The London Child Protection Procedures 3rd Edition, 2007
The London Child Protection Procedures… Are a joint initiative by: • Metropolitan Police • London Directors of Children’s Services • Chairs of London LSCBs • NHS London • London Councils • London Probation They are developed by: • The London Safeguarding Children Board on behalf of the 32 London Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs)
Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility Accordingly, the 3rd edition of the Procedures: • Aims to translate government legislation and guidance into practical procedures and advice to support everyone working with children and/or parents (frontline practitioners or professionals, volunteers and people involved with community and faith groups) and their management, to identify a child at risk of harm and explain what to do if a child is in need of services to safeguard and promote his/her welfare.
Agency responsibilities • All agencies who work with or have contact with children must review their child safeguarding procedures to ensure that they comply with the London Child Protection Procedures. • When additional policies are required, these must complement the London Procedures. • All agencies must ensure staff have awareness and understanding of the procedures and recognise their relevance • All workers must have access to a named person within their agency who understands the procedures and is competent in working with them
Using the procedures • The procedures are intended to be used as a directory, with professionals accessing the section they need as appropriate. This requires that all staff are sufficiently familiar with the document to know where to look Aids to this are: • A section called: ‘Quick Guide to using the Procedures’ • Detailed contents pages at the front of each section • Cross-referencing • Easy electronic access and the facility to download each section separately
User friendly • The procedures are significantly expanded and cover a wide range of issues that London Borough’s face. The largest area of expansion is Chapter 5 – providing professionals with procedures for Children in Specific Circumstances (C.I.S.C.) • The procedures can be downloaded from www.londoncsb.gov.uk • hyperlinks make the procedures easily accessible and user friendly
5.1 Introduction - new 5.2 Animal abuse and links to abuse of children and vulnerable adults - new 5.3 Begging 5.4 Blood-borne viruses - new 5.5 Boarding school - new 5.6 Bullying - new 5.7 Custodial settings for children - new 5.8 Custodial settings (children visiting) 5.9 Diplomats families 5.10 Disabled children 5.11 Domestic violence 5.12 Fabricated or induced illness Procedures’ contents 5. Children in specific circumstances (cisc)
5.13 Female genital mutilation 5.14 Firesetting - new 5.15 Forced marriage of a child 5.16 Foreign exchange visits 5.17 Foster care - new 5.18 Harming others 5.19 Historical abuse 5.20 Honour based violence 5.21 Hospitals - new 5.22 Hospitals (specialist) - new 5.23 Information and communication technology (ICT) based forms of abuse - new Procedures’ contents 5. Children in specific circumstances (cisc)
5.24 Left alone - new 5.25 Male circumcision - new 5.26 Missing families for whom there are concerns for children or unborn children 5.27 Missing from care and home 5.28 Not attending school - new 5.29 Parental mental illness 5.30 Parents with learning disabilities 5.31 Parents who misuse substances 5.32 Pregnancy and motherhood for a child 5.33 Pre-trial therapy - new Procedures’ contents 5. Children in specific circumstances (cisc)
5.34 Private fostering - new 5.35 Psychiatric care for children - new 5.36 Psychiatric wards and facilities (children visiting) 5.37 Residential care - new 5.38 Self-harming and suicidal behaviour 5.39 Sexually active children 5.40 Sexually exploited children 5.41 Spirit possession or witchcraft - new 5.42 Surrogacy - new 5.43 Trafficked and exploited children 5.44 Young carers Procedures’ contents 5. Children in specific circumstances (cisc)
Additional procedures: 5.45 Accessing information from abroad 5.46 Criminal injuries compensation 5.47 Working with interpreters / communication facilitators Procedures’ contents 5. Children in specific circumstances (cisc)
Procedures’ contents Supplementary procedures These form part of the London Child Protection Procedures, and are all summarised and cross-referenced in section 5 (cisc). They are all new: • Safeguarding Children Abused through Domestic Violence • Safeguarding Children Missing from Care and Home • Safeguarding Trafficked and Exploited Children • Safeguarding Children Abused through Sexual Exploitation • Safeguarding Sexually Active Children • Safeguarding Children at Risk of Abuse through FGM • Safeguarding Children Missing from School
Procedures’ contents 6. Referral and assessment Section 6 includes: 6.4 Indicator table - new • This is a table providing a guide to the difference within LA children’s social care between a s47 core assessment and an initial assessment. The table is intended as a guide and is not exhaustive 6.9 Quick referral flowchart - new • This flowchart shows the pathway for a referral, from a professional having initial concerns through to the eventual referral to LA children’s social care
Procedures’ contents 10. Working with Unco-operative Families • Section 10 is new. Its incorporation into the procedures reflects the finding from the review of London serious case reviews that working with unco-operative families is a skill which professionals need support with
Procedures’ contents 12. Unexpected death of a child • Section 12 is new. It is taken from Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006, and from April 2008 itwill be replaced by a supplementary procedure outlining the London response to all child deaths 13. Risk management of known offenders • Section 13 is new. It has been written with significant input from the Youth Justice Board, London Youth Offending Teams, the London Probation Service, the Met Police and LA children’s social care
Procedures’ contents 14. Organised and complex abuse • Section 14 has been significantly expanded,using information from ‘Complex Child Abuse investigations: Inter-Agency Issues, HO and DH 2002’
1: Statutory Framework - new 2: Children’s Safeguarding Recommendations - new 3: Voluntary Agencies Keeping Children Safe - new 4: Information Sharing Legal Framework - new 5: Framework for the Assessment of Need for Children and their Families - new 6: Use of Questionnaires and Scales - new 7: Missing Persons’ Notification Proforma - new 8: Acronyms - new Procedures’ contents Appendices
Procedures’ contents Supplementary procedures • The supplementary procedures are available electronically, together with the main London Child Protection Procedures, from the London Board’s website: www.londonscb.gov.uk/procedures • They, and the main London procedures, can also be posted onto an agency’s intranet.
Police 0208 3452927 Children’s Right Officers (NCH) 01708 554694 or 0773427163 Out of hours Social Care 01708 433999 Child Protection Officer (Schools or Education settings) 01708 433842 Child Protection Nurse Advisor (Health) 01708 465000 Education Law advice line 0845 4566811 Children’s Legal Centre Tel: 01206 872466 Fax: 01206 874026 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Numbers
The London Child Protection Procedures 3rd Edition, 2007
Roles and Responsibilities Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility’
Safeguarding Children • Professionals in all agencies that work with children and / or adults who have parenting responsibilities share a commitment to safeguard and promote their welfare, and for many agencies this is underpinned by a statutory duty or duties
Needs of the child • Information from serious case reviews continues to highlight that, when faced with the complex circumstances of a child’s life, professionals find it difficult to keep the focus on the child and the key elements which should contribute to ensuring his / her safety. • Professionals should consider regularly checking their actions against this checklist as a good practice prompt:
Good practice checklist • Have you been able to speak to the child alone? Can you still do so? • Where will the child be for the next 24 hours? Is the child at immediate risk of harm (physical, sexual, emotional)? • What information do you have about the child and their family? • Have you completed a CAF or equivalent? • Are there other children (siblings, peers) who could be at risk of harm? • Is the mother at risk of harm? Do she and the child/ren have a safety plan? • Is it safe to discuss your concerns with the child’s parents – or will doing so put the child at greater risk of harm?
Good practice checklist • Is there a reason that makes it likely that the child will resist efforts to safeguard him/her (e.g. fear of a pimp, need for drugs)? • Have you recorded everything that has been said to you by the child, the parents / family, and other professionals? Have you recorded everything you have said to others? • Is there disagreement between health staff about the diagnosis of non-accidental injury? If there is, it must be resolved before the child is allowed home. • Have you discussed your concerns with your agency’s nominated safeguarding children adviser? If not, have you been able to reflect on your concerns with a colleague (in your or another agency) who has appropriate expertise? • Have you complied with your agency’s child protection procedures? • Is there a need to inform the police because a crime has been committed?
Commitment to safeguard • To fulfil their commitment to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, all organisations that provide services for, or work with, children and / or adults who have parenting responsibilities must: • Set clear priorities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children which are explicitly stated in strategic policy documents; • Ensure there is a clear commitment by senior management to the importance of safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare, e.g. in job descriptions and individual performance targets; • Have in place clear lines of accountability within the agency for work on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children; • Have appropriate whistle blowing procedures and a culture that enables issues about safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children to be addressed; • Maintain accurate records of decision making and actions.
Responsibility to protect • All agencies whose staff come into contact with children in their daily activities, and / or who provide services to adults who are parents, must have systems and arrangements in place to ensure that: • Staff are recruited safely, (see section 17. Safer recruitment); • Staff induction includes advice and instruction on the individual professional’s responsibilities in relation to promoting children’s welfare and safeguarding them from harm
Agency training and supervision provision • Staff must receive child protection training which is appropriate to their function within the agency, • Staff must receive regular supervision, sufficient to support staff to recognise children in need of support and / or safeguarding,
Agency safeguarding policy / procedures • Agency must have internal safeguarding children policies and procedures, which comply with the London Child Protection Procedures
Named safeguarding officer • Each agency must have a named safeguarding officer who has received appropriate child protection training and knows of the London Procedures and is competent in using them • Staff must have easy access during service delivery times to the agency’s nominated safeguarding children adviser
Multi agency working • Each agency must have arrangements for effective multi-agency working to promote children’s welfare and safeguard them from harm.
Further information • Information regarding individual agencies rolls to safeguard children is set out in Chapter 2 of edition 3 of the London Child Protection Procedures 2007.
The London Child Protection Procedures 3rd Edition, 2007
Why share? • A key factor in many serious case reviews has been a failure to record information, to share it, to understand the significance of the information shared, and to take appropriate action in relation to known or suspected abuse or neglect.
Inter-agency working • Information sharing is vital to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and improving information sharing practice is therefore a cornerstone of the Government’s Every Child Matters: Change for Children strategy to improve outcomes for children
London Child Protection Procedures • The London Child Protection Procedures provide clear guidance and process for professionals in relation to information sharing. • Agencies within Havering must comply with these procedures
In deciding whether there is a need to share information, professionals need to consider the legal obligations including: • Whether the information is confidential; • If it is confidential, whether there is a public interest sufficient to justify sharing it
Confidential information is.. • sensitive, not already in public domain, shared in confidence • Can be shared if • authorised by the person who provided it or to whom it relates • Can be shared unauthorised if justified in the public interest.. • Evidence that the child is suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm • Reasonable cause to believe the child may be suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm
Practitioners must weigh up their decision – whether it is to share or not - and record the reasons for it
Practitioners must: • Always consider referring to children's social care with concerns about harm • Keep the child’s interests as the overriding consideration in making any such decisions • Seek advice if unsure what to do
Consent is the key to successful information sharing. Even where the Data Protection Act does not demand it, operating with consent is good practice.
Consent: • Must be informed • Should normally be explicit but can be implied (written is preferable but can be verbal) • Must be willing and not inferred from a non response • Must be sought again if things change significantly • Can be withdrawn • In some cases practitioners should not seek consent
In deciding whether or not to share information professionals should use eight key questions: 1. Is there a legitimate purpose to share the information? 2. Does the information enable a person to be identified? 3. Is the information confidential? 4. If the information is confidential, has consent to share been obtained? 5. Is there a statutory duty or court order to share the information? 6. If consent has been refused, or there are good reasons not to seek consent to share confidential information, is there a sufficient public interest to share information? 7. If the decision is to share, is the right information being shared in the right way? 8. Have the decision and the reasons for it, been recorded?
In particular, practitioners should: • Share the information which is necessary for the purpose for which it is being shared • Share the information with those who need to know • Check the information is accurate and up-to-date • Share it in a secure way • Establish with the recipient whether they intend to pass it on to other people, and ensure they understand the limits of any consent which has been given • Inform the person to whom the information relates, and, if different, any other person who provided the information, if you have not already done so and it is safe to do so • Record the reasons for deciding to share information.
Legislation containing express powers or which imply powers to share: • The Children Act 2004 and 1989 • Local Government Act 2000 • Education Act 2002 and 1996 • Learning and Skills Act 2000 • Education (SEN) regulations 2001 • Leaving Care Act 2000 • Protection of Children Act 1999 • Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 • Crime and Disorder Act 1998 • National health Service Act 1977 • The Health and Social care Act 2003
Coffee / Tea Break 10 minutes
TheLondon Child Protection Procedures 3rd Edition, 2007 The referral process
Responsibility to refer • Professionals in all agencies have a responsibility to refer a child to LA children’s social care when it is believed or suspected that the child: • Has suffered significant harm (see section 4. Recognition and response and/or section 5. Children in specific circumstances); • Is likely to suffer significant harm (see section 4. Recognition and response and/or section 5. Children in specific circumstances) • Has developmental and welfare needs which are likely only to be met through provision of family support services (with agreement of the child’s parent)