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2.3 Agency Roles and Responsibilities

Detailed information on the roles of agencies in safeguarding children and promoting their welfare can be found in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 (Chapter 2: Organisational Responsibilities).

AMENDMENT

In October 2015 this chapter was reviewed and updated to reflect publication of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.


Contents

1. Introduction
2. Common Features of All Agencies
3. Statutory Responsibilities
4. Armed Services
5. British Transport Police
6. Early Years and Childcare
7. Children & Family Courts Advisory & Support Service (CAFCASS)
8. Local Authorities
    Children's Social Care
    Children's Services (Education)
    Links with Adult Social Care Services
9. Schools and Colleges
10. Faith Communities
11. Fire and Rescue Service
12. Health Services
13. Housing Services
14. Licensing Authority
15. National Offender Management Service
    Probation
    Prisons
16. Secure Estate for Children & Young People
17. Police
18. Voluntary and Private Providers
19. Youth Offending Team
20. Youth Services


1. Introduction

1.1 An awareness and appreciation of the role of others is essential for effective collaboration between organisations and this chapter represents a summary of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.
1.2 The aims of this chapter are to:
 
  • Emphasise the common obligations of all agencies and professionals;
  • Describe the specific contributions of each to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children;
  • Inform partner agencies of mutual expectations;
  • Enhance the effectiveness of multi-agency work.


2. Common Features of All Agencies

2.1 All organisations, including those whose primary responsibility is to provide services to adults, must consider the implications of service users' behaviour for the safety and well being of any dependent children and/or children with whom those adults are in contact
2.2

Under Section 11 Children Act (2004) organisations that work with children need to have in place:

  • Clear priorities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children explicitly stated in key policy documents and commissioning strategies;
  • A clear commitment by senior management to the importance of safeguarding and promoting children's welfare through both the commissioning and the provision of services;
  • A culture of listening to and engaging in dialogue with children - seeking their views in ways appropriate to their age and understanding, and taking account of those both in individual decisions and the establishment or development and improvement of services;
  • A clear line of accountability and governance within and across organisations for the commissioning and provision of services designed to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
  • Recruitment and human resources management procedures and commissioning processes, including contractual arrangements that take account of the need to protect children and young people including arrangements for appropriate checks on new staff and volunteers and adoption of best practice in the recruitment of new staff and volunteers;
  • A clear understanding of how to work together to help keep children and young people safe online by being adequately equipped to understand, identify and mitigate the risks of new technology;
  • Procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff and volunteers (see Allegations Against Staff, Carers & Volunteers Procedure) or, for commissioners, contractual arrangements with providers that ensure these procedures are in place;
  • Arrangements to ensure all staff undertake appropriate training to equip them to carry out their responsibilities effectively, and keep this up to date by refresher training at regular intervals, and that all staff, including temporary staff and volunteers who work with children, are made aware of both the establishment's arrangements and their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and their responsibilities for that;
  • Policies in place for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children including a child protection policy, effective complaints procedures and procedures that are in accordance with guidance from the local authority and locally agreed inter-agency procedures;
  • Arrangements to work effectively with other organisations to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, including arrangements for sharing information;
  • A culture of listening to and engaging in dialogue with children - seeking their views in ways appropriate to their age and understanding, and taking account of those both is individual decisions and establishment of services; and
  • Appropriate whistle blowing procedures and a culture that enables issues about safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children to be addressed.


3. Statutory Responsibilities

Safeguarding & promoting the welfare of children

'Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children' is defined in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment;
  • Preventing impairment of children's health or development;
  • Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

Scope of duty

Statutory guidance makes it clear that safeguarding children is a shared responsibility, and s.11 Children Act 2004 places a duty on the following key persons and bodies in:

  • Local authorities and district councils that provide children's and other types of services, including children's and adult social care services, public health, housing, sport, culture and leisure services, licensing authorities and youth services;
  • NHS organisations, including the NHS England and clinical commissioning groups, NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts;
  • Police including police and crime commissioners and and the chief office of the police force;
  • British Transport Police;
  • National Probation Service / Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC);
  • Youth Offending Service;
  • Governor of any prison or secure training centre (STC).

The above key agencies or individuals must ensure that:

  • Their functions are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; and
  • The services they contract out to others are provided having regard to that need.

The remainder of this chapter summarises in alphabetical order, the roles and responsibilities of specified agencies.


4. Armed Services

Local authorities have the statutory responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the children of service families in the UK In discharging these responsibilities:

  • Local authorities should ensure that the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Families Association Forces Help, the British Forces Social Work Service or the Naval Personal and Family Service is made aware of any service child who is the subject of a child protection plan and whose family is about to move overseas; and
  • Each local authority with a United States base in its area should establish liaison arrangements with the base commander and relevant staff. The requirements of English child welfare legislation should be explained clearly to the US authorities, so that the local authority can fulfil its statutory duties.

When service families or civilians working with the armed forces are based overseas the responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of their children is vested in the Ministry of Defence.

  • The Army welfare contact is through the Army Welfare Service Intake and Assessment Team:
    Tel. 01904 662613 or
    email: AWS-HQ-IAT@mod.uk;
  • The Naval Service welfare contact is through the RN RM Welfare(RNRMW) Portal:
    Tel: (Mil): 9380 28777; (Civ): +44 (0)23 9272 8777 or
    email: navypers-welfare@mod.uk;
  • The RAF welfare contact is through the Personal Support & Social Work Service RAF (SSAFA): Tel: Mil:95221 6333; (Civ): +44 (0) 01494 49 6477/6333 or
    email: air-cospers-polssafahd@mod.uk.


5. British Transport Police

The British Transport Police is subject to Section 11 duties set as set out above of. In its role as the national police for the railways, the BTP can play an important role in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, especially in identifying and supporting children who have run away or who are truanting from school.

The BTP should carry out its duties in accordance with its legislative powers. This includes removing a child to a suitable place using their police protection powers under the Children Act 1989 and the protection of children who are truanting from school using powers under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. This involves, for example, the appointment of a designated independent officer in the instance of a child taken into police protection.


6. Early Years and Childcare

Early years providers have a duty under section 40 of the Childcare Act 2006 to comply with the welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Early years providers should ensure that:

  • Staff complete safeguarding training that enables them to recognise signs of potential abuse and neglect; and
  • They have a practitioner who is designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding children within each early years setting and who should liaise with local statutory children's services agencies as appropriate. This lead should also complete child protection training.


7. Children & Family Courts Advisory & Support Service (CAFCASS)

The responsibility of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), as set out in the Children Act 1989, is to safeguard and promote the welfare of individual children who are the subject of family court proceedings. It achieves this by providing independent social work advice to the court.

A Cafcass officer has a statutory right in public law cases to access local authority records relating to the child concerned and any application under the Children Act 1989. That power also extends to other records that relate to the child and the wider functions of the local authority, or records held by an authorised body that relate to that child.

Where a Cafcass officer has been appointed by the court as a child’s guardian and the matter before the court relates to specified proceedings, they should be invited to all formal planning meetings convened by the local authority in respect of the child. This includes statutory reviews of children who are accommodated or looked after, child protection conferences and relevant adoption panel meetings.


8. Local Authority

Children's Social Care

8.1 Staff who discharge the 'social care function' are the principal point of contact for children about whom there are welfare concerns and contact details for the service need to be clearly signposted, including on local authority websites and in telephone directories.
8.2 Children's Social Care should offer the same level of support and advice to independent and free schools, academies and Further Education (FE) colleges in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of pupils and child protection as to maintained (state) schools.
8.3 It is particularly important staff establish channels of communication with local independent schools (including independent special schools), so that children requiring support receive prompt attention and any allegations of abuse can be properly investigated.
8.4 Children's Social Care staff, with the help of other organisations as appropriate, also have a duty to make enquiries if they have reason to suspect a child in their area is suffering, or likely to suffer Significant Harm, to enable them to decide whether they should take any action to safeguard or promote the child's welfare.
8.5 Where a child is suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm, Children's Social Care staff are responsible for co-ordinating an assessment of the child's needs, the parents' capacity to keep the child safe and promote his or her welfare, and of the wider family circumstances.


Children's Services (Education)

8.6 S.175 Education Act 2002 obliges CSAs to 'carry out their functions with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children'.
8.7 Keeping Children Safe in Education (2014) contains guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment in education.


Links with Adult Social Care Services

8.8 Those who work with service users in Adult Services (Social Care) must consider the implications of service users' behaviour for the safety and well being of any dependent children and/or children with whom those adults are in contact.
8.9

In particular, child protection issues may arise (e.g. a parents' mental illness) amongst parents, carers or pregnant women in receipt of the following:

  • Community mental health support;
  • Substance misuse services;
  • Learning disability services;
  • Support services for victims of domestic abuse.
8.10

Adults' Social Care must establish and maintain systems so that:

  • Managers working with adults can monitor those cases which involve dependent children;
  • There is regular, formal and recorded consideration of such cases with Children's Social Care staff;
  • Where both Adults' and Children's Social Care are providing services to a family, staff communicate with each other and agree interventions.
8.11 Adult Social Care staff who receive referrals about individuals who are also parents, should consider if they need to alert Children's Social Care to a child potentially In Need or suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm.
8.12 Once action is taken under child protection procedures (and regardless of whether the work is undertaken jointly or separately) Children's Social Care becomes responsible for its co-ordination.


9. Schools and Colleges

The governing bodies, management committees or proprietors of the following schools have duties in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of pupils:

  • Maintained schools (including maintained nursery schools), further education colleges and sixth form colleges, and pupil referral units;
  • Independent schools (including academy schools, free schools and alternative provision academies); and
  • Non-maintained special schools.

As established under the Further Education and Higher Education Act 1992.

In order to fulfil their safeguarding duties, these bodies should have in place the arrangements set out Section 11 Children Act 2004.

Schools and colleges must also have regard to statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2015), which provides further guidance as to how they should fulfil their duties in respect of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in their care.


10. Faith Communities

Faith communities should ensure that all clergy, staff and volunteers who have regular contact with children:

  • Have been checked for suitability (inc. Disclosure and Barring Service checks) in working with children and understand the extent and limits of the volunteers' role;
  • Are sensitive to the possibility of child abuse and neglect;
  • Have access to training opportunities to promote their knowledge;
  • Know how to report concerns about possible abuse or neglect;
  • Are vigilant about their own actions so they cannot be misinterpreted.

Faith communities should have the following arrangements in place:

  • Procedures for staff and others to report concerns they may have about children they meet, that are consistent with 'What to Do if You Are Worried A Child Is Being Abused' and LSCB procedures;
  • Appropriate staff codes of practice, particularly for those working directly with children, e.g. those issued by the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) or their denomination or faith group.

All faith communities should, with support from nominated individuals in the local LSCB, develop and maintain their own child protection procedures, consistent with these procedures.

Churches and faith organisations can seek advice on child protection issues from CCPAS, which can help with policies and procedures. Its 'Guidance to Churches' manual can help with policies and procedures and its 'Safeguarding Children and Young People' can assist other places of worship and faith-based groups.

CCPAS provides a national 24 hour telephone help-line for churches, other places of worship and faith-based groups and individuals, providing advice and support on safeguarding issues.

Whenever there is concern a child has been abused or neglected, the concern should be referred, without delay, to the duty social worker for the area in which the child lives.


11. Fire & Rescue Service

The Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire & Rescue Service is committed to its Child Protection Policy O/C 88-18-08 which is applicable to all staff and enshrines 2 key principles:

  • The welfare of the child is the paramount consideration;
  • All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief and sexual identity have a right to protection from harm.

Staff who for any reason become concerned that a child may be at risk, is being or has been abused either by:

  • A member of staff;
  • A member of their family;
  • Any other person, including another child;
  • Themselves - self abuse;
  • Or is told by a child that they are being, or have been abused.

must report that concern to a designated person at the earliest opportunity - a 'designated person' being the Human Resources Department Head, or any Duty Divisional Officer - who must complete the required Child Protection Proforma for Referral to Children's Social Care Services (Appendix 5 of OC88-18-08).

The role of the 'designated person' is to:

  1. Act as an official contact with Children's Social Care Services and any other involved statutory authority in the matter of a child protection referral;
  2. To instigate any internal actions that may be necessary following a referral being made.

The Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire & Rescue Service designated persons consist of the Human Resources Department Head and Duty Divisional Officers. The Human Resources Department Head can be reached during office hours at Brigade Headquarters (01296 424666) on x120. Duty Divisional Officers can be contacted via Brigade Headquarters (01296 424666) during office hours, and otherwise via Fire Service Control (01296 395959). 


12. Health Services

NHS organisations are subject to the section 11 duties set out above.

Health professionals are in a strong position to identify welfare needs or safeguarding concerns regarding individual children and, where appropriate, provide support. This includes understanding risk factors, communicating effectively with children and families, liaising with other agencies, assessing needs and capacity, responding to those needs and contributing to multi-agency assessments and reviews.

A wide range of health professionals have a critical role to play in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children including: GPs, primary care professionals, paediatricians, nurses, health visitors, midwives, school nurses, those working in maternity, child and adolescent mental health, youth custody establishments, adult mental health, alcohol and drug services, unscheduled and emergency care settings and secondary and tertiary care.

All staff working in healthcare settings – including those who predominantly treat adults – should receive training to ensure they attain the competencies appropriate to their role and follow the relevant professional guidance.

  • Safeguarding Children and Young People: roles and competencies for health care staff, RCPCH (2014);
  • Looked after children: Knowledge, skills and competencies of health care staff, RCN and RCPCH, (2012);
  • For example, Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors, GMC (2012) and Safeguarding Children and Young People: The RCGP/NSPCC Safeguarding Children Toolkit for General Practice, RCGP (2014).

Within the NHS:

NHS England is responsible for ensuring that the health commissioning system as a whole is working effectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. It is also accountable for the services it directly commissions, including health care services in the under-18 secure estate and in police custody. NHS England also leads and defines improvement in safeguarding practice and outcomes and should also ensure that there are effective mechanisms for LSCBs and health and well- being boards to raise concerns about the engagement and leadership of the local NHS.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)are the major commissioners of local health services and are responsible for safeguarding quality assurance through contractual arrangements with all provider organisations. CCGs should employ, or have in place, a contractual agreement to secure the expertise of designated professionals, i.e. designated doctors and nurses for safeguarding children and for looked after children (and designated paediatricians for unexpected deaths in childhood). In some areas there will be more than one CCG per local authority and LSCB area, and CCGs may consider ‘lead’ or ‘hosting’ arrangements for their designated professional team, or a clinical network arrangement. Designated professionals, as clinical experts and strategic leaders, are a vital source of advice to the CCG, NHS England, the local authority and the LSCB, and of advice and support to other health professionals.

All providers of NHS funded health services including NHS Trusts, NHS Foundation Trusts and public, voluntary sector, independent sector and social enterprises should identify a named doctor and a named nurse (and a named midwife if the organisation provides maternity services) for safeguarding. In the case of NHS Direct, ambulance trusts and independent providers, this should be a named professional. GP practices should have a lead and deputy lead for safeguarding, who should work closely with named GPs. Named professionals have a key role in promoting good professional practice within their organisation, providing advice and expertise for fellow professionals, and ensuring safeguarding training is in place. They should work closely with their organisation’s safeguarding lead, designated professionals and the LSCB.


13. Housing Services

Housing and homelessness services in local authorities and others at the front line such as environmental health organisations are subject to the section 11 duties set out above. Professionals working in these services may become aware of conditions that could have an adverse impact on children. Under Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004, authorities must take account of the impact of health and safety hazards in housing on vulnerable occupants, including children, when deciding on the action to be taken by landlords to improve conditions. Housing authorities also have an important role to play in safeguarding vulnerable young people, including young people who are pregnant, leaving care or a secure establishment.


14. Licensing Authority

The Licensing Act 2003 modernised the legislation governing the sale and supply of alcohol and public entertainment licensing.

The Act removed liquor licensing powers from the magistrates' courts and created a 'licensing authority' in each local authority in England and Wales responsible for processing applications covering the sale and supply of alcohol, as well as public entertainment.

Historical restrictions on the hours when alcohol could be sold were also removed so that licence applicants can request their own, independently determined hours of operation.

There are 4 'licensing objectives' contained with the Act:

  • Prevention of crime and disorder;
  • Public safety;
  • Protection of children from harm (including child sexual exploitation);
  • Prevention of public nuisance.

The Act allows the licensing authority to attach conditions relating to children's access to reflect the individual nature of each establishment, if relevant representations are made and this is necessary to do so in order to protect children from harm. Where there is no risk of harm, there need be no conditions applied.

Responsible Authorities

A number of specified 'responsible authorities' must be notified of all licence variations and new applications and include:

  • Police;
  • Fire & Rescue; and
  • 'A body which represents those who, in relation to any such area, are responsible for, or interested in, matters relating to the protection of children from harm, and is recognised by the licensing authority for that area for the purposes of this section as being competent to advise it on such matters'.

The LSCB or a named individual e.g. a child protection manager can be what is termed a 'responsible authority' and can make representations to the licensing authority about a 'variation' or new licence application, where applicants fail to consider the protection of children. The LSCB / named individual can request that the protection of children be incorporated by way of condition/s on the relevant premises licence or club premises certificate.

Responsible authorities also have the power to call for a review of an existing licence, based upon 1 or more of the above 4 licensing objectives.

The responsible authority for child protection can be contacted for advice and guidance by applicants prior to their submission of an application at Milton Keynes Safeguarding Children Board above.

All applications must clearly state which licensing authority is responsible for dealing with the application, to enable an appropriate and prompt response to be made by the responsible authority.

Full applications should be forwarded to the responsible authority by the licence applicant.

The responsible authority for child protection will acknowledge receipt of the application (to both the applicant and the licensing & safety team).

The responsible authority for child protection will respond to the licensing & safety team, specifying what conditions are seen to be necessary in respect of the application to meet the licensing objective of protecting children from harm.

If no representations are made by Children's Services or other agreed 'responsible authority' within four weeks of receiving the application then it will be assumed that no representations are being made.

In view of the likely lack of information available to Children's Services in respect of licensed premises, it is not envisaged that it will often initiate adverse comments.

Applications should though, be considered in the light of how the objective of protection of children from harm has been addressed in the application, plans and the operating schedules.

If a licensing authority has any particular concerns about an individual license in respect of a child protection matter this should be specifically drawn to the attention of the 'responsible authority'.

Children's Services staff have a responsibility to share (via their nominated 'responsible authority') any child protection concerns about licensed premises, with the relevant licensing authority, e.g.:

  • Premises having a reputation for under-age drinking;
  • Premises with a known association with drug taking or dealing;
  • Children present and a strong element of gambling on premises;
  • Young people being present when entertainment of a sexual or other adult nature is provided on premises;
  • Premises where children are regularly present when they would normally be expected to be in full-time education;
  • Excessive nocturnal noise outside licensed premises in residential areas;
  • Children living in licensed premises and inadequately supervised;
  • Known concerns of a child protection nature about an applicant for a personal license, or for staff working in licensed premises where children may be present.

Each 'responsible authority' should define the issues to be considered in formulating its response to a licence application, e.g.:

  • Direct or indirect sale of alcohol and other restricted goods to under 18s;
  • Use of illicit drugs on licensed premises;
  • Impact on local children of noise associated with premises;
  • Protection of children from gambling or unsuitable films;
  • Protection from the impact of adults' smoking;
  • Disclosure and Barring Service checks on those who have access to children;
  • Appropriate policies /procedures that recognise the need to protect children.


15. National Offender Management Service

National Probation Service and Thames Valley CRC

The National Probation Service supervises high risk offenders, with the aim of reducing re-offending and protecting the public. Thames Valley CRC supervises medium and low risk offenders.

As part of their main responsibility to supervise them in the community, offender managers will be in contact with, or supervising, a number of offenders identified as presenting a risk, or potential risk, to children. They will also supervise parent/carer offenders. By working with them to improve their lifestyles and enable a change of behaviour, offender managers safeguard and promote the welfare of those children for whom offenders have a responsibility.

Offender managers should also ensure there is clarity and communication between Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) and other risk management processes e.g. in the case of safeguarding children, procedures (summarised in Management of Those Presenting a Risk to Children Procedure) covering:

  • Registered sex offenders;
  • Domestic abuse management meetings;
  • Child protection procedures; and
  • Procedures for the assessment of persons identified as presenting a risk or potential risk to children.

Prisons

Governors of prisons (or, in the case of contracted prisons, their directors) also have a duty to make arrangements to ensure that their functions are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, not least those who have been committed to their custody by the courts.

In particular Governors / Directors of women's establishments which have mother and baby units have to ensure that staff working on the units are prioritised for child protection training, and that there is always a member of staff on duty in the unit who is proficient in child protection, health and safety and first aid / child resuscitation.

Each baby must have a child care plan setting out how the best interests of the child will be maintained and promoted during the child's residence on the unit.

Governors / Directors of all prison establishments must have in place arrangements that protect the public from prisoners in their care, including effective processes to ensure prisoners are unable to cause harm to the public and particularly children.

Restrictions should be placed on prisoners communications (visits, phone calls and correspondence) that are proportionate to the risk they present

All prisoners who have been identified as presenting a risk to children must not be allowed contact with children unless a favourable risk assessment has been undertaken that has taken into account information held by police, probation, prison and Children's Social Care.

When seeking the views of parent / person who has Parental Responsibility or carer, about contact, it is important that the child's views are sought and (subject to age and understanding) her/his views considered.


16. Secure Estate for Children & Young People

Responsibility for children in custody

Children's Social Care has the same responsibilities towards children in custody as it does towards other children in the authority area.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) introduced significant changes to the Remand framework for 10-17 year olds subject to criminal proceedings.). All children must be remanded into Local Authority Accommodation or (where certain criteria are met Youth Detention Accommodation. In both situations, the cost of this accommodation is met by the designated Local Authority, and the child when remanded will attain Looked After Status.

Management of the secure estate

The Youth Justice Board (YJB) has statutory responsibility for commissioning and purchasing all secure accommodation for children and for setting standards for service delivery.

The secure estate comprises Prison Service accommodation for juveniles - Juvenile Young Offender Institutions (YOIs), Secure Training Centres (STCs), and Secure Children's Homes provided by local authorities (CHs).

Young Offender Institutions

Governors / Directors are required to have regard to policies agreed by the Prison Service and the YJB, for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children held in custody that are published in Prison Order 4950 (Juvenile Regimes'). Arrangements prescribed for juvenile establishments include the following:

  • A senior member of staff, known as the 'child protection co-ordinator' or the 'Safeguards Manager', who is responsible to the Governor / Director for child protection and safeguarding matters; and a child protection committee whose membership includes a senior manager as the chair, multi-disciplinary staff and a representative of the LSCB who could be a member of the LSCB (i.e. someone from another organisation) or an LSCB employee;
  • A local, establishment-specific child protection and safeguarding policy, agreed with the LSCB, which has regard to the Prison Service's / YJB's overarching policy and which includes procedures for dealing with incidents or disclosures of child abuse or neglect before or during custody;
  • Suicide and self-harm prevention and anti-bullying strategies;
  • Procedures for dealing proactively, rigorously, fairly and promptly with complaints and formal requests, complemented by an advocacy service;
  • Specialised training for all staff working with children, together with selection, recruitment and vetting procedures to ensure that new staff may work safely and competently with children;
  • Action to manage and develop effective working partnerships with other organisations, including voluntary and community organisations, that can strengthen the support provided to the young person and their family during custody and on release;
  • An assessment on reception into custody to identify needs, abilities and aptitudes of the young person and the formulation of a sentence plan (including an individual learning plan) designed to address them, followed by regular sentence plan reviews;
  • Provision of education, training and personal development in line with the YJB's National Specification for Learning & Skills and the young person's identified needs;
  • Action to encourage the young person and her/his family to take an active role in preparation and subsequent reviews of their sentence plan, so that they are able to contribute to, and influence, what happens following release.

Secure Training Centres

STCs are purpose built secure accommodation units for vulnerable, sentenced and remanded juveniles (male and female) aged 12 - 17 years old. The regime is focused on child-care and considerable time and effort is spent on individual needs so that on release young people are able to make better life choices.

Each STC has a duty to protect and promote the welfare of those children in its custody. Directors must ensure effective safeguarding policies and procedures are in place that explain staff responsibilities in relation to safeguarding and welfare promotion. These arrangements must be established in consultation with their LSCB.


17. Police

The police are subject to the section 11 duties set out above.

Under section 1(8)(h) of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 the police and crime commissioner must hold the Chief Constable to account for the exercise of the latter's duties in relation to safeguarding children under sections 10 and 11 of the Children Act 2004.

All police officers, and other police employees such as Police Community Support Officers, are well placed to identify early when a child's welfare is at risk and when a child may need protection from harm. Children have the right to the full protection offered by the criminal law. In addition to identifying when a child may be a victim of a crime, police officers should be aware of the effect of other incidents which might pose safeguarding risks to children and where officers should pay particular attention. For example, an officer attending a domestic abuse incident should be aware of the effect of such behaviour on any children in the household. Children who are encountered as offenders, or alleged offenders, are entitled to the same safeguards and protection as any other child and due regard should be given to their welfare at all times.

The police can hold important information about children who may be suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm, as well as those who cause such harm. They should always share this information with other organisations where this is necessary to protect children. Similarly, they can expect other organisations to share information to enable the police to carry out their duties. Offences committed against children can be particularly sensitive and usually require the police to work with other organisations such as local authority children's social care. All police forces should have officers trained in child abuse investigation.

The police have emergency powers under section 46 of the Children Act 1989 to enter premises and remove a child to ensure their immediate protection. This power can be used if the police have reasonable cause to believe a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm. Police emergency powers can help in emergency situations but should be used only when necessary. Wherever possible, the decision to remove a child from a parent or carer should be made by a court.

The police are subject to the section 11 duties set out in paragraph 4 of this chapter. Under section 1(8)(h) of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 the police and crime commissioner must hold the Chief Constable to account for the exercise of the latter's duties in relation to safeguarding children under sections 10 and 11 of the Children Act 2004.

All police officers, and other police employees such as Police Community Support Officers, are well placed to identify early when a child's welfare is at risk and when a child may need protection from harm. Children have the right to the full protection offered by the criminal law. In addition to identifying when a child may be a victim of a crime, police officers should be aware of the effect of other incidents which might pose safeguarding risks to children and where officers should pay particular attention. For example, an officer attending a domestic abuse incident should be aware of the effect of such behaviour on any children in the household. Children who are encountered as offenders, or alleged offenders, are entitled to the same safeguards and protection as any other child and due regard should be given to their welfare at all times.


18.  Voluntary and Private Sectors

Voluntary agencies and groups and private providers play an important role in delivering services for children and young people including in early years and day care provision, family support services, youth work and children's social care and health care.

Voluntary organisations also deliver advocacy for looked-after children and young people and for parents and children who are the subject of a Section 47 Enquiry and Child Protection Conferences and often play a key role in delivering Child Protection Plans.

All voluntary agencies / groups should be encouraged and supported (and those undertaking formally contracted work, required) to develop protection procedures consistent with these procedures.

All agencies / groups should ensure that all staff and volunteers:

  • Have been checked for suitability (including Disclosure and Barring Service checks) (Recruitment, Selection, Supervision and Training Procedure) for working with children and understand the extent and limits of the volunteers' role;
  • Are aware of their responsibilities’ for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children;
  • Know how they should respond to child protection concerns and make a referral to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) if necessary;
  • Have access to training opportunities to promote their knowledge;
  • Are vigilant about their own actions so they cannot be misinterpreted.


19. Youth Offending Team

Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) are subject to the section 11 duties set out above. YOTs are multi-agency teams responsible for the supervision of children and young people subject to pre-court interventions and statutory court disposals. They are therefore well placed to identify children known to relevant organisations as being most at risk of offending and to undertake work to prevent them offending. YOTs should have a lead officer responsible for ensuring safeguarding is at the forefront of their business.

The statutory membership of YOTs is set out in section 39 (5) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

Under section 38 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, local authorities must, within the delivery of youth justice services, ensure the 'provision of persons to act as appropriate adults to safeguard the interests of children and young persons detained or questioned by police officers'.


20. Youth Services

Youth and Community Workers (YCWs) have close contact with children / young people and should be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and how to act upon concerns about an individual's welfare.

Local authority youth services should give written instructions, consistent with 'What To Do If You're Worried A Child Is Being Abused' and LSCB procedures, on when staff should consult colleagues, line managers, and other statutory authorities about concerns they may have about a child / young person.

Guidance for staff should emphasise the importance of safeguarding the welfare of children / young people and assist staff in balancing the desire to maintain confidentiality with the individual, and the duty to safeguard and promote her/his welfare and that of others. Volunteers within the Youth Service are subject to the same requirement.

Where the local authority funds local voluntary youth organisations or other providers through grant or contract arrangements, it should ensure that proper arrangements to safeguard children / young people are in place e.g. this might form part of the agreement for the grant or contract.

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