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6.5 Waiving of Arrangements for Young People who Committed Offences that Potentially Pose a Risk to Children

This chapter was added in to the manual in December 2012.


Contents

1. Introduction
2. Procedure
  2.1 Initial Representation
  2.2 Confirmation of Receipt
  2.3 Request for Risk Assessment
  2.4 Notification to Service Manager, Quality Assurance
  2.5 Risk Assessment
  2.6 Evaluation of Risk Assessment
  2.7 Views of the Service Manager, Quality Assurance
  2.8 Consideration by Head of Branch (Children's Specialist Services)
  2.9 Notification
  2.10 Disagreement with Decision
  2.11 Notification of Waiving Arrangements
  2.12 Effect of Waiving Arrangements
  Appendix 1: Waiving of Arrangements for Offenders with a Potential Risk to Children Status


1. Introduction

The 'Guidance on Offences against Children', (Home Office Circular 16/2005) (see List of Relevant Offences) lists a wide range of offences against children or young people under the age of 18 which are considered to pose a risk to children. 

Whilst the protection of children is obviously of paramount importance, conviction of one of the offences listed in List of Relevant Offences may not on its own reliably distinguish those offenders who represent a continuing risk to children. This is particularly true where the offender is also aged under 18, for example an assault committed in the context of a fight between two young people, or unlawful sexual intercourse which was consensual and between parties of a similar age may not imply a continuing risk to children. 

Department of Health LASSL(94)6, together with guidance issued to Prison Governors, outlines the procedure where a person convicted of an offence that may pose a risk to children can make representation about the arrangements for notification of their risk to children status on discharge from prison. The guidance states that in rare cases the Social Services Department, at no less than Assistant Director level, can decide that these arrangements do not need to be applied. 

Wirral are extending the procedure, on a local basis, to include people who have a community based sentence. 

Agreement with the representation does not remove the risk to children status but does remove the requirements on the Prison Service to notify Children's Specialist Services via the Probation Provider when a prisoner is being considered for discharge, and places on individual agencies' records that the risk assessment has been undertaken.

This procedure does not apply to registered and unregistered sex offenders.

This procedure should be read in conjunction with the Wirral Youth Offending Service procedure "Young people who may be identified as presenting a risk to children initial risk assessment and notification to the Social Services Department", which deals with the positive identification of young people who have a 'risk to children' status and the response to young people who are convicted of offences that may bring a 'risk to children' status and are not assessed as presenting a risk to other children or young people.


2. Procedure

2.1 Initial Representation

All representations will be forwarded in the first instance to the Head of Branch (Children's Specialist Services), as delegated decision maker.

2.2 Confirmation of Receipt

The Head of Branch will confirm receipt of the representation and include the name and telephone number of the Assessment Team Manager responsible.

2.3 Request for Risk Assessment

The Head of Branch will forward a copy of the representation to the YOS Manager requesting that a joint risk assessment be undertaken with a YOS worker and a children's social worker and inform the Service Manager, Safeguarding Quality Assurance who will oversee the completion of risk assessment.

2.4 Notification to Service Manager, Quality Assurance

The Head of Branch will forward a copy of the representation and a copy of the request for assessment to the Service Manager, Safeguarding and Quality Assurance. The Service Manager, Safeguarding and Quality Assurance will oversee the key elements of risk assessment provided by agencies such as Probation, Police, Social Care, YOS.

2.5 Risk Assessment

The risk assessment should take into account the age of each young person, circumstances of the offence, any previous history of offending, severity of offence, sentence given by the court, reparation of offender and whether re-offending is likely, and whether there is any continuing risk.

If the family have been known to Children's Specialist Services or are currently allocated, the district team will complete a joint assessment.

2.6 Evaluation of Risk Assessment

Once completed, the worker(s) who undertook the risk assessment will make a written evaluation of the assessment concluding whether or not the person, in the opinion of the workers involved, poses any continuing threat to children.

2.7 Views of the Service Manager, Quality Assurance

The worker will forward a copy of the risk assessment and evaluation/conclusion to the Service Manager, Safeguarding and Quality Assurance.

The Service Manager, Safeguarding and Quality Assurance will add any relevant comments to the evaluation and state whether they agree or not with the conclusion. The Service Manager, Safeguarding and Quality Assurance will send a copy of their comments to the Social Worker and forward the complete document to the Head of Branch (Children's Specialist Services) for consideration.

2.8 Consideration by Head of Branch (Children's Specialist Services)

Once in receipt of the risk assessment evaluation and conclusion, and the view of the Service Manager, Safeguarding and Quality Assurance, the Head of Branch (Children's Specialist Services) will make a decision regarding whether agreement with the representation will be made.

2.9 Notification

The Head of Branch (Children's Specialist Services) will inform, in writing, the following people of the decision:

  • Probation;
  • YOS;
  • Quality Manager;
  • Schedule One Offender concerned;
  • Prison Governor (where representation is made prior to discharge from prison).

If the Head of Branch is in agreement with the representation s/he will further outline the reasons why the usual arrangements regarding the notification of a person posing a risk to children does not need to be applied.

2.10 Disagreement with Decision

If any parties receiving notification disagree with the decision made, they should write to the Head of Branch within 21 days of the date of notification.

A panel comprising of a senior probation officer, YOS Manager and Service Manager, Safeguarding and Quality Assurance will be convened to review the decision. The decision of this panel is final.

All those notified of the decision (see Section 2.9, Notification) will receive notification from the panel of whether the decision has been upheld or overturned.

2.11 Notification of Waiving Arrangements

Clear decisions and notes need to be made so that the agencies who hold data can act on these arrangements.

The attached LSCB notification form Appendix 1: Waiving of arrangements for offenders with a potential risk to children status should be used by all personnel in Probation, Children's Specialist Services and Youth Offending Service to inform the Police and Prison Services who can make amendments to their databases.

2.12 Effect of Waiving Arrangements

The effects of waiving arrangements is that information is not shared with agencies both statutory and non statutory.


Appendix 1: Waiving of Arrangements for Offenders with a Potential Risk to Children Status

Click here to view Appendix 1: Waiving of Arrangements for Offenders with a Potential Risk to Children Status.

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