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May 2017

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Use of Interpreters, Signers or Others with Communication Skills This chapter has been updated to provide the contact details for advice and access to translation and interpretation services (see Interpreters).
Initial Child Protection Conferences This chapter has been updated with a new Section 4.8, Electronic and Digital Recording which includes good practice guidance.
Children At Risk of Not receiving a Suitable Education The following new links have been added: Children Missing Education: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities (DfE, September 2016) and The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2016.
Female Genital Mutilation This chapter has been updated by adding a link to the Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation (GOV.UK, 2016).
Safeguarding Children and Young People against Radicalisation and Violent Extremism This chapter has been reviewed and updated in to reflect local processes and to add a link to the government website ‘Report online material promoting terrorism or extremism’.
Cross-Border Child Protection Cases under the Hague Convention This chapter has been updated by adding a link to ICACU – Relevant Information. This contains a link to GOV.UK Official Solicitor: ICACU Request for Co-operation Form and ICACU Guide to Completing the Request for Co-operation Form (see Section 3, The Central Authority (ICACU)).
Wirral Protocol in Relation to Children with a Child Protection Plan Moving Across Local Authority Boundaries This chapter has been updated - links to the related procedure North West Notification and Transfer of Children Subject of Child Protection Plans across Local Authority Boundaries have been added.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Step Up / Step Down Process Please see this new chapter – the step up/step down approach describes the way in which a family can be supported by different services and interventions depending on their level of need.
North West Protocol for Standards in Supervision of Children and Families Social Workers This protocol has been developed to support social work practice across the region. The purpose is to provide social workers and social work managers with guidance and practice tools to support effective supervision and critical reflection. This regional protocol, therefore, seeks to outline minimum regional standards with regards to supervision and reflection, to ensure consistency of practice for social workers irrespective of which Local Authority they are working for.
North West Children in Need Moving across Local Authority Boundaries This procedure is applicable when the child is known to the Children’s Social Care service of one local authority area, and the child has moved to stay in another local authority area, whether on a permanent or temporary basis.
Children Visiting Psychiatric Wards and Facilities

This chapter identifies key issues for children who may want, or be asked, to visit a relative or friend in hospital, (usually a parent or sometimes a sibling). The visit should always be undertaken in the child’s best interests, and their interests must remain paramount, irrespective of adults around them. An assessment and evaluation must be undertaken with the Hospital Trust to ensure the visit is appropriate for the child and that their experience is positive and one that will promote relationships.

All visits should be planned, managed and adjusted according to the individual circumstances –including if necessary, ‘on the day’. The chapter references the Mental health Act Code of Practice (January 2015), to which there is a link. Please reference.
Concealed Pregnancies

Although there is no national definition for ‘concealed pregnancy’ it is suggested that a concealed pregnancy is when:

  • An expectant mother knows she is pregnant but does not tell any professional; or
  • An expectant mother tells another professional but conceals the fact that she is not accessing antenatal care; or
  • A pregnant woman tells another person or persons and they conceal the fact from all health agencies.

A concealed pregnancy may be revealed in late pregnancy, in labour or following delivery. If the birth is unassisted there may be concerns about the long-term health of the mother and/or the baby.

The reason for the concealment will be a factor in understanding the nature of the risk. Any concealed pregnancy, when known, should initiate a multi-agency assessment to determine the risks.  The chapter highlights key risk indicators and the importance of working with fathers at this stage. Please reference.
Pre-birth Procedure This chapter reflects that babies are particularly vulnerable to abusive environments and where the potential for this is understood and an early help assessment is important at the pre-birth stage.
Dangerous Dogs and Safeguarding Children

Whilst the benefit of pets is well known, a number of children have suffered serious injuries or have died as a result of attacks from dogs. Additionally, research suggests that abuse of animals can be part of intra familial violence, which can include maltreatment of children. The chapter identifies the legislation relating to dangerous dogs and contains links to further information around dogs and safety with children.

Recognition on the issues around dogs should be considered when undertaking a child's assessment and where dogs are present. Please reference.
Modern Slavery Victims of modern slavery should be given protection, get the help they need to recover from their experiences and access to the justice they deserve. This chapter sets out guidance on how to identify and respond to a child or young person where there are concerns that they are a victim or a potential victim of modern slavery. It should be read in conjunction with the Trafficked Children Procedure and the Contacts and Referrals Procedure. Please reference.
North West Pre-Care and Care Proceedings Notification and Transfer across Local Authority Boundaries Procedure This procedure is applicable where the child is subject of Pre-Care or Care Proceedings in one local authority area; and the child has moved and is now ordinarily resident in another local authority. Specific provisions are set out for cases where a pregnant mother moves to another local authority area during the latter stages of pregnancy.

Next update: November 2017


2016 Amendments

2015 Amendments