The London Child Protection Procedures are updated twice a year. At the beginning of October 2021, a number of changes were made, the more significant changes that were introduced are shown below. A complete list of all of the changes can be found online here.
Chapter 1 – Responding to Concerns of Abuse and Neglect
• The introduction now includes the definitions of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and child protection , as set out in Working Together 2018.
Why is this important? The regulations relating to information sharing refer to “safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children”, not just “child protection”. Where a professional is hesitant about the legal basis for sharing information other than in relation to a concern about the risk of significant harm, it is helpful to be able to point out that the legal basis is much wider.
• References to “contextual safeguarding” have been updated to use the term extrafamilial abuse, as set in out Working Together 2018 (December 2020 version).
Why is this important? Extrafamilial harm is clearly located within the overall framework for the assessment of risk of significant harm, as described in Chapter 3, Child protection Enquiries
Chapter 2 – Referral and Assessment
• References to seeing children have been updated to specify the need to see children alone.
Why is this important? Professionals should see children alone in order to be able to ascertain their views free from the influence of parents / carers.
• The procedures around information sharing have been updated to remove references to consent and cross reference to those sections of Working Together 2018 that set out the lawful bases for sharing information.
Why is this important? Effective sharing of information between practitioners and local organisations and agencies is essential for early identification of need, assessment and service provision to keep children safe. Consent is not required.
Chapter 3 – Child Protection Enquiries
• This chapter has been updated to replace references to contextual safeguarding with extrafamilial harm.
Why is this important? Extrafamilial harm presents a risk of significant harm to a child or young person. The update locates extrafamilial harm as one of the risks that may result in a child protection enquiry.
Chapter 4 – Child Protection Conferences
• Now specifies that visits to children subject to a child protection plan should take place every two weeks.
Why is this important? The procedures previously specified that visits should take place at a frequency determined by the child protection plan although everyone thought that the procedures said every two weeks – now they do!
• The circumstances and process by which a child protection plan can be discontinued have been clarified and the need for child in need plans to be reviewed at least every 12 weeks introduced.
Why is this important? There is now an emphasis on the involvement of the professional network and some of the discretion for “management action” has been removed. It is important that child in need plans are reviewed regularly.
Chapter 7 – Allegations Against Staff or Volunteers
• The criteria for considering allegations has been updated to be consistent with Working Together 2018.
Why is this important? An additional criteria for the investigation of allegations was added to Working Together in December 2020; this also appears in Keeping Children Safe in Education.
B1, Chapter 3 – Roles and Responsibilities
• In addition to the updated criteria for the management of allegations, there have been some factual updates in relation to the organisation and functions of the police.
Why is this important? To ensure that organisational responsibilities are accurate.
B2, Chapter 6 – Safe Recruitment
• There are a number of updates provided in relation to the DBS arrangements
Why is this important? Use of the DBS scheme requires that agencies abide the requirements of the DBS service.
• An additional paragraph will be added soon relating to staff working in fostering and adoption services
Why is this important? The regulations pertaining to fostering and adoption services require that agencies retain certain documentary evidence on personal files
Henrietta Quartano, Chair of the Editorial Board of the London Child Protection Procedures
Also The Editorial Board for the London Child Protection Procedures is undertaking a review of the procedures. We would like to know what you think of the content, layout and ease of use. Can you please fill in a short survey to tell us what you think. It won’t take more than 5 minutes.
The survey form is available here: London Child Protection Procedures Survey
If you are unable to use the link, try copying this into your web-browser: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfZkq4SC5C-FX4Vh803e22iZ8Yiov2hRtxdCelD7rD2GYZaFQ/viewform?usp=sf_link
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