Child Protection Procedures by yaoyufang


									 Child Protection

August 2002
Revised May 03 Fabricated Illness
Revised April 04 Conference Reports p35
Revised Sept 04 – Young People who may be at Risk of Exploitation.
                    - Professional abuse (flow chart).
Revised April 06 – Amended Placement with Parents Procedure (Section 11)
                    - ACPC changed to LSCB
Revised Sept 06 – Added Forced Marriage Protocol
Revised April 07 – Added Freedom of Information Protocol

Review June 07 – Review of the policy and procedures
Revised April 08 – Amended Chid Protection Plan (Child Protection Register)
1        Introduction ............................................................................................................................................. 4

2        Child Protection Procedures – Quick Guide......................................................................................... 7

3        Definitions and Recognition.................................................................................................................... 8

4        Investigation, Assessment and Protection ........................................................................................... 17

5        Child-focused Multi-agency Meetings ................................................................................................. 24

6        Child Protection Case Conference ....................................................................................................... 28

7        Participation and Representation of Parents, Carers and Children................................................. 33

8        The Child Protection Plan .................................................................................................................... 36

9        Implementing a Written Child Protection Plan.................................................................................. 39

10       Reviewing Plans and Removal of a Child Protection Plan ................................................................ 42

11       Placement with Parents Regulations.................................................................................................... 45

12       Appeals Procedure................................................................................................................................. 47

13       Procedures and Guidance in the Management of Organised Abuse Definitions ............................. 52

14       Allegations of Abuse Against Professionals, Foster Carers and Volunteers .................................... 60

15       Part Eight and Case Reviews................................................................................................................ 66

Appendix 1: The Legal Framework ............................................................................................................. 69

Appendix 2: Social Care Roles and Responsibility ..................................................................................... 71

Appendix 3: Police Service Child Protection Guidelines ............................................................................. 74

Appendix 4: The Joint Police and Social Care Protocol for Investigating Allegations of Child Sexual
Abuse................................................................................................................................................................ 75

Appendix 5 Health Service Child Protection Role ...................................................................................... 82

Appendix 6: The National Probation Service (Greater Manchester) Protocol for Work with Children
in Need and Vulnerable Children .................................................................................................................. 84

Appendix 7: Education Service Child Protection Guidelines..................................................................... 87

Appendix 8: Parental Mental Illness, Problem Alcohol and Drug Use and Domestic Violence............... 94

Appendix 9: Child Exploitation ..................................................................................................................... 97

Appendix 10: Children Who Go Missing For Whom There Are Concerns Or Are Subject to a Child
Protection Plan .............................................................................................................................................. 105

Appendix 11: Child Pornography and the Internet ................................................................................... 107

Appendix 12: Female Genital Mutilation (Female Circumcision) ............................................................ 108

Appendix 13: Fabricated Or Induced Illness.............................................................................................. 110

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Appendix 14: Abuse Of Disabled Children................................................................................................. 113

Appendix 15: Peer Abuse – Abuse by a Child or Young Person .............................................................. 114

Appendix 16: Confidentiality and Recording Information ....................................................................... 116

Appendix 17: Children and Young People Who Leave School/Address Without Notification.............. 118

Appendix 18: LSCB Training ...................................................................................................................... 120

Appendix 19: Bibliography .......................................................................................................................... 122

Appendix 20: Menu and Specimens of Information to be Given to Family Members............................ 124

Appendix 21: Directory of Useful Contact Points ...................................................................................... 130

Appendix 21: Forced Marriage Protocol .................................................................................................... 132

Appendix 22: Freedom of Information Protocol ........................................................................................ 139

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1       Introduction
1.1     Oldham Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and the Purpose
        of these Procedures

         This manual contains the procedures that staff in agencies with child
         protection responsibilities in Oldham Metropolitan Borough must follow
         when undertaking work with children who may be in need of protection
         and their families.
         The purpose of these procedures is to set out the way in which work will
         be conducted at each stage and how agencies with child protection
         responsibilities have agreed to work together and with the Voluntary
         Sector and the general public to provide the most effective service.

        Oldham LSCB’s vision is:

        This handbook has been written on behalf of Oldham LSCB and contains
        the agreed inter-agency procedures that should be followed by all staff of
        all LSCB agencies wherever child abuse is known or suspected.
        Although the handbook is written from a multi-agency perspective and
        provides guidelines on the identification, reporting, investigation in
        management of child abuse, it should be read in conjunction with each
        agency’s role that are attached at Appendices 11-16.

1.2     The Role of Procedures and Professional Discretion
        Successful child protection work depends on the exercise of skilled
        professional judgement about the best way of promoting a child’s welfare.
        Those judgements can only be made within a framework of clear written
        procedures, which set out the actions required by staff and indicate where
        they are expected to use professional judgement and discretion. It is the
        responsibility of each member of staff to read and use the LSCB
        procedures. The procedures indicate circumstances in which discretion
        may be used and the level of seniority or management responsibility
        required to exercise it.


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        Procedures are designed to ensure that:

               •   Staff are clear about the tasks to be undertaken at every stage of
               •   All the available information about a child and their family is
                   obtained and pooled together so that it can be properly
               •   Staff know what decisions they can make themselves and what
                   decisions must be referred to a more senior member of staff.
               •   Information is brought to the attention of managers and staff with
                   the right experience and knowledge and who are responsible for
                   making decisions.
               •   Information is recorded clearly and without delay.
               •   Professionals who are working together to protect a child are
                   clear about their role and the role of other professionals.
               •   That work has a clear purpose and time scales are set in which
                   objectives can be achieved.
               •   Work is evaluated to ensure that it is achieving the effect of
                   promoting the child’s welfare.

1.3     Underpinning principles to achieve best outcomes for children and
        young people:
               •   Every child and young person has the right to be and feel safe
               •   The safety and welfare of the child will always be the first priority
                   of the Oldham LSCB and its constituent agencies;
               •   The views of the child, young person and their families will be
                   actively sought, listened to and taken into account;
               •   The board will use all it’s statutory powers, duties and
                   responsibilities to keep children safe;
               •   Services provided to families will aim to help to minimise the risk
                   of such harm to their children;
               •   Children are best cared for within their own families unless this
                   would be harmful to them;
               •   The most effective planning for children is undertaken in
                   partnership with families and closely co-ordinated between
               •   Agencies will work together in a spirit of partnership and
                   collaboration, at both strategic and practice levels, to deliver the
                   best possible service to children and their families. This will
                   include a commitment to information sharing protocols at both

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                   strategic and operational levels to ensure that multi-agency
                   engagement with children and young people can be shared in
                   their interests;
               •   Children and young people will not be discriminated against
                   because of their ethnic origin, race, gender, disability, religion,
                   sexual orientation or other attribute.
               •   Services provided by constituent agencies of the Oldham LSCB
                   will be monitored and regularly reviewed by the Board.
                   Improvements will be sought where the quality and standard of
                   service provided is either below the level required or cause a
                   matter of concern;
               •   Services should be integrated at planning and delivery stages
                   whenever this is appropriate or possible.

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2       Child Protection Procedures –
        Quick Guide
        A Quick Guide to Making a Child Protection Referral has been produced
        and is available online at:

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3       Definitions and Recognition
3.1     Introduction
        This section sets out the definitions of child abuse to which these
        procedures relate. The sustained abuse or neglect of children can have
        major long-term effects on all aspects of a child's health development and
        well-being. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or
        by failing to prevent harm.

         Everybody who works with children, parents, and other adults in contact
         with children should be able to recognise and know how to act upon
         indicators that a child may be at risk.

3.2     Physical Abuse
        Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning
        or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a
        child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns
        the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are
        looking after. This situation is commonly described using terms such as
        fabricated or induced illness.
        The following are seven classic pointers to the diagnosis. None of
        them is diagnostic neither does the absence of any of them exclude
        the diagnosis of non-accidental injury.
               •   There is a delay in seeking medical help (or medical help is not
                   sought at all)
               •   The story of the "accident" is vague, is lacking in detail, and may
                   vary with each telling and from person to person (innocent
                   accidents tend to have vivid accounts that ring true)
               •   The account of the “accident” is not compatible with the injury
               •   The parents' affect is abnormal. Normal parents are full of
                   creative anxiety for the child. Abusing parents tend to be more
                   preoccupied with their own problems for example, how they can
                   return home as soon as possible.
               •   The parents’ behaviour gives cause for concern for example,
                   they soon become hostile, they rebut accusations, that have not
                   been made, and they leave before the consultant arrives.
               •   The child's appearance and his interaction with his parents are
                   abnormal. He may look sad, withdrawn, or frightened. There
                   may be visible evidence of failure to thrive. Full-blown frozen
                   watchfulness at a late stage and results from repetitive physical
                   and emotional abuse over a period of time. The absence of
                   frozen watchfulness does not exclude the diagnosis of non-

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                   accidental injury.
               •   The child may say something. Always make a point of
                   interviewing the child (if old enough) in a safe place in private.
                   This is one of the virtues of admission to hospital. Interviewing
                   the child as an outpatient may fail to let the child open up as he
                   is expecting to be returned to the custody of the abusing parent
                   in the near future.

        The following is a brief guide to the most common physical injuries:

               •   General bruising not consistent with the everyday play activity for
                   a child of its age.
               •   Bruised eyes particularly not consistent with the normal play
                   activity for a child of its age.
               •   Bruised eyes, particularly if both are bruised.
               •   Bruises around or beneath the ears.
               •   Bruising in or around the mouth - this may be in addition to a torn
               •   Finger-tip bruises small, round or oval and may be found on the
                   face or body.
               •   Grasp marks on the arms or chest predominantly.
               •   Blood spots under the eyes.
               •   Bite marks - may result in a set of crescent shaped bruises
                   corresponding to the upper and lower teeth. The size and
                   pattern may help determine the perpetrator.
               •   Cigarette burns - deliberate burns are clearly demarcated, round
                   and punched out. Impetigo may mimic cigarette burns.
               •   Burns and scalds can be difficult to determine as abuse, as a
                   general rule burns or scalds with a clear outline may be
               •   Immersion injuries - occur when a hand, foot or buttocks are
                   dipped into very hot water.
               •   Bone and joint injuries when not consistent with the explanation
                   given. Some forms of fracture (such as spiral fractures) are
                   more suspicious than others. Immobile babies very rarely break
                   their bones accidentally.
               •   Internal injuries within the abdomen can be life threatening and
                   may occur without any sign of external bruising or injury.
               •   Shaking injuries may cause drowsiness, vomiting, poor feeding
                   or fits. Bruises may be noted on shoulders or neck. Medical
                   examination may reveal subdural haematoma and retinal
                   haemorrhage. A full skeletal survey may show other fractures

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                   particularly grip related such as ribs or wrists. Shaking injuries
                   can be life threatening.
               •   Suffocating injuries. These may be indicative of:
                   i)    Poisoning
                   ii)   Factitious Illness By Proxy

        Monogolian Bluespot
        Note that this condition can be confused with bruising.
        This condition is present in more than 50% of Asian/African/Caribbean
        babies and those of mixed heritage.
        Mongolian Bluespot is characterised by blue coloured areas of
        pigmentation, which are found on the buttocks, back and occasionally other
        parts of the body of non Caucasian babies. It is rarely found in Caucasian
        babies but should not be ruled out as a possibility.
        These marks have no significance and usually disappear within the first
        year of a child's life.

3.3     Fabricated or Induced Illness
        A carer may fabricate information about the child's health and may harm
        the child in order to produce symptoms requiring attention.
        Typically the carer is a parent and the victim their child. However, the
        syndrome can also occur in a person employed in a caring capacity, with
        the victims being those cared for (see Appendix 13 for more information).

3.4     Neglect
        Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or
        psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's
        health or development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide
        adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical
        harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care
        or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a
        child's basic emotional needs.
        Neglect is a chronic state, which inhibits physical, emotional and/or
        intellectual development.
        A child who is neglected or failing to thrive may show some of the
        following characteristics:
               •   Short stature
               •   Underweight for height and age
               •   Voracious appetite or food scavenging
               •   Persistent loose stools
               •   'Pot bellied' appearance

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               •   Skin problems including nappy rash and poor healing of minor
               •   Dry, sparse, lack lustre hair
               •   Frequent accidental injuries
               •   Unresponsive towards familiar adults
               •   Inappropriate friendliness or affection towards strangers
               •   Unkempt and dirty appearance
               •   Learning difficulties

        Definition of failure to thrive
        "Failure to grow in terms of weight gain and development, according to
        norms in a healthy and vigorous way".
        Current thinking deems “faltering growth” to be a more accurate
        description. Earlier research focused on a simple cause and effect model
        and distorted mother / child relationships. Studies now highlight that
        multiple, interactional factors may be the cause.
               •   Dividing faltering growth into organic and non-organic causes is
                   misleading, they are not mutually exclusive
               •   Most cases do not have organic causes
               •   It occurs across all socio-economic groups
               •   It occurs because children receive / utilise insufficient calories
               •   Only a small minority of children fail to grow because of neglect
                   or abuse
        (Community Practitioners’ & Health Visitor’s Association, The Children’s
        Society, Professional Briefing Paper; Batchelor, 1999)

3.5     Emotional Abuse

         Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a
         child, though it may occur alone.

        Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as
        to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional
        development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless
        or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of
        another person.        It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate
        expectations being imposed on children. It may involve causing children
        frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of

        The following signs may be present:
               •   Sleep / feeding problems
               •   Irritability, dull or anxious or indiscriminate attachments

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               •   Overactive, aggressive
               •   Poor social skills
               •   Attention seeking
               •   Wetting / soiling
               •   Learning difficulties
               •   Language delay
               •   Limited attention span
               •   Lack of self esteem
               •   Poor peer relationships
               •   Self harming
               •   Truancy / running away

3.6     Sexual Abuse

         Sexual Abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take
         part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is

        The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape
        or buggery) or non-penetrative acts.         They may include non-contact
        activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of,
        pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging
        children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
        When considering sexual abuse the following should be borne in mind:

               •   The legal ages of consent are 16 years for heterosexual acts
                   with females and 18 years for homosexual acts between males.
               •   Consensual sexual activity between females is not recognised
                   and is therefore not an offence.
               •   Although there is no legal age of consent for heterosexual acts
                   with males, almost any act committed by a woman with a boy
                   under 16 years would form the basis of a criminal offence.
               •   Any sexual contact without consent and all incestuous sexual
                   acts are always illegal.
               •   The involvement of dependent, developmentally immature
                   children and adolescents in sexual activities they do not truly
                   comprehend, to which they are unable to give informed consent;
                   or which violate social taboos or family roles.

        Other areas that may be considered abusive include:

               •   Any exposure of children to sexual experiences inappropriate to

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                   the child's age and understanding. This includes both witnessing
                   and being engaged in sexual acts.
               •   Voyeurism – child watching sexual activity or adults using
                   children to incite sexual arousal.
               •   Exposure to or involvement in pornography.
               •   Inappropriate fondling or kissing.
               •   Talking to a child in a manner intended to incite sexual arousal.

        The following is a list of physical signs, which may be indicative of
        sexual abuse in the absence of any reasonable explanation – NO

               •   Injuries to genital area.
               •   Itching, soreness, discharge, bleeding, repeated urinary tract
               •   Rectal bleeding.
               •   Persistent abdominal pain or headaches without apparent cause.
               •   The presence of any sexually transmitted diseases or those
                   where sexual transmission is a possible means of infection
                   (these may be present orally, genitally or anally).
               •   Pregnancy of a girl under 16 years of age where the identity of
                   the father is vague or secret.

        Children may display behavioural or emotional signs of sexual abuse. The
        following may be considered in this context but should never be looked at
        in isolation from other relevant factors:

               •   Child with sexual knowledge beyond that considered age
               •   Child withdrawn or introverted.
               •   Child persistently masturbating, particularly in inappropriate
               •   Sexualised or provocative behaviour with adults or with other
               •   Hinting at sexual activity through words, play, drawings etc.

        Overwhelmingly, sexual abuse is committed by men although women
        offenders do form a minority of cases.
        Professionals can find it difficult to recognise women as sexual abusers.

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        They can be classified into three main types:

               •   Co-offenders jointly abusing with a male partner.
               •   Accomplices enabling the abuse by a male partner.
               •   Independent offenders, women abusing a child themselves.

3.7     Disclosure

         What should I do if a child discloses details, which may generate concern
         of any type of abuse?

               •   Listen carefully.
               •   Give them time and attention.
               •   Allow child to give a spontaneous account.
               •   Do not ask leading questions.
               •   Do not offer false confidentiality: -
        For example "If I tell you something, will you promise not to tell?"
         "It depends on what you are going to tell me. If it has implications for your
        safety or the safety of others then I cannot keep that information secret".
               •   Empathise with the child.
               •   Reassure the child - but do not give false reassurances that the
                   problem will now go away
               •   Recording is essential
               •   Ask the child what he/she now wishes to do
               •   Ask the child what he/she now wishes you to do

        What action do I need to take?
        This will depend on your risk assessment.
               •   Treat the information seriously, i.e. acknowledge what the child
                   has already told you. All allegations should be treated seriously.
               •   Reflect on what you already know about this child and his/her
                   circumstances (if anything)
               •   Clarify what the child has told you
               •   Seek further information if necessary
               •   What are the risks to the child now?
               •   Monitor the situation if information does not directly relate to
                   abuse. For example, hints that concerning incidents may be
               •   ALWAYS refer to Social Care where there has been explicit

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                   disclosure of abuse and/or where you consider there to be a risk
               •   DO NOT discuss your concerns with parents/carers where
                   sexual abuse is suspected or where it may increase the risk to
                   the child (see Section 2).
               •   DO NOT INVESTIGATE - leave this to the relevant professionals
                   - there is a separate Police and Social Care protocol for
                   investigation of sexual abuse (Appendix 4)

3.8     Other Circumstances
        Definitions include certain other children whose circumstances do not
        specifically fit the above categories but where there is clear evidence to
        suggest that there is a significant risk of abuse. This may include:
               •   Children in the same household as a child who has been
               •   Children in a household which is occupied or which is regularly
                   visited by a person who has been previously involved in child
                   abuse and where assessment indicates that there is significant
                   risk of abuse. This will include those convicted of offences
                   against children and those for whom previous child protection
                   investigations have concluded that there is reasonable evidence
                   to believe they have been involved in abuse.

3.9     Third Party Abuse
        Child abuse where the abuser is either a known third party outside the
        household or a stranger, falls outside of the definition of child abuse for the
        purposes of these procedures.
        Such suspicions and incidents should be referred directly to the Police for a
        criminal investigation.
        These procedures will be invoked by the Police only if the investigation
        subsequently shows that the parents or carers:
               •   know of the abuse
               •   have colluded with the abuse
               •   suspected the abuse but failed to take steps to protect the child
               •   have demonstrated any other irresponsible negligence
                   constituting neglectful behaviour
               •   have not believed the child or have obstructed the child from
                   disclosing the abuse

3.10    Children Who Abuse
        Abuse as defined above may be perpetrated by another child or young
        person who is a household member or who has been acting in a care
        giving capacity to the child.
        Procedures should be followed in these circumstances in the same way as
        they would if the abuser were an adult in order to establish and minimise

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        the level of risk to the child(ren).
        Any investigation and assessment in these circumstances must consider
        the needs of the child perpetrator as well as the needs of the abused

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4       Investigation, Assessment and
         Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 places a duty on Local Authorities to
         make enquiries into the circumstances of children considered to be at
         risk of ‘significant harm’ and, where these enquiries indicate the need, to
         undertake a full Investigation into the child’s circumstances.

4.1     Duty to Investigate
        The Local Authority (Social Care) may arrange with other agencies for
        parts of this investigation to be undertaken on their behalf or for the
        investigation to be undertaken jointly.     Nonetheless, it remains the
        responsibility of the Social Care to ensure that duties under Section 47
        have been properly performed.
        Duties under Section 47 arise in the following circumstances:
               •   Where the Local Authority has reasonable cause to suspect that
                   the child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, or,
               •   Where the Local Authority has already obtained an Emergency
                   Protection Order in relation to the child, or,
               •   Where the Local Authority is informed that the child is the subject
                   of an Emergency Protection Order obtained by someone else, or
                   of a Police Protection Order
        The Local Authority must take steps to gain access to the child unless
        enquiries satisfy it that there is sufficient information about the child to
        suggest this is not required.
        If access to the child is denied or information of it’s whereabouts refused,
        the Local Authority must apply for an Order unless it is satisfied that the
        child’s welfare can be adequately safeguarded in some other way.

4.2     General Principles
        Any information suggesting that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer
        significant harm will be formally considered whatever its source.
        The child’s welfare is paramount. Consideration of the child’s short and
        long term best interests will govern all decisions and actions.

         Any staff member receiving information that suggests that a child might
         be at immediate risk of harm must take steps to safeguard that child
         without delay.

        Regular consideration will be given, through the duration of child protection
        involvement, to whether legal action is required to protect a child and such
        action will be taken if necessary.
        Parents/carers and where appropriate children will be involved and

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        informed as much and as early as possible so far as this is consistent with
        protecting the child’s short and long term best interests.
        Confidentiality will be maintained within the context of all agencies duty to
        protect children. Information will be shared with agencies who have a
        formal role in protecting children.

4.3     Ethnic Minority Children and Families

         Children from all cultures are subject to abuse and neglect. All children
         have a right to grow up safe from harm (Working Together 2006)

        It is important that professionals are sensitive to differing lifestyles and to
        child learning patterns that vary across different racial and cultural groups.
        However, professionals must also be aware that misunderstandings and
        misinterpretations may be made, and should guard against myths and
        Ethnic minority families face many issues, which have little or no
        significance to the white population.      These include personal and
        institutional racism and the impact of immigration, nationality laws and
        separated families. These issues compound other problems of parenting,
        such as discipline and inter-generational conflict (O’Neale, 2000). There
        are many white as well as black ethnic minority groups who experience
        Inspections of services for ethnic minority children and families show that
        they are more likely to enter care under the age of five years. Families
        wanting support also experienced difficulty accessing services because
        they did not understand the role of Social Care. Assessments were not
        fully complete and physical and sexual abuse had sometimes not been
        identified and properly dealt with as a child protection issue (O’Neale,
        2000). See Assessing Children in Need and their Families. Practice
        Guidance (DoH, 2000) chapter 2 for pointers of good practice.
        It is vital that professionals using interpretation services ensure that
        interpreters are comfortable and competent with all issues associated with
        abuse to minimise any possibility of confusion or misinterpretation of
        events connected with abuse.

4.4     Thresholds for Procedural Intervention

        Immediate Risk
        In normal circumstances this would involve immediate consultation with
        their line manager (subject to availability) and a referral to the Children
        Assessment Team.
        Where circumstances dictate the need, the Police should be involved in the
        child’s immediate protection and,
        Where necessary, medical attention sought for the child through the
        emergency services.
        Each agency has its own detailed procedures for immediate action to be
        taken when child abuse is suspected and these must be followed at all

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        ‘Significant Harm’ And ‘Best Interests’
        Any person who has reasonable cause to believe that a child is being or is
        likely to be harmed has a duty to inform the police/Children Assessment
        Team of their concern.
        Investigating agencies must then consider the information within the
        concepts of      ‘significant harm’ and ‘best interests’ in deciding how to
        proceed and whether to take further steps within their procedures.
        N.B. Child protection procedures will not be invoked where it is clear that
        any harm has been caused accidentally, unless lack of care was a
        significant factor.

        Significant Harm

         There is no clear legal definition of this phrase.
         ‘Significant’ should be viewed in the context of it’s understood definition,
         ‘of considerable amount, or effect or importance’ and applied to the
         circumstances of the child within this framework.
         'Harm’ means ill-treatment or impairment of health and development.

        When measuring the concept of ‘significant harm’ in relation to particular
        concerns it should be considered within the context of the child’s overall
        situation. Presenting symptoms can only be assessed within an
        understanding of other significant issues and their effect on the child.
        Clearly some presenting symptoms are more significant and clear cut than
        others. Investigating agency responses will be appropriate to the degree of
        severity (e.g. - serious physical harm caused non-accidentally).
        For example, when considering whether harm is significant, a broken bone
        caused non-accidentally may be seen as significant whereas a single
        bruise may not be regarded with the same degree of severity.
        In either event the injury can only be judged within the context of the child’s
        broader circumstances and within an assessment of the likelihood of
        ongoing or future risk to the child.
        Situations where harm has occurred several times should be treated as
        more significant than those where an assessment of risk shows the harm
        to have arisen from circumstances that are not considered likely to recur.
        Consideration should always be given to the likely effect of the harm.
        When it relates to health and development it should be assessed within the
        context of what might be expected of a similar child.
        N.B. The above considerations must be applied to all types of abuse in
        assessing the significance of harm.
        Where harm has been established to be significant a Child Focused Multi
        Agency Meeting or Case Conference must be convened so that the
        experience and assessment of a multi-disciplinary group can determine the
        best plan for the child (see 4.9 below - Planning the Next Step)

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4.5     ‘Best Interests’

         The protection of children from harm will always be considered to be in a
         child’s ‘best interests’.

        In making decisions on how to proceed in ensuring the protection of
        children from harm, all decision making and planning should take into
        account what particular courses of action are likely to be in the child’s short
        and long term best interests.
        These decisions will need to take into consideration of assessed
        information about the wider picture and to consider knowledge gained from
        experience and research informing of likely outcomes for children arising
        from interventions.

4.6     Investigation and Assessment by Social Care

        Information regarding concerns about actual or likely harm to a child will
        usually be received by the Children Assessment Team.
        If information is received by any other member of staff it must be passed to
        the Children Assessment Team or the child’s own social worker without
        Information received out of hours will be dealt with by the Emergency Duty
        Team (EDT) social workers who will carry out as much of the procedure as
        is practicable or necessary before making a full transfer referral to the
        relevant social care team the following working day.
        If the information indicates an immediate need to secure the safety of any
        child(ren) consultation will take place between the social worker and a
        social work tem manager/service manager in the event of unavailability of
        team manager) to determine what immediate action must be taken to
        secure the child(ren).
        If a court order is thought necessary all professionals involved in initiating
        the immediate action, including medical staff, must be prepared to attend
        court to give evidence in support of the application.
        It is essential at all stages of the investigative process that the records are
        kept up to date for each person’s involvement and findings.

4.7     Consultation and Information Gathering (Section 47 Enquiries)
        Once a referral has been received by the Children Assessment Team and
        information has been checked against social care records (SWIFT),
        consultation should take place initially between the social worker
        nominated to investigate and their team manager.
        Following this, enquiries should first be made under Section 47 of the
        Children Act to determine whether a full Section 47 Investigation is
        Such enquiries should involve consultation to establish what is known and
        whether any concerns are felt by other professionals and should include

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        the following where relevant:
               •   Schools/nursery/childminder
               •   Pupil Welfare service
               •   Health - Health Visitor, School Health Advisor, GP
               •   Social Care records
               •   Probation/Court Welfare
               •   Child protection related records held at the Safeguarding and
                   Review Unit (including a Plan check where appropriate)

        N.B. Consider all siblings and all available information on relevant adults.
        All information gathered must be recorded accurately and concisely. Note
        should be made of any difficulties experienced in gaining access to
        information required.

        Information gathered must be considered in the context of the following:
               •   to establish the facts about the circumstances giving rise to
               •   to determine whether there are grounds for concern giving rise to
                   a need for a full investigation under Section 47 of the Children
                   Act 1989
               •   to begin to assess the level of risk to the child(ren)
               •   to decide any immediate protective or other action in relation to
                   the child(ren)

4.8     Enquiries under Section 47 of The Children Act 1989
        In circumstances where initial enquiries under Section 47 indicate a
        significant risk to the child(ren) a full investigation and assessment of the
        child(ren) and family’s situation must be undertaken.
        Social Care will take the lead role in enquiries under Section 47 (Appendix

4.9     Planning the Next Step

        No Further Action
        In circumstances where the investigation reveals no substance or
        justification for further action, parents/carers and young people of sufficient
        understanding should be notified of the outcome of investigations in writing,
        outlining the statutory duty placed on social care to investigate all
        allegations of abuse.
        Letters following unsubstantiated allegations should acknowledge distress
        caused to and co-operation received from family members (Appendix 19).
        Consideration may also be given to the need for counselling.

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        Further Action
        Where further action is considered necessary either a Child Focussed Multi
        Agency Meeting or a Child Protection Case Conference must be convened.
        A decision as to which of these meetings is the most appropriate will take
        into account all the circumstances surrounding the nature and severity of
        the abuse and all the circumstances surrounding the child(ren) and family.
        These factors must be considered within the context of the overall best
        interests of the child(ren) and with a view to achieving the most effective
        outcomes in order to protect the child(ren). (Messages from Research
        This decision must take account of knowledge and research on how
        protection of children is best achieved and professional judgement of the
        individual circumstances of the case.
        Discussion of the above factors will take place with either the Service
        Manager Safeguarding Children or one of the Reviewing Officers at the
        Safeguarding and Review Unit before a final decision on which meeting to
        proceed with is reached (see Section 5).

4.10    Risk Assessment and Risk Management

        Risk Assessment
        Is based upon information available at the time:
               •   Case information
               •   Predictions about future harm

        Risk has a time dimension. It can relate to a period of time but information
        can change over time.
        There are four components of risk:
               •   Seriousness of current harm
               •   Strength of the situation/manageability of problems
               •   Likelihood of future harm
               •   Seriousness of future harm

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        Decision making:
        The domains of the Needs Assessment Framework provide a useful
        approach for assessing risk.

               •   Do I have enough information
               •   What are the losses and gains to the child of doing nothing?
               •   Are the risks worth taking now?
               •   Have I confirmed the risks with others working with the child?
               •   Does the carer want to change?
               •   Is there any indication that the carer can change?
               •   Have I considered the likely effects of any interventions on risk?

        Risk Management
        A method of controlling the consequences of any decision:
               •   What action should be taken/by whom?
               •   Are there any other resources to be used?
               •   How / when will I measure outcomes?
               •   Are other relevant professionals aware of and in agreement with
                   the plan?
               •   Is the child and family aware of and in agreement with the plan?

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5       Child-focused Multi-agency
5.1     Background
        ‘Messages from Research’ (1995) clearly demonstrated that traditional
        intervention under the guise of formal Child Protection intervention is more
        likely to leave families feeling punished by and disaffected from formal
        agencies than positive intervention with the clear intention of offering help
        and support to families in caring for their children.
        This clearly has the potential to make child protection intervention counter-
        productive and to leave already vulnerable children more at risk because of
        parental refusal to co-operate with agencies charged with the task of
        working with them towards the children’s protection.
        The 1999 DoH consultation document ‘Working Together to Safeguard
        Children’ notes concerns that discussions at child protection case
        conferences tend to focus too heavily on risk and removal, rather than
        focusing on plans to safeguard the child and support the family.
        Clearly there will always be some instances in which a formal child
        protection investigation and subsequent case conference will be necessary
        and appropriate. It is essential that policy and procedures continue to
        reflect this need whilst allowing the flexibility to employ alternative means
        of protecting children through family support.

5.2     Department of Health Proposals
        The DoH proposes that the following themes and messages should inform
        and underlie inter agency work in child protection and family support:
               •   be owned by all relevant agencies, not just social care, and
                   should aim to promote effective inter-agency working for all
                   children in need of protection;
               •   promote a value for money approach which seeks to ensure that
                   the right agency provides the right service at the right time, and
                   which encourages the corporate responsibility of the local
                   authority as a whole for children in need;
               •   clearly indicate the importance of placing child protection in the
                   context of services for children in need with the aim of reducing
                   the number of children and families who go through the child
                   protection processes where no abuse is proven and no services
               •   promote access to a range of services for children in need
                   without inappropriately triggering child protection processes.
                   The key to this approach will be a new emphasis on needs led

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               •   continue to keep children safe who are in need of protection, and
                   provide clear objectives for the child protection system, with a
                   focus on good outcomes for children;
               •   encourage agencies to provide treatment and therapy for
                   children who have been abused;
               •   consider the position of adults who were abused as children and
                   how agencies should respond to their needs;
               •   promote a stronger message about community responsibility for
                   protecting children;
               • emphasise the importance of listening to the views of children
                   and their families.

5.3     Purpose of Child-focused Multi-agency Meetings
        A Formal Child-Focused Multi Agency Meeting is a meeting held within the
        context of LSCB procedures and involves all relevant professionals and
        carers with a role to play in providing supportive services to the child and
        family in question.
        The purpose of such a meeting is to share information and consider
        concerns relating to the circumstances of children who meet the agreed
        definition of ‘children in need’ and for whom there are protection/welfare
        concerns, and to devise an agreed, corporately owned, multi agency
        Family Support Plan.
        The Family Support Plan will outline services to be offered by the relevant
        agencies, and expectations of carers, to assist the family in providing
        adequate care and protection for the children.

5.4     Criteria for Holding a Child-focused Multi-agency Meeting
        Except in circumstances of extreme abuse, where there are concerns
        about the welfare and protection of a child sufficient to warrant formal
        consideration by means of an LSCB meeting, consideration should always
        be given first to holding a Child Focused Multi Agency Meeting.
        Consideration must be given to whether protection of the child can be
        better achieved by the provision of services through a Family Support Plan
        within the context of the duty to maintain children within their families
        wherever possible, and within the framework of the findings of the
        Messages From Research.
        Clearly this does not preclude the possibility of convening a case
        conference but this decision must be made in the child’s best interests and
        within the framework referred to above.        (See Section 4.4 regarding
        ‘Significant Harm’ and Section 4.5 ‘Best Interests’.)
        No decision regarding the appropriateness of a child-focused meeting/case
        conference can be made until a full discussion has taken place with a
        Reviewing Officer or Service Manager Safeguarding Children regarding the
        child’s circumstances, potential harm and risk factors and the desired
        outcomes of the intervention.
        The Safeguarding and Review Unit team will ensure consistency in

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        decision making across the operational sectors and agencies via this

5.5     Timescales
        In order for child focused meetings to be effective in their task of sharing
        full information which will inform the production of a meaningful Family
        Support Plan, timescales for the gathering and preparation of such
        information may need to be longer than for a child protection case
        conference. Child focused meetings will therefore be convened within
        twenty working days of the initiating discussion with the Safeguarding and
        Review Unit.

5.6     Attendance
        The following will be invited to attend as appropriate:
                •   Families - parents
                •   Parental support person
                •   Other relevant family members
                •   Professionals - all those who have relevant information to assist
                    in understanding the issues and developing a Family Support
                •   Those who have had no previous involvement but who have a
                    part to play in the provision of services forming the Family
                    Support Plan.
        Managers from all relevant agencies are expected to be actively involved in
        supporting staff, providing information and facilitating the provision of
        resources although their direct attendance may not always be appropriate.
        Police - it is hoped a protocol can be developed allowing information
        relating to relevant convictions and other information such as domestic
        violence issues, drug/alcohol related issues etc. to be disclosed to the
        meeting as is currently the practice with case conferences.

5.7     Reports
        Social workers will produce a report just as they do for case conferences.
        This report will follow the format below:-

           a) Family information - names/ages/relationships/addresses etc.
           b) Circumstances leading to the meeting being convened
           c)   Relevant background information.
           d) Concerns/issues to be addressed.
           e) Other agency views.
           f)   Parents views and wishes.
           g)   Child’s views and wishes.

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           h) Views and wishes of other family members/significant people.
           i)   Desired outcomes from the Family Support Plan.
           j)   Contributors/sources of information for the report.

        Other professionals may choose to submit reports to a Child-focused
        Meeting as this may help them to deliver their information in a
        structured and thorough manner and will ensure that they have
        included all relevant information.

5.8     Agenda
        It is intended that the agenda allow for flexibility and ensures that all
        relevant information has been tabled.

5.9     Administration, Chairing and Review
        Formal Child Focused Meetings will be convened and arranged by the
        administrative team at the Safeguarding and Review Unit in the same way
        as for Case Conferences.
        Initial Child Focused Meetings will be chaired by a Reviewing Officer or the
        Service/Team Manager Safeguarding Children and minuted by a minute
        taker from the Safeguarding and Review Unit.
        When it is agreed that a first review needs the formality of independent
        chairing, this will be provided by a Reviewing Officer. The date and time
        will be set at the first meeting. (Reminders will not be issued, if there is a
        change to the date the social worker will be responsible for informing all
        those involved.)
        In limited circumstances where there have been significant changes or
        there is significant new information to share, it may be appropriate to hold a
        reconvened Child Focused Meeting. This will be arranged, chaired and
        minutes will be taken by the Safeguarding and Review Unit.
        In circumstances other than those above reviews will take place in the
        initially within three months and thereafter no less than six-monthly for as
        long as the Family Support Plan remains current.
        Where the Reviewing Officer is not the agreed review chair, the Reviewing
        Officer will initiate follow-up consultation with the social worker by letter
        three months after the Meeting to establish progress on the specified
        outcomes and to determine whether any additional input from the
        Safeguarding and Review Unit is required at this stage.
        A filing system parallel to that for child protection will be maintained at the
        Safeguarding and Review Unit.

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6       Child Protection Case
         There are two types of Child Protection Case Conference:
         - Initial Case Conference
         - Review Case Conference

        This section deals specifically with the Initial Case Conference - Review
        Conferences are dealt with in Section 10 - ‘Reviewing Plans and Deciding
        when a Child Protection Plan no longer needed’

6.1     Purpose of a Case Conference
        Like the Formal Child Focussed Multi Agency Meeting, a Child Protection
        Case Conference serves to emphasise that child protection is not the sole
        responsibility of any agency and that all participants have an important role
        to play in the development and implementation of a co-ordinated Child
        Protection Plan. A Child Protection Case Conference ensures that all
        information relevant to the child(ren) and family can be brought together
        and shared between professionals and parents/carers to ensure a full and
        accurate picture of the child’s circumstances is formed and that plans are
        agreed and understood by all parties.
        Information discussed at the conference will be considered to determine:
               •   The degree and nature of any present or future risk to the
                   subject children
               •   The most appropriate means of ensuring the immediate and long
                   term protection of the subject children
               •   Actions to be taken in respect of other children identified to be at
                   risk but not the subject of this Conference
               •    The conference then decides what further action is needed to
                   safeguard the child and promote his or her welfare, how that
                   action will be taken forward and with that what intended
                   outcomes. This constitutes that outlines Child Protection Plan.

6.2     Convening an Initial Case Conference
        An Initial Case Conference can only be convened following an investigation
        into actual or suspected child abuse under Section 47 of the 1989 Children

         Whilst it is the responsibility of Social Care to convene a Case
         Conference it is open to any agency to request a Conference. Requests
         will not be refused provided the criteria for holding a Case Conference
         are met and it is the correct course of action within the context of
         ‘Significant Harm’ and ‘Best Interests’.

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        A Conference will be convened only once it has been established that this
        is the most effective means of protecting the child and promoting his/her
        welfare in the short and longer term.
        This decision must be taken within the context of the principles of
        ‘Significant Harm’ and ‘Best Interests’ outlined in Section 4 - Investigation,
        Assessment and Protection; and within the framework and philosophy
        outlined in Section 5 - Child Focused Formal Multi Agency Strategy
        To ensure consistency across the borough and to assist in the process of
        deciding whether a Conference is the correct option, a decision to convene
        a Case Conference can only be made following discussions between the
        Social Worker/Team Manager and the Service/Team Manager
        Safeguarding Children or a Reviewing Officer.
        Where agreement cannot be reached on whether to hold a Conference,
        discussions will take place between the Social Care Manager and the
        Service Manager Safeguarding Children. The final decision will be the
        responsibility of the Team Manager.
        The immediate protection of the child should always be ensured prior to the
        conference and sufficient time should be taken so that the conference does
        not result in premature or disorganised action.
        Initial Case Conferences should take place within fifteen working days of a
        request unless reasons for delay have been agreed with the Service
        Manager Safeguarding Children.

6.3     Pre-Birth Case Conference
        On occasion there may be sufficient concern about the future risk to an
        unborn child to warrant the convening of a Case Conference to consider
        the need for a Child Protection Plan. Such a conference will have the
        same status and be conducted in the same manner as an Initial Case

         Pre-birth Conferences should be convened at least six weeks prior to the
         expected birth date to allow proper plans to be made and assessments
         to be undertaken prior to the birth.
         It may sometimes be necessary to hold more than one pre-birth Case
         Conference if circumstance change and a new plan is needed.

6.4     Invitations, Attendance and Agenda
        Administration staff, at the Safeguarding and Review Unit, are responsible
        for arranging Case Conferences. They will invite professional attendees by
        telephone, followed up by a fax message; and family members by letter.
        To ensure efficiency it is essential that workers wanting to convene a Case
        Conference have compiled an accurate list of the names, addresses and
        dates of birth/ages of family members and carers, and an accurate and full
        list of attendees names and contact numbers/addresses before
        telephoning the administration staff at the Safeguarding and Review Unit.

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        Child Protection Case Conferences will be Chaired by the Team Manager
        Safeguarding Children or a Reviewing Officer from the Safeguarding and
        Review Unit.
        The following agencies will be sent an invitation to all Case Conferences:
              •   Children, Young People and Families Department, Team Manager
              •   Local Health Authority/PCT, Senior Nurse for Child Protection
              •   Greater Manchester Police Family Support Unit (VA 3/7)
              •   General Practitioner
              •   Pupil Welfare Service
              •   Greater Manchester Probation Service

        N.B. Borough Council Legal Services will be invited when legal action is
        established or anticipated. Social workers will have to advise administrative
        staff at the Resource if Legal are to be invited.
        The following will be sent an invitation to attend all or part of the meeting:-
              •   the investigating social worker
              •   the investigating police officer
              •   Social Care officers who have been involved with the family
              •   Health visitor/school nurse
              •   doctor who carried out the medical examination
              •   representative from the child/sibling’s school/under five’s unit
              •   any other professional who has family knowledge or who may
                  contribute to the Child Protection Plan.
        For reasons of confidentiality and efficiency other invitations should be
        limited to those who genuinely need to be involved for the purpose of
        giving or receiving information or because they will form a part of the Child
        Protection Plan. Students and observers will not normally be allowed to
        attend and requests for their attendance must be made to the conference
        Chair and will only take place with the agreement of parents/carers.
        Parents/carers and/or significant family members will be invited to attend
        and participate in Case Conferences in line with procedures outlined in
        Section 7.
        Parents may bring a support person, if they wish. The support person will
        not receive minutes of the conference.
        Any person who is unable to attend should ensure that arrangements have
        been made for the information they hold to be made available to the
        Conference. This should take the form of a report submitted to the
        Safeguarding and Review Team in advance of the Conference.
        A standard written agenda will be made available to Conference
        participants and Conferences will broadly follow this format (Appendix 12).
        The Conference chair may on occasion decide to vary the format if
        circumstances suggest this to be a more efficient means of considering the
        welfare and protection of the child.

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6.5     Reports
        The investigating Social Worker must prepare a written report for a Child
        Protection Case Conference covering the following areas:-
           • Subject(s) and family details
           • Incident leading to the Conference
           • Subsequent Investigation
           • Relevant Background/Family Information
           • Current Situation
           • Family Views
           • Child(ren)s Views
           • Assessment of Risk
           • Recommendations
        This report must be received by the Conference Chair at least one day in
        advance of the Conference, and must have been shared with parents prior
        to their attendance at Conference.
        A written report outlining the medical examination and findings must be
        available for Conference and should be received by the Conference Chair
        at least one day in advance of the Conference.
        Written reports by other key professionals should also be forwarded at
        least one day before the conference and wherever possible should be
        shared in advance with the family. A written report assists in presenting
        somewhat complex information and this represents professional good
        practice. The conference chair will check whether parents have had the
        opportunity to read all reports prior to commencement of the Conference, it
        is therefore important that every effort is made to go through the report in
        advance to avoid delay to the conference start time.

6.6     Case Conference Tasks
        A Conference must undertake the following tasks:
           a) maintain the child/ren as the primary focus so as to promote their
              protection and welfare.
           b) examine current circumstances and concerns, and evaluate the
              findings of the child protection investigation leading to Conference.
           c)   establish and evaluate all relevant information relating to the child
                and family circumstances, including any previous abusive incidents.
           d) determine whether concerns are sufficiently substantiated to
              warrant a Child Protection Plan.
        The only decision a Case Conference can make is whether or not a child
        needs a Child Protection Plan. In certain circumstances a Conference
        may recommend that this decision is deferred pending further investigation
        and that the Conference be reconvened at a later stage.
        When a decision is made that a child needs a Child Protection Plan.
        Conference must identify the reasons why a Child Protection Plan is

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        The need for a Child Protection Plan (CPP) should be considered
        separately in respect of every child in the family or household.
        Conference will also recommend a range of other actions forming the basis
        of the Child Protection Plan, for example:
          •   nominate a Social Worker as Key-Worker for the child who is subject
              to a Child Protection Plan.
          •   determine what steps are necessary to ensure the protection of all
              children in the household. This may include a recommendation that
              Care Proceedings be initiated by Social Care.
          •   recommend how a multi-agency assessment of the family should be
              undertaken, highlighting the specific areas to be covered.
          •   recommend how a multi-agency plan to protect the child(ren) should
              be developed, implemented and co-ordinated.
          •   nominate membership of a core group who will be responsible for
              undertaking the assessment and implementing the Child Protection
          •   consider the need for any criminal proceedings against the
              perpetrator(s) of the abuse.
          •   consider whether an application should be made to the Criminal
              Injuries Compensation Board for compensation for the child.
          •   agree to review the Child Protection Plan within three months of the
              Conference and at least six-monthly thereafter.
        It is expected that any undertakings made at Case Conferences will be
        honoured and that any significant deviation from the agreed Child
        Protection Plan will not be implemented without the Conference being re-
        convened to consider the proposed change of CPP.
        When a Conference decides that a Child Protection Plan is not required the
        family will be offered continuing support from agencies as necessary.

6.7     Agreement and Dissent
        An essential element of the Safeguarding and Review Unit task is to
        ensure consistency across the borough in practice and decision making in
        Child Protection. The Conference Chair will take the lead in Conferences
        in summarising information and facilitating discussions around risk and the
        need for a Child Protection Plan.
        The Conference Chair will attempt, wherever possible, to achieve a
        consensus decision as to whether a Child Protection Plan is appropriate
        and the reason. In the unusual circumstances in which consensus cannot
        be achieved it will be the responsibility of the Chair to make the final
        decision about whether the Child Protection Plan will remain.
        Any dissenting opinions will be noted in the minutes. Any member of the
        conference (professional or family) has the right to appeal against the
        Conference decision.
        Procedures for this are outlined in Section 12 - Appeals Procedure.

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7       Participation and
        Representation of Parents,
        Carers and Children
7.1     Statement of Objectives

         The welfare of the child is the primary consideration.
         LSCB is committed to working in partnership with parents/carers and
         other family members and recognises the concept of parental
         responsibility at all stages of the child protection process.
         Significant adults and children should be effectively represented and
         participate from the outset and at all stages in the child protection
         process. There should be as much openness and honesty as possible
         between families and professionals.
         The participation of significant adults and children in cases of suspected
         child abuse should enhance the effectiveness of the process in
         promoting the welfare of the child. All such adults and children should
         be given equal opportunities to participate effectively in this process.

7.2     Model for Parental/Carer Participation

        Who Can Attend
        The child’s main carer will have a right to attend and to bring a support
        person with them if they choose.
        Both parents may attend and bring a supporter, provided that any conflict
        between them will not preclude full and proper consideration of the child’s
        best interests. This will be established prior to the meeting in consultation
        between the Chair and the child’s social worker.
        Identity of parent(s)/carer(s) and supporters to attend will be notified to the
        Chair before the meeting. Following discussion, the Chair will have the
        right to refuse attendance in exceptional circumstances (i.e. it is not likely
        that a known paedophile will be considered a suitable support person;
        genuine risk of violence etc.).
        The support person can be a parent’s legal representative but they are to
        be advised by the chair that their role is as a supporter.
        Support persons will attend in the role of observer only. They will not be
        allowed to participate in the business of the meeting or to disrupt the
        The Chair may exclude parents/carers/supporters from meetings in
        exceptional circumstances, such as where there is a genuine fear of
        violence or where parents/carers or supporters are clearly incapable of
        participation owing to the influence of drugs or alcohol, or where their

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        current mental state is not compatible with participation.
        Any special needs of parents/carers will be notified to the Chair prior to the
        meeting and agreement reached on how to ensure these needs are met.

        Preparation Of Parents
        It is a requirement of parental participation that the report writing social
        worker ensures that attending parents/carers have had an opportunity to
        read the report prepared for the meeting before attending and have been
        able to clarify any queries or misunderstandings. This should preferably
        be in the presence of the report writer.
        In exceptional circumstances it may be considered appropriate for
        parents/carers not to have read the report prior to the meeting. This
        decision will only be taken in consultation with the Chair.
        Parent/carers, and supporters where appropriate, will be invited and where
        necessary assisted to attend a pre-meeting briefing with the Chair 30
        minutes before the meeting. This is to assist their participation and will:
          •   outline the purpose and function of the meeting including focus on the
          •   outline who will be attending and why
          •   explain the meeting’s agenda giving a clear outline of how and when
              parents/carers will be expected to contribute
          •   establish that parents are aware of the contents of reports
          •   establish parents literacy and linguistic ability and any other special
              needs, and agree a strategy for dealing with these

        Case conferences will contain the facility to exclude parents for a brief
        period between the main information sharing and the decisions and
        recommendations section.
        This is strictly to allow for relevant third party information to be chaired, i.e.
        police information relating to other parties, and for legal opinion to be
        sought where appropriate.
        The Chair will remind conference members that any information tabled
        during this section that could/should be shared with parents will be
        repeated once parents re-enter the conference.
        N.B. There is no facility for parental exclusion during child-focused
        meetings owing to the different nature and purpose of these meetings.

        Child Participation In Conference
        Every effort should be made to assist children and young people to have
        the opportunity of ensuring that their views are made known to conference.
        This can be achieved in many different ways:
          •   via someone attending the conference, whom the child trusts, who
              can represent their views and feelings - there is an expectation that
              whoever represents the child’s view would arrange to see the child to
              advise them of the outcome

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          •   child can give letter or send taped information to conference with
              someone they trust or directly to the chair
          •   some young people may feel that they wish to attend the conference
              and in these circumstances the social worker must discuss this with
              the person who is to chair the meeting. The chair and social worker
              will decide how this can best be managed as it may not be
              appropriate for the young person to attend the whole of the meeting
          •   alternatively a child or young person can request to meet with the
              chairperson either before or after the conference.
        Whenever children and young people contribute to conference, the chair
        will write to the young person to thank them for their contribution and to
        advise them of the outcome of the conference.
        See Fact sheets on and

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8       The Child Protection Plan
8.1     When a Case Conference decides a Child Protection Plan is needed it will
        specify the category of abuse appropriate.
        The categories of abuse are defined by the Department of Health and are
        set out in Section 3 ‘Definitions and Recognition of Abuse’.
        A child will only need a Child Protection Plan if the conference is satisfied
        that the risk of significant harm, as defined within the above categories, is
        such as to warrant a multi-agency plan.
        One of the following requirements must be satisfied for a Child Protection
        Plan to be required:
          •   There must have been one or more identifiable incidents which can
              be defined as child abuse and which can be seen to have adversely
              effected the child, and, an assessment of risk considered by the
              conference has concluded that further such abuse is likely,
          •   or
          •   Significant harm within the definition of child abuse is considered
              likely on the basis of professional judgement of the assessed risk
              based on the findings of the investigation in this specific case, or on
              the evidence of research. This requirement will have to be met when
              consideration is given to the risks faced by an unborn child and a
              decision is made to put a Child Protection Plan in place for the child
              at birth.
        Consideration should be given individually to any other children residing in
        the same household and a risk assessment in respect of each of these
        considered by conference to determine whether any of them should also
        have a Child Protection Plan. Siblings, or other children in the household,
        will not automatically be subjects of a Child Protection Plan.

8.2     Children Who Move Out to Another Area
        When a child with a Child Protection Plan moves to another Local Authority
        area a speedy exchange of information is essential to ensure continued
        The key worker must:
          •   establish in which locality and at what address the child is residing
              and notify the local social care department immediately.
          •   request a ‘moving-in conference’ under the child protection
              procedures of that locality and relevant information to assist with this.
        The key worker must not send minutes of Child Focused Meetings, Case
        Conferences or Reviews.
          •   retain responsibility for the case until the ‘moving in conference’
              unless a specific agreement has been reached for the receiving
              authority to accept responsibility.

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          •   inform the Oldham Safeguarding Administrator without delay so that
              the Child Protection Plan can be updated.
        On receipt of the information the Oldham Safeguarding Administrator will:
          •   formally notify the administrator of the receiving authority
          •   forward, under recorded delivery, copies of minutes of previous child
              protection meetings
          •   make all necessary alterations to the Child Protection Plan
          •   notify all relevant professionals of the changes in circumstances

         NB. It is important that this section is read in conjunction with the
         individual agency procedures contained in Appendices 11-16

8.3     Children Who Move In From Another Area
        Any person becoming aware of a child with a Child Protection Plan from
        another area moving in to Oldham must notify the Safeguarding
        Administrator immediately.
        The Safeguarding Administrator will:
          •   discuss arrangements for the transfer of the case with the
              Administrator of the child’s originating area
          •   notify the relevant social care team manager of arrangements
          •   convene a moving-in case conference

        Oldham Social Care will not normally accept key worker responsibility for a
        child until a decision to continue the Child Protection Plan has been made
        by a moving-in conference, unless specific agreement to do so has been
        reached with the transferring authority.

8.4     Temporary Residence
        Where an allegation of abuse is made in respect of a child who has a Child
        Protection Plan in another area but is residing temporarily in Oldham,
        responsibility for any investigation will be accepted by Oldham unless
        specific agreement has been reached for the other authority to investigate.

8.5     Children subject to Child Protection Plans Who Go Missing
        The following indicators require action to determine whether a child/family
        is missing:
          •   the child/family does not keep pre-arranged appointments
          •   the child/family are not engaging in their normal daily patterns (e.g.
              child missing from school, parent absent from work, family did not
              meet appointments with other professionals)
          •   the family home appears uninhabited
          •   contacts with relatives or friends offer no explanation for the
        If a key worker has reason to believe that a child/family has gone missing

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        this should be reported immediately to their manager and discussed with
        the Service/Team Manager Safeguarding Children.
        Attempts to locate the family must be made including:-
          •   repeated visits to the home at various times
          •   letters of further appointments to the home
          •   contact with other professionals to ascertain their knowledge of the
          •   contact with friends or relatives to ascertain their knowledge of
        When all these avenues have been exhausted consideration will be given
        to convening a case conference.
        The Service/Team Manager Safeguarding Children will initiate ‘missing
        persons’ procedures nationally by notifying all administrators of Child
        Protection Plan who have a responsibility to maintain a list of missing
        children nation-wide.
        The Service/Team Manager Safeguarding Children will be notified if the
        child is located.

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9       Implementing a Written Child
        Protection Plan
9.1     Partnership
        The Children Act 1989 encourages partnerships between families,
        "children in need" and service providers. Children who are subjects of a
        Child Protection Plan are 'children in need' of protection and further
        assessment. It follows, therefore, that this work should be undertaken on
        a multi-agency basis and in partnership with the child and family regardless
        of the legal status of the child and whether or not he or she is presently
        living at home. Working together in partnership between families and
        different agencies is one of the main principles and requirements which
        underpins child protection work and it is the responsibility of all concerned
        to ensure that this process maintains a specific focus in protecting and
        promoting the best interests of the child.

9.2     The Role of the Key Worker
        Where a Case Conference has decided that a child requires a Child
        Protection Plan, a Key Worker will be appointed who must be a social
        worker from the Children Division of Social Care.
        The primary task of the Key Worker will be to fulfil the statutory
        responsibilities of his or her agency which will include the development and
        implementation of the multi agency, multi disciplinary plan for the continued
        assessment of the family and protection of the child or children with a Child
        Protection Plan. This Child Protection Plan should take the form of a
        written agreement.
        The Key Worker's secondary responsibility is to act as the lead worker for
        the inter-agency core group work in the case. In this co-ordinating role he
        or she will provide a focus for communications between the group and
        professionals involved and will co-ordinate the inter-agency contributions to
        the assessment of the family, protection of the child and review of the case.
        The Key Worker is responsible for ensuring that the Safeguarding
        Administrator is kept fully informed about any changes in the
        circumstances of the child with a Child Protection Plan.
        It may be that workers other than the Key Worker have considerably more
        day-to-day contact with the child and family. However, the Key Worker
        should always be a social worker with experience in child protection work
        so that he or she can effectively maintain a child centred focus and co-
        ordinate and oversee the work in the case.

9.3     The Function of the Core Group
        The Core Group identified at the Initial Case Conference will be a small
        number of professionals charged with the responsibility of working together
        with the child and family to provide services to implement the

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        recommendations of the Initial Conference and implement the Child
        Protection Plan to further assess the family and protect the child or
        children.  The membership of the group should always be kept to a
        minimum practical number for reasons of efficiency and confidentiality.
        The Key Worker should arrange for the group to have an initial meeting
        with the family and the child subject to a Child Protection Plan if
        appropriate as soon as is practically possible after the Case Conference
        (normally within 10 working days). This meeting will be chaired by the Key
        Worker and a robust Child Protection Plan should be drafted using the
        outline plan as a guide and signed by all parties, including the relevant
        family members and all Core Group members must be given a copy of the
        Child Protection Plan. The Core Group is responsible for developing the
        Child Protection Plan as a detailed working tool, and implementing it.

9.4     The Child Protection Plan
        The Initial Child Protection Conference is responsible for agreeing an
        outline Child Protection Plan (CPP). Professionals and parents/carers
        should develop the details of the Child Protection Plan in the core group.
        The aim of the CPP is to:
          •   safeguard the child from further harm,
          •   promote the child's health and development; and
          •   provided it is in the best interests of the child, to support the family
              and wider family members to promote the welfare of their child.
        The Child Protection Plan should set out what work needs to be done, why,
        when and by whom. The plan should:
          •   describe the identified needs of the child, and what therapeutic
              services are required;
          •   include specific, achievable, child-focused objectives intended to
              safeguard the child and promote his or her welfare;
          •   include realistic strategies and specific actions to achieve the
          •   clearly identify roles and responsibilities of professionals and family
              members, including the nature and frequency of contact by
              professionals with children and family members;
          •   lay down points as to when progress will be reviewed, and the means
              by which progress will be judged; and
          •   set out clearly the roles and responsibilities of those professionals
              with routine contact with the child, e.g. health visitors, GP's and
              teachers, as well as any specialist or targeted support to the child and

        The Child Protection Plan should take into consideration the wishes and
        feelings of the child, and the views of the parents, insofar as this is
        consistent with the child's welfare. The Key Worker should make every
        effort to ensure that the children and parents have a clear understanding of
        the objectives of the CPP, that they accept it and are willing to work to it.
        If family members' preferences are not accepted about how best to
        safeguard the child, then reasons for this should be explained. Families

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        should be told about their right to complain and make representations, and
        how to do so.
        All members of the core group have equal ownership of and responsibility
        for the Child Protection Plan, and should co-operate to achieve its aim.

9.5     The Written Agreement

         Parents should be clear about the causes of concern which resulted in
         the child requiring a Child Protection Plan, what needs to change, and
         about what is expected of them as part of the plan for safeguarding the
         child.    All parties should be clear about the respective roles and
         responsibilities of family members and different agencies in
         implementing the plan.

9.6     Intervention
        Decisions about how it intervenes, including what services to offer, should
        be based on evidence about what is likely to work best to bring about good
        outcomes for the child. A number of aspects of intervention should be
        considered in the context of the Child Protection Plan, in the light of
        evidence from assessment on the child's health and development needs,
        the parents' capacity to respond appropriately to the child's needs, and the
        wider family circumstances. Intervention may have a number of inter-
        related components:
          •   action to make a child safe;
          •   action to help promote a child's health and developments;
          •   action to help a parent/carer in safeguarding a child and promoting
              his or her welfare;
          •   therapy for an abused child; and
          •   support or therapy for a perpetrator of abuse.

        The Core Group should meet on a regular basis (minimum 6 weekly).

        At the last Core Group meeting prior to a Review, it will be the task of the
        Core Group to draft a Report for Review Conference which takes into
               •   the work undertaken, progress made and any outstanding work
               •   an assessment of the current risk to the child/children;
               •   a recommendation about whether the Child Protection Plan
                   should continue or not and why.

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10 Reviewing Plans and Deciding
   when a Child Protection Plan is
   no longer needed.
10.1    Child Protection Review Conference
        Every Child Protection Plan will be reviewed by a review conference within
        the first three months of when the Child Protection Plan was implemented
        and thereafter not less than six monthly.
        All original conference participants plus members of the core group will be
        invited to participate in the review, plus parents/carers of the child.
        Children and young people will also be invited to participate, dependent on
        their age and understanding. To determine the appropriateness of the
        child attending the key worker must consult with core group members and
        the conference chair.
        A written report will be submitted for consideration by the core group,
        covering the following:
           a) significant developments since the initial case conference/last
           b) whether the recommendations of the last conference/review have
              been implemented, if not why not?
           c)   the current level of risk to the child(ren) with a Child Protection Plan
           d) level of risk to other children in the household
           e) appropriateness of existing Child Protection Plan/suggested
              changes to the plan
           f)   effectiveness of inter-agency collaboration
           g)   whether the Child Protection Plan should continue or end
           h) whether any children without a Child Protection Plan should
              become the subjects of child protection procedures

        Decisions and recommendations of a Review Conference have the same
        status as those of an initial case conference.
        If the Child Protection Plan is changed the core group must meet within 5-
        10 days to agree implementation of those changes.
        Any amendments to the Child Protection Plan must be formally notified in
        writing to the Service/Team Manager Safeguarding Children within one
        month of the review.

10.2    Removing a Child from a Child Protection Plan
        The Department of Health criteria for the removal of a Child Protection Plan

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        are as follows:

           a) The original factors leading to the need for a Child Protection Plan
              no longer apply i.e.
                     i. the completion of a comprehensive assessment by the core
                        group and a detailed analysis of risk has shown that the
                        Child Protection Plan is no longer required and the
                        protection of the child is no longer necessary;
                     ii. the child has remained at home and the abuse or risk of
                         abuse has been significantly reduce by the core group’s
                         work with the family and through the Child Protection Plan;
                    iii. the child has been placed away from home and there is no
                         longer contact with the abusing person or the contact is not
                         considered to present a risk to the child;
                    iv. the abusing person is no longer a member of the same
                        household as the child and there is no contact or such
                        contact as occurs is no longer considered to be a risk to the
           b) The child and family have moved permanently to another LSCB
              area and that area has accepted responsibility for the future
              management of the case.
           c)   The child is no longer a child i.e. the child who reaches eighteen
                years of age, the child who gets married, the child who reaches the
                age of consent for sex and is subject of a Child Protection Plan for
                sexual abuse.(see separate guidance on young people at risk of
                sexual exploitation)
           d) The child has died.

        Category (a) always requires a Review Conference to agree that the Child
        Protection Plan is no longer needed. The Review Conference’s decision
        must be based on a thorough analysis that the abuse or risk of abuse is no
        longer present or no longer such as to warrant a Child Protection Plan, and
        must be a majority decision. Consideration must be given (deleted) at
        every Review Conference.
        Removal of the Child Protection Plan in respect of categories (b), (c), & (d)
        can take place outside of a Review Conference by consultation with the
        Service Manager Safeguarding Children.

10.3    Administration Arrangements
        Review Conference dates will be set at the Initial Conference.
        Administration staff at the Safeguarding and Review Unit will consult with
        the key worker prior to the Review to ensure that all personnel needed for
        the conference are invited.
        Minutes will be produced and circulated by administration staff at the
        Safeguarding and Review Unit within the same time-scales as for Child
        Focused Meetings and Case Conferences.

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10.4    Appeals
        The appeals procedure is the same as for appealing against the decisions
        of an Initial Case Conference.

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11 Placement with Parents
11.1    The following procedure relates to children on Care and Interim Care
        Orders where:
               •   A child is subject to a Child Protection Plan and the plan is for
               •   A child is to return home and there have previously been child
                   protection concerns

11.2    Any decision to commence overnight stays at home for the child or a
        rehabilitation plan must be made in accordance with The Department of
        Health Placement with Parents (etc.) Regulations 1991.

11.3    As part of these regulations the keyworker for the child is required to
        submit written information to the Head of Service (Children) in Social Care.
        The written documentation must specify any multi agency protection plan
        to be implemented upon the child’s return home.

11.4    For cases where there are no issues the social worker will
               •   Evidence of discussion (multi-agency planning meeting) with
                   other agencies involved.
               •   Placement with Parent forms completed as per Schedule 1 and 2
               •   Agreed and signed by team manager
               •   Recommendations to Head of Service (Appointed by Assistant

11.5    For cases where there are/have been serious issues about the safety of
        the child.
               •   Multi agency planning meeting chaired by the Service Manager
               •   Placement with parents forms completed as per Schedule 1 and
               •   Recommendations from meeting to Head of Service (Appointed
                   by AD).

11.6    If agreement given by head of service placement can go ahead.

11.7    Advice and Support to be given to the family.

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11.8    All children who are subjects of Interim or Care Orders, placed at home,
        are reviewed under the Looked After Children system.

11.9    At the first 6 month review following the placement need to consider
        whether the Care Order should be revoked

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12 Appeals Procedure
12.1    Professional Dissent
        The Chair of a Child Protection Conference has a responsibility to ensure
        that the criteria for implementing the Child Protection Plan and removal of
        the plan are consistently applied.
        If the Chair is of the opinion that a Child Protection Conference is heading
        towards a decision which is not in accordance with the relevant
        implementation or removal criteria for a Child Protection Plan, they will
        advise the Conference accordingly.
        In certain cases, it will be a matter of opinion about whether the criteria are
        met. If the Conference is split about a decision after having considered
        the criteria, the Chair should then make a decision which in their opinion is
        in line with the criteria. Any individual reservations or disagreements need
        to be minuted.
        Having had the disagreement minuted, a professional may continue to
        disagree about the decision of the Conference to the extent that they wish
        to disassociate themselves with the decision and formally dissent.      In
        these circumstances the Chair should inform them of the procedures for
        professional dissension and be certain whether or not they are formally
        If, in the Chair's opinion, the Child Protection Conference has made a
        decision about implementing a Child Protection Plan, not meeting the CPP
        criteria or the removal of a CPP, they should advise the Conference
        members of this and also record it in the Minutes.
        A professional dissent is usually based on a matter where a professional
        strongly disagrees with a decision of a Child Protection Conference. The
        disagreement must be profound enough for the professional to wish to
        disassociate themselves from the consensus view of the Conference and
        have their dissension formally recorded. The grounds for such an appeal
               •   The criteria for a Child Protection Plan were not met.
               •   Facts, available now, which were not known at the time of the
                   original Child Protection Plan and that these facts invalidate the
                   original decision to put a Child Protection Plan in place.
               •   The information considered as having a bearing on the
                   agreement of a Child Protection Plan has proved subsequently
                   to be inaccurate.
               •   The procedures were not followed accurately

        If a dissension does occur, the Chair of the Child Protection Conference
        will immediately refer the matter to the Service Manager Safeguarding
        Children who will consider convening a Dissension Panel. This decision

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        needs to be taken within fifteen working days of the Conference.
        If a child is already subject to a Child Protection Plan and there is a
        dissension, the CPP will continue, pending the decision of the Dissension
        When a dissension occurs, a key worker should be nominated and any
        support and monitoring required to keep the child safe will occur.   If
        necessary, decisions regarding the Core Group, recommendations for the
        Child Protection Plan and a review Conference date will be agreed
        between the Conference Chair and the relevant Child Care Team
        The Conference Chair will ensure that those persons who have received
        an invitation to the Conference be notified of these decisions.
        It will be the responsibility of the Service Manager Safeguarding Children to
        ensure that the minutes of the meeting are promptly checked and corrected
        and that the decision is made within fifteen working days and where
        appropriate, a Panel of the sub-group will be arranged.
        (Please see separate guidelines to implement the Dissension Panel

12.2    Appeals By Parents/Carers Against the Child Protection Conference

        The Appeal Process
        The parent or carer should write to the Safeguarding Administrator,
        explaining the reason for their appeal, within fifteen working days of the
        Initial Child Protection Conference or the Review Conference, which made
        the decision against which they wish to appeal. If new evidence becomes
        available after this date, consideration will be given to accepting an appeal
        later.      This decision is at the discretion of the Service Manager
        The Service Manager Safeguarding Children will decide whether there are
        grounds for appeal.   If so, a meeting of the Appeals Panel will be
        convened at a time and date that is suitable for the parents/carers to
        Where there are no grounds for an appeal, the Service Manager
        Safeguarding will advise the parent/carer in writing of that decision within
        fifteen working days of receiving the appeal.
        If it is agreed that there are sufficient grounds, the appeal will be heard
        within twenty working days by a panel of five people from a nominated list.
        People asked to sit on the Panel must not have attended the relevant Initial
        Child Protection Conference or Review Conference, which promoted the
        appeal. It is preferable that they should have no previous involvement
        (directly) with the family. The Appeal Panel will normally be made up of
        representatives of the main LSCB body in Oldham.
        The precise composition of the Panel will be agreed by the Service
        Manager Safeguarding, preferably principal manager and above. They
        will have the authority to co-opt other professionals where specialist advice

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        is required.
        The parent/carer will be informed in writing, by the Safeguarding
        Administrator/Service Manager Safeguarding, whether or not an appeal
        has been agreed and the date on which it will be heard. He or she will be
        invited to attend to explain verbally his or her reasons for lodging the
        appeal and to make further representations if they so wish.
        The parent or carer is welcome to bring a supporter to the Panel Meeting.
        The Appeal Panel may request the attendance of the Child Protection
        Conference or Review Conference Chair Person to clarify any points.
        The Panel will make its decision on the basis of the parents or carers
        submissions, the minutes of any relevant Case Conference or Review
        Conferences and any information given by the Chair Person.
        After the parents have made their submissions and contribution with
        regards to why they think an appeal is necessary, they will then be asked
        to leave the meeting.
        The Panel will then decide and the Panel's decision will be final.
        The Chair or the Panel will write to the Custodian of the Service Manager
        Safeguarding advising them of the decision.
        The Chair of the Panel will also write to the parent/carer advising them of
        the decision.
        There is no appeal above this Panel.
        Both the above decisions will have to be communicated by the Chair within
        seven working days of the Panel meeting.

12.3    Complaints About the Conduct of a Professional at a Child Protection

        General And Not Specific To The Chair

         Any complaints about the conduct of a professional at a Child Protection
         Conference should be taken up with their agency and should be
         responded to in accordance with the relevant agency's complaint
         handling the process.

12.4    Complaints Regarding The Functioning Of A Child Protection
        There may be occasions when a participant at a Child Protection
        Conference is dissatisfied with the way in which the meeting functioned (as
        distinct from disagreement with the Conference decision or having a
        complaint about the conduct of another participant).         The following
        procedure will apply in these circumstances.
        Any person who has a complaint about the functioning of a Child Protection
        Conference should write to the Service Manager Safeguarding Children
        within seven working days of the Conference they attended stating clearly
        the nature of their complaint. Their complaint must be signed, dated and
        communicated clearly.

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        The Service Manager Safeguarding Children will attempt to resolve the
        If the Service Manager Safeguarding Children is unable to resolve the
        complaint, or the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome, the matter
        will be referred to the Complaints Panel.

12.5    Appeals, Dissent and Complaints Panel
        The purpose of the Panel is to provide a forum by which Child Protection
        Conference decisions are reviewed and/or recommendations made
           a) An appeal by a parent/carer regarding the decision of a
           b) A professional dissension regarding the decision of a Conference.
           c)   A complaint about the functioning of a Conference.

        The Panel will be comprised of people who are independent of the case
        and who have had no involvement with the original Child Protection
        Conference in question.
        The Panel will be multi disciplinary and its members should be
        professionals who have experience and expertise in child protection work.
        In normal circumstances, the Panel will be made up from LSCB
        The Panel will be multi disciplinary and its members should be
        professionals who have experience and expertise in child protection work.
        The Service Manager Safeguarding Children will be responsible for
        convening and chairing the Panel. A member of the Executive Committee
        of the Local Safeguarding Children Board will chair the Panel.     The
        process in Oldham currently is that the Deputy Chair of the LSCB chairs
        the Panel.
        The Panel should meet within ten working days.
        The Panel will discuss/decide an appeal, or dissension regarding the
        decision of the Conference taking into account:
           a) The requirements of the Child Protection Procedures, including the
              criteria for a implementing a Child Protection Plan or for the
              removal of a Child Protection Plan.
           b) The relevant Conference minutes and reports.
           c)   Any other relevant reports, documents or information that the
                Conference and Reviewing Manager decides should be submitted.
           d) Any verbal or written information given by the parents/carers to
              support their appeal.
        The Panel will decide whether or not to change the decision of the
        Conference regarding the Child Protection Plan. It may also be necessary
        for the Panel to make other recommendations.
        The Panel will hear a complaint regarding the functioning of the

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        Conference taking into account:
           a) Whether the relevant inter-agency protocols and procedures,
              including Child Protection procedures, have been observed
           b) Whether the complaint is reasonable.
        The Panel will decide whether or not the complaint is substantiated and
        what recommendations be made.
        If the Panel cannot reach a majority decision, the Chair will have the
        casting vote to make the final decision.
        The Panel will normally be made up of five members of the LSCB.
        It will be the responsibility of the Service Manager Safeguarding Children to
        ensure that the minutes of the Panel Meeting are distributed to all those
        invited to the original Child Protection Conference.

Child Protection Procedures                                       Page 51 of 51
13 Procedures and Guidance in the
   Management of Organised
   Abuse Definitions
         Over the past ten years there has been a growing awareness of the
         problems of sexual abuse within the family. However, more recently,
         there has been evidence of a major shift in the nature of sexual abuse
         when it has emerged that adults outside the immediate or wider family
         have been involved in the systematic abuse of children.

13.1    Definitions
        There have been many attempts to define organised and network abuse.
        These procedures will use those definitions produced by the NSPCC for
        use in its submission to the Orkney enquiry viz.–
        1. Organised Abuse: the exploitation of children involving systematic
         sexual, physical or emotional abuse by groups of abusers who
         manipulate, coerce or use threats to control children for personal
         gratification or gain.
        2. Child Sexual Abuse Networks: these involve abusers in planned
         social relationships with other abusers for the purpose of gaining access
         to children for personal sexual gratification and in which the children are
         aware of the involvement of other children.
        Broadly, two models of child sexual abuse networks have been identified,
        the discovery of either of which will trigger these procedures –

        1. Groups of unrelated families who join together to abuse their own
         and others children. Such networks may include outsiders – adults who
         are allowed to abuse without having to recruit their own children to the
         network. This type of network is characterised by high levels of parental
         involvement and often requires children to be removed from parental care
         for their own safety.
        2. Prostitution type networks. These are characterised by relatively
            low levels of parental involvement. In these networks stranger adults
            recruit children directly, usually without parental knowledge. Children
            who are involved in such networks are often used to recruit other
        In both these network types it is unlikely that, apart from one or two core
        members, each member of the network will be aware of all the other
        members. It is often common therefore, that there is a confused pattern of
        presentation with children who have been involved having only patchy
        knowledge of the network as a whole.
        There is a third type of organised abuse – that associated with chaotic

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        families in which abuse occurs across generational boundaries. Such
        situations are managed through the Joint Investigation Protocol as
        previously agreed. However, in such circumstances these procedures
        may be helpful in the investigation of such situations.

13.2    Presentation
        It is extremely unlikely that a network will emerge in its entirety. A much
        more likely scenario would be for a number of children, probably unrelated,
        to begin to make statements and allegations about their abuse which over
        the course of time would begin to indicate connections and to give clues to
        the possibility of a network.
        Early liaison with other agencies needs to take place at a practitioner level
        in order that information regarding suspicions can be pooled.         'Vibes'
        about organised and network abuse in the agency can often provide the
        essential missing ingredient to suspicions being explored by another
        There has been considerable adverse publicity regarding the way in which
        networks have been dealt with in the past and the Press, Courts and others
        have been scathing in their criticism of Social Workers in particular. It is
        important that practitioners in all agencies are reassured that if they begin
        to suspect organised abuse, that they can take their suspicions to their
        senior managers and they will be taken seriously.
        It is likely that practitioners in the Children, Young People and Families
        Department and Greater Manchester Police would make the first
        connections and begin to suspect a network of abuse.              In this case
        practitioners should discuss their suspicions with their senior managers
        who, if there is sufficient evidence to support the belief that a network is in
        operation, should bring the matter to the attention of a nominated individual
        within their organisation.          That nominated individual will be the
        representative who sits on the LSCB. The LSCB representative should
        then bring their suspicions to the attention of the Chair of the LSCB who
        will then be responsible for considering whether the strategic and tactical
        groups, referred to below, should be commenced.

13.3    Management of the Investigation
        It is important to recognise that the investigation into possible network
        abuse will put enormous strains on established working relationships and
        will present the Child Protection system in Oldham with challenges it has
        never previously had to confront.
        It is seen as essential if the investigations are to succeed to separate the
        strategic from the tactical elements of the process. It is recommended that
        upon receipt of information about the possibility of the existence of a
        network that the Chair of the LSCB convenes Strategic and Tactical
        Management Groups, both of which will stand for as long as the
        investigation is in process.

        Role Of The Strategic Group
        The functions of the Strategic Management Group would be to -

Child Protection Procedures                                         Page 53 of 53
        1. Establish the aims and objectives of the investigation.
        2. Ensure a shared understanding of the principles upon which the
         investigation will be conducted (i.e. paramountcy principle)
        3. Provide and allocate resources.
        a) Co-ordinate investigations which cross operational boundaries.
        b) Manage relationships with the media and be a single source of
           information regarding the process of the investigation. The group will
           therefore need to formulate a policy identifying which agency will make
           the press releases and how the content will be compiled.

        It is recommended that the Strategic Management Group will include:
        The list is not exhaustive and the particular circumstances of an enquiry
        may warrant the inclusion of other representatives.
               •   Assistant Director of Social Care
               •   Chief Executive
               •   Senior Health Representative (at Director Level)
               •   Head of Greater Manchester Police VO14 Section
               •   Chief Superintendent 'Q' Division
               •   Borough Solicitor

        Role Of The Tactical Management Group
        The Tactical Management Group would have overall responsibility for the
        management of the investigation into the network.   It would seek to
        1. A detailed timetable for the investigation.
        2. (The responsibilities of professionals dealing with an investigation.
        3. Responsibility for the co-ordination of the investigation on a day by day
        4. How operational difficulties and disputes between professions will be

        The Tactical Management Group would concern itself with the following
        1. What is the evidence available in respect of which children?
        2. Which children should be investigated first?
        3. Who should do the investigation and who else should be involved, e.g.
         schools, youth and community workers etc?
        4. What protective action needs to be taken by whom and when?
        5. When should a Case Conference be convened, who should attend and
         how much information should be disclosed?

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        The Tactical Group will allocate tasks to members of the investigating
        teams who will, in turn, report back to the Group to inform decisions on:
        1. Which other children need to be protected.
        2. The strength of the evidence in regard to these children.
        3. How, if at all, should investigations proceed?
        4. Whether these children should be subject to Case Conferences and
         who should be involved.

        The Tactical Group will be responsible for feeding back to the Strategic
        Group the process of the investigation to inform its decisions on contact
        with other authorities and the media.
        It is recommended that the Tactical Management Group comprise the
        following representatives:
               •   Children, Young People and Families Department Service
                   Manager Safeguarding Children
               •   Greater Manchester Police VA3 representative
               •   Child & Family Psychiatry representative
               •   Health Services representative
               •   Legal Services Department representative
               •   Senior Investigating Officer, GMP

        The list is not exhaustive and the particular circumstances of an enquiry
        may warrant the inclusion of other representatives.
        It is not intended that this guidance should be too prescriptive regarding the
        role of this group as each circumstance will dictate its own response.
        However, the following comments should guide the Tactical Management
        Group in its considerations on how the investigation should proceed.
        It will not be possible to control the way in which the network presents
        itself, nor the number of children who will require protection at any one
        time.     However, where it is possible an incremental approach to the
        investigation should be used. This has the advantage of making the
        investigation manageable and will enable the Children, Young People and
        Families Department and GMP joint investigation protocol to be applied. It
        will be the responsibility of the Tactical Management Group to balance the
        short and longer term protection needs of all the children involved.
        It is important to re-state that early morning raids in which numbers of
        children are taken and perpetrators arrested and against local policy and
        practice and have been particularly proscribed by the Rochdale judgement.
        It may be, however, that such a course of action is indicated in any
        particular circumstance. If such an action is contemplated by the Tactical
        Management Group as the appropriate way to proceed this should be
        referred to the Strategic Management Group for sanction. This group will

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        then have to balance the efficacy of such a method of intervention with the
        possible consequences.
        If it is not possible in this incremental fashion and it becomes necessary to
        act in respect of large numbers of children and adults, the matter should be
        referred (before action is taken) to the Strategic Management Group to
        consider how the investigation is to be resourced, and to agree the tactical

13.4    Collection and Collation of Information
        The experience of practitioners involved in investigations into networks
        would tend to indicate that the earlier the network is recognised and the
        more comprehensive and complete the information obtained, then the
        more successful the outcome of the investigation.
        It is agreed that in the event of a network being uncovered in Oldham that
        the GMP HOLMES computer system will be used. This system can be
        used as a source and repository of information, it can make connections
        between apparently disparate pieces of information, provide a means of
        tracking the progress of the investigation as a whole and the progress of
        individual children within the investigation and it is also able to provide hard
        copy of information to be used subsequently as an archive.
        As with all computer systems the product from the HOLMES system will
        only be as good as the information that is loaded onto it. As a
        consequence the role of the receiver of information is crucial. It is
        recommended that there should be joint receivers from Social care and
        Greater Manchester Police staff who will be responsible for filtering
        information and requesting necessary actions. It is recommended that the
        receivers be senior representatives of Police and Social care Departments
        and that they will have discretion to allow them to co-opt expert advice as
        It is agreed that the Children, Young People and Families Department will
        contribute to the admin support to the HOLMES system in regard to
        message taking and the transcription of data, which is received during the
        investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation the Children, Young
        People and Families Department will receive a hard copy of all archive
        material and arrangements will then need to be made to index and store
        this information in such a way that its confidentiality is maintained.
        In order that the Tactical Management Group is kept fully informed
        regarding the progress of the investigation, it is recommended that the
        Senior Investigating Officer from the Police become a standing member of
        the group.

13.5    Case Conferences
        It is recognised that the role, function and timing of Case Conferences in
        network situations is potentially problematic. It is important to separate the
        protection issues for individual children from the management of the
        investigation into the network as a whole. It is recommended that
        Conferences on children involved in networks should focus exclusively on
        the protection needs of the child or sibling groups involved and no attempt

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        should be made to manage the network through the Conference process,
        nor to deal with the protection needs of numbers of unrelated children.
        On the question of the timing and membership of Conferences it is
        recommended that as far as possible, Conferences on individual children
        (or groups of siblings) should be as normal as possible, i.e. members
        should be invited on a need to know basis. It is possible that there will be a
        need for some control to be imposed on the information which is made
        available to Conference members, particularly if the investigation provides
        evidence of strange or bizarre behaviour in children. In this event the Chair
        of the Case Conference, following discussions with the Chair of the
        Tactical Management Group, will exercise such control on information as is

13.6    Resources
        In the event of a network being uncovered in Oldham it is quite possible
        that the resources of all agencies involved in the investigation and
        subsequent care and treatment of children will be extended beyond their
        limits. The ability to manage the numbers of children coming forward might
        be a limiting factor on the way in which the investigation can proceed and
        this will need to be taken into consideration by the Tactical and Strategic
        Management Groups.
        It is not possible to foresee what the demands on resources might be but it
        is recommended that each agency should consider internally what
        contingency plans should be made to cope with a sudden unexpected
        influx of work. Such plans might involve the transfer of resources within
        the organisation.
        It may be appropriate for members of the Strategic Management Group to
        make representations to their counterparts in other authorities and
        divisions to provide assistance in terms of the investigation of the network
        and the placement of children.

13.7    Expert Advice
        A number of investigations into organised abuse have been criticised for
        their failure to take advantage of expert advice from Child Psychiatrists and
        Psychologists. In order to ensure that the Tactical Management Group is
        properly advised it is recommended that a Psychiatrist from the Child &
        Family Psychiatry Service is a standing member of the group.             It is
        accepted that there are few recognised experts in the field of network and
        organised abuse (particularly when bizarre features are involved) and it is
        acknowledged that the status of 'experts' can be dependent on the view of
        the Courts. It is recommended that the representative from Child & Family
        Psychiatry should, as appropriate, seek advice and guidance from their
        colleagues in order to inform the planning and decision making of the
        Tactical Management Group (e.g., an assessment of the child's need for
        therapy and the timing of that therapy).
        It is recognised that on occasions it may be necessary to seek other forms
        of expert advice, particularly concerning legal matters. It might be that the
        Police may wish to consult with the Crown Prosecution Service or Social

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        Workers might wish to consult with Barristers outside the Local Authority's
        Legal Department. In such circumstances the request for such advice
        should be considered by the Tactical Management Group who will decide
        on how to proceed.

13.8    Staff Care
        The experience from other staff who have been involved in the
        investigation of network abuse indicates that the pressure on staff involved
        in the process is enormously high. Not only do such investigations require
        physical resilience as in the early stages they tend to be extremely intense
        and time consuming, but also they challenge the individual's emotional
        strength and durability. It is important that the issue of staff care is
        addressed at the earliest stage of the investigation and agencies put in
        place mechanisms to ensure that their staff are properly supported and
        cared for. Such mechanisms will include adequate supervision and
        opportunities to de-brief, as well as the facility for the use of external
        counsellors should this be necessary.
        It is important to anticipate that special arrangements will be necessary to
        care for staff involved in the investigation of a network and to make plans
        The Tactical Management Group will be responsible for determining which
        agency will be responsible for co-ordinating staff care.

13.9    Evaluation
        At the conclusion of an investigation into network abuse it is recommended
        that the process and outcome be evaluated by the LSCB Special Case
        Sub-Committee. This will enable the LSCB to reflect on the experience of
        having managed a network and also evaluate whatever changes may be
        necessary to improve the procedures.

13.10   Children Abused by People Who Are Not Household or Family
        Members or Carers

         The Child Abuse Procedures should be utilised in all cases where the
         suspected perpetrator is a family or household member or a person
         acting in a professional or care taking capacity to the child. Any abuse
         suspected of being perpetrated by any other person is to be classed as
         'stranger' abuse and falls outside the Child Protection Procedures.

        Incidents of 'stranger' abuse should be referred directly to the Police for
        criminal investigation. If such investigations reveal that parents or carers
        have either:
             1. Known and colluded with the abuse.
             2. Suspected the abuse and failed to protect the child.
             3. Not directly known or suspected the abuse but demonstrated
                negligence (e.g. allowed known or suspected paedophiles to
                babysit children etc.)
        then the Child Protection Procedures should be invoked.

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        In some cases where stranger abuse is investigated by the Police then
        they need to consider whether or not information relating to the incident is
        of use to other agencies. This applies irrespective of whether anyone is
        charged with an offence or not.
        In deciding whether to inform other agencies the Police should take
        account of whether the move is designed to be victim or offender specific.
        If the move is centred on the victim, then consideration must be given to
        involving parents in the process as a means of overcoming alleged
        breaches of confidentiality (for instance asking parents for permission to
        inform the teacher involved in Child Protection at the victim's school).
        If the intention is to minimise the risk posed by the alleged offender, then in
        deciding which agencies should be informed, the Police should take into
        account the potential risks posed by the alleged offender to:
           1. his own children or those of a co-habitee
           2. those children which he is likely to come into contact with as a result
              of involvement in an organisation or through his work, i.e. a scout
           3. children in the wider community.
        Once the information has been communicated to another agency it is for
        that agency to decide what action needs to be taken to minimise the risk to

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14 Allegations of Abuse Against
   Professionals, Foster Carers
   and Volunteers
         Members of the Oldham LSCB have a responsibility to ensure that
         children are cared for and protected by all those who may have a role or
         participate in some way in their life.

14.1    Definitions
        A professional relationship is defined as the involvement of any person
        acting in a professional capacity or on behalf of an agency, in a position of
        trust in relationship to the child, young person or the family.
        This policy applies to employees, as well as those independent
        professionals who come into contact with children (e.g. Doctors, Dentists,
        Practice Nurses), foster carers, independent providers of childcare and
        volunteers appointed by the constituent member agencies of the LSCB.
        The Oldham LSCB has a wide range of professional and agency members.
        Where the constituent agencies do not provide a service for children
        directly but commission it from an independent, voluntary or private
        organisation, they should ensure that similar child protection procedures
        are written into their contracts. Other organisations, which are not
        members of the LSCB, should have clear child protection policy and
        procedures to deal with such matters.
        Child abuse is defined as physical, sexual, emotional and neglect. (Please
        see Oldham LSCB Section 3.)

14.2    Overall Approach to Abuse by Professionals and Volunteers
        The LSCB recognises that allegations of professional abuse inevitably
        generate sensitive issues, potentially effecting the careers of those
        accused or suspected. Furthermore, the LSCB recognises the potential
        vulnerability of staff caring for children who present challenging behaviour.
        The LSCB recognises the rights of any individual to be respected in the
        interest of natural justice but reasserts the principle that if there is a conflict
        of interest between the child and the adult, the child’s interest must be
        The LSCB expects each agency to appoint a senior manager as its Lead
        Contact Officer for all referrals of possible abuse by those for whom the
        agency has responsibility. This appointed role will be called the Senior
        Nominated Officer for the purpose of the Oldham procedures.
        Any investigation of an allegation or suspicion of abuse by a professional or
        volunteer involves three related, but independent strands. It is important that
        all those involved in any investigation against a professional or volunteer
        recognises the importance of both how they are connected and also their

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           a) The child protection enquiries which take precedence
           b) A police investigation into a possible criminal offence
           c)   Disciplinary procedures, where it appears that the allegations may
                amount to misconduct or gross misconduct on the part of the staff.
                Professionals may also be referred to their own regulatory bodies.
                A similar process will need to be in place for volunteers.

        It is essential that any common facts of the alleged abuse are applied
        independently in each strand of the investigation. For instance the fact that
        a prosecution is not possible does not mean that action in relation to
        safeguarding children or an employee disciplinary hearing is not necessary
        or feasible. (There may be different levels of proof.)

14.3    Recognition
        Oldham LSCB recognise that all staff must be alert to the possibility that a
        child might be harmed by a professional or by a volunteer or by both.
        When an allegation has been made or it is suspected that an employee,
        independent professional or volunteer has harmed or abused a child, the
        Senior Nominated Officer in the agency concerned should be notified
        immediately. Each agency should have a procedure for dealing with such
        information outside normal office hours. If the Senior Nominated Officer is
        not available or involved, another senior manager must be informed.
        The referrer should record the time, place and details of the allegation or
        suspicion and give these to the Senior Nominated Officer. The allegation
        may refer to a current situation or an historical situation. It should be
        followed up in writing within 48 hours of the initial notification.
        Care should always be taken to ensure that ‘referrer’ and the ‘Senior
        Nominated Officer’ are quite clear about the difference between recording
        information and carrying out an investigation.
        There will be need to ensure that the matter is dealt with sensitively and
        age appropriately if a child or young person is involved in making a direct
        complaint. The referrer should not attempt to deal with the complaint or
        suspicion themselves.

14.4    Initial Response by the Senior Nominated Officer
        The Senior Nominated Officer, in consultation with the managers
        responsible for the care of the child (if applicable) but who are not
        implicated in the allegation/suspicion, should ensure the child’s immediate
        safety and that of other relevant children. This may entail suspending the
        alleged abuser until such time that the child protection enquiries are
        complete. If it does, then any disciplinary process should be frozen until the
        outcome of the initial enquiries. Medical treatment for the child should be
        sought if necessary without delay.
        The Senior Nominated officer after appropriate consultations with other

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        relevant managers is responsible for the initial determination of whether the
        allegation constitutes suspected abuse by a professional or volunteer in
        respect of the child protection enquiries. S/he will then be in a position to
        determine the need for police involvement and be able to advise relevant
        managers about the need for disciplinary action.
        The Senior Nominated Officer should consider the details of the incident,
        including the time and location of the incident, information concerning what
        the child has said, any evidence to support or refute the allegation and the
        name of any witnesses
        In deciding what level of investigation, if any, should ensue, the Senior
        Nominated Officer must determine which of the three following categories
        the allegation might represent:

        Acceptable professional behaviour:
        This may include exercising appropriate action to protect a child or young
        person in accordance with that agency’s policy.

        Unacceptable professional behaviour:
        Which constitutes misconduct or gross misconduct and may require action
        in accordance with the agency’s disciplinary procedures but falling short of

        Abusive behaviour:
        As defined in these Child Protection Procedures

        Consultation in Unclear Situations
        Where a Senior Nominated Officer is unsure about how to proceed or
        cannot determine which of the three responses above applies, then contact
        should be made with the Service Manager Safeguarding Children,
        Children, Young People and Families Department. The Chair of the LSCB
        should be informed of the allegation.

         Those conducting the enquiries should be alert to any sign or pattern,
         which suggests that the abuse may be more widespread or organised
         than appears at first sight. It is important not to assume that initial signs
         will necessarily be related directly to abuse and to consider occasions
         where boundaries have been blurred, inappropriate behaviour has taken
         place and matters such as fraud, deception or pornography have been

14.5    Referral
        The Senior Nominated Officer should refer the matter immediately to the
        Conference and Reviewing Unit in social care as soon as s/he has
        determined that there are sufficient grounds to believe that there has been
        abusive behaviour on the part of an employee or volunteer. A strategy
        meeting will be held to determine how to proceed.

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        Referrals relating to possible abuse by an employee, independent
        professional or volunteer of Social care will require an independent person
        to be involved in any child protection enquiries. (Contact the Service
        Manager Safeguarding Children for details of an independent person.)

14.6    Cross Boundary Issues
        If the referral concerns a child who has been placed at an establishment in
        Oldham by another Local Authority, negotiations must be with the placing
        authority to clarify whether Oldham staff are to act as their agents and
        carry out the investigation. There is an expectation that other Authorities in
        Greater Manchester will conduct their own investigations. This does not
        remove the responsibility from Oldham Social Care for taking emergency
        protective action if it is necessary.

14.7    Child Protection Enquiries
        The child protection enquiries will be carried out according to the plan set
        out at the strategy meeting and conducted in accordance with the
        procedures set out in Section 4 of this manual.
        If the child needs to be formally interviewed, then this interview will be
        conducted in accordance with the Joint Protocol between Social Care and
        the Police (Appendix 13).
        The child must not be interviewed by staff conducting the disciplinary
        procedures. The evidence gathered in the investigation, including written
        material audio or video recordings with the child and other witnesses, may
        be referred to in all 3 strands of the investigation. The evidence will remain
        in the hands of the investigating agencies. Decisions concerning the
        disclosure of such evidence will need to be considered carefully in
        conjunction with the agency’s Employment Section.
        The team conducting the child protection enquiries will make an initial
        assessment of the abusive situation and report to a reconvened strategy
        meeting within 15 working days.

14.8    Post Investigation Strategy Meeting
        The members of the initial strategy meeting will reconvene; additional
        relevant staff will be invited.
        This strategy meeting is responsible for considering the following issues:
             •   Result of child protection investigation
             •   Are there outstanding concerns on the balance of probabilities
             •   Any outstanding protection issues for the alleged victim
             •   Any outstanding protection issues for other potential victims,
           a) Other children with whom the alleged perpetrator has a
              professional relationship
           b) Children of the alleged perpetrator
            • Is a Child Protection Conference required in respect of any child

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14.9    Outcomes of Investigation

        Outstanding Concerns
        Where there are outstanding concerns the child and the parents must be
        informed in writing and advised of what action is being taken.
        The Police will consider, in consultation with the Crown Prosecution
        Service whether there is sufficient evidence for a criminal prosecution.
        A disciplinary hearing may be arranged within the agency’s disciplinary
        The alleged perpetrator should be referred to the Department of Health
        consultancy list, List 99 in the Department of Education and Employment or
        any equivalent body, in accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999.
        If the alleged perpetrator resides outside Oldham, the Conference and
        Reviewing Unit with legal advice will convey appropriate information to the
        relevant authority through a formal channel.
        The managers or commissioners of the service should consider the
        lessons from the case and how they should be acted upon. This may
        include whether there are features of the organisation, which may have
        contributed to the abuse occurring, or failed to prevent the abuse from
        happening. In some cases a full Case Review may be appropriate.

        No Outstanding Concerns
        The parents and child will be informed that there are no outstanding
        concerns and they will be given advice and support. Information will also
        be given about the agency’s complaints procedure.
        In either outcome the decision of the meeting will be recorded on the
        child’s file and a strictly confidential record kept in the Conference and
        Reviewing Unit.

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Fig. 2

Child Protection Procedures   Page 65 of 65
15 Part Eight and Case Reviews
15.1    Introduction

         Part eight of the ‘Working Together’ guidelines require LSCBs to
         consider and report on all cases where there is:
         - An incident leading to the death of a child and child abuse is confirmed
         or suspected, or
         - A child protection issue likely to be of major public concern

        There is no agreed or accepted definition of ‘major public concern’ and
        Oldham LSCB has determined that each case shall be judged on it’s own
        circumstances with LSCB Chair holding the discretion to decide, subject to
        constraints outlined below, whether the circumstances warrant the
        convening of a case review.
        Oldham LSCB has also determined that the criteria for holding a case
        review be widened to include cases where a child receives, but survives,
        injuries from which it could have died.
        N.B. Where the child is looked after by the Local Authority, this procedure
        is in addition to requirements under Schedule 2, paragraph 20, Children
        Act 1989.

15.2    The Purpose and Remit of the Review

         Case reviews allow agencies to:
         - understanding events with a view to improving services
         - change systems or services in order to minimise the likelihood of repeat

        The review will examine records held by agency workers involved with the
        child and family to determine:
           • whether agency and LSCB procedures were followed correctly
           • whether the incident could have been predicted or prevented

        The review is a process internal to the LSCB to help it fulfil its functions. It
        is not a public enquiry or a part of any disciplinary procedure.
        The report will not normally be published but will be distributed to LSCB
        agencies to be used to improve service delivery.
        A copy of the report will also be sent to the Department of Health with an
        indication of actions and likely timescales arising from it’s
        The review will also consider strategies for dealing with staff anxieties
        arising from the process and for dealing with public concern. This may

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        include recommendations for specific counselling for individuals considered
        to need this service.

15.3    Procedure for Convening a Case Review
        LSCB chair will contact all agencies with initial details of children and family
        members involved, as a precursor to the meeting to be held to decide
        whether a case review should be commissioned. A broad outline of areas
        of concern to be provided and a date arranged for agency representatives
        to meet within two weeks.
        A named person within each agency will undertake a fact finding exercise,
        gathering as much information as possible whilst concentrating on recent
        events and involvement.
        LSCB chair will hold a meeting with agency representatives within two
        weeks. at this meeting agency representatives will provide:
           •       a chronology of events immediately preceding the incident.
           •       information regarding the length and nature of involvement with the
                   family by their agency
           •       a view on whether the concerns initially set out by the Chair are
                   supported by the information they have collected.

        This meeting must then decide from the following options:
           • to proceed with a case review
           • not to proceed with a case review
           • to adjourn for further information to be collected

        If it is decided to proceed the Chair will determine terms of reference for
        the review and identify the key family members whose files will be looked
        at, and over what timescale.
        A decision not to proceed with a case review can be reversed if information
        subsequently comes to light suggesting that a review is appropriate.
        A report on the decision-making process in these initial stages will be given
        to LSCB, if it is decided not to proceed.
        On deciding to proceed with a case review the Chair will:
               •    appoint an independent Chair for the case review
               •    provide minutes of meeting(s) leading to the review and terms of
                    reference agreed
        All agency representatives are expected to be involved in the case review
        meetings and discussions regardless of their agencies involvement with
        the family.
        The case review Chair will determine frequency of meetings, ensuring the
        formal presentation of information, producing a formal written report for
        LSCB Chair and discussion of it at LSCB.

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        If a substantial consensus does not emerge during the review, the
        independent Chair is responsible for recording this in the final report for
        The final report will be completed not later than eight weeks after the
        meeting at which the review is commissioned.

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Appendix 1:
The Legal Framework

        The Children Act 1989 contains most of the relevant law relating to child
        protection and practice areas are covered in more detail within the volumes
        of regulations and guidance relating to the Act.
        The Act sets out a number of important principles which child protection
        practitioners need to be aware of. In particular the following principles
        directly apply to child protection:
              •   The welfare of the child is the paramount consideration
              •   A partnership approach must be taken in working with all relevant
                  parties including parents, carers and family members
              •   A court shall not make an Order under the Act with respect to a
                  child unless it is satisfied that doing so is better than making no
                  order at all
        The Act introduces the concept of ‘parental responsibility’ which is intended
        to alter the emphasis away from parental rights over children towards a
        focus on their responsibilities towards children.
        When a child is the subject of a Care Order parental responsibility is
        shared by the Local Authority with parent(s). In these circumstances the
        Local Authority has the right to limit parents in their exercising of parental
        responsibility if it is necessary to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare.


        Emergency Protection - Sections 44-46 And 48 Children Act 1989
        These sections provide for the urgent protection of a child from significant
        harm including guidelines relating to the powers, duties and timescales
        pertaining to Emergency Protection orders and Police Protection Orders.

        Recovery Order - Section 50 Children Act 1989
        This provides for the Court to make an Order where a child in care or
        subject to an Emergency Protection Order is missing, has run away or has
        been abducted.

        Police And Criminal Evidence Act 1984 - Section 19 (1)(E)
        This enables a Police Officer to enter premises without a warrant in order
        to save life and limb. (This is a general Police power not restricted to child
        protection matters only).

        Child Assessment Order - Section 43 Children Act 1989
        This enables a short term period of specialist assessments to be
        undertaken in order to establish evidence of significant harm, in

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        circumstances where this cannot be achieved with the co-operation of

        Care And Supervision - Sections 31- 35 And 38 Children Act 1989
        These sections provide for compulsory intervention to safeguard the longer
        term welfare of the child in circumstances where this cannot be achieved
        without recourse to the Courts.

        Family Law Act 1996
        Part 1V of this Act introduces significant changes to civil law regarding
        Domestic Violence, most significantly the introduction of NON-
        Orders may contain the power of arrest where it appears that the applicant
        or relevant child will not be adequately protected without this.

        Schedule 1 1933 Children And Young Persons Act.
        This lists offences against children including physical and sexual assault.
        These offences can never be regarded as ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation
        of Offenders legislation. If a Local Authority is informed about such an
        offender having contact with children it must make enquiries under Section
        47 of the Children Act 1989 to decide whether any further action should be
        taken to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare.

        The Sex Offenders Act 1997
        Imposes requirements on sex offenders, including those under 18, to notify
        the police of their names and addresses and any subsequent changes to
        these. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.
        The Act spells out the importance of an inter-agency approach to
        managing the disclosure of information relating to certain sex offenders.

        Crime And Disorder Act 1998:
        Sex Offender Orders, Sections 2, 3 And 18
        This relates to sex offenders convicted after December 1st 1998.         The
        legislation includes sex offences committed abroad.
        The Order can prohibit the offender from doing any specified thing if the
        prohibition is necessary to protect the public from serious harm from the
        The Order will last for at least five years. Once an Order is made the sex
        offender must register under the Sex Offenders Act 1997, even if s/he is
        already registered.
        It is an arrestable offence to breach the Order, maximum penalty five years
        imprisonment and a fine. The court cannot give a conditional discharge for
        this offence.

Child Protection Procedures                                      Page 70 of 70
        Appendix 2:
        Social Care Roles and Responsibility

        A key role for Children, Young People and Families Department is to
        ensure that children are protected from significant harm. Social Care
        provide a wide range of support for children and their families, especially
        where children have special needs, children at risk of harm, children who
        need to be accommodated or looked after by the local authority, through
        fostering or residential care and children who are placed for adoption.
        Social Care responsibilities should be seen in the context of this broad
        range of social care and support, so that children and families can be
        helped and supported in an integrated way which recognises the range and
        diversity of their needs and strengths.
        Local authorities, through Social Care, have specific legal duties under the
        Children Act 1989. The general duty of Social Care is to safeguard and
        promote the welfare of children in their area who are in need and, provided
        this is consistent with the child’s safety and welfare, to promote the
        upbringing of children within their families by providing services appropriate
        to the child’s needs (S17). They should do this in partnership with parents
        and in a way which is sensitive to the child’s race, religion, culture and
        language. Services might include day care for young children, after school
        care for school children, counselling, respite care, family centres or
        practical help in the home. It is essential that Social Care work in
        partnership with other agencies to help support children and families.
        Social Care have a duty to make enquiries if they have reason to suspect
        that a child in their area is suffering, or likely to suffer significant harm, to
        enable them to decide if any action is necessary to safeguard or promote
        the welfare of the child (S47).
        A child at significant risk will invariably be a child in need. The Children,
        Young People and Families Department is 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.
        In the majority of cases children are safeguarded from harm by working
        with them, their parents and other family members and significant adults to
        promote the child’s welfare within the family setting. Where the child is at
        continuing risk of significant harm, Social Care are responsible for co-
        ordinating a multi-agency plan (Child Protection Plan) to safeguard the
        child. The Child Protection Plan is set up by a core group of people from
        different agencies and clearly outlines each agencies role in the plan. In
        some cases, Social Care in consultation with other agencies, may judge
        that a child’s welfare cannot be sufficiently safeguarded within the family.
        In such circumstances the Children, Young People and Families
        Department may apply to the court for a Care Order, which commits the
        child to the care of the local authority. Where the child is thought to be in
        immediate danger, the Social Care may apply to the court for an
        Emergency Protection Order.
        Social Care responsibility, duties and powers in relation to vulnerable

Child Protection Procedures                                          Page 71 of 71
        children under the Children Act 1989 means that they act as the principal
        point of contact for children about whom there are child welfare concerns.
        They may be contacted directly by parents or family members seeking
        help, concerned friends and neighbours, or by professionals and other
        statutory and voluntary agencies.
        The following flow chart (Fig. 3) outlines the way in which referrals are
        handled within Social Care.

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 72 of 72
Child Protection Procedures   Page 73 of 73
        Appendix 3:
        Police Service
        Child Protection Guidelines

        Protecting life and preventing crime are primary tasks of the Police. The
        Police have a duty and responsibility to investigate criminal offences
        committed against children.
        The Police recognise the fundamental importance of inter-agency working
        in combating child abuse, as illustrated by well-established arrangements
        for joint training involving Police and social work colleagues. All forces
        have Child Protection Units (C.P.U.’s). These units within Greater
        Manchester are known as Family Support Units (F.S.U.’s).
        It is important that safeguarding children is not, within a policing context,
        seen as solely the role of F.S.U. Officers, but that all Police Officers
        understand it is a fundamental part of their duties.
        The Police are committed to sharing information and intelligence with other
        agencies where it is necessary to protect children.
        Following a criminal investigation, a decision as to whether or not criminal
        proceedings should be initiated are based on these main factors:
                •   whether or not there is sufficient evidence to prosecute
                •   whether it is in the public interest that proceedings should be
                    instigated against a particular offender
                •   whether or not a criminal prosecution is in the best interests of
                    the child.
        Although the Police may commence proceedings, it is the responsibility of
        the C.P.S. to review the evidence and, where appropriate, conduct all
        criminal prosecutions. In dealing with offences involving a child victim, the
        Police will normally work in partnership with Social Care.
        The evidential standard required by the Criminal Court is proof ‘beyond
        reasonable doubt’ that the defendant committed the offence. Proceedings
        for the protection of children in the Children Act 1989 take place in the Civil
        Court which work to a different standard of proof, than of the ‘balance of
        probabilities’.   The Criminal Courts focus on the behaviour of the
        defendant, the Civil Courts on the interests of the child.
        In addition to their duty to investigate criminal offences, the Police have
        emergency powers to enter premises and ensure the immediate protection
        of children believed to be suffering from, or at risk of significant harm.

Child Protection Procedures                                         Page 74 of 74
Appendix 4:
The Joint Police and Social Care Protocol for
Investigating Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse

        This document or 'Protocol' is the official procedure, agreed between
        Greater Manchester Police and Oldham Social Care for the joint
        investigation of suspected Child Sexual Abuse.
        Such investigations should only be taken on by staff who have received the
        appropriate specialist training.
        It is essential that this procedure is read in conjunction with the
        Memorandum of Good Practice (M.O.G.P.) which relates to the video
        recording of a child's evidence. It is also important to refer to relevant
        Police and Social Care Guidelines encompassed in the LSCB Child
        Protection Procedures Handbook.

        There are several principles which are overriding in joint investigations:
        1. The welfare of the child is paramount.
        2. The investigation should be child centred, the onus being on protection
         of the child rather than the collection of evidence for criminal proceedings.
        3. The account of a child should always be taken seriously, as opposed to
         being believed without any doubt. The subsequent investigation will then
         be conducted with an open mind and will consider all information and
         evidence, whether this substantiates or detracts from the child's account.

        Memorandum of Good Practice (M.O.G.P.) on Video Recorded
        Interviews with Child Witnesses
        This document details when the evidence of a child witness/victim is
        recorded on video tape with a view to it being accepted in Court as
        It also provides guidance on all stages of an investigation such as
        planning, interview preparation, the interview itself and actions thereafter.
        When a video interview is anticipated, reference must be made to the
        Not all joint investigations will result in a video interview. However, the
        guidelines provided in the M.O.G.P. should still be adhered to whenever
        possible (e.g. in relation to planning and interview approach).
        There might be circumstances when a video interview may not be
        undertaken but these are expected to be rare, and will usually be when the
        child is felt to be too young for such an interview, or where video

Child Protection Procedures                                        Page 75 of 75
        recording(s) formed part of the suspected abuse.

        Suitability for Joint Investigations
        All cases of alleged/suspected Child Sexual Abuse will be subject to Joint
        Police/Social care investigation where the above falls within the following
        1. The child is at the time of referral, under 18 years of age. Any video
         recording obtained from an interview will only be admissible as the young
         person's evidence if he/she is under 17 years at the time the recording
         was made.
        2. The suspected abuser is a person who has custody, care, control or
         responsibility for the child.
        Advice regarding other areas of abuse not falling within the above criteria,
        or behaviour giving rise to concern are detailed in paragraphs 13, 14 and
        15 of the Procedure.

        When a referral is made all relevant information and details should be
        recorded contemporaneously on the relevant agencies referral forms.
        All relevant agency records should be checked and information collated
        under Section 47 of the 1989 Children Act".
        When intending to refer cases to another agency it is imperative that the
        accumulated information is recorded accurately.
        The matter should then be discussed fully with a line manager prior to
        referral to another agency.    The immediate risk to the child must be
        assessed and a plan of action considered to alleviate the risk.
        Contact with the other joint investigating agency must be made as soon as
        possible after initial referral. Arrangements can then be made as soon as
        practicable for a formal strategy meeting after which the investigation can
        be progressed.

        Planning Meeting
        Refer to M.O.G.P.
        Good preparation and detailed liaison are essential to make good use of
        the skills of the investigating team.
        During the meeting it will be necessary to cover a large number of topics
        but on completion, an interview team should have been identified including
        the video operator.
        It is also important that the possible requirements of specialist skills should
        be identified, i.e. interpreters/signing. Consideration should be given to
        whether a medical examination will be necessary.
        The timing and location of the interview should be decided with reference
        to the Safeguarding and Review Unit and the availability of facilities.

Child Protection Procedures                                         Page 76 of 76
        At the end of the Strategy Meeting the conclusions reached and any action
        plan should be fully recorded. It should be noted that all documents from
        both agencies may be subject to disclosure to all parties in court
        proceedings. Therefore the context and clarity of information recorded
        should represent the facts of the case, and any opinions should be
        separately recorded.

        Consent for the interview of the child to take place and for this to be
        videoed should normally be sought in advance from an adult with parental
        responsibility. However, given the complex nature of child sexual abuse
        investigations, it will be appropriate to proceed without seeking such
        consent where this would place the child at risk or adversely affect the
        investigations. This is a serious step and should not take place without
        prior consultation with line managers (preferably in the strategy meeting)
        and, where appropriate, consultation with Legal Services and the Crown
        Prosecution Service. Similar consent to the interview and video recording
        should be sought from the child where he/she is of sufficient age and
        understanding. The suspected perpetrator should not be considered as
        able to give consent.
        Consent can be obtained by either agency, and an attempt should be
        made to obtain this in writing on the designated form. Verbal consent will
        suffice when written consent is refused or inappropriate. The fact that only
        verbal consent was given and the reasons why must be recorded in the
        case notes.

        Medical Examination
        The investigating team must decide on the need for a medical examination.
        There should be no prescribed timing for a medical in relating to the
        sequence of steps forming part of an investigation but as a general rule if
        one is needed, should take place at the earliest possible stage.
        In deciding when to medically examine a child, consideration must be given
        to the possible forensic evidence that may be lost if the examination is
        Any such examination must only be conducted by a Police Surgeon with
        specialist training in this field.
        The consent of someone with parental responsibility must be sought and
        the wishes of the child taken into consideration, in accordance with her/his
        age and developmental maturity. Any child has a right to refuse a medical
        Any arrangements for a medical examination will be made by the Police
        Officers involved.

        Interview with Child
        Refer to M.O.G.P.

Child Protection Procedures                                      Page 77 of 77
        If a video recorded interview is envisaged then it is essential that all staff
        involved have had an opportunity to appraise themselves of the equipment
        and practical procedures.
        Full instructions regarding the use of the video and audio equipment will be
        available at the Safeguarding and Review Unit.
        At the end of an interview the Police Officer will seal the two video tapes
        made (and audio tapes) and be responsible for taking them to the Police
        Station where they will be indexed and stored.
        All requests to view or obtain copies of video/audio tapes should be
        addressed to the Detective Sergeant of the Family Support Unit.
        The importance of safeguarding a video recording cannot be understated
        and any copying or access will be strictly controlled. Video recordings
        should be destroyed when it is clear that their continued existence serves
        no further purpose. Since a recording would be likely to be needed to any
        appeal proceedings it will be necessary to store the master copy for at
        least five years. A decision to erase a video recording should be taken
        jointly by the Service Manager Safeguarding Children and the Head of
        Oldham C.I.D.
        If a video interview is not envisaged, then any interview, should whenever
        possible, follow the format detailed in the M.O.G.P.
        It may happen that a child who is being interviewed comes under suspicion
        of involvement in a criminal offence perhaps by uttering a self-incriminating
        statement.     It is not expected that this will happen frequently but
        interviewers should bear in mind that it is not unusual for victims to become
        abusers. Further advice is given in the M.O.G.P.

        Interview with the Suspect
        By Police Officers.
        This will be carried out in the Police Station and should include wherever
        possible the Police Officers involved in the interview with the child. If the
        Social Care request involvement in the interview this can be negotiated
        with the Police.
        The interview of the suspect should be carried out without delay.
        Liaison between the Police and Social Worker after the interview should be
        completed as soon as practicable and the relevant information should be
        shared, with a view to assessing the situation and establishing what further
        action may be necessary.

        Interview with Other Relevant Persons
        Carers not suspected of abuse (Social Care)
        1. When having contact with carers not suspected of abuse, consideration
         should be given to assessing the carers ability to protect the child.
        2. It is also important to assess the carers not suspected of abuse and
         their response to the allegations, and whether they had any prior

Child Protection Procedures                                        Page 78 of 78
         knowledge or suspicions of the abuse and especially whether the child
         made any attempt to tell the carer.
        Siblings and other children (Police and Social Care)
        1. Consideration should be given to interviewing any sibling or other
         children with whom the alleged abuser may have had significant contact.
        2. Prior to any decision being taken to interview another child, full
         consultation should be made with a line manager.
        3. The intention of any such interview would be principally to establish
         whether that child had been abused and is in need of protection, and/or to
         see if that child can provide corroborative evidence in relation to the initial
         victim's account.
        4. The value of the interview should be balanced against the possible
         detrimental affects to the child involved and should not be considered
         without reasonable grounds to suspect the child may have relevant
        Any such interview should be carried out in accordance with the M.O.G.P.
        When deciding to conduct an interview with a child, reference must be
        made to the issue of consent outlined in paragraph 7 of these Procedures.

        It is imperative that at some stage, near the completion of an investigation,
        staff involved take time to assess their own performance and that of the
        other joint investigating agency.
        This provides an opportunity to exchange constructive feedback in relation
        to the investigation and can only add to the professionalism of all those
        involved in future investigations.
        In cases that have caused concern either due to severity, complexity or
        simply due to a problem that has become evident in relation to procedures,
        it may be considered necessary to hold a more formal meeting for de-
        briefing purposes.
        Each investigating officer will report immediately after an interview to a line

        Other Areas of Abuse Subject to Joint Investigation

        Child On Child Sexual Abuse

        1. Such abuse should be a joint investigation where it occurs within the
         family setting
        and / or
        2. Where the perpetrator has care custody or control.

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        Professional Abuse
        Procedures relating to this topic are detailed in Section 14 of these

        Organised Abuse
        Procedures relating to this topic are detailed in Section 13 of these

        Stranger Abuse
        Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a child by a person falling outside the
        criteria detailed in Section 3.4 will not be subject to joint investigations.
        (See Appendix 9 for child on child abuse).
        These situations are commonly referred to as 'stranger' abuse and will be
        investigated by the Police (though not necessarily the Family Support Unit).
        It should be noted however, that adults who commit sexual offences
        against children outside their family, may well be a danger to children
        within their own family.
        The Police/Social Care and Probation will identify situations in which the
        alleged perpetrator may pose a risk to children with whom they may have
        significant contact.
        Therefore the safety and protection of those children will be considered by
        Social Care under the terms of Section 47 Children's Act 1989. The
        Children, Young People and Families Department may want to refer the
        case to the Police for a joint investigation, who will attend a strategy
        meeting. In the event of a lack of agreement over police involvement the
        matter will be referred via the divisional Family Support Unit to Head of
        Oldham C.I.D. and the social worker in the case should contact the
        appropriate Team Manager.
        In all cases of 'stranger' abuse, it is intended that the details of the child
        victim should be forwarded to Social Care, if the parents so wish, because
        the child may be in need of assistance.
        It should be stressed that though 'stranger' abuse is not normally subject to
        joint investigation the welfare of the child victims (or potential victims) are
        still paramount and as such a joint investigation may be appropriate.

        Non-Accidental Injuries, Neglect, Emotional Abuse
        The Social Care procedures regarding the investigation of non-sexual
        abuse are detailed in Section 4 of these procedures.
        Where non-sexual abuse in the form of a non accidental injury, emotional
        abuse or neglect is identified by the Social Care, the Family Support Unit
        will be informed and will then decide at what point, if any, to become
        involved in the investigation.
        Where the unit do become involved in the investigation and the child's
        account is likely to be significant in bringing criminal charges of violence
        and/or cruelty against a suspected abuser, then there should be a joint

Child Protection Procedures                                         Page 80 of 80
        Police/Social Care interview as outlined in this protocol. This interview
        should be video recorded in accordance with this protocol when the child is
        under fourteen years of age as the video will be admissible as evidence in
        any criminal trial so long as the child is under fifteen years of age at the
        time of the trial. Where the child is fourteen or over, a joint Police/Social
        Work interview may still be indicated but there is no requirement to video.

        Availability of Investigating Officers
        All Child Protection investigations, but especially child sexual abuse
        investigations, need to be conducted in a planned and sensitive manner.
        For this reason all joint Police and Social Care child sexual abuse
        investigations should be conducted between Monday – Friday, 8.30 a.m. to
        5.00 p.m. by the trained Social Worker and Police Family Support Unit
        Officers unless a referral is received outside of these hours
              •   a child is at risk of serious or life threatening injury.
              •   to delay the investigation would militate against the gathering of
                  forensic evidence crucial to the safety of the child and/or the
                  possible prosecution of a suspected abuser.
        In such situations the investigation should be carried out jointly by an
        Emergency Social Worker and the Oldham Police C.I.D. (see Appendix 22
        for telephone numbers).

Child Protection Procedures                                          Page 81 of 81
        Appendix 5
        Health Service
        Child Protection Role

        All health professionals in the NHS, private sector and other agencies play
        an essential part in ensuring that children and families receive the care,
        support and services they need in order to promote children’s health and
        development. Because of the universal nature of health provision, health
        professionals are often the first to be aware that families are experiencing
        difficulties in looking after their children.
        Health professionals have an important part to play in:
                 •   Promoting the health and well being of children
                 •   The prevention of harm
                 •   Recognising children in need or in need of protection
                 •   Contributing to enquiries about a child and family
                 •   Assessing the needs of children and parents ability to meet
                     those needs
                 •   Planning and providing support for vulnerable children and
                     families and those children at risk of significant harm
                 •   Taking part in child protection conferences and core groups
                 •   Contributing to Child Protection Plans
                 •   Contributing to reviews
                 •   Co-operating with other agencies

        Health Authorities

               •     Identification of designated doctor and nurse to take the lead
                     across the health authority
               •     Overall strategic lead for health in local inter-agency working
               •     Planning services
               •     Commitment to LSCB work
               •     Advice and support to LSCB
               •     Ensuring health service contribution and commissioning of
                     services is effective to safeguard children
               •     To promote and influence training and child protection

        NHS Trusts and Primary Care Groups/Trusts
        The above are responsible for the provision of health services in the
        community and hospital and should identify a named doctor and nurse with
        the Trust to take a lead in child protection matters and co-ordinate and
        promote good professional practice.
        Relevant health professionals include:

Child Protection Procedures                                          Page 82 of 82
           •   All hospital and community staff
           •   GP and Primary Health Care Team
           •   The midwife, health visitor and school nurse
           •   Adult mental health services
           •   Substance misuse services
        Close collaboration between adult and children services are essential in
        the interests of children where there are concerns about their welfare.
        Many other health professionals and professionals allied to medicine
        should be aware of local LSCB procedures for example - Accident and
        Emergency staff, Physiotherapists, Speech Therapists, NHS Direct staff,
           •   All health staff need to be aware of children’s needs and alert to
               factors which may adversely affect them.
           •   Know how to contact named professionals in their organisation with
               expertise in Child Protection.
           •   Understand their role in relation to Child Protection.
           •   Be familiar with in-house guidelines and procedures.
           •   Be familiar with Oldham’s LSCB procedures.
           •   Know how to respond to concerns where a child is thought to be
               suffering or at risk of significant harm.
           •   Know how to make a referral to Social Care (see Section 2)

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 83 of 83
        Appendix 6:
        The National Probation Service (Greater
        Protocol for Work with Children in Need and
        Vulnerable Children

        The National Probation Service Oldham District is committed to working
        with other organisations to ensure that the needs of children and families
        are met. Staff will work in partnership with families and other agencies to
        identify those most appropriate to provide family support services and
        enable access to those services.        Probation Officers may be able to
        identify potential cases requiring assistance when they become concerned
        through their work whilst preparing pre-sentence or specific sentence
        reports for Courts or in supervising offenders including those convicted of
        offences against children.

        Level 1 Needs
        Where there are children in a household under stress, staff will identify
        whether the child(ren) and family have access to universal services (e.g.
        health, education) and enable referral to those where this is not the case.

        Level 2 Needs
        Where additional family support services are required and initial
        assessment of the needs of the child(ren) and family should be made. In
        discussion with the family, where possible, referral should be made to
        appropriate service providers. In keeping with the principles of the Case
        Planning Process, self-referral should be encouraged.          On occasions
        participation of staff in multi-agency meetings ("Level 2" planning meetings)
        will be appropriate.

        Level 3 Needs
        In more complex situations, where the needs of the child(ren) and/or family
        cannot be met with the above "family support" process, referral to Social
        Care for a "Level 3.1" or "Section 17" Case Planning Meeting should be
        Arrangements exist to ensure that when offenders convicted of offences
        against children are discharged from prison, probation services inform the
        local authority in the area in which the prisoner plans to reside. This
        allows the Children, Young People and Families Department to make
        enquiries and take action if they believe there may be a danger to children
        residing at the same address.

Child Protection Procedures                                       Page 84 of 84
        The Probation Service convenes a Multi-Agency Risk Panel (MARP) in
        conjunction with Greater Manchester Police.        They consider a small
        number of people who pose an exceptional risk of harm to the public
        including those who pose an exceptional risk to children. The Probation
        Service undertakes to ensure that all relevant agencies in a particular case
        are informed when a Panel is convened and are invited to contribute to
        decisions covering implementing a Child Protection Plan and to the
        development of a Multi-Agency Risk & Harm Management Plan.
        The following flow chart identifies a reference guide for Probation Service
        staff in respect of policy and procedures.

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Child Protection Procedures   Page 86 of 86
        Appendix 7:
        Education Service
        Child Protection Guidelines

        Oldham Education Authority endorses the principles and procedures for
        child protection that have been agreed by members of the Local
        Safeguarding Children Board, and welcomes the commitment to working
        as part of a multi-disciplinary body, recognising that inter-agency co-
        operation is crucial in the effective protection of children.
        Although the Children, Young People and Families Department have the
        statutory responsibility for child protection, the Education Service has a
        vital role to play. Schools have day to day contact with children, and all
        staff (teachers and support staff) are in a unique position to observe any
        physical and emotional change which may be an indication of abuse.
        Staff in education services, such as educational psychologists, pupil
        welfare officers and youth workers, are also well placed to make
        observations in this respect.

        Procedures Within Schools
        In approximately 7 out of 10 cases, first observations of signs of abuse are
        made in schools. It is therefore, essential that there are recognised, well
        established procedures for dealing with such situations. Each school or
        educational establishment needs to appoint a member of staff as the
        designated teacher responsible for child protection. Each school should
        make every effort to participate fully in supporting the child in this situation.

        Support For Staff In Schools
        1. Any member of staff who has any concern should, the first instance,
           contact the designated teacher in school, or the headteacher, as
        2. The LEA officer responsible for child protection issues is the Education
           LSCB representative.
        3. Advice and support can also be obtained from the Pupil Welfare
           Service and the Education Psychological Service.

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        Oldham Education Department Child Protection Procedures Within
        Educational Establishments for Cases of Suspected Physical,
        Emotional, Sexual Abuse or Neglect
        When looking at this chart for action, please read the notes of guidance
        alongside at each stage.

        Stage 1     If this suspicion or allegation concerns sexual abuse see below.
                    If not go to stage 2.

        Stage 2     Discuss allegation/suspicion with appropriate person (e.g.
                    designated teacher, headteacher, head of service) if available.

        Stage 3     Consider if emergency medical action is necessary and/or
                    checking of a Child Protection Plan – if emergency action is
                    a) inform parents if contactable
                    b) take child to hospital
                    c)   inform headteacher or line manager, and
                    d) refer to Social Care.

        Stage 4     Encourage the child to discuss the situation.

        Stage 5     Share this information with appropriate person mentioned
                    above, and take one of the following courses of action.

        Stage 6
           a) If there are some grounds for concern about the child’s general
              welfare: meet with parents to discuss, and other agencies if
              parents agree
           b) If grounds for concern of physical abuse, neglect or emotional
              abuse: refer to Area Social Care team where the child is resident.

                    Social Care or school must inform parents of action taken and
                    reasons why, as soon as possible.
                    If there are no grounds for concern:       log the incident and
                    discuss with parents as appropriate.

Child Protection Procedures                                         Page 88 of 88
        Notes of Guidance

        Stage 1
        In all cases where there is an allegation, disclosure or reasonable
        suspicion of sexual abuse, the matter should be reported immediately to
        Social Care. The numbers are to be found in Appendix 21. Social Care
        will inform the Police.

        Stage 2
        Every individual has not only the right but a responsibility to contact Social
        Care. However, schools and educational services would normally expect
        the person with suspicions to discuss the situation with the Designated
        Teacher/Headteacher/or the individual’s line manager. Some services
        have greater experience and expertise in this area (e.g. Pupil Welfare
        Service, Educational Psychology Service) and individual officers would be
        able to act independently in this respect.

        Stage 3
        Where a child is seriously injured or neglected and requires urgent medical
        attention, the person identifying the concern should take or arrange for the
        child to be taken to Accident and Emergency at the Royal Oldham
        Hospital. Parents should be notified and whenever possible accompany
        the child, but treatment can be given without consent. Medical staff should
        be told of the suspicions and should check if a Child Protection Plan is in
        place (see below). Section 2 contains further guidance.
        If it is necessary to investigate if there is a Child Protection Plan, schools
        and service have been provided with the necessary information to do this,
        but it should be stored in a safe place as the information is sensitive. If you
        cannot find this information, you might like to consider phoning the Pupil
        Welfare Service or the LEA officer for child protection, for assistance. If in
        hospital, the admission desk has access to names of children subjected to
        a Child Protection Plan.

        Stage 4
        This should be given high priority and needs a suitable environment to take
        place. The most appropriate member of staff should be involved and
        information recorded as accurately as possible. The child should be
        encouraged to discuss the situation in a calm and relaxed way, treating the
        information as true, and not by the use of leading questions. Inform
        another member of staff that this discussion is going to take place and
        inform the child that you may have to discuss this information with others.

        Stage 5
        This is necessary in order to form an opinion as to what is the next most
        appropriate action. However, there might conceivably be a situation where
        no-one is available to discuss the information, and individuals will need to
        decide the next step for themselves.

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        Stage 6 (b)
        Please refer to Section 2, of the Procedures for further guidance. It may
        fall to schools to inform parents if Social Care have been unable to contact
        them, and parents arrive to collect the child at the end of the day. When
        informing Social Care if the child concerned has a disability, the school
        should inform the local area team that the child may be know to the
        Children with Disability Team.

        What To Do If You Have An Allegation Suspicion Or Disclosure Of
        Sexual Abuse.
        If a child begins to disclose sexual abuse you should be prepared to listen,
        believe and act upon the information.

                          Do’s                                     Don’ts

         Do facilitate the disclosure by Don’t          inform         the     suspected
         finding a suitable place to talk, and perpetrator
         actively listen

         Do tell the child what you will have Don’t inform parents or care giver
         to do to follow the procedure        but explain that a referral for
                                              investigation has been made if asked

         And                                       Don’t stop the child from disclosing

         Do record the details at the same Don’t promise not to tell anyone else
         time as they are being told


                                                   Don’t judge the child to be lying

        Inform Local Area Team – Social Care – where a child lives
        Telephone numbers available in LSCB Handbook, Appendix 21
        Police and Social Care will investigate.

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Child Protection Procedures   Page 91 of 91
        * In some complex cases where there is an allegation/disclosure of both
        sexual abuse and physical injury, the child should be taken for immediate
        medical attention and school should discuss with Social Care how and
        when parents are to be informed.

Child Protection Procedures                                    Page 92 of 92

        Stage 1     Staff witnessing any injury, or receiving a disclosure of abuse,
                    or having any other concerns, should record in their own words
                    what their concerns are and/or what the child has said.

        Stage 2     When discussing the information with the Designated Teacher
                    there is need to clarify what those concerns are, what action is
                    to be taken and to record.

        Stage 3     Record each new development.        All records must be kept

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        Appendix 8:
        Parental Mental Illness, Problem Alcohol
        and Drug Use and Domestic Violence
        Although many families cope adequately with their problems, others may
        benefit from the assistance of professional agencies.            Adults' and
        Children's services need to collaborate in order to ensure that both parents'
        and children's needs are recognised and understood.
        The available evidence from a wide range of research shows how factors
        such as domestic violence, alcohol and drug misuse and mental illness
        may impact on children and may affect a parent's capacity to respond to
        their children's needs (Cleaver et al; 1999).
        Work was commissioned by the Department of Health in response to the
        results of earlier Child Protection studies (Child Protection: Messages from
        Research, DOH; 1995). High levels of parental problems were found in
        families involved in the Child Protection system and the impact on children
        was not always realised or understood by Social Workers.            Families
        themselves were reluctant to admit their problems because they feared a
        punitive reaction and their behaviour was sometimes interpreted as


        Mental Illness

         It is wrong to suggest that all parents who suffer from mental illness,
         problem alcohol/drug use or domestic violence put their children at risk of
         significant harm. However, where these problems co-exist, particularly
         with domestic violence, children are more likely to suffer long-term
         adverse effects. (Cleaver et al; 1999)

        In clinical studies, mental illness is usually defined by using the European
        System: ICD-10 classification of mental illness and behavioural disorders
        or the U.S. classification: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
        Disorders. Common examples are schizophrenia, depression and anxiety
        disorders. There is considerable disagreement over whether personality
        disorder is a psychiatric illness. (Cleaver et al, 1999).
        However, precise diagnosis is not always clear or available to practitioners.

         It is important to understand experiences of sufferers and how parental
         mental illness, problem alcohol or drug use, or domestic violence can
         have psychological and social consequences on their lives.

        Problem Drinking
        Oldham Mental Health Service Partnership states that problem drinking is
        best defined as any drinking which interferes with an individual's physical/
        psychological health and social functioning.           This may include

Child Protection Procedures                                       Page 94 of 94
        inappropriate alcohol use when an individual is drinking at times and
        places which may put the individual or others at risk, e.g. drinking at work,
        whilst driving or whilst responsible for the care of children.

        Problem Drug Use
        The Standing Conference on Drug Abuse (1997) defines this in terms of
        the negative effects on families, i.e. social, financial, relationship,
        psychological, physical or legal problems. Regular and controlled use of
        prescribed drugs like Methadone are less likely to have negative
        consequences than heavy use of street drugs or alcohol.

        Domestic Violence
        The Crown Prosecution Service defines it as "Any form of physical, sexual
        or emotional abuse which takes place within the context of a close
        relationship. In most cases, the relationship will be between partners... or
        This includes harassment, verbal abuse, restriction of freedom, deprivation
        and damage or loss of property. It crosses all religious, class and race
        Oldham Domestic Violence Forum offers the following definition – "the
        emotional, physical, sexual or psychological abuse of a person by their
        partner, family member or someone with whom there is, or has been a
        The forum acknowledges that domestic violence essentially involves the
        misuse of power and the exercise of control by one person, usually a man
        over another, usually a woman. For this reason, the primary focus of the
        forum is male violence against women".

        When Should I Be Concerned?

        Impact On Parenting
        The following is taken from the available research evidence (Cleaver et al,
        1999) and suggests that the effects on children have many features in
        common and include:
             •    Parenting skills – parents can have difficulty organising their lives
                  leading to ineffective and inconsistent parenting.
             •    Parents' perceptions – loss of contact with reality and a distorted
                  view of the world.
             •    Control of emotions – violent, irrational or withdrawn behaviour
                  can frighten children.
             •    Neglect of physical and emotional needs – if parents experience
                  feelings of depression or despair.
             •    Attachment – children can become insecure because of criticism,
                  anger or unresponsiveness from parents.
             •    Separation – if children have to be cared for by someone else.

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        Social Consequences
           •    Standard of living may drop – unemployment or income used to
                satisfy parental needs, loss of home or belongings.
           •    Loss of friends and family.
           •    Marital/family breakdown.

        Which Children Are Most At Risk?

         Professionals tend to focus on the needs of their specific client group
         and they may have different notions of confidentiality.

        Negative Factors
           •    Children involved in parental delusions, or targets for parental
                aggression, rejected or neglected.
           •    Witnessing parental distress and suffering.
           •    Domestic Violence together with drug and alcohol use: witnessing
                domestic violence and drawn into concealing the abuse.

        Protective Factors
           •    Parental problems mild and short lasting. Cohesive family.
           •    Other parent or carer able to respond to child's needs.
           •    Children's ability to cope dependent on age, maturity and
           •    Secure, stable relationships and a sense of self-esteem and

        Collaboration Across Adult And Children's Services

         Many children show no long-term behavioural or emotional problems
         when exposed to parental mental illness, drug/alcohol misuse or
         domestic violence. However, a considerable number do. They may be
         at risk of physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect.

        Whilst recognising that the child's safety and welfare are paramount, due
        consideration should be given to the needs of all family members (Working
        Together, 2006).
        The complimentary roles of adults (for eg. specialist mental health
        services) and children's services should be recognised and expertise
        pooled to strengthen the parents capacity to respond to their children's
        needs and understand the implications and the effects parents problems
        might have on children.
        If a child is thought to be "in need" (under Section 17 of the Children Act
        1989) or at risk of, or suffering significant harm (under Section 47), a
        referral should be made to Social Care for assessment following LSCB
        Procedures (see Section 2 and Appendix 11).

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16      Appendix 9:
        Child Exploitation
        LSCB Protocol covers all young people who may be at risk of exploitation
        by people outside their immediate family (S47 applies where abuse is the
        within family).

        The overall aim of this protocol is to reinforce that young people who are
        exploited should be treated as victims of child abuse

        Coercion is the abuse of power to persuade or force young people into
        harmful or illegal activity. Coercion and exploitation of children is defined as
        involving boys and girls below 18years of age in activity that involves
        treating them as a commodity, this renders them vulnerable to assault,
        disease, substance abuse, trafficking, homelessness and may threaten
        their lives.

        Girls and boys under 16 cannot by law consent to any form of sexual
        activity. Anyone engaging sexual activity whether for money or not with a
        girl or boy under 16 (whether perpetrator is male or female) 16 is
        committing an offence.

        The following indicators, whether singly or in combination, should not be
        viewed as conclusive proof but any of them may be taken as suggestive of
        the possibility.
            •   A history of sexual, physical, Emotional Abuse or neglect.
            •   Physical symptoms e.g. Sexually Transmitted infections, bruising
                or signs of substance misuse.
            •   Reports that the child has been seen in places known to be used
                for prostitution, drug dealing or criminal activity.
            •   Repeatedly consorting with unknown adults.
            •   Associating with other children who are known or thought to be
                victims of exploitation.
            •   Contact from adults outside the child’s usual range of social
            •   Contact from other young people who are known or suspected to
                be victims or exploitation.
            •   Awareness of grooming activity from other young people or adults.
            •   Accounts or social activities with no plausible explanation of the
                source of the necessary funding.
            •   Possessions / acquisition of money, expensive clothes, drug or
                other possessions without plausible explanation.

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            •   Persistent missing from home or returning late with no plausible
            •   Returning home looking well cared for in spite of having no known
                base whilst missing.
            •   Behaviour – repeatedly risk taking or lack of regard for personal
                safety or low self esteem
            •   Unusually long absences from home with no known base.

        Child Exploitation Procedure
        The following procedures apply to all children and young people living in

        Concerns that a child or young person is being exploited a referral must be
        made to the Children, Young People and Families Department who will
        begin an initial assessment within 24 hours. This initial consideration of the
        child’s circumstances should address, on the basis of the available
        evidence, whether there are concerns about impairment of the child’s
        health and development (Including actual or potential harm), which justify
        further enquiries, assessment and / or intervention.
        Suspicions about an adult who is or may be involved in exploiting young
        people, should be given to the Field Intelligence Officers via the local
        police, including reason for concerns, details of why and what is suspected.
        The Children, Young People and Families Department will conduct an
        initial assessment. Possible outcomes of that assessment may be:
            •   No Further Action
            •   Cause for concern Child Exploitation Meeting to be arranged.
            •   Urgent action for child in immediate danger including any legal
                action and a Child Exploitation Meeting to be set up. Immediate
                action necessary should not be delayed pending the meeting as
                the child’s safety is paramount.

        Child Exploitation Meeting
        The Purpose of this meeting will be to:
            •   Share available information.
            •   Identify gaps in information and how it should be obtained
            •   Decide whether S47 enquires should be initiated or continued if
                they have already begun;
            •   Plan how enquires should be handled including the need for
                medical treatment, and by whom;
            •   Agree what action is needed immediately to safeguard and the
                child and / or provide interim services and support, and;
            •   Determine what information about the strategy discussion will be
                shared with the family / child/ young person, unless such
                information sharing may place a child at risk of significant harm or
                jeopardize police investigations into any alleged offence.

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        Relevant matters will include
            •   Agreeing a plan for S47 enquiries as part of the core assessment –
                what further information is needed about the children and family
                and how it should be obtained.
            •   Agreeing who should be interviewed, by whom, for what purpose,
                and when.
            •   Considering how race, gender and ethnicity of a child should be
                taken into account in enquiries, establishing whether an interpreter
                will be needed.
            •   Considering the needs of other children who may be affected, e.g.
                siblings and other children in contact with alleged abusers.
            •   Considering the need to develop support to the child/young person
                on a planned coordinated basis.
            •   How and when the planned actions will be reviewed.

        Convening the meeting.
        The social worker will make a request to the Safeguarding and Review Unit
        that a meeting be convened and chaired by a Reviewing Officer.
        The Resource Centre will convene the meeting within 5 working days.
        The following people will be invited.
            •   Social worker
            •   Team Manager
            •   Representative from Referring Agency
            •   Representative Oldham Division Family Support Unit, Greater
                Manchester Police.
            •   Senior Nurse, Child Protection.

        Suggested invitees in accordance with the case:
            •   Representative from Education Welfare Services
            •   Parent or Carer for the young person
            •   Young person (If felt to be appropriate)
            •   School Nurse / LAC School Nurse
            •   Designated Child Protection Teacher – School
            •   Representive – Residential Children’s Home
            •   Representive - Relevant voluntary organizations
            •   Legal representative where appropriate
            •   Representative – probation service.
            •   Housing
            •   Youth Offending Service
            •   OASIS
            •   Connexions
            •   After-care

        Outcome Of the Child Exploitation meeting:
            •   S47 and child protection conference needed.

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            •    Plan action and set up a review meeting.

        Review Meeting
        Unless there are exceptional circumstances this will be held within 4 weeks
        of the strategy meeting and chaired by an Independent Reviewing Officer.

        Purpose of a review meeting
             •   Share outcomes of investigation / enquires
             •   Determine future case planning process
             •   Determine what information should be shared with the young
                 person, their parents / carers and any other person involved.

        Minutes will be provided to all attendees who will ensure they are stored in
        a secure setting and must not be photocopied


                 •   Relevant information about where the young person has come
                     from. Why they are not there now and what services are
                     currently available.
                 •   How the individual became involved in sexual exploitation.
                 •   The identity and role of the careers /significant adults in their life.
                     i.e. Parents / pimps
                 •   The likely response of the carers / significant adults
                 •   The feasibility of controlling their movements both in care and in
                     the community and the likely effects of attempting to do so.
                 •   Age, level of maturity and understanding of the nature of the
                     activities they are involved in and the risks to their well being i.e
                     can the activity be considered age-appropriate; who is
                     controlling the sexual activity and is the relationship explosive.
                 •   Their ability to assimilate information.
                 •   Their level of cognitive development including their ability to fend
                     and care for themselves and understand the issue of their own
                 •   The level of coercion that may be influencing their action.
                 •   The young persons perception and interpretation of their
                     involvement in such activity.
                 •   Immediate circumstances of physical safety. Where are they
                     staying that night; use of condoms and negotiation of safe sex;
                     drug use and actual physical effects; physical state; proposals
                     for division.


        Safe in the city

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        Barnados Aftercare
        42nd Street
        Family Crisis
        Off the Record
        Threshold Housing
        Brook Advisory

Child Protection Procedures   Page 101 of 101


        1.   Introductions / Apologies
        2.   Clarification of child’s name, d.o.b, gender, first language, legal status
             and address
        3.   Clarification of parents names, d.o.b, gender, first language and
        4.   Clarification of household structure including any significant others
        5.   Checking the date of implementation of the Child Protection Plan and
             any previous plan history or child’s sexual exploitation history
        6.   Presenting concerns
        7.   Background information about
                 •   Child / young person
                 •   Family members
                 •   Suspected exploiters
             To include any special needs (if first language is not English and a
             translator is not needed explain reason)
        8.   Identification of further assessment information needed and how this
             will be obtained.
        9.   Assessment of any likely risk to others
        10. Consideration of section 47 enquiry and how this will be undertaken
        11. Needs of child e.g. safety, diversion, health, education etc and how
            these will be addressed.
        12. Clarification of arrangements for sharing information with the child /
            young person and their family
        13. Confirmation of action points
        14. Review date / time venue

Child Protection Procedures                                       Page 102 of 102


          •   Introductions / Apologies
          •   Clarification of child / family details
          •   Outcome of investigations / enquires / action agreed
          •   Clarification of future case planning process
          •   What information is to be shared with child / young person, their
              parents/carers and any other person involved

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Child Protection Procedures   Page 104 of 104
       Appendix 10:
       Children Who Go Missing For Whom There
       Are Concerns Or Are Subject of a Child
       Protection Plan
        Local Authorities, agencies and professionals should bear in mind when
        working with children and families where there are outstanding child
        protection concerns (including where the concerns are about an unborn
        child who may be a future risk of significant harm), that a series of missed
        appointments or abortive home visits may indicate that the family have
        suddenly and unexpectedly, moved out of the area. Social Care and the
        Police should be informed immediately should such concerns arise.
        Particular consideration might need to be given to the legal position
        regarding intervention and the responsibilities of the Local Authority and
        the Police.
        Some families, in which there is significant risk to children or abuse has
        occurred, move home frequently. Every effort must be made to keep in
        contact with these families and for any child subject to a Child Protection
        Plan is seen.
        The following indicators will help in determining whether the child is
           a) The child/family does not keep pre-arranged meetings.
           b) The child/family are not engaging in normal routines, e.g. child
              missing from school, parents absent from work.
           c)   The family home appears uninhabited.
           d) Contact with relatives and friends offers no explanation for the
                Any agency, who thinks that a child who is subject of a Child
                Protection Plan, has moved and their whereabouts are unknown,
                or that such a child is about to move without the new address
                being known, must inform the key worker immediately. Contact
                must also be made with the Safeguarding Team who review Child
                Protection Plans.
           e) If the key worker has reason to suspect the child has gone missing
              and in consultation with the manager of the Safeguarding Team,
              the following actions need to be taken:
            • Report it to their immediate line manager
            • Inform Core Group members
            • Discuss with the manager the Child Protection Plan, to decide
               future action in respect of the following:
                     i. consider seeking assistant from the Department of Social
                        Security and the Child Benefit Office to trace the family
                     ii. consider convening an urgent Child Protection Conference,
                         if there is a risk of immediate significant harm to the

Child Protection Procedures                                    Page 105 of 105
                        missing child/family and seek legal advice
                    iii. consider legal intervention if there is any risk that the
                         child/children maybe removed from the United Kingdom.

         The Key Worker is responsible for advising the staff at the Safeguarding
         Team if a child goes missing and giving information about any
         connections the family may have in other areas.

        After consultation with the Service Team Manager, Safeguarding
        Reviewing Officers there will be a responsible for:
           a) Informing all agencies involved about the missing child.
           b) Circulating all details of the missing child and family to
              Safeguarding Teams nationally.
           c)   Advising the Service Director of Safeguarding and Vulnerable
                Children and the DCSF Inspectorate.

        All agencies have a responsibility to notify the Safeguarding Team if
        information about the child’s whereabouts comes to their attention. This
        must be proactive, explicit and no time delay should occur.
        N.B. Details of children missing from other areas throughout the United
        Kingdom should be held by the Safeguarding Team in Oldham. This
        record can be checked automatically when an enquiry is made about
        whether there are child protection concerns.

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        Appendix 11:
        Child Pornography and the Internet

         It is important to be aware of the danger which pornography on the
         Internet presents to children and young people arising from:
         (a) It’s use by adults to make contact with children.
         (b) The risk that adults will seek people by this means to "groom"
         children and young people for inappropriate and abusive reasons

        The Internet has become a specific tool in the distribution of child
        pornography.       When someone is discovered to have placed child
        pornography on the Internet, or access child pornography, the Police
        should consider whether that individual might also be involved with the
        active abuse of children. In particular, the individual’s access to children
        should be established, within the family and employment context and in
        other settings, e.g. work with children as a volunteer. If there are concerns
        about one or more specific children, the Police will need to refer the matter
        to the Social Care and carry out a joint investigation under Section 47 in
        respect of those children.
        Working Together to Safeguard Children (2006) advises that when
        someone is discovered to have placed child pornography on the Internet,
        the Police should:

           a) Consider whether the person is involved in the active abuse of
           b) Establish what access that person has to children, within family,
              employment and other situations.

        Adults are also using the internet in order to establish contact with children
        from other parts of the UK, adults nation-wide to Oldham and vice-versa.
        Concerns should be referred to the Police to make enquiries as necessary.

Child Protection Procedures                                      Page 107 of 107
        Appendix 12: Female Genital Mutilation
        (Female Circumcision)
         Female circumcision, excision or infibulation is an offence, except on
         specific physical and mental health grounds. These grounds preclude
         custom and ritual.

        Female Genital Mutilation is a general term which refers to a variety of
        operations, similar to circumcision which remove, or cut away, all or part of
        the external female genital organs. It may be combined with infibulation,
        which involves joining the sides of the vulva, for example by sewing,
        leaving only a small opening to allow passage of urine and menstrual

        What The Law Says

        The Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985
        It is also an offence to aid, abet, counsel or procure such operations by any
        other person. The maximum sentence for these offences is a fine plus
        imprisonment for up to five years.
        Whilst the practice is not perceived as harmful by those who arrange the
        operations, it should not be accepted as normal practice.
        In circumstances where these operations are permitted for specific medical
        reasons, they must be performed by a registered medical practitioner with
        expertise in the appropriate procedures.

        The practice of female circumcision is widespread in Africa, including
        Egypt, and also occurs in the Arabian Peninsula, and some Asian
        countries. Although practised in mostly Islamic countries it is cross-cultural
        and cross-religious, performed by Muslims, Christians and various
        indigenous groups. Examples are emerging in immigrant communities
        from these areas settled in Europe, including the UK.
        The age at which the operation is performed varies. It is known to have
        been performed upon very young female babies and young girls.

        Oldham LSCB Policy
        Oldham LSCB recognises that whilst there is no intention to harm a child
        from Female Circumcision, the practice can directly cause serious short
        and long term medical complications including infection, infertility and even

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 108 of 108
        Consequently and because the child is unable to give informed consent,
        the practice of Female Circumcision is seen as physical abuse.
        Whilst the Oldham LSCB recognises the requirements of law as embodied
        in the 1985 Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act, it believes that a harsh
        punitive response to the performing of such operations are likely to be
        counter productive and may drive the practice underground. However if
        children are thought to be at risk, child protection procedures must be
        Oldham LSCB believes that the most effective way to stop the practice is to
        raise awareness, educate and support all members of the community and
        professionals in conjunction with representatives from the relevant
        Anyone who has any evidence to suggest that a child has currently been
        subject to the above or could be, needs to discuss it with a senior member
        of staff immediately. (Please see Section 2 for the procedures).

Child Protection Procedures                                    Page 109 of 109
        Appendix 13:
        Fabricated Or Induced Illness
        The following guidelines are to be followed by all agencies.

        The systematic fabrication or induction of illness in a child, causing that
        child to be seen as ill.
        The following indicators are there to alert professionals to the presence of
        Fabricated or Induced Illness.       In themselves there may be other
        explanations and therefore, they should be viewed in context.
        Examples of presentation may include:
            •   pretending the 'victim' is ill or that they have been.
            •   exaggerating real illness.
            •   making the 'victim' ill, e.g. by poisoning.
            •   making false allegations of abuse.
            •   forcing the 'victim' to appear disabled (including learning disability).
            •   Alleging psychological illness in a child.
            •   End result-disability or death.

        There are three main ways of the carer fabricating or inducing illness in a
        child. These are not mutually exclusive:
            •   Fabrication of signs and symptoms. This may include fabrication
                of past medical history;
            •   Fabrication of signs and symptoms and falsification of hospital
                charts and records, and specimens of bodily fluids. This may also
                include falsification of letters and documents;
            •   Induction of illness by a variety of means.

        Spectrum of Harm:
        A key professional task is to distinguish between the over anxious carer
        who may be responding in a reasonable way to a very sick child and those
        who exhibit abnormal behaviour.

        The abuser:

            •   Clinical evidence indicates that, fabricated or induced illness is
                usually carried out by a female carer, usually the child’s mother.
            •   May have some medical knowledge and tries to intimidate Health
            •   tends to threaten lawsuits too readily.
            •   tends to be over friendly with health staff but abusive if staff do not
                comply with their wishes.
            •   often shows inappropriate behaviour, e.g. being over-anxious or

Child Protection Procedures                                       Page 110 of 110
                even less attentive than you would expect.
            •   May have mental health problems.
            •   is always present when the victim has alleged or real symptoms or
                signs of illness.

        Action To Be Taken When Fabricated or Induced Illness Is Suspected.
        Initial concerns usually come to the attention of health professionals and
        teachers. When possible explanation for the signs and symptoms is that
        they may have been fabricated or induced by a carer and as a
        consequence the child’s health and development is or is likely to be
        impaired a referral should be made to social care.
        The following steps must be taken in all cases:
            •   The social worker will collect initial detailed information from a
                variety of sources.
            •   Following the initial information gathering and decision by the
                social worker's Team Manager that there is sufficient information to
                suspect Fabricated or Induced Illness, a Strategy Discussion
                meeting will be convened in consultation with the Service Manager
                Safeguarding Children.
            •   Parents/carers must not be invited to the meeting nor be told it is
                being arranged as evidence from research suggests that children
                are at increased risk at this stage. All professionals and the
                investigative team involved must be made aware of the importance
                of confidentiality in keeping the child safe.

        Strategy Discussion
        A meeting should normally be held within two weeks of the decision that
        there is sufficient information to suspect Fabricated or Induced Illness, the
        following people should be invited to the meeting:
            •   social worker and team manager
            •   Police Family Support Unit
            •   Consultant Paediatrician
            •   General Practitioner
            •   Health Visitor/School Health Advisor
            •   Senior Nurse Child Protection
            •   Representative of Childcare Legal Services
            •   Any other professionals as appropriate

        The purpose of the meeting is to plan any necessary child protection
        investigation and/or any action needed to protect the child.
        The task for the meeting is to consider the available information about the
        allegations and assess whether it is possible to substantiate the suspicion
        that the child's condition is being induced by a parent or carer.

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 111 of 111
        The meeting should:
            •   Clarify the medical history, including details of any incidents that
                are reported to have occurred in the presence of people other than
                the suspected perpetrator. This will include a full chronology.
            •   Verify the personal, family and social history.
            •   Consider any previous social care involvement.
            •   Decide how the s47 enquiry as part of the core assessment will be
                carried out. What further information is required about the child and
                family and how it should be obtained and recorded.
            •   Consider any protective action needed.
            •   Decide who will carry out what actions, by when and fro what
                purpose, in particular the planning for further paediatric
            •   Consider the needs of siblings and other children with whom the
                alleged abuser has contact.
            •   The nature and timing of any police investigations.
            •   Discuss whether there is a need for a Child Protection Conference.
            •   Consider when and how parents/carers will be informed of
            •   Set a date to reconvene and review the agreed action.


        Concern not substantiated:
        If the meeting decides that the case does not appear to be one of
        Fabricated or Induced Illness, then consideration must be given as to what
        further help and support is needed from professionals.

        Concerns substantiated but child is not judged to be at a continuing
        risk of significant harm:
        There may be substantiated concerns that the child has suffered significant
        harm, but it is agreed between agencies involved with the child and family,
        that a Plan for ensuring the child’s future safety and welfare can be
        implemented without the need for a Child Protection Plan (see 3.40
        Safeguarding Children in Whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced). Any
        decision made, in these circumstances, must be agreed by the
        Service Manager Safeguarding Children.

        Concern substantiated:
        If the meeting decides that there is sufficient information and that the child
        is being affected by Fabricated or Induced Illness, then clear
        recommendations must be made with timescales. Senior managers within
        the agency must be informed of the recommendations. A child protection
        case conference must be convened.

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 112 of 112
        Appendix 14:
        Abuse Of Disabled Children
        The available UK evidence on the extent of abuse amongst disabled
        children suggest that disabled children are at increased risk of abuse and
        that the presence of multiple disabilities appears to increase the risk of
        both abuse and neglect (Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2006).
        Where there are concerns about the welfare of a disabled child, they
        should be acted upon in the same way as with any other child and the
        same procedures followed.
        Where a disabled child has communication difficulties, special attention
        should be paid to communication needs to ascertain the child's perception
        of events and his or her wishes and feelings.
        Where appropriate, suitably skilled interpreters or facilitators will be used to
        assist the Police or Children, Young People and Families Department (or
        other related specialist worker). Safeguards for disabled children are the
        same as for children who are not disabled. There should be particular
        attention paid to promoting awareness of the high level of risks and the
        need for high standards of practice. Additional measures of safeguarding
        disabled children will include:
           a) Making it common practice to help disabled children make their
              wishes and feelings known in respect of their care and treatment.
           b) Ensuring that disabled children receive appropriate personal, health
              and social education.
           c)   Making sure that disabled children know how to raise concerns if
                they are worried or angry about something and giving them access
                to a range of adults with whom they can communicate. Disabled
                children with communication difficulties should always have a
                means of being heard.
           d) Guidelines and training for staff on good practice in intimate care,
              working with children of the opposite sex, handling difficult
              behaviour, consent to treatment, anti-bullying strategies, and
              sexuality and sexual behaviour amongst young people living away
              from home.

Child Protection Procedures                                       Page 113 of 113
        Appendix 15:
        Peer Abuse – Abuse by a Child or Young
        Child to child abuse is complex. If you are unsure whether your concerns
        amount to abuse, contact your local Children, Young People and Families
        Department, be explicit that you are requesting advice and consultation.
        The process of consultation may identify abuse which will result in a
        Children may explore their bodies as part of normal development.
        However, it is also recognised that sexual abuse is carried out by one child
        upon another and that this can be as traumatic as child abuse perpetrated
        by an adult. Child to child abuse may occur in a variety of settings, e.g. in
        a family, in foster care, in schools and in neighbourhoods.
        In order to prevent abusive behaviour, including sexual abuse continuing
        into adult abuse of children and young people, must be taken seriously
        abusers may pose a significant risk to other children and they may have
        considerable needs themselves.
        Children and young people who abuse others are likely to be children in
        need and some will be suffering or at risk of significant harm and may
        themselves be in need of protection. There may be situations where they
        have suffered considerable abuse themselves and go on to abuse other
        Children and young people who abuse other children should be held
        responsible for their abusive behaviour, whilst being responded to in a way
        which meets their needs as well as protecting other children. Work with
        adult abusers has shown that many of them begin committing abusive acts
        during childhood or adolescence. Early intervention with them as children
        and young people may play an important part in protecting the public by
        preventing the continuation or escalation of the abusive behaviour.
        Considerable care must be taken in determining whether an incident
        represents abuse or not as it is recognised that sexual exploration is part of
        the process of growing up.

         Three key principles which should guide work with children and young
         people who abuse others:
         1. The needs of children and young people who abuse others should
         be considered separately from the needs of their victims.
         2. An assessment should be carried out in each case, appreciating that
         these children may have considerable unmet developmental needs as
         well as specific needs arising from their behaviour.
         3. There should be a co-ordinated approach when dealing with such
         matters which should include youth justice, education, health, child and
         adolescent mental health and any specific specialist area which can
         assist in undertaking assessment and providing treatment and services.
         This will be in line with Children, Young People and Families Department

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 114 of 114
        When determining whether a referral might need to be made regarding
        abuse between children, the following factors should be considered:
           a) Children engaged in sexual activity, inappropriate for their age,
              maturity, or which is illegal.
           b) A marked discrepancy in age, development or maturity between
           c)   Where threats, secrecy or violence are features.
           d) Where sexual contact between children is intense or frequent.
           e) Where sexual contact results in physical or psychological trauma
              for any of the children.
           f)   Where several children have been involved, or where there is a
                family history of sexual abuse.
           g)   Where parents have reacted inappropriately and failed to protect a
                child once they were aware of the child's sexual activity.

        The above is not an exhaustive list.

        Procedures for dealing with such cases please see Section 4.

Child Protection Procedures                                    Page 115 of 115
        Appendix 16:
        Confidentiality and Recording Information

        Involvement by professionals in children's lives, and the trust which
        develops between workers and young people and their families, means
        that staff and volunteers are often provided with information about children
        and parents which is sensitive and confidential.
        Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Human Rights Act
        1998) grants a qualified right to individuals in respect of their private and
        family lives. A qualified right is one where – in specific circumstances – a
        public authority (e.g. agencies of the local authority, the police service,
        agencies of health services) can intervene in the private and family life of
        an individual, or share information with other agencies about an individual,
        their family, or their home life; for example where:
             •    the intervention has a clear legal basis (e.g. where a crime has
                  been committed), and / or
             •    the aim of the intervention is to prevent a crime, to protect an
                  individual's health or morals, or protect the rights and freedoms of
                  others (e.g. the protection of children from abuse, harm and

         In working together to safeguard children, issues of confidentiality fall
         under three areas:

         - sharing information with colleagues and other agencies to safeguard
         children from abuse, harm and exploitation.

         - confidentiality to the child,

         - and confidentiality to the person believed responsible for the harm.

        Agencies of Oldham Local Safeguarding Children Board are responsible
        for ensuring that staff and volunteers in the institutions, establishments and
        service areas of their organisation are competent and confident in
        recognising indicators that a child has experienced, or is likely to
        experience abuse, harm, neglect or exploitation.
        Every member of staff and volunteer working with children and young
        people in Oldham has a professional duty and an obligation to share
        relevant information about children who have experienced, or who are
        likely to experience harm, with other agencies – particularly with colleagues
        in Social Care and the Police.

Child Protection Procedures                                      Page 116 of 116

         There are no differences between the rights of children and the rights of
         adults in respect of confidential and sensitive information about their
         private life and family, their home.

        If a child or young person shares information with a member of staff or
        volunteer which causes the worker to believe that there are serious
        concerns about the child's safety and wellbeing, it is important that the
        worker informs the child sensitively that he/she has a responsibility to pass
        information about child abuse to other agencies. The child should be
        made aware that the information will only be shared so that they can be
        protected from harm. (See Section 4.)

        If a person has not been successfully prosecuted, identifying them as the
        person believed responsible for a child's abuse, harm or exploitation
        outside formal and confidential discussions could lead to legal action.
        Until legal action has been successfully completed, a person believed
        responsible for abuse, harm or exploitation has the same rights to privacy
        as any other person.

        Staff and volunteers should create and maintain written records which
        document any suspicions and/or any allegations, disclosures they have
        received or about the abuse, harm or exploitation which children for whom
        they are accountable have experienced, or are likely to experience.
        The record about a child and the harm, abuse or exploitation which has
        been disclosed, observed or suspected should:

             •    provide a detailed and accurate account of significant events,
                  changes in the child's circumstances and/or behaviour, and
                  document conversations with the child's parents/caregivers,
             •    be objective – they should be clear (jargon-free), factual and
             •    be based on evidence – logged and dated notes about
                  observations of the child, conversations with the child and/or
             •    clearly distinguish between fact, observations allegations and
             •    whilst it would not normally be appropriate to include opinions, or
                  hearsay, if such information is important and relevant it should
                  only be included in the record if it is clearly identified as not being
                  first-hand observations of the child or of contact with his/her
                  family, by the person creating the record.

Child Protection Procedures                                        Page 117 of 117
        Appendix 17:
        Children and Young People Who Leave
        School/Address Without Notification


        To develop and implement a shared protocol which represents ‘reasonable
        enquiries’ - within the multi agency framework offered by Oldham Local
        Safeguarding Children Board - into the whereabouts of a child/young
        person who may be at risk of harm, because their parent(s) / caregiver(s)
        move address without having giving appropriate notification of their new

        ‘Part 8’ enquiries into the deaths of children (e.g. ‘Tommy’ in Bolton and the
        West children in Gloucestershire) suggest that children who become
        ‘invisible’ to local agencies may be significantly greater risk of harm than
        other children.
        Whilst a child’s parent(s) / caregiver(s) may decide to leave their home for
        a variety of personal, social and/or financial reasons (for example, to avoid
        domestic violence or conduct by neighbours leading to harassment, alarm
        or distress); one specific situation where a child, or children, becomes
        ‘invisible’ to local agencies, is when a school-age child’s parent(s) /
        caregiver(s) move home without providing clear information, or evidence,
        about a new address.
        Where parent(s) / caregiver(s) move without their notifying their child’s
        school of a new address/school, recommendations within the named ‘Part
        8’ enquiries suggest that local agencies should make ‘reasonable
        enquiries’ to determine whether the child is safe and well, and
        Whilst young people who run away from home, or those who are taken
        away (abducted) from their home address by a parent who is estranged
        from the family, may also be at risk of significant harm, their specific and
        individual circumstances fall outside the remit of this protocol.

        Headteachers and Designated Teachers of every county and voluntary
        controlled school, should notify the Pupil Welfare Service by telephone and
        to be confirmed by fax, if any registered pupil disappears/is removed from
        the school by their parent/caregiver without giving notification of a new
        school and/or address, when child absent for ten consecutive days.
        An Officer of the Pupil Welfare Service will then undertake investigations
        based on the child’s last known address and with any other local contacts
        of the family (e.g. neighbours, known friends/relatives).

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 118 of 118
        Stage 2 - From receipt of information at Pupil Welfare Service, if within five
        working days the current whereabouts of the child/family have not been
        located. The Pupil Welfare Service Manager will write to the local Manager
        of the Benefits Agency and the Chief Executive of Oldham Careers Service
        Partnership (if the child is between 12 and 16) to request information is
        provided about any new address for the family.
        If within a further five working days, the requested information has not been
        received, the Pupil Welfare Service Manager will telephone and fax the
        Named Nurse for Child Protection (O.M.B.C. Social Care) and the
        Inspector (Community Affairs), Greater Manchester Police, requesting a
        search of each agency’s records.

        Stage 3 - If within a further five working days, the current whereabouts of
        the child/family has not been located and it cannot be ascertained whether
        the child is safe and well, the Pupil Welfare Service Manager will contact
        and fax the Inspector (Community Affairs), requesting Greater Manchester
        to initiate an investigation into the case.
        If through further investigation, it cannot be ascertained whether the child is
        safe and well, the Inspector (Community Affairs) will inform the Child
        Protection (O.M.B.C. Social Care) to notify them that the child has not been
        located and may be at risk of significant harm.

        Stage 4 - A multi agency meeting will be convened at the Safeguarding
        and Review Unit by Child Protection (O.M.B.C. Social Care) to review the
        case. The meeting will have one of two possible outcomes: 1) to formally
        close the case (all ‘reasonable enquiries’ have been made) or      2) to
        recommend further action which lead to the child being located.

        Operational Responsibilities
        Within the context of this protocol, each agency has a responsibility to
        provide any relevant information which they may hold on the current
        whereabouts of the family within the required time, and
        The operational responsibility for actions at each stage of the protocol are:

            •   For stages 1 and 2, the Pupil Welfare Service of O.M.B.C.
                Education and Leisure Services Department
            •   For stage 3, the Inspector (Community Affairs), Greater
                Manchester Police
            •   For stage 4, the Chair of Oldham Local Safeguarding Children
                Board - or their representative

        Evaluating The Effectiveness Of The Protocol In Locating Young
        An annual report will be made to Oldham LSCB. describing the numbers of
        young people and the outcomes for young people who have been tracked
        using the protocol.

Child Protection Procedures                                      Page 119 of 119
        Appendix 18:
        LSCB Training
        The individual agencies of Oldham Child Protection Committee are
        responsible for ensuring that staff and volunteers in the institutions,
        establishments and service areas of their organisation are competent and
        confident in recognising indicators that a child has experienced, or is likely
        to experience, abuse, harm, neglect or exploitation;
        Training programmes within each individual agency should enable every
        member of staff working in the Borough to exercise professional skill and
        decision making in sharing and analysing information about young people
        who are vulnerable, and have the knowledges and skills which are
        necessary to work with colleagues in other agencies, organisations,
        establishments and service area to safeguard children and young people -
        this includes both the legal framework and national and local policy
        contexts of child protection work;
        The multi-agency training offered by Oldham LSCB complements the
        training provided within each agency, and is intended to underpin effective
        practice through promoting shared understandings at all levels, of the
        respective roles and responsibilities of workers within each agency or
        The purpose of multi-agency training provided by Oldham LSCB is to
        secure better outcomes for children and young people through supporting
        the development of:
           •   shared understandings of the tasks, processes, roles,
               responsibilities and local procedures for safeguarding children and
               promoting their welfare,
           •   co-ordination between services for children and young people at
               both strategic and individual case levels,
           •   effective communication between professionals and agencies
               including common understandings of key terms, definitions and
           •   effective practice based on understanding and respect for the role
               and contribution of each organisation, establishments and service
               area, and
           •   open and transparent decision making which is based on sharing
               information, thorough assessment processes, critical analysis and
               sound professional judgements.

        Agencies and managers within each agency of Oldham LSCB have a
        responsibility to support multi-agency training by:
           •   contributing resources (including budgets and staff time) to the
               planning, delivery and evaluation of child protection training – both
               within agency and through the Education and Training sub-group of
               the Local Safeguarding Children Board,
           •   ensuring that staff within the agency have access to in-house
               training which enables them to derive maximum benefit from multi-

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 120 of 120
               agency training,
           •   releasing staff at all levels to attend appropriate multi-agency
               training courses and have the opportunity to consolidate learning
               from the multi-agency training on their return to their workplace

Child Protection Procedures                                    Page 121 of 121
        Appendix 19:

        ◊   Department of Health (1999), Working Together to Safeguard
            Children, London, The Stationary Office

        ◊   Department of Health (1999), The Framework for the Assessment of
            Children in Need and their Families, London, The Stationary Office

        ◊   Cleaver, H, Unell, I and Aldgate, J (1999) Children's Needs –
            Parenting Capacity.     The Impact of Parental Mental Illness,
            Problem Alcohol and Drug Use, and Domestic Violence on
            Children's Development, London, The Stationary Office.

        ◊   Department of Health (1995) Child Protection:       Messages from
            Research, London, HMSO.

        ◊   O'Neale, V, (2000) Excellence not Excuses, Inspection of Services for
            Ethnic Minority Children and Families, London, DoH Publications.

        ◊   Standing Conference on Drug Abuse (1997) Drug Using Parents:
            Policy Guidelines for Inter-Agency Working, London, Local
            Government Association

        ◊   Department of Health (2001), National Plan for Safeguarding
            Children from Commercial Sexual Exploitation

        ◊   Department of Health (2000),    Safeguarding Children Involved in

        ◊   Department of Health (2001), Safeguarding Children in whom Illness
            is Induced or Fabricated by Carers with Parenting Responsibilities
            Supplementary Guidance to Working Together to Safeguard

        ◊   Children Act 1989

        ◊   Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

        ◊   Family Law Act 1996

        ◊   Schedule 1 1933 Children and Young Persons Act

        ◊   The Sex Offenders Act 1997

        ◊   Crime and Disorder Act 1998

Child Protection Procedures                                  Page 122 of 122
        ◊   Safeguarding Children ,A joint Chief Inspectors’ Report on
            Arrangements for Safeguarding Children, Department of

        ◊   Department of Health (2002), Safeguarding Children in Whom
            Illness is Fabricated or Induced

        ◊   Working Together To Safeguard Children, Every Child Matters, HM
            Government HM (2006)

Child Protection Procedures                              Page 123 of 123
        Appendix 20:
        Menu and Specimens of Information to be
        Given to Family Members

       Initial Case Conference

       Our Ref:      CR02/GC


       Dear ,

       Following the recent concerns regarding , it has been decided to hold an
       Initial Case Conference. The Conference will take place on   at   at the
       above address.

       I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to meet with me before the
       meeting and would ask that you arrive 30 minutes earlier than the time given

       Although the Social Worker will have already given you details of who will
       attend and why, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have
       about this and what will happen in the meeting.

       I hope you will be able to attend the meeting, but if you are unable to do so,
       the enclosed leaflet explains how you can make your views and information
       available to the Case Conference.

       I look forward to meeting you.

       Yours sincerely,

       Conference Chairperson


Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 124 of 124
       Moving In Case Conference

       Our Ref:


       Dear ,

       Following the recent move into Oldham of your child, who is subject of a
       Child Protection Plan, it has been decided to hold a Case Conference. The
       Conference will take place on at at the above address. You are invited to
       attend this meeting.

       I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to meet with me before the
       meeting and would ask that you arrive 30 minutes earlier than the time given

       Although the Social Worker will have already given you details of who will
       attend and why, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have
       about this and what will happen in the meeting.

       I hope you will be able to attend the meeting, but if you are unable to do so,
       the enclosed leaflet explains how you can make your views and information
       available to the Case Conference.

       I look forward to meeting you.

       Yours sincerely,

       Conference Chairperson

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 125 of 125
       Continuing Child Protection Plan

       Our Ref:        MR/GC



       Dear ,

       Further to my letter dated , I am writing to advise you that the review of the
       Child Protection Plan for …..has now taken place.

       The result of this review was that a Child Protection Plan is still needed as
       there are still some risk abuse. The recommendations of the review were
       as follows:-

       1.       The Keyworker for your child will remain as:            who is based at
                , telephone number - .

       2.       You will be asked to agree to and sign a written plan of work which
                will cover the following areas:-

       3.       A Core Group of people has been nominated to work with you on the
                above plan. This group is made up of:-

                This group will meet with you to discuss the Child Protection Plan.

       4.       The Conference should meet again in            months time,       2001, or
                earlier, if necessary, to see if your child is safe. You will be invited to
                attend this meeting.

       In the event of you not agreeing with the Conference decision to keep your
       child/children’s subject of a Child Protection Plan, you have the right to

       You will have already been given a leaflet outlining the meaning of the Child
       Protection Plan and the means by which you can appeal against the
       decision, but if you require a replacement leaflet, please do not hesitate to
       contact the above telephone number.

       Yours sincerely,

       Chair of Oldham LSCB

Child Protection Procedures                                          Page 126 of 126
       Child Protection Plan no longer needed
       Our Ref:      S0011A/GC



       Dear ,

       I am writing to inform you that the Review of the of a Child Protection Plan
       for   name(s) has now taken place.

       The result of this Review was that a Child Protection Plan is no longer

       This decision has been made because she/he/they is/are no longer
       considered to be at risk of significant harm, in her/his/their current living
       situation with you.

       I would like to stress that this decision does not necessarily mean that you
       are not entitled to the service you may think are still necessary and this
       matter should be discussed with the person who has been the Keyworker for
       your child/children.

       Yours sincerely,

       Chair of Oldham LSCB

Child Protection Procedures                                    Page 127 of 127
       Child Focused Multi Agency Meeting

       Our Ref:      MR/GC



       Dear ,

       As there have been concerns about your family, it has been decided to hold
       a Child Focused Multi Agency Meeting to consider what help can be made
       available. It is hoped that this meeting can devise a Family Support Plan to
       assist your family in the future to reduce any concerns.

       The meeting will take place on       , at     at the above address. You are
       invited to attend this meeting and I would be grateful if you could arrive 30
       minutes early in order to meet me, as I will be chairing the meeting. I will be
       happy to answer any questions you may have and explain what will happen
       in the meeting.

       I hope you will be able to attend the meeting and I look forward to meeting

       Yours sincerely,

       Strategy Meeting Chairperson

       c.c.     Keyworker

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 128 of 128
       Invites To Agencies
       Child Focused Multi Agency Meeting

       Our Ref:      S0012/GC



       The Head Teacher

       Dear Sir / Madam,


       I am writing to confirm that a Child Focused Multi Agency Meeting has been
       convened on the above named child under Oldham Child Protection
       Committee’s Procedures.

       The Meeting will be held at the                    , on and I do hope that
       either you or a representative of your agency can attend.

       If for any reason you are unable to attend, I would be grateful if you could
       notify me in advance of the Meeting and where appropriate, submit relevant
       information in a written report.

       If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact this office.

       Thanking you in anticipation of your continued assistance. I look forward to
       seeing you.

       Yours sincerely,

       Conference Chairperson

Child Protection Procedures                                      Page 129 of 129
        Appendix 21:
        Directory of Useful Contact Points
        If you want more advice, or if you think a child may be being abused

Social Care, Oldham Council

During office hours between 8.40am - 5.00pm Monday-Friday

   • Children under 16 (during office hours) on 0161 770 3790/1
   • Children over 16 (during office hours) on 0161 770 6599 / 6598
   • Children with Disabilities Team on 0161 627 1749

At all other times call the Emergency Duty Team on 0161 770 6936

Education: Pupil Welfare, Oldham Council on 0161 770 6620, Monday
to Friday. Or contact a teacher or member of support staff at your
child’s school.

The Police - on 0161 872 5050 main office (24hrs)

Health: the designated nurse - on 0161 622 6500 Monday – Friday.
Or contact your GP or Health Visitor.

The Probation Service - on 0161 620 4421(during office hours)

NSPCC - on free phone 0800 800 500 (24 hrs)

Information may have to be shared between agencies. If you act
you will be helping a child. Please help to stop child abuse.

Child Protection Procedures                              Page 130 of 130
Child Protection Procedures   Page 131 of 131
        Appendix 22:
        Forced Marriage Protocol

        Mission Statement
        Forced marriage is a marriage conducted without the valid consent of both
        parties, where some element of duress is a factor. This is different from an
        arranged marriage, which is a respected tradition in many cultures.
        Oldham Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) understands forced
        marriage to be a form of abuse, and a breach of human rights. It is,
        therefore, important to safeguard any child or young person subjected to a
        forced marriage.
        You should follow this protocol if you:
             •    Work directly with children, young people and adults
             •    Work with or supervise others who have contact with children,
                  young people and adults
             •    Are a concerned member of the public

        In 1999 the Home Office established a working group to investigate the
        extent of the problem of forced marriage. The working group published a
        report in June 2000, 'A Choice by Right'. Following this report the Home
        Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office published a joint action
        plan, which set out their strategy for addressing the problem. One of the
        first stages of the strategy was to produce Guidelines for Police in Dealing
        with Cases of Forced Marriage. These guidelines were launched in May
        2002      and       revised    in  2005    and    can     be     found    at and scroll down to forced marriages.
        Following this ‘Practice Guidelines for Social Workers’ were developed and
        launched         in       2004,    these      can     be       found      at          More recently
        ‘Guidance for Education Professionals’ has been developed and launched
        in          2005           and        can        be         found         at
        This protocol is produced to guide professionals working in this area and to
        assist any professional who has concerns, as it has many parallels with
        child abuse and domestic violence. Professionals working with young
        people facing forced marriage should be ready to give guidance to the
        young person about their rights and the choices open to them.
        It should be remembered that were there are allegations of abuse or
        neglect, Social Workers (children’s) have a duty to make enquiries under
        Section 47 of the Children Act 1989, and that forced marriage can amount
        to sexual and emotional abuse and put young people at risk of physical

Child Protection Procedures                                    Page 132 of 132

        This protocol is not about Arranged Marriages.
        "The tradition of arranged marriage has operated successfully within many
        communities and many countries for a long time and remains the preferred
        option for many young people". (Working Group: Forced Marriages - 'A
        Choice by Right', June 2000)

        Definition of an Arranged Marriage
        Families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage, but
        the choice whether to accept the arrangement remains with the individuals.

        Definition of a Forced Marriage
        A marriage, which is conducted without the consent of both parties, where
        duress is a factor.
             •    Although there is no specific criminal offence of 'forcing someone
                  to marry', within England and Wales there are crimes that may be
                  committed when forcing someone into marriage. The following list
                  is not exhaustive: common assault; harassment; cruelty to
                  persons under 16; failure to secure regular attendance at school
                  of a registered pupil; theft, (for example, passport), child
                  abduction; abduction of unmarried girl under the age of 16 from
                  parent or guardian; abduction of a woman by force or for the sake
                  of her property; aiding and abetting a criminal offence;
                  kidnapping; false imprisonment.
             •    "Forced marriage is a violation of internationally recognised
                  human rights standards. Marriage shall be entered into only with
                  the free and full consent of the intending spouses". (Universal
                  Declaration of Human Rights, Article 16(2)).
        The procedures allow for the exclusion of parents and/or carers from
        involvement in the initial investigation, and meetings, in circumstances,
        where to do so would have serious consequences for the child or young
        person. All professionals involved must be made aware of the importance
        of confidentiality.
        The existing legal framework affords a great deal of protection to children
        and young people at risk of being forced into marriage. The LSCB supports
        agencies in ensuring that the powers are proactively applied, and promotes
        the training of individuals and agencies to respond positively to referral and
        identification of forced marriage.

        Policy on Forced Marriages
        The LSCB endorses the view from the Social Work, Education and Police
        Guidance, that cases of forced marriage can involve complex and sensitive
        issues. Therefore referrals should be dealt with according to each agency’s
        procedure for forced marriage.
        Wherever Police or Social Workers become aware of a child or young
        person party to a forced marriage, they must consider whether this requires

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 133 of 133
        joint enquiries / investigation or single agency Child Protection enquiries.
        This decision needs to be made as part of a Strategy Meeting arranged by
        the Children’s Assessment Team (CAT) and the referring agency made
        aware of the intended actions.
        However, given that on occasion agencies will have to act speedily, the
        LSCB support the view that single agency action to safeguard the child can
        be taken outside of a strategy meeting subject to the accepted line of
        People over 18 years who have mental or physical disabilities, or a
        learning disability, refer to the appropriate Social Work Team and or the
        Adult Safeguarding Coordinator.
        Where the victim or young adult is over 18 year and wishes to pursue a
        complaint the social worker or Adult Safeguarding Coordinator needs to
        refer to ‘Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidelines for
        vulnerable or intimidated witnesses’.

        Guidelines for Dealing with Cases of Forced Marriages
        Information about a forced marriage maybe received from the victim, from
        a friend or relative, or from another agency. Forced marriage issues may
        also become apparent through careful questioning in the course of
        investigating other incidents/crimes such as domestic violence, assault,
        and abduction or missing persons. Cases of forced marriage can involve
        complex and sensitive issues that should receive the attention of all people
        For young people under the age of 18 years, it may be appropriate to deal
        with the situation in a similar way to Child Protection procedures. For
        people aged 18 years and over, procedures similar to those for Domestic
        Violence victims or Vulnerable Adult Protection maybe appropriate.
        Forced marriage places children and adults at risk of rape, sexual assault
        and possible physical harm. Some cases have resulted in the reluctant
        spouse being murdered
        If the young person or intended spouse is lesbian, gay, bisexual or
        transgender circumstances may be more complex.
        Male victims of forced marriage could have difficulty in having their
        situation taken seriously.
        When referring a case of forced marriage to other organisations / agencies,
        ensure they are capable of handling the case appropriately. If in doubt,
        consider approaching established groups, who have a history of working
        with survivors of domestic violence and forced marriage and ask these
        groups to refer them to reputable agencies.

        First Steps
        Social Workers (children’s) have a duty to make enquiries when there is an
        allegation of abuse (or a case of forced marriage) against a young person.
        Social Workers for adults and/or the Police will make enquires for adults.

Child Protection Procedures                                    Page 134 of 134
        The first priority in all cases is to do everything possible to ensure the
        safety and well being of the victim. Reports of forced marriage, including
        reports from victims who fear they may be forced to marry, must be taken
        seriously and not just referred to another agency.
        It is important to: -
            •    See the individual immediately in a safe and private place
            •    See the individual on their own if this is appropriate or possible
                 (Language Interpreters)
            •    If the services of an interpreter are required, take steps to ensure
                 the interpreter is not connected, even tenuously, with the individual
            •    Contact, as soon as possible the Police or Social Workers
                 (children) to start the appropriate steps.
            •    Reassure the victim of the Police and Social Workers (children)
            •    Establish a way of contacting them discreetly in the future
            •    Obtain full details to create a report to pass on to the Police or
                 Social workers (children)
            •    Recognise and respect the victim's wishes.

        DO NOT

            •    Attempt to be a mediator
            •    Send the individual away in without taking appropriate actions.
            •    Approach the family, unless the individual expressly asks you do to
            •    Approach community leaders unless requested to do so by the
            •    Share information with anyone without the express consent of the
            •    Breach confidentiality.

        Additional Steps

            •    Give the individual, where possible, the choice of the race and
                 gender of the worker who deals with their case
            •    Direct to Social workers (children) / Police to gain information
                 about their legal rights
            •    Give them personal safety advice
            •    If possible try to obtain all details of the person involved including
                 date, place of birth, National Insurance number and a copy of their
            •    Perform a risk assessment in all cases
            •    Maintain a full record of the decisions made and the reason for
                 those decisions

        Try to

             •   Refer the individual, with their consent, to appropriate local and

Child Protection Procedures                                       Page 135 of 135
                  national groups and counselling services
             •    Obtain a recent photograph or consider, with their consent, taking
                  a photograph
             •    Note any distinguishing features e.g. Birthmarks.

        Additional Guidelines for Social Workers

        Summary Points for First Steps:
        See the young person immediately in a secure and private place (This will
        not usually be the Social Workers Office) (Page 32 Practice Guidance for
        Social Workers at
        See the young person on their own – even if they attend with others (page
        32 – Practice Guidance for Social Workers).
        Explain all the options to the young person and recognise and respect their
        wishes. If the young person does not want the Social work intervention, the
        Social Worker will need to consider whether the young person’s wishes
        should be respected or whether the young person’s safety requires that
        further action be taken.
        Where there are concerns for an individual under 18 or the young adult has
        children, activate local child protection procedures and use existing
        national and local protocols for multi-agency liaison (Working Together to
        Safeguard Children - 2006) and the Framework for the Assessment of
        Children in Need and their Families - 2000).
        Reassure the young person of Social Work commitment to maintaining
        confidentiality, including consideration of excluding those with parental
        responsibility. Information should only be disclosed with the young
        person’s permission except where they are a danger to themselves or
        Initiate a strategy discussion under child protection procedures to decide
        whether the young person is suffering, or at risk of, significant harm. Plan
        the next steps in accordance with ‘Working Together to Safeguard
        Involve the young person in the discussion, together with the police and
        other relevant professionals and detail in the plan agency roles and
        responsibilities, and actions taken.
        Consider the need for immediate protection and placement away from the
        Refer to the local police Child Protection Unit if there is any suspicion that a
        crime has been, or may be, committed or the young person is, or has
        children, under 18 years.
        Liaise with the police if there are concerns about the safety of the victim,
        their siblings or the victim’s children.

        Do not:

             •    Attempt to be a mediator.

Child Protection Procedures                                       Page 136 of 136
        Additional Steps:
        •    Following on from the Team Manager’s decision to consider this an
             open case (Child Protection / Child In Need)
        •    Information from case files and database files should be kept strictly
        •    Every effort should be made to keep information to a restricted staff
             group. (Page.33 Practice Guidance for Social Workers).
        •    Inform them of their right to seek legal advice and representation.
        •    Liase with the Social Work Legal Department.
        •    In all cases, assess the risk of harm facing the young person and the
             staff member.
        •    Risk assessment to be noted in the case file with copy to Team
        •    Record any injuries and arrange a medical examination. Keep
             detailed documentation of any injuries or history of abuse, as the
             police may require this for any subsequent prosecution as detailed in
             child protection procedures.
        •    Keep the young person informed of steps taken and resources
             allocated and available in the community.
        •    Maintain a full record of the decisions made and the reason for those
        •    Ensure that the young person has the contact details for the service
             and a complaints form.

        Additional Guidelines for the Police

        Summary Points for First Steps
        •    See the individual immediately in a secure and private place
        •    See the individual on their own – even if they attend with others
        •    Contact, as soon as possible the nominated officer who has
             responsibility for such matters, or in their absence the duty Inspector /
        •    Reassure the victim of police confidentiality
        •    Establish a way of contacting them discreetly in the future
        •    Obtain full details to create a report to pass on to the nominated or
             specialist officer
        •    Recognise and respect the victim’s wishes
        •    Create a restricted entry in the Force Intelligence System. (The
             Force does not have this facility at present – work is ongoing to
             establish a suitable means of recording the intelligence.)
        •    Identifying any potential criminal offence and submit a crime report if
        •    Secure evidence at all stages as a prosecution may follow
        •    Give the individual advice on what service they should expect and
             who from.
        •    Perform a risk assessment in all cases
        •    Ensure that the individual has the nominated officer’s contact details

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 137 of 137
        Do Not

             •   Attempt to be a mediator

Child Protection Procedures                 Page 138 of 138
        Appendix 23: Freedom of Information
        Procedures for dealing with access requests under the Freedom of
        Information Act 2000

        On 1 January 2005 the right of access provisions under the Freedom of
        Information Act 2000 came into force.
        The Act has implications for the LSCB in the manner set out below.

        Implication for the LSCB
        The LSCB is not classed as a public authority for the purposes of the
        Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It is a group set up under Government
        guidance "Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006". It is made up of
        various agencies involved with safeguarding of children.
        Local Authorities have the responsibility for establishing the LSCB.
        Therefore any information held by the LSCB is held by the Oldham
        Metropolitan Borough Council (OMBC) and open to requests under the
        FOIA. OMBC will also be holding this information on its own behalf and on
        behalf of other agencies.
        The Code of Practice issued under the Act advises that if a public authority
        receives a request for information that originally came from a 3rd party, that
        3rd party should be consulted about the release of the information.
        Most other agencies on the LSCB will also be public authorities in their own
        right and will be holding the same information as members of the LSCB. If
        one of these agencies receives an access request they will also have to
        treat information they hold from other agencies as third party information
        and consult.
        It was therefore agreed that the agencies of the LSCB approve a brief
        protocol for the treatment of requests for information under the Act where
        this information was originally received from other agencies of the LSCB
        for LSCB purposes.

        Further Action to Consider
        The LSCB should also consider the production of the following in order to
        assist in dealing with access requests quickly and efficiently: - Publication
        Scheme – which would become apart of the Children Young People and
        Families Retention Scheme – Publication Scheme will identify all
        information that is freely published, the LSCB would apply for FOI
        exemptions to other documents either at the time of creation or as and
        when an FOI request is made.
        The LSCB to develop a Protocol for Dealing with Access Requests.

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 139 of 139
        Requests to the LSCB
        All requests should be immediately directed to, or will be transferred to the
        Development Officer, LSCB.
        The Oldham LSCB Development Officer will notify the Information
        Governance Officer for Children’s Services, immediately that a request has
        been received
        Requests will be dealt with by the Information Governance Officer for
        Children’s Services in conjunction with Oldham LSCB Development Officer
        Other LSCB agencies will be consulted in accordance with the Council’s
        procedures for dealing with access requests that is: -
              •   the agency’s views will be sought on the access request;
              •   the agency will respond within 5 working days of receipt of the
                  request from the LSCB;
              •   if the agency does not consider that the information should be
                  released, it will set out the relevant exemption(s) under the Act
                  and the reasons for applying the exemption(s);
              •   the LSCB and the Information Governance Officer will consider
                  the agency’s position and notify the agency of its preliminary
                  decision, within three working days;
              •   if the LSCB and the Information Governance Officer considers
                  that the information should be disclosed against the wishes of the
                  agency, the LSCB and the Freedom of Information Officer will
                  request the agency’s further views;
              •   the agency will respond within 2 working days;
              •   the LSCB and the Information Governance Officer will consider
                  the information and notify the agency of its final decision, within
                  the appropriate Freedom of Information Act timescales;
        At any stage in the process outlined above consideration can be given to
        calling an urgent meeting of the relevant agencies
        The Chair of the LSCB and the Executive Director of Children Young
        People and Families Directorate will make the final decision, respecting
        any appropriately claimed exemptions.
        The decision will be reported to the LSCB.

        Requests to the Council
        Requests will be directed or referred to the Information Governance Officer
        for Children’s Services.
        The Information Governance Officer for Children’s Services will notify the
        Oldham LSCB Development Officer immediately that a request has been
        The Council will then treat requests in accordance with the procedures set
        out in paragraph 3 above.

Child Protection Procedures                                     Page 140 of 140
        Requests to other agencies of the LSCB
        Requests will be directed to or referred to the agency’s nominated FOI
        The agency will consult with the LSCB and all relevant agencies in
        accordance with the procedures set out in paragraph 3, above.
        The decision will be reported to the LSCB.

Child Protection Procedures                                Page 141 of 141

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