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April 2016


Urgent news – New telephone number

Recently the children social care numbers for Berwick and Hexham were changed.  Please see the list of safeguarding contact numbers below and change your documents accordingly.

Berwick Children's Services - 01289 624802
Hexham Children's Services - 01670 623414


Northumbria Police Create New Safeguarding Department

Mr Ashman the Chief Constable of Northumbria Police has decided to create a Safeguarding Department rather than Protecting Vulnerable People (PVP) sitting within the Crime Department.  Detective Chief Superintendent Scott Hall is the head of the Safeguarding Department.

Key messages

·         Northumbria Police has created a new department within the Force Operating Model which will coordinate the response and delivery of policing services to the most vulnerable members of our communities

·         The new approach will see Protecting Vulnerable People and Operation Sanctuary come together as part of a Safeguarding Department.

·         The creation of the new department is a precursor to a new and innovative approach to the identification and response to vulnerability in its various guises.

·         Northumbria Police will work closely with Partner Agencies in the design of the new approach to safeguarding

·         The creation of the new department and the investment of extra resources flows from the desire to deliver outstanding services to our communities

·         Northumbria Police recognise that activity to safeguard the most vulnerable is a collective responsibility of partner and third sector agencies and it is paramount that any new approach is shaped by all to ensure an effective and efficient model for the delivery of outstanding services

·         The future approach to safeguarding will be based upon common principles of information sharing, joint decision making and coordinated intervention

·         In the immediate future partners will see no real change to existing multi-agency working arrangements other than the rebranding of PVP and its many parts as the new Safeguarding Department

·         A project team has been commissioned to provide a clear understanding of demand for services around vulnerability, design an innovative approach to safeguarding the most vulnerable and implement effective and lasting change.

·         Northumbria Police are keen for the project team to be supplemented by partner agency staff to allow for a clear understanding of the demand placed upon all agencies and the unintended consequences of relevant operational processes. This will allow for a true understanding and the ability to design a more effective approach to the delivery of the full spectrum of policing and partner agency services.   


Protocol for children who are looked after and are subject to Child Protection Plans

This protocol will be added to the NSCB practice guidance in August 2016, however will be implemented immediately.  It gives an overview of the protocol to be followed in a child is looked after and subject to a child protection plan. 

In Northumberland, children can be safeguarded under a number of different frameworks. We have children who are subject to a Child Protection Plan, children who are Looked After by virtue of Section 20 CA 1989, or children subject to an Interim Care Order or a Care Order. Some children are accommodated under Section 20 Children Act 1989 and subject to proceedings on a ‘no order’ basis.

Children who are subject to a Child Protection plan under these arrangements also have care plans under the Care Planning Regulations and are also independently scrutinised by an Independent Reviewing Officer.

Where a child is placed with a family member, this will be either as a looked after child or under an order of the court e.g Child Arrangement Order. They are therefore either secured by the Care Planning Regulations or a court order.

Principle:

Children should not be subject to Child Protection plans where this is no longer necessary because their situation has progressed and is being fully assessed, monitored, reviewed and planned for within the judicial process and/or through the Care Planning Regulations.

Where the plan is for rehabilitation home, the care plan formulated under the Care Planning Regulations and overseen by the IRO should be the plan under which the appropriateness of rehabilitation is considered and monitored.

In cases where a Court has responsibility for decision making on a No Order basis, the responsibility for the case management remains with the key area team and the Court will have appointed a Children’s Guardian to maintain oversight of a case and any court decisions.

Policy:

Where a child is subject to a Child Protection plan or consideration is being given for such a plan and the child’s situation is, or is anticipated as being (see IV below) , planned through Court processes, consideration should be given to whether the making of, or continuation of a Child Protection plan, is necessary. It is important that there is no duplication of process through a child protection plans where matters can be dealt with through Court or Care Planning Regulations.

This is on the basis that the Court process, through statute, has a higher authority and independence in the determining, directing and sanctioning of the care planning for the child, and encompasses processes and arrangement to assess, monitor and manage risk within a scrutinised, child-centred judicial process and legal framework. This would apply to those children where matters are being dealt with within court either on a No Order basis or an Interim Care Order is in place or where Courts impose interim Supervision Orders.

Where a child is accommodated under Section 20, Children Act 1989, their care arrangements will be reviewed and managed through the Care Planning Regulations and therefore there is no need for a Child Protection plan.

Where concerns have been raised about the progress in a case and a decision has been made to issue a Letter before Proceedings, this work should continue with the child protection plan in place.

Definition:

For the purposes of this protocol a child will be deemed within scope where the following apply:

  1. The child is subject to a Child Protection plan and becomes subject to an Interim Care order (and acquires looked after status); or the case is being progressed within care proceedings on a ‘no order’ basis  where the Court have responsibility for the progression of the care plan.
  2. The child is subject to a Child Protection plan and becomes accommodated under section 20 Children Act 1989.
  3. The child is subject to a Child Protection plan, is subject to an interim or full Care Order and is accommodated or placed at home.
  4. Where a child is subject to an ICPC and the plan is for care proceedings to be issued but yet to be actioned, and the criteria for a child protection plan is met, the ICPC should, in most circumstances, formulate a child protection plan to protect the child during the interim period. Once care proceedings have been successfully issued the IRO should then be notified that matters are now before the court and arrangements made to end the Child Protection Plan to avoid duplication of processes where matters can be dealt with via Court or care planning regulations.

It is important that timely decisions are made to ensure that if matters progress into court, the Court will have responsibility for the management of a case and in these circumstances, the confirmation of the order and confirmation of a legal plan should be confirmed in writing to all those involved with the conference to ensure that a plan can be ended with judicial process with the legal framework becoming the single framework for managing a case.

The Safeguarding Team, on behalf of the Conference Chair, will then send a letter to confirm that the child protection plan has been ended to all parties and the reason that this is appropriate, e.g. that matters are now before the court or are subject to care planning regulations. The Safeguarding Unit will have responsibility for ending the child protection status on ICS.

Process:

  1. At each ICPC or RCPC the chair should check with the Child’s Social Worker as to whether there is a possibility or plan for the local authority to apply for a ICO or to accommodate the child in the period before the next review conference. The conference chair should then advise conference attendees that the CPP will cease at this point unless objections are received. This should be recorded in the minutes.
  2. Where it is agreed that care planning is already within the Court or care planning regulations, the Social Worker will notify The Safeguarding Unit and the Conference Chair will be advised of the need for the child protection plan to be ended. A formal letter will be sent to all parties to confirm this decision and outline the reason for the   matters being before the court or stating that the case will be managed through care planning regulations. If there are differences of views about the ending of the child protection plan, the reasons for this must be clearly provided in writing and a discussion arranged between the Manager for the IRO service and the appropriate CSM and Team Manager. The outcome of any such discussions should be confirmed in writing by the Manager for the IRO Service in consultation with the Head of Service a clear record of any decision made must be evidenced on the child’s electronic record.
  3. Where the child protection plan is ended, the Safeguarding Unit is responsible for updating the child’s ICS record to end the CP flag and the Social Worker  is responsible for updating the appropriate child in need or looked after care plan.

E safety a great new resource

Net aware – your guide to the social networks young people use www.net-aware.org.uk


Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board training

Physical Abuse - 4th May  09:30-12:30 at  West Hartford Fire Station

Neglect - 9th May  09:30-16:30 at West Hartford Fire Station

Sexual Abuse - 18th May 09:30-16:30 at West Hartford Fire Station

Multi-Agency Child Protection - 26th May 09:30-16:30 at Bell View, Belford

To book a place or find out more please contact Rachel Sweeney on 
Telephone: 01670 623164 or email Rachel.Sweeney@northumberland.gov.uk

To see the full 2016-2017 NSCB programme please click here.


Child Sexual exploitation – The Drew Review

The findings of the Drew Review, an independent review of South Yorkshire Police’s (SYP) handling of child sexual exploitation 1997 – 2016 have been published. http://www.drewreview.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SYP030-Final-report.pdf

The review recommendations include: develop a new, thematic action plan using gap analysis of all investigations to date; commission ‘Learning Lessons Reviews’ after the conclusion of each major investigation; implement a standard operating procedure for the investigation of child sexual exploitation and the management of intelligence related to it.


Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence in Schools Inquiry

The Women and Equalities Committee has launched a parliamentary inquiry into the scale and impact of sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools. Before the inquiry began, the views of 300 young people from across the UK were gathered on behalf of the committee by Fixers. Findings include: sexualised behaviour is the new social norm in young people’s daily lives; teachers sometimes brush off incidents of sexual assaults or sexually threatening behaviour; many incidents go unreported because young people are worried about victims being punished as well as perpetrators.

Source: Women and Equalities Committee 19 April 2016

Further information: 
   Fixers investigates: the trouble with...sex in schools (PDF


A world of good: the challenge of being young in modern Britain
This YMCA report of the biggest challenges facing young people today presents the findings of a survey asking 1600 young people, and those working with them on a daily basis, to assess the nature of the challenges they face. It reveals that the biggest causes of harm to young people in Britain today are failing to succeed within the education system, a lack of employment opportunities, and issues related to body image.


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