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'Please keep me safe'. This simple but profoundly important hope is the very minimum upon which every child and young person should be able to depend.
The Lord Laming (2009: 2)
Child Protection work is a statutory requirement of the local authority's role as a provider of Social Care. This requirement is set out by the Children Act 1989, which states that where a child is suspected to either be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm then through its social work team it must make enquiries to decide whether there needs to be any action taken to make the child safe and promote their welfare.
The following pages set out how we keep children safe in our area.
Location of child
Families are always on the move, be that through permanent moving of home, or through people visiting families on a short or long term basis. Working Together is clear that the responsibility for making enquiries lies with social services in whose area the child lives or is found.
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The core group is formed at the conference with the purpose of developing the child protection plan from the outline generated in the conference and ensuring that it is implemented. Although a very significant part of the process, core groups are often wrongly seen to play a lesser role to conferences, despite meeting more regularly and being responsible for implementation.Read more
Children in specific circumstances
The following sections provide guidance for enquiries about children in specific situations.Read more
Allegations against professionals
Dealing with an allegation that a professional, staff member, foster carer, volunteer, or self-employed person whose business is to provide a service to children has abused a child is difficult but must be taken seriously and dealt with carefully and fairly. This page looks at the process that should be followed if an allegation is made to member of staff in Social Care.Read more
Indicators of child abuse
There are no absolutes when it comes to determining whether a child is suffering significant harm. Whilst there are lists of possible indicators of abuse, any one of the points on the list in isolation is not necessarily clear proof that a child is being abused. There is therefore a need to couple this information with other evidence that is available to form a professional viewpoint.Read more
Dealing with a disclosure
As a professional working with vulnerable children and families, you may find yourself in a situation where a child wants to tell you what has been going on for them. Approaching such situations correctly will mean that the child feels supported and that the integrity of the information is maintained should there need to be a police investigation. This page considers key principles for dealing with a disclosure.Read more
Transferring Child Protection Plans
Communities which are on the move are a common aspect of child protection work in London, but also in the UK as a whole. This page explores the processes for dealing with cases where there are children on child protection plans who either move into or out of the area.Read more
Child protection enquiries
Child Protection Enquiries is a broad term that encompasses the process from identifying that there are significant concerns present in a case which may require specific action on a multi-agency basis to deciding whether a case conference is required following assessment. These pages consider the individual parts of that process.Read more
Child protection conferences & plans
Child protection conferences focus on safeguarding children (including unborn children) and ensuring their welfare when it is suspected they are at risk of significant harm. They rely on the right people attending the conference to make fully informed, evidence based decisions about the needs of the child and any work that should be undertaken to address these needs.Read more
Death of a child
The death or serious injury of any child is a difficult and traumatic event. If the child is open to Children's Social Care then there are immediate actions that need to take place in order to ensure that everyone who needs to know is aware as soon as possible and any remaining children are protected.Read more
- Child protection
- Youth Offending
- Children with Disabilities