aspects of the functioning of conferences described above should be addressed to the conferencing manager. Whilst a complaint is being considered, the decision made by the conference stands. The outcome of a complaint will either be that a conference is re-convened under a

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Complaints by Children and / or parents - Parents and, on occasion, children, may have concerns about which they 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

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Professional Dissent from the Conference Decision - It is an expectation that all professionals at a conference will contribute to the decision making on the basis of both the information their agency hold s and the information shared in the conference. If an agency does not agree with a decision or recommendation made at a child protection

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - When a child is no longer subject of a child protection plan, notification should be sent, as a minimum, to the agencies' representatives who were invited to attend the initial conference that led to the plan.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - If a child is likely to suffer significant harm, then they will require multi-agency help and intervention delivered through a formal child protection plan.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - When the process carried out at in the paragraph above is followed, the consultation with other agencies and the decision to discontinue the child protection plan must be clearly recorded in the Children's social care child's record.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - It is permissible for the child protection manager to agree the discontinuing of a child protection plan without the need to convene a Child Protection Review Conference only when: one or other of the latter two criteria in the paragraph above are satisfied; and the manager has consulted w

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - A child may no longer need a protection plans if: a review conference judges that the child is no longer likely to suffer significant harm and no longer requires safeguarding by means of a child protection plan the child has moved permanently to another local authority and a transfer child

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - The conference should use the same decision-making process to reach a judgement for when a protection plan is no longer needed. This includes situations where other multi-agency planning might need to replace a protection plan.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - The decision must be put in writing to the parent/s, and agencies as well as communicated to them verbally.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - If the conference decides that a child has not suffered, or is not likely to suffer Significant Harm then the conference may not make the child the subject of a child protection plan. The child may nevertheless require services to promote his or her health or development. In these circumst

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - The outline plan should: describe specific, achievable, child-focused outcomes intended to safeguard each child describe the types of services required by each child (including family support) to promote their welfare set a timescale for the completion of the assessment, if appropriate ide

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Information for the conference - Families may need to be reminded that submissions need to be sufficiently succinct to allow proper consideration within the time constraints of the child protection conference.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - If the child has links to a foreign country, the social worker should consider whether to inform the relevant Embassy.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - Where a child is to be the subject of a child protection plan, the conference is responsible for recommendations on how agencies, professionals and the family should work together to ensure that the child will be safeguarded from harm in the future. This should enable both professionals an

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - If a decision is taken that the child has suffered, or is likely to suffer Significant Harm and hence is in need of a child protection plan, the Chair should determine which category of abuse or neglect the child has suffered or is likely to suffer. The category used (that is physical, emo

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - The primary purposes of this plan are to: ensure the child is safe from harm and prevent him or her from suffering further harm promote the child's health and development; and support the family and wider family members to safeguard and promote the welfare of their child, provided it is in

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Chairing the conference - The Chair of a Child Protection Conference will be an independent Chair, accountable to the Director of Children’s Services. They must not have or have had operational or line management responsibility for the case. Wherever possible, the same person should also chair subsequent child pr

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Membership of Child Protection Conferences - The Child Protection Conference service will provide a chair person that is independent of operational or line management responsibilities for the case. If possible the same person should chair subsequent review conferences in respect of the same child.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

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

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Purposes and tasks for all conferences - Any professional, who disagrees with a decision not to proceed to an initial child protection conference, or not to arrange an early review conference, should escalate their disagreement through the normal escalation process. Professionals should refer to the BSCB Escalation, Challenge and

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences - If a child subject of a child protection plan becomes looked after under s20, their legal situation is not permanently secure and the next child protection review conference should consider the child's safety in the light of the possibility that the parent can simply request their removal

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences - If a child ceases to be subject of a child protection plan as a result of a decision at a child protection review conference, and the parent then unexpectedly requests the return of the child from the local authority's care, the social worker and manager should discuss the need for an init

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - The initial child protection conference should take place: within 15 working days of the Strategy Discussion/Meeting which initiated the section 47 enquiries; or if there is an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) and it is decided to hold a Child Protection Conference, the conference should,

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - An initial child protection conference must be convened if Section 47 enquiries conclude that the child is at continuing risk of suffering Significant Harm.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - All types of child protection conferences should include not only the child subject of the specific concerns but must also include consideration of the needs of all other children in the household, including children who live there part-time.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - Depending on the circumstances there are several different types of child protection conferences: Initial conferences Pre-birth conferences Review conferences Transfer in conferences (see Local Transfer Protocol).

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Purposes and tasks for all conferences - The Children's social care manager is responsible for making the decision to convene a Child Protection Conference and the reasons for calling the conference (or not calling a conference following completion of a Section 47 Enquiry) must be recorded.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences - If it is proposed that a child subject to a care order should be returned to their birth family / returned home, the members of the statutory looked after child case review (para 4.3 of Regulations and Guidance Volume 2 (2011)) considering the proposal for rehabilitation must decide and re

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Purposes and tasks for all conferences - Tasks for all conferences are to: bring together and analyse, in an inter-agency setting the information which has been obtained about the child's developmental needs, and the parents' capacity to respond to these needs to ensure the child's safety and promote the child's health and develo

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Purposes and tasks for all conferences - A child protection conference brings together family members (and the child/ren where appropriate), supporters / advocates and those professionals most involved with the child and family to make decisions about the child's future safety, health and development. If concerns relate to an unb

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences - If a court grants a care order in respect of a child who is subject of a child protection plan, the subsequent child protection review conference must make an assessment about the security of the child, considering issues such as contact and the looked after care plan for the child. If the

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences - Where a looked after child remains the subject of a child protection plan there must be a single plan and a single planning and reviewing process, led by the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO). This means that the timing of the review of the child protection aspects of the care plan shoul

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences - Consideration should be given to whether the criteria continue to be met for the child to remain the subject of a child protection plan and consideration to bring forward a Review conference should be addressed. Significant changes to the care plan should only be made following the looked

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences - Consideration should be given to the IRO chairing the child protection conference where a looked after child remains the subject of a child protection plan despite there being: different requirements for independence of the IRO function compared to the chair of the child protection confere

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences - This should be decided on an individual case basis and managed to ensure that the independence of the independent reviewing officer is not compromised. Similarly the child might benefit from another independent chair and where it is possible should be consulted about the use of the IRO as

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences - If a parent removes or proposes to remove a child looked after under s20 from the care of the local authority and there are serious concerns about that parent's capacity to provide for the child's needs and protect them from Significant Harm, the social worker must discuss the case with th

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences - A child looked after under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 who has been or is about to be returned to a parent's care and about whom there are concerns in terms of safeguarding the child's welfare; see The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 and The Chil

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Membership of Child Protection Conferences - The Child Protection conference service will send out invitations to the conference after being advised by the allocated social worker who should be invited. Conference members and any professional who later joints the core group are responsible for recording the details of the next review

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - Every Review Conference will consider the need to update the child protection plan or end the child protection plan. If the key issues have been resolved, the conference should conclude that a child protection plan is no longer needed and it should therefore be considered if step down to a

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - A pre-birth conference is an initial child protection conference concerning an unborn child. Such a conference has the same status and must be conducted in a comparable manner to an initial child protection conference. The timing of the conference should be carefully considered bearing in

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - Pre-birth conferences should always be convened where there is a need to consider if a multi-agency child protection plan is required: a pre-birth assessment gives rise to concerns that an unborn child may be at risk of significant harm a previous child has died or been removed from parent

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - Other risk factors to be considered are: the impact of parental risk factors such as mental ill health, learning disabilities, substance misuse and domestic violence; a mother under 18 years of age about whom there are concerns regarding her ability to self-care and / or to care for the ch

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - When there are concerns about an unborn child, all agencies involved with the pregnant woman must ensure that a referral is made to First Response. The referral should be made made at the earliest opportunity after 13 weeks of gestation so that there is sufficient time for a full and info

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - As set out in the Pre-Birth Procedures, the intial pre-birth conference should take place at the earliest opportunity after 17 weeks gestation within 15 working days of a late notification, so as to allow as much time as possible for planning support for the baby and family.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - A review conference is intended: to 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 to consider whether the child protection plan should continue or should be changed.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - Every review should consider explicitly whether the child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm and hence continues to require safeguarding from harm through adherence to a formal child protection plan. If the child is considered to be suffering significant harm, the local

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - Thorough regular review is critical to achieving the best possible outcomes for the child and includes: sharing and analysing up-to-date information about the child's health, development and functioning and the parent's capacity to ensure and promote the child's welfare maintaining contact

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences - Children who are already looked after will not usually be the subject of child protection conferences, though they may be the subject of a s47 enquiry. The circumstances in which a child who is looked after may be subject to a child protection plan or be considered for a child protection c

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - The first child protection review conference should be held within three months of the date of the initial child protection conference.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - Further reviews should be held at intervals of not more than six months for as long as the child remains the subject of a child protection plan. If the initial conference was a pre-birth conference the review conference should take place within one month of the child's birth or within thre

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - All Review Conferences should consider the timescales to meet the needs and safety of the child. An infant or child under the age of 5 where there are serious concerns about the levels of risk might require the timescales to be shorter than those set above. The decisions should reflect the

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - Reviews should be brought forward where / when: child protection concerns relating to a new incident or allegation of abuse have been sustained there are significant difficulties in carrying out the child protection plan a child is to be born into the household of a child or children alrea

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences - When a child who is the subject of 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. In the limited number of cases in which it is still required, it will form part of the child’s wider

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Administrative arrangements for child protection conferences - Children’s services should designate an experienced manager who has responsibility for: ensuring that records on children who are subject of a child protection plan are kept up to date ensuring enquiries about children about whom there are concerns or who are subject of child protection

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences - The child protection conference will consider whether there are specific and exceptional circumstances that place the child at continuing risk of significant harm. In the absence of such circumstances, the conference will agree that the child should no longer be the subject of a child prot

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Membership of Child Protection Conferences - The Child Protection Conference service will send out invitations to the conference. A conference should consist of only those people who have a significant contribution to make due to their knowledge of the child and family or their expertise relevant to the case.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - Where there is delay, this must be reported to the social work manager (including reasons for the delay) and Children's services must ensure risks of harm to the child are monitored and action taken to safeguard the child.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Information for the conference - Each agency or professional invited to the conference will submit a written report. The report should be provided to parents and older children at least two working days in advance of the initial conference and a minimum of five working days before review conferences to enable any factual

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Exclusion of family members from a conference - If a decision to exclude a parent is made, this must be fully recorded in the record. Exclusion at one conference is not reason enough in itself for exclusion at further conferences.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Criteria for presence of a child at conference including direct involvement - Consideration should be given to enabling the child to be accompanied by a supporter or an Advocate.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Criteria for presence of a child at conference including direct involvement - Indirect contributions from a child should, whenever possible, include a pre-meeting with the conference Chair.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Criteria for presence of a child at conference including direct involvement - Other indirect methods include written statements, e-mails, text messages and taped comments prepared alone or with independent support, and representation via an advocate.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Criteria for presence of a child at conference including direct involvement - Childcare professionals should all be able to represent a child's views and a particular responsibility falls upon the social worker to do so. It is more important that the child feels involved in the whole process of child protection assessment rather than merely receiving an invitation t

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Exclusion of family members from a conference - The conference Chair, or other participants, must be notified as soon as possible by the social worker if it is considered necessary to exclude one or both parents for all or part of a conference. The Chair should make a decision according to the following criteria: indications that the pr

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Exclusion of family members from a conference - Where a worker from any agency believes a parent should, on the basis of the above criteria, be excluded, representation must be made, if possible at least three working days in advance, to the Chair of the conference. The agency concerned must indicate which of the grounds it believes is

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

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

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Criteria for presence of a child at conference including direct involvement - If a child attends all or part of the conference, it is essential that they are prepared by the social worker or independent advocate who can help them prepare a report or rehearse any particular points that the child wishes to make.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Information for the conference - In order for the conference to reach well-informed decisions based on evidence, it needs adequate preparation and sharing of information on the child/rein’s needs and circumstances by all agencies that have had significant involvement with the child and family, including those who were i

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Information for the conference - Children’s services should provide all conferences with a written report that summarises and analyses the information obtained in the course of the assessment undertaken in conjunction with the child protection enquiries under s47 of the Children Act 1989 and information in existing reco

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Information for the conference - Where decisions are being made about more than one child in a family the report should consider the safeguarding needs of each child. The record of the assessment by the social worker should form a part of the report.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Information for the conference - The conference report should include information on the dates the child was seen by the social worker during the course of the section 47 enquiries, if the child was seen alone and if not, who was present and for what reasons.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Information for the conference - All children in the household need to be considered and information must be provided about the needs and circumstances of each of them, even if they are not the subject of the conference.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Information for the conference - The report should be provided to parents and older children (to the extent that it is believed to be in their interests) at least two working days in advance of the initial conferences and a minimum of five working days before review conferences to enable any factual errors to be corrected

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Information for the conference - The report should be available to the conference Chair at least two working days prior to the initial conference and five working days in advance of the review conference.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Criteria for presence of a child at conference including direct involvement - Provision should be made to ensure that a child who has any form of disability is enabled to participate.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Criteria for presence of a child at conference including direct involvement - In advance of the conference, the Chair and social worker should agree whether: the child attends for all or part of the conference, taking into account confidentiality for parents and / or siblings the child should be present with one or more of their parents the Chair meets the child alo

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Membership of Child Protection Conferences - Babies and young children under the age of 10 should not normally be present during the conference as they will cause distraction from the focus of the meeting. Parents should be assisted to make arrangements for their care where necessary.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Involving children and family members - Explicit consideration should be given to the potential for conflict between family members and possible need for children or adults to speak without other family members present.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Location, timing and safety for conferences - The location and timing of the conference should be planned to ensure maximum attendance from the most critical attendees. In exceptional circumstances it may be considered for key professionals to contribute via conference calls. Conferences should not be scheduled for times when parents

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Location, timing and safety for conferences - Health and safety issues and security arrangements need to be factored in when planning each conference and this may need to consider exclusion of a parent if there are risks inherent in their attendance. For some one excluded from a conference on an occasion does NOT mean they are then ex

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Quorum - As a minimum quorum, at every conference there should be attendance by local authority children's services and at least two other professional groups or agencies, which have had direct contact with each child who is the subject of the conference. In addition, attendees may also include tho

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Quorum - In exceptional circumstances, the Chair may decide to proceed with the conference despite lack of agency representation. This would be relevant where: a child has not had relevant contact with three agencies (e.g. pre-birth conferences) sufficient information is available; and a delay will

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Quorum - Where an inquorate conference is held, it must be noted in the conference record why this decision was reached, and an early review conference should be considered.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Involving children and family members - It is important that the principles of partnership with children and parents are maintained in the child protection process. The following are minimum requirements for all attendees of the conference and the responsibility of the Chair of the conference to uphold: parents must be invited a

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Involving children and family members - Exceptionally, it may be necessary to exclude one or more family members from a conference, in whole or in part. Where a parent attends only part of a conference as a result of exclusion, they must receive the record of the conference. The Chair should decide if the entire record is provid

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Involving children and family members - The child must be given the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the conference, subject to their level of understanding.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

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

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

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

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

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

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Criteria for presence of a child at conference including direct involvement - The primary questions to be addressed are: Does the child have sufficient understanding of the process? Have they expressed an explicit or implicit wish to be involved? What are the parents' views about the child's proposed presence? Is inclusion assessed to be of benefit to the child? Is

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Criteria for presence of a child at conference including direct involvement - The test of 'sufficient understanding' is partly a function of age and partly the child's capacity to understand. The following approach is recommended: a presumption that a child of less than twelve years of age is unlikely to be able to be a direct and/or full participant in a forum such

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Criteria for presence of a child at conference including direct involvement - A declared wish not to attend a conference (having been given such an explanation) must be respected.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Criteria for presence of a child at conference including direct involvement - Consideration should be given to the views of and impact on parent/s of their child's proposed attendance.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

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

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Administrative arrangements for child protection conferences - The chair will ensure that, within one working day: All those who were invited to the conference are notified of the conference decision (whether or not the child needs a child protection plan) and any recommendations for action and, where appropriate, the name of the lead social worker an

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - The conference will draft a plan to address the identified risks. This will set out the outcomes to be achieved, the actions that need to be taken to achieve the outcome and who is responsible for each action and the deadline for completion.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The absence of parents and children

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Information for the conference - The report should be available to the conference chair a minimum of two working days prior to the initial conference and five working days in advance of the review conference. Each professional will provide sufficient printed copies of their report to share with partner agencies in the pro

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Types of Conference - If a child is on a child protection plan at the time of their birth, a review conference must take place within 20 working days of the child’s birth. If the initial conference was a pre-birth conference, the review conference should take place within 20 working days of the child's birth

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

The Child's Plan - The conference will discuss whether the plan should be a child protection or a child in need plan.

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Administrative arrangements for child protection conferences

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Complaints by Children and / or parents

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Professional Dissent from the Conference Decision

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Information for the conference

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Exclusion of family members from a conference

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Membership of Child Protection Conferences

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Purposes and tasks for all conferences

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Criteria for presence of a child at conference including direct involvement

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Looked after children and child protection conferences

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Location, timing and safety for conferences

1.5 Child Protection Conferences: Procedure

Involving children and family members

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Women who are concealing are unlikely to present at GPs for pregnancy tests.  However, they may present for another reason.  As a matter of good practice, the possibility of pregnancy should be a prime consideration for GPs where nausea/vomiting is a key presenting symptom in a female pa

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Where the expectant mother is under the age of 18 initial approaches should be made to discuss concerns regarding the potential concealed pregnancy and unborn child.  Social Workers should take measured steps to ensure that the young person is not pregnant via appropriate medical examinat

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - In some instances, women may be genuinely unaware they are pregnant, but in others, the woman may be determined to conceal the fact, and may be extremely reluctant to agree to a pregnancy test or examination.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Where a GP has significant reason to believe a woman is pregnant, but further investigations are denied by the young person, action must be taken; where there are concerns about the potential welfare of the unborn child the GP should refer to Children’s Services.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Given that a previous concealed pregnancy indicates increased risk of further concealment, where this has been the case it should be documented within the GP records.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Health Visitors/Family Nurses in the course of their involvement with families will be aware of the circumstances of previous pregnancies, and need to be alert to the possibility that a woman may be concealing a pregnancy.  If the Health Visitor/Family Nurse believes the woman may be preg

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - As an initial step it may be helpful to discuss the matter with the Named Nurse for Safeguarding Children, the GP and liaise with the Midwife to consider a way forward or a referral to Children’s Services made if there is total denial of the pregnancy.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Professionals working in mental health and learning disability may be more likely to be involved with a woman/young person who is concealing a pregnancy than other agencies.  Mental illness, emotional problems, personality problems, a learning disability or substance misuse may all be con

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - The high risk pathway detailed in Appendix 1 indicates the steps to be taken to protect the child as early as possible in the pregnancy and once the child is born where there are specific child protection concerns identified.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - In the event that the young person refuses to engage in constructive discussion, and where parental involvement is considered appropriate to address risk, the parent/main carer should be informed and plans made wherever possible to ensure the unborn baby’s welfare.  Potential risks to t

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - If the young woman refuses to engage in constructive discussion then the Social Worker will need to inform her parent/s or carers and continue to assess the situation with a focus on the needs /welfare of the unborn baby as well as those of the young woman, who should be considered a Child

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Where there are additional concerns (to the suspected concealed or denied pregnancy) such as a lack of engagement, possibility of sexual abuse, or substance misuse; a Section 47 Enquiry should be undertaken.  An outcome of this may be to convene an Initial pre-birth Child Protection Confe

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - If a young person has arrived at hospital either in labour (when a pregnancy has been concealed or denied) or following an unassisted birth an initial assessment must be started and a multi-agency Strategy Discussion held.  In all cases the need to convene a Child Protection Conference mu

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Where a baby has been harmed, has died or has been abandoned then a Section 47 investigation must be completed in collaboration with the Police.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Any referral received by the Emergency Social Work Team in relation to a baby born following a concealed or denied pregnancy, or where a mother and baby have attended hospital following an unassisted delivery, then steps may need to be taken to prevent the baby being discharged from hospit

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - In undertaking an assessment the Social Worker will need to focus on the facts leading to the pregnancy, reasons why the pregnancy was concealed and gain some understanding of what outcome the mother intended for the child. These factors along with the other elements of the Assessment Fram

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Midwives should ensure information regarding the concealed pregnancy is placed on the child’s, as well as the mother’s health records.  Following an unassisted delivery or a concealed/denied pregnancy Midwives must be alert to the level of engagement shown by the mother, and her partn

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Accessing psychological services in concealment and denial of pregnancy may be appropriate and consideration should be given to referring a woman for psychological assessment. There could be a number of issues for the woman which would benefit from psychological intervention. A psychiatric

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - In cases where there has been concealment and denial of pregnancy, especially where there has been unassisted delivery, consider a referral for a full Mental Health Assessment.  In addition the baby should not be discharged until a multi-agency Strategy Meeting has been held and relevant

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Education staff may often feel the matter can be resolved through discussion with the parent of the young person however this will need to be a matter of professional judgement (unless the young person has not given consent to tell the parents).  It may be felt that the young person will

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - If the baby has been harmed in any way or there is a suspicion of harm, or the child is abandoned by the mother, the Police must be informed immediately and a referral made to Children’s Services.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Consideration must be given to the balance of confidentiality and the potential concern for the unborn child and the mother’s health and well-being.  Where there is a suspicion that a pregnancy is being concealed it is necessary to share this information with other agencies, irrespectiv

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - A concealed pregnancy is when a woman knows she is pregnant but does not tell any health professional; or when she tells another professional but conceals the fact that she is not accessing antenatal care; or when a pregnant woman tells another person or persons and they conceal the fa

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - A denied pregnancy is when a woman is unaware of or unable to accept the existence of her pregnancy.  Physical changes to the body may not be present or misconstrued; they may be intellectually aware of the pregnancy but continue to think, feel and behave as though they were not pregnant.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - A pregnancy will not be considered to be concealed or denied for the purpose of these procedures and guidance until it is confirmed to be at least 24 weeks; this is the point of viability.  However by the very nature of concealment or denial it is not possible for anyone suspecting a woma

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - If a woman arrives at the hospital in labour or following an unassisted delivery, where there is no evidence the pregnancy has been booked with maternity services or ante natal care accessed(pregnancy has been concealed or denied), then an urgent referral must be made to Buckinghamshire Fi

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - The reasons will not be known until there has been an assessment.  If there is a denial of pregnancy then consideration must be given at the earliest opportunity to a referral for Mental Health Services.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - In many instances staff in educational settings may be the professionals who know a young person best.  There are several signs to look out for that may give rise to suspicion of concealed pregnancy: increased weight or attempts to lose weight; mearing uncharacteristically baggy clothing;

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Staff working in educational settings should try to encourage the young person to discuss her situation as they would any other safeguarding concern.  Every effort should be made by the professional suspecting a pregnancy to encourage the young person to obtain medical advice. However whe

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Thames Valley Police will be notified of any child protection concerns received by Children’s Services where concealment or denial of pregnancy is an issue.  A Police representative will be invited to attend a multi-agency Strategy Meeting and consider the circumstances and to decide wh

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - If a woman arrives at the hospital in labour or following an unassisted delivery, where a booking has not been made, then an urgent referral must be made to Children’s Services.  The Emergency Duty team must be informed during the evening, on weekends or Public holidays.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - If education staff do engage with parents they need to bear in mind the possibility of parent’s collusion with concealment. Whatever action is taken, the young person should be appropriately informed, unless there is a genuine concern that in so doing she may attempt to harm herself or t

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - The School Nurse may be well placed to identify and work with school age girls who may be pregnant by offering a confidential service.  The School Nurse should liaise closely with the Consultant Midwife for Teenage Pregnancy in order to support the young person having gained consent from

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - If a health professional suspects or identifies a concealed or denied pregnancy a referral to Children’s Services must be made and all other health professionals that need to be involved in her care must also be informed.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - The health professionals whom may be involved include (list not exhaustive): Health Visitors/Family Nurses School nurse General Practitioners and Practice nurses Midwifes and Obstetricians/Gynaecologists Mental Health Nurses Drug and Alcohol workers Learning Disability workers; and Psychol

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - All health professionals should give consideration to the individual need of the young person to make or initiate a referral for a Mental Health Assessment at any stage of concern.  Hospital Emergency Department staff or those in Radiology departments need to routinely ask women of child

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Health professionals who provide help and support to promote children’s or women’s health and development should be aware of the risk indicators and how to act on their concerns if they believe a young person may be concealing or denying a pregnancy.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - If an appointment for antenatal care has been made late (after 24 weeks) reasons for this must be explored.  Midwives and Obstetricians should always consider whether there is a need for a referral to Mental Health Services.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - The pathway for psychological or psychiatric assessment, either before or after pregnancy is the same.  A referral should be made using the single point of entry to Mental Health Services and the referral letter copied to the young person’s GP.  The referral should make clear any issue

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Help assessment and support - The early help planning and review process needs to be clear and robust. Given the relatively short timescale of the pregnancy, the decisions regarding the effectiveness and impact of an Early Help plan should be tightly managed. If it becomes evident that an Early Help plan is not having

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - Factors to consider will be the age of the person whom is suspected or known to be pregnant, and the circumstances in which she is living to consider whether she is a victim or potential victim of criminal offences.  In all cases where a child has been harmed, been abandoned or died, Poli

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - Midwifery and Children’s Services Liaison Meetings take place every 6 weeks. The meeting is attended by a Social Care Team Manager and Midwives from the Midwifery Safeguarding Team, including the Safeguarding Midwife, Teenage Pregnancy Midwife or Mental Health Midwife.  Discussions take

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - ReConnect is a service aimed at improving outcomes for the most vulnerable children under the age of two.  This group will include children, as well as any unborn children, who are at high risk of developing a disorganised attachment through experiencing parenting breakdown, neglect and a

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - ReConnect aims at breaking the cycle of repeated abuse and neglect through offering intensive early intervention to high risk parents.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - ReConnect will work alongside multi-agency partners as part of the pre-birth assessment (as part of Child Protection plan) and provide early intervention that may improve the parenting capacity of mothers and improve the likelihood of them being able to parent their baby when born.  In si

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - Consideration can be given to the suitability for a parent and child placement as soon as professionals become aware of the pregnancy.  A parent and child placement is a fostering arrangement where a parent and their child are placed together in a fostering family.   The placement is us

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - The Fostering Service should be contacted for further consultation, when discussing suitability of a parent for a parent and child placement.  In the event that there are suitable vacancies, a worker should be invited to the looked after child /permanency planning meetings to discuss plan

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - The reasons when a parent and child placement may be considered suitable are when: there is a young parent or child in care indicating they may need support mother is known to use drugs and/or alcohol heavily there is a child or older sibling who is subject to a Child Protection or Child i

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - Referrals to the Fostering Team for a parent and child placement can be made for cases that are currently open to Children’s Services for: one parent and one child only where contact is expected neither parent or partner have a history of violence or aggression there is sufficient inform

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - Unborn babies are discussed in detail after 24 weeks gestation and a general overview discussion takes place on unborn babies after 13 weeks gestation.  Complex assessments can be discussed in detail earlier than 24 weeks to ensure effective planning.  Following the meeting any issues ra

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - Dependent on the level of concerns about a child or family the local authority may have to consider  if they need to initiate Care or Supervision Proceedings.  If they do a Legal Planning Meeting should be held (at 24 weeks gestation).  At the Legal Planning Meeting, a decision will be

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - Where there are significant concerns and the whereabouts of the mother are not known, the details must be passed to the Local Authority Child Protection Business Support Specialist team and the Designated Manager will ensure that other agencies and local authorities are informed in accorda

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - Where there are significant concerns and the case is being transferred to another local authority, procedures across authorities must be followed. Transfer should not deter the originating authority from initiating or continuing Care Proceedings. In those circumstances, legal advice needs

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Post Birth Planning - Early planning is essential, particularly if there is a risk of baby being born pre-term. There should be a multi-agency meeting at 36 weeks which includes ward staff and any other professionals who may be relevant to the plan, immediately after birth. This meeting should ensure that there

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Post Birth Planning - If abduction is a possibility the contingency planning for this would not be shared with the family.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Post Birth Planning - The Child Protection Plan/Discharge plan should always address the following issues: Who can visit the baby, and for how long? Who can visit the mother and for how long? Indicate the level of personal care for the baby that mother, father and other family members should undertake What supe

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Post Birth Planning - Where vulnerability is identified late in the pregnancy it is essential that there is a clear plan regarding the birth of the baby. It is crucial that hospital discharge arrangements are clarified at the earliest opportunity.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - A Family Group Conference (FGC) should take place where there is a possibility that parents may not be able to care for baby.  The FGC is a decision-making meeting in which a child’s whole family network considers how they can support the child to be cared for within the family network

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - Relinquished babies will transfer immediately to the Child in Care Service.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Referral where vulnerability is indicated - If vulnerability is identified, early referral to appropriate support services will promote positive working relationships between both parents and key professionals.  Early referrals can also help to ensure there is clarity around roles and responsibilities, and that appropriate early he

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Fraser Guidelines - The Fraser guidelines and Gillick competency refer to a legal case which looked specifically at whether doctors should be able to give contraceptive advice or treatment to under 16 year olds without parental consent.  However since then, they have been more widely used to help assess whet

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Referral where vulnerability is indicated - Early assessment of need and the identification of appropriate support services is good practice and ensures that a planned and structured approach is taken and parents feel fully supported and are clear that if there are any concerns, what these are and how they will be addressed from the

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Referral where vulnerability is indicated - At the beginning of any intervention it is important to identify whether the pregnant woman has any communication needs.  At the earliest opportunity, access to translation or advocacy services should be considered.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Referral where vulnerability is indicated - If at any stage it becomes known that a pregnancy is no longer viable this information needs to be sensitively communicated in a timely manner to all involved agencies and consideration given to referral for access to bereavement support for parents as appropriate.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Help assessment and support - Early intervention is essential in ensuring that unborn babies for whom risks or support needs are identified are given the best possible chances to reduce the need for statutory intervention. The outcome of this work will determine whether a referral to Children’s Services is necessary.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Help assessment and support - The Thresholds document will provide guidance on the types of family circumstances to be supported under Levels 1 – 4.  If it has been identified that the parent/s may need additional support to meet the needs of their unborn child, this is the first stage in seeking to clearly identify

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Help assessment and support - If it is deemed appropriate through a multi-agency decision to manage the case via a ‘Family Plan’, a robust Early Help assessment should be completed by the lead professional identified and an early help plan developed.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Help assessment and support - The development of an Early Help assessment and plan should follow the same principles of active multi-agency collaboration, planning and review as advocated in this procedure.  Contributing professionals should be mindful that the Early Help plan may form the evidential basis for future

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Help assessment and support - If consent cannot be obtained for an early help assessment and plan, then a decision will need to be made as to the impact of not receiving services and whether this would escalate concerns to the threshold of risk of significant harm or whether there are enough strengths, support and mon

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - A pre-birth assessment must be undertaken when the following factors are present: a parent or other person in the household is a person identified as presenting a risk, or potential risk, to children child/children in the household/family are currently subject to a child protection plan or

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - Where there may be multiple vulnerabilities experienced by a family which could put the unborn baby, or the child once born, at risk of significant harm, a referral to Children’s Services should be made at the earliest opportunity after 13 weeks gestation in order to: provide sufficient

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - All referrals to Children’s Services should be made via the Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF). Upon receipt of the referral, Children’s Services will make a decision as to how to proceed.  More complex cases will be considered by the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) for informatio

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - If the decision is taken that an assessment is required, the unborn child will follow one of two Pathways (see flowchart in Appendix 1 to this document). For those unborn babies considered NOT to be at high risk, the assessments will be undertaken by the Assessment Team. Should a Child In

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - FAST offers pre and post birth assessment around practical parenting, parenting support and focussed intervention.  FAST workers can work alongside the social worker to undertake parenting assessments under child protection plans, pre-proceedings and care proceedings.  Workers are traine

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - FAST will continue to work systemically within a professional network alongside the case holding Social Work team, including attending the Initial Child Protection Conference to gather information and inform their response.  All work undertaken is time limited and planned to specifically

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - If a Looked After Child becomes pregnant and a pre-birth assessment is required, the looked after social worker should make a referral to First Response.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - Social Care will feed back to the referrer and relevant agencies the outcome of the pre-birth assessment.  If safeguarding concerns are identified at the pre-birth assessment stage, a strategy discussion should be held to determine if a Section 47 investigation should be progressed.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Risk of significant harm - Dependent on the outcome of the Section 47 investigation the pre-birth assessment will either form the basis of the social worker’s report to an Initial Child Protection Conference or will act as a basis for pre-proceedings under the Public Law Outline.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - The concealment and denial of pregnancy will present a significant challenge to professionals in safeguarding the welfare and wellbeing of the foetus (unborn child) and the mother.  While concealment and denial, by their very nature, limit the scope of professional help, better outcomes c

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy - The GP may initiate a psychiatric assessment or be asked to make a referral by a colleague.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Fraser Guidelines - The Fraser guidelines help to balance children’s rights and wishes with the responsibility to keep children safe from harm.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Guidance for all Agencies

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - This is where no concerns have been identified, and the woman and her unborn child are adequately supported by universal service provision (for example, GP, Midwifery, Health Visiting).  There may be a need for limited intervention to avoid needs arising.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - The Pre Birth Pathway follows the BSCB Thresholds Document and describes 4 types of response to meeting the needs of children and families.  As needs are identified and assessed during pregnancy, there should be consideration of a ‘step up or step down’ approach so children and famili

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Guidance for all Agencies - If there are immediate concerns about an unborn child or an adult with care and support needs, existing safeguarding procedures need to be followed alongside encouragement to access maternity services.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Guidance for all Agencies - Evidence indicates that women who have additional vulnerability are less likely to access antenatal care or stay in regular contact with maternity services. Where vulnerability has been identified, providing antenatal services in a more flexible way may encourage women to attend more regul

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Guidance for all Agencies - Other professionals must not assume that a family is known to Midwifery Services.  If any agency becomes aware that a woman is pregnant then contact needs to be made with Midwifery for booking in at the earliest opportunity.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Guidance for all Agencies - The Midwife will be able to assist the woman in making informed choices about the care she receives, offer advice on the suitability of her choices and will be able to consider if there are any concerns for the unborn child and work with her to develop a safe plan of care.   

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Guidance for all Agencies - All women who suspect that they may be pregnant should be advised to book in with Midwifery at the earliest opportunity. This is usually between 8-10 weeks of pregnancy if the pregnancy has been notified to the Midwife.  The booking appointment should be no later than the end of week 12.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Principles of the Pre Birth Procedure - The key principles of the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) Pre Birth Assessment Procedure are: practitioners ‘think pregnancy, think midwife’ Early Help and support is key midwives complete a Pre Birth Vulnerability Screening Tool with all women at their booking; the

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Principles of the Pre Birth Procedure - This procedure has been developed and designed by a multi-agency group, established under the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) in order to develop a consistent Pre Birth Assessment Pathway which identifies vulnerability early and provides a clear route into appropriate su

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Principles of the Pre Birth Procedure

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - Both the Midwives and Health Visitors should provide updates by phone if they become aware of relevant information during the antenatal or postnatal period. Health Visitors provide an antenatal visit at 28 weeks and another, if required, at 32 weeks. Health Visiting will try and have som

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Screening for vulnerabilities

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Information Sharing and Consent

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Responding to Concealed or Denied Pregnancy

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Referral where vulnerability is indicated

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Help assessment and support

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures and Guidance - Children living in households where there is substance misuse: Guidance Domestic Violence and Abuse: Procedure and Guidance Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Useful References - Assessing Parents’ Capacity to Change: A Structured Approach. Frontline Briefing. Research in Practice/Dartington. 2013 Ages of concern: learning lessons from serious case reviews: A thematic report of Ofsted’s evaluation of serious case reviews from 1 April 2007 to 31st March

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Fraser Guidelines - When trying to decide whether a child / young person is mature enough to make decisions, people often talk about whether a child is Gillick Competent or whether they meet the Fraser Guidelines.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - By 16 weeks of pregnancy the Named Midwife will complete a Health Visitor Liaison form for all antenatal patients. This will highlight any concerns and the Health Visitors will use the information to identify any vulnerable mothers. The form is then given to the Health Visitor Team for the

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Appendix - Pre-Birth Flowchart  

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Screening for vulnerabilities - A holistic approach, taking into account the woman’s social history is provided. Gathering this information assists with identifying mothers for whom there are complex social factors that may impact on her and her partner’s parenting capacity. This information will be incorporated into

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Information Sharing and Consent - Careful consideration must be paid to issues of consent and information sharing throughout any involvement with families.  Parents should be informed as soon as possible of the concerns and the need for a referral to Early Help or Children’s Services, except on the rare occasions where

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Screening for vulnerabilities - Bucks CCGs have commissioned and developed a universal, NICE (CG 192) compliant pathway for perinatal mental health along with a supplementary document to accompany this. GPs, Midwives and Health Visitors/Family Nurses are uniquely placed to screen for risk factors during the perinatal per

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Screening for vulnerabilities - Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Midwives meet regularly with Health Visitors/Family Nurses and GPs to share information to ensure that mothers are accessing appropriate care.  They will escalate any concerns to safeguarding leads within their own agencies, and to the relevant social

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Screening for vulnerabilities - Midwives may identify that a mother has, or may have been, subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM).  FGM can lead to birth complications such as prolonged labour, recourse to caesarean section, postpartum haemorrhage and tearing.  If FGM is identified, professionals must follow the

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Screening for vulnerabilities - Midwifery services will share information with the Health Visitor/Family Nurseduring the pregnancy.  Within Buckinghamshire, the Health Visitor/Family Nurse will complete an antenatal visit for all mothers between 28 and 32 weeks.  It is important that the named Health Visitor/Family Nur

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Information Sharing and Consent - Information sharing is vital to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. A key factor identified in many serious case reviews (SCRs) has been a failure by practitioners to record information, to share it, to understand its significance and then take appropriate

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Screening for vulnerabilities - During the booking interview, the lead midwife responsible for the patient’s care collects information to build into a full medical and social history.  This data helps the midwife to assist the woman in making informed choices about the care she receives and to offer advise on the suit

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Screening for vulnerabilities - Midwives are well placed to gather important information about expectant mothers and their circumstances, early in the pregnancy.  A booking interview is carried out at around 8-10 weeks of pregnancy either in the woman’s home or at a location of her choice (for example the GP surgery,

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Screening for vulnerabilities - These guidelines set out what healthcare professionals, and antenatal services, can do to address the needs and improve pregnancy outcomes in this group of women.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Information Sharing and Consent - The DfE’s Information Sharing (Advice for Practitioners providing safeguarding services to Children, Young People, parents and carers) provides guidance on sharing information and includes the ‘Seven golden rules to sharing information. Professionals should also refer to the BSCB Infor

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Information Sharing and Consent - Other points to consider: Is there a legitimate purpose for sharing information? Does the information enable a person to be identified? Is the information confidential? If so, do you have consent to share? Is there a statutory duty or court order to share the information? Is consent refuse

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Information Sharing and Consent - Seeking information/advice and timely sharing of information between agencies is vital to ensure the best use of the available professional expertise to facilitate decision making in the context of effective multi-agency working. It is each practitioner’s responsibility to familiarise th

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - The family may require additional support because they may have personal or physical difficulties or may be affected by family crisis. Additional support can be provided through a single agency response and partnership working (for example Midwifery, Health Visiting, Family Nurse Partnersh

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Screening for vulnerabilities - The Buckinghamshire multi-agency perinatal mental health network comprises partners from general practice, commissioning, Midwifery, Health Visiting, CAMHS, ReConnect (parent-infant service which works with parents and children with disorganised attachment issues), Healthy Minds (Psycholog

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - At booking with the Midwife eligible women will be referred to the Family Nurse Partnership Programme (FNP).  Women are eligible to be referred to FNP if:      they are first time mothers aged 19 and under at conception living in the agreed catchment area previous pregnancies ended in

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - Women enrolled onto FNP (normally by the 16th week of pregnancy) receive the FNP intervention alongside their usual antenatal care provided by their Midwife.   Individuals do not have a Health Visitor; the Family Nurse delivers the Healthy Child Programme alongside the FNP intervention.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - FNP has the potential to impact on the assessment process and is a therapeutic intervention which uses psycho-educational methods with a focus on changing behaviour.  A referral to Children’s Services is completed at the earliest opportunity in collaboration with the Midwife if it is de

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - If a family is identified to have multiple needs/vulnerabilities requiring a multi-agency co-ordinated response an Early Help Assessment or Child and Family Assessment can be used to assess need and the type of support required.  A Multi Agency Referral Form (MARF) should be sent to Chil

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - Children and families may require intensive help and support to meet their needs. Parents / carers or families should be demonstrating a willingness to accept support.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - Interagency assessment and care planning for children with complex needs may be led by a lead professional through the Early Help process.

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - Where complex needs have been identified and parents / carers are not engaging with appropriate services then consideration should be given to ‘stepping up’ the agency response and a referral made without delay into Children’s Services First Response. 

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Thresholds of Need - This is where there may be multiple vulnerabilities experienced by a family or an individual parent which may put the unborn baby, or the child once born, at risk of significant harm.  Children’s Services First Response should be contacted on 01296 383962 (0800 999 7677 out of hours), f

1.6 Pre-Birth Procedures and Guidance

Early Screening for vulnerabilities - NICE Guidance (Ante Natal care for uncomplicated pregnancies) outlines routine maternity care for healthy pregnant women.  Pregnant women with complex social factors may have additional needs. The NICE guidelines for pregnancy and complex needs contain a number of recommendations on stan

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children In Need - If a family moves whilst subject to child protection enquires under s47 or an assessment of need under S17, those assessments are concluded before transfer of case responsibility takes place. This ensures that services are working together to limit the extent to which children and familie

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Introduction - All reasonable efforts should be made to house children who are subject of a child protection plan or to a child protection enquiry within the county unless a move is part of the child protection plan. This applies to both temporary and permanent housing provision. In most cases, this will

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children In Need - The arrangements set out above for the transfer of information about children in need between authorities are subject to the consent of the family. Information about child protection concerns or a concern that a child may be missing education may be transferred without consent.

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children In Need - Although there is no formal requirement to hold a meeting to discuss the transfer of a child in need plan, it would be good practice for the receiving authority to hold such a meeting, especially where the family situation is complex or the children have previously been the subject of a pr

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Introduction - Children and young people, especially those assessed to be in need or at risk, are likely to be even more vulnerable as a consequence of homelessness and the dislocation that is likely to occur as a result of moving between local authority areas. Relationships with relatives, friends, scho

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Introduction - Families may move for a variety of reasons. Failure to comply with the terms of their tenancy, eviction, homelessness and victimisation as a result of involvement in gangs or anti-social behaviour can all be reasons why families move between local authority areas. Government policy, and th

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Introduction - Regardless of the reasons or circumstances of families moving between local authority areas, the Children Act 1989 is clear about where the responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of such children lies (Section 17 and Section 47): it is with the local authority responsibl

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - These procedures relate to duties arising out of the Children Act 1989 and related legislation, regulation and guidance to provide services for children at risk of significant harm and subject to a child protection plan. The transfer of case responsibility from the originating authority to

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - When a family with children subject to a child protection plan moves from one local authority area (the originating authority) to another local authority area (the receiving authority), then the responsibility for the monitoring, supervision and updating of that plan must transfer from the

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - When a family with children subject to a child protection plan moves to another local authority area, the originating authority should notify the receiving authority at the earliest opportunity. The originating authority should provide the receiving authority with the following documentati

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - Within 15 days of receipt of the documentation referred to above, the receiving authority should arrange a transfer child protection conference. The receiving authority will be responsible for undertaking checks on any other residents of the new address as appropriate. At that child protec

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children In Need - Where the originating authority has been providing or funding services for the children, they should continue to do so for the period of time originally envisaged by the child in need plan. Where the originating authority is funding the housing costs of the family, they should continue to

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - Following the transfer child protection conference, the originating authority should end their child  protection plan and notify relevant agencies accordingly.

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - Where the originating authority has been providing or funding services for the children, they should continue to do so for the period of time originally envisaged by the child protection plan. Where the originating authority is funding the housing costs of the family, they should continue

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children In Need - If a family with children subject to a child in need plan moves to another area, then the originating authority should notify the receiving authority that the family have moved and provide copies of relevant documentation: Copies of the most recent assessments of the children Copies of the

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - Where the originating authority is dealing with a child through the public law outline, a legal planning meeting has agreed that the threshold has been met but proceedings have not been initiated pending further assessments, then case responsibility should transfer to the receiving authori

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - Even if the originating authority is not transferring case responsibility for any of the reasons listed in 1.7.10, above, they should still notify the receiving authority that the child has moved into their area. The receiving authority should maintain a ‘List’ of children subject to c

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - The nature and / or tenure of the housing provided for a family in the receiving authority is not a factor that determines cases responsibility.

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - Where a child and their family have moved or are likely to move repeatedly (more than twice) between local authority areas for short periods of time (less than 4 weeks), the originating authority should assess the suitability of the accommodation / other residents of that accommodation to

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - The receiving authority may delay the date of the transfer child protection conference if it considers that the documentation provided by the originating authority (see 1.7.6, above) is incomplete or not of a sufficient standard. Any disagreements about the quality of the documentation sho

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - For the avoidance of doubt, the originating authority should ensure that other agencies within its area are aware that the child / family have moved to another area and that those agencies will notify their counterparts in the receiving area that this move has occurred.

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - The only reasons why case responsibility for children subject to a child protection plan should not transfer from the originating authority to the receiving authority are: If the child is looked after by the originating authority or the subject of a statutory order to the originating autho

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans - It is the responsibility of the originating authority to ensure that all other agencies working with a child subject to a child protection plan are notified that the child has moved to another area. It is the responsibility of each agency in the originating authority to notify their counte

1.7 Local Transfer Protocol

Children Subject to Child Protection Plans

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Introduction - When a child has an unexplained or suspicious injury, has symptoms and signs of neglect, or is a suspected victim of child sexual abuse, a medical assessment is usually an essential part of the multi-agency investigation.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Strategy Discussion - The strategy discussion will plan the medical assessment, deciding what the objectives of the assessment are, when it needs to take place, who should conduct it and where is the most appropriate venue.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Strategy Discussion - Whenever there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm there should be a strategy discussion involving local authority Children’s Social Care, the police, health and other agencies as appropriate.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Children's Social Care / Police - Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) procedures state that medical assessments must be considered when there is a suspicion or allegation of child abuse and/or neglect involving: any injuries to children under one year a suspicious or serious injury (thought to be non-acciden

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Primary care - GPs can seek advice from the named doctor during normal working hours from Monday to Friday or from the paediatrician on call out of hours.                         Named Doctor: Dr Ash Joshi, 01296 566055 /56                         Designated D

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Primary care - Except for in cases of child neglect, paediatricians do not accept referrals directly from GPs.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Primary care - In cases of suspected non-accidental injury, the GP or other health professionals in primary care should: document the explanation of the child’s injury and log all injuries using a body map (see Appendix B) consider the need to speak to the on call paediatrician to discuss concerns, who

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Urgent need for treatment - The paediatrician will refer to Children’s Social Care and the police via telephone on 101 or 999 at the earliest opportunity and then complete a Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF) within 24 hours.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Urgent need for treatment - A&E staff will contact the on-call paediatric registrar to assess the child if non-accidental injury (NIA), abuse or neglect is suspected. The paediatric registrar will inform the consultant on call.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Urgent need for treatment - Where the child appears in urgent need of medical attention s/he should be taken to the nearest Accident & Emergency (A&E) department, regardless of age, explanation of injury or any other factor.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Introduction - Why medical assessment may be needed: to establish what immediate treatment and support the child may need to secure any ongoing medical care, support, monitoring and treatment the child may require to provide information which will support or dismiss a diagnosis of child abuse in conjunct

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Introduction - The majority of children should be seen during the daytime. Examination of children out of hours is rarely needed other than in cases of acute assault, either for medical or forensic necessity.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Purpose - The purpose of this document is to provide practitioners within health, social care and the police with simple guidelines to follow when presented with a child who may need a medical assessment in cases of suspected non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and neglect. It does not apply to chil

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Strategy Discussion - The strategy discussion must plan what will be explained to parents/carers so that they understand the reason for assessment.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Strategy Discussion - If a criminal prosecution is considered by the police to be a possibility, a statement for court by the paediatrician may be required.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Appendix - APPENDIX A Concern of Non-Accidental Injury of a Child APPENDIX B Body Maps

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Contact Details - If you have concerns about medical examinations the named and designated doctors are available for advice and contact details are given below: Named Doctor: Dr Ash Joshi, 01296 566055 /56 Designated Doctor: Dr Lesley Ray, 07342 064612 Clinical Director Thames Valley Sexual Assault Service

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Purpose - This guidance details agreed procedures and decision-making pathways to ensure that when a child or young person is alleged or suspected to have suffered significant harm, the child will be medically assessed by a doctor with appropriate skills and expertise following multi-agency agreemen

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Strategy Discussion - Consideration will be given to the need for any other children in the household to be assessed.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Strategy Discussion - If a criminal investigation is urgent, police action may be taken prior to a full strategy meeting.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concern of sexual abuse - Local policy with regard to examination in cases of suspected sexual abuse is underpinned by the Guidelines on Paediatric Forensic Examination in relation to Possible Child Sexual Abuse produced by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), and the Faculty of Forensic and L

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Suspected non-accidental injury - If the child does not require urgent medical care, contact Children’s Social Care First Response Team 01296 383962 / Out of hours 0800 999 7677.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Suspected non-accidental injury - The social worker will contact the on-call consultant paediatrician by ringing the following number and asking the operator for the consultant paediatrician on call: North of county 01296 315000 bleep 593 South of county 01494 526161 Ext 5506 (Children Day Unit) and ask for consultant paed

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Suspected non-accidental injury - The consultant will discuss the case with social worker – see above strategy discussion. A suitable time and place for the child to be seen will be arranged. This may not be on the same day as the discussion.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concerns of neglect or emotional abuse - If the child does not require urgent medical care, contact Children’s Social Care First Response Team 01296 383962 / Out of hours 0800 999 7677.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concerns of neglect or emotional abuse - Telephone the community paediatrician on number below and ask to speak to doctor on call for neglect cases: North of county 01296 566046 South of county 01494 426602

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concerns of neglect or emotional abuse - If the community paediatrician is not available, the social worker’s contact details will be taken and the doctor will return the call within 4 hours or before 5pm, whichever is sooner.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concerns of neglect or emotional abuse - Following a strategy discussion with the social worker, the paediatrician will decide when and where the medical is to take place. These medicals are not urgent but should take place within a timely manner ideally before the initial case conference and definitely before the first review co

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concerns of neglect or emotional abuse - The appointment for the medical should be sent to the parents/carers, social worker and school nurse/health visitor as appropriate. In cases of neglect all children in the family may be seen for medical assessment.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concern of sexual abuse - The Thames Valley Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) is run by Harmoni for Health and has been named ‘Solace’. The contact number for Solace is 0300 1303036.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Consent for paediatric assessments or medical treatment - Where circumstances do not allow permission to be obtained and the child needs emergency medical treatment, the medical practitioner may: regard the child to be of an age and level of understanding to give their own consent decide to proceed without consent where this is deemed to be in th

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concern of sexual abuse - In all cases, medical needs are paramount and come before forensic needs if necessary. If the child requires urgent medical treatment they should be taken to the nearest A&E department.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concern of sexual abuse - If the child does not require urgent medical care, contact Children’s Social Care First Response Team 01296 383962 / Out of hours 0800 999 7677.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concern of sexual abuse - The timing of the medical depends on the time of the sexual assault (acute or historic) and the pubertal status of the child.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concern of sexual abuse - If an urgent forensic medical examination is required, the police should contact Solace who will arrange an appointment with the duty forensic doctor on the SARC rota. If that doctor does not have all the core and case dependent skills required to examine the child, the forensic medical ex

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concern of sexual abuse - Professionals can call Solace directly for advice on any sexual assault case regardless of age on 0300 130 3036. They should also contact police/social care as per the flow chart (Appendix A).

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concern of sexual abuse - Cases of acute sexual assault in pre-pubertal children (aged usually less than 12 years) are rare. These cases require an urgent forensic examination as soon as practicable so that forensic evidence is not lost. Persistence data reveal the opportunity of up to three days to collect sample

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concern of sexual abuse - Cases of acute sexual assault, within the last 7–10 days, in post-pubertal children (usually aged more than 12 years) need an urgent forensic medical examination. The timing of a medical examination needs to balance the welfare of the child with the need to secure forensic evidence. More

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concern of sexual abuse - It is important to recognise that urgent examinations to capture forensic evidence such as healing injuries, or provide appropriate treatment such as emergency contraception, may be needed outside the persistent data time scales and this is reflected in the FFLM and the RCPCH service speci

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Related Policies and Procedures - Complex abuse: Procedure Neglect: Guidance

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Consent for paediatric assessments or medical treatment - In non-emergency situations, when parental permission is not obtained, the social worker and manager must consider whether it is in the child's best interests to seek a court order.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

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

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Strategy Discussion - A specific and detailed record must be made of the decision about whether to undertake a medical assessment and its rationale clearly stated.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Consent for paediatric assessments or medical treatment - A young person aged 16 or 17 has an explicit right (s8 Family Law Reform Act 1969) to provide consent to surgical, medical or dental treatment and unless grounds exist for doubting their mental health, no further consent is required.

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

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

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Consent for paediatric assessments or medical treatment - When a child is looked after under section 20 and a parent has given general consent authorising medical treatment for the child, legal advice must be taken about whether this provides consent for paediatric assessment for child protection purposes (the parent still has full parental respo

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Concern of sexual abuse - Pre-pubertal (children aged usually less than 12 years) and post-pubertal (usually aged more than 12 years) cases where there is delay in reporting sexual abuse (abuse occurred usually more than 21 days) are non- acute cases that do not need an urgent out of hours examination. Police shoul

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Consent for paediatric assessments or medical treatment - The following may give consent to a paediatric assessment: a child of sufficient age and understanding (Gillick competency/Fraser guidelines) any person with parental responsibility, providing they have the capacity to do so the local authority when the child is the subject of a care order

2.1 Arrangements for Medical Assessment of Children in Cases of Suspected Abuse and Neglect: Procedure

Consent for paediatric assessments or medical treatment - A child who is of sufficient age and understanding may refuse some or all of the paediatric assessment, though refusal can potentially be overridden by a court.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

General Principles - The complexity is heightened where, as in historical cases, the alleged victims are no longer living in the situations where the incidents occurred and/or where the alleged perpetrators are no longer linked to the setting or employment role. Cases of historical abuse often come to light wh

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Definition - Children may also be abused via the use of electronic devices, such as mobile phones, computers, games consoles etc. which access the internet, and in particular social networking websites.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Definition - Although in most cases of complex and organised abuse the abuser(s) is an adult, it is also possible for children/young people to be the perpetrators of such harm, with or without adult abusers. Agencies should also be alert to the possibility that a child or young person who has harmed an

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

General Principles - Each complex abuse investigation requires thorough planning, good inter-agency working, and attention to the welfare needs of the child victims or adult survivors involved.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

General Principles - Cases of organised abuse are often complicated because of the number of children involved, the serious nature of the allegations of abuse, the need for therapeutic input, and the complex, and time consuming, nature of any consequent legal proceedings.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

General Principles - Some investigations become extremely complex because of the number of places and people involved, and the timescale over which abuse is alleged to have occurred. In these circumstances a specialist Joint Investigation Group as well as a Strategic Management Group may be set up.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Definition - Such abuse can occur both as part of a network of abuse across a family or community, and within institutions such as residential settings, boarding schools, day care and in other provisions such as youth services, sports clubs, faith groups and voluntary groups.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

General Principles - It is recognised that those who commit sex offences against children often operate across geographical and operational boundaries, and the procedure takes into account the involvement of more than one local authority.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

General Principles - Where an allegation involves a post-holder who has a specified role within these procedures, the referral must be reported to an alternative (more senior) manager.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

General Principles - In all investigations of organised abuse, it is essential that staff involved maintain a high level of confidentiality in relation to the information in their possession, without jeopardising the investigation or the welfare of the children involved.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

General Principles - These procedures must be implemented in conjunction with the procedures on abuse by staff, carers and volunteers where appropriate (see Managing allegations against staff and volunteers working with children and young people).

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

General Principles - An investigation of organised abuse will be carried out under the auspices of the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB), which should be kept informed of its progress. It should be the role of the strategic management group to liaise regularly with the BSCB. However, the BSCB

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

General Principles - For further guidance see Complex Child Abuse Investigation: Inter-Agency Issues.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Referral - Where there is suspicion of a complex abuse case, the relevant Children’s Social Care First Response Team Manager and Thames Valley Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU) Inspector must be informed immediately. In the identified manager’s absence, the normal deputising arrangeme

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Definition - Complex and organised abuse is defined as abuse involving one or more abusers, and a number of related or non-related abused children. It can take place in any setting. The abusers may be acting in isolation or in concert to abuse children. They may be using an institutional framework or p

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

General Principles - Subsequent information generated throughout the investigation should only be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Referral - If there is any suspicion that any managers currently employed by a social care agency are implicated, or a member of the police, the matter should be referred to a senior manager and the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) in line with the BSCB Procedure for Managing Allegations a

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Initial Strategy Discussion / Meeting - The strategy discussion/meeting must: assess the information known to date decide what further information is required at this stage and arrange for its gathering establish whether, and to what extent, complex abuse has been uncovered undertake an initial mapping exercise to determine the

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

End of Enquiry - Where relevant, any learning, along with the actions required to address these, should be shared with the BSCB.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Joint Investigation Group - Administrative support, information technology and accommodation requirements must be addressed at the outset, including the storage of confidential records.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Joint Investigation Group - The Joint Investigation Group will be responsible for: planning the overall investigation, including record checking, evidence gathering, planning and undertaking a series of interrelated interviews, and any surveillance required considering the implications of crossing geographical bounda

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries - It may be recognised at the outset or during the investigation that there are suspected or potential victims and offenders in more than one geographical area.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries - At the outset, the responsibility for managing the investigation lies with police in the area where the abuse is alleged to have occurred – where the alleged perpetrator/s are alleged to operate – who will make necessary contact with other affected areas through the SMG (unless excepti

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries - Once it is recognised that there are suspected or potential victims outside of Buckinghamshire, the decision will be made by the Joint Investigation Group as to which agencies are informed and as to how evidence is gathered.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries - The original Joint Investigation Group should undertake the investigation on behalf of the other geographical areas. Other local authority Children’s Social Care Services must consider the funding of this service covering children in its area. A senior manager from each area should join

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries - If the number of victims outside the geographical boundaries of the original Joint Investigation Group increases to the extent that it cannot respond, negotiations should take place for a Joint Investigation Group with police and social care in the new geographic area.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries - It is essential that there is a joint SMG to provide overall planning. If it is necessary to have more than one Joint Investigation Group, there must be close working between coordinators and processes for full information sharing.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

End of Enquiry - At the conclusion of an enquiry/investigation, the SMG should consider whether an evaluation of the investigation should take place so that lessons learned can be identified.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Joint Investigation Group - The location of the group must take account, both geographically and organisationally, the need to maintain confidentiality. This is especially crucial where the investigation concerns staff or carers.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Initial Strategy Discussion / Meeting

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Information to BSCB and Partner Agencies

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG)

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Joint Investigation Group

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Crossing Geographical and Operational Boundaries

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Initial Strategy Discussion / Meeting - This strategy discussion may include the referrer, if appropriate, a legal adviser and anyone else relevant to the discussion.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Managing Allegations against Staff and Volunteers: Procedure

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Initial Strategy Discussion / Meeting - The strategy meeting, chaired by a senior manager of Children’s Social Care, must take place within one working day of receipt of the referral and must be formally recorded.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Joint Investigation Group - Appropriate facilities must be available for video interviews and paediatric assessment.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Joint Investigation Group - Any breach of confidentiality (deliberate or unintended) must be reported immediately to the SMG so that they can address this issue and manage the actual or potential impact on the investigation.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - The SMG meeting must agree a plan that includes: a decision on the scale of the investigation and the staff required for a Joint Investigation Group consideration of any cross-boundary issues and planning of appropriate liaison and sharing of resources identification of staff in both Child

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Initial Strategy Discussion / Meeting - Having considered and discussed the information, those involved in the discussion must, if in their view the suspicion is confirmed, pass the information onto the Head of Children’s Social Care and the Detective Chief Inspector, Bucks Protection of Vulnerable People (PVP).

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Information to BSCB and Partner Agencies - Immediately following the strategy meeting, the BSCB Chair and the Chair of the Serious Case Review (SCR) Sub Group should be notified of the complex abuse investigation. This can be done by contacting the BSCB office.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Information to BSCB and Partner Agencies - The Chair of the SCR Sub Group must inform the children’s services director, head of media/press office and senior managers of relevant agencies, e.g. designated child protection professions.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Information to BSCB and Partner Agencies - The SCR Sub Group must be notified immediately. This group will identify initial members for a Strategic Management Group.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - To ensure a coordinated response, an SMG meeting, chaired by either Children’s Social Care or the police, must be convened within five working days of the case being identified as a potential complex abuse case.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - The group should comprise senior staff able to commit resources and will normally include the following as consistent core membership (additional members may be added as required as the investigation progresses): Divisional director of safeguarding Detective superintendent protecting vulne

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - Where it cannot be avoided that some members of the SCR Sub Group also become members of the SMG, these members must be clear about the distinct roles they hold within each group. This clarity is necessary to prevent confusion around the function of both groups.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - Immediate line managers of any staff implicated in the allegations of abuse must not be included in the SMG.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Joint Investigation Group - In selecting staff, consideration should be given to requirements arising from the individual needs of the relevant child/children, i.e. gender, culture, race, language, and where relevant, disability/special needs.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - The terms of reference of the SMG must be set up as specified in the Home Office and Department of Health guidance.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - An individual must be designated to act as coordinator between the SMG and the Joint Investigation Group, usually the police senior investigating officer or the Children’s Social Care lead manager.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - The responsibility of the coordinator is to ensure the flow of relevant information between the operational and strategic groups.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - A member of the SMG must be identified to keep the SCR Sub Group up to date with significant developments and issues.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - The SMG must make arrangements to convene regularly during the investigation to: monitor the progress, quality and integrity of the investigation review risk indicators for the children involved review the communications strategy consider resource requirements consider the appropriate timi

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - A dedicated team of police officers may be formed to deal with a cross-boundary enquiry, or any other partnership (social care, health, etc) to liaise with other police forces, local authorities and health commissioners etc.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - The SMG should remain in existence at least until the court or the CPS has made a decision about the alleged perpetrators and/or that the Joint Investigation Group has confirmed that all remaining safeguarding concerns have been addressed.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - The SMG must report in writing to the SCR Sub Group, so that the group can consider at the first available opportunity whether a Serious Case Review should be initiated and make a recommendation to the Chair of the BSCB.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Strategic Management Group (SMG) - An SMG will only be convened once a complex abuse investigation has been agreed, and in such cases there will always be some form of criminal investigation. Given this, the police will take responsibility for the dissemination and storage of SMG minutes. Alongside the agreement of the SMG

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Joint Investigation Group - Led by the CAIU detective inspector or the Children’s Social Care lead manager, this group should consist of experienced personnel from PVP and Children’s Social Care – the latter may choose to use independent/agency/outside organisation social workers.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Joint Investigation Group - The size of the group will depend on the scale of the investigation, but in the majority of cases both PVP and Children’s Social Care should provide a line manager and sufficient staff experienced in interviewing children and trained in Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings.

2.2 Complex Abuse: Procedure

Joint Investigation Group - Membership may also be drawn, as necessary, from appropriate health professionals, education, CPS, legal services, probation and victim support services.

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Introduction - Non-recent abuse (also known as historical abuse) is an allegation of neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse made by, or on behalf of, someone who is now 18 years or over, relating to an incident which took place when the alleged victim was under 18 years old. NSPCC 2018 If a person

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Transferable Concerns for Vulnerable Adults

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Practice Guidance Organised or Complex Abuse Child Sexual Exploitation

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Required Response - If the abuse is alleged to have happened in a children’s home or residential/boarding school, the responsible Children’s Social Care should be the one liaising with the local authority responsible for running the establishment concerned, irrespective of where the children’s home or r

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Required Response - Due to the potential continuing risk that the alleged abuser may pose to children, the person receiving the allegation/concern should make a referral to Children’s Social Care, in line with the BSCB's Neglect Practice Guidance. The professional making the referral should keep the person

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Transferable Concerns for Vulnerable Adults - In such circumstances, the relevant local authority Adult Social Care should be included in the investigative process, as well as any related assessment and therapeutic planning.

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Appendix - Appendix 1 (Delayed Reporting)

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Introduction - Allegations of child abuse are sometimes made by adults and young people a long time after the abuse has occurred. There are many reasons for an allegation not being made at the time, including: fear of reprisals degree of control exercised by the abuser shame fear of not being believed no

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Introduction - As well as achieving some justice and support for the alleged victim, staff dealing with cases of this nature should bear in mind that even though the offences are termed ‘historical/non-recent’, the alleged perpetrator could currently be in contact with children/young people as a pare

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Introduction - Consequently, responses to allegations of historical/non-recent abuse should reach as high a standard as a response to current abuse. See Neglect Practice Guidance

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Introduction - If historical/non-recent abuse enquiries involve more than one alleged perpetrator, or more than one victim, the BSCB procedures for Complex Abuse must be considered.

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Introduction - If the alleged perpetrator worked, or currently works, with children/young people, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) must be notified and consulted (see Managing Allegations against Staff and Volunteers procedures).

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Required Response - When an allegation of historical/non-recent abuse is made, the person receiving the information should record the discussion in detail. If possible, they should establish if the alleged victim or referrer has any knowledge of the alleged abuser’s recent or current whereabouts and whether

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Required Response - Where it is alleged that the abuse in childhood took place in a different local authority, the case should be referred to social care and/or the police in the area where the abuse is alleged to have taken place. Parallel enquiries may be needed if the alleged abuser has contact with childr

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Required Response - Children’s Social Care should: inform the police at the earliest opportunity and establish if there is any information regarding the alleged abuser’s current contact with children, irrespective of the wishes of the reporting person as to whether a police prosecution should take place i

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Required Response - The responsible police service for investigation will be the one covering the area where the alleged abuse is said to have taken place.

2.3 Delayed Reporting: Procedure

Transferable Concerns for Vulnerable Adults - Consideration should be given to any transferrable risks to vulnerable adults, particularly where the alleged perpetrator has moved to adult services or works within a service that covers both children and vulnerable adults, e.g. hospital, voluntary or faith sector.

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Introduction - The protection of children will always be an area in which there may be differences of opinion about the best course of action. It is very important that all those working with children and families feel able to air their views and constructively challenge the action of others. This includ

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Introduction - All parties should promote a respectful acceptance of different viewpoints being aired; acknowledging the important role that challenge can play in the safeguarding of children.

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Appendix - In a situation where senior officers have become involved in resolving disagreements between agencies and those disputes relate to the safeguarding needs of children, the BSCB team must be made aware of this via the agency's Board representative. The purpose is to help monitor interagency

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Appendix - Where there is a need for interventions to prevent a life threatening episode immediate action to reduce the risk of harm will be required by all relevant parties whilst the dispute is ongoing. In these circumstances, where an agency maintains a position of non-involvement and other agenci

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Introduction - Research and the findings of serious case reviews have shown that differences in opinion between professionals and agencies can lead to conflict, which may result in less favourable outcomes for children.

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Disagreements - Disagreement over the handling of safeguarding concerns may occur in a range of situations, including when: there is internal disagreement within an agency about whether a concern should be brought to the attention of Children’s Social Care, either for consultation or referral a referral

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Disagreement at / arising from Child Protection Conferences - The agency or individual who disagrees with the chair’s decision must determine whether to challenge the conference decision further.

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

The escalation, challenge and conflict resolution process - When a disagreement occurs, it is essential that the professional or agency which disagrees remains involved in any child protection or child in need plan, and in all relevant future decision making, while a process of resolution takes place.

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

The escalation, challenge and conflict resolution process - At all stages of escalation, records of discussions and any decisions reached should be recorded in writing in client files and shared with relevant personnel. Although Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) does not prescribe a specific recording format, a suggested template f

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

The escalation, challenge and conflict resolution process - It is important that all professionals are aware of the correct named contacts for escalation within their own organisation. The details of this for your agency can be included in the template at Appendix B (Named Officers for Advising on Conflict Resolution form).  

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

The escalation, challenge and conflict resolution process - The following escalation and resolution process should be used first (Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution Flow Diagram). This diagram can be downloaded at Appendix C (below). However, if at any stage it is felt necessary to make a formal complaint, each agency should follow thei

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

The escalation, challenge and conflict resolution process - In some cases the dispute may be resolved through the natural turn of events rather than by a solution being reached through the above escalation procedure. In such cases there is a risk that the same situation, and conflict, could arise again. It is therefore recommended that in these sit

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Mental Capacity Act - Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, a young person aged 16 or 17 may be deemed to lack the mental capacity to make specific decisions in relation to their own care or treatment. However, in such cases there is some overlap with the provisions of the Children Act 1989. Where there are disag

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Disagreement at / arising from Child Protection Conferences - If the chair of a Child Protection Conference is unable to achieve a consensus as to whether a child is to be made the subject of a child protection plan, then s/he will make the decision and any views to the contrary will be recorded in the minutes.

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Introduction - All agencies are responsible for ensuring that their staff are: aware of this procedure and able to access it easily supported to manage and refer intra- and inter-agency disagreements in line with this procedure – this includes recognising that differences in status and/or experience ma

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Introduction - This procedure will provide professionals with the means to raise concerns they have about decisions made by other professionals or agencies. It will help ensure that: the child is kept safe from harm there is appropriate management oversight of the decision-making process difficulties wit

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Disagreement at / arising from Child Protection Conferences - If that Designated Person concurs with the concerns of the professional, s/he should immediately alert the Child Protection Reviewing Service Manager.

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Disagreement at / arising from Child Protection Conferences - In the light of representations made, the Child Protection Reviewing Service Manager must determine whether to: uphold the decision reached by the conference chair ensure an immediate interim child protection plan is put in place require that a review conference be brought forward refer th

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Allegations against staff and volunteers - Where there is disagreement in the initial handling of an allegation against a member of staff or volunteer working with children, the Designated Senior Manager for allegations should inform the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) on 01296 382070.

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Allegations against staff and volunteers - If there is a disagreement in the management of an allegation that cannot be resolved following consultation with the LADO, or the disagreement relates to the advice given by the LADO, the matter should be referred to the Named Senior Officer for Allegations in the agencies concerned.

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Whistleblowing - Fear about repercussions may make it difficult for staff or volunteers to raise child protection concerns about colleagues or managers. These concerns may relate to harm posed directly to children by a colleague or manager, or they may relate to poor practice in the safeguarding of childre

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Whistleblowing - Senior managers should, therefore, ensure provision of a well-publicised ‘Whistleblowing’ or ‘Speak out’ procedure that provides alternative methods of reporting concerns. Public Concern at Work, an independent charity, can give free confidential advice about how to raise a concern

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

The role of Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) - The BSCB is a statutory partnership which is responsible for: coordinating what organisations do to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people ensuring these arrangements are effective. In this capacity, BSCB will ensure that this procedure is kept up to date. Given the

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Disagreement at / arising from Child Protection Conferences - Should the professional who disagrees believe that the decision reached by the chair places a child at (further) risk of significant harm, s/he should formally raise the matter with her/his agency’s Designated Person for Child Protection/Operations Manager/Detective Inspector (i.e. the a

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Allegations against staff and volunteers - Where a member of staff or volunteer disagrees with a decision by the Designated Senior Manager not to consult the LADO, or is concerned that the LADO will not be appropriately consulted – and it is believed that the child/children could remain at risk of significant harm – the person

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Practice Guidance Managing Allegations against Staff and Volunteers Information Sharing Between Investigative Agencies and Employers

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

The role of Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB)

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Appendix - Appendix A Record of Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution between Practitioners or Agencies Appendix B Named Officers for Advising on Conflict Resolution Form Appendix C Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution Flow Diagram  

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Allegations against staff and volunteers

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

The escalation, challenge and conflict resolution process

2.4 Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution: Procedure

Disagreement at / arising from Child Protection Conferences

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Governance Arrangements - The Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) has a role in overseeing these arrangements by: supporting the development of the Complex Case Panel and process regularly reviewing, through an annual report to the Board, whether: the panel is achieving its intended impact on individ

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Panel Membership - The Complex Case Panel should include senior management from those agencies/services already engaged or trying to engage the young person. It should also include, as standing members, senior representation from social care, police, health education and the youth offending service (YOS). Th

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Panel Objectives - Cases are brought to the panel for discussion by managers, practitioners and clinicians with case responsibility. The panel does not supersede or take over case responsibility, this remains unchanged.

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Panel Objectives - A monthly meeting of the Complex Case Panel is held to improve inter-agency risk management of children and young people.

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Panel Objectives - The Complex Case Panel is a senior level multi-agency advice and consultation group. Its function is operational, but it has the ability to recognise wider service or policy gaps so it can make recommendations to the BSCB about strategic work that needs to be taken forward.

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Introduction - The procedure should be applied in cases where all reasonable attempts to engage a young person have failed or where there is a belief that the young person is at high risk of significant harm or that they present a risk of significant harm to others. The Risk Management Pathway flowchart

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Governance Arrangements - Individual cases discussed through the Complex Case Panel will remain subject to the normal case management procedures.

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Introduction - The protocol is not an alternative to existing case management frameworks and processes, e.g. Child Protection case conferences, Looked After Children arrangements or Care Programme Approach. It should be considered as a ‘next step’ when the existing frameworks and processes are provin

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Introduction - This procedure and guidance has been produced to help those working with young people in circumstances where a young person is high risk or has complex needs, and may not engage with services that it is felt are needed in order to safeguard and promote their welfare. The lack of engagement

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Impact of the way organisations work

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Panel Membership - Membership: Chairperson: Service Director, Children and Families or in his/her absence: Director of Children’s Services, Health Members: Other senior colleagues as required for specific case discussions. Specific invitations should be indicated on the case-referral form (some of these ma

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Harder to reach or difficult to engage - When a young person does not engage with what is believed to be the necessary support, staff can feel powerless to help – and sometimes agencies have closed the case, leaving the young person even more vulnerable.

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Harder to reach or difficult to engage - The Biennial analysis of Serious Case Reviews 2005 to 2009 revealed that a common factor in Serious Case Reviews was that local services just did not know what to do with the child/young person involved. By the time of the incident that led to a Serious Case Review being undertaken, agenci

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Harder to reach or difficult to engage - Research with young runaways has indicated that thresholds for responding to maltreatment were seen by professionals as higher when young people reached the age of 15 (Rees G et al 2010).

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Parental Involvement - Consideration must also be given to the involvement of parents or other significant carers/family members – by ensuring that their views, information and suggestions contribute to the development of the action plan. This can be either in the meeting itself or by gathering the information

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Impact of the way organisations work - Agencies can spend too much time deciding on who is the most appropriate team to offer a service. This uncertainty and delay of input is likely to impact on the young person or family’s interest in accepting the support and therefore causing them to become difficult to engage with.

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Challenging behaviour: excluding a young person from a service provision - When working with young people who have already been excluded from a number of provisions in their lives, a permanent exclusion can reinforce a position of hopelessness. Consequently, a Risk Management action plan needs to be in place to direct any further decision making.

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Challenging behaviour: excluding a young person from a service provision - Where the young person themselves is also viewed as being at risk of significant harm, a temporary exclusion should be the ultimate sanction until a Risk Management Meeting is held to develop a multi-agency action plan.

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Challenging behaviour: excluding a young person from a service provision - There are times when a young person’s behaviour may pose a risk to others and exclusion from the service needs to be considered.

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Checklist for good practice - The following tips are good practice for working with any young person and may seem obvious. However, lessons from Serious Case Reviews and recent research indicate that for harder to reach young people, these practice issues remain significant: be honest and up front about what young peop

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Factors which may act as barriers to seeking or receiving assistance from services - ‘We must recognise that the young person may be hard to reach in some contexts or locations, but not in others. The real critical part is matching the right solution to the right person. We need to be flexible with what we do, we need to coordinate things better and we need to work bette

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Factors which may act as barriers to seeking or receiving assistance from services - Factors that may act as barriers to seeking or receiving assistance include: communication difficulties – language barriers, learning disability, poor literacy, no contact address/numbers involvement in criminal activity – fear of judgemental response/prosecution misuse of drugs/alcoho

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Impact of young person's immediate circumstances - Common features of ‘harder to reach’ young people include: increased risk of abuse/neglect (including higher risk of exploitation) self-harm/risky behaviours (include risky sexual behaviour, drug and alcohol misuse) history of exclusion from school, with a consequent lack of practical

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Impact of the way organisations work - Organisational features that can undermine engagement: disagreement between agencies about responsibility and thresholds rigid application of threshold criteria reasons for a young person running away not addressed properly reluctance to identify mental illness and suicidal intent dealing

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Impact of the way organisations work - People could be hard to reach because they think an organisation does not care about them, does not listen or even is irrelevant to them (Wilson 2001).

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Purpose of the panel - The purpose of the panel is to: act as a point of escalation when other ‘business as usual’ functions have not delivered the desired outcome (It is not intended that the panel should replace or interfere with established processes) identify a lead agency and a named senior manager who

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Impact of the way organisations work - While it is important to acknowledge that young people and families can make it hard to engage, professionals play an important part in this and must be aware of the factors which contribute to the process of engagement. ‘Workers can become paralysed by their own fears and anxieties, whi

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Factors to consider - These factors are likely to have some bearing, directly or indirectly, on the young person’s ability to view agencies as a source of help or not. If the young person is not disengaged from their own family or community, then efforts to support may need to reassure those people who are mo

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Factors to consider - Factors to consider include: family/community isolation or alienation from wider community hostility from local or wider community experience of institutional racism or other forms of discrimination criminal culture within family or community, including substance misuse and domestic violen

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Impact of family and community life - The extent to which parents and the community encourage young people to engage with the wider community and available services will impact on their confidence to make the most of opportunities and these services. We need to understand the young person’s ability to engage within the conte

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Harder to reach or difficult to engage - The terms ‘hard to reach’ or ‘difficult to engage’ can be stigmatising in themselves; sometimes implying that the young person does not want help or is unable to be helped. For each young person affected it is crucial that we aim to understand what it is that prevents effective eng

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Criteria for high risk, complex case planning - The process seeks to deliver a flexible and holistic multi-agency response for children and young people who have identified multiple needs, whose planned outcomes are not being achieved despite the best efforts of the inter-agency core group, and for whom risks are increasing. For example

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Removal from high risk, complex and harder to reach category - Agencies must then remove any ‘High Risk, Complex, Hard to Reach’ notification or flag from their communication and recording systems. This will ensure that this priority arrangement remains focused on current selected high-risk cases.

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Removal from high risk, complex and harder to reach category - The Complex Case Panel should regularly consider whether they need to keep a child or young person under the review of this group. As soon as the need for these arrangements is no longer required, all involved agencies must be informed.

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Involvement of the young person - By definition, the direct involvement of a complex or hard to reach young person in the meeting is likely to be difficult. However, efforts should be made to find any direct or indirect method of bringing their views and ideas to the discussion, e.g. involvement and/or attendance of an adv

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Panel Membership - The Complex Case Panel should be chaired by the Service Director in Children and Families, Buckinghamshire County Council.

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Impact of young person's immediate circumstances

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Factors which may act as barriers to seeking or receiving assistance from services

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Harder to reach or difficult to engage - Most of the older adolescents in the Biennial analysis died from suicide. Typically they had experienced a history of abuse and neglect, coupled with environmental factors such as domestic violence, parental mental health issues and poverty (Hindley et al 2006). Many were self-harming and

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Harder to reach or difficult to engage - These young people might have been amenable to help if they had been offered the right approach (Finkelor D 2008).

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Harder to reach or difficult to engage - Many children and young people who fit the category of ‘harder to reach’ and at risk of significant harm are Looked After by the local authority.

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Harder to reach or difficult to engage - In Buckinghamshire, there have been similar findings from Serious Case Reviews involving the tragic deaths of young people. At several stages in their lives, these young people were viewed as harder to reach or difficult to engage for a range of different reasons. This guidance has therefo

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Removal from high risk, complex and harder to reach category

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Harder to reach or difficult to engage

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Impact of family and community life

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Criteria for high risk, complex case planning

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Challenging behaviour: excluding a young person from a service provision

2.5 High Risk, Complex Cases: Procedure and Guidance

Further Information - Brandon M. Understanding Serious Case Reviews and their Impact: A biennial analysis of serious case reviews. Department for Children, Schools and Family. 2009. Evans J et al.  Second Chances: re-engaging young people with education and training. Barnado’s. 2009. Dudley Libra

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Sharing new risk factors or changes in risk factors - With newly identified risks or changes in risk, always consider who else needs to be informed in both adult and children’s services – Think Family.

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Working Together - The sharing of relevant information from risk assessments applies to all agencies working with family members, even where the implications may not be obvious. If when working with adult service users there are changes in behaviour (e.g. changes in offending behaviour or take-up of medicati

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Working Together - This does not mean that the professional has to assess the impact on the child/children themselves, but that they share the changes in their risk assessment with those who assess risk for the child/children and that they contribute relevant opinions to help others in revising their own ris

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Sharing new risk factors or changes in risk factors - Confirm which agencies/services are involved and share any new or revised risk assessment. Think beyond those agencies currently involved – new risks might require the involvement of different agencies/services.

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Sharing new risk factors or changes in risk factors - Do not assume that the changes will not be relevant to another agency’s interpretation of risk.

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Introduction - This does not mean that agencies should adopt the same model of risk assessment – the distinct methods and models of individual agencies’ assessments must be maintained, as they draw upon the essential knowledge and focus associated with different professional disciplines.

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Sharing new risk factors or changes in risk factors - Information about decreases in risk should also be shared. Not to do so might undermine progress for the service user and prolong service intervention unnecessarily.

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Sharing new risk factors or changes in risk factors - Be open and honest with the service user (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be, shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Sharing new risk factors or changes in risk factors - Remember that information may be shared with professionals who need to know in order to promote the wellbeing of a child or young person – the Data Protection Act is not a barrier to sharing information. Different agencies may have different processes for sharing information. Profession

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Sharing new risk factors or changes in risk factors - When in doubt about whether to share a risk assessment, seek advice from a line manager or the designated lead for child protection.

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Sharing new risk factors or changes in risk factors - When sharing a risk assessment, always specify whether it is currently relevant or historical information.

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Sharing new risk factors or changes in risk factors - Ensure that subsequent professional decisions about risks associated with the service user involved are informed by the risks assessments associated with other family members, and vice versa. This might mean inviting a wider group of professionals to professional meetings (or to relevant p

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Sharing new risk factors or changes in risk factors - Always alert other professionals working with family members when planning or proposing to close the case – Think Family.

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Introduction - This guidance aims to: promote regular consideration about whether a risk assessment (formal or informal) undertaken by one agency has implications for risk assessments undertaken by other agencies remind professionals to share new or changes in risk assessments with other relevant agencie

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Working Together - Similarly, if a professional’s work involves assessing risk to children, any changes in a child’s circumstances (e.g. exclusion from school) may need to be shared with those who are working with the parent (who may, for example, be receiving mental health services).

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Introduction - This guidance has been produced to encourage the sharing of relevant information contained in different risk assessments, whether they be formal or informal.

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Introduction - Many staff undertake risk assessments, which are carried out within the guidelines and models prescribed by their individual organisations or professions. These assessments are often directly or indirectly relevant to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. Loc

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Appendix - Appendix A Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Case Studies

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Introduction - Many staff also become involved in informal risk assessments; identifying risks without this being the primary intention, for example while advising on benefits or demonstrating equipment, they might observe or hear about behaviour that causes concern. Any subsequent referral to another ag

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Further Information - Further information/guidance on sharing risk assessments include: Department for Education. Information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners. 2015. Aldgate J and Rose W. Assessing and Managing Risk in Getting it right for every child. Scottish Government 2009 Health and Safet

2.6 Multi-Agency Sharing of Risk Assessments: Guidance

Sharing new risk factors or changes in risk factors

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Safeguarding disabled children and responding to concerns - The number of carers involved with the child should be established, as well as where the care is provided and when. At the Strategy Discussion, consideration should be given to appointing a support worker to consider any complex issues arising from the disability.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Safeguarding disabled children and responding to concerns - Extra resources may be necessary, especially where the child has speech, language and communication needs. For example, it may be necessary to obtain an assessment from a teacher and speech and language specialist as to the best way of working with the child. The child’s preferred method

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Safeguarding disabled children and responding to concerns - Where the threshold has been met, First Response will liaise with the appropriate teams to determine who will commence a Section 47 Investigation under the Children Act 1989.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Safeguarding disabled children and responding to concerns - When making a referral to Children’s Social Care or Early Help, it is useful to consider the answers to the following questions: What is the disability, special need or impairment that affects the child (a description of the disability or impairment)? How does the disability or impairmen

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Deprivation of liberty - Article 5 of the Human Rights Act states that ‘everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his or her liberty [unless] in accordance with a procedure prescribed in law’.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Safeguarding disabled children and responding to concerns - Where there are safeguarding concerns in relation to a disabled child, they must receive the same level of protection from harm as any other child. Any professional who has a safeguarding concern about a disabled child, should follow the usual procedure for responding to concerns of abuse

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Safeguarding disabled children and responding to concerns - Multi-agency protocols for times of transition must include a communication strategy and young people must be supported to participate in the development of their transition plans, particularly in their transition to adulthood.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Safeguarding disabled children and responding to concerns - When children are placed in an emergency situation, all medical consents/needs and method of communication need to be clearly documented and provided to the setting.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Safeguarding disabled children and responding to concerns - Children who are living away from home may be particularly vulnerable, e.g. those in residential care homes, residential schools and healthcare settings.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Safeguarding disabled children and responding to concerns - If a facilitator or interpreter is required, they should be involved when planning the investigation. Where there is an interview with the disabled child, consideration should be given to whether any additional equipment or facilities are required, and whether someone with specialist skill

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Criminal Procedings - There are special measures for safeguarding disabled children during criminal proceedings. The following issues need to be considered:  Agencies should not make assumptions about the inability of a disabled child to give credible evidence. Each child should be assessed carefully and suppo

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Deprivation of liberty - High levels of supervision and restrictions imposed due to a child's disability or behaviours could in some instances be considered a deprivation of liberty (and therefore abusive).

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Deprivation of liberty - Local authorities must consider whether any children in need or Looked After Children are being deprived of their liberty, but are not able to provide consent to a deprivation of liberty on behalf of a child or young person.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Deprivation of liberty - Where children are not looked after, parents can give consent for deprivation of liberty if it falls within the zone of parental responsibility under the age of 16 years. Deprivation of liberty can also be lawful if warranted under statute (Section 25 of the Children Act, secure accommodat

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Deprivation of liberty - However, where a child is Looked After, different considerations apply even where the parents consent to deprivation of liberty. Their consent may be adequate where the child is accommodated under Section 20, but where the child is the subject of an interim care order or a care order, it i

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Deprivation of liberty - Whilst deprivation of liberty has been a key part of adult safeguarding for many years, this is a complex and developing area in terms of child safeguarding practice. Professionals working in Children’s Social Care should ensure that appropriate legal advice is sought where is possible t

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Attitudes towards disabled children - Negative approaches can lead to discrimination and, in turn, may guide professionals to be less likely to act on their concerns. Reasons for this include: over identifying with the child’s parents/carers and being reluctant to accept that abuse or neglect is taking place/has taken place,

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

References - Children Act 1989, c. 41 Children and Families Act 2014, c. 6. Department for Children, Schools and Families (2009) Safeguarding disabled children. Practice guidance. HM Government (2015) Working Together to Safeguard Children - A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the

3.10 Transition Protocol

Transition Protocol - Supporting young people with special educational needs and disabilities from aged 14 (year 9) into adulthood. Transition is a time of change and challenges. Young people and parents/carers may be unsure about what to expect and what help may be available in order to plan for the future. Th

3.10 Transition Protocol

Transition Protocol

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Training - The Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board provides multi-agency safeguarding training including specific training on protecting disabled children. Details can be found on the training section of the BSCB website.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Safeguarding disabled children and responding to concerns - Safeguards for disabled children are essentially the same as for non-disabled children, but in addition should include: identifying the capacity of disabled children and their families to help themselves wherever possible ensuring that those caring for and working with disabled children un

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Attitudes towards disabled children - Attitudes in society and among professionals working with children can lead to a view that abuse of disabled children does not happen or that disabled children are in some way less harmed by abuse. This in turn undermines the safeguarding of disabled children.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Definitions - Various definitions of disability are used across agencies and professionals. Whatever definition of ‘disabled’ is used, the key issues are the impact of abuse or neglect on a child’s health and development, and how best to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Safeguarding disabled children and responding to concerns

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Attitudes towards disabled children

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Indications of abuse / neglect

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Protecting disabled children

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Indications of abuse / neglect - Other particular issues relating to disabled children and young people that may also lead to a risk of being abused or exploited include: force feeding or inappropriate feeding personal care needs may not be met adequately unnecessary physical restraint or rough handling extreme behaviour

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Communication and decision making

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Introduction - Disabled children are children first and foremost, and are therefore subject to all Working Together guidance and to other Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) policies, procedures and guidance. Disabled children have the same rights as non-disabled children to be protected f

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Introduction - However, research has found that disabled children are three to four times more likely to be abused and neglected than non-disabled children (Jones et al 2012; Sullivan & Knutson 2000). They are also more likely to experience multiple types and occurrences of abuse (Sullivan and Knutso

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Protecting disabled children - It is important that agencies provide coordinated services and support around a child and family at the earliest stage to effectively safeguard and promote the welfare of disabled children and to prevent deteriorating outcomes.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Definitions - This guidance is relevant to children and young people who have physical, sensory and learning disabilities, as well as children and young people with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Indications of abuse / neglect - In addition to the universal indicators of abuse / neglect, it is important to consider additional indicators and vulnerabilities for disabled children. All professionals who come into contact with children and young people with disabilities are in a position to identify indicators that th

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Communication and decision making - Guidance emphasises the critical importance of communication with disabled children. This includes recognising that all children communicate preferences if they are asked in the right way by people who understand their needs and have the skills to listen to them (Marchant and Page, 1992).

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Protecting disabled children - Disabled children are likely to have poorer outcomes across a range of indicators, including low educational attainment, poorer access to health services, poorer health outcomes and more difficult transition to adulthood. They are more likely to suffer family break-up and are significantly

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Protecting disabled children - Where disabled children are Looked After, they are more likely to be placed in residential care rather than family settings, which in turn increases their vulnerability to abuse.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Protecting disabled children - Disabled children may be particularly vulnerable for a number of reasons: It is known that families of disabled children often experience high levels of unmet need, isolation and stress as a result of a range of social, economic and environmental factors (Institute of Education, 2013). Evi

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Protecting disabled children - Families with disabled children are more likely to experience poverty and children with special educational needs are more likely to be excluded from school (Miller and Brown, 2014).

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Protecting disabled children - Disabled children are included in this duty and in order to assess their needs, the Children and Families Act (2014, Section 37), expects that local authorities will produce and maintain an education, health and care plan to coordinate a child’s needs.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Protecting disabled children - The Children and Families Act (2014) places a duty on local authorities to promote children’s wellbeing as it relates to: physical and mental health, and emotional well-being protection from abuse and neglect control by them over their day-to-day lives participation in education, trainin

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Communication and decision making - Professionals must identify barriers to accessing services and aim to make information available to disabled children and young people, and their parents and carers. This information should take account of the child or young person’s impairment, as well as the child or young person’s a

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Communication and decision making - All reports that are written about a disabled child or young person should include their views, wishes and feelings, and how they have been ascertained.

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Communication and decision making - In order for disabled children to participate in decisions about their safety and welfare, it is essential that resources and time are made available to allow their voice to be heard. Many disabled children or young people need alternative or additional means of communication to understand

3.1 Abuse of Disabled Children: Guidance

Communication and decision making - The participation and involvement of children and young people in decision-making about their own welfare and in the services they receive is a legal requirement under the Children Act (1989 Section 1(3)). However, it is known that for disabled children, this is less likely to happen.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - Consent is always based on choice and is active, not passive. Consent is possible only when there is equal power. Forcing someone to give in is not consent, and going along with something because of wanting to fit in with a group is not consent: ‘If you can’t say “no” comfortably

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - A child under 13 is not legally capable of consenting to sexual activity. Any offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 involving a child under 13 is very serious and offences committed by an adult may result in a significant prison sentence.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - Where a professional is concerned that a child under 13 is involved in penetrative sex, or other intimate sexual activity, there will always be reasonable cause to suspect that a child, whether a girl or boy, is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm. Professionals should make a

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - Children’s Social Care will convene a strategy meeting which should include the professional making the referral as well as representatives from Children’s Social Care, police and other relevant agencies.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - Where both parties involved in sexual activity are under 13, then both children should be considered at risk of significant harm. Thames Valley Police will seek to avoid any prosecution of a child where the children are age appropriate and there is no evidence of coercion, threat, force or

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - Sexual activity with a child under 16 is also a criminal offence. Where it is consensual it may carry a less serious criminal penalty than under 13 but still attracts a significant prison sentence. It may nevertheless have serious consequences for the welfare of the child.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - Professionals should still bear in mind the considerations outlined in this guidance, and in particular should be alert to: issues of sexual exploitation (see Child Sexual Exploitation guidance) offences of rape and any other sexual or physical assault sexual activity with a family member

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - Consideration should be given in every case of sexual activity involving a child aged 13–15 as to whether there should be a discussion with other agencies and whether a referral should be made to Children’s Social Care. Professionals should use the risk indicators outlined in Section 4

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - Cases of concern should be discussed with the nominated child protection lead for the agency and subsequently with other agencies if required. Where confidentiality needs to be preserved, the initial consultation can occur without identifying the child directly or indirectly.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - Where there is reasonable cause to suspect that significant harm to a child has/might occur, a referral must be made to Children’s Social Care and a strategy discussion held.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - Thames Valley Police will seek to avoid any prosecution of a child where the children are age appropriate and there is no evidence of coercion, threat, force or other power imbalance.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - Although in most cases sexual activity in itself is not an offence when the young person is over the age of 16, young people aged 16 and 17 are still vulnerable to harm through an abusive sexual relationship and are still offered the protection of child protection procedures.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - It is essential for agencies to clarify the age of the young person, as this will dictate the course of action to be taken.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - The Sexual Offences Act 2003 makes provision for young people aged under 16 years to be offered confidential professional advice on contraception, condoms, pregnancy and abortion.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - The Sexual Offences Act 2003 sets out the law in relation to children and young people under the age of 18 years old:

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Introduction - Instances of underage sexual activity may raise difficult issues for practitioners and need to be handled with sensitivity. Agencies should ensure that all children and young people are given appropriate protection from sexual abuse. It is the responsibility of all professionals to accurat

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Introduction - Where sexual behaviour is harmful, also refer to the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board guidance on Harmful Sexual Behaviour.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Related Guidance - Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Personal Relationships and Sexual Health Policy (Children in Care) (2011) Brook - the young people’s sexual health and well-being charity Department of Health, Best practice guidance for doctors and other health professionals on the provision

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Sharing Information with Parents and Carers

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additional Guidance for Police and Children’s Social Care Staff

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additional Guidance for Education Staff

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additonal Guidance for Healthcare Staff

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Introduction - The sexual behaviour of young people is conceptualised as laying on a continuum (below) from mutual exploration to behaviours that are seriously harmful to them or to other children or young people.  

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - This exception, in statute, covers not only health professionals, but also anyone who acts to protect a child, e.g. teachers, school nurses, Connexions personal advisers, youth offending service officers, youth workers, social workers and parents.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Introduction - This guidance has also been formed within the context of government policy and therefore supports the principle that young people should be able to access sexual and reproductive health services, including advice about contraception and abortion.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Introduction - This guidance applies to all sexual relationships. It is designed to assist staff in identifying where sexual relationships may be abusive and whether a child or young person may need the provision of protection or additional services in relation to sexual activity.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Introduction - Where there are indications of actual or risk of sexual abuse of a child/young person, be it child sexual exploitation, interfamilial abuse or peer-on-peer abuse, also refer to Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) guidance on Child Sexual Exploitation.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - It is good practice to follow the Fraser guidelines when discussing personal or sexual matters with a young person under the age of 16 (Lord Fraser, House of Lords ruling in case of Victoria Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Health Authority & Department of Health and Social Security

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Assessment - All young people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, who are believed to be engaged in or planning to be engaged in, sexual activity must have their needs for health education, support and/or protection assessed by the agency/agencies involved.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - In offering such advice, a person is not guilty of aiding, abetting or counselling a sexual offence against a child where s/he is acting for the purpose of: protecting a child from pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection protecting the physical safety of a child promoting a child’s e

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additional Guidance for Police and Children’s Social Care Staff - Guidance for Children’s Social Care staff indicates that, as Working Together is issued under Section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970, a decision not to inform the police where an offence has been committed against a child should only be made where ‘exceptional circum

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additonal Guidance for Healthcare Staff - When considering a termination of pregnancy, it is particularly important to ensure that the young person has fully understood what is happening.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additonal Guidance for Healthcare Staff - The following items should be discussed when providing advice or treatment to young people on contraception, and sexual and reproductive health: the emotional and physical implications of sexual activity, including the risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections whether the rela

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additional Guidance for Education Staff - Young people need to be able to talk to a trusted adult about sex and relationship issues. Although it is desirable that this person is their parent or carer, this is not always possible. The law allows staff to respect young people’s rights to confidentiality when discussing sex and rel

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additional Guidance for Education Staff - Young people should be made aware that confidentiality might be breached if they or another young person is at risk. In these circumstances staff should consult the young person and endeavour to gain their cooperation to a child protection referral. If that is not possible, they should be

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additional Guidance for Education Staff - Staff in schools should consider the need to establish links with colleagues in health to facilitate the delivery of advice/support and guidance on matters of sexual health.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additional Guidance for Police and Children’s Social Care Staff - While police and Children’s Social Care staff may provide advice and guidance to a young person involved in under-age sexual activity, both agencies have specific responsibilities with regard to criminal activities.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additional Guidance for Police and Children’s Social Care Staff - Children’s Social Care staff should inform police of actual and suspected criminal offences at the earliest possible opportunity in order to consider jointly how to proceed in the best interests of the child. Any decisions not to do so must be made at a senior level and recorded on the c

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additional Guidance for Police and Children’s Social Care Staff - In these circumstances it may be more important that the child receives appropriate advice regarding sexual health and contraception. This may be difficult if the young person is concerned that the police will be involved. Such a decision should always be made following consultation with l

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additonal Guidance for Healthcare Staff - If a request for contraception is made, doctors and other health professionals should establish rapport and give a young person support and time to make an informed choice. It is important to take account of the capacity of a young person to make informed decisions, even if they are over 1

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additional Guidance for Police and Children’s Social Care Staff - The police will proportionately investigate all criminal activities and make appropriate decisions in relation to the need for prosecution or not. Such decisions should always be made following consultation with line managers and should be recorded.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additional Guidance for Police and Children’s Social Care Staff - The priority for the police is the identification and investigation of under-age sexual activity where the relationship is abusive, either by being intra-familial in nature, or where there is a significant age/power gap between the parties involved.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additional Guidance for Police and Children’s Social Care Staff - Where young people of a similar age are involved in consensual sexual activity, or in other sensitive cases, the police role may be confined to the undertaking of information checks only. In such cases the police will not become directly involved in an investigation unless enquiries by the

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additional Guidance for Police and Children’s Social Care Staff - Both police and Children’s Social Care staff together may decide that there is no need for prosecution, but young people should be advised that their confidentiality cannot be maintained if staff from these agencies are involved.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Sharing Information with Parents and Carers - Decisions to share information with parents and carers should be taken using professional judgement, consideration of the Fraser guidelines and in consultation with the child protection procedures. Decisions should be based on the child’s age, maturity and ability to appreciate what is i

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Sharing Information with Parents and Carers - Given the responsibility that parents have for the conduct and welfare of their children, professionals should encourage the young person, at all points, to share information with their parents and carers wherever safe to do so.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Sharing Information with Parents and Carers - Those working directly with young people should give consideration to the role they may have in facilitating information sharing with parents/carers, in a planned way, in partnership with the young person.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additonal Guidance for Healthcare Staff - If a young person has a learning difficulty or disability, they should be encouraged to speak to an advocate of their choice to help their voice be clearly heard.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Additonal Guidance for Healthcare Staff - Doctors and other health professionals should consider the following issues when providing advice or treatment to young people on contraception, and sexual and reproductive health.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Confidentiality - The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 in any setting is the same as that owed to any other person, but the right to confidentiality is not absolute.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Assessment - It is important that all decision-making is undertaken with full professional consultation and never taken by one person alone. All discussions must be recorded, giving reasons for action taken and who was involved.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Confidentiality - Where there is a serious child protection risk to the health, safety or welfare of a young person or others, this outweighs the young person’s right to privacy.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Confidentiality - Research and experience have shown repeatedly that keeping children safe from harm requires professionals and others to share information. Such information sharing must be in accordance with legal requirements and the BSCB Information Sharing Protocol.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Assessment - Consideration should be given to how the young person can access associated assessments and support, and where necessary agencies should signpost or make a referral to appropriate provision.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Assessment - On each occasion that a young person is seen by an agency, consideration should be given as to whether her/his circumstances have changed or further information has been given which may lead to the need for a referral or re-referral to Children’s Social Care

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Assessment - Where the child is considered to be at risk of significant harm a referral must be made to Children’s Social Care. An assessment will then be made within the child protection framework (see What to do if you have a concern about a child in Buckinghamshire).

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Assessment - In assessing the nature of any particular behaviour, it is essential to look at the facts of the relationship between those involved.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Assessment - The following considerations must be taken into account when assessing the extent to which the child (or other children) may be suffering, or are at risk of suffering, harm (this list is not exhaustive): the age of the child – the younger the child the stronger the presumption must be th

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Assessment - In cases of concern, where sufficient information is known about the sexual partner(s), the agency should check with other agencies, including the police, to establish what, if any, information is known about them. The police should normally share the required information without beginning

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Disabled Children and Young People - Where professionals in Children's Social Care have concerns that a relationship may present a risk of harm to an older disabled young person, they should begin work with the Adult Social Care services at an early point in order for there to be a smooth transition from protection under the

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Power Imbalances - Sexual abuse and exploitation of a child or young person involves an imbalance of power. Any assessment should seek to identify possible power imbalances within a relationship. These can result from differences in size, age, material wealth and/or psychological, social and physical develop

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Power Imbalances - Where a power imbalance results in coercion, manipulation and/or bribery and seduction, these pressures can be applied to a young person by one or two individuals, or through peer pressure (i.e. group bullying). Professionals assessing the nature of a child or young person’s relationship

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Power Imbalances - There will be an imbalance of power, and the child or young person will not be deemed able to give consent, if the sexual partner is in a position of trust or is a family member, as defined by the Sexual Offences Act 2003, and/or any pre-existing legislation.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Disabled Children and Young People - Also refer to BSCB’s guidance on Safeguarding disabled children and young people.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Disabled Children and Young People - Disabled children and young people are more likely to be abused than non-disabled children, and they are especially at risk when they are living away from home (see BSCB procedure on Children living away from home). They may be particularly vulnerable to coercion due to physical dependency

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Disabled Children and Young People - Professionals should not, however, assume that because a young person has a disability that they are not Fraser competent. Although there is a duty to protect from abuse and exploitation, professionals also need to recognise that disabled children have the right to a full life, including a

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Disabled Children and Young People - In assessing whether a relationship presents a risk of significant harm to a disabled child or young person, professionals need to consider the indicators listed in Section 4.6 in the light of these potential additional vulnerabilities.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Disabled Children and Young People - A child or young person with a disability could be vulnerable to harm from a sexual relationship developed through inclusive activities. This may be in mainstream schools, education colleges, leisure centres and other places where children and young people meet where supervision is at a mi

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Assessment - Where a serious crime is suspected, advice should be sought from the police at the earliest opportunity to safeguard the child and minimise the risk of any evidence, such as emails or pictures, being destroyed prior to an investigation.

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Legislation and Responding to Children - Promoting emotional wellbeing includes exploring the part that sexuality plays in the young person’s sense of identity, the emotional implications of entering into a sexual relationship, and the characteristics of healthy relationships. Where appropriate, the needs and concerns of lesbia

3.11 Sexually Active Children and Young People: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Managing Allegations against Staff and Volunteers Child Sexual Exploitation Children who Exhibit Problematic/Harmful Sexual Behaviour

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Looked after Children - Problems with contact can mean that a child doesn’t have time to prepare for a death, even when others are expecting it.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Looked after Children - Children in care experience a variety of separations and losses in their lives. These losses can make the impact of the death of someone close to them more acute.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities - For children and young people with learning disabilities there may be additional considerations related to the disability itself and the attitudes of others towards their disability. This has been described as the ‘double taboo’ of death and disability (M Oswin, Am I Allowed to Cry? St

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Unaccompanied Asylum-seeking Young People - The emotional and practical needs of asylum-seeking young people may be overwhelmed by the need to get used to their new life. Great care should be taken to ensure that bereavement, amongst all these other stresses, is identified and given sufficient attention.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Unaccompanied Asylum-seeking Young People - In some cultures, mental health difficulties are understood and dealt with differently, so some young people may not be interested in a referral for counselling or other support. This does not mean that their bereavement needs should not be assessed in the same way, but the response should

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Unaccompanied Asylum-seeking Young People - Language and cultural difference can make it difficult for young people to talk about their fear and anxieties that they may feel in their new and often uncertain circumstances. It is not uncommon for these young people to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Unaccompanied Asylum-seeking Young People - Asylum-seeking young people are also likely to have experienced multiple losses, including separation from family and often the death of someone close to them, which they may also have witnessed.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Critical Incidents and Traumatic Deaths - Following a traumatic experience, such as witnessing an accident, or even the murder of one parent by another, children and young people may develop a variety of stress reactions. These can include intrusive thoughts about what has happened, flashbacks, separation difficulties, problems co

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People in Secure Accommodation - Children and young people in secure accommodation are likely to be placed some way from home, making it more difficult for them to be involved in any family remembrances and funeral arrangements. “My Gran died five months ago. I was not allowed to go to the funeral even though it meant s

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People in Secure Accommodation - Many of these losses thwart the coping strategies and emotional reliance that children and young people might otherwise use to get comfort and reassurance at times of great stress, such as when someone close dies.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People in Secure Accommodation - In addition to the issues faced by children who are Looked After, a secure setting can bring additional challenges that affect their experience and ability to access support for bereavement, including: loss of liberty and freedom relationships (with boyfriends/girlfriends, friends, family

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Looked after Children - In addition, some children and young people come into care because of the death of a parent and absence of other family members to look after them. This highlights the importance of planning for the care of children and young people who experience the death of a lone parent/carer.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Looked after Children - The CBN study described children and young people’s feelings, such as aggression, being withdrawn, self-harming, suicide, eating disorders, incontinence, vomiting clinginess, poor memory and, in some cases, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities - Like all children and young people, those with learning difficulties do not need protection from the feelings and emotions associated with grief, but support and help to express them, and reassurance that these sometimes powerful and overwhelming emotions are normal and necessary.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Looked after Children - Vulnerable young people are over-represented among children in care (Looked After Children). The Child Bereavement Network (CBN) in a UK study cited drug and alcohol misuse and other risk-taking behaviour, poor general health, severe emotional and mental health problems, domestic violence

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Risk of Self-harm or Harm to Others - There is increasing evidence that bereavement in circumstances that are already disadvantaged, can increase young people’s vulnerability to mental and emotional health difficulties, self-harm and risky health behaviours.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Risk of Self-harm or Harm to Others - Following a traumatic bereavement such as suicide or murder, young people can develop a variety of traumatic stress reactions which may inhibit their grief.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Risk of Self-harm or Harm to Others - A number of factors are known to make young people’s bereavement more difficult. These include having an ambivalent relationship with the person who has died and having little support available.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

If Concerns Increase - The following (non-exhaustive) list of warning signs should be taken together with an assessment of what else is happening in the child’s life: avoidance of friends and family always tired and/or ill school problems/difficulties self-destructive behaviour desire to die persistent feelin

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

If Concerns Increase - There are some reactions which start to cause concern, for example because they continue for some time and appear to be increasing rather than diminishing. These need to be acted upon and the help of specialist services may need to be considered. Professionals should follow the usual proce

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Immediate and Longer-term Support - It may be helpful to go through the following information with adults or older peers who may need to help a bereaved child – to help raise their confidence that they have the skills to do this: Each child and young person can have a unique response to grief, depending upon their individu

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Immediate and Longer-term Support - Children and young people of all ages who have experienced a death indicate that they prefer to be supported by known adults and older peers rather than someone who is unfamiliar. Professionals can be effective by working together with the child’s parents, carers, school staff, etc to he

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Anticipating Bereavement - Adults can play a vital role in preparing themselves and the young people they work with in the following ways: Developing staff and parents/carers confidence, knowledge and skills through training and providing information. Developing children and young peoples’ understanding of death a

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities - Over-protective attitudes may not help bereaved children/young people to accommodate their grief, e.g. if they are not encouraged to say goodbye to their loved one, not invited to attend the funeral, or in some cases not even told about the death when it occurs.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities - By identifying, acknowledging and addressing such challenges in an open, honest and sensitive way, carers can help the child/young person with a learning disability to confront and deal with the sadness and other associated feelings following the death of a loved one.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities - Bereavement affects people in different ways, and familiar carers might offer a strong sense of social support, while also having a pivotal role in anticipating identifying and acknowledging individual response and the need for additional specialist input. Support at this time is crucial,

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Funerals - If they are attending the funeral, the child might benefit from being accompanied by a member of staff, particularly if the family are absorbed by their own grief. Such arrangements will need to be discussed sensitively with those arranging the funeral.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Supervisors and Managers - Internal provision of support by the organisation is encouraged, but staff should also have the opportunity to access employee counselling services where necessary, or preferred.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Supervisors and Managers - A supportive culture needs to be created within each organisation to facilitate staff coping with bereavement especially in traumatic situation.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Supervisors and Managers - Support for staff should be provided by creating a culture of ‘checking out’ that staff are coping. Where possible, sensitivity should be shown to staff by not exposing them to very stressful deaths within work too soon following a personal bereavement.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Supervisors and Managers - High-risk cases should be identified and prioritised for regular support/supervision.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Supervisors and Managers - Training and guidance for staff should include identified core elements: emphasis on the normality of grief considering three stages of care: before death (where this can be anticipated); around the time of death; and following the death communication skills, including the management of di

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Supervisors and Managers - Staff members may carry their own grief and bereavements, which may influence how they react to any related circumstance. It is essential therefore that support/supervision takes into account the past experience of the individual and recognises the need for self-awareness and reflection o

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Supervisors and Managers - Employers have a duty of care to their staff. The provision of training can enable staff to operate in this highly sensitive area and ensure quality of care for those who are bereaved. The provision of support for staff who may be adversely effected by their exposure to traumatic deaths, a

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Support for Staff - If a staff member has suffered a recent bereavement themselves, it is advisable for them and for the bereaved child/young person that they discuss the appropriateness of this piece of work with their line manager. If they are already working with the child/young person, a sudden retreat mi

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Support for Staff - Talking to a child or family about the death of someone close may be hard for staff to do. Supporting a child experiencing loss or bereavement can be exhausting and possibly bring back painful memories. Staff should talk to other team members and their line manager if they need support.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Funerals - Regarding attendance at funerals, staff should respect the wishes of the family concerned, but keep in focus the support and involvement that the child or young person might need. This might mean speaking on behalf of the child/ young person when they wish to be involved in attending, or m

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Responding to Children and Young people - The more ongoing proactive support that is given across a whole community, the more likely children, young people and their community will show good resilience to the impact of events involving loss and bereavement, and will not require longer-term additional specialist support. Appropriat

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Helping to Capture Meaningful Memories - The child could be asked whether they wish to have a relevant piece of jewellery, clothing, lock of hair etc following the death.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Helping to Capture Meaningful Memories - Thought should be given to whether it is appropriate and helpful for a child to be given the opportunity to see the deceased person before burial or cremation. This is an area where there can be well meaning, but considerable debate, particularly among family members. The child/young perso

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Helping to Capture Meaningful Memories - If the death was unexpected, staff may need to give consideration to who else in the family or community might be able to supply the child with relevant information and objects.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Helping to Capture Meaningful Memories - Where death is anticipated, the child can be helped to identify and communicate things they may want to say to, or do with, the person they are going to lose. This may include having some pictures taken together and/or a film; writing them a letter or poem; giving each other a lock of hair

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Helping to Capture Meaningful Memories - Cultural and religious customs, particularly around death, should be taken into consideration. Workers should seek advice where needed and take care not to impose their own customs.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Helping to Capture Meaningful Memories - In working with bereaved children/young people, opportunities for helping to capture memories that are meaningful for them should always be considered. For Looked After Children, obtaining a thorough ‘life story’ for the child will be a priority piece of work within the care plan itsel

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities - Children with learning difficulties may have less vocabulary and tend to express their feelings even more through behaviour rather than words.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities - However, visiting a graveyard can be especially confusing for children with learning difficulties due to the lack of visual evidence as to exactly where the dead body has gone.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities - Children with learning difficulties may find the concept of death and its permanence particularly difficult to grasp and will benefit from simple, practical examples to illustrate the difference between dead and living things.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities - When death and bereavement is dealt with in a supportive, sensitive and consistent way, all children/young people may learn to develop personal coping strategies and learn to cope with future losses in a more constructive manner. Meaningful support is crucial to this process.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Responding to Children and Young people - Where bereavement for a child or young person is known or anticipated: Is the child receiving, or is likely to receive, sufficient emotional support from close family and friends who will be available before, during and after the death? Does the child knows about the anticipated death and

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Supervisors and Managers - A resource list of where to access support should be available for managers and staff.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Introduction - This guidance is to help staff recognise and respond appropriately when a young person is grieving.

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Unaccompanied Asylum-seeking Young People

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Critical Incidents and Traumatic Deaths

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People in Secure Accommodation

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Risk of Self-harm or Harm to Others

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Immediate and Longer-term Support

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Responding to Children and Young people

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Helping to Capture Meaningful Memories

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Introduction - Lessons from Serious Case Reviews in Buckinghamshire have highlighted the need for us all to take the bereavement of young people seriously and consider, in particular, the additional risks that grief can introduce to those already in vulnerable circumstances. This finding mirrors research

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Introduction - Some children have particular needs which arise as a result of bereavement. For example, some children may enter the ‘Looked After’ system because they have lost a parent; some are bullied because of their bereavement; and some families may face financial difficulty and may experience

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Introduction - Loss and bereavement are an inevitable part of our lifecycle. During childhood and adolescence some children will experience the death of someone they know. By the age of 16, it is estimated that 4.7% or around 1 in 20 young people will have experienced the death of one or both of their pa

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Self-harm

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities

3.2 Bereaved Children and Young People: Guidance

Useful Documents and related guidance - National statistics around child bereavement. Child Bereavement Network. Ribbens McCathy, J and Jessop, J (2005) The impact of bereavement and loss on young people. Monroe, B and Kraus, F (2009) Brief interventions with bereaved children. Meltzer, H and others (2001) Children and adolescen

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying - Since 1999, schools have been under a legal duty to put measures in place to promote good behaviour, respect for others and to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils. In practice, schools need to draw up an anti-bullying policy linked to the behaviour policy.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Motivations for Bullying - Children who bully have often been bullied themselves. There may also be underlying circumstances which are contributing to the bullying behaviour, such as a disrupted home life, exposure to violence or a lack of self-confidence. While these reasons do not justify the bullying behaviour, p

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Indicators - Changes in behaviour which indicate fear or anxiety may be a potential indicator of bullying. The behaviours listed below are ones which can be associated with bullying, although it is important to recognise that bullying will not always be the reason why a child is displaying these behavi

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying - All settings in which children are provided with services, or are living away from home should have rigorously enforced anti-bullying strategies in place and clear procedures on how to refer to Children’s Social Care if safeguarding concerns are identified (see BSCB How to report a conce

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying - Clear messages must be given that bullying is not acceptable and children must be reassured that the adults they are in contact with will take bullying seriously.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying - It is important for professionals to consider whether to apply safeguarding procedures both to the young people being bullied, and to the perpetrators. Victims of bullying may need to be protected from the child or young person engaging in bullying behaviour using safeguarding processes. S

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying - Bullying may become a safeguarding issue and, particularly in cases of sexist, sexual and transphobic bullying, schools must consider whether safeguarding processes need to be followed. This is because of the potential for this form of bullying to be characterised by inappropriate sexual b

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Motivations for Bullying - Bullying often starts with small events such as teasing or name calling, which if left unchallenged can lead to more serious bulling and abuse.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying - In all cases, where bullying is taking place, action should be taken to address the needs of the victims and the perpetrator and to provide appropriate support and services.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying - If the bullying involves physical assault, as well as seeking medical attention where necessary, consideration should be given as to whether there are any child protection issues and whether there should be a referral to the police if a criminal offence may have been committed.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying - Where appropriate, parents and carers of both victims and perpetrators should be kept informed and updated on a regular basis. Where possible they should also be involved in supporting the strategies that are being put in place to manage the bullying.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying - It is important when addressing bullying behaviour by another child to avoid accusations, threats or any responses that will only lead to the child being uncooperative, and silent.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Definition - Bullying should be defined by the impact on the victim rather than the intention of the perpetrator.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Motivations for Bullying - Bullying is often motivated by prejudice, difference or vulnerability, whether actual or perceived. For example, a perpetrator may pick on someone because they are adopted, have caring responsibilities or because of the way they look. Children Living Away from home are particularly vulnera

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Motivations for Bullying - Consideration should always be given to the underlying reason for the bullying so that prejudices and assumptions can be challenged and addressed appropriately.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Bullying and Prejudice-Related Incidents - Prejudice-related incidents involve the nine protected characteristics as set out in the Equality Act 2010: race and ethnicity religion or belief sexual orientation sex disability age gender reassignment pregnancy or maternity marriage and civil partnership.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Damaged caused by bullying - Children are often held back from telling anyone about their experience for a number of reasons, including: they have been threatened they don't think anything can be done to change the situation they think they should be able to deal with it by themselves they might wrongly feel they are

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Bullying and Prejudice-Related Incidents - Prejudice-related incidents can take many forms, including prejudicial language, ridicule and jokes, verbal abuse and graffiti. There is a crossover between prejudice-related incidents and bullying. However, they are also distinct; not all incidents of bullying will be prejudice-related in

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Bullying and Prejudice-Related Incidents - When dealing with prejudice-related incidents, professionals should be particularly aware that they do not just impact on the individual involved, but are an attack on someone who is a representative of a community or group, which means the impact is felt more widely. This has the potentia

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Bullying and Prejudice-Related Incidents - Buckinghamshire County Council has supported the development of guidance for schools around prejudice-related incidents. This includes further exploration of the similarities and differences between prejudice-related incidents and bullying. This document also provides guidance on how schoo

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Bullying and Hate Crime - A hate crime is a crime committed against someone because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation. A hate crime must involve a criminal offence.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Bullying and Hate Crime - Hate crimes can include threatening behaviour, assault, robbery, damage to property, inciting others to commit hate crime and harassment.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Bullying and Hate Crime - Professionals should be aware that there may be a crossover between bullying and hate crime in cases where bullying behaviour relates to disability, gender-identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation and a criminal offence has taken place.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Bullying and Hate Crime - Because a criminal offence is involved, all incidents of hate crime should be reported to the police.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Definition - It is important to recognise that in some instances bullying will raise safeguarding concerns and/or involve a criminal offence. Bullying behaviour may result in a criminal investigation where there is physical assault, damage, threats or harassment.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Damaged caused by bullying - The damage inflicted on children by bullying can frequently be underestimated. It can cause considerable distress to children, to the extent that it affects their health and development or, in extreme cases, causes them significant harm (including self-harm).

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Definition - Bullying often involves an imbalance of power between the victim and the perpetrator which gives the perpetrator control over the relationship and makes it difficult for the victim to defend themselves. This imbalance can take a number of forms. For example, it may be physical, psychologic

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Definition - While bullying often involves children as both victim and perpetrator, it can occur at any age. Professionals should be just as alert to cases of bullying which might involve an adult perpetrator bullying a child, or a child perpetrator bullying an adult.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying - Both the child engaged in bullying behaviour and those who are the target of bullying should then be closely monitored. The times, places and circumstances in which the risk of bullying is greatest should be ascertained and action taken to reduce the risk of recurrence.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Definition - Bullying can happen face to face or virtually, for example online via social networking sites, online forums or gaming or via mobile phones. The use of information communications technology (ICT) to bully impacts on the way bulling takes place – it can happen at any time of day and can b

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Definition - Bullying may be defined as behaviour by an individual or a group, repeated over time, which intentionally hurts another individual or group, either physically or emotionally. It can take many forms, including: verbal abuse, such as name calling or gossiping non-verbal abuse, such as hand s

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Further Advice - Schools can contact Yvette Thomas, Head of Equalities at Buckinghamshire County Council, for further advice and support around bullying. The following Buckinghamshire County Council documents provide guidance for schools on dealing with prejudice-related incidents and disability bullying:

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Further Advice - The Department for Education has produced guidance for schools on preventing and responding to bullying (2017). Materials include advice on supporting children and young people who are bullied, and advice for both teachers and parents on cyber-bullying.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Further Advice - Guidance for schools on preventing and tackling sexual violence and sexual harrassment between children in schools and colleges was published in 2018.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Further Advice - Ofsted has a challenge role with schools in looking at how children and young people are being kept safe from bullying as part of their inspections, and gathers views from parents and children and young people as part of this process. If weaknesses are identified these will be flagged up i

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Further Advice - Specialist bullying organisations: The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA): Founded in 2002 by NSPCC and 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: A charity es

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Further Advice - Cyber bullying: The BSCB E-Safety Sub Group maintains a list of current resources relating to staying safe online.

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Further Advice - Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+): EACH: A training agency for employers and organisations seeking to tackle discrimination on the grounds of gender and sexual orientation. Schools Out: Offers practical advice, resources (including lesson plans) and training to schools on LGBT

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Further Advice - Special Educational Need and Disability (SEND): Mencap: Represents people with learning disabilities, with specific advice and information for people who work with children and young people. Changing Faces: Provide online resources and training to schools on bullying because of physical di

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Further Advice - Racism: Show Racism the Red Card: Provides resources and workshops for schools to educate young people, often using the high profile of football, about racism. Kick it Out: Uses the appeal of football to educate young people about racism and provides education packs for schools. Anne Frank

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Safeguarding Children Affected by Gang Activity

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Appendix - (Appendix 1) Dealing with Prejudice Related Incidents: Guidance for Schools (Appendix 2) All Inclusive: Tackling Disability-Related Bullying in Primary Schools

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Bullying and Prejudice-Related Incidents

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying - Whatever plan of action is implemented, it must be reviewed with regular intervals to ascertain whether actions have been successful by consideration of whether the target of bullying now feels safe and whether the bullying behaviour has now ceased. Consideration should also be given to le

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying - A restorative approach and the use of restorative enquiry and subsequent mediation between those involved can provide an opportunity to meet the needs of all concerned. The child who has been bullied has the chance to say how he or she has been affected. The opportunity is provided for the

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Motivations for Bullying

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Damaged caused by bullying

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Bullying and Hate Crime

3.3 Bullying: Guidance

Actions to Safeguard Children from Bullying - The focus should be on the bullying behaviour rather than the child and, where possible, the reasons for the behaviour should be explored and dealt with. A clear explanation of the extent of the upset the bullying has caused should be given and encouragement to see the bullied child’s po

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Managing Allegations against Staff and Volunteers Buckinghamshire Safer Recruitment Toolkit Private Fostering Policy on Abuse of Disabled Children Children’s Social Care Procedures for Looked After Children Migrant Children and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Joint

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - In relation to homeless 16 and 17 year olds, the Joint Protocol for Homeless 16 and 17 Year Olds should be followed. This sets out the responsibilities of the four District Council housing departments and Buckinghamshire County Council.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - There will be occasions when children are staying in a hospital outside of the Local Authority where they normally live, especially where they are receiving treatment from specialist units. In such cases hospital staff should ensure there is relevant communication and liaison with professi

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - The visit leader should ensure that: DBS checks are in place for UK host families for guests staying more than 28 days Private Fostering Procedures are followed where guests are staying for more than 28 days appropriate information is shared a code of conduct is agreed families understand

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - The National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services (NSF) September 2004 sets out standards for hospital services. Hospitals should be child-friendly, safe and healthy places for children, with care in an appropriate location and environment.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - There are procedures in relation to private fostering which must be followed (see Buckinghamshire County Council’s Private Fostering Procedures). Any professional who becomes aware that a child is in a private fostering arrangement should notify Children’s Social Care by calling First

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Under the Children Act 1989, private foster carers and those with parental responsibility are required to notify the local authority of their intention to privately foster or have a child fostered by calling First Response on 01296 383962 (also refer to The Children (Private Arrangements f

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Children's Social Care must satisfy themselves as to the suitability of the private foster carer, their household and accommodation. Further information and resources for professionals on private fostering are available on the BSCB website.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Children on foreign exchange visits/homestays typically stay with a family selected by the school in the host country. Where this is for a period of less than 28 days, they are not classed as being ‘privately fostered’. In these circumstances the only agency involved is education, with

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - In the event that any child in a household is subject to a Child Protection Plan or is the subject of a Section 47 Enquiry, the household should (until there is a satisfactory resolution of concerns) be regarded by the school as unsuitable to receive a pupil from an overseas school.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Full guidance about exchanges and homestays can be found in the Resources section of Evolve, the local authority web-based system for establishments to access to register and plan their visits; which then go to a nominated Education Adviser for approval.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) regulations do not apply to UK-based exchange visits of less than 28 days, but overseas parents should indicate that they consent to the suitability of the selection process that places their child with the volunteer host family.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - A DBS check in itself is no guarantee as to the suitability of an adult to work with any given group of young or vulnerable people. The placement of an adult within a situation of professional trust (where young people could be vulnerable to physical or mental exploitation, abuse or groomi

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Visit leaders should ensure that parents/carers understand that DBS checks are unlikely to be available in countries visited by young people from the UK. They therefore must ensure that the overseas host school or agency is aware of the need to plan for appropriate home placements. In prac

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Children under 16 should not usually be cared for on an adult ward, although if they are aged 14 or over they may be given a choice as to whether they wish to be cared for on an adult ward. Hospital admission data should include the age of children so that hospitals can monitor whether chi

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Throughout any period of being looked after, a child must be made aware of their rights under the Children Act 1989 and 2004. Children and young people have a right to be heard. They can best describe how it is for them because they know how it feels. Children and young people have a right

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Children’s Social Care must be notified by the hospital if a child is in hospital for more than 12 weeks. Children’s Social Care must then carry out an assessment of the child’s welfare and safety (as per Section 85 of the Children Act 1989).

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - The hospital should inform the parents/carers of the child that the information will be shared with Children’s Social Care and the reasons for this.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Best practice is that notifications should be received at least three weeks before a child has been away from home for the statutory period of 12 weeks so that the Children’s Social Care assessment remains within timescales.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Young Offenders Institutions The local authority has the same responsibilities towards children in custody as it does for other children in the local authority area. Under the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishing of Offenders Act 2012, children are remanded to the care of the local authority

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Children may be at risk of harm when they are living in temporary accommodation that also houses adults, for example B&Bs, hostels or refuges.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Young Offenders Institutions which accommodate juveniles (16–18-year-olds) must have policies and procedures in place which set out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children and young people in their care.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Placement in temporary accommodation, often at a distance from previous support networks or involving frequent moves, can lead to individuals and families falling through the net and becoming disengaged from health, education, social care and welfare support systems. Some families who have

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - There is statutory guidance on making arrangements under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, which sets out local authorities’ responsibilities for homeless families.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - There will be additional challenges where temporary accommodation is provided in another local authority. In such cases the services involved with the family should take extra care to ensure there is good communication and that relevant services are continued.  

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - It is important that effective communication and systems are in place to ensure that children from homeless families receive services from health and education, as well as any other relevant services.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - On becoming looked after, children and young people must be provided with information about the services provided in Buckinghamshire. All staff and social workers should also be briefed about these services during their induction.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Private fostering is when a child or young person under 16 (or under 18 if disabled) is living with someone who is not a close relative (i.e. grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister) for 28 days or more. This may include children sent from abroad, asylum-seeking and refugee children,

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Looked After Children who have learning and/or behavioural difficulties and/or sensory/physical impairment are particularly vulnerable to abuse. Staff working with these children must be alert to any indications that a child might be in need of protection (see BSCB’s guidance on Abuse of

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Risks and Safeguards - There should be clear procedures and support systems in place for dealing with expressions of concern about staff or volunteers (see BSCB’s procedure for Managing Allegations against Staff and Volunteers). Organisations should have a whistleblowing policy and code of conduct instructing

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Introduction - Everywhere that children live should provide the same basic safeguards against abuse, founded on an approach that promotes their general welfare, protects them from harm, and treats them with dignity and respect.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Social workers are required to see Looked After Children on their own and evidence of this should be recorded on the child's records. The role of the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) now includes ensuring they have the opportunity to see the child prior to reviews, speaking to them on t

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Risks and Safeguards - Children living away from home are particularly vulnerable to being abused by adults and peers. With limited and sometimes controlled contact with family and carers, they may not be able to disclose what is happening to them. Many young people live away from home because of concerns about

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Risks and Safeguards - Disabled children are particularly vulnerable when living/staying away from home (see BSCB’s guidance on Abuse of Disabled Children).

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Introduction - Revelations of widespread abuse and neglect of children living away from home have done much to raise awareness of the particular vulnerability of children in these circumstances. It is important for agencies and professionals not to be complacent and to be vigilant at all times so that ch

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Risks and Safeguards - All settings (such as those set out in section 3.4.3) must ensure that: children feel valued and respected they communicate directly with children using appropriate verbal and/or non-verbal means and recognise the importance of ascertaining their wishes and feelings safe recruitment and em

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Introduction - Settings where children are living away from home include: boarding schools, children’s homes and foster homes, hospitals, prisons, young offender institutions, secure training centres, secure units and army bases. This guidance is also relevant in relation to private fostering and forei

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Risks and Safeguards - Complaints procedures and child protection policies should be kept up to date. These must be clear, effective, user-friendly and readily accessible to children and young people, including those with disabilities and those for whom English is not their preferred language.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Introduction - Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board’s (BSCB) guidance and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children apply in every situation and to all settings, including those where children are living away from home.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Risks and Safeguards - Children should genuinely be able to raise concerns and make suggestions for changes and improvements, which should be taken seriously. Procedures should address informal as well as formal complaints. Systems that do not promote open communication about ‘minor’ complaints will not be r

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Risks and Safeguards - When there are concerns about significant harm to a child, the same child protection procedures apply as for those children who live with their own families. There are also additional procedures relevant to specific circumstances (as outlined below).

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Children and young people living in foster care or residential settings are among the most socially excluded groups in England. They are vulnerable to abuse and may be in care due to abuse.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - The BCSB expects there to be a strong working partnership between all key people and agencies involved in the child’s life, to enable clarification and allocation of the different roles and responsibilities as ‘public’ parents, to ensure the child is kept safe. This includes the chil

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - Where there is reasonable cause to believe that a Looked After Child has suffered, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm in their placement, Children’s Social Care will convene a strategy meeting involving all relevant partners.

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Specific Situations - In these circumstances, enquiries should consider the safety of any other children living in the foster home/residential setting, including the foster carers’ own children, grandchildren or any children cared for by the foster carers in their home, as well as any children whom the foster

3.4 Children Living Away from Home: Guidance

Introduction - Individual agencies that provide care for children living away from home should implement clear and unambiguous procedures to respond to potential matters of concern about children’s welfare, in line with the relevant legal requirements.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

No further action relation to Section 47 enquiries or criminal investigations - If the meeting agrees that the case does not appear to be one of fabricated or induced illness, consideration needs to be given to what further help and support is needed from professionals.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Initial management of emerging concerns of possible fabricated or induced illness - If no immediate harm is thought likely and fabricated illness is not suspected, ensure services  are offered and/or provided as appropriate, including consideration of a referral seeking early help or child in need support from Children’s Social Care.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Strategy Meeting - If there is reasonable cause to suspect the child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm, Children's Social Care should convene and chair a strategy meeting involving all the key professionals. A meeting, rather than telephone discussion, is strongly advised when considering t

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Impact on the child - Fabricated or induced illness is most commonly identified in younger children. Although some of these children die, there are many that do not die as a result of having their illness fabricated or induced, but who suffer significant long term physical or psychological health consequences.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Initial management of emerging concerns of possible fabricated or induced illness - Further professionals meetings may be required before a final decision can be made. Although this should not impact on due and timely consideration to the potential or actual harm to the child and prompt referral to Children’s Social Care.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Strategy Meeting - The aim of the meeting is to consider the available information about the allegations and plan any necessary child protection investigation and/or any criminal investigation needed to protect the child. This may include an agreed intervention, e.g. removal of child from the home.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Strategy Meeting - The strategy meeting should be convened in line with the agreed multi agency Section 47 Procedure. The meeting should be chaired by the local authority children's social care manager.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

No further action relation to Section 47 enquiries or criminal investigations - The outcome of ‘no further action’ relates only to the discussion not to carry out a  Section 47 enquiry or undertake a criminal investigation; it is not intended to suggest that no further support or enquiry into the situation is required.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Strategy Meeting - The minutes of the strategy meeting must show clear, explicit evidence of the decision-making process and the reasons for the meeting outcomes.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Strategy Meeting - If at any point there is evidence to indicate the child’s life is at risk, or there is likelihood of serious immediate harm, child protection powers should be used to secure the immediate safety of the child.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Strategy Meeting - Participants must include Children's Social Care, the police, the paediatrician responsible for the child's health, and, as appropriate: GP All other medical professionals involved with the child’s care (including mental health workers /paediatricians from tertiary units/private practice

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Strategy Meeting - All practitioners must be advised that this is confidential and parents/carers are not to be informed.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Initial management of emerging concerns of possible fabricated or induced illness - The meeting should be minuted and actions agreed (see Aide memoire in Appendix 3). Due to the need for extreme care over confidentiality in these cases, each agency should follow their own local procedure for ensuring security of records.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Initial management of emerging concerns of possible fabricated or induced illness - During the initial professionals meeting, if immediate harm is deemed likely, formally refer family to Children’s Social Care urgently and request advice and/or a strategy meeting. Call 01296 383962 (0800 999 7677 out of hours). Follow up with a Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF). Legal

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Initial management of emerging concerns of possible fabricated or induced illness - Where fabricated/induced illness is likely or confirmed at the professionals meeting a referral should be made to Children’s Social Care using a Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF).

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Initial management of emerging concerns of possible fabricated or induced illness - The purpose of any professionals meeting is to gather and share information from a number of sources where there is concern about a child’s welfare. When this level of concern regards the potential for fabricated/induced illness, consideration must be given that this may be the different

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Identifying fabricated or induced illness - A key task for professionals working with children is to distinguish between an over-anxious parent/carer who may be responding in an understandable way to a very sick child, and parents/carers who exhibit abnormal behaviour or an unexpected response to diagnosis and care.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Impact on the child - In working with cases of suspected fabricated or induced illness, the focus must be on the child’s physical and emotional health and welfare in the long and short term, and the likelihood of the child suffering significant harm.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Abusers - Clinical evidence indicates that fabricated or induced illness is usually carried out by the child’s mother or a female carer, (Safeguarding children in whom illness is fabricated or induced, DCSF 2008). However, practitioners should also be aware of the possibility of other perpetrators

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Abusers - Parents/carers may have the following history or exhibit a range of behaviours when they wish to convince others that their child is ill: The parent/carer may have a history of childhood abuse. There may also be false or known allegations of physical or sexual abuse, self-harm and/or psyc

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Identifying fabricated or induced illness - Identifying fabricated or induced illness is not an easy or quick process. Identifying the parent/carer/professional’s patterns of behaviour needs a multi-agency approach, expertise and observation.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Identifying fabricated or induced illness - Parents can display a range of behaviours in response to their child being ill / perceived to be ill with some showing more anxiety and symptoms of stress than others.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Identifying fabricated or induced illness - The spectrum of parental behaviours can include those who: present as anxious about minor symptoms in their child tend to exaggerate symptoms invent symptoms induce them.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Introduction - The above methods are not mutually exclusive. Existing diagnosed illness in a child does not exclude the possibility of induced illnesses. The very presence of an illness can act as a stimulus to the abnormal behaviour and also provide the parent with opportunities for inducing symptoms.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Identifying fabricated or induced illness - All professionals who come into contact with children and their families, or adults who are parents, may come into contact with a child or parent where there are suspicions of fabricated or induced illness. These suspicions are likely to centre on discrepancies between what a parent says a

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Initial management of emerging concerns of possible fabricated or induced illness - Arrange a professionals meeting with agencies involved including GP/teacher/ nursery leader/paediatrician/social worker/police/mental health worker. Consider inviting named/designated professionals. Do not invite parents/carers to this meeting.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Identifying fabricated or induced illness - Concerns may arise when: reported symptoms and signs found on examination are not explained by any 'normal' medical condition physical examination and results of investigations do not explain reported symptoms and signs new symptoms are reported on resolution of previous ones reported symp

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Identifying fabricated or induced illness - Harm to the child may occur in different ways: directly through induction of ill health indirectly through unnecessary admission to hospital, investigation and treatment psychologically in association with: confusion of affection with sickness being used by their carer development of ‘il

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Initial management of emerging concerns of possible fabricated or induced illness - Do NOT inform parents/carers of the concerns at this stage.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Initial management of emerging concerns of possible fabricated or induced illness - All professionals who have concerns about a child’s health should discuss these with their line manager, their agency's designated safeguarding children adviser and the GP or paediatrician responsible for the child's health. If the child is receiving services from local authority Childre

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Initial management of emerging concerns of possible fabricated or induced illness - If any professional considers that their concerns are not taken seriously or responded to appropriately, they should escalate their concerns following the Multi-agency Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution Procedure.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Initial management of emerging concerns of possible fabricated or induced illness - All concerns and discussions must be recorded contemporaneously by all parties in their agency records for the child, dated and signed.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Initial management of emerging concerns of possible fabricated or induced illness - Gather information and complete a chronology/timeline of key events.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

No further action relation to Section 47 enquiries or criminal investigations - The meeting attendees must decide who the appropriate person is to inform the parents/carers and what support is appropriate.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Allegations against professionals / volunteers

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Section 47 / Criminal Investigation - When it is decided there are grounds to initiate a child protection investigation (Section 47, Children Act 1989), decisions should be made about how the investigation, and the assessment, will be carried out, including: whether the child requires constant professional observation and, if

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Section 47 / Criminal Investigation - All actions and timescales should be clearly recorded.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Appendix - Appendix 1: Management of Suspected Fabricated or Induced Illness in Children Appendix 2: Chronology of Significant Events Template Appendix 3: Professional Meeting for Fabricated / Induced Illness - Aide Memoire

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Managing Allegations Against Staff and Volunteers Child Protection Section 47 Procedure Fabricated and Induced Illness Factsheet

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Identifying fabricated or induced illness

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Initial management of emerging concerns of possible fabricated or induced illness

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

No further action relation to Section 47 enquiries or criminal investigations

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Impact on the child - Fabrication of illness may not necessarily result in a child experiencing physical harm, but there may be concerns about the child suffering emotional harm. They may suffer emotional harm as a result of an abnormal relationship with their parent and/or disturbed family relationships.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Support and supervision for professionals

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Further Information - HM Government (2008) Safeguarding children in whom illness is fabricated or induced HM Government (2018) Working Together to Safeguard Children Royal College of Paediatricians (2009) Fabricated or Induced Illness by Carers: A Practical Guide for Paediatricians Ministry of Justice (2011) Ac

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Support and supervision for professionals - A debrief meeting should be considered to allow mutual support between professionals.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Allegations against professionals / volunteers - There have been instances where professionals working with children have been responsible for fabricating or inducing illness.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Allegations against professionals / volunteers - Where there are any concerns about the conduct of behaviour of processionals, volunteers or others who are working in a position of trust with children and young people, the BSCB policy for Managing Allegations Against Staff and Volunteers should be followed.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Allegations against professionals / volunteers - If the parent/carer responsible for fabricating or inducing illness is in a professional position of trust the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should be informed following the strategy meeting.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Support and supervision for professionals - Working with children and families where it is suspected or confirmed that illness in a child is being fabricated or induced requires sound professional judgement to be made. It is demanding work that can be distressing and stressful.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Support and supervision for professionals - Professionals are likely to need support. It can be very distressing for a professional who has come to know a family well and trusted them, to have to deal with learning that a child’s illness has been caused by actions of that child’s parent/carer.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Support and supervision for professionals - Possible emotional responses of professionals to fabricated or induced illness in children include: self-doubt and helplessness fear leading to inaction or defensiveness loss of self-respect or self-esteem feelings of failure as they didn’t recognise the signs/symptoms feeling to have fa

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Support and supervision for professionals - Individual agencies should consider how to support the needs of their staff through systems such as supervision etc.

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Introduction - A parent/carer or professional fabricating or inducing illness in a child may do so in a variety of ways: claiming a child has symptoms which result in unnecessary investigations/ treatment/ use of unnecessary equipment (e.g. crutches, wheelchairs). fabricating a child’s past medical his

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Introduction - Fabricated or induced illness is a condition whereby a child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, significant harm through the deliberate action of their parent and which is attributed by the parent to another cause. Fabricated or induced illness is relatively uncommon but is a potentiall

3.5 Fabricated or Induced Illness: Procedure and Guidance

Impact on the child - Significant harm is defined in the multi-agency Thresholds Guidance as a situation where a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, a degree of physical, sexual and/or emotional harm (through abuse or neglect) which is so harmful there needs to be statutory intervention by child protect

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Child Sexual Exploitation Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance Bullying

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - A different social worker should be allocated for the victim/s and the abuser/s, even when they live in the same household, to ensure that both are supported through the process of the enquiry and that the needs of both are fully assessed.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - The Section 47 Enquiry will be convened and chaired by Children’s Social Care and a record made. The following individuals should be invited to the meeting: social worker for the child alleged to have been abused social worker for the child against whom the allegations are made social wo

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - Where there are no grounds for a Child Protection Conference, but concerns remain regarding the child’s HSB, she/he must be considered as a child in need.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Responding to harmful sexual behaviour - It is important that a safeguarding response is considered for both the alleged victim and the child displaying HSB. This will ensure that appropriate steps are taken to protect the child displaying HSB in cases where they are also a victim of abuse or neglect.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Responding to harmful sexual behaviour - The strategy discussion must consider the needs of all the children involved and consider whether there are other children potentially at risk (e.g. in the household, peer groups or community of the alleged abuser). It may be necessary to convene separate meetings to discuss the victim/s,

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Responding to harmful sexual behaviour - At this meeting: information will be shared a decision will be made as to whether the threshold for social care to instigate child protection inquiries (Section 47) has been reached the police will decide whether a criminal offence is alleged and if the alleged abuser is over 10, it is the

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Responding to harmful sexual behaviour - It will also be helpful to consider the following:  the relative chronological and developmental age of the children; this is of particular relevance when either child/young person is disabled a differential in power or authority, again of particular relevance when any of the children inv

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Responding to harmful sexual behaviour - If during the course of the discussion there are concerns about any risks to other children, a multi-agency meeting should be convened straight away in order to develop: a written risk management plan in relation to any child identified as at potential risk; including educational and accom

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Responding to harmful sexual behaviour - The strategy discussion will be used to agree how to proceed and this will include deciding whether or not child protection processes should be continued and/or whether criminal justice processes should be started.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Responding to harmful sexual behaviour - If the young person displaying HSB is a Looked After Child, their social worker should undertake a risk assessment covering all vulnerable parties, including all other children living in the household. They should provide the carers with full information and disclose information to others

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - Where the decision is reached that the alleged HSB does not appear to constitute abuse and there is no need for a Child Protection Inquiry, or criminal investigation: details of the referral and the reasons for the decision must be recorded when a child is found to be demonstrating problem

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Assessment, support and treatment - Transition planning should be part of the assessment and intervention plan. For example, if a move in education, residential placement or even transition to adult services is required, this should be planned with the individual and services on offer.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - Where the decision is reached that the HSB appears to constitute abuse and the suspected abuser is a child: Children’s Social Care must plan the Child Protection enquiry/investigation under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 with other agencies. If the police have decided that a crimina

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Assessment, support and treatment - In cases which involved the justice system, a structured needs assessment should be carried out to ensure that the correct decision is made and effective intervention pathways are identified (e.g. CAHBS, YOS, other).

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Assessment, support and treatment - If the identified behaviour is not subject to prosecution (this may be the outcome in regard to learning disabled young people or where diversion therapy is offered), multi-agency assessment and planning with a view to appropriate treatment and placement remains essential as a preventive m

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Assessment, support and treatment - Effective assessment should be multi-agency, child-focused and consider the unmet needs of the child, the underlying reasons or triggers for the behaviour, protective factors and strengths, and what can be done to reduce the HSB. This assessment will ensure the right level of response by s

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - Risk is likely to remain unless the child/young person, parent and carer are willing and able to cooperate with professionals to ensure the child/young person’s future safety and wellbeing, and the risks that the child may pose are not denied by the child and family. If the family do not

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - In cases where a Child Protection Conference is held for a young person displaying HSB: A Youth Offending Service (YOS) representative must be invited to the conference where the child is age 10 or over YOS should be informed of the meeting in the case of younger children As well as carryi

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - Before interviewing the alleged abuser, it will be helpful to have obtained as much information as possible about the alleged offence. The interview with the victim and as much assessment as possible would usually precede the interview of the child/young person exhibiting the abusive behav

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - The discussion must plan in detail the respective roles of those involved in enquiries and ensure that: information relevant to the protection needs of the alleged victim is gathered if the police have not already begun a criminal investigation, there are clear decisions as to whether the

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - The police are responsible for any criminal investigation, and so decisions in relation to any criminal investigation rest with them.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - In cases where the alleged perpetrator is below the age of criminal responsibility, the strategy discussion must agree whether police involvement is necessary.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - During the Child Protection/Section 47 investigation, the following factors should be considered: the age of all children involved the seriousness of the alleged incident the effect on the victim and her/his own view of personal safety parental attitude, and their ability to protect their

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - When the alleged abuser is under 10 years old, and would be subject to a criminal investigation if over 10, there must be agreement about arrangements to carry out an assessment of risk, with a view to carrying out any further assessment or intervention as required. This would normally be

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - Where there is suspicion that the child is both an abuser and a victim of abuse, the strategy discussion must consider the order in which interviews will take place, bearing in mind that the police will make the decisions in regard to the criminal investigation.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - If YOS have not previously become involved, they must be included at this point. The timing of the initial interview of the alleged abuser may depend on: the likelihood of ongoing abuse the possible loss of evidence or interference with witnesses the likelihood that the alleged abuser may

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - If the information gathered in the course of enquiries suggests that the abuser is also a victim, or potential victim, of abuse, a Child Protection Conference must be convened.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - When a child is aged 10 or over and is alleged to have committed an offence, the first interview must be undertaken by the police under the provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). An appropriate adult is required – this should NOT be the social worker for the vict

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - If it becomes clear during the PACE interview that the alleged abuser is also a victim of abuse, a further strategy discussion should be held to plan a separate interview and assessment under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - If the alleged abuser is not interviewed under PACE, arrangements must be made to carry out an assessment of risk, with a view to carrying out any further assessment or intervention as required.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - If a child is to be interviewed as a victim of, or witness to, alleged abuse under the provisions of the Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings guidance and the child admits offences, then separate interviews should be held. The police may decide that this should be held under PAC

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - Throughout the enquiry, the immediate protection of the child/children must be ensured.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Outcomes - The position of the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator must be considered separately.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Responding to harmful sexual behaviour - For all cases where there are concerns about HSB, Children's Social Care and the police need to be informed. They will hold an initial strategy discussion/meeting within 24 hours. It is not always apparent at the outset whether a particular behaviour or incident is abusive, and a strategy

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Continuum of Behaviours - In addition, Brook has developed a Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool to support professionals working with children and young people identify and respond appropriately to sexual behaviours. The tool uses a traffic light system to categorise the sexual behaviours of young people in orde

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Continuum of Behaviours - Professionals can sometimes struggle to identify which sexual behaviours are potentially harmful and which represent healthy sexual development. It is important that professionals are able to distinguish between behaviours that are normal and those that are abnormal regardless of culture,

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Victims - A significant proportion of sexual offences are committed by teenagers, including learning disabled teenagers. However, HSB can be displayed by younger children and such cases must also be taken seriously. Even though they will not result in prosecution due to the child’s age, the behavi

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Introduction - This procedure should be used in addition to the Neglect Guidance.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Introduction - This procedure applies to all children and young people who display inappropriate or harmful sexual behaviours (HSB), including disabled children and young people. This may include, if appropriate, instances where a child or young person is assessed to be at risk of engaging in this type o

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Introduction - A coordinated response to children displaying HSB is required by all relevant agencies including Children Social Care, the police, the Youth Offending Service (YOS), and Child and Adolescent Harmful Behaviour Services (CAHBS). In line with NSPCC Guidance (2016), this response should recogn

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Introduction - The NSPCC Harmful Sexual Behaviour Framework (2016) provides a useful supporting document to this procedure. It provides an evidence based tool for a coordinated, multi-agency response to HSB.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Definitions - The following definitions of HSB have been taken from the NSPCC Harmful Sexual Behaviour Framework.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Definitions - Harmful sexual behaviour (HSB): Sexual behaviours expressed by children and young people under the age of 18 years old that are developmentally inappropriate, may be harmful towards self or others, or be abusive towards another child, young person or adult.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Definitions - It is also useful to distinguish between problematic and abusive sexual behaviours. Problematic sexual behaviours: Problematic behaviours don’t include overt victimisation of others but are developmentally disruptive and can cause distress, rejection or increase victimisation of the chil

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Definitions - As both problematic and abusive sexual behaviours are developmentally inappropriate and may cause developmental damage, a useful umbrella term is harmful sexual behaviours or HSB.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Definitions - Physical abuse and bullying: Both physical abuse and bullying can include harmful sexual behaviour. If a child/young person has caused, or is at risk of causing, serious physical harm to another child/young person, a referral must be made to Children’s Social Care. In deciding whether an

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Victims - Severe harm may be caused to children, including disabled children, by the abusive behaviour of other children. Such abuse must be taken as seriously as abuse perpetrated by an adult. The same signs and symptoms of abuse that pertain to the abuse of children by adults are applicable to the

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Victims - The effect on the victim of intimidation and peer pressure by their abuser may make it difficult for the victim to tell anyone what is happening.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Victims - Although a high proportion of young people do not continue to display HSB if they and their families are given the right support and input from services, professionals should also be alert to the fact that there is likely to be a risk to children other than the current victim.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Victims - Evidence suggests that children who display HSB may have suffered considerable disruption in their lives; have been exposed to violence within the family; have witnessed or been subject to physical or sexual abuse; have problems in their educational development; or may have committed other

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Victims - Professionals should, therefore, take a non-stigmatising approach to the presenting issue and be alert to the possibility that a child or young person who displays HSB may also be a victim. All relevant agencies must be aware of their responsibilities to both children, and this must be dem

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Responding to harmful sexual behaviour

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Links - Professionals should be aware of these links and where appropriate ensure that any responses to gang activity make relevant referrals to services for young people displaying HSB. Without this collaborative approach “local services risk developing criminal justice responses to young peopl

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Links - Over the past few years, research into serious youth violence has increasingly identified HSB within street gangs in the UK (e.g. Beckett et al, 2013; Firmin, 2011). In this context, sexually violent and abusive behaviours manifest in a range of ways including: Intra-gang exploitation wher

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Links - Some young people who display HSB are committing acts which would fit with the definition CSE. In particular, young people who sexually abuse other young people within the context of relationships (often described as ‘peer on peer’ abuse) fit both the definition of HSB as sexual behavi

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Links - Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wan

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Victims - Where the victim is an adult with care or support needs, the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Board procedures for reporting safeguarding concerns should be followed.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Victims - All agencies should be aware of the fact that HSB can be perpetrated against adults. In such cases, consideration should be given to notifying relevant agencies in order to promote early intervention and protect the welfare of the adult involved.

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

Assessment, support and treatment - Some young people may need specialist input (residential educational / therapeutic).

3.6 Harmful Sexual Behaviour: Procedure and Guidance

References - Beckett, H et all (2013) 'It's wrong... but you get used to it' A Qualitative Study of gang-associated sexual violence and exploitation Firmin, C (2011) This is it. This is my life... Female Voice in Violence. Final Report. Hackett, S, Holmes, D and Branigan, P (2016) Operational Framework

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Unaccompanied Child Migrants Reaching the Age of 18

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Responsibilities of the Local Authority

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Further Information - Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Modern Slavery: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities, November 2017 Safeguarding Children who May Have Been Trafficked (Home Office, 2011) - non-statutory government good practice guidance  Local Government Association - Coun

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Introduction and Definitions - There are a wide range of status possibilities for migrant children that the local authority will need to be aware of. In brief, the following categories regarding status are the most likely to be encountered. However this list is not exhaustive and legal advice should be sought wherever t

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Unaccompanied Child Migrants Reaching the Age of 18 - Planning transition to adulthood for unaccompanied children is a particularly complex process that needs to address their developing care needs in the context of their immigration status.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Assessment - Planning for the child should include planning for a variety of possible outcomes regarding the child’s immigration status - see Section 9, Asylum Process - Possible Outcomes.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Assessment - Age Assessment Where the age of the child is uncertain and there are reasons to believe they are a child the person will be presumed to be a child in order to receive immediate assistance, support and protection in accordance with Section 51 Modern Slavery Act 2015. Assessments must be un

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - Young unaccompanied child migrants should be provided with information about the services available to them from the local authority and other agencies.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - The young person will also be given assistance to register with a GP and dentist, and enrol in a local school or college. The health professionals and the school should be aware of the child’s status and senior managers such as the Virtual School Head should be informed of the school pla

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - Where a young person's needs are for independent or semi-independent accommodation, and the manager agrees, assistance should be given with completion of the necessary Housing Application.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Withdrawal of Services - The provision of a service is dependent on the young person continuing to qualify for the service.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Unaccompanied Child Migrants Reaching the Age of 18 - Pathway planning to support an unaccompanied child’s transition to adulthood must cover the areas that would be addressed within any care leaver’s plan as well as any additional needs arising from their immigration status and the action required to resolve this. (See Leaving Care and T

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Assessment - No assumptions should be made about the child’s language skills. An appropriately qualified and vetted interpreter must be used to assist in all assessments.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Unaccompanied Child Migrants Reaching the Age of 18 - Former unaccompanied children who qualify as care leavers and who have been granted leave to remain, or who have an outstanding asylum or other human rights claim or appeal, are entitled to the same level of care and support from the local authority as any other care leaver.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Unaccompanied Child Migrants Reaching the Age of 18 - The extent of any care leaver duties on local authorities to provide support to former unaccompanied children who have turned 18, exhausted their appeal rights, established no lawful basis to remain in the UK and should return to their home country is subject to a Human Rights Assessment b

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Unaccompanied Child Migrants Reaching the Age of 18 - For former unaccompanied children whose long-term future is in the UK, transition planning will need to consider the challenges and issues facing any care leaver, such as education or preparing for independent living. Planning for children and young adults who have been granted refugee sta

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Asylum Process - Possible Outcomes

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Asylum Process - Possible Outcomes - Although the above are the four main types of outcomes for an unaccompanied child, there may be others. For example, a child may be granted discretionary leave depending on whether they meet other criteria such as needing to stay in the UK to help police with their enquires after being con

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Asylum Process - Possible Outcomes - Refused asylum and granted no leave to remain. In this case the unaccompanied child is expected to return to their home country and their care plan should address the relevant actions and the support required. The Home Office will not return an unaccompanied child to their home country unl

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Asylum Process - Possible Outcomes - Refused asylum but granted Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child (UASC) Leave. This is normally for 30 months or until the age of 17½, whichever is the shorter period. This form of leave is granted to unaccompanied children where they do not qualify for refugee status or humanitarian protect

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Assessment - The allocated social worker must complete a Case Record in all cases. Social workers should seek to pay particular attention to the detail of spelling names and of descriptions of familial relationships.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Assessment - In determining an unaccompanied young person's accommodation needs, the Assessment must have regard to his or her age and independent living skills, and consider the intensity of service required. This may range between independent accommodation, semi-independent accommodation foster or re

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Asylum Process - Possible Outcomes - Granted refugee status (i.e. granted asylum), with limited leave to remain for five years, after which time they can normally apply for settlement (i.e. indefinite leave to remain);

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Introduction and Definitions - Unaccompanied asylum seeking children: children who are claiming asylum in their own right, who are separated from both parents, and who are not being cared for by an adult who in law or by custom has responsibility to do so. Some will not qualify for asylum but may require ‘humanitarian

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Introduction and Definitions - This chapter should be read in conjunction with the following government guidance: Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Modern Slavery: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities, November 2017 - this guidance sets out the steps which local authorities should take to p

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Introduction and Definitions - The cohort of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery includes a wide range of children in a variety of circumstances that a local authority will need to be aware of in order to ensure that the child receives appropriate legal advice and support. Some will have b

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Responsibilities of the Local Authority - Where it is established that the referral concerns a young unaccompanied child migrant, regardless of the category, this will always satisfy the criteria for services to a Child in Need.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Responsibilities of the Local Authority - An unaccompanied child will become looked after by the local authority after having been accommodated by the local authority under Section 20(1) of the Children Act 1989 for 24 hours. Once accommodated, they will be subject to the appropriate regulations and the same provision as any other

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Responsibilities of the Local Authority - The local authority should have procedures in place to monitor their policies and performance and should record any modern slavery concerns on the child’s care plan.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Responsibilities of the Local Authority - As part of the general duty to assess and meet the needs of an unaccompanied asylum seeking child, the local authority should ensure that the child has access to a legal representative.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Assessment - The Assessment will take account of: The immigration status of the child; The young person's ethnicity and religion; Any safeguarding issues or factors that may indicate the child is or has been trafficked or may be a victim of compulsory labour, servitude and slavery; The fact that many

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Responsibilities of the Local Authority - Unaccompanied children are highly likely to require specialist support from a variety of organisations and agencies.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Managing the Case - All professionals involved in the care of unaccompanied children and child victims of modern slavery should be able to recognise indicators of trafficking, slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour and should have an understanding of the particular issues likely to be faced by the

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Managing the Case - This is a highly complex area of work and professionals will need to have available to them a solid understanding of the asylum process or colleagues or other professionals with such expertise.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Managing the Case - The kinds of issues that may need to be negotiated include: An understanding of the Welfare Interview, Statement of Evidence Form; The purpose of the asylum case review; The importance of the substantive asylum interview; The different possible outcomes of a child’s asylum claim and how

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Managing the Case - Social workers should also have a broad understanding of the immigration system - for example, the immigration application process, different types of leave, making further leave to remain applications and the appeals process. Social workers should also have an understanding of the traffic

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Assessment - Social workers should consider all unaccompanied migrant children as potential victims of modern slavery in the first instance until this possibility is either confirmed or discounted and they should also have an understanding of the trafficking referral process. For further information o

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Assessment - The social worker must ensure that all unaccompanied children have access to specialist asylum and/or immigration legal advice and representation in their assessment so as to ensure the child can fully present their case for asylum or leave to remain.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Asylum Process - Possible Outcomes - Refused asylum but granted humanitarian protection, with limited leave to remain for five years, after which time they can normally apply for settlement (i.e. indefinite leave to remain). This is most commonly granted where the person is at risk of a form of ‘ill treatment’ in their co

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Assessment - Unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery will need access to specialist legal advice and support. This will be in relation to immigration and asylum applications, and decisions and any associated legal proceedings. If they have been a victim of modern slavery, it

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Asylum Process - Possible Outcomes - There are four main possible outcomes of the asylum process for an unaccompanied child, which will determine what the long term solution might be:

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - For unaccompanied migrant children who are Looked After, the placement decision will also need to be informed by careful consideration of the wider support needs of the child, including their cultural and social needs. It may be that the accommodation setting or carers cannot meet those ne

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - Where an Assessment identifies that an unaccompanied child migrant does not meet the criteria for a service from Children's Services, but appears to be in need of services from elsewhere, the social worker will refer the young person to the appropriate agency which may be a different Child

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - Travel cards or warrants will be issued to young unaccompanied asylum-seekers in relation to appointments at the Home Office.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - All unaccompanied young asylum-seekers who are eligible for a service will be entitled to financial assistance which must first be authorised by the manager. The social worker should arrange for payment of the relevant amounts in accordance with the local authority's financial procedures.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - (See also the safeguarding procedures for BSCB Children from Abroad, including Victims of Modern Slavery, Trafficking and Exploitation Procedure and Child Sexual Exploitation.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - Provision may need to be made for the child to be in a safe place before any further assessment takes place and for the possibility that they may not be able to disclose full information about their circumstances immediately. The location of the child should not be divulged to any enquirer

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - Where there are safeguarding concerns relating to the care and welfare of any unaccompanied child, including where modern slavery is suspected or has been identified, these should be investigated in line with the statutory provisions, Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) statutory

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - Where the Assessment identifies that an unaccompanied young child migrant needs to be Looked After, all the procedures in relation to Care Plans, Health Care Plans, Personal Education Plans and Placement Plans must be completed. See Decision to Look After and Care Planning Procedure.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - In all cases where a service is to be refused, the social worker must consult his or her manager before the decision is made and the letter confirming the decision is sent. Any correspondence received in relation to the decision should be referred to the manager.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Managing the Case - Service providers should ensure that foster carers and all other care staff in placement settings are aware of appropriate steps to reduce the risk of trafficked children returning to their traffickers.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Managing the Case - Independent reviewing officers should be aware of the need to have regard to the child’s needs as an unaccompanied child or child victim of modern slavery, including trafficking, when planning and providing care. They should also have an awareness of the particular needs and issues child

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Managing the Case - Legal advice can only be provided by a registered immigration advisor, ideally one with expertise in working with children. Legal Aid is available for asylum cases and Looked after Children will generally be eligible.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Introduction and Definitions - Asylum seeking child: a child who is in the UK with family members and may have been transferred to the UK under the Dublin III Regulation to join a close family member and have their claim for asylum processed here.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Introduction and Definitions - Unaccompanied EEA national child: a child who is a national of a European Economic Area country and who has entered the UK with a family member and has been separated from them, or has entered independently. They have a right to reside in the UK for an initial period of three months. After

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Review of Services - Where services are withdrawn as a result of the Review, the relevant teams should be notified immediately.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Introduction and Definitions - Unaccompanied migrant child not seeking asylum: a child who is not seeking asylum because their reasons for being here are not connected to seeking protection, or who may be undocumented, or is not seeking asylum because they have not been advised of the need to do so. The child may be sep

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - In such circumstances, the duty social worker should make an appointment for the young person and advise him or her of the name, address (including a map where necessary) and contact number of the person with whom the appointment has been made. In addition, the duty worker must send a copy

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Provision of Services - For example Police installed alarms, discussion with the child or young person about the use of mobile phones, etc.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Withdrawal of Services - Services to an unaccompanied child migrant may be withdrawn, for example, where another adult wishes to assume Parental Responsibility and this is assessed as appropriate.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Unaccompanied Child Migrants Reaching the Age of 18 - Having ‘no recourse to public funds’ does not prevent a person from accessing other publicly funded services, but many of these will have eligibility criteria based on immigration status which will need to be considered. (See NRPF Guidance - What are not public funds?)

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Review of Services - Guidance for cases where the child has been the subject of sexual exploitation can be found at Child Sexual Exploitation: Definition and Guide for Practitioners, 2017.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Review of Services - Independent Reviewing Officers should be aware of the need to have regard to the child’s needs as an unaccompanied child or child victim of modern slavery, including trafficking, when planning and providing care. They should also have an awareness of the particular needs and issues child

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Withdrawal of Services - The service must not be withdrawn without a Child in Need Plan Review (see Child in Need Plans and Reviews Procedure) and the agreement of the social worker's manager. Any such decision must be clearly recorded, with reasons. In all such cases, legal advice should usually be obtained befor

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Review of Services - The young person should be invited to the Review and an interpreter should be booked as necessary.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Review of Services - In advance of each review, the social worker will send the young person a Checklist setting out the documents which the social worker requires to be produced at the Review, such as confirmation of registration with a GP, enrolment at schools/college and updated information concerning their

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Review of Services - Any other services provided should be reviewed at least every 6 months as set out in the Child in Need Plans and Reviews Procedure.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Review of Services - Where a young person is Looked After, his or her case will be reviewed in accordance with the Looked After Reviews Procedure.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Review of Services - Where a Review confirms the service, the Financial Assessment Form should be updated. Where additional support services are identified as necessary, the Plan should be updated to reflect this.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Unaccompanied Child Migrants Reaching the Age of 18 - If a young person has no recourse to public funds, they will be unable to access a number of welfare benefits and social housing. Subject to the Human Rights Assessment by the local authority under Schedule 3 Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (as amended), the provision of accom

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Unaccompanied Child Migrants Reaching the Age of 18 - Access to Public Funds Financial support for care leavers who are former unaccompanied child migrants should reflect their needs and their immigration status. Financial policies should highlight any entitlements and how their immigration status may affect these. Pathway plans should addres

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Unaccompanied Child Migrants Reaching the Age of 18 - Assistance should be given in advance of their 18th birthday with the necessary applications for housing, Housing Benefit and any other relevant benefits. The social worker must ensure that the young person has accommodation to which to move on his or her 18th birthday. The social worker m

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Unaccompanied Child Migrants Reaching the Age of 18 - Planning may have to be based around short-term achievable goals whilst entitlement to remain in the UK is being determined. For the majority of unaccompanied children who do not have permanent immigration status, transition planning should initially take a dual or triple planning perspect

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Unaccompanied Child Migrants Reaching the Age of 18 - Pathway plans should always consider and reflect the implications for the child or young adult if their asylum claim is refused without a grant of leave, if their application to extend their leave is refused or if their appeal against a refusal is dismissed. In such circumstances, the pers

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Unaccompanied Child Migrants Reaching the Age of 18 - Where an unaccompanied child or child victim of modern slavery qualifies for local authority care leaving support, a personal adviser must be appointed to support them.

3.7 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance

Withdrawal of Services - Where a service is withdrawn, the social worker should inform the Finance Office, if appropriate, immediately.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

The Local Authority - Within Buckinghamshire Children’s Social Care there is a named Missing Lead within First Response who: reviews all missing reports for children who are closed to Children’s Social Care liaises with social workers for children that are open to Children’s Social Care to ensure that str

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - When a child has been missing for over three days, Children’s Social Care will convene a strategy meeting. Children’s Social Care will call a strategy meeting sooner if they consider the child is likely to suffer significant harm. The meeting will review: the action taken so far by the

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

The Local Authority - The Local Authority must ensure that all incidents where children go missing are appropriately risk assessed, and should record all incidents of looked after children who are missing or away from placement without authorisation.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

The Local Authority - The Local Authority should have a named senior manager within Children’s Services who is responsible for monitoring policies and performance relating to children who go missing from home or care.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

The Local Authority - The local authority should consult with the police regarding what action should be taken to share information about a missing child who is looked after, subject to a child protection plan or a child in need. This should include an assessment of whether to release information to the media.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

The Local Authority - Section 13 of the Children Act 2004 requires local authorities and other named statutory partners to make arrangements to ensure that their functions are discharged with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. This includes planning to prevent children from going miss

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - If the child has been missing for more than 10 weeks, the Missing Person Co-ordinator will ask for the PNC entry to remain in place for up to a year.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - Further reviews will take place at least every five days thereafter or earlier, if deemed appropriate.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

The Local Authority - Children who are looked after should have information about and easy access to help lines and support services including emergency accommodation. Support should also be made available to families to help them understand why the child has gone missing and how they can support them on their

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - The local Police Missing Person Co-ordinator is the single point of contact for all agencies. Out of weekday office hours the local Duty Inspector is the contact. Both can be contacted via 101.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - All missing persons are notified to the Police National Missing Persons Bureau (National Crime Agency) after 48 hours, or earlier if the child is at high risk of harm.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - When a child deemed to be medium risk has been missing for more than 48 hours, the case will be reviewed by a Detective Inspector.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - In all high-risk cases, or once a child has been missing for over 24 hours, the police, in consultation with partner agencies, must consider a media strategy. Each case to be treated on its own merits. Such an approach is not routine but is usually a response to very serious concerns for t

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - If the child has been missing for more than 24 hours, the case will be reviewed at the police daily management meeting.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - Where a child discloses a child protection issue, there are concerns about a child’s vulnerability or that the child may be at risk of significant harm, the police should make a referral to Children’s Social Care as soon as this becomes evident. Children’s Social Care will respond in

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - Children’s Social Care must be notified immediately in the case of any high risk missing children. 

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - All missing persons are reviewed by the Duty Shift Inspector during their tour of duty. Any child who is missing will be referred by the police to Children’s Social Care within 24 hours.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - In cases where the report is initially made to Children’s Social Care the child of concern should still be referred to the police on 101. In cases where the report to Children's Social Care was from a third party, there should be agreement, informed by risk assessment, about who makes th

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Other Agencies - In all circumstances where a child goes missing, local safeguarding procedures should be followed. If there is concern that the child may be at risk of significant harm if returned home, a referral should be made to Children’s Social Care so that an assessment can be undertaken and where

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - A missing child would be prioritised as 'medium risk' where the risk of harm to the subject or the public is assessed as likely but not serious. This category requires an active and measured response by the police and other agencies in order to trace the missing person and support the pers

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

The Local Authority - On receipt of a notification from another local authority, a flag should be added to the electronic record system for Children's Social Care and consideration should be given to notifying health and other relevant partners.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Provision may need to be made for the child to be in a safe place before any assessment takes place, and for the possibility that the child may not be able to disclose full information about their circumstances immediately. The location of the child should not be divulged to any enquirers

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Missing and Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference (M-SERAC) - M-SERAC is a monthly multi-agency risk management meeting that seeks to ensure that children living in Buckinghamshire are effectively safeguarded and protected from harm in cases where: they are or might be victims of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) they are high risk missing children and

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Some of the children looked after by the Local Authority may be unaccompanied asylum seeking children or other migrant children. Some children in this group may have been trafficked into the UK and may remain under the influence of their traffickers even while they are looked after. Traffi

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Where it is suspected that a child has been trafficked, they should be referred by the Local Authority into the UK's victim identification framework, the National Referral Mechanism (NRM).

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - The police may also utilise ‘Text Safe’ as this provides a way of proactively texting a missing person’s mobile phone with a message from Missing People about the service. This lets the missing person know that we care for their safety and want to help, and encourages them to get in

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - The NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC) can provide advice and information to professionals who have concerns that a child may have been trafficked. CTAC can be contacted at free phone number: 0808 800 5000, Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm or email help@nspcc.org.uk.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - 'Safeguarding Children Who May Have Been Trafficked: Practice Guidance (2011)' contains practical guidance for agencies that are likely to encounter children who may have been trafficked.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - It will be essential that the local authority continues to share information with the police and immigration staff concerning potential crimes against the child, the risk to other children, or other relevant immigration matters.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - In conducting this assessment, it will be necessary for the Local Authority to work in close co-operation with the UK Human Trafficking Centre and immigration staff who will be familiar with patterns of trafficking into the UK. Immigration staff should be able to provide advice on whether

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - The assessment of need to inform the care plan will be particularly critical in these circumstances and should be done immediately, as the window for intervention is very narrow. The assessment must seek to establish relevant details about the child's background before they came to the UK

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Children who have been trafficked may be exploited for sexual purposes and the possible link to sexual exploitation should be considered. Professionals should also refer to the BSCB Guidance on Child Sexual Exploitation.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Professionals should be aware of the 'hidden missing'. These are children who have not been reported missing to the police, but have come to an agency's attention after accessing other services. There may also be trafficked children who have not previously come to the attention of children

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Missing and Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference (M-SERAC) - High risk means the risk posed is immediate and there are substantial grounds for believing that the subject is in danger through their own vulnerability; or may have been the victim of a serious crime; or the risk posed is immediate and there are substantial grounds for believing that the

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Local authorities should have regard to: Statutory guidance (April 2010) issued to children's services authorities and local housing authorities about their duties under Part 3 of the Children Act 1989 and Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 to secure or provide accommodation for homeless 16 an

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - The accommodation provided must be suitable, risk assessed and meet the full range of the young person's needs. The sustainability of the placement must be considered. Children aged 16 or 17 who have gone missing and are at risk of homelessness may be placed in supported accommodation, wit

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - When a 16 or 17 year old presents as homeless, Children’s Social Care must assess their needs as for any other child. Where this assessment indicates that the young person is in need and requires accommodation under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989, they will usually become looked aft

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - When a 16 or 17 year old goes missing they are no less vulnerable than younger children and are equally at risk, particularly of sexual exploitation or involvement with gangs.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Missing and Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference (M-SERAC) - Further information can be found in the M-SERAC Operating Protocol.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Missing and Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference (M-SERAC) - M-SERAC does not replace the provisions of Section 17 (Child in Need) or 47 (Child in need of protection) of the Children Act. It compliments statutory processes by helping to ensure that the bigger picture is considered, that action to safeguard is being completed and the appropriate mult

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Missing and Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference (M-SERAC) - Information is shared between agencies and actions set with the intention of reducing the risk to children, providing early intervention and considering how harmful activities can be disrupted.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Missing and Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference (M-SERAC) - Patterns of running away should be discussed regularly with the Police Missing Persons’ Liaison Officer, Community Support Officers and other agencies at an M-SERAC as part of the wider strategy for keeping children safe.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Missing and Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference (M-SERAC) - Repeat missing person means someone who is reported missing three times or more in a 90 day period.[4]

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - The police are responsible for liaising with the family as well as with other agencies and force areas. If the child is in care, it may be more appropriate for Children’s Social Care to undertake enquiries with the family and other agencies, and report their findings back to the police.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - In some cases, the police may feel it is necessary to publicise information relating to a missing chid via the media. They may also utilise the website facility of the Missing Persons Bureau.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Missing and Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference (M-SERAC)

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Introduction - This guidance is relevant for all agencies working in Buckinghamshire in cases where children go missing from either home, care or education. It is designed to ensure that when a child goes missing there is an effective and coordinated safeguarding response from all agencies involved. In p

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Missing Children who are Found but do not Wish to Return

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing Education - This section should be read in conjunction with the Government’s statutory guidance for children missing education.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Subject to Restriction / Foreign Nationals

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Related Policies, Procedures and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance Migrant and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance Forced Marriage: Guidance Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Footnotes - [1] For example, The Children’s Society indicates that where assessments are undertaken, more than a third of children missing from home or care are at risk of significant harm (The Children’s Society, 2012, Make Runaways Safe: The Local Picture. Available at: www.childrenssociety.org.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Introduction - Evidence from research demonstrates that a significant proportion of children who go missing are at risk of serious harm[1]. There are links between going missing and a number of different risk factors. For example, there are particular concerns about the links between children going missi

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Introduction - This guidance should be read in conjunction with the Department for Education’s statutory guidance on children who run away or go missing from home or care (2014).

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - The police will undertake a secondary investigation to identify any incidents or issues which may inform the risk assessment or help locate the child more quickly, e.g. domestic violence, child protection reports, the child is in care, potentially at risk from child sexual exploitation or

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Reporting a Child Missing to the Police - Anyone who has care of a child without parental knowledge or agreement should do what is reasonable to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare. In these circumstances, they should inform the police, Children’s Social Care and the parents of their whereabouts and safety. If this is no

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - Police officers will: search the premises and surrounding grounds, accepting this action should already have been completed by the reporting person (police are searching both for the missing child and evidence of ‘push/pull’ factors behind the child going missing) obtain full details c

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - Where risk is identified, either to the missing child or to the public, as a result of responses to the standard risk assessment questions, the police response will be determined by the identified level of risk (see risk assessment table above). A police officer will visit the reporting pe

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - Where the police have risk assessed a missing child to be ‘no apparent risk, it will be the responsibility of the reporting person to collect the child and establish the reasons behind their absence once they are located. The police will not conduct a safe and well check unless crimes or

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - If a child is risk assessed to be recorded as ‘no apparent risk’, their details will be added to the Police National Computer (PNC) and an appropriate call-back time agreed with the caller. This will be dependent upon the risk assessment, and will remain subject to constant review in l

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - The continued response and classification of a child as missing is based on on-going risk assessment and undertaken in line with current police guidance.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - When accepting a missing person report, the police will advise the caller that they will share information about the missing child and seek assistance from partner agencies to find the child. They will presume that all missing children are vulnerable unless a risk assessment determines oth

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - The person reporting a missing child to the police should provide the police with up-to-date information to inform decision making, as well as details of any action they have taken to trace the missing child.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - When Thames Valley Police receives a report that a child is missing, they will determine the level of risk based on the answers to 10 standard risk assessment questions: What is the specific concern that has caused you to call the police? What has been done so far to trace the individual?

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - The police are the lead agency for investigating and finding missing children. However, some missing children who have not been reported to the police may come to the attention of agencies. Agencies should work with families to help them recognise the risks associated with a child going mi

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Reporting a Child Missing to the Police - When reporting a child missing to the police any relevant information that might help find or support the child should be shared, including; if there are any specific risks a description of the child and the clothing they were wearing any mobile phone numbers whether or not the missing chi

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Key Principles - The following safeguarding principles should be adhered to in relation to identifying and locating children who go missing: the safety and welfare of the child is paramount locating and returning the child to a safe environment is the main objective The usual child protection procedures wi

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Reporting a Child Missing to the Police - At the point where a parent / person with parental responsibility consider the child to be missing, they should inform the police without delay.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Reporting a Child Missing to the Police - Parents and those with parental responsibility are normally expected to have undertaken the following basic measures to try to locate the missing child, if considered safe to do so. Anyone else who has care of a child without parental responsibility should take all reasonable steps to loca

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Definitions - Children missing education should not be confused with children missing from. These are children who run away from school, or have missing episodes during the time they should be at school.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Definitions - Children missing education are children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school. Children missing education are at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of harm, exploitation or radic

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Definitions - Professionals or others reporting a child missing to the police should not make a judgement about the level of risk. This decision will be made by the police on the basis of the information provided.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Definitions - Thames Valley Police will not categorise the following as ‘no apparent risk’; they will always be the subject of a missing person investigation: children aged 14 and under registered sex offenders all persons under 18 who have a CSE warning marker.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Definitions - All reports of missing people sit within a continuum of risk from ‘no apparent risk (absent)’ through to high-risk cases that require immediate, intensive action.     No apparent risk (absent) There is no apparent risk of harm to either the subject or the public. Actions to loca

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Definitions - Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established will be considered as missing until located and their well-being or otherwise confirmed.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Key Principles - All practitioners working with children at risk of going missing should discuss the dangers relating to this with the child and, if appropriate, their family. They should be told about support services and this should include information about helplines.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Grooming is when someone builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of abuse or exploitation. Children can be groomed online or in the real world, by a stranger or by someone they know - for example a family member, friend or professional. Groomers may

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Children can be groomed for the purpose of sexual abuse as well as other forms of exploitation including involvement in criminal and extremist activity. Children who are missing are more vulnerable to being groomed and may also go missing as a result of being groomed.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Children can suffer harm when exposed to extremist ideology. This harm can range from a child adopting or complying with extreme views which limit their social interaction and full engagement with their education, to children being groomed for involvement in violent attacks.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Return Home Interview - Where appropriate the return home interview may also gather the views of the parents / carers. Parents and/or carers are sent a letter by R U Safe? following notification of their child going missing. This gives them the opportunity to provide any relevant information and intelligence they

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing Education - The Children’s Services Protocol for Children Missing Education sets out local arrangements for ensuring all children not receiving a suitable education are identified quickly and effective tracking systems and support arrangements are put in place.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing Education - The Local Authority has a duty under section 436A of the Education Act 1996 to establish (so far as it is possible to do so) the identities of children in our area who are of compulsory school age but who are not registered pupils at a school or receiving some other form of suitable educat

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Missing Children who are Found but do not Wish to Return - Difficulties can arise when missing children are found but do not want to return. Under the Children Act 1989, where there is reasonable cause to believe that the child could suffer significant harm the police can take the child into Police Protection, and remove to suitable accommodation

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Repeat Missing - Where a child is, or has been, persistently absent without permission from a children's home; or is at risk of harm, the children's home should ask the local authority that looks after the child to review that child's care plan.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Repeat Missing - In the case of children looked after, children's homes staff and foster carers should be supported to offer a consistent approach to the care of children, including being proactive about strategies to prevent children from running away; and to understand the procedures that must be followe

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Repeat Missing - There is a strong link between repeat missing episodes and a risk of significant harm. If a child continually runs away, the actions undertaken following earlier missing episodes need reviewing and alternative strategies considered. This will include a referral to the Missing and Sexual Ex

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Return Home Interview - Following a missing episode, Children’s Social Care, the police and other relevant agencies should continue to work together to understand and meet the ongoing needs of the child.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Return Home Interview - The interview may result in a referral being made to other services that can provide support to meet the assessed needs of the child.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Return Home Interview - The return home interview and actions that follow from it should: identify and deal with any harm the child has suffered assist in the earlier detection of potential CSE or other risks / vulnerabilities understand and try to address the reasons for the missing episode understand what the c

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing from Education - As a result of daily registration, schools are particularly well placed to notice when a child has gone missing. This section provides guidance for schools where they are concerned that a child has gone missing.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Return Home Interview - Where a child is placed out of area, the responsible local authority should ensure the return home review interview takes place, working closely with the host authority where appropriate.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Return Home Interview - The return home interview will be carried out within 72 hours of the child returning to their home or care setting, unless there are exceptional circumstances. The child should be seen on their own unless they specifically request to have someone with them. The child should be offered the

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Return Home Interview - Return interviews should be completed by someone independent of their parents or carers. In Buckinghamshire they are usually conducted by staff from R U Safe? but on some occasions may also be completed by other agencies. It is important to acknowledge that a returning child may well share

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Return Home Interview - When a child is found they must be offered a return home interview to talk about going missing. Providing children with an opportunity to talk is key to safeguarding them. Return home interviews are designed to support a child in exploring his or her feelings and concerns; it should be gen

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Safe and Well Checks - Consideration must be given to securing evidence by police including by forensic examination. For sexual offences, professionals should consider an urgent referral to the SARC.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Safe and Well Checks - In any situation which indicates that the child may have been subject to, or at risk of, significant harm, a referral must be made to Children’s Social Care in accordance with BSCB safeguarding procedures.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Safe and Well Checks - If the child makes an allegation of crime that occurred whilst they were missing or that contributed to them going missing, the police will record this allegation and take appropriate action. If it is apparent, upon return, that a child has been the victim of a crime whilst missing, or tha

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Safe and Well Checks - If further information comes to light as a result of the safe and well check, where relevant the police will share this information with Children’s Social Care.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing Education - In line with the above Protocol, the Children Missing Education Officer must be notified after 10 days of any children thought to be missing from education through the following routes: contact the Children Missing Education Team on: 01296 383098 email: childrenmissingeducation@buckscc.gov

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing from Education - If a member of school/educational establishment/college staff becomes aware that a child may have run away or gone missing, they should try to establish with the parents/ carers, what has happened. If this is not possible, or the child is missing, the designated safeguarding teacher/adviso

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Safe and Well Checks - Where a child goes missing frequently, it may not be practicable to see them every time they return. In these cases, a reasonable decision should be taken in agreement between the police and their child’s parent or carer, or their Social Worker with regard to the frequency of such checks

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Subject to Restriction / Foreign Nationals - If it is believed by Home Office staff that a child is being coerced to abscond or go missing, this must be reported as a concern that the child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm to the local police and children's social care services.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Thames Valley Police - A missing child would be prioritised as 'high risk' where: the risk posed is immediate and there are substantial grounds for believing that the child is in danger through their own vulnerability; or the child may have been the victim of a serious crime; or the risk posed is immediate and t

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Subject to Restriction / Foreign Nationals - When a child subject to restrictions is found by the police or local authority. The Home Office must be notified.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Subject to Restriction / Foreign Nationals - When a child subject to restrictions is found by Home Office Staff, the local police and local authority must be informed immediately. In consultation with the local police and Children's Social Care, a decision will be made as to where the child is to be taken, if they are not to be left

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Subject to Restriction / Foreign Nationals - The local authority will also notify the Home Office Evidence and Enquiry Unit when a child in their care goes missing or when a missing child returns or is found. The Home Office must maintain regular weekly contact with the local authority and the police until the child is found and reco

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Subject to Restriction / Foreign Nationals - The police are responsible for: investigating all children reported missing by the Home Office - following receipt of a missing person's notification conducting joint investigations with the Home Office where necessary circulating a missing child on the Police National Computer (PNC).

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Subject to Restriction / Foreign Nationals - The local authority and health are responsible for: reporting any missing child who is in their care to the police notifying the Home Office when a child is reported missing to the police or is found.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Subject to Restriction / Foreign Nationals - Notifications will also be made where a missing child is found by Home Office staff. See Home Office Guidance: Missing Children and Vulnerable Adults Guidance.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Subject to Restriction / Foreign Nationals - Where the whereabouts of a child subject to restrictions is not known, a missing person's referral must be made by Home Office staff to the police, the UK Missing Person Bureau and Children's Social Care in a number of circumstances including: when a child 'subject to restriction' is ident

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing from Education - From the first day that a child does not attend school and there is no explanation or authorisation of the absence, the following steps should be taken: a trained staff member will make contact with the parents/carers (person with parental responsibility for the child) to seek reassurance

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Subject to Restriction / Foreign Nationals - This section applies to children who are 'subject to restriction' i.e. who have: proceeded through immigration control without obtaining leave to enter; or left the border control area Border Force accommodation without permission; or been granted temporary admission; or been granted tempo

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing from Education - The child's circumstances and vulnerability should be regularly and jointly reviewed and reassessed by the school's designated safeguarding lead and the local authority’s CME Officer. Other agencies should be involved in the discussions as appropriate.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing from Education - The CME team will make enquiries by visiting the child’s home. They should also check databases within the local authority, use agreed protocols to check other relevant local databases, check with agencies known to be involved with the family and with any other local authorities where th

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing from Education - Extended leave of absence can be authorised by the head teacher, at which point a return date is set. In these cases the time line for enquiries starts from when the child does not attend school on the expected return date, not from the day the extended leave started.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing from Education - The length of time that a child remains out of school could, of itself, be an alerting factor of risk of harm to the child. Accordingly the assessment of risk should be ongoing and a referral to Children’s Social Care should be made at any point where there is reasonable cause to believe

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Children can by exposed to harmful, extremist ideology in the immediate or extended family, or relatives/family friends who live outside the family home but have influence over the child's life. Older children might self-radicalise over the internet or through the influence of their peer n

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing from Education - If the judgement reached on day one is that there is no reason to believe that the child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm, then the school may delay making a referral to Children’s Social Care. They should continue to make reasonable enquiries to establish what has hap

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing from Education - The following questions may assist a judgement on whether or not to inform Children's Social Care and the police: In which age range is the child? Is this very sudden and unexpected behaviour? Have there been any past concerns about the child associating with significantly older children o

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing from Education - In the following circumstances a referral to Children's Social Care and /or the police should always be made promptly: the child may be the victim of a crime the child is subject of a child protection plan the child is subject of s47 enquiries the child is subject to a child in need plan t

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Safe and Well Checks - The assessment of whether a child might go missing again should be based on information about: their individual circumstances family circumstances and background history the reasons why they went missing (push and pull factors) their potential destinations and associates their recent patte

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Children Missing Education - Statutory guidance defines children missing education as those who are not on a school roll or receiving suitable education otherwise than at school. Those who are regularly absent or have missed 10 school days or more without permission may be at risk of becoming 'children missing educati

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Safe and Well Checks - A safe and well check will be undertaken by the police as soon as possible and within 24 hours of a child returning from a missing episode. A safe and well check will not be conducted over the telephone. The purpose is to check for any indications that the child has suffered harm; where an

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Because there is such a strong link between children going missing and risk of sexual exploitation, professionals should always assess whether a child who has gone missing is being sexually exploited or at risk of being sexually exploited.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - Sometimes a looked after child may be away from their placement without authorisation. While they are not missing because their whereabouts is known, they may still be placing themselves at risk (e.g. they may be at the house of friends where there are concerns about risks of sexual exploi

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - This procedure should be followed with additional reference to policies and procedures that apply in the host authority.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - It is possible that during a missing episode the child will return to the area of the responsible authority. It is therefore essential that liaison between the police and professionals in both authorities is well managed and coordinated.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - CSE 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 under the age of 18 into sexual activity in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or for the financial advantage or

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. CSE does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Involvement in exploitative relationships is characterised by the limited availability of choice as a result of their social, economic or emotional vulnerability.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - A common feature of CSE is that the child does not recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Going missing is a significant risk factor in relation to CSE: a child may go missing because they are being sexually exploited a child's risk of being sexually exploited might increase because they are missing and are spending time with people who may seek to involve them in sexual exploi

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Professionals should also refer to the BSCB Guidance on Child Sexual Exploitation, and can also contact the following for advice around CSE: First Response by calling 01296 383962 R U Safe? (service for Buckinghamshire children who are at risk of or victim of CSE). Visit their website for

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - Where a child already has an established pattern of going missing, the care plan should include a strategy to keep the child safe and minimising the likelihood of the child running away in the future. This should be discussed and agreed as far as possible with the child and with the child'

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Children who go missing from care, home and education also need safeguarding against the risk of being drawn into offending behaviour. For example, some children have become involved in what has become known as the 'county lines' issue. This involves children being used by gangs to transpo

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Professionals should also refer to the BSCB Guidance on Gangs and Youth Violence.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - When a child is placed out of their local authority area, the host Local Authority must be notified by the allocated social worker in advance of the placement. The responsible authority should seek to ensure that the child has access to the services they need. Any missing report whilst the

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - When a child in care goes missing it is the responsibility of the carer to undertake the basic measures as outlined to try and locate the missing child. When the child is established as missing and the carer contacts the police, it is important that they make it clear that they are reporti

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Home - Where the child is already known to Children’s Social Care (for example they are subject of a child protection plan, or the subject of a Section47 enquiry) a strategy meeting should be arranged as soon as practicable and within no more than 3 days. Representatives from the Police Missing

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - If a child goes missing out of office hours, the carer should inform the Buckinghamshire Out of Hours Emergency Social Work Team (tel: 0800 999 7677) and follow their agency’s policies and procedures.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Specific Risks - Going missing is a risk factor in relation to radicalisation: a child may go missing because they have already been radicalised a child's risk of being radicalised might increase because they are missing and are spending time with people who may seek to involve them in radical/extreme acti

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - Care leavers, particularly 16 and 17 year olds, are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and may go missing from their home or accommodation. Local authorities must ensure that care leavers live in "suitable accommodation" as defined in Section 23B (10) of the Children Act 1989 and Regulation

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - Local authorities have a duty to place a looked after child in the most appropriate placement to safeguard the child and minimise the risk of the child going missing. The care plan and the placement plan should include details of the arrangements that will need to be in place to keep the c

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) should be informed about missing episodes and they should address these in statutory reviews.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - It is important to note that local authorities have very similar duties and responsibilities towards 16 and 17 year old care leavers as they do to children in care and for the purposes of this guidance, the response to a missing care leaver age 16 and 17 year old should be the same.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - Any publicity will be led by the police. The use of harbouring notices etc. will be agreed at the missing from care meeting. Recovery Orders may be used where the child is Looked After.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Home - Where the child meets the criteria for referral to Children's Social Care, the Local Authority will ensure that an assessment takes place to determine the best course of action.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Home - The usual child protection procedures must be initiated whenever there are concerns that a child who is missing may be suffering or likely to suffer, significant harm. For example: where the child has been hurt or harmed whilst they have been missing (or this is believed to have been the c

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Home - The police will respond to any notifications of children missing from home in line with this procedure and their own procedures.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Home - If the whereabouts of the child are known or suspected, it is the responsibility of the parents or carers to arrange for the child’s return. In exceptional circumstances, in the interests of the safe and speedy return of the child, the police may agree to requests from parents or carers

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Home - Children missing from home are subject to risks and vulnerabilities similar to those for children who are looked after.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - The attitude of all practitioners towards a child which has been missing can have a big impact on how they will engage with any subsequent investigations and planning. A supportive approach, actively listening and responding to a child’s needs will have a greater chance of preventing the

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - When a looked after child / care leaver has been located, care staff/ foster carers should promptly inform the child's social worker and the Independent Reviewing Officer. If the child was not located by the police, then they should also be informed. The police will then arrange a safe and

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - The authority responsible for the child should ensure that plans are in place to respond promptly once the child is found and for determining if the placement remains appropriate.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - During the investigation to find the child, regular liaison and communication should take place between the police, Children's Social Care and any other agencies involved. In the case of a child placed out of area, both the responsible local authority and the host local authority should be

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - The Service Director for Children’s Services should be notified within 3 days of the child going missing. They will notify the Lead Member and Corporate Parenting Panel within 7 days of the child going missing.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - Designated health professionals for Looked After Children (LAC) should be informed by the allocated social worker of children missing from care who are deemed to be 'high risk'. They should be included in any multiagency strategy meetings or activity to manage the child's retrieval and any

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - Regular multi-agency meetings should be held at least monthly to update the action plan and share information.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - Within 3 days, a strategy meeting between relevant parties should take place. This should include the police, the child's social worker and the care provider and other relevant parties. The action plan and risk assessment should be reviewed and updated.

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - Initial discussions between the allocated children's social worker and the police should include agreement on an immediate strategy for locating the child. The strategy should incorporate a range of actions to locate and ensure the safe return of the child, and clarity around who will unde

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - The carer/s should take all reasonable steps, which a good parent would take, to secure the safe and speedy return of the child based on their own knowledge of the child and the information in the child's placement plan. If there is suspected risk of harm to the child the carer/s should li

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - The following individuals and agencies should be contacted when a looked after child is missing: the local police the authority responsible for the child's placement the parents and any other person with parental responsibility, unless it is not reasonably practicable to do so, or would be

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - It is important that a deadline is set at the outset of initial checks so that they don't continue beyond a reasonable timeframe. What timeframe is reasonable should be based on an assessment of the risks relating to the individual child. In some cases, there might be particular reasons to

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - Whenever the whereabouts of a looked after child is not known, the foster carer or the manager on duty in the children's home is responsible for carrying out initial checks to see if the child can be found. For example, if a child was supposed to have returned home from school but has not

3.8 Children Missing from Care, Home and Education: Procedure

Response for Children Missing from Care and Care Leavers - Local authorities continue to have a range of responsibilities towards children leaving care until the young person's 21st birthday and in some instances their 25th birthday. It is good practice to follow the guidance set out below whilst a young person remains 'leaving care'.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Coping Strategies - Discharging unpleasant emotions in other ways Sometimes it can be helpful to find other ways of discharging emotion which is less harmful than self-harm, including: clenching ice cubes in the hand until they melt writing, drawing and talking about feelings writing a letter expressing feeli

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Coping Strategies - Coping with distress using self-soothing Self-soothing techniques include: using stress-management techniques such as relaxation having a bubble bath stroking a cat or other animal going to the park and looking at the things that are around (birds, flowers, trees) listening to the sounds w

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

How to help - Schools should refer to the document 'Guidelines and resources for schools to help support children and young people who self-harm' for further information.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Coping Strategies - In the longer term, a young person may need to develop ways of understanding and dealing with the underlying emotions and beliefs. Regular counselling/therapy may be helpful. Support from family members or carers is likely to be an important part of this. It may also help if the young pers

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

The urge to escape difficulties - For some young people, self-harm may express the strong desire to escape from a conflict or unhappiness at home, and to live elsewhere. Injuring oneself can achieve a temporary respite if it entails a hospital admission or a short break at the home of a friend or relative. The young person

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

The urge to escape difficulties - For those who are already in care, self-harm may still be an expression of a desire to escape from their situation, for example, leaving the home. As before, it is important to support the young person, understand the nature of their difficulties and help them to find a way of resolving th

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

The urge to escape difficulties - If you believe that a young person would be at serious risk of abuse in returning home or in remaining in their residential setting, consult their social worker for advice.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

The urge to escape difficulties - If a child or young person goes missing from home or from a residential setting then the BSCB procedures on missing children should be initiated.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

How to help - The following steps (also see Appendix A - Helping Young People Who Self Harm: Flowchart) should be taken in the first instance when an incident of self-harm in a young person is identified. Reference should also be made to other relevant BSCB policy/guidelines as appropriate, in particula

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

How to help - The child should be included in discussions where possible based on an assessment of their age, capacity and condition at time.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

How to help - If you are concerned that an episode of self-harm was a serious attempt by the young person to end their life, contact your local CAMHS Single Point of Access team (telephone: 01865 901 951).

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

How to help - Further strategies for schools and residential settings to help a young person who self-harms include: arrange a mutually convenient time and place to meet at the start of the meeting set a time limit make sure the young person understands the limits of your confidentiality encourage them

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Coping Strategies - Using support networks It is helpful to identify supportive individuals and networks in a young person’s life and how to get in touch with them. Examples are friends, family, school teacher, counsellor. Knowing how to access a crisis line is also important.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Longer-term support - It is important to understand the reasons behind the self-harm and support the young person in keeping safe.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Longer-term support - Key workers/staff should work with the young person to build up self-esteem, develop problem-solving skills, and encourage strategies to cope with difficult feelings.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Longer-term support - If the young person is involved with CAMHS they should be supported to attend appointments and be encouraged to make use of the support offered.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Coping Strategies - Distraction activities Replacing the cutting or other self-harm with other safer activities can be a positive way of coping with the tension. What works depends on the reasons behind the self-harm. Activities that involve the emotions intensely can be helpful. Examples of distraction activ

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Causes and triggers - A more detailed list of potential cases and triggers of self-harm for children and young people with special education needs and disabilities can be found in the document Self-Injurious Behaviour: Guidelines and resources to help support children and young people with special educational n

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Self-harming Behaviour - Young people who self-harm still feel pain, but some say the physical pain is easier to stand than the emotional/mental pain that led to the self-harm initially. The cycle of self-harm / cutting  

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Causes and triggers - Any assessment of self-harm behaviours should begin with a consideration of the possible triggers of such behaviour. The causes/triggers of self-harm behaviours can relate to internal factors and/or external factors. When considering triggers it is important to not only look at the immedia

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Understanding and preventing self-harm - An important part of prevention of self-harm is having a supportive environment in the school or residential setting which is focused on building self esteem and encouraging healthy peer relationships. An effective anti-bullying policy and a means of identifying and supporting young people

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Introduction - This document can be read alongside the following additional guidelines: Self-Injurious Behaviour: Guidelines and resources to help support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities who show self-injurious behaviours. Guidelines and resources for schools to

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Definition - Self-harm is any behaviour, initiated by the individual, which directly results in physical harm to that individual. Physical harm will be considered to include bruising, laceration, bleeding, bone fractures and breakages and other tissue damage (Murphy and Wilson, 1985).

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Definition - The Mental Health Foundation (2003) define the difference between deliberate self-harm and suicide: deliberate self-harm is self-harm without suicidal intent, resulting in non-fatal injury attempted suicide is self-harm with intent to take life, resulting in non-fatal injury suicide is sel

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Definition - Some people who self-harm have a strong desire to kill themselves. However, there are other factors which motivate people to self-harm, including a desire to escape an unbearable situation or intolerable emotional pain; to reduce tension; to express hostility; to induce guilt or to increas

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Definition - Over the last 40 years there has been a large increase in the number of young people who deliberately harm themselves. It is thought that around 13% of young people may try to hurt themselves on purpose at some point between the ages of 11 and 16, but the actual figure could be much higher

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Definition - In the vast majority of cases, self-harm remains a secretive behaviour that can go on for a long time without being discovered. Many children and young people may struggle to express their feelings and will need a supportive response to assist them to explore their feelings and behaviour a

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Causes and triggers - The following risk factors, particularly in combination, may make a young person vulnerable to self-harm: Individual factors depression/anxiety poor communication skills low self esteem poor problem-solving skills hopelessness impulsivity drug or alcohol abuse Family factors unreasonable e

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Self-harming Behaviour - When a person inflicts pain upon himself or herself, the body responds by producing endorphins, a natural pain reliever that gives temporary relief or a feeling of peace. The addictive nature of this feeling can make self-harm difficult to stop.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Causes and triggers - People of any age, gender, ethnicity or background may find themselves using self-harm as a coping mechanism for many different reasons. However, professionals should be aware that for some children and young people protected characteristics (for example disability, being lesbian, gay, bis

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Causes and triggers - The pressures for some groups of young people and in some specific settings may increase the risk of self-harm, for example: young people in residential settings (e.g. inpatient units, prison, sheltered housing or hostels, or boarding schools) young people with mental health difficulties.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Causes and triggers - A number of factors may trigger the self-harm incident: family relationship difficulties (the most common trigger for younger adolescents) difficulties with peer relationships, e.g. break up of a relationship (the most common trigger for older adolescents) bullying significant trauma, e.g.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Warning Signs - There may be changes in the behaviour of the young person which are associated with self-harm or other serious emotional difficulties, for example: changes in eating/sleeping habits increased isolation from friends/family changes in activity and mood, e.g. more aggressive than usual loweri

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Warning Signs - Some young people get caught up in mild repetitive self-harm such as scratching, which is often done in a peer group. In this case it may be helpful to take a low-key approach, avoiding escalation, although at the same time being vigilant for signs of more serious self-harm.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Self-harming Behaviour - Examples of self-harming behaviour include: cutting taking an overdose of tablets swallowing hazardous materials or substances burning – either physically or chemically over/under-medicating, e.g. misuse of insulin punching/hitting/bruising hair pulling/skin picking/head banging episodes

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Self-harming Behaviour - Self-harm can be a transient behaviour in young people that is triggered by particular stresses and resolves fairly quickly, or it may be part of a longer-term pattern of behaviour that is associated with more serious emotional/psychiatric difficulty. Where there are a number of underlying

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Self-harming Behaviour - Once self-harm (particularly cutting) is established, it can be difficult to stop. Self-harm can have a number of functions for the young person and it becomes a way of coping, including: reduction in tension (safety valve) distraction from problems form of escape outlet for anger and rage

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Understanding and preventing self-harm - It may be helpful to explore with the young person what led to the self-harm – the feelings, thoughts and behaviour involved. This can help the young person make sense of the self-harm and develop alternative ways of coping.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Understanding and preventing self-harm - A checklist of procedures and practices that can help schools manage and prevent self-harm can be found in Appendix B.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Longer-term support

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Appendix - Appendix A: Helping Young People who Self-harm (flowchart) Appendix B: Self-harm Checklist for Schools Appendix C: Sample letter to parents following a meeting about self-harm Appendix D: Sample incident form to be used when a young person self-harms

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Further information for parents / carers, children and young people - Coping with Self-Harm: A Guide for Parents and Carers: This freely downloadable PDF guide, which has been developed by researchers at the University of Oxford, provides information for parents and families about self-harm and its causes and effects. It is based on current research on self-

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Related guidance / references - Mental Health Foundation (2006) Truth Hurts: Report of the National Inquiry into Self-harm among Young People NSPCC information on Self-harm National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2013) Self-harm Quality Standard Royal College of Psychiatrists (2014) Managing self-harm in youn

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Impact on people working with young people

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Contagion, Multiple and Copycat behaviours

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Understanding and preventing self-harm

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

The urge to escape difficulties

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Coping Strategies

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Self-harming Behaviour

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Causes and triggers

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Confidentiality - Confidentiality is a key concern for young people and they need to know that it may not be possible for professionals to offer complete confidentiality.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Introduction - These guidelines provide information for professionals working with children and young people on how to support people up to the age of 18 who harm themselves, and how to access appropriate services where needed.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Self-Injurious Behaviour: Guidelines and resources to help support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities who show self-injurious behaviours Guidelines and resources for schools to help support children and young people who self-harm

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Impact on people working with young people - People working with young people may experience a range of feelings in response to self-harm in a young person (e.g. anger, sadness, shock, disbelief, guilt, helplessness, disgust or rejection). It is important for all work colleagues to have an opportunity to seek support for their own ne

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Confidentiality - If you consider that a young person is at serious risk of harming himself/herself or others, confidentiality cannot be kept. It is important not to make promises of confidentiality that you cannot keep, even though the young person may put pressure on you to do so. If this is explained at

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Contagion, Multiple and Copycat behaviours - When a young person is self-harming it is important to be vigilant in case close contacts of the individual are also self-harming.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Contagion, Multiple and Copycat behaviours - Occasionally schools or residential settings may discover that a number of students in the same peer group are harming themselves. Self-harm can become an acceptable way of dealing with stress within a peer group and may increase peer identity. This can cause considerable anxiety in school

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Contagion, Multiple and Copycat behaviours - It can happen that two or more young people may self-harm simultaneously. It is important that each case is looked at individually in terms of levels of risk and need in the first instance. It is of course important at a later stage to consider what it was within the group dynamic that led

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Contagion, Multiple and Copycat behaviours - Each individual may have different reasons for self-harming and should be given the opportunity for one-to-one support. However, it may also be helpful to discuss the matter openly with the group of young people involved. In general it is not advisable to offer regular group support for yo

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Contagion, Multiple and Copycat behaviours - Where there appears to be linked behaviour or a local pattern emerging, a multi-agency strategy meeting should be convened.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Contagion, Multiple and Copycat behaviours - It is important to encourage young people to let you know if one of their group is in trouble, upset or shows signs of harming. Friends can worry about betraying confidence, so they need to know self-harm can be dangerous, and by seeking help and advice for their friend they are taking a r

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Contagion, Multiple and Copycat behaviours - The peer group of a young person who self-harms may value the opportunity to talk to an adult, either individually or in a small group.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Impact on people working with young people - For those who are supporting young people who self-harm, it is important to be clear with each individual how often and for how long you are going to see them (i.e. the boundaries need to be clear). It can be easy to get caught up into providing too much, because of one’s own anxiety. Ho

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Impact on people working with young people - If you find the self-harm upsets you, it may be helpful to be honest with the young person. You need to be clear that you can deal with your own feelings and try to avoid the young person feeling blamed. They probably already feel low in mood and have a poor self-image; your anger/upset ma

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Impact on people working with young people - In schools, young people may present with injuries to first aid or reception staff. It is important that these frontline staff are aware that an injury may be self-inflicted, and that they pass on any concerns.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Impact on people working with young people - In residential settings, young people may present to a range of staff, including key workers, domestic staff, admin staff or cooks.

3.9 Self-Harm: Guidance

Impact on people working with young people - Staff taking this role should take the opportunity to attend training days on self-harm or obtain relevant literature. Liaison with the local CAMHS may be helpful.

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Related guidance - Department for Education, National action plan to tackle child abuse linked to faith or belief (2012) Churches Child Protection Advisory Service, Good practice for working with faith communities – spirit possession and abuse (2009)   Department for Education, A rapid literature review

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Indicators - In cases which involve ‘spirit possession’ or ‘witchcraft’, the child is perceived to be different. A child with a disability may be viewed as different because of their disability, and the disability may be attributed to the ‘spirit possession’ or ‘witchcraft’. The disabil

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Indicators - Where there is abuse of children accused of spirit possession or witchcraft, this abuse can be understood using one or more of the four identified forms of child abuse: physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect.

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Introduction - Although the number of known child abuse cases linked to accusations of ‘spirit possession’ or ‘witchcraft’ in Britain is small, it is possible that a significant number of cases go undetected. The nature of the abuse can be particularly disturbing and the impact on the child is su

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Introduction - Families, carers and the children involved can hold genuine beliefs that evil forces are at work. Families and children can be deeply worried by the evil that they believe is threatening them. There may also be an element of the adult gaining some gratification through the ritualistic abus

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Introduction - Although both ‘spirit possession’ and ‘witchcraft’ often relate to perceived evil forces, this is not always the case. ‘Spirit possession’ can be understood to include being taken over by ‘the Holy Spirit’, for example, and since the mid-20th century, witchcraft has increas

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Indicators - Indicators of abuse linked to belief in spirit possession, which may also be common features in other kinds of abuse, include: a child reporting that they are, or have been, accused of being ‘evil’, and/or that they are having the ‘devil beaten out of them’ a child’s body having

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Indicators - There are various social reasons that make a child more vulnerable to an accusation of ‘spirit possession’ or ‘witchcraft’. These include family stress and/or a change in the family structure, a family’s disillusionment with life or a negative experience of migration, and the men

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Action to be taken - While the number of known cases of abuse related to spirit possession or witchcraft is small, professionals should be alert to possible indicators and must follow standard child safeguarding procedures where abuse or neglect is suspected, including those that may be related to a belief in

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Action to be taken - Key considerations in dealing with cases of abuse linked to spirit possession or witchcraft are: Child abuse is never acceptable in any community or culture, under any circumstances. The abuser may believe they are delivering the child of evil spirits and that they are helping the child ra

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Introduction - The term ‘spirit possession’ means that a force, spirit, god or demon has entered a child and is controlling him or her resulting in a change in health or behaviour. Sometimes the term ‘witch’ or ‘witchcraft’ is used. This is the belief that a child is able to use an evil force

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Introduction - Research indicates that the belief in ‘spirit possession’ or ‘witchcraft’ is widespread across the world. It is not confined to particular countries, cultures or religions, nor is it confined to new immigrant communities in this country.

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Introduction - In cases of ‘spirit possession’ or ‘witchcraft’ which involve children, the parent/carer views the child as ‘different’ and attributes this to the child being ‘possessed’. This can lead to attempts to exorcise the child. The reasons for being ‘different’ can be varied,

4.1 Child Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession or Witchcraft: Guidance

Introduction - These beliefs occupy a broad spectrum, and the effects range from harmless to harmful. Belief in spirit possession and witchcraft is not of itself evidence of maltreatment.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Interpreters and Independent Mental Capacity Advocates

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - In cases where it is known that a child has undergone FGM (if a professional has seen evidence of it or heard about it directly from the child) professionals must make a referral to Children’s Social Care using the Multi Agency Referral Form (MARF). Regulated professionals working within

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - In all cases, professionals should consider dialling 999 if immediate Police action is needed.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - All professionals are encouraged to complete a risk screening tool for any case of FGM, whether it is known or suspected. This will help with the assessment of the situation, decision making and record keeping. A screening tool is provided at Appendix A.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Prevalence - Globally 100 – 140 million women and girls have undergone FGM and a further 3 million girls undergo FGM every year in Africa.[i] Most of the females affected live in 28 African countries, with some also from parts of the Middle East and Asia. In Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, Egypt, Guinea an

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - The following circumstances relating to FGM require identification and intervention: It is known that an adult woman has undergone FGM and there are no children or pregnant women in the household. It is known that an adult woman has undergone FGM and there is an unborn child / female child

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Definition of types of female genital mutilation

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - If there are reasons to suspect that a child has been abused through FGM, (for example, see signs and symptoms), the professional or the Safeguarding Lead from the organisation should make a referral to Children’s Social Care using the MARF.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - In cases where it is known or suspected that a vulnerable adult has undergone FGM, the professional should consider making a referral to Adult Social Care. Consideration should be given to how recently the FGM was undertaken and the impact on the individual. If there are any doubts about w

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - Please refer to the Multi-Agency FGM Pathway to guide you through the procedure in Buckinghamshire for each of these circumstances.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Cultural Context - Muslim scholars and faith leaders, including the Muslim Council of Britain, have condemned the practice and are clear that FGM is an act of violence against women. Further, scholars and clerics have stressed that Islam forbids people from inflicting harm on others and therefore the practic

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Health implications of FGM - Results from research in practicing African communities are that women who have undergone FGM have the same levels of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as adults who have been subject to early childhood abuse. Research also indicates that the majority of the women (80%) suffer from affective

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Introduction - This multi-agency FGM guidance and procedure is relevant for agencies working with both children and adults. It has been produced to support agencies in Buckinghamshire to work effectively together to tackle FGM. Agencies should continue to refer to relevant specialist professional guidanc

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Prevalence - The Buckinghamshire Strategy for Tackling FGM contains more detailed information on the prevalence of FGM at an international, national and local level. A summary of key points is listed below.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Definition of types of female genital mutilation - The age at which girls undergo FGM varies enormously according to the community. The procedure may be carried out at any time, including when the girl is newborn, during childhood, adolescence, at marriage or during the first pregnancy. However, in the majority of cases FGM takes place bet

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Definition of types of female genital mutilation - Those who are affected by FGM may be born to parents from FGM practising communities or women resident in the UK who were born in countries that practice FGM. These may include (but are not limited to) immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, overseas students or the wives of overseas student

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Definition of types of female genital mutilation - FGM is known by a number of names, including female genital cutting or circumcision. The names ‘FGM’ or ‘cut’ are increasingly used at the community level, although they are still not always understood by individuals in practicing communities, largely because they are English terms

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Definition of types of female genital mutilation - FGM has been classified by the WHO into four types:  Type 1 - Clitoridectomy: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and, rarely, the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris) as well. Type 2 - Excision: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or wi

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Definition of types of female genital mutilation - The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines female genital mutilation as: “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Legal Status - The momentum to end FGM has grown significantly in the last four years due to various campaigners raising awareness of the issue and the government strengthening its stance on FGM. The UK government is committed to eradicating this harmful practice within a generation and has strengthened

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Key Principles - The following principles should be adhered to: The safety and welfare of the girl/woman is paramount. All agencies/services and staff, including volunteers, should act in the interest of the rights of the girl/woman, as stated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). All dec

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Key Principles - All agencies/services should be alert to the possibility of FGM, and their approach should include a preventative strategy that focuses upon education, as well as the protection of girls/women at risk of significant harm.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Introduction - This document should also be read in conjunction with: Government Statutory Guidance on Female Genital Mutilation. This should be read and followed by all professionals who are working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. BSCB Thresholds document and proc

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Introduction - Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is considered child abuse in the UK and is a grave violation of the human rights of girls and women. It has intolerable long-term physical and emotional consequences for the survivors and has been illegal in the UK for over 30 years. It is estimated that 137

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Health implications of FGM - Long term consequences may include: chronic pain infections, particularly of the reproductive and urinary tracts abscesses, painful cysts or keloids (excessive scar tissue formed at the site of the cutting) menstrual problems birth complications such as prolonged labour, recourse to caesar

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Cultural Context - The procedure is often carried out by an older woman in the community, who may see conducting FGM as a prestigious act.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Cultural Context - The procedure can involve the girl / woman being held down on the floor by several women. It is often carried out without medical expertise, attention to hygiene or an anaesthetic. Instruments used have been known to include un-sterilised household knives, razor blades, broken glass and st

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Cultural Context - The practice is mostly carried out by traditional circumcisers, who often play other central roles in communities, such as attending childbirths. Increasingly, however, FGM is being performed by health care providers.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Cultural Context - The WHO cites a number of reasons for the continuation of FGM, such as: Custom and tradition A mistaken belief that FGM is a religious requirement Preservation of virginity/chastity Social acceptance, especially for marriage A belief that it will increase marriageability Hygiene and cleanl

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - If there is concern that a vulnerable adult may be at risk of FGM in the future it is important to determine whether this risk is high and immediate, or low and future. All professionals should complete an FGM risk screening tool (see Appendix A) to help with the assessment of the situatio

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Signs and Indicators - Specific factors that may heighten a child’s risk of being subjected to FGM include: girl’s mother has undergone FGM other family members have undergone FGM father comes from a community known to practice FGM mother / family have limited contact with people outside of her family parent

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Signs and Indicators - Indications that FGM may be about to take place include: parents say they or a relative will be taking the girl abroad for a prolonged period – this may not only be to a country with high prevalence, but this would be more likely to lead to a concern girl has spoken about a long holiday

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Signs and Indicators - Indications that FGM may have already taken place include: girl is reluctant to undergo any medical examination girl spends long periods of time in the bathroom / toilet / away from the classroom girl has spoken about having been on a long holiday to her country of origin / another country

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Health implications of FGM - Short term consequences of FGM may include:[i] severe pain during the procedure and healing shock, which may be caused by pain and / or haemorrhage excessive bleeding difficulty in passing urine and faeces due to swelling and pain infections or septic shock are common, particularly as the

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - If there is a perception that a child may be at risk of FGM in the future it is important to determine whether this risk is high and immediate, or low and future. All professionals should complete an FGM risk screening tool (see Appendix A) to help with the assessment of the situation, dec

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - An example of a high/immediate level of risk is if a girl is talking about a ‘special’ ceremony, going on a long holiday, or if a woman who has had FGM and gave birth to a girl admits to be supporting the practice.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Prevalence - The prevalence of FGM in the UK is difficult to estimate because of its hidden nature. However, a report published in July 2014[i] estimated that as of 2011: Approximately 60,000 girls aged 0-14 were born in England and Wales to mothers who had undergone FGM. Approximately 103,000 women ag

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Requests for re-infibulation - After childbirth, a girl / woman who has been deinfibulated (a surgical procedure to open up the scar tissue to restore the normal vaginal opening, commonly called a ‘reversal’) may request re-infibulation. All girls / women who have undergone FGM (and their partners or husbands) must

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Mandatory Reporting - The government has also published additional information on the mandatory duty for health care professionals in England.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

The FGM Enhanced Dataset - Some agencies will also need to submit data on FGM to the FGM Enhanced Dataset.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

The FGM Enhanced Dataset - This dataset was set up to collect information on the prevalence of FGM from across the NHS in order to support a response to FGM that is based on an understanding of need. The Information Standard (SCC 12026 FGM Enhanced Dataset) requires clinicians across all NHS healthcare settings to r

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

The FGM Enhanced Dataset - It became mandatory for all acute trusts to collect and submit the FGM Enhanced Dataset from 1st July 2015 and all mental health trusts and GPs from 1st October 2015. Community services within mental health trusts can participate. Sexual Health and GUM clinics do not need to submit FGM inf

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

The FGM Enhanced Dataset - All relevant agencies should ensure their staff are familiar with these requirements. Further information on the dataset is available.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Talking to women and children - Professionals discussing FGM with a child or woman suspected to be abused through FGM should tailor their response appropriately, including: Arranging for an interpreter if this is necessary and appropriate (avoid using a family member as an interpreter) Creating an opportunity for the chi

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Talking to women and children - Professionals can refer to ‘Key questions for interviewing women with FGM’ (Appendix B) to start a conversation on FGM. The following leaflets may also be useful for practitioners who are discussing FGM with women and children: FGM: The Facts (Home Office) More about FGM (Department of

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Requests for re-infibulation - If a woman continues to request re-infibulation this should be treated as a potential child protection concern, as the girl / woman’s apparent reluctance to comply with UK law, may have implications for her own children if they are female. Professionals should consult with their agency

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Mandatory Reporting - All agencies should ensure relevant frontline staff understand this duty and how to make a report. The professional consequences for failing to report a known case of FGM in a child are very serious.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - An example of a low/future level of risk is when a woman who has had FGM and gave birth to a girl speaks against cutting her daughter.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Interpreters and Independent Mental Capacity Advocates - Always brief / debrief the interpreter, explain the purpose of the meeting, ensure they understand the issue and are happy to talk about FGM. We must remain aware that the interpreter may have experienced FGM, hence may have difficulty discussing it. Alternatively, they may view FGM as a v

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Interpreters and Independent Mental Capacity Advocates - Always check that the girl/woman is happy to continue with the chosen interpreter, as communities affected by FGM are often small and therefore interpreters may be known socially by the girl/woman. The importance of confidentiality should be stressed to all parties involved.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Interpreters and Independent Mental Capacity Advocates - In the case of an adult with care and support needs, it may be necessary to appoint an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) to support them with decision making. Further information, including how to book an IMCA is available.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance BSCB Information Sharing Code of Practice

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Appendix - This section provides 4 short risk assessments that can be used by relevant professionals in the following scenarios: Child under 18 years old: Use when considering whether a child has had FGM Child under 18 years old: Use when considering whether a child may be at risk of FGM or whether t

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Mandatory Reporting - Professionals subject to the duty and their employers should refer to the government guidance on mandatory reporting. This includes a list of those professionals covered by the report and more detail on how to make a report.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Interpreters and Independent Mental Capacity Advocates - Wherever possible, a professional female interpreter should be used for a girl/woman known to have limited English. This will reduce misunderstanding, increase the likelihood of identification of FGM and any additional physical, psychological and social concerns. Use of family members is n

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Mandatory Reporting - To make a report you should call the Police on 101 and state you wish to make a report under the FGM mandatory reporting duty. Reports should be made as soon as possible after the FGM is discovered, and best practice is to complete the report by the close of the next working day.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - Regardless of the age of the girl or woman, or when the procedure took place, all professionals should make appropriate referrals to support those suffering from the physical or emotional consequences of FGM.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - Professionals should seek to undertake a holistic assessment of the family given the pressure to undertake FGM can come from other members of the family such as female family elders.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - In all cases the risk to other female children in the family and extended family must be considered, and all parents/carers should be given information on FGM explaining that it is illegal to carry it out in the UK or to take their child abroad and they have a statutory responsibility to p

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - If it has been determined that the risk is high/immediate it is important to act quickly – before the child is abused by being subjected to FGM in the UK, or taken abroad to undergo the procedure.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Mandatory Reporting - ‘Known’ cases are those where either a girl discloses that FGM has been carried out on her, or where a professional observes physical signs on a girl appearing to show that FGM has been carried out. For example, if a doctor sees that a girl aged under 18 has had FGM they will need to m

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - Every attempt should be made to work with parents to prevent abuse of FGM occurring. All professionals should ensure that parental co-operation is achieved wherever possible, including the use of community organisations and / or community leaders to facilitate the work with parents/family.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - However, if it is not possible to reach an agreement and if the parents cannot guarantee that they will not proceed with the mutilation, the first priority is protection of the girl / woman and appropriate measures should be taken such as an Emergency Protection Order, Police Protection or

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - There may be cases where the risk is determined as low at the time of the assessment, for example if a mother who has had FGM speaks against mutilating her daughter. However, as the child is growing up the risk might change from low to high and it is important that all agencies follow thei

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Prevalence - There is an uneven distribution of cases of FGM around the country, with more occurring in those areas of the UK with larger communities from the practising countries. Whilst this would not make Buckinghamshire an area of high FGM prevalence, there are some areas close by that are likely t

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Procedure for responding to FGM - There is no requirement for automatic referral of other adult women with FGM to adult social services or the police. Healthcare professionals should be aware that any disclosure may be the first time that a woman has ever discussed her FGM with anyone. Referral to the police must not be in

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Mandatory Reporting - On the 31 October 2015 a new duty was introduced that requires all regulated professionals working within health or social care, and teachers, to report ‘known’ cases of FGM in girls aged under 18 to the police. This is an individual rather than a corporate duty.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Health Professionals - Health professionals in GP surgeries, sexual health clinics and maternity services are the most likely to encounter a girl or woman who has been subjected to FGM. A question about FGM should be incorporated when the routine patient history is being taken and professionals should consider t

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Information Sharing - Information should always be shared in line with the BSCB Information Sharing Code of Practice and the Government’s information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners.

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Information Sharing - The multi-agency pathway diagram provides further guidance on information sharing in relation to FGM. However, if you are unsure whether you can share information, then please refer to the BSCB Information Sharing Code of Practice and the government guidance. If you are in doubt, speak to

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Information Sharing - For known cases of FGM, those agencies subject to the Mandatory Reporting Duty must share information in order to make a report (see below). Whilst it is good practice to discuss that you will need to share information to make a report, consent is not required. In cases where mandatory rep

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Information Sharing - The risk of FGM can change over time and if information has been shared then professionals who are in contact with a child in the future may be in a good position to spot signs of imminent or actual FGM. For example, if a midwife has shared information with a GP that a mother has had FGM,

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Information Sharing - You should discuss openly with the girl/woman and, where possible, with the parents of a girl, how, why and with whom information will be shared and seek their consent. However, be aware that by alerting a girl’s family, you may place her at increased risk of harm. Professionals should t

4.2 Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance

Information Sharing - As with any form of child abuse, when FGM/risk of FGM is identified it is important that information is shared appropriately with relevant professionals. This will help ensure the right measures are put in place to safeguard against the risk of FGM or to meet the physical and psychological

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

National guidance and advice - Professionals working in this field should be familiar with: The Right to Choose: Multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage (HM Government, 2014) Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines: Handling Cases Of Forced Marriage (HM Government, 2014) Forced Marriage And Learning Di

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Response - Remember: Circumstances may be more complex if the young person is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. British Embassies and High Commissions can only help British nationals or, in certain circumstances, EU or Commonwealth nationals. This means that if a non-British national leaves the

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Response - Additional steps: if necessary, record any injuries and arrange a medical examination give them personal safety advice develop a safety plan in case they are seen, i.e. prepare another reason why you are meeting establish if there is a family history of forced marriage, e.g. siblings force

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Legal Aspects - In addition to the specific offences of forced marriage, there are still a number of other offences that may be committed. Perpetrators – usually parents or family members – may also be prosecuted for offences including threatening behaviour, assault, kidnap, abduction, theft (of passp

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Response - Do not: send them away approach members of their family or the community unless they expressly ask you to do so share information with anyone without their express consent breach confidentiality unless it is with the information sharing protocol attempt to be a mediator automatically use f

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Response - First steps in all cases: see them immediately in a secure and private place where the conversation cannot be overheard. see them on their own – even if they attend with others. recognise and respect their wishes. contact, as soon as possible, the Forced Marriage Unit based at the Foreig

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Response - The ‘one chance’ rule: You may only have one chance to speak to a potential victim and thus may only have one chance to save a life. This means that all practitioners working within statutory agencies, community workers and volunteers need to be aware of their responsibilities and obli

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Recognition - Victims of existing or prospective forced marriages may be fearful of discussing their worries with friends and teachers; however they may come to the attention of professionals, those working in community groups or in a voluntary capacity due to various behaviours or circumstances consist

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Legal Aspects - The Mental Capacity Act 2005 aims to empower people to make decisions about their own lives where possible and protects those who lack capacity. If a person does not consent or lacks capacity to consent to a marriage, that marriage must be viewed as a forced marriage whatever the reason fo

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Legal Aspects - Not all victims will be able to apply personally to the courts for protection. Some might not want to take court action against members of their own family. Where this happens the intention is that other people or organisations can step in on their behalf.

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Legal Aspects - Forcing someone to marry can result in a sentence of up to seven years in prison. Disobeying a Forced Marriage Protection Order can result in a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Legal Aspects - Breaching a Forced Marriage Protection Order is also a criminal offence.

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Legal Aspects - The civil remedy of obtaining a Forced Marriage Protection Order through the family courts continues to exist alongside the newer criminal offence, so victims can choose how they wish to be assisted.

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Legal Aspects - The Act gives victims the power to get Forced Marriage Protection Orders from the courts in whatever circumstances they find themselves. Under the Act, the court can order those forcing another into marriage to stop; or impose requirements upon them. If a person fails to comply with the co

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Legal Aspects - The Forced Marriage Act (2007) was brought in to protect those forced into marriage, whether children, teenagers or adults – and irrespective of background, gender, race or religion. The Act gives the courts a wide discretion to deal flexibly and sensitively with the circumstances of eac

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Legal Aspects - The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (2014) makes it a criminal offence to force someone to marry This includes: taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place) marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the mar

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Forced marriage and children with learning disabilities - There are additional factors which may make someone with a learning disability more vulnerable. Some key motives for forcing people with learning disabilities to marry include: obtaining a carer for the person with a learning disability obtaining physical assistance for ageing parents obta

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Definition - Whilst the majority of cases encountered in the UK involve South Asian families, partly reflecting the composition of the UK population, there have been cases involving families from East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Norway and Africa. Some forced marriages take place in the UK with no o

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Definition - National guidance states that 85% of those seeking help concerning forced marriage are women and so this issue is primarily, but not exclusively, an issue of violence against girls and young women.

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Definition - Many of these acts fall within the definition of domestic violence and abuse.

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Definition - Possible consequences of forced marriage include taking of dowry, forced repatriation, female genital mutilation, acid attacks, blood feuds, honour killings, abduction and homicide.

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Definition - Honour-based violence may be a feature of forced marriage

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Definition - A ‘forced’ marriage (as distinct from a consensual ‘arranged’ marriage) is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not and/or cannot consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. Duress canno

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Forced marriage and children with learning disabilities - Research indicates that the forced marriage of children and adults with learning disabilities is likely to be vastly under-reported and can differ from the way in which forced marriage presents generally (see table below). Person without a learning disability Person with a learning disa

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Definition - Forced marriages of children may involve non-consensual and/or under-age sex, emotional and possibly physical abuse, and should be regarded as a child protection issue and referred to Children’s Social Care in line with BSCB procedures for responding to abuse or neglect.

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Recognition - Police Victim or other siblings within the family reported missing. Reports of domestic abuse, harassment or breaches of the peace at the family home. Female genital mutilation. The victim reported for offences, e.g. shoplifting or substance misuse. Threats to kill and attempts to kill or

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Recognition - Health Accompanied to doctors or clinics. Self-harm. Attempted suicide. Eating disorders. Substance misuse. Early/unwanted pregnancy. Female genital mutilation.

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Recognition - Education Absence and persistent absence. Request for extended absence and failure to return from visits to country of origin. Fear about forthcoming school holidays. Surveillance by siblings or cousins at school. Decline in behaviour, engagement, performance or punctuality. Being withdraw

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

National guidance and advice

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Domestic Violence and Abuse Honour-Based Violence Female Genital Mutilation

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Forced marriage and children with learning disabilities

4.3 Forced Marriage: Guidance

Recognition - Family history Siblings forced to marry. Early marriage of siblings. Self-harm or suicide of siblings. Death of a parent. Family disputes. Running away from home. Unreasonable restrictions, e.g. kept at home by parents (‘house arrest’) and financial restrictions.

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Recognition - Victims from black or ethnic minority groups, where the violence is perpetrated by extended family members or relate to forced marriage issues, may be more isolated due to religious and/or cultural pressures, language barriers, having no recourse to public funds or fear of bringing shame t

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Recognition - The perceived immoral behaviour which could precipitate honour-based violence include, but are not limited to: inappropriate make-up or dress the existence of a boyfriend kissing or intimacy in a public place rejecting a forced marriage pregnancy outside of marriage being a victim of rape

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Recognition - Families may feel shame long after the incident that brought about dishonour occurred, and therefore the risk of harm to a child can persist. This means that the young person’s new boy/girlfriend, baby (if pregnancy caused the family to feel ‘shame’), associates or siblings may be at

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Recognition - Children sometimes truant from school to obtain relief from being controlled at home by relatives. They can feel isolated from their family and social networks and become depressed, which can on some occasions lead to self-harm or suicide.

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Recognition - Incidents, in addition to those listed above, which may precede a murder include: Physical abuse. Emotional abuse, including: house arrest and excessive restrictions denial of access to the telephone, internet, passport and friends threats to kill. Pressure to go abroad. Victims are somet

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Recognition - Honour-based crimes are often the planned culmination of a series of events over a period of time. There tends to be a degree of premeditation, family conspiracy and a belief that the victim deserved to die.

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Definition - Professionals should respond to honour-based violence in a similar way to cases of domestic abuse and forced marriage: facilitate disclosure. develop individual safety plans. ensure the child’s safety by according them confidentiality in relation to the rest of the family. complete indiv

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Recognition - Honour-based violence cuts across all cultures and communities, and cases encountered in the UK have involved families from Turkish, Kurdish, Afghani, South Asian, African, Middle Eastern, South and Eastern European communities. This is not an exhaustive list.

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

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.

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Disclosure and response - For a child to report to any agency that they have fears of honour-based violence in respect of themselves or a family member requires a lot of courage, and trust that the professional/agency they disclose to will respond appropriately. Under no circumstances should the agency allow the ch

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Definition - Professionals should be alert to the fact that in cases of honour-based violence the partner can also be at risk and therefore appropriate consideration should be given to their safety and welfare.

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Definition - The National Police Chief Council's definition of honour-based abuse (also called honour-based violence) is: “An incident or crime involving violence, threats of violence, intimidation, coercion or abuse (including psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse), which has

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Definition - These are violent crimes in which predominantly women are killed for perceived immoral behaviour, which is deemed to have breached the honour code of a family or community, causing shame. Whilst women and girls are the most common victims of honour-based violence, it can also affect men an

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Domestic Violence and Abuse Forced Marriage Female Genital Mutilation

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Disclosure and response - When receiving a disclosure from a child, professionals should recognise the seriousness/immediacy of the risk of harm.

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Disclosure and response - Where there is a disclosure of suspicion of honour-based violence, staff in all agencies/organisations should respond immediately by referring to social care First Response Team, or where there is imminent risk, directly to the police. Staff in all agencies should make full records of any

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Disclosure and response - Authorities in some countries may support the practice of honour-based violence, and the child may be concerned that other agencies share this view, or that they will be returned to their family. The child may be carrying guilt about their rejection of cultural/family expectations. Further

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Disclosure and response - If a child is taken abroad, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office may assist in repatriating them to the UK. 

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Recognition - Victims with a learning or physical disability may be more vulnerable to violence. Vulnerabilities may include: dependency on a carer financial dependency social isolation

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Disclosure and response - Multi-agency planning should consider the need for providing suitable safe accommodation for the child, as appropriate.

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Disclosure and response - All multi-agency discussions should recognise the police responsibility to initiate and undertake a criminal investigation as appropriate.

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Disclosure and response - Professionals should not approach the family or community leaders, share any information with them or attempt any form of mediation. In particular, members of the local community should not be used as interpreters.

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Disclosure and response - The social care and police response should include: seeing the child immediately in a secure and private place seeing the child on their own explaining to the child the limits of confidentiality asking direct questions to gather enough information to make a referral to Children’s Social

4.4 Honour Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance

Disclosure and response - Referring agencies should make an assessment of risk of harm using a dedicated assessment tool e.g. DASH.

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Multi-agency / Service Response - If any professional considers that their concerns are not being responded to appropriately, the BSCB escalation procedure should be followed.

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Circumcision for Therapeutic or Medical Reasons - Doctors/health professionals should ensure that any parents seeking circumcision for their son in the belief that is confers health benefits are fully informed that there is a lack of professional consensus as to current evidence demonstrating any benefits. The risks/benefits to the child

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Multi-agency / Service Response - Children’s social care should assess the degree of harm and determine whether the likely or actual harm is significant for the child in question.

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Multi-agency / Service Response - Where a criminal offence is suspected, e.g. sexual abuse or unjustified deliberate injury, the police must also be notified.

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Multi-agency / Service Response - Children’s Social Care should also assess the risk of harm to other male children in the same family, including unborn children (see BSCB Pre-Birth Procedure and Guidance).

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Female Genital Mutilation Procedure Pre-Birth Procedures

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Multi-agency / Service Response - If concerns relate to a professional or other person in a position of trust, concerns must be discussed with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) (see BSCB procedures for managing allegations against staff and volunteers).

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Community / Religious Leaders - Community and religious leaders should take a lead in the absence of approved professionals and develop safeguards in practice. This could include setting standards around hygiene, advocating and promoting the practice in a medically controlled environment and outlining best practice if co

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Introduction - Unlike female genital mutilation, male circumcision is not an illegal act in itself and is not normally a child protection or safeguarding issue. This procedure provides practitioners in Buckinghamshire with an understanding of when male circumcision may be a safeguarding issue and how to

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

What is Male Circumcision - Male circumcision is a non-reversible procedure.

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

What is Male Circumcision - There is no requirement in law for professionals undertaking male circumcision to be medically trained or to have proven expertise. Traditionally, religious leaders or respected elders may conduct this practice.

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

What is Male Circumcision - Male circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin on the penis. The procedure is usually requested for social, cultural or religious reasons (e.g. by families who practise Judaism or Islam). Additionally, there are parents who request circumcision for assumed medical benefits.

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Circumcision for Therapeutic or Medical Reasons - The medical harms or benefits of circumcision have not been unequivocally proven, except to the extent that there are clear risks of harm if the procedure is done inexpertly.

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Circumcision for Therapeutic or Medical Reasons - The British Association of Paediatric Surgeons advises that there is rarely a clinical indication for circumcision. Doctors should be aware of this and reassure parents accordingly.

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Consent - Consent for circumcision is valid only where the people (or person) giving consent have the authority to do so and understand the risks and implications, including that it is a non-reversible procedure. Where people with parental responsibility for a child disagree about whether the child

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Non-therapeutic Circumcision - Male circumcision that is performed for any reason other than physical clinical need is termed ‘non-therapeutic circumcision’.

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Multi-agency / Service Response - If anyone becomes aware, through something a child discloses, or another means, that the child has been, or may be, harmed through male circumcision, a referral must be made to children’s social care (see Neglect Guidance)

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Recognition of harm or abuse - Harm may stem from clinical practice being incompetent (including lack of anaesthesia) and/or clinical equipment and facilities being inadequate, not hygienic, etc. The professionals most likely to become aware that a boy is at risk of, or has already suffered from, harm from circumcision

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Recognition of harm or abuse - Significant harm is defined in Section 31(9) of the Children Act 1989 and is referred to in accordance with Working Together (2015). Where it is believed that a child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, there needs to be compulsory intervention by child protection agenc

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Recognition of harm or abuse - Circumcision may constitute significant harm to a child if: the child sustains physical, functional or cosmetic damage the child suffers emotional, physical or sexual harm from the way in which the procedure was carried out the child suffers emotional harm from not having been sufficiently

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Legal Position - If doctors or other professionals are in any doubt about the legality of their actions, they should seek legal advice.

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Medical Response - Poorly performed circumcisions have legal implications for the doctor responsible. In responding to requests to perform male circumcision, doctors should follow the guidance issued by professional organisations: General Medical Council British Medical Associations Royal College of Surgeons

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Medical Response - Doctors are under no obligation to comply with a request to circumcise a child and circumcision is not a service which is provided free of charge. Nevertheless, some doctors and hospitals are willing to provide circumcision without charge, rather than risk the procedure being carried out i

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Legal Position - Practitioners may assume that the circumcision procedure (therapeutic or non-therapeutic) is lawful provided that: it is performed competently, in a suitable environment that reduces the risk of infection, cross-infection and contamination it is believed to be in the child’s best interes

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Non-therapeutic Circumcision Principles of Good Practice - An assessment of best interests in relation to non-therapeutic circumcision should include consideration of: the child’s own ascertainable wishes, feelings and values the child’s ability to understand what is proposed and to weigh up the alternatives the child’s potential to particip

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Community / Religious Leaders

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Multi-agency / Service Response

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Recognition of harm or abuse

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Non-therapeutic Circumcision Principles of Good Practice

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Non-therapeutic Circumcision

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Circumcision for Therapeutic or Medical Reasons

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

What is Male Circumcision

4.5 Male Circumcision Guidance

Circumcision for Therapeutic or Medical Reasons - Where parents request circumcision for their son for assumed medical reasons, it is recommended that circumcision should be performed by or under the supervision of doctors trained in children’s surgery in premises suitable for surgical procedures.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Definition - A common feature of CSE is that the child or young person does not recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation. CSE is a form of child sexual abuse, but what differentiates it from other forms of abuse is the concept of exchang

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Introduction - This document should be read in conjunction with any specific CSE guidance or procedures issued by your own sector or agency.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

The Swan Unit - Further details can be found in the Swan Unit Operating Procedure.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Definition - This guidance adopts the statutory definition for Child Sexual Exploitation agreed in February 2017:  “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 y

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Related Documents and links

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Multi-agency Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference (MSERAC)

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Exploitation perpetrated by children

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Introduction - This document is a practical tool to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE), what it is and how it can be recognised. It is also a reminder that exploitation is a crime and that the guidance set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children should be adopted when responding to

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Child Sexual Exploitation Strategy M-SERAC (Missing and Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference) Operating Procedure Neglect Guidance Complex (Organised or Multiple) Abuse Individuals Who Pose a Risk of Harm to Children Delayed Reporting – Historical Abuse Children Who Exhibit Pro

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Exploitation perpetrated by children - It is important for agencies to be aware that a child or young person who has harmed another may also be a victim. The potential vulnerability of a child perpetrator needs to be assessed and appropriate support provided.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Multi-agency Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference (MSERAC) - Further details can be found in the M-SERAC Operating Procedure.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Information Sharing - Within the context of sexual exploitation it is recognised that no one partner holds all the information required to effectively assess the needs or fully assess the risk of serious harm to children and young people. Also, in the majority of cases the support of more than one agency is req

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Multi-agency Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference (MSERAC) - M-SERAC does not replace the provisions of Section 17 (Child in Need) or 47 (Child in need of protection) of the Children Act. It complements these statutory processes by ensuring that the bigger picture is considered, that action to safeguard is being completed and the appropriate multi-a

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Multi-agency Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference (MSERAC) - Partner agencies come together to share information and set actions to address the potential or recognised risk to a child who has been, or could become, subject to sexual exploitation or who is a ‘High Risk’ or ‘Regular’ Missing Person. This meeting is intended to share intelligen

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Multi-agency Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Conference (MSERAC) - M-SERAC is a multi-agency risk management meeting that seeks to ensure that children living in Buckinghamshire are effectively safeguarded and protected from harm in cases where: they are, or might be, victims of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) they are high-risk missing children or chil

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Response - See BSCB procedure on Delayed reporting for require response to allegations of historical abuse.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Information Sharing - Information should always be shared in line with the BSCB Information Sharing Code of Practice and the Government’s information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Response - Where CSE is the presenting issues, but other factors are also present, such as missing episodes or gang involvement, the multi-agency response should take account of all factors.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Response - Where need is identified at level 2, in line with the referral flow diagram, agencies should seek to provide support themselves, or signpost to other appropriate organisations. The diagram below shows what happens where need is felt to have reached level 3 or 4.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Response - The usual BSCB procedures for responding to concerns of abuse and neglect should be followed whatever the nature of the safeguarding concern

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Response - The principles of Working Together to Safeguard Children should be adopted when responding to reports of child sexual exploitation. Action should be focused on the child’s needs, including consideration of children with particular needs or sensitivities, and that children and young peopl

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Exploitation perpetrated by children - For further information, see the BSCB procedure on Children who exhibit problematic/harmful sexual behaviour.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Exploitation perpetrated by children - The definition of sexual exploitation is the same regardless of whether it is perpetrated by an adult or a child. Professionals should be aware that in approximately 25% of CSE cases, both the victim and the perpetrator are under 18.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

The Swan Unit - The Swan Unit is a multi-agency team based in Aylesbury Police Station. The Unit has five specific functions in relation to children at risk of CSE: Assessment of risk: All new cases coming into the Swan Unit will be risk-assessed. Workers within the Swan Unit will also provide advice to s

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Diversity - Victims: Victims of CSE can come from any ethnic background. However, professionals need to recognise that for victims from some black and minority ethnic groups there can be additional complexities linked to their cultural and ethnic background. This can include victims being alienated or

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Diversity - It is likely that different perpetrator profiles may be linked more strongly to particular forms of CSE. Professionals need to be aware that perpetrators can come from all ethnic groups and it is important not to generalise or stereotype. However, it is also important that people do not ho

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Diversity - Perpetrators: A number of high profile CSE cases that have gone to court have involved groups of Asian men, and the Home Office describes a widespread perception that the majority of perpetrators are of Asian, British Asian or Muslim origin. However, the vast majority of convicted sex offe

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Diversity - There is no simple link between CSE and ethnicity. However, there are some issues that need to be considered, both in relation to perpetrators and victims.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Recognition - These risk factors include children or young people who: have a disrupted family life live in a chaotic or dysfunctional family have a history of domestic abuse within the family environment have a history of abuse (including familial child sexual abuse, risk of forced marriage, risk of ho

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Recognition - Some children are more vulnerable to CSE. Additional risk factors such as those listed below can make children easier to target or make it easier to build relationships that are exploitative.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Recognition - Warning signs can include the following:Health Evidence of drug, alcohol and/or substance use – abusers may use drugs and alcohol to help control children and young people. Unexplained physical injuries or suffering from physical injuries (e.g. bruising suggestive of either physical or s

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Related Documents and links - Department for Education (2012) What to do if you suspect a child is being sexually Exploited: A step-by-step guide for frontline practitioners   Barnardo’s. R-U-Safe? Department for Education (2009) Safeguarding children and young people from sexual exploitation Home Office (2015) Tac

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Recognition - Any child or young person may be at risk of sexual exploitation, regardless of their family background, ethnicity, or other circumstances. However, there are strong links between children involved in CSE and other behaviours such as absconding or going missing from home or care, missing ed

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Recognition - Professionals should recognise that young people at risk of, or victims of, CSE will also be affected by other issues and may come to the attention of other services as a result of these issues.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Type of Exploitation - This list is not exhaustive and there is no typical CSE case. It is crucial that professionals remain aware of the different forms CSE can take, including as technology and perpetrator tactics evolve over time. Professionals should also be aware that where CSE is the presenting issue there

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Type of Exploitation - Research has identified[1] a number of categories of CSE. While there is variation between research reports, the list below summarises the variety of forms that CSE can take. Inappropriate relationships: This usually involves one perpetrator who has inappropriate power or control over a ch

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Definition - Allegations of child sexual exploitation can also be made by adults and young people a long time after the abuse has occurred (see Delayed Reporting procedure).

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Response - In cases where CSE is perpetrated by another child, professionals should consider a safeguarding response for the perpetrator by following the usual procedures for responding to concerns of abuses and neglect.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Introduction - It should also be read in conjunction with the Buckinghamshire Strategy for Tackling CSE which sets out a Buckinghamshire vision for tackling CSE and provides further detail on the prevalence of CSE both nationally and locally.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Definition - CSE is a form of child abuse that is often hidden from sight, can be difficult to identify, and harder still to stop. CSE can happen to both girls and boys, and victims are found across all socio-economic and ethnic groups.

5.1 Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance

Footnotes - [1] For example, Barnardo’s, 2011. Puppet on a string: The urgent need to cut children free from sexual exploitation; University of Bedfordshire, 2011. What’s going on, and University of Bedfordshire, 2012. Research into gang-associated sexual exploitation and sexual violence [2] Firmi

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Definitions - The Palermo Protocol establishes children as a special case for whom there are only two components – movement and exploitation. Any child transported for exploitative reasons is considered to be a trafficking victim – whether or not s/he has been deceived, because it is not considered

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - It is important that appropriate steps are taken to minimise the possibility of the child going missing once a decision to return him or her to their country of origin has been made. Equally, the social worker may be best placed to reconcile the child to being returned, and in helping the

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - Whether an alleged trafficker is being prosecuted may be of relevance but the decision to identify a victim (either preliminary or conclusively) is not dependent on a conviction of the perpetrators, or on whether or not the victim cooperates in the criminal proceedings.

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - Decision makers need to be aware that all deliberations will be subject to rules of disclosure in any subsequent prosecution for trafficking. Where an individual is being treated by the police as a potential witness, regardless of whether they are likely to be found to be victims or not, c

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Particularly vulnerable groups of children - Trafficked children who are looked after A child who may be at risk from, or has been, trafficked, may be accommodated after initial information gathering (see Section 6.1.2). In these circumstances, children’s social care will care for the child as a looked after child. The child will h

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Particularly vulnerable groups of children - Missing children Research from ECPAT and CEOP suggests that significant numbers of children who are categorised as unaccompanied asylum seeking children have also been trafficked. Some of these children go missing (back into the care of the traffickers) before being properly identified as

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Introduction - This document provides guidance to professionals and volunteers from all agencies in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of trafficked and exploited children. Child trafficking is child abuse.

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Introduction - Trafficked children are at increased risk of significant harm because they are largely invisible to the professionals and volunteers who would be in a position to assist them. The adults who traffic them take trouble to ensure that the children do not come to the attention of the authoriti

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Definitions - Human trafficking is defined by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) guidelines (2006) as a process that is a combination of three basic components: movement (including within the UK). control, through harm / threat of harm or fraud for the purpose of exploitation

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Definitions - A child may be trafficked between several countries in the EU or globally, prior to being trafficked into/within the UK. The child may have entered the UK illegally or legally (i.e. with immigration documents), but the intention of exploitation underpins the entire process. Child victims m

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - In many cases, and with advice from their lawyers, trafficked children apply to the UKBA for asylum or for humanitarian protection. This is often because of the high risk they face of coming to harm if they are forced to return to their countries of origin. All such claims must be carefull

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Identifying trafficked and exploited children - Private fostering is defined in section 66 of the Children Act 1989. A private fostering arrangement arises when a child under 16 years (or under 18 if disabled) is to reside for more than 28 days in the care of someone who is not a parent, close relative, or someone with parental responsi

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Principles - The following principles should be adopted by all agencies in relation to identifying and responding to children (and unborn children) at risk of or having been trafficked: trafficking causes significant harm to children in both the short and long term; it constitutes sexual, physical and

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

The issues of child trafficking - Most children are trafficked for financial gain. This can include payment from or to the child’s parents, and can involve the child in debt-bondage to the traffickers. In most cases, the trafficker also receives payment from those wanting to exploit the child once in the UK. Some traffic

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

The issues of child trafficking - Traffickers recruit their victims using a variety of methods. Some children are abducted or kidnapped, although most children are trapped in subversive ways, e.g. children are promised education or what is regarded as respectable work – such as in restaurants or as domestic servants. par

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

The issues of child trafficking - Any port of entry into the UK might be used by traffickers. There is evidence that some children are trafficked via numerous transit countries and many may travel through other European Union countries before arriving in the UK. Some may have entered the UK legitimately under any category

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

The issues of child trafficking - Trafficking within the UK There is increasing evidence that children (both of UK and other citizenship) are being trafficked internally within the UK. Children may be trafficked internally for a variety of reasons, many of them similar to the reasons children are trafficked between countri

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - If the child does not qualify for asylum or humanitarian protection, and adequate reception arrangements are in place in the country of origin, the child will usually have to return. The process of returning the child should be handled sensitively and will require close co-operation betwee

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - The Guidance ‘Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: provides detailed recommended procedures for interviewing child witnesses. It considers planning interviews, decisions about whether the interview should be video recorded or a statement taken, preparing the witness for court

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - Children, who might agree to testify in a criminal case, fear that they will be discredited in court because they were coerced into lying on their visa applications or immigration papers.

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - Assessing the age of a victim of trafficking can be necessary because a child may have documents which are false or forged, or belong to another child, in order to make them appear younger or older. Children are groomed (coerced) to lie about their age by the adults trafficking and exploit

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Children at risk of, or experiencing, significant harm - Referral and information gathering The social worker should obtain as much information as possible from the referrer, including: The child’s name, dob, address, name of carer, address of carer if different, phone number, country of origin, home language and whether s/he speaks English, n

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

The National Referral Mechanism - In accordance with the requirements of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, the UK has a national referral mechanism for identifying and recording victims of trafficking and ensuring that they are provided with appropriate support wherever they ar

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

The National Referral Mechanism - In the first instance a frontline professional identifies that the child may be trafficked using the indicators set out above, and undertakes a safeguarding assessment, ensuring that this is in line with the 'information gathering' section of this guidance.

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

The National Referral Mechanism - In cases where the front line professional suspects that a child may have been trafficked, Children’s Social Care will refer the case to a competent authority by sending the child NRM referral form to UKHTC. This will be in addition to acting promptly before the child goes missing and in

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

The National Referral Mechanism - Once the case has been formally referred, the Competent Authority will consider the details supplied on the First Responder Form along with any other evidence and apply a ‘reasonable grounds’ test to consider if the statement “I suspect but cannot prove” that the person is a victim

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

The National Referral Mechanism - Following a positive reasonable grounds decision, Competent Authorities are required to make a second identification decision which is to conclusively decide if the individual is a victim of trafficking. As part of this decision, children’s social care will be consulted and are expected

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - The following services are likely to be necessary to address the child’s needs: appropriately trained and CRB checked independent interpreters counselling child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) independent legal advice medical services sexual health services education family

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - They will also need: professionals to be informed and competent in matters relating to trafficking and exploitation. someone to spend time with them to build up a level of trust. to be interviewed separately. Children will usually stick to their account and not speak until they feel comfor

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - Professionals should: consider interviewing children in school as they may feel more able to talk consider talking to children using the phone, e-mail, text ensure that carers are not in the proximity ensure that interpreters are agency approved and are CRB checked.

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - When the age of the victim is uncertain and there are reasons to believe that they are a child, either because the victim has stated they are under 18 years of age or there is documentation or information from statutory or specialist agencies that have raised concerns that they may be unde

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Identifying trafficked and exploited children - Indicators are symptoms of a situation. Clusters of indicators around a child can highlight concern which triggers a systematic assessment of their circumstances and experiences. There are a number of indicators which suggest that a child may have been trafficked into the UK, and may still

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Forced Marriage: Guidance Honour-Based Violence and Abuse: Guidance Migrant and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: Guidance Female Genital Mutilation: Procedure and Guidance 

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - Where there is concern that a child may have been trafficked and an age dispute arises, the child should be given the benefit of the doubt as to their age until his/her age is verified. This is in accordance with the Council of Europe Convention.

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - Age assessments should be Merton compliant (a term used to describe a local authority age assessment that has been conducted in accordance with the case law on age assessments and is therefore fair and lawful. The term derives from the Merton judgment of 2003 which gives ‘guidance as to

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - In circumstances where it is determined that a young victim of trafficking is an adult, professionals must follow their local Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) procedure, and also contact the UKHTC.

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - See section 6.1.10 Interview as part of Section 47 enquiries for guidance which is also relevant for interviewing children and their families/carers outside the Section 47 process.

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - Assessing the willingness and capacity of a child victim to support criminal proceedings at the earliest stage is critical to ensure their welfare and that the most appropriate measures are in place to provide the support they may need. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child requires

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - One of the key points to recognise is that the prosecution process itself, especially the trial, can be daunting and stressful for children. There are risks of re-traumatising the child or causing the child unnecessary worry and distress. While the child may not be in any danger as a witne

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - This also applies to the process of gathering information that might support care proceedings. Like victims of domestic abuse, the child is likely to fear reprisal from their traffickers and/or the adults with whom he or she was living in the UK if they co-operate with Children’s social

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children - For children trafficked from abroad, an additional level of anxiety may exist because of fear of reprisals against their family in their home country. They may also fear being deported, having entered the UK illegally. Trafficked children may also have been forced to commit criminal offenc

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Identifying trafficked and exploited children - All professionals who come into contact with children in their everyday work need to be able to identify children who may have been trafficked, and be competent to act to support and protect these children from harm. They should refer to BSCB child protection procedures. Whenever a profess

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Introduction - Should be used in conjunction with the BSCB procedures for responding to concerns of abuse and neglect’

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Identifying trafficked and exploited children - Children are unlikely to disclose they have been trafficked, as most do not have an awareness of what trafficking is or may believe they are coming to the UK for a better life, accepting that they have entered the country illegally. It is likely that the child will have been coached with a

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Identifying trafficked and exploited children

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Useful Links - •   Barnardos •   Protecting Children Everywhere •   International Centre for the Study of Sexually Exploited and Trafficked Young People •   PACE – Parents against child exploitation (previously known as CROP – The

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Issues to consider when working with trafficked children

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Children at risk of, or experiencing, significant harm

5.2 Trafficked and Exploited Children and Young People: Guidance

Information Gathering - Information gathering should include the child’s presenting behaviours and what s/he discloses together with any known information about the child’s circumstances, and expert advice about trafficked children. The expert advice (including identifying children, ensuring their safety, gai

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Sign and symptoms of gang involvement - It seems that the more heavily gang-involved a child is, the less likely she/he is to talk about it. However, if a child does talk about gang involvement, professionals should always take what the child tells them seriously.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Parental engagement - The exception to this is where professionals have concerns that to involve parents would risk further harm to a child or undermine a criminal investigation. If the parents are not invited, the reason should be recorded in the minutes of the meeting, together with a written undertaking that

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Looked after children - Professionals in all agencies who have contact with Looked After children should be alert to their increased vulnerability to being gang-involved, targeted by gangs or adversely affected by gang activity. These children could potentially be at risk of harm from serious youth violence.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Risk of harm to professionals - Professionals should be aware of any potential threats to their safety during interaction with a child and should make a decision on the suitability of a home visit. It may be more appropriate to interview the child and/or parents and carers in a neutral setting.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Looked after children - When looked after children are known to be involved with, or affected by, gangs, professionals need to take into account gang territory and gang membership when planning placements for Looked After children, to avoid placing a child in a situation which exposes him/her to serious youth vio

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Osman Warnings - If the police give an Osman Warning to a young person they should inform Children’s Social Care and consider whether: there is a need for immediate action regarding risk of significant harm the child should be referred for a common assessment

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Osman Warnings - A warning regarding threat to life, or an Osman Warning, is so named after the Osman v United Kingdom case (1998) which placed a positive obligation on the authorities to take preventive measures to protect an individual whose life is at risk from the criminal acts of another individual. I

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Parental engagement - Where there are difficulties in engaging with parents, staff should consider alternative ways of achieving co-operation, including the use of community organisations and/or community leaders to facilitate the work with parents/family.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Looked after children - At reviews, the Independent Reviewing Officer should recommend that a team manager convenes a multi-agency professionals or network meeting if there are concerns that a child may be vulnerable to gang involvement and/or serious youth violence. There needs to be clear lines of accountabilit

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Looked after children - All children’s homes should have access to a local professional with specialist knowledge in relation to gangs and serious youth violence, or a gangs and serious youth violence team.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Looked after children - Looked After Children cases will be managed in line with the Children’s Social Care Procedures for Looked After Children.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Education establishments - All education establishments can be affected by gang activity.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Looked after children - Looked After children are particularly vulnerable due to their low self-esteem, low resilience, attachment issues and the fact that they are often isolated from family and friends. There are risks specific to different types of placements, such as secure units, children’s homes, foster h

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Parental engagement - Wherever possible, professionals in all agencies should involve parents as early as possible in cases where there are concerns that a child may be affected by gang activity and serious youth violence. The child and his/her parents should be invited to any multi-agency meeting to discuss th

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Response - where there are concerns about a child that relate to gang activity, agencies should take timely action in accordance with this procedure to make sure appropriate help and support is provided at the earliest possible opportunity. A child could be: not gang involved, but at risk from becomi

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Community groups / voluntary agencies and faith groups - Gang-related ‘territorialism’ and serious youth violence can make community, voluntary or youth work difficult in any local area. In these circumstances, safe outreach work rather than building-based activities can be an effective way forward.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Community groups / voluntary agencies and faith groups - Community groups/voluntary agencies can be well placed to know the profile and location of local gang activity, and potential or actual serious youth violence, through their community links and the work they do to support children and their families. In addition, community workers and prof

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

House and social landlords - There is also a key role for the hostel/supported housing sector who may be accommodating the young people themselves. This includes 16/17-year-old ‘children in need’ who are accommodated under Section 20 of the Children Act, and whose circumstances may make them particularly vulnerabl

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang Involvement - A recent study of street crime confirms that much of it is primarily concerned with respect and recognition rather than monetary gain. Gang members will sometimes video their offences and post them on websites. While this renders them more vulnerable to prosecution (these sites can be a go

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang Involvement - In some circumstances, those who participate in group instigated violence are not known to be aggressive or anti-social. Rather, they can be children whose permissive parenting did not equip them to resist the group. Where violence develops, it can escalate very quickly in a contagious man

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Formation of gangs - Circumstances which can foster the emergence of gangs include: areas with a high level of social and economic exclusion and mobility (which weakens the ties of kinship and friendship, and the established mechanisms of informal control and social support) areas made up of predominantly soci

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Formation of gangs - Children may become reluctant gang members as a means of self-protection. Non-affiliation may mean that it is dangerous to use certain services or facilities (such as a further education college or the local park) that are either located in gang territory or where access is only possible b

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Children at risk of becoming serious violent offenders - Professionals who have contact with children should be competent in identifying the combinations of signs and symptoms which can place children at risk of becoming serious and violent offenders. Additional indicators for this include: Hyperactivity – the relationship between hyperactivit

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Weapons - Many children do not seek active involvement in gun crime and if they do use a gun are horrified by what they have done.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Children at risk of becoming serious violent offenders

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Community groups / voluntary agencies and faith groups

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Information sharing and intelligence - Police officers who interact daily with young people are often best placed to recognise signs that a young person may either already be a gang member or is at most risk of being recruited into a gang. A responsibility rests with all to ensure that intelligence around those affected by gang

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Information sharing and intelligence - Professionals should seek advice from their safeguarding lead if they are in any doubt as to whether or not information should be shared.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Sign and symptoms of gang involvement

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Use of the internet and mobile phones

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang associated sexual violence and exploitation

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Information sharing and intelligence - In considering whether to share information, professionals should also refer to the BSCB Information Sharing Code of Practice and the Government’s information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Information sharing and intelligence - All agencies are empowered to share information without permission for the purpose of crime prevention under Section 115 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, although obtaining consent is good practice.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Information sharing and intelligence - Staff in all agencies need to be confident and competent in sharing information appropriately to safeguard children who are at risk of harm through gang activity and/or serious youth violence.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Risk of harm to professionals - Agencies may need to consider putting in place protocols for managing risk of harm to professionals/staff in this context. All professionals should have access to competent and consistent risk management advice. It may be appropriate for security measures to be taken such as ensuring profe

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Weapons - Fear and a need for self-protection is a key motivation for children to carry weapons – carrying a weapon affords a child a feeling of power. Neighbourhoods with high levels of deprivation and social exclusion generally have the highest rates of gun and knife crime.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Weapons - Knives and other weapons are far more prevalent than firearms, especially in the case of children. The Offending, Crime and Justice Survey highlights that: 4% of children had carried a knife in the last 12 months less than 1% reported having carried a gun in the same period 85% of those wh

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Sign and symptoms of gang involvement - The framework in the Appendix provides greater detail around high, medium and low level risk factors and indicators.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Education establishments - Some primary schools report conflict between self-styled gang members. From time to time, gang-affiliated youngsters from secondary schools are summoned to a primary school by their younger brothers and sisters as reinforcements in the aftermath of an ‘inter-gang’ playground dispute.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Environmental Factors - Where children’s viewing is not regulated, they can readily access graphic violence, often with sexual content, through TV, the internet, on DVD and through playing age-inappropriate games.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

House and social landlords - Incidences of gang activity and/or serious youth violence are high-level concerns for social landlords and their residents in the neighbourhoods in which they manage properties.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

House and social landlords - Through their housing management function, social landlords are well placed to identify risk and to make a strong contribution to delivering positive outcomes across the range of preventive, enforcement and/or resettlement strategies.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Health - Health professionals may also come into contact with girls who they suspect may have been sexually exploited or abused, perhaps through Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinics, sexual health services and GPs. Professionals should be alert to a child’s likely reluctance and fear of discussi

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Health - Health professionals, in particular GPs and Accident and Emergency staff, may become concerned about a child’s involvement in serious youth violence due to injuries or wounds, particularly those caused by sharp instruments or knives.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Education establishments - These studies confirmed that children involved in anti-social behaviour and gangs tend to see academic striving as ‘uncool’ and, as a result, educational failure can come to be accepted as the norm amongst them.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Education establishments - In recent UK studies, almost two thirds of 23 active gang members interviewed had been permanently excluded from school, with the exclusions often resulting from gang involved and gang-affected children attempting to bring weapons onto school premises.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Education establishments - In some areas, further education colleges can be where gang activity and/or serious youth violence can gain momentum because, unlike schools, gangs are more likely to view further education colleges ‘as belonging’ to particular gangs. This ownership can give rise to incidents of seriou

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang associated sexual violence and exploitation - Gang members often groom girls at school and encourage/coerce them to recruit other girls through school/social networks. There is also anecdotal evidence that younger girls (some as young as 10 or 12) are increasingly being targeted, and these girls are often much less able to resist the

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Environmental Factors - Several factors are important contributors in potentially increasing an individual child’s propensity to act violently: exposure to media images of violence access to weapons involvement with alcohol and other drugs involvement in a gang.      

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang associated sexual violence and exploitation - Girls are often groomed using drugs and alcohol, which act as dis-inhibitors and also create dependency.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang associated sexual violence and exploitation - Female relatives of gang members could also be at particular risk of either being under pressure to have sex with gang members or of being the victim of sexual violence by another gang. Siblings are particularly at risk, but other members of the wider family may also be exploited in this w

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang associated sexual violence and exploitation - Please also refer to the BSCB  guidance on child sexual exploitation: Buckinghamshire Strategy for Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation Child Sexual Exploitation: Guidance Child Sexual Exploitation Aide Memoire – to help practitioners to identify the potential signs of child sexual exploi

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Use of the internet and mobile phones - The internet has increasingly become a key recruitment tool to help gangs expand, both in terms of territory and the number of members in each gang. Young members typically use mobile phones to conduct drug transactions and arrange meetings.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Use of the internet and mobile phones - Gang leaders actively reach out through popular online services to create a new generation of gang members. They describe gang life as glamorous and seductive. Recruiters tell of a life of power, leisure and wealth, and instant gratification, as well as a ‘family’ and sense of belongin

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Use of the internet and mobile phones - Feedback from young gang members in London is consistent with this: “I don’t see it as being in a gang; it’s more like being in a family.” (Roxy, age 15, member of 2 London gangs)

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Use of the internet and mobile phones - For the most part, gangs use popular social media sites: Facebook, YouTube, SnapChat, Instagram and Twitter. The videos and photos posted may just be about their lives, but frequently include documentation of crimes they want to brag about. The sites are also used to convey threats and to

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Sign and symptoms of gang involvement - Children as young as seven years old can be involved in a gang. Professionals who have contact with children should be competent in identifying the signs and symptoms which, particularly when clustered together, can raise concerns that a child may be either reluctantly or willingly involve

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Sign and symptoms of gang involvement - Indicators include: being withdrawn from their family. sudden loss of interest in school, and/or 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 ‘switche

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Environmental Factors - Exposure to media images of violence increases a child’s fear of becoming a victim of violence, with a resultant increase in self-protective behaviours and a mistrust of others.[3] It desensitises the child to violence, resulting in increased callousness towards violence directed at othe

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Serious Youth Violence - The majority of children do not become violent, and those that do tend not to become violent in a short space of time. For the latter, their behaviour represents many years of (increasingly) anti-social and aggressive acts, with aggressive habits learned early in life often the foundation

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Weapons - It is illegal for any shop to sell a knife of any kind (including cutlery and kitchen knives) to anyone under the age of 18. It is generally an offence to carry a knife in public without good reason or lawful authority (for example, a good reason is a chef on the way to work carrying their

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang associated sexual violence and exploitation - Very few incidents of sexual violence by gang members are reported, with girls being extremely reluctant to identify their attackers, and often intimidated and threatened not to talk.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

'Stop and search' powers - Police officers have the right to search any person where there is a reasonable high level of suspicion of an offence, including carrying an offensive weapon. A reasonable or high level of suspicion is required before search powers can be evoked.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

'Stop and search' powers - Professionals working with children who may have reason to be fearful in their neighbourhood or school/further education, college etc should be alert to the possibility that a child may carry a weapon.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Alcohol and drugs - The use of alcohol and illegal drugs can play a major role in violence involving young people. Children and young people’s use of drugs can bring them into contact with adults who are involved in organised crime, supplying drugs. The drugs business tends to attract career criminals who r

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Information sharing and intelligence

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang associated sexual violence and exploitation - Sexual violence incorporates any behaviour that is perceived to be of a sexual nature, which is unwanted or takes place without consent or understanding. It is a wider concept than that of child sexual exploitation.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang associated sexual violence and exploitation - Child sexual exploitation is: The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affectio

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang associated sexual violence and exploitation - A common feature of child sexual exploitation is that the child or young person does not recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation. Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse, but what differentiates it from oth

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang associated sexual violence and exploitation - The majority of gang members are male, although there are a number of female gangs. Members or female gang Girls are more likely to be subservient in predominantly male gangs, often being used to carry or stash weapons and drugs.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang associated sexual violence and exploitation - In some localities female members of gangs are often on the receiving end of violence and extortion, and their relationships with other gang members tend to be abusive. Initiation rituals are sometimes based on sexual violence, with female members of their own gang or, more often, on the f

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang associated sexual violence and exploitation - An American study of gang behaviour concluded that group sexual assault (and other types of assault) mainly occurs in an environment where group behaviour and acceptance is important to the young men involved. An individual who might otherwise not have perpetrated a sexual assault, may do

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Principles - The following principles should be adopted by all agencies in relation to identifying and responding to children (and unborn children) who are at risk of, or are being, affected by gang activity and/or serious youth violence: Children who are harmed and children who harm should both be tre

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Gang associated sexual violence and exploitation - Sexual exploitation may be evident in gangs in the following forms: Inter-gang exploitation – punishment/retribution/threat or ad hoc and opportunistic. Intra-gang exploitation – punishment, set up scenarios or the initiation of males.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Introduction - This guidance is for frontline staff and managers working in both voluntary and statutory agencies. It will also be helpful for individuals in Buckinghamshire’s local communities and community groups, who also have a role in identifying and safeguarding children who are vulnerable to, or

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Introduction - This guidance supplements the Home Office guidance ‘Safeguarding Children and Young People who may be affected by gang activity’ (2010) and should be read in conjunction with the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board Core Procedures.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Local Profile - Information from Thames Valley Police in 2016 reveals there are a small number of gangs in existence across Buckinghamshire, with the majority based in the Wycombe area. Historically, there has been a higher number of gangs across the area, however, due to police enforcement and interventi

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Local Profile - Gangs tend to consist of young people (who can be as young as 10 years old) and are geographically specific. Within Buckinghamshire, most gang activity is located within High Wycombe, with 3–4 gangs. Local gangs tend to consist of young people drawn from a range of ethnic backgrounds, mo

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Definition of a gang - Defining what constitutes a ‘gang’ can be difficult, partly because its characteristics are known to change over time and locality. Being part of a friendship group is a normal part of growing up and it can be common for groups of children and young people to gather together in public

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Definition of a gang - Although some group gathering can lead to increased anti-social behaviour and youth offending, these activities should not be confused with the serious and organised violence of a gang.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Definition of a gang - Hallsworth and Young[1], and Gordon[2] set out the following definitions: Peer group: a small, unorganised, transient group of children who ‘hang out together’ in public places such as shopping centres. Crime is not integral to their self-definition. Winnable group: includes children w

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Definition of a gang - Gordon also suggests that definitions may need to be highly specific to particular areas or neighbourhoods if they are to be useful. Furthermore, professionals should not seek to apply this or any other definition of a gang too rigorously; if a child or others think s/he is involved with,

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Definition of a gang - The diagram below sets out a tiered approach to defining gangs. This guidance is focused on those young people on the periphery of becoming involved with street gangs and those young people already involved.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Alcohol and drugs - Children often carry drugs (or weapons and stolen property) for the older gang members, so that they can be stopped and searched with impunity. Children are also known to serve jail terms for older gang members.

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Appendix - Appendix 1: Risk Assessment Framework

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Child sexual exploitation

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Bibliography - London Safeguarding Board. Safeguarding children affected by gang activity and/or serious youth violence. 2010 Victim Support, Hoodie or Goodie? The Link Between Violent Victimisation and Youth Offending: A Research Report. 2007 Victim support publications and research reports Goode, E and

5.3 Gang Activity and Youth Violence: Guidance

Footnotes - [1] Hallsworth, S and Young, T. Getting Real About Gangs, Criminal Justice Matters 2004 (55) 12-13 [2] Gordon, R. Criminal Business Organisations, Street Gangs and “Wanna Be” Groups: A Vancouver perspective. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice 2000. vol. 42 [3] Joint S

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Importance of working in partnership - Substance misuse professionals must identify those adults who are parents, or who have regular care-giving access to children, and share the information with Children’s Social Care as early as possible.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Importance of working in partnership - Where safeguarding concerns are identified, all professionals should follow the advice set out in What to do if you have a Concern. Information should be shared in line with this procedure and the Buckinghamshire Multi-Agency Information Sharing Code of Practice. Effective and timely infor

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Importance of working in partnership - It is important that services working with adults recognise the potential risks of adult substance misuse to children.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Babies withdrawing from substances - Children’s Social Care should be informed by hospital staff as early as possible prior to discharge.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - If a woman does drink during pregnancy, alcohol passes freely through the placenta and so can affect the growing baby right the way through until birth. A baby’s liver is one of the last organs to develop and does not mature until the latter stages of pregnancy. The unborn baby cannot pr

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Babies withdrawing from substances - This discussion will need to decide and plan: the assessments to be initiated, including whether or not to initiate a Section 47 enquiry whether it is safe for the baby to be discharged/remain at home health and Children’s Social Care plans to provide support and monitor progress arrange

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Babies withdrawing from substances - Unless the baby is already the subject of a Child Protection Plan, a strategy discussion should be held with the CAIU, medical professionals and any other relevant professionals.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Babies withdrawing from substances - If a baby is born suffering from withdrawal symptoms or Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, and this is unexpected, the midwife must refer the baby to Children’s Social Care immediately. In these cases, the baby has suffered significant harm and normal child protection procedures apply (see Neglect

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Importance of working in partnership - Meetings in adult services regarding drug or alcohol misusing parents must include consideration of any needs of, or risks to, children concerned. Children’s Social Care must be given the opportunity to contribute to such discussions.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Babies withdrawing from substances - If it is known that a baby is going to be born with neonatal abstinence syndrome or evidence of drug toxicity, pre-birth planning will have taken place (see Pre-birth procedure) and there should be a Child in Need Plan or a Child Protection Plan in place.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Importance of working in partnership - Children’s Social Care, substance misuse services and other relevant agencies must undertake a multi-agency assessment including specialist substance misuse and other assessments, to determine whether or not parents with substance misuse problems can care adequately for their child/child

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Importance of working in partnership - All care programme meetings for adults who are parents must include ongoing assessment of the needs or risk factors for the child/children concerned.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Importance of working in partnership - Children’s Social Care should be invited to and contribute to such meetings if appropriate.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Importance of working in partnership - Strategy meetings/discussions, child protection conferences and core group meetings must include workers from any drug and alcohol service involved with the subject child and their family.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - The Department of Health recommends that women should avoid alcohol altogether during pregnancy. NHS Guidance reflects that experts remain unsure exactly how much, if any, alcohol is completely safe to drink when pregnant and so recommends that the safest approach is not to drink any. No

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Related guidance - Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (2003) Hidden Harm: Responding to the needs of children of problem drug users Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (2007) Hidden Harm: Three Years On: Realities, Challenges and Opportunities Local Safeguarding Children Boards (2011) Joint Working

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - If significant harm seems likely and/or the mother continues to misuse substances, or is unwilling to engage with the substance misuse services, a referral to Children’s Social Care must be made (also see the Pre-birth procedure).

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - The midwife should ensure appropriate screening is undertaken in line with local procedures, and test results should be available in hospital notes.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - It is important not to delay making a referral to Children’s Social Care in order to: ensure that maternity services can provide appropriate antenatal services and liaise with drug and/or alcohol treatment agencies allow sufficient time to make adequate plans for the baby’s protection

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - If Children’s Social Services are not involved, the obstetrician, midwife or GP should ask the mother to consent to liaise with them. If the woman does not consent, staff should consider whether the extent of substance misuse is likely to pose risk of significant harm to her unborn baby.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Indicators - Substance misuse may affect a parent’s ability to engage with their child and their ability to control their emotions. Severe mood swings and angry outbursts may confuse and frighten a child, hindering healthy development and control of their own emotions. Such parents may even become de

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Risks - Services for children and adults will need to work together to tackle the problems caused by substance misuse in families in order to safeguard children and promote their well-being. Support and intervention should be holistic and consider the needs of all family members.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Risks - Where there is concern that a parent is involved in substance misuse, the impact on the child needs to be considered, including: the child’s physical safety when the parent is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol chronic neglect, which children can suffer from before birth and thr

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Indicators - This section outlines a number of potential indicators which may be present. However, it is important not to generalise or make assumptions about the impact on a child of parental substance misuse. Only a full assessment will identify the level of risk.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Indicators - If a parent (or carer) is concerned with funding an addiction, or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this may impact their ability meet their child’s basic needs. Whilst some users are high-functioning even with significant addiction, a disorganised lifestyle is a frequent conse

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - The adverse effects of alcohol consumption on the developing foetus represent a spectrum of physical, behavioural and neurocognitive impairments and the risks are greater the more alcohol is consumed. The term Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is used to describe the problems a baby has as a r

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - Alcohol consumption is associated with infertility, miscarriage and still birth. Drinking, particularly during the first three months of pregnancy, increases the risk of premature birth and low birth weight.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Indicators - Other consequences of substance misuse can (but do not always) include lost jobs, unsafe homes, broken marriages, severed family ties and friendships, and disruption of efforts made by a local authority to help. Where these exist, they are also likely to negatively affect a child.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Risks - The circumstances surrounding dependent, heavy or chaotic substance misuse may inhibit responsible childcare. For example, substance misuse may lead to poor physical health or to mental health problems, financial problems and a breakdown in family support networks. Substance misuse may als

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Indicators - Any professionals, carers, volunteers, family or friends who are in contact with a child in a substance-misusing environment must ask themselves: ‘What is it like for a child in this environment?’.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Action to be taken - Professionals who are concerned about the children of parents (or carers) who misuse substances should follow the BSCB's Neglect Guidance. Professionals should use risk assessment to assess the extent to which substance misuse is likely to be impacting on the unborn child or on the ability

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Action to be taken - Where a referral is deemed by Children’s Social Care to meet the threshold for level 3, appropriate action will be taken to assign this to the most appropriate agency to lead a coordinated, multi-agency, Early Help response to meet the needs of the whole family. This may be done via the

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Action to be taken - Where the child/children are deemed to be suffering, or are at risk of suffering, significant harm (level 4), statutory safeguarding processes will be followed, led by Children’s Social Care. Relevant agencies will be involved in the initial assessment and strategy meeting, which will de

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - Substance misuse in pregnancy can have serious effects on the health and development of the child before and after birth. Not every woman who uses substances will need additional support or a referral to specialist services. Many other factors affect pregnancy outcomes, including poverty,

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - Women who experience problems with substances don’t always realise that they are pregnant until later in the pregnancy – their periods may have stopped and they may have believed they couldn’t get pregnant. They may present and book late to maternity services, and be fearful of being

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Risks - Children may be introduced to drug and alcohol misuse at an early age by the behaviour of the parent and the availability of the substances within the home.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Risks - Parents who misuse substances may be good enough parents who do not abuse or neglect their children, and it is important not to generalise or make assumptions about the impact on a child of parental substance misuse. However, it is important that the implications for the child are properly

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Definition - Substance misuse is the problematic use of alcohol and/or drugs. While there are different treatment methodologies for adults with these problems, they are considered together because the consequences for the child are quite similar.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - It is important not to make generalisations and to consider the nature, type and frequency of the substance misuse, and the stage of pregnancy. Where appropriate, services should arrange a multi-disciplinary meeting to review the extent of the woman’s substance use, including type of dru

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

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

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Risks - Children’s physical, emotional, social, intellectual and developmental needs can be adversely affected because of their parent’s (or carer’s) misuse of substances. These effects may be through acts of omission or commission, which then have an impact on the child’s welfare and prot

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Definition - Throughout this document reference is made to parents or carers who misuse substances. Professional should also be alert to situations where older siblings within a household may be misusing substances. This may put other children at risk, in particular where the older sibling is left in c

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Definition - Domestic abuse, parental mental illness, and drug and alcohol misuse have been identified in serious case reviews and domestic homicide reviews as significant factors in families where children have died or been seriously harmed. Where all three issues are present, they are often described

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Definition - Many substance-misusing adults also suffer from mental health problems. This may be referred to as ‘dual diagnosis’. However, mental health problems may go undiagnosed because substance or alcohol use is masking the symptoms, or because they render a proper diagnosis not possible.

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Definition - Substance misuse usually refers to someone who inappropriately uses or is dependent on illicit drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs or solvents; and their use of these is associated with having a harmful effect on the individual, their family or the community. However, professionals should b

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - Professionals providing care for pregnant women should ask sensitively, but routinely, about all substance use, prescribed and non-prescribed, legal and illegal, including alcohol. If it emerges that a woman may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, she (and her partner) should be encoura

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - Drug use during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of miscarriage and pre-term labour, low birth weight babies and stillbirths. Stimulants (e.g. crack) can cause an increased risk of placental abruption. (The placenta normally separates from the wall of the uterus after the baby h

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Substance misuse in pregnancy - Although full information is not available on all of the longer term effects of drug use during pregnancy, different drugs are associated with a range of potential impacts including different types of behavioural and learning difficulties. As with alcohol misuse, the impact on some babies

6.1 Children Living in Households where there is substance misuse: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Pre-birth Procedure

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Response - If a professional is unclear about the action they should take, they should speak to their line manager, designated safeguarding lead or seek advice from First Response. There should be no delay in taking action. Where there is immediate risk of harm to a child, call 999.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Response - Where the referral is deemed by Children’s Social Care to meet the threshold for level 3, appropriate action will be taken to assign this to the most appropriate agency to lead a coordinated, multi-agency, Early Help response to meet the needs of the whole family. This may be done via th

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Response - Where the child/children are deemed to be suffering, or are at risk of suffering, significant harm (level 4), statutory safeguarding processes will be followed, led by Children’s Social Care. Relevant agencies will be involved in the initial assessment and strategy meeting, which will de

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Agency assessments information sharing

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Training - Specialist DVA training is also provided through Buckinghamshire County Council.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The Police - Police are often the first point of contact with victims and they (or any other agency that becomes aware of DVA) should safeguard the victim and: ascertain whether there are any children living in the household or if the victim is pregnant make a preliminary determination of the degree of

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Training - DVA training is provided by the BSCB for all child protection leads, designated staff and other identified personnel. DVA training should be accessed by all identified child protection leads. This includes designated teachers and nominated key staff within children's/young people’s servi

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Assessment process - Opportunities should be provided for both partners to be interviewed separately, and in a safe setting.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Response - The decision about where a child’s needs fit within the thresholds document will depend on a number of factors, including: the age and vulnerability of the child the number of previous incidents whether there have been any previous serious incidents/escalation in frequency and/or severit

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Response - Consultation with Children’s Social Care (First Response) can be undertaken to establish if there is any previous knowledge of the family.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Response - Significant harm can occur where there is a single event, such as a violent assault. However, more often, significant harm is identified when there have been a number of events which have compromised the child’s physical and psychological wellbeing. 

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Response - Where there is DVA in families with a child under 12 months old (including an unborn child), even if the child was not present, professionals should make a referral to Children's Social Care if there is any single incident of DVA.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Response - Any decision (and its rationale) not to refer or consult with Children's Social Care must be recorded.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The Police - At all DVA calls the attending officer will complete a form Dom 5 – a risk assessment form detailing all persons present and children in the household. Where there are children under the age of 18 years in the household, the officer will then send a copy of the attendance form to the Mul

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The Police - The police will apply a jointly agreed triage process by which the safeguarding of the child will be reviewed. The police assessor will be aided by access to the child social care system and give due regard to the threshold document before determining the appropriateness of a referral to C

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The Police - Children’s Social Care response to police notification Following consultation of agency history, Children's Social Care must decide how to respond to each communication of DVA The Children's Social Care duty manager may decide to treat the communication as 'information and advice' only i

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Child and family assessment / section 47 enquiries - Normally one serious or several lesser incidents of DVA where there is a child in the household indicate that Children’s Social Care should carry out an assessment of the child and family, including consulting existing records.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Child and family assessment / section 47 enquiries - An assessment should also be considered, by the Children's Social Care duty manager, for lesser incidents where there are possible concerns about the welfare of the children or where the family is high risk on the police assessment.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Child and family assessment / section 47 enquiries - Where the family refuse to cooperate with an assessment, consideration should be given to undertaking a Section 47 enquiry. Circumstances where a Section 47 enquiry should be undertaken include where: a child has experienced harm during any domestic violence or abuse incident (even if inad

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Child and family assessment / section 47 enquiries - Whenever a Child and Family Assessment or Section 47 enquiry is undertaken, there must be liaison with all agencies involved with the family and the child/children.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Assessment process - Many victims of domestic violence and abuse feel unable to disclose its existence or severity. The following issues should be discussed with the alleged victim as part of any assessment: severity, frequency and history of any abuse, threats etc circumstances of the abuse and if compounded

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Buckinghamshire DVA champion's network - Those interested in becoming Champions should visit the website and sign up using the electronic form. An email will then be sent to their manager informing them that they wish to become a Champion, and that this requires buy-in via returning a confirmation email.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Assessment process - The alleged victim of abuse should be advised of the availability of legal advice and the options available through the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and the Family Law Act 1996 Part IV.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Assessment process - The interview with the alleged perpetrator of the abuse should be planned carefully between the worker and their line manager. Care must be taken not to disclose addresses or other potentially sensitive information, or make unsafe contact arrangements.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Assessment process - If there is an acknowledgement of abuse, the interview should clarify the points above. Where there is no acknowledgement of abuse and it is not possible to share the victim's account, there should be a general discussion about the child/children's welfare.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Assessment process - The child/children should be interviewed (if of sufficient age and understanding) and their experiences explored. It is important to consider the possibility that a child may have experienced direct abuse her/himself and/or may be inhibited from disclosing concerns due to fear of (further)

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Intervention - If a Child Protection Conference is held, consideration will be given to any need to exclude the violent partner for part or all of the meeting.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Intervention - The local authority may pursue legal options of: relocation of alleged perpetrators of abuse and if necessary relocation of victim and child/children injunctions attached to a Prohibited Steps Order exclusion conditions attached to an Emergency Protection Order and Interim Care Order an in

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) and independent domestic violence advisors (IDVAS) - MARAC The MARAC is a multi-agency meeting that provides safety planning for high-risk DVA victims and their families, through formulation of a risk management plan, to ensure a joined-up approach to intervention to keep them safe. The Committee sits once a month for the north of the county

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) and independent domestic violence advisors (IDVAS) - IDVAs Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) provide primary and essential support to the MARAC. The IDVA service is available to all sectors of the community aged over 16 who are assessed to be at medium risk of DVA, including those from minority ethnic groups, forced marriage, ho

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Domestic violence - Domestic Violence Protection Orders Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) were implemented across England and Wales in 2014. They provide protection to victims by enabling the police and magistrates to put in place protection in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Domestic violence - Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (‘Clare’s Law’) The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS; also known as ‘Clare’s Law’) commenced in England and Wales in 2014. The DVDS gives members of the public a formal mechanism to make enquires about an individual who they are i

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Buckinghamshire DVA champion's network - Buckinghamshire DVA Champions are typically front-line agency practitioners. These include employees from the police, social care, health, schools, children’s centres and housing. Professionals who are part of the Champion’s Network function as part of a virtual team to raise awareness

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Buckinghamshire DVA champion's network - All Champions receive free training (usually two days). The training includes: the local picture in Buckinghamshire regarding support agencies and programmes strategies for victims, families and perpetrators why victims stay and how to support them the different types of perpetrator the di

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Buckinghamshire DVA champion's network - Champions will also be invited to quarterly DVA Champion Network Meetings in which the usual schedule allows a guest speaker and then an hour of all Champions’ feeding back on best practice within the field. Further information is available.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Child and family assessment / section 47 enquiries

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The adult - Practitioners should be aware that many victims will find it difficult to disclose DVA and seek support. Some victims potentially face additional difficulty in disclosing abuse, for instance: older or disabled victims, including those with learning disabilities, may be dependent on the abu

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The child - It should be noted that the Adoption and Children Act 2002 broadens the definition of significant harm to include the emotional harm suffered by those children who witness DVA or are aware of DVA within their home environment.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The child - While there are no absolute criteria on which to rely when judging what constitutes significant harm, consideration of the severity of ill treatment may include: the degree and extent of physical harm the duration and frequency of abuse or neglect the extent of premeditation the degree of

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The child - An unborn child is at risk of injury because violence towards women increases both in severity and frequency during pregnancy, and often involves punches or kicks directed at the women’s abdomen.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The child - In almost one third of cases, DVA begins or escalates during pregnancy, and it is associated with increased rates of miscarriage, premature birth, foetal injury and foetal death (Department of Health, 2009). Staff providing antenatal services need to be alert to, and competent in recognisi

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The adult - Possible indicators of domestic violence and abuse in an adult include: evidence of single or repeated injuries with unlikely explanations frequent use of prescribed tranquillisers or pain medication injuries to the breast, chest and abdomen, especially during pregnancy evidence of sexual

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The adult - When a victim is not being seen alone, staff should also be alert to the following combination of signals: the victim waits for her/his partner to speak first the victim glances at her/his partner each time she/he speaks, checking her/his reaction the victim smoothes over any conflict the

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The adult - Victims will want the abuse to stop, but may want to save the relationship.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The child - If not directly injured, children are greatly distressed by witnessing the physical and emotional suffering of a parent, which can lead to anxiety and distress, often resulting in: behavioural issues low self-esteem depression absenteeism ill health bullying antisocial or criminal behaviou

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The adult - Victims are at a significantly increased risk at the point of leaving, or having recently left a violent partner, and may need support and safety planning. Most homicides relating to DVA take place at the point of separation or in the following few months.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The adult - Dealing with the abuse is a complex process that will take time to resolve in a way that is effective in the long term, and there may be repeated requests for help. A victim will need continuing support and the full range of services each time, not less. Victims may experience a cycle in r

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) and independent domestic violence advisors (IDVAS)

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The adult - A parent and child/children fleeing from DVA may require a significant level of support as they may be: experiencing problems with housing, finance and employment isolated from usual family support or community networks, especially if they moved/were placed outside their home area struggli

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Agency assessments information sharing - Any agency assessment should consider the possibility of DVA and ensure organisational responses safeguard both the child/children and non-abusing parent.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Agency assessments information sharing - Health professionals are often the only agency that has involvement with a family, so they have significant opportunities for direct contact and observation of families to enable them to detect potential risks to vulnerable babies. Practitioners should use evidence from their direct observ

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The child - DVA can have a negative impact on the victim's ability to look after her/his child/children as a result of physical assaults and/or psychological abuse. The child may also be drawn into the abuse or pressurised into concealing the assaults.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The child - DVA can have a serious impact on a child's development and emotional well-being. Significant harm to the child as a result of DVA may arise from physical injury during an incident, either by accident or because they attempt to intervene.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Agency assessments information sharing - Multi-agency work and information sharing is crucial in safeguarding children and adults in situations of DVA.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Definition - In 2013 the Government definition of DVA was widened to include those aged 16–17, and the wording changed to reflect coercive control. The definition includes ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to o

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Forced Marriage Honour-Based Violence Female Genital Mutilation Buckinghamshire Domestic Abuse Strategy

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Introduction - Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) is a broad description of situations that develop within the home/family environment where power is exercised to the detriment of one party.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Introduction - Where there is DVA, the well-being of any children in the household must be protected. All agencies must ensure their staff, carers and volunteers are fully aware of the extent and nature of the impact domestic abuse can have on children. Any individual organisations’ policies and proced

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Introduction - DVA can happen to anyone, but research and crime statistics consistently indicate that is a gendered issue which disproportionately affects females. There are several risk factors for becoming a victim of DVA, which include age and pregnancy. Women in younger age groups, in particular thos

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Introduction - DVA rarely exists in isolation and there are many complexities. For example, DVA may exacerbate or lead to other issues such as mental or physical health concerns, substance misuse or family breakdown. Similarly, issues such as these will in some instances be factors in DVA happening. Ever

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Introduction - A child may be the victim of DVA through exposure to DVA or through their own involvement in an abusive relationship. For example, a young person may be involved in a relationship with a violent girlfriend/boyfriend who may be an adult or a young person (aged 16 or over).

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Definition - Definition of DVA (note this is not a legal definition): Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The child - Research on the effects of abuse and neglect on child development has shown that babies up to 18 months of age are particularly vulnerable to developing damaged and insecure attachments to their parents when the parents are in a volatile relationship with DVA. An understanding of these ris

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Definition - Controlling behaviour: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape, and regulating t

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Definition - Coercive behaviour: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The child - Where there is DVA, the implications for the children and young people in the household must be considered because research indicates a strong link between DVA and all types of child abuse and neglect.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The child - Prolonged or regular exposure to DVA can have a serious impact on a child's development and emotional well-being, despite the best efforts of the victim’s parent to protect the child.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The child - DVA within a household is associated with an increased risk of child abuse, death and serious injury for children and young people, and the risk for young babies in environments where there is DVA is a recurring theme in Serious Case Reviews (Brandon et al, 2009).

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

The child - The potentially unresponsive and neglectful parenting that can be a feature of an abusive relationship between parents presents a risk to babies, children and young people. 

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Agency assessments information sharing - There is a need for coordination between the different aspects of health provision involved with the safeguarding of babies, particularly on the transfer of care between midwifery services, health visitors and GPs. 

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Response - Where children are involved, all professionals should follow the advice set out in the BSCB's Neglect Guidance. Information should be shared in line with this procedure and the Buckinghamshire Code of Practice for Sharing Personal Information. Effective and timely information sharing will

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Response - Each case should be judged on its own merits, and while consent is always desirable, there are times when best practice is to share information/make referrals, even when this is initially without the knowledge of the parties involved or contrary to their wishes. Where a child is suffering,

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Response - On notification/disclosure/suspicion of DVA within a family, all agencies must immediately consult existing records and consider what else is known of the family and any previous domestic incidents.

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Response - Where the level of need has met level 3 or 4 of the thresholds, a referral should be made to Children’s Social Care using the Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF).

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

References - Brandon, M et al. (2009) Understanding Serious Case Reviews and their Impact: A Biennial Analysis of Serious Case Reviews 2005-7 Department of Health (2009) Improving safety, reducing harm: children, young people and domestic violence. A practical toolkit for front-line practitioners Harry

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Agency assessments information sharing - It is vital to adequately assess the heightened risks for babies that arise from DVA in the home. When assessing the risk relating to DVA, the unborn child must be considered as a victim and as a child who was present. Consideration must also be given to young people who may themselves be

6.2 Domestic Violence and Abuse: Guidance and Procedure

Buckinghamshire DVA champion's network

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Possible effects of parental mental III health - Parents with mental ill health may neglect their own and their children’s physical, emotional and social needs. Their children may have caring responsibilities, which are inappropriate to their age and may have an adverse effect on their development. Some forms of mental ill health may b

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to adult mental health services - A past history of mental health problems will not necessarily mean a referral is required; this will depend on what the particular diagnosis was, current mental state, how long an individual has been stable and the level of support at home.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Context and aims - The National Biennial Review of Serious Case Reviews (2003–2005) reported that 53% involved parents with mental health problems. In these cases the mental illness of the parent had a significant impact on their parenting capacity, resulting in the death or serious injury of the children.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to adult mental health services - Concerns should be discussed with the person’s GP in order to agree the most appropriate course of action. It would be usual practice for the GP to assess the client in the first instance and make a referral to mental health services if appropriate. However, in some circumstances another

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Context and aims - However, the impact of parental mental health problems can, on some occasions, lead to children and families needing additional support; or, in a small number of cases, support and multi-agency action to prevent significant harm.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Principles - The guidance is underpinned by the following principles: Parents have a right to confidentiality. However, where there are concerns about the welfare of a child, these must take precedence. Children are usually best brought up within their own families and support should be provided to ena

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Principles - The following set of questions are designed to guide decision making about how best to meet the needs of children and adults in families experiencing mental health problems: Are they receiving services for the mental health condition? Do they have children? If so, record details including

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Possible effects of parental mental III health - The stigma and oppression associated with mental ill health can impair parenting capacity and children can carry the burden of covering for parental behaviour. Children may be reluctant to talk about family problems or seek support.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to adult mental health services - If there is an imminent danger to the person or others, including a child, the police must be contacted. Staff must ensure that their decision and agreed course of action is fully and accurately documented, signed and dated.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Possible effects of parental mental III health - At the extreme, a child may be at risk of severe injury, profound neglect or even death.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Possible effects of parental mental III health - Parental mental ill health will be less likely to have an adverse effect on a child when: the ill health is mild or short-lived there is another parent or family member who can help there is no other family disharmony the child has wider support from extended family, friends, teachers or o

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Context and aims - The procedure should be applied whenever there are concerns about the well-being or safety of children whose parents or carers have mental health needs, specifically where these difficulties are impacting, or are likely to impact, on their ability to meet the needs of their children. This

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Possible effects of parental mental III health - Children most at risk of significant harm are those who: feature within parental delusions (i.e. false beliefs) are built into the parent’s suicidal plans become targets of parental aggression or rejection are being profoundly neglected physically and/or emotionally as a result of the pa

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Possible effects of parental mental III health - The following factors may impact parenting capacity and increase concerns that a child may have suffered, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm: history of mental health problems with an impact on the sufferer’s functioning maladaptive coping strategies misuse of drugs, alcohol or

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to adult mental health services - If there is concern about the mental health needs of a parent/carer, the GP should be contacted in the first instance, to ensure that the full background is obtained regarding any existing or previous diagnosis of mental illness, and previous or current treatment or referrals.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Possible effects of parental mental III health - A significant history of violence is a risk indicator for children, as is parental non- compliance with services and treatment.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Dual diagnosis - In addition, both the triennial review (2011-14) and previous biennial reviews of Serious Case Reviews have shown that the three issues of domestic abuse, parental mental ill health, and alcohol or substance misuse are not the only parental risk factors that may contribute to cumulative ri

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Context and aims - This procedure has been written to improve the coordination and communication between all agencies in Buckinghamshire engaged with children and families and parents who have mental health needs.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to adult mental health services

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Appendix - Decision-making Flowchart This flowchart is relevant to all services in Buckinghamshire which are treating or providing any kind of service to parents, carers or pregnant women with mental health problems.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance - Neglect Guidance Pre-birth procedures and Guidance Information Sharing Code of Practice

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Possible effects of parental mental III health

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to children's social care

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to children's social care - A referral to Children's Social Care for an initial assessment or pre-birth assessment should always be made if a parent, carer or pregnant woman is considered to have significant mental health problems, as indicated by the triggers given below. A referral should always be discussed with a

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Resolution of disputes and differences

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Related guidance and further information - NSPCC, Parenting with a mental health problem Ofsted (2013) What about the children? Social Care Institute for Excellence. Think child, think parent, think family: A guide to parental mental health and child welfare Royal College of Psychiatrists (2011) Parents as Patients: supporting

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to children's social care - In any instance where there is a concern about the welfare of a child, professionals should consult the BSCB Thresholds document and follow the advice set out in should follow the BSCB's Neglect Guidance.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to adult mental health services - Triggers that may indicate a referral to adult mental health services for initial assessment is needed are listed below. However, this is not an exhaustive list and is provided to assist professional decision-making. recent history of assessment and treatment by secondary adult mental heal

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to children's social care - If there is an imminent danger to the person or others, including a child, the police must be contacted.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Joint working - There is an expectation in adult mental health teams that an experienced member of the clinical team will be involved with parental cases where children are ‘at risk’. Joint work will include mental health workers providing all information with regards to: treatment plans likely durati

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Risk Assessments - It is important to be aware that risk assessment in mental health work and risk assessment in child protection work are two different concepts, and it can be dangerous to confuse them.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Joint working - Key examples of good practice in joint working: No major decisions (such as the removal of children, closure of a case or move to discharge or home leave from hospital) should be made without the consultation of other services, unless urgency requires immediate action. In these circumstanc

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Joint working - All plans for a child, including Child Protection Plans, will identify the roles and responsibilities of mental health and other professionals. The plan will also identify the process of communication and liaison between professionals. All professionals should work in accordance with their

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Joint working - Relevant professionals from Children’s Services must attend Care Programme Approach (CPA) and other meetings related to the management of the parent’s mental health.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Joint working - Mental health professionals must attend and provide information to any meeting regarding the potential impact of parental mental health concerns on the child. These will include: Multi-agency meetings Strategy meetings Initial and Review Child Protection Conferences Core Group meetings

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Joint working - Child protection workers must assess the individual needs of each child and, within this, incorporate information provided by mental health workers.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Joint working - The practitioner needs to be mindful that information may need to be shared with a number of agencies, therefore the ‘need to know’ and ‘proportionality to the risk of harm’ principles apply. Where a practitioner is considering the inclusion or exclusion of sensitive information, o

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Joint working - Sensitive information can be shared if there is a clear and justifiable purpose, and consideration has been made of the safety and wellbeing of the child and others who may be affected. The more sensitive the information, the greater the child focus needs to be in order to justify sharing.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Resolution of disputes and differences - In the event of a dispute or disagreement arising between professionals, the BSCB Procedure for Escalation, Challenge and Conflict Resolution should be followed.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Resolution of disputes and differences - Any disagreements or differences should be recorded on the case file, including the views of the other party.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to children's social care - Consideration should be given to a referral to Early Help in order to provide additional support and safeguard children at an early stage.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Risk Assessments - Newly identified or changes in risk in one agency’s assessment must be communicated to other relevant agencies, so that they too can consider if this new information impacts on their own risk assessments. Staff must always consider that a change for one member of a family might have impa

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Joint working - Parents with mental health issues entrust professionals with, or allow them to gather, sensitive information relating to their health and other matters as part of their seeking treatment. They do so in confidence and they have legitimate expectation that staff will respect their privacy an

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Joint working - Where there are concerns about the wellbeing of a child, the need to share information will take precedence over the patient’s right to confidentiality. However, practitioners need to consider what information is and is not confidential, and the need in some circumstances to make a judge

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Joint working - It is essential that staff working in adult mental health and children’s services work together to ensure the safety of the child and the management of the adult’s mental health.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Joint working - All information should be shared in line with the BSCB Information Sharing Code of Practice and HM Government advice.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to children's social care - Triggers that indicate referral to Children’s Social Care are listed below. However, this is not an exhaustive list and is provided to assist professional decision-making. a parent/carer expresses thoughts of harm to a child – in such cases the referral should include any safety planni

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to children's social care - Where a parent or carer expresses thoughts of self-harm, an assessment of risk to the child or unborn baby must be made and consideration given to a referral to Children’s Social Care based on the level of risk. Management of self-harm risk by adult mental health services staff must incl

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to children's social care - When a parent or carer has been receiving inpatient services, in whatever setting, consideration must be given to discharge arrangements to ensure provision for the children is appropriate, and their welfare and safety has been properly assessed. A formal meeting with Children’s Social C

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to children's social care - Newly identified risk or changes in the risk assessment in any agency must be communicated to other relevant agencies in order that they can consider if this new information impacts on their own risk assessments. Staff must always consider that a change for one member of the family might h

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Guidance for referral to children's social care - Where the need for referral to Children’s Social Care is unclear, this must be discussed with a line manager and/or safeguarding lead. Children’s Social Care can be consulted for advice. Staff must ensure that all decisions and the agreed course of action are signed and dated, and that

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Pregnant Women - When an agency identifies a pregnant woman experiencing mental health problems, an assessment must be undertaken to determine what services she requires and the BSCB Pre-Birth Procedures must be followed.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Pregnant Women - This must include gathering relevant information from their GP, in addition to any other agencies involvement, to ensure that the full background is obtained about any existing or previous diagnosis, or treatment for mental illness or substance misuse. This is especially important where se

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Pregnant Women - Research has shown that pregnant women with a previous history of mental health needs are particularly vulnerable to breakdown during the later stages of pregnancy and following the birth of their baby.

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Dual diagnosis - It should be noted that mental health needs can also be associated with high-risk behaviour or difficulties, such as substance misuse or domestic violence. The National Triennial Review of Serious Case Reviews (2011-14) found that mental health needs co-existed with domestic abuse and subs

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Dual diagnosis - When a parent has a substance misuse problem, as well as mental health needs, this can put the child at particular risk, especially where the potential for dealing with the substance misuse problem is limited. Where a parent/carer has mental health and substance misuse issues, the assessme

6.3 Parenting Capacity and Mental Illness: Guidance

Risk Assessments - The former is concerned with predicting the likelihood of a patient’s mental health deteriorating to the point where she/he poses a risk to self and/or others. The latter involves the analysis of information to consider whether or not the children’s likely experiences are acceptable, i

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Protection and Action to be Taken - Where a parent with learning disabilities appears not to be able to meet her/his child's needs, a referral should be made to Children's social care in line with the Referrals Procedure, and they have a responsibility to assess need and where necessary, offer supportive or protective servic

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Protection and Action to be Taken - Children's social care, Adult Services and other agencies must undertake a multi-disciplinary assessment using the Assessment Framework triangle, including specialist learning disability and other assessments, to determine whether or not the parents with learning disabilities require suppo

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Indicators - Similarly, women with learning disabilities may be Adults at Risk and targets for men who wish to gain access to children for the purpose of sexually abusing them.

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Indicators - Children may end up taking increasing responsibility for caring for themselves and, at times, for their siblings, parents and other family members.

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Definition - There is a far wider group of parents with learning difficulties, who do not have a diagnosis and would not generally fit the eligibility criteria for support services in their own right. These parents often recognise that they need practical support and help to enable them to learn to be

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Definition - A learning disability is a permanent life-long condition, which is defined by the Department of Health and Social Care as: A significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills (impaired intelligence); A reduced ability to cope independently (impaire

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Definition - However, many people who have a diagnosed learning disability prefer to use the term 'learning difficulty'. They feel that the term 'learning disability' implies that they cannot learn at all.

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Definition - There is no direct link between IQ and parenting ability above the IQ level of 60. Parents with learning difficulties face a wide range of barriers to bringing up their children successfully.

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Definition - The needs of parents with learning disabilities include the ability to meet a child's needs, as well as their own; personal care of the child; preparation of meals and drinks; attending to the child's health needs; parental involvement in indoor and outdoor play; support in education.

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Risks - Child takes on roles and responsibilities within the home that are inappropriate. Parent/carer neglect their own and their child's physical and emotional needs. Learning disability results in chaotic structures within the home with regard to meal and bedtimes etc. Lack of the recognition o

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Risks - Professionals undertaking assessments must recognise that a learning disability is a lifelong condition. Assessments must therefore consider the implications for the child as they develop throughout childhood and will need to re-evaluate the child's circumstances from time to time. Childre

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Indicators - Parents with learning disabilities are at risk of falling through the gap between the provision of services for children and the provision of services for adults, if the services fail to coordinate effectively. As a result, some parents may miss out on support services that they need in or

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Indicators - The context in which people with learning disabilities have children is one that has been dominated by the perception of risk and the assumption that parenting will not be good enough. Adults with learning disabilities may need support to develop the understanding, resources, skills and ex

6.4 Children of Parents who have a Learning Difficulty or Disability

Indicators - Neglect through acts of omission rather than commission is a frequently stated concern, ultimately it is the quality of care experienced by the child which determines whether the parenting capacity can be regarded as sufficient and whether or not a referral should be made for an assessment