Safeguarding in Specific Circumstances Part 1

1.           Animal abuse and links to children

2.            Armed forces

3.            Begging

4.            Blood-borne viruses

5.            Boarding School

6.            Bullying and cyberbullying

7.            Children from abroad

8.            Criminal injuries compensation

9.            Cross Boundaries

10.          Custodial settings for children

11.          Custodial settings (children visiting)

12.          Disabled children

13.          Domestic abuse

14.          E Safety - sexual abuse of children and grooming

15.          Fabricated or induced illnesses

16.          Female genital mutilation

17.          Firesetting

18.          Forced marriage of a child

19.          Foreign exchange visits

20.          Foster care

21.          Harbourers of missing children

22.          Harming others - where children harm

1 Animal abuse and links to children

Animal abuse is defined as intentional harm of animals, including wilful neglect, inflicting injury, pain, distress or the malicious killing of animals. There is increasing evidence of links between abuse of children, vulnerable adults and animals.

In addition, a child displaying intentional cruelty to animals could indicate that the child has been a victim of neglect and/or abuse themselves. In some circumstances, acts of animal cruelty may be used to control and intimidate adults and children into being silent about their own abuse.

Professionals in all agencies should be aware that if serious animal abuse occurs within a household there may be an increased likelihood of family violence and an increased risk of abuse to children within the family such that it could constitute significant harm.

Significant harm is defined 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 that there needs to be a compulsory intervention by child protection agencies into the life of the child and their family.

Professionals working with children should:

  • Be observant about the care and treatment of family pets and other animals whilst carrying out assessments;
  • Ensure that assessments consider the needs and the risk of harm to children and animals within the family;
  • Ensure that safety planning with victims of domestic violence considers the safety of children and animals within the family;
  • When a referral is made to Children’s Social Care the name of the RSPCA inspector should not be given to the family unless this has been agreed between the two agencies as essential for evidential reasons. The reason for this is that the RSPCA inspector may need to do repeat visits to the household to monitor an animal’s welfare.
  • To report animal cruelty, request assistance or express a concern about animal welfare, call the RSPCA’s national cruelty and advice line: 0870 5555 999.

2 Armed forces

Young people under 18 may be in the armed forces as recruits or trainees, or may be the dependants of a service family. The life of a service family differs in many respects from that of a family in civilian life, particularly for those stationed overseas, or on bases and garrisons in the UK. The services support the movement of the family in response to service commitments. The frequency and location of such moves make it essential that the service authorities are aware of any concerns regarding safeguarding and promoting the welfare of a child from a military family. The armed forces are fully committed to co-operating with statutory and other agencies in supporting families in this situation, and have procedures to help safeguard and promote the welfare of children

Looking after under-18s in the armed forces comes under the MoD’s comprehensive welfare arrangements, which apply to all members of the armed forces. Commanding Officers are well aware of the particular welfare needs of younger recruits and trainees and are fully committed to co-operating with statutory and other agencies in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of under-18s.

Children who are care leavers (from the local authority care system) who have joined the armed forces have unrestricted access to local authority social care workers.

Social work services are available within the forces, as follows.

  • In the Royal Navy (RN) this is provided by the Naval Personal and Family Service (NPFS) and the Royal Marines Welfare Service;
  • In the army this is provided by the Army Welfare Service (AWS);
  • In the Royal Air Force by the Soldiers’ Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association-Forces Help (SSAFA-FH). 

Movement of children subject to child protection processes between the United Kingdom and overseas

All referrals should be made to the Director of Social Work, HQ SSAFA-FH or Area Officer, NPFS (East) as appropriate, at the addresses given in Appendix Five.Enquiries about Children of Ex-service Families

Where a LA believes that a child who is the subject of current child protection processes is from an ex-service family, NPFS, AWS or SSAFA-FH can be contacted to establish whether there is existing information that might help with enquiries.

3 Begging

An adult begging for money may have a child with them whose role is to evoke public sympathy.  A child may also beg alone or appear to be doing so.

Consideration of the needs of the child should include their age, the degree of adult supervision, time of day etc.

Where a Police Officer is made aware of such activity s/he will:

  • Deal with the offence of begging;
  • Establish the identity and address of any involved child;
  • Refer the child to Children’s Social Care.

Children’s Social Care will act on this referral by way of:

  • Making a decision about whether a full assessment at social care or early help level is required.
  • Give advice about the inappropriate use of children for begging and the risks involved or;
  • Apply child protection procedures if the information indicates the child is at risk of significant harm.

Activities such as ‘penny for the guy’ ‘trick or treat’ or carol singing are not normally regarded as begging if arrangements are age appropriate and effectively supervised.

4 Blood-borne viruses

A child exposed to blood-borne viruses, can be at risk of significant harm. 

   Recognition of abuse and neglect.

The main child protection issues likely to arise with blood-borne viruses are:

  • When a mother who is known to be HIV positive refuses to accept treatment for herself in pregnancy and/or for the baby following delivery; 
  • When a mother who is known to be HIV positive insists on breastfeeding her baby against medical advice
  • Where a child is thought to have a blood-borne disease and their parents refuse to agree to medical testing and/or treatment;
  • Where a child is on the appropriate treatment, but medication is given inconsistently or stopped altogether and there is a danger of resistance developing;
  • Where a child has been sexually abused and the abuser is thought to be infected with a blood-borne disease (in these cases, HIV testing should be considered);
  • Where a child has been exposed to contaminated needles and syringes.  

Responding to the risks

In circumstances where children and parents share concerns about blood borne viruses such as hepatitis and HIV, the reasons should be sensitively explored. If a child’s concerns arise because they have suffered abuse, they may need time to make a full disclosure. Counselling should be provided as appropriate to anyone deciding whether or not to be tested for blood-borne viruses such as HIV.  

Where a professional is concerned that a child may have been placed at risk of HIV or hepatitis B, an informed decision must be made about whether to raise this with the child or parent/s.

Testing and treatment

When a test for a blood-borne virus is being considered, advice should be sought from local paediatricians with specialist knowledge. In the case of sexually active adolescents, it may be appropriate to involve the local genitourinary clinic. Full information must be given to individuals/families before testing (paying particular regard to their first language), and examinations should be carried out with due consideration of the needs of a potentially traumatised child.

Authorisation for consent to testing is the same as for any form of medical treatment. Particular care should be given to whether a child under 16 is Gillick competent.

The testing of any abuser requires their consent.

Where the views of the parents conflict with the child’s health needs, the welfare of the child is paramount. Parents’ views should be considered fully and every effort made to work in partnership. However, if the child is considered likely to suffer significant harm, advice should be sought about legal action.

   Confidentiality

Agencies have a duty to ensure the confidentiality of all parties. However, they also have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Exceptionally, information may be shared with other agencies if:

  • The disclosure of information would be in the best interests of the child or protect an individual at risk of infection;
  • The professionals/agencies receiving the information are aware of its confidential nature and be able to maintain the confidence.

The child or family’s wishes with regard to confidentiality may only be overruled if:

  • The child is at risk of significant harm if a disclosure is not made;
  • There is a legal requirement for information to be disclosed;
  • There is an ongoing police investigation, which makes disclosure important in order to prevent others being put at risk. In these circumstances, legal advice should be sought.

If it is considered necessary to go against the wishes of the child or parents, the worker must:

  • Consult with their manager;
  • Provide the child and/or family with a full written explanation of the reason for overruling their wishes.

Sometimes a perpetrator may be known to be HIV positive or to be suffering from, or a carrier of, hepatitis B or hepatitis C. If the welfare of the child could benefit, it may be appropriate to consider sharing this information even if the abuser will not give consent.

In the above circumstances, professionals must seek specialist and legal advice without initially revealing the person concerned. If the final decision is to reveal the person’s status, this should be recorded in the child’s case record and a full written explanation should be given to the abuser, explaining what is to be shared and why.  

Advice, support and guidance

Professionals in all agencies should contact local paediatric family clinics, local authority HIV liaison officers, the genitourinary clinic or lead officers within their own agencies for specialist advice and support. See also Children in Need and Blood borne Viruses: HIV and Hepatitis (DoH, 2004).

Agencies should ensure there is a named legal advisor for blood borne viruses.

5 Boarding school

The welfare and safety of children living in boarding school should be promoted and provided for at a minimum, in line with the relevant national minimum standards (www.ofsted.gov.uk).

All commissioners and providers of services for children living in boarding schools are responsible for ensuring that the children are safeguarded.

Commissioner contracts and provider procedures should be comprehensive and unambiguous in setting out the responsibilities and processes for safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare. Local Safeguarding Children Boards should monitor the welfare of children living in boarding schools.

The standards for children living in boarding school include that:

  • Children feel valued and respected and their self-esteem is promoted;
  • There is an openness on the part of the boarding school to the external world and external scrutiny, including contact with families and the wider community;
  • Boarding school staff are trained in all aspects of safeguarding children, are alert to children’s vulnerabilities and risks of harm, and knowledgeable about how to implement safeguarding children procedures;
  • Children who live in boarding schools are listened to and their views and concerns responded to;
  • Children have ready access to a trusted adult outside the boarding school setting (e.g. a family member, the child’s social worker, independent visitor, children’s advocate). Children should be made aware of the help they could receive from independent advocacy services, external mentors, and ChildLine;
  • Boarding school staff recognise the importance of ascertaining the wishes and feelings of children and understand how individual children communicate by verbal or non-verbal means;
  • There are clear procedures for referring safeguarding concerns about a child to the relevant Children’s Social Care service;
  • In relation to complaints:
    • Complaints procedures should 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;
    • Procedures should address all expressions of concern, including formal complaints. Systems that do not promote open communication about ‘minor’ complaints will not be responsive to major ones, and a pattern of ‘minor’ complaints may indicate more deeply seated problems in management and culture which need to be addressed;
    • Records of complaints should be kept by providers of children’s services (e.g. there should be a complaints register in every boarding school which records all representations including complaints, the action taken to address them, and the outcomes);
  • Children should be genuinely able to raise concerns and make suggestions for changes and improvements, which are taken seriously.
  • Bullying is effectively countered;
  • Recruitment and selection procedures are rigorous and create a high threshold of entry to deter abusers;
  • There is effective supervision and support, which extends to temporary staff and volunteers;
  • The boarding school’s contractor staff are effectively checked and supervised when on site or in contact with children;
  • Clear procedures and support systems are in place for dealing with expressions of concern by boarding school staff about other staff or carers;
  • Organisations should have a code of conduct instructing boarding school staff on their duty to their employer and their professional obligation to raise legitimate concerns about the conduct of colleagues or managers. There should be a guarantee that procedures can be invoked in ways which do not prejudice the ‘whistle-blower’s’ own position and prospects;
  • There is respect for diversity and sensitivity to race, culture, religion, gender, sexuality and disability;
  • Boarding school staff are alert to the risks of harm to children in the external environment from people prepared to exploit the additional vulnerability of children living in boarding schools.

6 Bullying and cyber bullying

Bullying is deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for the victims to defend themselves.

The damage inflicted by bullying is often underestimated. It can cause considerable distress to children, to the extent that it affects their health and development and can be a source of significant harm, including self-harm and suicide.

Bullying can include emotional and/or physical harm to such a degree that it constitutes significant harm.

The main types of bullying are:

  • Physical abuse (e.g. hitting, kicking, stabbing and setting alight), including filming with mobile telephones and theft (commonly of mobile telephones);
  • Verbal or mobile phone / online (internet) message abuse (e.g. racist, sexist or homophobic name-calling or threats) – this type of non-physical bullying may include sexual harassment;
  • Mobile phone or online (internet) visual image abuse – these can include real or manipulated images;
  • Emotional abuse (e.g. isolating an individual from the group or emotional blackmail).

   Cyber and online bullying

As the use of mobile phones and internet technology has increased, so has the misuse of the technology to bully. Current research in this area indicates that cyber bullying is a feature in many young people’s lives.

Some features of cyber bullying are different from other forms of bullying:

  • 24/7 and the invasion of home and personal space;
  • The audience can be large and reached rapidly;
  • The worry of content resurfacing can make it difficult for targets to move on;
  • People who cyber bully may attempt to remain anonymous;
  • The profile of the bully and target – it can take place between peers, between generations, involve teachers as targets and bystanders become accessories to bullying by passing on images;
  • Some instances are known to be unintentional (something sent as a joke can be deeply upsetting) and there is a lack of awareness of the consequences

Many cyber bullying incidents can themselves act as evidence – it is important then to know how to respond.

   Preventing cyberbullying

There is no single solution to the problem of cyberbullying. There are however five key areas for agencies that work with children and young people to address to put in place an effective prevention plan:

  • Understanding and talking about cyberbullying;
  • Updating policies and procedures;
  • Clarify reporting of incidents and support those who report;
  • Promote the positive use of technology;
  • Evaluate the impact of prevention activities – e.g., young people and parent/carer satisfaction surveys

   Response to cyberbullying incidents

Key steps to manage incidents are for the agency (with parents and young people) to:

a. Support the person being bullied by:

  • advising them to keep relevant evidence;
  • help them prevent it happening again ( e.g, change of contact details);
  • advise them not to retaliate or return the message;
  • assess what information is in the public domain

b. Take action to contain the incident when content has been circulated by:

  • Asking those responsible to remove the content;
  • Keeping a record of the bullying as evidence if needed;
  • Reporting to the host ( e.g., the social networking site) to get the content taken down;
  • Use measures to confiscate phones that are used to cyber bully ( for schools);
  • Contact the police in cases of illegal content

c. Work with the bully

For staff working with young people factors to consider in the work they undertake with the young person who has bullied should include the impact on the victim, the way the material was circulated as well as the content, the motivation of the bully (whether the incident was unintentional or retaliation for behaviour by others).

   Further Information

The following external websites provide further information and guidance. They are regularly updated.

www.ceop.co.uk (for parents/carers and adults)

 http://www.iwf.org.uk (for reporting illegal images and content)

www.thinkuknow.co.uk (for all children and young people and their parents/carers. It also links with the CEOP (Child Exploitation and On-Line Protection Centre).

www.netsmartzkids.org (for ages 5-17)

www.kidsmart.org.uk (all under 11)

 http://www.phonebrian.org.uk (for year 5 – year 8)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/shows/stay-safe (for year 3/4)

www.hectorsworld.com (for year 1 and 2 and is part of the thinkuknow website)

http://www.digizen.org (for adults)

7 Children from abroad

   Assessment

Practitioners should never lose sight of the fact that children and young people from abroad are children first, which may be forgotten in the face of legal and cultural complexities.

Assessing the needs of these children and young people is only possible if their legal status, background experiences and culture are understood, including the culture shock of arrival in this country.

Practitioners should be prepared to actively seek out information from other sources and should ensure they do not ‘interrogate’ the child or young person.

Children or young people who arrive to be with carers who are not their parents and children or young people who are unaccompanied should be assessed as a matter of urgency, as they may be very geographically mobile and as a result their vulnerabilities may be greater.

In any assessment or enquiries by Children’s Social Care, there is always to be separate discussion with the child or young person, in a setting where, as far as possible, s/he can talk freely and in their first language.  This will always entail the services of an Interpreter ( not a family member or friend) where English is not the child’s first language.

   Children and Young People Living with their Parents

Whatever the status of a child or family in relation to immigration legislation, there are responsibilities to children and young people in terms of their health, education, welfare and safety.  Any practitioner coming into contact with a family from overseas should satisfy themselves that contact has been made with appropriate health and education services for the children or young people. If not, appropriate referrals are to be made.  As professionals continue to be involved with families, the children and young people should be seen and their views sought.

Irrespective of a child or family’s immigration status, if it appears at any point that a child or young person is in need, or at risk of significant harm, local arrangements for referrals to Children’s Social Care are to be followed without delay.

   Child or young person living with an adult who is not their Parent 

If there is an indication that a child or young person has come from overseas and is in the care of an adult who is not the parent, or one whose relationship is uncertain, a referral must be made to Children’s Social Care immediately.  

Such children and young people are to be assumed to be in need, unless assessment shows otherwise.   Where it is considered there may be a risk of significant harm, a Strategy Meeting is to be held within one working day, to share information and plan for the protection of the child or young person. 

Where assessment/child protection enquiries show that it is not safe for the child or young person to be looked after by the adult concerned, Children’s Social Care are to ensure the welfare and safety of the child.  This may require Police Protection or Emergency Protection Order or other legal proceedings.

A core assessment is to be completed as quickly as possible to assist in formulating a longer term plan for the child or young person.

Where the assessment concludes that the child or young person’s needs can be met by the adult in question, then legislation, regulations and procedures, to do with private fostering and care by relatives and friends, are to be followed by Children’s Social Care and other agencies.

   Unaccompanied Children and Young People

Children and young people who arrive in the UK alone or who are left at the point of entry by an agent are particularly vulnerable to commercial, domestic or sexual exploitation.  All such children and young people are to be referred to Children’s Social Care.

Where such a child or young person is being interviewed by the Border Agency a social worker should attend as an appropriate adult. Thereafter the child or young person becomes the responsibility of Children’s Social Care. 

8 Criminal injuries compensation

Children who are victims of offences of violence (whether committed within or outside the family) may be entitled to criminal injuries compensation, whether or not there has been a prosecution or conviction and even where there is no physical injury as in cases of sexual assault.

A claim on behalf of a child/young person under 18 years of age should normally be made by a person with parental responsibility. 

If it appears that a child may be eligible to apply for criminal injuries compensation staff should:

  • Inform the person with parental responsibility of possible eligibility to criminal injuries compensation;
  • Provide the person with parental responsibility with information about criminal injuries compensation;
  • Support the person with parental responsibility to progress the claim on behalf of the child.

Where the local authority has parental responsibility for a child looked after the social worker should progress the claim.

Legal advice should be sought if the person who would be eligible to make the claim on behalf of the child is the abuser.

9 Cross Boundaries

   Meaning of ‘Cross Boundaries’

These ‘Cross Boundary’ procedures relate to children who are currently known to Children’s Social Care, or where there is a need for involvement by Children’s Social Care and, for whatever reason, the child’s circumstances involve more than one Children’s Social Care department or more than one police force area. 

There is no distinction between temporary or permanent moves of a child or the nature of the accommodation in which a child or family are living.

  • ‘Home authority’ refers to the local authority in the area where the child normally lives.
  • ‘Host authority’ refers to the local authority in the area where the child is currently or where the child was when abuse is alleged to have taken place.
  • ‘Child known to Children’s Social Care’ refers to any child being considered for, or subject to, an initial or core assessment, or a child/family who are receiving services from Children’s Social Care.

   Case responsibility

In all situations, when a child known to Children’s Social Care moves to another local authority area, case responsibility lies with the home authority Children’s Social Care, until and unless a transfer of responsibility is agreed by the host authority Children’s Social Care.

   Child known to Children’s Social Care who moves out of the local authority area.

Where a child who is known to Children’s Social Care moves to another local authority area, Children’s Social Care in the home authority are to ensure that a referral is made to Children’s Social Care in the host authority, giving all relevant information.  This should happen as soon as the home authority Children’s Social Care are aware of the move.

Wherever there is a request by the home or host Children’s Social Care for a meeting to discuss the transfer of the case, this request should be met.

   Clarifying responsibilities   

Circumstances will arise where more than one local authority Children’s Social Care has responsibilities in relation to the duty to undertake child protection enquiries, such as:

  • A child found in one local authority area (host authority) who is subject to a Child Protection Plan in another local authority area (home authority);
  • A child looked after by Children’s Social Care (home authority) and placed in another local authority area (host authority);
  • A child whose family lives in one local authority (home authority) who attends a school in another local authority area (host authority);
  • A child staying temporarily in a local authority area (host authority) whose family live in a different authority area (home authority);
  • A child whose family moves into a local authority area (host authority) and the child/family are currently known to Children’s Social Care in the previous local authority area (home authority)
  • A child who lives in one authority (home authority) and there is a suspicion or allegation of abuse which occurred in another local authority area (host authority).

Where allegations arise in relation to a child's home circumstances:

  • The home authority’s Children’s Social Care is responsible for any child protection enquiries;
  • The home authority’s Children’s Social Care is responsible for making immediate contact, and continuing close liaison, with the host Children’s Social Care;
  • The home authority’s Police Protecting Vulnerable Person’s Unit are responsible for any investigation and for liaison with the host Police Protecting Vulnerable Person’s Unit;

Where allegations arise in relation to a child’s circumstances within a host authority area, for example, alleged abuse in a school or placement:

  • The host Children’s Social Care is responsible for any child protection enquiries;
  • The host Children’s Social Care is responsible for making immediate contact, and continuing close liaison, with the home Children’s Social Care;
  • The host Children’s Social Care is responsible for undertaking any emergency action;
  • The host authority area Police Protecting Vulnerable Person’s Unit are responsible for any investigation and for liaison with the home authority Police Protecting Vulnerable Person’s Unit;
  • Once emergencies and enquiries are dealt with by the host authorities Children’s Social Care, responsibility for a child will revert to the home authorities Children’s Social Care, until and unless a transfer of case responsibility takes place.

The above responsibilities are to be undertaken as specified, unless the home and host authority Children’s Social Care agree to a more expedient course of action, due to the needs of the child and the specific circumstances of the case.  Similarly the Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit in both areas may agree a different course of action depending on the circumstances of the case. 

   Child Protection Action

When a referral about a child protection matter is made to either the home or host Children’s Social Care, there must be immediate contact between both Children’s Social Care.  The contact must be initiated by the Children’s Social Care which has received the referral.

The two Children’s Social Care departments are to agree responsibility, initially, for:

  • Case management;
  • Any urgent action;
  • Strategy Meeting/Discussion, including who is to be involved;
  • Liaison with other agencies.

Negotiation about responsibility must not cause delay in urgent situations. If agreement cannot be reached within the working day, Children’s Social Care where the child currently is must take responsibility for enquiries and any necessary protective action.

Strategy Meetings must be held within timescales set by local inter-agency Child Protection/Safeguarding Procedures.   Attendance at the meeting must include:

  • Home authority Children’s Social Care;
  • Host authority Children’s Social Care;
  • Representatives of other agencies and authorities as agreed by both Children’s Social Care;
  • Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit as decided between the two Police Forces involved.

The notes of the Strategy Meeting must include decisions, actions, responsibilities, timescales and process for review.

The outcome of any child protection enquiries must be conveyed in writing to:

  • The relevant Team Managers in both Children’s Social Care departments;
  • Other relevant agencies;
  • The child (ren) where appropriate;
  • Parents, carers and any others with parental responsibility.

   Child subject to Child Protection Plan moving into another local authority area

Immediately the Key Worker becomes aware that a child subject to a Child Protection Plan has moved or there is a plan to move, s/he is to undertake the following, in consultation with his/her Manager.

  • Consider any statutory action on the part of the home authorities Children’s Social Care in response to the move;
  • Notify the host authorities Children’s Social Care by making an immediate verbal referral, to be followed by faxed or e mailed information;
  • Ascertain contact details for the relevant team in the host Children’s Social Care;
  • Notify their own authority Manager/Administrator of Child Protection Plans and fax the relevant information;
  • Ensure the Child Protection Register is notified;
  • Notify Core Group members of change of circumstances;
  • Contact the team manager in the host Children’s Social Care to discuss plans;
  • Forward, by recorded delivery, copies of the core assessment, Child Protection Plan and relevant papers from Child Protection Conference(s) to the responsible team manager in the host Children’s Social Care;
  • Where the child/family have moved, visit as soon as possible to verify details and establish if the child is registered with a GP, and enrolled in school and their future plans;
  • Establish identity (full name/date of birth) of all significant others living in the household;
  • Forward new contact details of the child and the family to the IRO, Chair or the Conference and to Core Group members;
  • If the move is permanent the CoY IRO Chair of the Conference should be notified of the intention to request the host authority to arrange a Transfer In Conference.
  • Ensure attendance at, and completion of a report for, the first Child Protection Conference to be held in the host authority area.

The home Children’s Social Care Team Manager will ensure that the above tasks have been completed within timescales specified and agreed between the Team Manager and the Key Worker.

The Custodian of the Child Protection Register will ensure, within the same day of notification from the Key Worker, that their counterpart in the host authorities Children’s Social Care is informed of the move, followed by a fax/email of the information. They will seek a monthly update from the Key Worker regarding progress and liaise with the host Children’s Social Care if necessary.

Home Core Group Members will ensure that relevant records are sent to their counterparts in the host authority, in line with their transfer policy. They will ensure without delay that reports are provided for the Child Protection Conference to be held in the host local authority area and, wherever possible, that attendance takes place at the Conference.

Host Children’s Social Care will ensure that the notification from the Key Worker in the home authority Children’s Social Care is logged, where possible using a code that indicates a child subject to a Protection Plan moving in from another local authority area.  Ensure that the manager who is to take responsibility is primed and receives the referral within one working day.

Host Children’s Social Care manager will ensure that a Strategy Meeting is held, in order to clarify/agree:

  • Whether the child may be at risk of significant harm in the household within the host authority area;
  • Whether the home Children’s Social Care intends to retain case responsibility and if so, whether any services are necessary in relation to the Child Protection Plan;
  • Where applicable, arrangements for the transfer of case responsibility;
  • Where the home Children’s Social Care retains responsibility, that full details, including contact data, are recorded on Children’s Social Care database;
  • Where case responsibility is to transfer to the host Children’s Social Care, a Child Protection Conference is held by the host authority Children’s Social Care, within 15 working days of notification of the child moving into the area;
  • Children’s Social Care and other involved professionals in the home authority area are invited to the Conference and that reports are requested

   Children subject to a Child Protection Plan moving on a temporary basis

The Child Protection Register Custodian should also be informed immediately by Children’s Social Care when children subject to a Child Protection Plan move to another area on a temporary basis. The host authority will be notified by the Child Protection Register Custodian.

Children’s Social Care must notify the Child Protection Register Custodian when the child has returned to the CoY area.

   Where child is subject to legal proceedings

Wherever a child subject to legal proceedings moves, or is expected to move, to another local authority area, the local authority solicitor is to be informed immediately.

10 Custodial settings for children

Settings in which children may be held in custody include Young Offender Institutions (YOIs), Secure Training Centres (STCs) and secure children’s homes provided by local authorities, adult prison settings or immigration detention centres.

A child in a custodial setting is vulnerable to physical, sexual or emotional abuse. If there are lapses in the care provided for him / her, the child can suffer to such a degree that it constitutes significant harm. See section 4.3.

The welfare and safety of children living in custodial settings should be promoted and provided for at a minimum, in line with the National Standards for Youth Justice Services 2004, Youth Justice Board and Home Office, in all custodial settings.

All commissioners and providers of custodial services for children are responsible for ensuring that children are safeguarded. Commissioner contracts and provider procedures should be comprehensive and unambiguous in setting out the responsibilities and processes for safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare. Local Safeguarding Children Boards should monitor the welfare of children living in custodial settings. .

The standards for children living in custodial settings include that:

  • Children feel valued and respected and their self-esteem is promoted;
  • There is openness on the part of the custodial setting to the external world and external scrutiny, including contact with families and the wider community;
  • Custodial settings and support staff are trained in all aspects of safeguarding children, are alert to children’s vulnerabilities and risks of harm and are knowledgeable about how to implement safeguarding children procedures;
  • Children who live in custodial settings are listened to and their views and concerns responded to;
  • Children have regular access to a trusted adult from outside the custodial setting (e.g. a family member, the child’s social worker, independent visitor, children’s advocate). Children should be made aware of the help they could receive from independent advocacy services, external mentors, and ChildLine;
  • Custodial service staff recognise the importance of ascertaining the wishes  and feelings of children and understand how individual children communicate by verbal or non-verbal means;

There are clear procedures for referring safeguarding concerns about a child to the relevant Children’s Social Care service;

In relation to complaints:

  • Complaints procedures should 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;
  • Procedures should address all expressions of concern, including formal complaints. Systems that do not promote open communication about ‘minor’ complaints will not be responsive to major ones, and a pattern of ‘minor’ complaints may indicate more deeply seated problems in management and culture which need  to be addressed;
  • Records of complaints should be kept by providers of children’s services (e.g. there should be a complaints register in every custodial setting which records all representations including complaints, the action taken to address them, and the outcomes);
  • Children should be genuinely able to raise concerns and make suggestions for changes and improvements, which are taken seriously. See section 18. LSCBs, quality assurance and conflict resolution.
  • Bullying is effectively countered – this is especially important in any institution providing accommodation and care for groups of young people;
  • Recruitment and selection procedures are rigorous and create a high threshold of entry to deter abusers;
  • There is effective supervision and support, which extends to temporary staff and volunteers;
  • The custodial service contractor staff are effectively checked and supervised when on site or in contact with children;
  • Clear procedures and support systems are in place for dealing with expressions of concern by custodial service staff about other staff or carers (see Allegations against chilcare professionals procedure);
  • Organisations should have a code of conduct instructing staff on their duty to their employer and their professional obligation to raise legitimate concerns about the conduct of colleagues or managers. There should be a guarantee that procedures can be invoked in ways which do not prejudice the ‘whistle-blower’s’ own position and prospects;
  • There is respect for diversity and sensitivity to race, culture, religion, gender, sexuality and disability;
  • Custodial service staff are alert to the risks of harm to children in the external environment from people prepared to exploit the additional vulnerability of children living away from home.

   Children’s Social Care

Children’s Social Care’s duties and responsibilities extend to children who are in prison, and they are obliged to investigate any concerns about the welfare of children in custodial settings as they would if the child lived in the community or a non-custodial setting. All Children’s Social Care services should implement the requirements set out in Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people in custody (LA circular [2004] 26). In addition, the Prison Service has an obligation to safeguard the welfare of children in its care and to reflect the principles and spirit of the Children Act 1989.

Children’s Social Care in areas where there is a young offender institution, prison, Secure Training Centre or detention and deportation centre should:

  • Have agreed local protocols for referral, assessment and the provision of services to children in custody, including child protection procedures;
  • Ensure that the governor of the custodial establishment is invited to be a member of the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB);
  • Ensure, through the LSCB, that arrangements are in place to safeguard the welfare of children in custody (e.g. liaison arrangements for undertaking s47 enquiries, holding strategy meetings / discussions and undertaking serious case reviews) and that Children’s Social Care is represented on the young offender institution’s safeguarding committee;
  • Have local protocols in place in the event of the death of a child in custody, taking into account national guidelines from the Youth Justice Board, Department for Children, Schools and Families (formerly the DfES) and Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

Children’s Social Care should ensure they fulfil their statutory responsibilities for contact with any children placed in custody for whom they have parental responsibility.

Children remanded by criminal courts to secure accommodation are looked after children within the meaning of s22 of the Children Act 1989. Children who are already looked after may also be placed in secure children’s homes with the permission of the Family Proceedings Court (S25 Children Act 1989). The responsibilities on the local authority are those set out in Part 3 of and Schedule 2 to the Children Act 1989; the local authority does not acquire parental responsibility. These responsibilities fall on the local authority where the child is ordinarily resident, not on the authority where the secure accommodation is located. The safeguarding duties are the same as those for other looked after children in terms of promoting and safeguarding the child's welfare, taking account of the child's wishes, producing and reviewing care plans and consulting with other agencies.

As with other children, in any situation in which there is reason to suspect a looked after child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, child protection enquiries must be initiated.

The Governors of YOIs, STCs and secure children’s homes have obligations set out in PSO 4950 - Regimes for Juveniles with respect to child protection. The same measures should apply to children in other custodial settings, such as children in adult prison settings (e.g. women’s establishments which have mother and baby units) or immigration detention centres.

All custodial settings which accommodate children should have internal policies and procedures to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Accordingly, if information comes to light, from whatever source, that a young person has suffered or is at risk of suffering significant harm, the professional who receives the information or has a concern must report this immediately to the safeguards manager or equivalent nominated safeguarding children adviser, and the Governor.

The Governor must ensure an assessment is undertaken by the safeguards manager or equivalent nominated safeguarding children adviser as soon as possible (but in any case within 12 hours) and overseen by the setting’s safeguards committee. Children’s Social Care should be consulted for expert advice as required.

11 Custodial settings (children visiting)

   Definition of contact

Contact with a child includes correspondence, prisoner’s telephones (PinPhones) or social visits. Telephone contact will include any access to office telephones where permission has been granted. It will also include any contact with children who have been invited to visit the prison as part of a group.

When a child visits a custodial setting s/he could be at risk of significant harm through physical, sexual and / or emotional harm from the adult s/he is visiting or from others in the prison establishment. 

   Contact requests and registers

If a prisoner wishes to apply to have child contact, the enquiring prison officer must provide an application form for the prisoner to complete. A separate request must be made for contact with each individual child.

It is possible that a request for contact could be made by a parent or from the child directly. If such a request is received, the prisoner will be informed and asked if they wish to submit a request for contact.

A register providing a record of applications must be held on file. This record will become part of the prisoner’s main record and will follow the prisoner on transfer. Each prison establishment should maintain a central record indicating which prisoners are subject to restrictions due to the risk they represent to children, details of prisoners allowed child visits, or other contact and details of prisoners who have been refused child visits or other contact.

   Parental support for contact

The prison establishment should ask the parent of the child whether they support contact. The Children’s Social Care for the area where the child is living, should ascertain the wishes and feelings of the child during a home visit. For the visit to take place the LA children’s care must also ascertain that   the person who has parental responsibility and is currently caring for the child supports the contact. In cases where the parent does not support contact, the prison establishment should inform the Children’s Social Care of the parents’ decision.

   Looked after children

When a prison establishment contacts Children’s Social Care as part of the multi-agency assessment below, it may become apparent that a child is looked after by the local authority. In such cases, the local authority’s view of the appropriateness of contact must be obtained in writing. The test is always whether contact is in the child’s best interest.

   Multi-agency assessment

The prison establishment should undertake a multi-agency risk assessment to determine the risk to which a child may be exposed or the risk that a prisoner presents. The following agencies must be contacted to gather information before an assessment of risk can be made:

  • The police in the child’s home authority
  • The prison establishment police liaison / intelligence officer must be provided with the details of the prisoner and the child/ren (including photographs of the child/ren);
  • The police liaison / intelligence officer will then make contact with the police in the child’s home authority requesting any information about the risk of harm to the child or further information about the prisoner;
  • Children’s Social Care in the child’s home authority;
  • The first approach by the prison establishment should be by letter (with a photograph of the child) to the Director of Children’s Services.

Children’s Social Care should undertake an assessment and provide a written report with recommendations within three weeks;

  • The views of the child should be an important element of the assessment;
  • The prison establishment’s probation officer should be provided with the details of the prisoner’s application for contact;
  • Where a prisoner will be subject to licence supervision on release or has been recalled for breach of licence for the current offence. In these cases, the probation officer should contact the relevant home probation area with a request for information and comments concerning the prisoner’s application for contact:
  • Where the prisoner applying for contact is a young offender and is supervised. In these cases, Children's Social Care in the child's home authority must be contacted;
  • Where appropriate, the NSPCC may be contacted for additional information. Some prison establishments who have developed a relationship or a partnership with the NSPCC have negotiated an arrangement where the NSPCC will search their database for information relating to the risk of harm to a child. There is no obligation for the NSPCC to do this check, but it would enhance the assessment if such an arrangement were in place.

Prison establishment operational manager’s decision

When the operational manager with delegated authority is in possession of a all the available multi-agency information, an assessment should be made. It is most likely that the operational manager who carries out this function will be the Head of Resettlement or Throughcare who has responsibility for public protection. The operational manager’s decision should take into account the follow factors:

  • The child’s needs, wishes and feelings;
  • The capacity of the parent to protect the child from likely harm;
  • The prisoner’s risk to the public;
  • The OASys assessment;
  • Static risk assessment (Thornton’s Risk Matrix 2000);
  • Pre -sentence report;
  • Previous convictions;
  • Custodial behaviour and any other documentation highlighting risk.

The operational manager should decide the level of contact that will be permitted. The level of contact should be proportionate to the risk identified, and the best interests of the child should always be the overriding principal in making these decisions. Contact restrictions should be incremental – one of the following levels of restriction will be applied:

  • Level one: full restrictions apply. No contact with any child is permitted and all correspondence and telephone calls will be monitored;
  • Level two: contact is only permitted via written correspondence. All correspondence and telephone calls will be monitored;
  • Level three: contact is permitted via written correspondence and telephone. All correspondence and telephones calls will be monitored;
  • Level four: no restrictions necessary. May have contact via correspondence, telephone, visits and family visit (if available). Routine sampling applies - reading of correspondence, listening to telephone calls, general observation in visiting area.

   Monitoring

The level and frequency of monitoring will be proportionate to the risk of harm identified. Monitoring should focus on whether the prisoner is attempting to contact children inappropriately and what references about children are made in general correspondence (i.e. grooming or manipulation of a child or a parent).

Monitoring of prisoners who present a risk of harm to children in the visiting area is required to establish if appropriate contact is taking place between an offender and a child, where child visits have been permitted. Other prisoners who present a risk of harm to children and have not been permitted contact with a child must be supervised in such a way that contact is not possible.

Recorded and electronic information needs to be monitored (e.g. audio cassettes, CD Roms and video CDs) because it affords an easy disguise for inappropriate information.

   Ensuring correct identification of children

It is necessary to take steps to prevent a child with whom a prisoner may have contact being substituted with another, possibly more vulnerable child. Prison staff monitoring letters and telephone calls and visiting areas need to be vigilant and prevent inappropriate contact where identified. Children entering the establishment for social visits must be identified from photographs by prison staff.

Four passport-style photographs of each child will be required from the parent. Prison staff at the establishment may take the photos where arrangements to do so are in place. The first and second photographs will be sent to the police and Children’s Social Care, attached to the written request for information. Staff who are required to identify the child when entering the prison will use the third, and the fourth will be retained on file. Photographs should be returned to the parent if contact is not supported.

Photographs should be updated annually or earlier if there is a significant change in a child’s appearance.

   Reviewing contact decisions

Where a decision has been made to restrict contact, the decision will be reviewed when there is reason to believe that circumstances have changed. Reviews can be made at any time on the initiative of prison staff or at the request of the prisoner. It is good practice to review decisions every six months.

Reviews may take the form of a child protection conference, if the usual criteria for a conference are met. The prison establishment public protection lead is responsible for liaising with Children’s Social Care with regard to arranging a child protection conference.

Any decision to change the level of contact permitted must be based on what is best for the child. The child’s welfare is paramount at all times. The decision must take into account the views of the police and probation

   Appeals process

All prison establishments have procedures for prisoners who wish to appeal about a decision not to permit or to restrict contact with a child. If the prisoner wishes to challenge the information held on file, the information provided by other agencies should only be disclosed to the prisoner with the agreement of the other agency.

12 Disabled children

   Considerations

Disabled children are particularly vulnerable for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Having fewer outside contacts than other children;
  • Receiving intimate personal care possibly from a number of carers which may increase their exposure to abusive behaviour and make it more difficult to set and maintain physical boundaries;
  • Having an impaired capacity to resist or avoid abuse;
  • Being more vulnerable to abuse by their peers and especially vulnerable to bullying;
  • Being inhibited about complaining due to fear of losing services.

In addition to the universal indicators of abuse and neglect the following abusive behaviours may be relevant:

  • Force feeding;
  • Unjustified or excessive physical restraint;
  • Rough handling;
  • Extreme behaviour modification including the deprivation of liquid, medication, food or clothing;
  • Misuse of medication, sedation, heavy tranquillisation;
  • Invasive procedures against the child’s will;
  • Deliberate failure to follow medically recommended regimes;
  • Misapplication of programmes or regimes;
  • Ill-fitting equipment e.g. callipers, sleep board which may cause injury or pain, inappropriate splinting.

In addition to increased risk factors, disabled children may have communication difficulties which make it difficult to tell others what is happening to them.  Adults, including professionals assessing their needs and caring for them may concentrate on the child’s special needs and overlook signs and symptoms which may suggest that the child is being maltreated.  Often, signs indicating maltreatment may be attributed to the disability. 

A professional who has a concern for a disabled child must consider:

  • The child’s communication needs and how she/he will communicate effectively with the child;
  • What information in relation to the child’s disability and special needs the professional requires in order to assess risk of abuse;
  • What resources the professional requires in order to undertake an informed assessment;
  • Any specialist advice the professional needs.

Where there is a concern for a disabled child who is already subject to a Child’s Plan for example in receipt of short break care, those professionals assessing the concern and those who are responsible for coordinating and delivering the Child’s Plan must work closely together to ensure that the child’s needs are met in a holistic way.

   Strategy Meeting concerning a Disabled Child

Where a Strategy Meeting/Discussion is about a child with disabilities, there must be involvement by key professionals who know the child well, including those who have a comprehensive understanding of the child’s disability, method of communication, and any associated medical condition (which may account for bruising in some cases).

 

   Section 47 Enquiries with a Disabled Child

The initial assumption must always be that a child with a disability is capable of responding and making a statement if his/her particular needs are met.

There must be adequate preparation for an interview, which is to include:

  • Planning the venue for the interview in consultation with the child if possible or someone close;
  • Ensuring that a venue is physically accessible to the child;
  • Ascertaining if the child has the words or a non-verbal method of describing body parts (props such as dolls or other visual images may be appropriate in some cases);
  • Planning on the basis that the interview is to take place at the child’s pace which may be much slower than with a non-disabled child and may require more than one interview.

13 Domestic Abuse

Prolonged and/or regular exposure to domestic abuse can have a serious impact on a child’s development and emotional well being as well as his or her physical safety. As such it is one of the potential causes of significant harm to children which may warrant the use of the child protection procedures

   Meaning of Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence and abuse is defined in law as: 

any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, 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. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour

Controlling behaviour is 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 their everyday behaviour.

Coercive control

The previous definition defined domestic violence as a single act or incident. The new definition recognises that patterns of behaviour and separate instances of control can add up to abuse - including instances of intimidation, isolation, depriving victims of their financial independence or material possessions and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Definition of domestic violence and abuse: guide for local areas

To help local areas consider the consider how the extension to the definition of domestic violence and abuse may impact on their services, the Home Office, in partnership with Against Violence and Abuse (AVA) has produced a guide for local area

Responses to Concerns about Domestic Abuse

Any agency/professional may be the first point of contact for an adult who is suffering from domestic abuse, for example, Accident and Emergency staff, General Practitioners, Teachers, Health Visitors, Police.  Practitioners should:

  • Be proactive in creating conditions in which the victim can speak privately to a professional without fear of recriminations by the alleged perpetrator;
  • Be clear with the victims that the perpetrator does not have the right to abuse them;
  • Offer information privately to victims about sources of advice and support and how to access them:
  • Refer on to other agencies who can help, if s/he wishes this;
  • Clarify with the victim how safe contact can be made in future by agencies;
  • Record accurately any information about domestic abuse, including information given by victims and observations of injuries, and of the behaviour of victims or perpetrators.

Regarding a particular incident, attention should be paid to: 

  • Where the children were;
  • Whether they were directly involved and/or aware of the incident;
  • Whether any weapons were used or threatened to be used;
  • Whether the victim or children were prevented from leaving the house;
  • Whether there is damage to the home or belongings;
  • Whether pets have been harmed.

Where a practitioner believes that an enquiry to Children’s Social Care is indicated, this should be discussed with the victim and every effort made to seek agreement.  It is not necessary to have the consent of a parent in order to make a referral to Children’s Social Care if the practitioner has reasonable cause to believe that the child is at risk of significant harm.

Enquiry to Children’s Social Care

There is a obligation on all practitioners, when considering the needs of a child and the risk of significant harm, to consider the impact of hearing or witnessing domestic abuse on the child’s emotional and psychological well being. 

Where a practitioner considers that there is a child who is in need or at risk of significant harm, through domestic abuse, an enquiry should be made to Children’s Social Care via the  Children's Front Door (tel. 01904 551900)

All agencies work in line with the statutory guidance in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2015).

On this basis, it is to be determined whether the child and family are in need of support services and/or whether the child is in need of protection. The enquiry may also result in a package of early help support brokered by the Local Area Team.

Throughout, It should always be considered by all involved, whether a child living with domestic abuse has crossed the threshold from being a child in need of services to promote her/his welfare, to a child who is likely to be at risk of significant harm.

Consideration must be given about how to make initial contact without putting the child and the adult victim at further risk of abuse.  The enquiring practitioner will be asked for any information they have about safe methods of contact. 

Checks should be made to ascertain whether the perpetrator is already engaged with any statutory or voluntary agencies, such as the National Probation Service.

Consideration will be given to liaising with any local specialist domestic abuse project to check whether they already know any family members and to explore the value of joint work or a referral to that project.

If Children’s Social Care decide to carry out a Single Assessment, in assessing and managing the risk to the child, particular attention will be paid to the following factors:

The Adults

  • A build up of incidents or concerns;
  • Severe abuse or severe impact;
  • The perpetrator has been violent in previous relationships;
  • Substance misuse, including alcohol, by the perpetrator;
  • Adult mental health issues;
  • A perpetrator who is reportedly obsessively jealous or controlling;
  • Whether the perpetrator has ever grabbed the victim by the throat or attempted choking;
  • Use of weapons;
  • Sexual as well as physical assault;
    • Where the woman is pregnant;
    • Where an animal has been harmed;
    • Where the victim has just left;
    • Where the victim is planning to leave.

   The Child – physical risk

  • The child has been hurt or injured through the domestic abuse, whether or not deliberately;
  • The child is restricted in mobility and/or communication due to age or disability;
  • The child intervenes in the domestic abuse;
  • The child is unborn. 

Child – emotional abuse and/or neglect

  • The child’s basic needs are not being met.
  • The child’s emotional well being is affected.

Children’s views and wishes about their safety and welfare should be listened to and taken into account as far as possible.

Consideration should be given to removing the perpetrator from the family home as an initial means of managing the risk. The perpetrator should be given the opportunity to access any available local services which will help to address the use of abuse in the longer term.  It is possible for the family courts to grant exclusion orders to assist in removing a perpetrator.

Any practitioner involved with the family should attempt to work with the victim on issues of safety and empowerment for themselves and the children, and on placing the responsibility for the domestic abuse on the perpetrator.  This may mean helping the parent and children to escape, although this may not be an option, for a variety of reasons.

Working with the victim on empowerment should never override the paramount requirement to protect the children and ensure their welfare.  It may become necessary to go against the wishes of the victim, for example, by invoking child protection procedures or taking legal action.  It should be made clear that this action is based on an assessment of the children’s needs and that the non-abusing adult is not being blamed for the threat posed by the perpetrator of the abuse.

Based on the information available and assessment, it may be decided that it is not necessary to apply child protection procedures. Alternatively, these may be applied at the point of referral or at a later point in the assessment process.

Child protection procedures are to be applied if there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is at risk of significant harm.

 

14 E Safety

   Scope of the procedure

As technology develops, the internet can be accessed through various devises including mobile phones, text messaging, mobile camera phones as well as computers and games consoles. As a result, the internet has become a significant tool in the distribution of indecent photographs and videos of children and young people.

Internet chat rooms, forums and bulletin boards are used as a means of contacting children with a view to grooming them for inappropriate or abusive relationships which may include requests to make or transmit pornographic images of themselves or to perform sexual acts live in front of a web cam.

Contacts made initially in a chat room are likely to be carried on via email, instant messaging services, mobile phone and text messaging. There is a growing cause for concern about the exposure of children to inappropriate material via interactive communication technology e.g., adult pornography and extreme forms of obscene material.

There is some evidence that people found in possession of indecent photographs or film/videos of children may now or in the future be involved directly in child abuse themselves. When someone is considered to have placed or accessed such material on the internet, the police should consider the potential for the individual to be involved in the active abuse of children.

In particular the individual’s access to children should be established within their family, their employment and in other settings such as voluntary work with children.

It should be born in mind that any indecent, obscene image of a child has by its nature, involved a person, who in creating that image has been party to abusing that child.

   Grooming - Sexual Offences Act 2003

Section 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 makes it an offence for a person aged 18 or over to meet intentionally, or to travel with the intention of meeting a child under 16 in any part of the world, if he has met or communicated with that child on at least two earlier occasions, and intends to commit a “relevant offence” against that child either at the time of the meeting or on a subsequent occasion.  An offence is not committed if the adult reasonably believes the child to be 16 or over.

The section is intended to cover situations where an adult establishes contact with a child through for example, communications on the internet and gains the child’s trust and confidence so that he can arrange to meet the child for the purpose of committing a “relevant offence” against the child.

The course of conduct prior to the meeting that triggers the offence may have an explicitly sexual content, such as the adult entering into conversations with the child about sexual acts he wants to engage him/her in when they meet, or sending images of adult pornography.  However, the prior meetings or communication need not have an explicitly sexual content and could for example simply be the adult giving swimming lessons or meeting him/her incidentally through a friend.

The offence will be complete either when, following the earlier communications the adult meets the child or travels to meet the child with the intent to commit a relevant offence against the child.  The intended offence does not have to take place.

The evidence of the adults intent to commit an offence may be drawn from the communications between the adult and the child before the meeting or may be drawn from other circumstances, for example if the adult travels to the meeting with ropes, condoms and lubricants.

Subsection (2) (a) provides that adult’s previous meetings or communications with the child can have taken place in or across any part of the world.  This would cover emailing the child from abroad, speaking on the telephone abroad, or meeting the child abroad.  The travel to the meeting itself must at least partly take place in England or Wales or Northern Ireland.

   Agency policies and procedure re indecent images of a child

All member LSCB organisations should have a clear set of policies and procedures in place, backed up with guidance and training, addressing the issue of employees accessing illegal child pornography. Managers have a clear understanding of what procedure to follow should they be informed that one of their staff members is suspected of accessing such images on a works computer.

It is a criminal act under Section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978 for any person to make and distribute indecent images of children. These are arrestable offences.

   Immediate action and referral

Upon receipt of information concerning a person suspected of this kind of activity, the agency should notify the police immediately. No downloading or distribution of any images should be completed, either internally or externally within the organisation, as this will leave these individuals responsible open to criminal investigation.

The computer should be left and not used by anyone, allowing this to be seized for forensic examination by the police. The details of all persons having access to the computer should be made available to allow a clear evidence trail to be established.

   Procedures for Police Officers

Police Officers involved in a case involving abusive images of children (including making or taking images, or distribution or possession) or a case of grooming/sexual abuse of a child, must without delay:

  • Ascertain whether there are children or young people in the family/household of the suspect;
  • Ascertain whether the suspect has access to other children or young people, such as through work or voluntary activities.

In the following circumstances, Police Officers are to refer to Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit immediately, in order that protection and welfare issues can be addressed for the children or young people involved.

  • There is an identified child or young person who has been the subject of abusive images;
  • There is an identified child or young person who has been groomed/sexually abused;
  • There is a child or young person in the family/household of the suspect;
  • There are children or young people, outside the family/household, to whom the suspect has significant access;
  • The suspect is a child or young person under the age of 18.

Police Child Abuse Investigation Officers are to follow the inter-agency procedures below.

   Where a Child/Young Person is subject of Abusive Images

In all cases, wherever a child or young person is identified as having been the subject of one or more abusive images (whether or not this relates to the Internet):

  • The child or young person is to be referred to Children’s Social Care;
  • The referral is to be classed as requiring a child protection response;
  • A Strategy Meeting is to be held;
  • Child protection (Section 47) enquiries and core assessment are to be undertaken by Children’s Social Care;
  •  A Police investigation should be considered;
  • The child or young person should be offered counselling/therapeutic services. (If counselling/therapeutic services are to proceed, they must adhere to the guidance in ‘Provision of Therapy for Child Witnesses Prior to a Criminal Trial’ (Home Office 2001). See Pre-Trial Therapy (Section 9.40, LSCB Procedures).

   Where Child/Young Person subject to Grooming/Sexual Abuse

Concerning any particular child, the grooming may come to light at a very early stage or it may have reached the point where the child or young person has met the suspect and been sexually abused.

Child Abuse Investigation Police Officers must:

  • Refer any child or young person who has been sexually abused, or where there appear to be protection needs, to Children's Social Care;
  • Consider the welfare needs of the child or young person and whether a referral is needed to Children’s Social Care for support services.   

Children’s Social Care are to apply child protection procedures where necessary.

   Child in the Family/Household of Suspect

Wherever there is a child or young person in the family or household of a person suspected of involvement in abusive images of children or of grooming/sexually abusing a child: 

  • The child or young person is to be referred to Children’s Social Care;
  • The referral is to be classed as requiring a child protection response;
  • A Strategy Meeting is to be held;
  • Child protection (Section 47) enquiries and core assessment are to be undertaken.

Where computers have been seized and extensive forensic work is to be undertaken, it will not always be possible for the Police to work within normal timescales for investigations.  This may affect the timescales expected of Children’s Social Care for undertaking child protection enquiries and assessment, in which case, Children’s Social Care should record the reasons for delay.

   Other Children to whom the Suspect has Access

Protective action is to be taken wherever a person suspected of involvement in abusive images of children or the grooming/sexual abuse of a child or young person, is found to have significant access to other children, for example through work or voluntary activities.

Planning should take place between a Senior Manager in Children’s Social Care and the Detective Chief Inspector/Detective Inspector for Child Abuse Investigation, with the involvement of Public Protection representatives where applicable. Legal advice should be sought, where necessary, in relation to matters of disclosure. 

   Suspect Employed by LSCB Agency

Where the suspect is employed by, or a volunteer or foster carer, for an LSCB agency, the procedures to be followed are given in Section 10.

Suspected Abuse by Young Person

Where a young person under the age of 18 is suspected of involvement in perpetrating abuse through abusive images or of grooming/sexual abuse, a referral about this young person is to be made to Children’s Social Care. 

   Secure Storage of Material

The professionals involved should reach an expedited agreement as to the arrangements for the secure storage and preservation of the material.

In appropriate cases consideration should be given as to the need to seek judicial guidance on the handling of any images or other material to ensure no inadvertent commission of criminal offences.

   The Strategy Meeting

Issues to consider include:

  • Is the child at immediate risk of significant harm e.g., the child in the image or a child in the household?;
  • Are there other children visiting the household?
  • Is the child about to meet the person contacting them?
  • Is the adult having contact with a child with children in their workplace?
  • Is the adult involved in voluntary work, youth work and other activity where they have trust?
  • What is the timescale for a forensic investigation of any computer equipment?
  • If the person is to be investigated, how should their contact with children be managed in the meantime?
  • Should other procedures, such as Allegations of Abuse by Childcare Professionals be triggered?
  • Is the parent or any other carer able to protect the child? What support networks do they have?
  • What are the implications of the likely delay in criminal investigations?

Where the enquiries have revealed that there are children about whom there are concerns of continuing risk of significant harm, and Initial Child Protection Conference will be convened within 15 working days.

Where there are no children identified as at risk of continuing significant harm in relation to the adult, the police will continue with the investigations to establish the identity of the child/ren in the images.

15 Fabricated or induced illness

   Government Guidance

Professionals are expected to work in line with ‘Safeguarding Children in Whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced’ (DOH 2008) This statutory guidance is for:

    • local authorities
    • schools
    • health authorities
    • social workers
    • police
    • local safeguarding children boards

Detailed local CYSCB FII Guidance can be found here

Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII) by parents or carers is child abuse and can cause significant harm to children.

FII involves a well child being presented by a parent/carer as ill, or a disabled child being presented with more significant problems than he/she has in reality. This may result in extensive, unnecessary medical procedures and investigations being carried out in order to establish the underlying causes for the reported signs and symptoms. The child may also have treatments prescribed, investigations or operations which are unnecessary. These interventions can result in children spending long periods of time in hospital and some, by their nature, may also place the child at risk of suffering from harm (physical illness, disability or even death).

FII can also lead to emotional difficulties for the child and confusion over their own health status. Professionals need to focus on the impact of FII on the child’s health and development – this is crucial to ensure an appropriate safeguarding response.

Other terms are sometimes used to describe FII, some of which are out of date or used predominantly in other countries (e.g. Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy).

 Possible warning signs

  • Reported signs and symptoms found on examination are not explained by any medical condition from which the child may be suffering.     
  • Physical examination and results of medical investigations do not explain reported symptoms and signs. 
  • There is an inexplicably poor response to prescribed medication and other treatment
  • New symptoms are reported on resolution of previous ones.         
  • Reported symptoms and found signs are not seen to begin in the absence of the parent/carer, i.e. a parent/carer is the only witness of the signs and symptoms.
  • The child’s normal, daily life activities are being curtailed beyond that which might be expected for any medical disorder from which the child is known to suffer. 
  • Over time the child is repeatedly presented to different health care settings with a range of signs and symptoms.  At its most extreme this has been referred to as ‘doctor shopping’.      
  • History of unexplained illnesses or deaths or multiple surgeries in parent/carer or siblings of the family. The emphasis here is on the unexplained.   
  • Incongruity between the seriousness of the story and the actions of the parents.         
  • Behaviours of the parent/carer who is the suspected as the perpetrator.  

Professional responsibilities 

Much more detailed information about each agency’s response is contained in the CYSCB Guidance

Any professional may have concerns because parents are describing a child’s illness or health needs which are not witnessed by the professionals.

In such situations professionals should consider the above warning signs. If they remain concerned or have heightened concerns they should discuss the child with the safeguarding lead within their organisation. If concerns remain, then the child should be discussed with relevant health professionals (e.g. GP, paediatrician, school nurse). Consent from the parents to do this should be sought on the grounds that that this is usual practice where a child has an illness which is impacting on their health or development. At this stage the concern about possible FII should not be disclosed to the parent/carer. If parents refuse consent for a discussion with health professionals then this should be discussed with the safeguarding lead to consider whether refusal increases the level of concern. When a parent/carer reports restrictions/limitations for normal school activities due to reported ‘health’ issues, it is important this is verified.

Professionals should keep careful and secure records of absences and reasons given by parents for absences so that these can be corroborated. The professionals should listen to the child and document what they are saying.

All discussions, including those with parents/carers, must be documented and kept in a secure records.  

A chronology template is available here. This sets out:                   

    • Date (self explanatory)
    • Time of event
    • Source is the agency/practitioner
    • Episode/event is a record from the story
    • Comment/discrepancy

 If after discussion with designated safeguarding leads in your organisation, concerns persist about FII then a referral to Children’s Social Care should be made.

 Risk from a Member of Staff

There may be times when a member of staff is responsible for the unexplained or inexplicable signs and symptoms in a child. This should be borne in mind when considering how to manage the child’s care.  Any such concerns about a member of staff should be discussed with the relevant Named Professional for Child Protection. 

16 Female genital mutilation

.A full York FGM report and FGM Practice Guidance is available here The Department for Education Multi-agency Guidance is available here.

The Home Office provides online training in recognising and preventing FGM here: https://www.fgmelearning.co.uk/ There is e-learning for healthcare professionals here: http://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/female-genital-mutilation/

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a collective term which includes the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons.  FGM is very harmful. It is not like male circumcision. It causes long-term mental and physical suffering, difficulty in giving birth, infertility and death.  It is also extremely painful

FGM is much more common than realised. It is estimated that there are around 74,000 women in the UK who have undergone the procedure, and about 7,000 girls under 16 who are at risk. This estimate is based on the number of women and girls living in the UK who originate from countries where FGM is traditionally practiced, such as Yemen, Oman, Malaysia, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates as well as 26 countries in Africa from Gambia to Somalia.

There are substantial populations from these countries in the big cities like London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield and Cardiff, but FGM is not necessarily confined to these areas.

FGM is illegal in this country and, through the ‘Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003’ it is illegal to take girls abroad to have this procedure done.

The Female Genital Mutilation Act was amended by section 73 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 to include FGM Protection Orders. An FGM Protection Order is a civil measure which can be applied for through a family court. The FGM Protection Order offers the means of protecting actual or potential victims from FGM under the civil law.

Also under the Serious Crime Act 2015, from 31 October 2015 regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales will have a mandatory requirement to report visually confirmed or verbally disclosed cases of FGM in girls under 18 to the police. For national guidance on this: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mandatory-reporting-of-female-genital-mutilation-procedural-information and PowerPoint local guidance on how to report this to North Yorkshire Police: http://www.saferchildrenyork.org.uk/female-genital-mutilation.htm .

Further national resources are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fgm-mandatory-reporting-in-healthcare including a leaflet for victims.

Any medical provision for a pregnant woman who has herself been the subject of FGM provides the opportunity for recognition of risk and preventative work with parents.

A child may be considered to be at risk if it is known that older girls in the family have been subject to the procedure.  Pre-pubescent girls of 7 to 10 are the main subjects, though the practice has been reported amongst babies.

A teacher or other professional may be alerted to a child being prepared for FGM to take place abroad in a number of ways, e.g. if a family belong to a community in which FGM is practised and are making preparations for the child to take a holiday, (planning absences from school, arranging vaccinations, etc) and/or the child may refer to a special procedure about to take place.

FGM must always be regarded as causing significant harm if:

  • There is suspicion that a girl or young woman, under the age of 18, is at risk of undergoing this procedure
  • It is believed that a girl or young woman is at risk of being sent abroad for that purpose
  • There are indications that a girl or young woman has suffered mutilation or circumcision.

Where a professional or agency believes a child is likely to suffer or has suffered FGM a child protection referral must be made to Children’s Social Care.  A Strategy Meeting is to be held within 24 hours to agree a course of action.  In addition to normal attendance at the Strategy Meeting a professional with specific expertise should be invited and consideration should be given to inviting a legal adviser.

In planning any intervention it is important to consider the significance of cultural factors.  Any intervention is more likely to be successful if it involves workers from, or with a detailed knowledge of the community concerned.  FGM is a one-off event of physical abuse (albeit one that may have grave permanent sexual, physical, and emotional consequences), not an act of repeated abuse and organisational responses need to recognise this.

Under the Children Act 1989, possible legal proceedings could include a Prohibited Steps Order (s.8) with or without a Supervision Order (s.35), or use of the Inherent Jurisdiction of the High Court.  Removal from home should be considered only as a last resort.

If the child has already suffered FGM the meeting will need to consider carefully whether to continue enquiries or whether to assess the need for support services.  The meeting should consider any other children in the family or household who may be at risk of FGM in the future.

A second Strategy Meeting should take place within 10 working days of the referral, with the same Chair.  This meeting must evaluate the information collected in the enquiry and recommend whether a Child Protection Conference is necessary.

A girl who has already been genitally mutilated should not normally be subject to a Child Protection Conference unless additional protection concerns exist.  She should be offered counselling and medical help.  Consideration must be given to any other female siblings at risk.

A girl believed to be in danger of genital mutilation may be made subject to a Child Protection Plan with the primary category of physical abuse.  The Child Protection Plan should reflect an approach of awareness raising, education, support and persuasion.

For further guidance see: Safeguarding women and girls at risk of FGM - Publications - GOV.UK and further information at:

17 Firesetting

Fireplay and firesetting behaviour by a child must always be taken seriously, because it can put a child at risk of significant harm:

  • There is a very real risk of possible death and injury; and
  • When a child sets fires, it may indicate that they are at risk of, or experiencing, serious mental or emotional harm

Consideration should be given to undertaking a common assessment and / or making a referral to Children’s Social Care and the police.

Several factors may lead to firesetting:

  • Curiosity;
  • A cry for help;
  • Lack of parental control;
  • Serious emotional disturbance, which may be related to abuse and neglect.

Whilst all groups of children may become involved in firesetting, boys, children in one-parent families, and looked after children are overrepresented.

Issues for consideration in an assessment include the child’s development needs, stressful environment factors, the degree of guidance and boundaries the child is receiving or is willing to accept, basic care and ensuring safety (e.g. where a young child can access matches and lighters).

All professionals should discuss their concerns with their line manager and their agency’s nominated safeguarding children adviser.

The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is available by referral from the family or professionals to work with children. The scheme takes an educational approach with children and their parents, and can help identify the cause of the behaviour. It works across the spectrum from curiosity fireplay in young children to arson in older children.

18 Forced marriage of a child

In addition to the information here a free e-learning course is available here:  http://www.safeguardingchildrenea.co.uk/resources/awareness-of-forced-marriage-register-for-training

This was developed by the Forced Marriage Unit of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office.The course raises awareness, challenges perceptions and gives information about the correct actions to take should you suspect someone is at risk.

   What Forced Marriage Means

In forced marriage, one or both spouses do not consent to the marriage and some element of duress is involved.  Duress includes both physical and emotional pressure.

There is a distinction between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage. The tradition of arranged marriages has operated successfully within many communities and many countries for a very long time.  In arranged marriages, the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice of whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the young people.

   Confidentiality in the Context of Forced Marriage

Confidentiality is an extremely important issue for any child/young person threatened with, or already in, a forced marriage.

Very careful consideration must be given in relation to who is to be given what information, which must be on a ‘need to know’ basis only.   This applies to practitioners as well as members of the family or the community.  Any disclosure, which could lead to the child/young person being traced, could put her or him at considerable risk of harm, including death from family or others.  

Approaches must not be made to the child/young person’s family, friends or those with influence within the community, without the express consent of the child/young person.

Information is not to be shared with anyone, without the express consent of the child/young person, unless it is necessary to do so in order to protect her or him. The best interests of the child/young person must be the paramount consideration.

In order to trace the whereabouts of a child/young person, sometimes families use organised networks, which can include family and community members, bounty hunters, taxi drivers, shop keepers and people who have access to records such as staff from Benefits Offices, GP Surgeries and Housing Departments.  Information on case files and database files should be kept strictly confidential and preferably restricted to named members of staff only, in all involved agencies.  All professionals and particularly those in Children’s Social Care, should very carefully consider, in these special circumstances, what information is placed on accessible computer systems, own agency records, and reports to, and records of, inter-agency discussions/meetings.

Social Workers and other practitioners may be placed under pressure from relatives, councillors, MPs and those with influence within the community to say where a young person is.  Under no circumstances is this information to be divulged.

   Referral to Children’s Social Care or Police

Information about a possible or actual forced marriage may come from the child/young person concerned or a friend or relative.  It may also become apparent in relation to other family issues, such as domestic violence, self-harm, teenage pregnancy, child abuse or neglect, family conflict or when a child/young person has gone missing.

Any practitioner  from any agency who has reason to believe that a child/young person may be at risk of forced marriage, or has been subject to forced marriage, whether or not the child/young person is thought currently to be in this country, must immediately refer to Children’s Social Care or the Police.  

Where the Police are the first to be informed, they are to refer to Children’s Social Care without delay.

   Children’s Social Care Response

Social Workers and their managers, dealing with cases of possible forced marriage, are expected to be familiar with, and work to, the comprehensive guidance set out in ‘Young People and Vulnerable Adults Facing Forced Marriage: Practice Guidance for Social Workers ‘ DfES, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, ADSS, DOH 2004. 

Forced marriage places children and young people at considerable risk of rape and possible physical harm, including murder. Due to the complex and sensitive issues involved in relation to forced marriage, such referrals are to be brought to the attention of the Children’s Social Care Child Protection Manager (or equivalent) without delay

If the first contact to Children’s Social Care is by the child/young person, or a friend on their behalf, every effort is to be made to obtain as much information as possible at that point, as there may not be another opportunity.

If the child/young person attends Children’s Social Care, s/he is to:

  • Be seen immediately in a secure and private place.;
  • Be seen alone, even if they attend the office with others.
  • Have all the options explained to them and have their wishes recognised and respected.
  • Be reassured of confidentiality by Children’s Social Care.
  • Be considered for immediate protection and placement away from home.

Wherever possible the following should be obtained: 

  • Details of the person making the report and their relationship with the young person
  • Details of the young person concerned, including:
    • Nationality
    • Date and place of birth
    • Passport details
    • School details
    • Employment details
    • Name and address of parents;
  • Full details of the allegation;
  • Friends and family members who the young person can trust:;
  • Any background information such as schools attended, involvement by Police, Doctors or other health services;
  • Recent photograph or other identifying documents;
  • Whether there is a family history of forced marriage and abuse and whether any other family member is at risk of forced marriage;
  • Whether the young person is pregnant or has a secret boyfriend/girlfriend, is already secretly married or is self-harming.

Additional factors in all cases are:

  • Information should be kept strictly confidential and be restricted to named members of staff only.
  • Where possible, the young person should have the choice of gender and race of the Social Worker who deals with their case.
  • The young person should be:
    • involved in discussion, together with the Police and other relevant professionals
    • given personal safety advice (which is detailed within the national guidance)
    • informed of their right to seek legal advice and representation
    • given contact details for their Social Worker/Manager.
  • There should be liaison with the Children’s Social Care legal representatives.
  • Any injuries should be documented and a medical examination undertaken where appropriate.
  • A code word should be established to ensure that the Social Worker is speaking to the right person.

The national guidance stresses that the following must not happen:

  • The matter being treated as a domestic issue, with the young person being sent back to the family home;
  • Ignoring what has been said or dismissing the need for immediate protection.
  • Approaching the young person’s family, friends or those with influence within the community, unless there is the express consent of the young person;
  • Contacting the family in advance of any enquiries, either by telephone or letter;
  • Sharing information outside child protection processes without the express consent of the young person;
  • Breaching confidentiality except where this is to ensure the young person’s safety;
  • Placing the child/young person with extended family;
  • An attempt at mediation or reconciliation (which can be extremely dangerous to the child/young person).

All referrals about possible/actual forced marriage are to initially be dealt with under child protection processes and an inter-agency Strategy Meeting/Discussion held. 

   Strategy Meeting Regarding Forced Marriage

A Strategy Meeting must be held within one working day. The need for immediate protection and placement away from home must be considered.  If the young person is in immediate danger, then protective action must be taken, either through Police Protection or an Emergency Protection Order.  Extended family are not an option for placement and it may be that placement needs to be out of the local authority area, in order to protect the child/young person. It may also be necessary to place a child in a racially unmatched foster placement to avoid the child being traced.

Decisions are to be made in relation to legal proceedings and advice sought, from the local authority Legal Adviser, as to the most appropriate legal steps to be taken.  

Where the professionals involved in the Strategy Meeting/Discussion consider that the child/young person is not in immediate danger, arrangements should be made for an initial or core assessment, as per the ‘Framework for Assessment of Children and their Families’ (DOH 2000) also for the child/young person to be provided with information on rights, choices and support services in relation to forced marriage. 

Parents should be informed of actions, unless to do so would place the young person at risk.  If protective action has been taken, parents are not to be informed of a young person’s whereabouts. 

Where the child/young person concerned is not in the United Kingdom, the professionals at the Strategy Meeting/Discussion are to make arrangements for as much information as possible to be discretely gathered and for the Community Liaison Unit at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to be contacted.

   Further Planning

Wherever there is protective action, or a core assessment, there is to be a multi-agency professional meeting to plan the future for the child/young person.  This should be held at the earliest opportunity.  The child/young person is to be fully involved in the planning.

Parents should be informed of actions, unless to do so would place the young person at risk. 

   Medical Examination

If it is necessary to arrange a medical examination for emotional or physical illness or to give attention to injuries, this should be undertaken in accordance with local child protection procedures.  There must however be consideration as to whether using any medical practitioner from the local ethnic community may jeopardise or threaten the security of the young person.  If there is seen to be a risk, then medical assistance is to be sought through another route.

   Interpreters

Where necessary, the services of an Interpreter should be sought.  Careful consideration needs to be given as to the choice of the Interpreter and to the information to which s/he is to be made party.  There must be consideration as to whether using an Interpreter from the local ethnic community may jeopardise or threaten the security of the young person.  If there is seen to be a risk, then interpreting services should be sought elsewhere.  

19 Foreign exchange visits

Children on foreign exchange visits and in some language schools stay with families selected by the school (or hosting organisation) in the host country and are vulnerable for reasons comparable to others living away from home. If there are lapses in the care provided for them, the child can suffer to such a degree that it constitutes significant harm.

   Recognition of abuse and neglect.

Children may be at additional risk as the assessment and supervision that would apply if the child was privately fostered are not applicable because most exchanges last less than 28 days. It is unlikely the school (or hosting organisation) selecting the host family will have been able to conduct a thorough assessment of the suitability of the host family.

Advice and assistance can be given by the Children’s Social Care to schools wishing to conduct more thorough assessments, for example the host family could be asked to give consent for checks of the local children and family social care service database, and also for checks with other local agencies (for example with GPs).

In the event that a pupil’s host family has been the subject of s47 enquiries, unless or until there is a satisfactory resolution of concerns, the family should be regarded by the UK school as unsuitable to receive or continue hosting a pupil from an overseas school.

UK schools and agencies should take reasonable steps to ensure that a comparable approach is taken by relevant schools abroad.

20 Foster care

When a child is being placed with foster carers, prior to placement (or as soon as possible) foster carers should be provided with full information about the foster child and his/her family, including details of abuse or possible abuse, in order to allow them to make informed decisions about the appropriateness of the placement.

Social Workers are required to see children in foster care on their own (taking appropriate account of the child’s wishes and feelings). 

Managing Allegations Against Childcare Professionals procedure outlines the process to be followed where there are allegations of harm to a child by foster carers or other members of their household.

Where there are concerns about significant harm to a foster child, Section 47 Enquiries must consider the safety of any other children living in the household, including the foster carers’ own children. 

21 Harbourers of Missing Children and Young People

Certain individuals allow young people to stay at their homes without informing the parent or carer of the young person.  They either directly or indirectly encourage them to go missing and to stay away from their carers.  This can lead to an increase in the number of individuals who are reported as missing or unauthorised absence.

Some of these individuals actually target these young people for the purpose of grooming or involving them in prostitution.  Serious offences are usually difficult to prove due to the lack of co-operation of the young person.

These procedures aim to identify, warn and where necessary prosecute these individuals for harbouring or abduction in order to disrupt this activity.

   Discretion - Advice or Warning

If the harbourer has no malicious intent, officers should seek the co-operation of the harbourer wherever possible.  Officers should use their discretion to decide whether advice or a formal warning will be more effective in changing the behaviour of the harbourer.

Officers must also use their discretion as to the number of warnings that should be issued.

  • If the harbourer is suspected of sexual exploitation or other abuse, consideration should be given to securing sufficient evidence to prosecute at the earliest opportunity. 
  • However if the harbourer has no malicious intent, the primary aim is to ensure the warnings are effective so that a prosecution is not necessary.

   Investigation Procedure

  • Gain access to the premises.
  • Remove the child/ young person to a place of safety.
  • Secure and preserve evidence.
  • Ascertain whether the suspect has been previously warned for harbouring in respect of this child/ young person.
  • Consider issuing a standard/ final warning.
  • If previously issued a final warning, then consider arrest/ interview and prosecution of the suspect.

   Gaining access to Premises- S17(1)(e) Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

A constable may enter and search any premises to save life or limb or prevent serious damage to property.

   Emergency Protection Order

The Emergency Protection Order may authorise the applicant to enter specified premises to search for the child. The Court may also issue a warrant authorising a Constable to assist the applicant mentioned above and use reasonable force if necessary.

   Recovery Order

Where the child is subject to a care order, an emergency protection order or is in police protection, a Recovery Order can be sought if entry is refused.

   Remove the Child/ Young Person

If a child/ young person is located at the home of a suspected harbourer then:

  • A constable should remove the child and any other children at risk to a place of safety if the constable has reasonable cause to believe that the child/ children would otherwise be likely to suffer significant harm.
  • Consider contacting the Police Protecting Vulnerable Person’s Unit and arranging medical examinations and video interviews.
  • There is an implied power to use reasonable force to take a child/ young person into Police Protection.

On the first occasion that a child is located in the company of a person not connected with the child, the officer must use their judgement to decide if the circumstances indicate that the individual is inducing, assisting or inciting the child to runaway or stay away from their carer.  Officers should use their discretion as to whether or not a formal warning is appropriate.

   Secure and Preserve Evidence

Obtain as much evidence from the scene as possible:

  • Record any admissions made by the child or defendant.
  • Record any hearsay evidence from other witnesses or children present.
  • Look for objective indications of a sexual element to the relationship between the child and defendant:
  • Videos or magazines with sexual content that are clearly visible.
  • Inappropriate photographs taken of the child.
  • Inappropriate photographs taken of the defendant that the child has access to.
  • Computers turned on connected to inappropriate chat rooms.
  • Signs that the child and defendant were both sleeping in the same room/ bed.
  • Condoms or sex toys visible in the room.
  • •Over familiar contact between the child and defendant.
  • Inappropriate text messages sent between the child and defendant.
  • The child or defendant being inappropriately dressed in each others company.
  • Excessive gifts being bought by the defendant for the child.
  • The child and defendant having pet names for each other.

Seize any evidence immediately under S19 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 whether or not you make an arrest.

Ascertain whether the suspect has been previously warned for harbouring in respect of this child/ young person.

   Standard Warning

The Standard Warning is only appropriate where it is believed the suspect has no malicious intent.  If the suspect is suspected of grooming or sexually exploiting the child/ young person then officers should go straight to the Final Warning or in serious cases arrest.

Officers should use their discretion as to the number of Standard Warnings that should be issued taking into account the stated aims of this investigation strategy.

The Officer/PCSO should:

  • verbally warn the suspect that:
  • the carer has not given their permission for this child to stay with the suspect or be in the suspects company; 
  • if the child should return again they should not let them into their house;
  • that the child is under 16 and/or in the care of the Local Authority; and
  • if they do not co-operate then they will be liable to being prosecuted under S2 Child Abduction Act 1984 or S49 Children Act 1989;
  • record details of this warning;
  • inform the NY Police Missing Person Coordinator of the action that has been taken.

The NY Police Missing Person Coordinator should then:

  • liaise with Children’s Social Care to discuss whether a written warning should be sent or alternatively whether it would be more advantageous to seek the co-operation of the harbourer;
  • if it is decided that a written warning should be sent, ensure a follow up letter is sent to the suspect on behalf of the Police confirming the Standard Warning (the letter should clearly state the age of the child, the date of birth of the child if aged 15 and that the child is in the care of the Local Authority if applicable);
  • retain a copy of the warning letter;
  • instruct the parent/ carer to tell their child that they are absolutely banned outright, with no exceptions, from visiting the address or associating with the suspect;
  • liaise with the Local Authority Housing Department or Housing Association to ascertain whether the harbourer is in breach of any term of their tenancy agreement and if so encourage the other agency to consider appropriate enforcement action.

   Final Warning

Should the child or young person be found again in the company of the suspect or at any address that the suspect is residing or at, the officer/ PCSO should:

  • issue a final verbal warning;
  • record details of the final warning in their Pocket Notebook;
  • submit a Form A Intelligence report;
  • inform the Divisional Missing Person Coordinator of the action taken;

The Divisional Missing Person Coordinator should then;

  • obtain a statement from the parent/ carer that confirms;
    • that they are the parent of the child;
    • the name and date of birth of the child;
    • that they "have absolutely banned outright, with no exceptions (name of child) from visiting any address at which (name of suspect) is residing or at and/ or from associating with (name of suspect) at any place whatsoever";
    • that they "are the person with lawful control over (name of child) and can say that (name of suspect) has no lawful authority to take, remove, keep or detain (name of child) from (their) lawful control";
    • that they "believe that by making this statement (they are) acting in the best interest of (name of child) and support police action";
    • that they consent to the use of a photograph of (name of child) when the police issue a “Final Warning” to (name of suspect)";
    • obtain a photograph from the parent/ carer;
  • visit the suspect with the relevant Social Worker (wherever possible) to verbally warn the suspect, show the photograph and hand deliver the warning letter (Misper 3 or 3a);
  • request statements from all officers/ PCSOs who have issued the verbal warnings;
  • prepare a briefing item for operational briefings.

The purpose of the Final Warning is to prevent the defendant successfully raising the defence that s/he:

•             did not know the age or identity of the child/ young person; and

•             did not know that s/he did not have permission to allow the child/ young person to stay with them or be in their company.

   Arrest/ Interview

If the defendant is again found in the company of the child/ young person

If the child is under 16:

  • the defendant should be arrested for an offence of abduction contrary to S2 Child Abduction Act 1984;
  • the defendant should be interviewed for offences contrary to S2 Child Abduction Act 1984 and S49 Children Act 1989 if the child is in care;
  • if there is sufficient evidence, the defendant should be charged with the most appropriate offence.

If the child is over 16 but in care:

  • the defendant should be invited to attend the police station for interview;
  • if there is sufficient evidence the defendant should be reported for summons for an offence contrary to S49 of the Children Act 1989 after interview, or if the defendant refuses to be interviewed.

   Legislation

1. Section 49 Children Act 1989: Abduction of Children in Care This offence applies to any child/ young person subject to a care order, emergency protection order or in police protection. This applies even if the child/ young person is 16 or over.

A person is guilty of an offence if, knowingly and without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, he:

  • takes a child to whom this section applies away from the responsible person;
  • keeps such a child away from the responsible person; or
  • induces, assists, or incites such a child to run away or stay away from the responsible person.

2. Section 2 Child Abduction Act 1984: Abduction of Child This offence applies to any child under 16. This applies even if the child is not subject to a care order, emergency protection order or in police protection.

A person not connected with the child is guilty of an offence if, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, he takes or detains a child under the age of 16:

  • so as to remove him from the lawful control of any person having lawful control of the child; or
  • so as to keep him out of the lawful control of any person entitled to lawful control of the child.

3. Section 46 Children Act 1989: Power to Remove to Place of Safety or Prevent Removal from Place of Safety Where a Constable has reasonable cause to believe that a child would otherwise be likely to suffer significant harm, he may:

  • remove the child to suitable accommodation and keep him there; or
  • take such steps as are reasonable to ensure that the child’s removal from any hospital, or other place, in which he is then being accommodated is prevented.

This is the primary power for the police in emergency situations.

4. Recovery Order S50 Children Act 1989: Order to Produce Child on Request and Remove Child A Recovery Order allows a court to order the recovery of a child who has been prevented from returning to his/her lawful guardian or has run away.

A Recovery Order can be made in respect of any child/ young person subject to a care order, emergency protection order or in police protection.

A court can make a Recovery Order where it appears to the court that there is reason to believe that a child to whom this section applies:

  • has been unlawfully taken away or is being unlawfully kept away from the responsible person;
  • has run away or is staying away from the responsible person; or
  • is missing,

5. Risk of Sexual Harm Orders S123 Sexual Offences Act 2003: Order to Protect Child by Prohibiting Defendant doing certain specified acts This is a civil preventative order for which the police can apply to a Magistrates' Court.  It can be granted on the balance of probabilities rather than beyond reasonable doubt. The child or children to be protected must be under 16. The offender must be over 18.

An application can be made if:

  • there is evidence that the person has on at least two occasions engaged in sexually explicit conduct or communication with a child or children. 
  • there is reasonable cause to believe that the order is necessary to protect a child or children from harm arising out of future such acts by him.

6. Sexual Offences Prevention Order S104 Sexual Offences Act 2003: Order to Protect Public from Serious Sexual Harm by Prohibiting Convicted Defendant from doing certain specified acts Sexual Offences Prevention Orders are civil preventative orders. An application can be made if:

  • the defendant has been convicted of an offence listed in Schedule 3 or Schedule 5 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003; and
  • his subsequent behaviour gives rise to reasonable cause to believe that it is necessary for such an order to be made to protect the public from serious sexual harm.

7. S24 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 In relation to a “non-arrestable” offence such as an offence under s49 Children Act 1989, in order to make an arrest a constable must have reasonable grounds for believing that the persons arrest is necessary to:

  • obtain/ verify the name of the person;
  • obtain/ verify the address of the person;
  • prevent physical injury to the suspect or any other person;
  • prevent loss or damage to property;
  • prevent an offence against public decency;
  • prevent unlawful obstruction of a highway;
  • protect child/ vulnerable person;
  • allow prompt and effective investigation of the offence/ conduct of the suspect;
  • prevent any prosecution being hindered by the disappearance of the suspect

22 Harming Others

The harm caused to children by the harmful and bullying behaviour of other children can be significant. This may involve single incidents or ongoing physical, sexual or emotional (including verbal) harm perpetrated by a single child or by groups / gangs of children.

In addition, children of both genders can direct physical, sexual or emotional violence towards their parents, siblings and / or partner.

Such abuse should be subject to the same safeguarding children procedures as apply in respect of children being abused by an adult. Children who harm others should be held responsible for their harmful behaviour and professionals responding to them should be alert to the fact that they are likely to pose a risk to children other than the current victim.

Children who harm others are likely to have considerable needs themselves.  Evidence suggests these children may have suffered significant disruption in their lives, been exposed to violence within the family, may have witnessed or been subject to physical or sexual abuse, have problems in their educational development and may have committed other offences.

Professionals must base their decision on whether behaviour directed at another child should be categorised as harmful or not on the circumstances of each case. It will be helpful to consider the following factors:

  • The relative chronological and developmental age of the two children (the greater the difference, the more likely the behaviour should be defined as abusive);
  • Whether the alleged abuser is supported or joined by other children;
  • A differential in power or authority (e.g. related to race, gender, physical, emotional or intellectual vulnerability of the victim);
  • The actual behaviour (both physical and verbal factors must be considered);
  • Whether the behaviour could be described as age appropriate or involves inappropriate sexual knowledge or motivation;
  • The degree of physical aggression, intimidation or bribery;
  • The victim’s experience of the behaviour and the impact it is having on their routines and lifestyle (e.g. not attending school);
  • Attempts to ensure secrecy;
  • Duration and frequency of behaviour.

All professionals should make a referral to Children’s Social Care when there is a suspicion or an allegation of a child:

  • Having been seriously physically abused or being likely to seriously physically abuse another child or an adult;
  • Having been seriously emotionally abused or being likely to seriously emotionally abuse another child or an adult;
  • Having harmed another child or an adult.

   Sexual abuse and serious physical and emotional abuse

These procedures are written with particular reference to sexually harmful behaviour, though when there are serious child protection concerns as a result of serious non-sexual violence or serious emotional abuse by a child or children, these procedures should also be followed.

Whenever a child may have harmed another, all agencies must be aware of their responsibilities to both children and multi-agency management of both cases must reflect this.

The interests of the identified victim must always be the paramount consideration.

It is possible that the child with harmful behaviours may pose a significant risk of harm to their own siblings, other children and / or adults. The child will have considerable needs themselves, and may also be or have been the victim of abuse.

   Strategy meeting

When any agency makes a referral to Children’s Social Care about a child who has been or is a victim of abuse, an initial strategy meeting must take place between Children’s Social Care, the police and other relevant agencies to share the information and determine whether the threshold for s47 enquiries has been reached.

   Child protection enquiries.

Where the suspected abuser is a child, a similar strategy meeting should be convened involving the police and Children’s Social Care.

When the children concerned are the responsibility of different children’s social care services, each local authority service must be represented at the strategy meeting which will usually be convened and chaired by the Children’s Social Care for the local authority in which the victim lives.

Different social workers should be allocated for the child who is the victim and the child who has harmed, even when they remain living in the same household, to ensure both are supported through the process of the enquiry and that each child’s needs are fully assessed and met.

The strategy meeting should 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 who is suspected or alleged to have harmed another child / adult;
  • Social worker for the child/ren alleged to have been abused;
  • Social workers’ first line manager;
  • Police;
  • Youth Justice Service, where the child who is alleged to have caused the harm is aged eight or over;
  • School representative/s (particularly if the concerns suggest that other children in the school setting have been or may be at risk of being abused);
  • School nurse or other health services staff, as required;
  • Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) representative;
  • Representatives of fostering or residential care, as applicable;
  • Consideration should also be given to inviting a local specialist voluntary agency and any other professional or agency involved with the child alleged to have caused the harm.

The meeting must plan in detail the respective roles of those involved in the enquiries and ensure the following objectives are met:

  • The safety of all children concerned, with particular attention needing to be paid to living and contact arrangements while concerns are being investigated;
  • Information relevant to the protection needs of the alleged victim is gathered;
  • Any criminal aspects of the abuse are investigated;
  • Any information relevant to abusive experiences and protection needs of the child who has harmed is gathered.

In planning the investigation, the following factors should be considered:

  • Age of all children and adults who may be involved (both victims and children who have harmed);
  • Whether the child who harmed was/is supported by other children;
  • Seriousness of the alleged incident;
  • Effect on the victim/s and their own view of their safety;
  • The victim’s parents’ attitude and ability to protect their child/ren;
  • The abuser’s parents’ response to their child’s behaviour;
  • Whether there is a suspicion that the child who is alleged to have harmed has also been abused;
  • Whether there is reason to suspect that adults are also involved;
  • The likelihood and desirability of criminal prosecutions taking place;
  • The level of ability of the child and any communication problems that they may have;
  • The mental state of the child and their capacity to be interviewed.

Where there is a suspicion that the child is both an abuser and a victim of abuse, the strategy meeting must decide the order in which any interviews will take place.

   Criminal investigation

The police will decide whether an alleged offence should be subject to criminal investigation. Such allegations may not be the responsibility of the Police Protecting Vulnerable Person’s Unit.

From the perspective of the criminal investigation, when a child aged ten or over is alleged to have committed an offence, the first interview with them must be undertaken by the police (i.e. it will be a recorded interview held in a police station, under caution and with parent or another appropriate adult present).

On occasion, this approach may not be in the best interests of the overall management of the investigation or of the welfare of the children involved. In these circumstances, the police may agree that it would be preferable for a Children’s Social Care social worker (and other professionals as appropriate) to interview the child as a potential victim of abuse. This should only be the case where explicit police agreement has been obtained to this course of action.

Where police decide to conduct a separate ‘offender’ interview, a social worker or other agency professional should be involved in the interview, to perform the statutory responsibility to the child/ren of an appropriate adult.

If during the course of being interviewed as a victim of, or witness to, alleged abuse, a child discloses offences that they have committed or been subjected to, these incidents should normally be the subject of a separate interview as detailed in Achieving Best Evidence 2.151 - 2.154.

Throughout the enquiry, the immediate protection of all child/ren involved must be ensured.

Where a decision is reached that the alleged behaviour does not constitute abuse and there is no need for further enquiry or criminal investigation, the details of the referral and the reasons for the decision must be recorded. In each case and in respect of each child involved or potentially involved, Children’s Social Care will determine whether or not an initial or core assessment of need is warranted.

   Outcome of enquiries

The outcome of enquiries is as described in the the procedure for dealing with Child Protection Enquiries . However, the position of the alleged victim and the alleged abuser must be considered separately.

If the information gathered in the course of the enquiries suggests that the abuser is also a victim or potential victim of abuse (including neglect), a separate child protection conference must be convened for him or her.

Where there are no grounds for a child protection conference, but concerns remain regarding the child’s sexually / physically / emotionally harmful behaviour, they should be considered as a child in need. In such cases, a multi-agency planning meeting should be held and a plan for the provision of services for the child and his / her family agreed. Service provision should:

  • Be informed by an assessment of the child’s needs and the risk they pose to others;
  • Set out who will have responsibility for what actions, including what course of action should be followed if the plan is not being successfully implemented; and
  • Include a timescale for review of progress against planned outcomes.

   Child protection conference

Consideration should be given to inviting a Youth Justice Service representative to the conference of any child/ren aged eight or over presenting harmful behaviours, and informing the local Youth Justice Service of the meeting in cases of younger children.

In addition to carrying out the usual functions, the child protection conference must consider how to respond to the child’s needs as a possible abuser.

Where the alleged abuser is not deemed to require a protection plan to protect them, consideration should be given to the need for services to address any abusive behaviour and the multi-agency responsibility to manage any risk, through the use of multi-agency planning meetings.

   Criminal proceedings

The decision as to how to proceed with the criminal aspects of a case will be made by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. The police must operate in accordance with the duty to seek to investigate and prosecute all crimes. Agencies working with young offenders should ensure that actions by staff do not undermine the need to ensure a criminal conviction if the substance of the allegation so warrants it.

   Multi-agency planning meetings

Children who are victims and those who are abusers are likely to have complex needs requiring a multi-agency response. Therefore, in cases where there are no grounds for holding a child protection conference, or where one has been held but a protection plan did not result, a multi-agency meeting should be convened to plan multi-agency services for a child in need.

It is not envisaged that universal services would be able to deal with such a degree of complexity through the processes associated with the Common Assessment Framework (CAF).

These multi-agency meetings should not be confused with the borough Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), in which arrangements are made to protect the community from known potentially dangerous offenders. However, the local co-ordinator for the MAPPA in either the police or probation service must be advised of concerns posed by young abusers, especially where the abuser has been cautioned or convicted, in which latter case the local Youth Justice Service Team will also become involved. See Section 12, LSCB Procedures for risk management of adult sexual and violent offenders under the MAPPA.

For each child (the victim and the child with harmful behaviours), a multiagency planning meeting should be convened by Children’s Social Care to:

  • Share information;
  • Agree to undertake;
    • An assessment of the needs of the victim/s;
    • An assessment of the needs and risks posed by the child with harmful behaviours;
  • Agree to refer for a specialist assessment for either child, as required;
  • Set a timetable for both assessments;
  • Co-ordinate interim:
    • Support for the victim/s;
    • Risk management for the child with harmful behaviours;
  • Allocate agency and professional roles, including which agency will take responsibility for the interim risk management plan.

Those invited should include participants of the strategy meeting / discussion and representatives from health, including child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), the school and any other professionals with relevant knowledge of the child and their parent/s.

On completion of the assessments, the multi-agency meeting should be reconvened for each child to consider the outcome, and to review and coordinate the roles of relevant agencies in providing identified interventions, including a risk management plan and specialist input for children with special needs.

I should be clear which agency is responsible for the risk management plan for a child with harmful behaviours. The plan should always address the risk to other children wherever the child spends time, including at school and within or near to the home address or placement whenever a child is looked after by a local authority. A plan must be in place to minimise risk of future offending.

Both the risk management plan and support for a child who is the victim should be reviewed at regular multi-agency meetings. The Chair of the multiagency meeting should decide the frequency of the review meetings according to each child’s needs / risk. At the point of closure, the review must consider the possible need for long term monitoring and the availability of advice and other services.

   Children moving into or re-entering a local authority area

Children with inappropriate sexual or very violent behaviour who are reentering the community following a custodial sentence or time in secure accommodation, or who move into an area from another local authority, require the multi-agency response (assessment / intervention) described above. The response should be initiated at the earliest opportunity.

Where a child who has been convicted of sexual offences involving the abuse of other children is released into the community, the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) must be invoked to ensure the safety of the community, in line with section 12 risk management of adult sexual and violent offenders under the MAPPA.

   Carrying of offensive weapons and gangs

Offensive weapons are defined in the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 as ‘any article made or adapted for causing injury to the person; or intended by the person having it with him for such use by him’. S139 and s139A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 refer to ‘any article which has a blade or point or is sharply pointed’. The only exceptions are small folding pocket knives where the blade is less than 3 inches long. But this exception does not of course prevent schools from imposing their own bans on pupils carrying such weapons. There are three categories of offensive weapons:

  • ‘Made’ could include a dagger or gun;
  • ‘Adapted’ could include a broken bottle; and
  • ‘Intended’ for such use could include a rock or stone.

Clearly many articles are capable of being an offensive weapon, but in the latter category there would need to be evidence of an intention to use that particular article as a weapon.

Behavioural problems by a group of young people can impact upon a neighbourhood but does not necessarily mean that they are a gang. It is common practice for groups of young people to gather together in public places to socialise. Groups of young people can be disorderly and / or antisocial but not engage in criminal activity.

There are specific organised gangs who engage in criminal activity. Problems between gangs can be further enhanced by the use of ‘gangs’ websites where they publicise themselves.

Children who carry offensive weapons and / or are members of specific gangs (who engage in criminal activities) could place themselves and others at risk of significant harm. Preventative work in relation to offensive weapons and gangs should be a key part of each LSCB’s strategy, establishing safer environment by engaging with young people, challenging unacceptable behaviour, and helping young people develop respect for themselves and their community.  Police, schools, Youth Offending Teams and other appropriate local agencies should mutually establish and develop strong partnerships and policies.

In 2007, the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) provided new guidance to schools on screening for offensive weapons, following the enactment of s45 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006. See www.teachernet.gov.uk.

   Children moving into or re-entering a local authority area

Children with inappropriate sexual or very violent behaviour who are reentering the community following a custodial sentence or time in secure accommodation, or who move into an area from another local authority, require the multi-agency response (assessment / intervention) described above. The response should be initiated at the earliest opportunity.

Where a child who has been convicted of sexual offences involving the abuse of other children is released into the community, the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) must be invoked to ensure the safety of the community, in line with section 12 risk management of adult sexual and violent offenders under the MAPPA.

Detailed local CYSCB Guidance can be found here