Child in need of protection procedures
These procedures provide step-by-step guidance on how to respond to a concern about a child’s welfare.
Concerns may arise because:
- A young person discloses abuse.
- There are suspicions or indicators that a young person is being abused.
- There are observable changes in a young person’s behaviour that may be related to abuse.
- A young person may abuse another young person.
- The behaviour of a member of staff towards a young people causes concern or there is suspicion that a staff member or volunteer is harming a child.
The basic premise of a child protection procedure is the ensure that children and young people who are suffering from harm, abuse and neglect are identified, and that information is shared appropriately to afford them protection and ensure access to requisite services.
How to respond if a young person discloses abuse
- Stay calm, listen and re-assure the young person.
- Check with the young person that you have their consent to share the information. If consent is withheld then be clear about the rationale for any decision to override this.
- Record information and ask the young person if what you have recorded accords with what they have said.
- Invite the young person to be party to any discussion with the designated person
- Make a report to the designated person,
- Designated Person to decide upon next steps: seeking further advice, informing parents, informing children’s social care.
- Advise the young person what is going to happen and should it be decided to make a report to children’s social care, seek their consent wherever possible.
- Advise the young person of the outcome of any conversations with outside agencies and what will happen next.
How to respond if there are suspicions a young person is being abused
- Speak to the Designated Person
- Keep records of conversations and decisions
- Wherever possible, involve the young person in conversations and keep them informed of any actions or possible outcome.
- Where a referral has been made to children's social care, they must receive a written report within 24 hours.
How to respond if there are genuine suspicions a staff member or volunteer is harming a young person
- Contact the designated person
- The designated person or their nominee should speak to the young person about any actions taken and offer support and advice about what will happen next.
- Senior managers to implement press strategy, and internal investigation in consultation with children's social care and police.
- The Designated Person should photocopy the pro forma report and recording forms and store them in an accessible location.
- The member of staff who raises the initial concern must record what they have observed or what the young person disclosed.
- The Designated Person should record any subsequent actions, decisions or conversations
- The Designated Person is responsible for forwarding written referrals to children's social care.
- The Designated Person is responsible for storing information in a secure area and ensure that only authorised staff have access to this.
- Timescales for passing on information. The government guidance ‘What to do if…’ (DoH 2003) sets timescales for action. A telephone referral to children’s social care should be followed up in writing within 24 hours. The guidance timeframes should be incorporated into any procedures.