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Guidance, Policies & Protocol Documents

In Havering, as in any other London Borough, our chief guides to working together to safeguard children are:

The London Child Safeguarding Procedures https://www.londonsafeguardingchildrenprocedures.co.uk/

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/942454/Working_together_to_safeguard_children_inter_agency_guidance.pdf

As a Children’s Partnership we have ratified the new multi-agency London Threshold for children.  The revised threshold document can be found here Indicators of Need Matrix.

As part of the London wide MASH review, the threshold document that forms part of the London Safeguarding Children Procedures has been revised following consultation. The new threshold document was agreed by the executive of the London Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) in December 2022 and has been reviewed by the Editorial Board of the London Safeguarding Children Procedures.

The LSCP  therefore  asked that local partnerships:

  • Formally adopt the revised London Threshold document;
  • Update their web sites to include a link to the London Threshold Document (so that reference is always being made to the most recent, London wide version);
  • Send requests for additions or amendments to the threshold document for consideration as part of the six monthly updates to the procedures.

The revised threshold document will be used for training purposes by some agencies.

The guidance you find below are additional local documents to help us in our multi-agency work.

 

As a Children’s Partnership we have ratified the new multi-agency London Threshold for children.  The revised threshold document can be found here Indicators of Need Matrix.

Please be sure to update your staff and volunteers.

As part of the London wide MASH review, the threshold document that forms part of the London Safeguarding Children Procedures has been revised following consultation. The new threshold document was agreed by the executive of the London Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) in December 2022 and has been reviewed by the Editorial Board of the London Safeguarding Children Procedures.

The LSCP  therefore  asked that local partnerships:

  • Formally adopt the revised London Threshold document;

  • Update their web sites to include a link to the London Threshold Document (so that reference is always being made to the most recent, London wide version);

  • Send requests for additions or amendments to the threshold document for consideration as part of the six monthly updates to the procedures.

The revised threshold document will be used for training purposes by some agencies.

Child Protection Conferences are a key tool in Havering to keep children as safe as possible and to bring the multi-agency group together to plan how to build on the family’s parenting strengths. They take place 3-6 monthly after an outline child protection plan has been made. They are chaired by an Independent Chair, the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO). Parents, children aged over 12 years and professionals working with the family are invited. Parents can invite family members, a solicitor and/ or an advocate to support them.

Children’s Services sometimes receive information that makes them suspect a child may not be safe or well cared for. This information is called a referral.  If after receiving a referral, children’s services suspect a child is suffering significant harm, they must investigate this. This is called making child protection enquiries. If agencies at a multi-agency strategy meeting  think the child or unborn baby is at risk of significant harm, they make a decision to hold a Child Protection Initial Conference within 15 working days to see if risks are determined and a child protection plan is needed (Section 47 Children Act 1989). In Havering, we are now back to face to face Conferences and we are soon to move to new Conference Rooms in the Havering Town Hall.

Professionals from partner agencies who need to submit a multi-agency report for a scheduled child protection conference should do so here sssuduty@havering.gov.uk

East Cheshire SCP has produced this helpful film for children and young people about Child Protection Conferences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1Lgh2n11Gk

Please find our new leaflets for children and families here:

Young Person’s Guide to CPC

Parent/Carer’s Guide to CPC

Core Group Meetings

Core Group Meetings (CGMs) are the engine of change in child protection plans and support our systemic and strengths’ based approach to safeguarding in Havering. Whether you work with adults, children or families, you may be involved.  “When a child protection conference decides that a child should be the subject of a child protection plan, a qualified local authority children’s social worker must be appointed as the lead social worker to co-ordinate all aspects of the inter-agency child protection plan. The core group is the forum to co-ordinate this multi-agency work and the membership will have been identified at the initial child protection conference”. (London Child Safeguarding Procedures CP5.2)

The core group meeting adds detail to the outline Child Protection Plan and meets regularly, usually six weekly, with the family to take actions forward and to modify plans in line with any emerging strengths and risks. Each Core Group professional member is equal and has a shared responsibility for the forwarding of the Child Protection Plan; if core groups need improvement, each member has the task to step up to the challenge and to escalate if meetings are not taking place or actions are not being completed.  Every member has the responsibility to chair the meeting if needed.  If a core group member cannot attend, a deputy should be nominated and an update provided in any event.

Find out more about Child Protection Conferences and CGMs here: https://safeguardinghavering.org.uk/childrenpartnership/home/proffessionals/guidance-policies-protocol-documents-2/

where there is guidance for parents, carers and children who are involved.

Waltham Forest CSP has produced this excellent film about Core Groups here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZmAusUzvQE&list=PLXP9vA79PQTw8kgOPQJydq1GWFsuDFcPC&index=6

East Cheshire SCP has produced this helpful film for children and young people about Child Protection Conferences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1Lgh2n11Gk

London Safeguarding Children Procedures Guidance

https://www.londonsafeguardingchildrenprocedures.co.uk/imp_chi_prot.html?zoom_highlight=core+group

In our safeguarding system, children and young people who are in care, have reviews take place every few months (after the initial review after the first month), from the time a child is accommodated by the Local Authority.  They are chaired by an Independent Chair, the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO), who will advocate on behalf of the child’s needs. A plan is made at these reviews to address every issue that could arise for a child looked after and to plan for their future. Often the parents are invited and all professionals involved, but this is the child’s meeting. Professionals should ensure they share information, even if they are not invited to the Review.

Please find our new leaflet for children and families here: Guide to C/YP in Care Reviews

Introduction

 Nurturing Professional Curiosity and challenge are a fundamental aspect of working together to keep children, young people and adults safe from harm. It is one of our recommendations for strengthening local practice from our Case Review Working Group.

Professional curiosity is an emerging theme in the Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews (CSPRs) Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) and other reviews completed in Havering, and this finding is reflected nationally. Although it has long been recognised as an important concept in safeguarding children practice it is equally relevant to work with adults.

This practice guidance raises awareness of the need for professional curiosity or respectful uncertainty as it is sometimes called. It is designed to help practitioners spot the signs of when a parent or carer may be using disguised compliance; and advise where and how to access help and services.

What is Professional Curiosity?

 Professional Curiosity is the capacity and skills of communication to explore and understand what is happening for a person, rather than making assumptions or accepting things at face value. It requires skills of looking listening, asking direct questions and being able to hold difficult conversations. Professional Curiosity and challenge are a fundamental aspect of working together to keep adults and children safe from harm.

This has been described as the need for practitioners to practice ‘respectful uncertainty’ – applying critical evaluation to any information they receive and maintaining an open mind. In safeguarding the term ‘safe uncertainty’ is used to describe an approach which is focused on safety but that considers changing information, different perspectives and acknowledges that certainty may not be achievable. This approach is important in helping to identify abuse and neglect which can be less obvious and can ensure that the right information is gathered and shared to assess both needs and risks.

Being professionally curious is necessary to fully understand a situation and the risks an individual may face, which are not always immediately obvious. Being more curious as professionals and ‘digging deeper’ into areas where there is little, or no information will help to inform assessments and empower you to influence key moments of decision making to reduce risks for children and adults. Escalating concerns that could cause drift, delay and a shift in focus from the child’s or adults’ best interests shouldn’t be embraced as this may result in ineffective care.

Professional Curiosity practice guidance June 2023 (002)

Films:

Waltham Forest Safeguarding Partnership; Bitesize video guide to Professional Curiosity

Rochdale Safeguarding Partnerships; video Think Family Approach to Safeguarding

Nottingham City Council, NHS Nottingham City CCG and the NCSCB have jointly commissioned a video animation to encourage practitioners to identify children as ‘Was Not Brought’ as opposed to ‘Did Not Attend’ when referring to them not being presented at medical appointments; Re-thinking did not attend

 

 

 

Location Risk Assessment

Location Risk Assessments

Care Providers and Semi-Independent Units for children and young people are required to carry out regular risk assessments for Ofsted oversight , and gain an understanding of their local area. This part of the Quality Standards for the Supported Accommodation Regulations (October 2023)

Young People need to be able to agree to these following principles:

  1. I feel safe and secure where I live and in my wider environment.
  2. My voice is respected, heard and advocated for, so I can influence the support I receive.
  3. I have confidence that the adults who support me understand me, are skilled and work effectively together to best meet my needs.
  4. I have my own space that I feel proud of and live in a comfortable, well maintained, and stable accommodation
  5. I receive high-quality, tailored support that sustains my health and wellbeing.
  6. I have strong, trusting, and meaningful relationships within my support system and can rely on the adults around me
  7. I feel supported to learn and apply skills for independent adult living.
  8. I feel positive about my future and opportunities as a result of the support I receive.

 

 

The Location Request process flow chart is here and the request form for units to carry out their own research

Location Request

Havering Location Request Process