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Safeguarding Children: A Shared Responsibility. To raise awareness of how to keep children safe and what to do if concerns arise. Identify the major signs and symptoms of child abuse Describe what to do if there are concerns regarding the safety and welfare of a child

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To raise awareness of how to keep children safe and

  • what to do if concerns arise.
  • Identify the major signs and symptoms of child abuse
  • Describe what to do if there are concerns regarding the
  • safety and welfare of a child
  • Recognise the role of the Local Safeguarding
  • Children Board (LSCB)
  • Reflect on local and national findings from
  • Serious Case Reviews

Guidelines for Safe Learning

  • Confidentiality
  • Listen/One speaker at a time
  • Respect
  • No such thing as a silly question
  • Responsible for your own learning
  • Okay to get things wrong
  • Emotive Subject
  • Time/Mobiles
















Section 13 of the Children Act 2004 requires each local authority to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) for their area and specifies the organisations and individuals (other than the local authority) that should be represented on LSCBs.

Statutory objectives and functions of LSCBs

Section 14 of the Children Act 2004 sets out the objectives of LSCBs, which are: (a) to coordinate what is done by each person or body represented on the Board for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area; and(b)to ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each such person or body for those purposes.


1(a) Developing policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area of the authority, including policies and procedures in relation to:

  • the action to be taken where there are concerns about a child's safety or welfare, including thresholds for intervention;
  • training of persons who work with children or in services affecting the safety and welfare of children;
  • recruitment and supervision of persons who work with children;
  • investigation of allegations concerning persons who work with children;
  • safety and welfare of children who are privately fostered;
  • cooperation with neighbouring children's services authorities and their Board partners;

(b) communicating to persons and bodies in the area of the authority the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, raising their awareness of how this can best be done and encouraging them to do so;

(c) monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of what is done by the authority and their Board partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and advising them on ways to improve;

(d) participating in the planning of services for children in the area of the authority; and

(e) undertaking reviews of serious cases and advising the authority and their Board partners on lessons to be learned.

(WTSC 2013 Ch 3)


Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) Allegations made against professionals.

  • The LADO role is based within the Safeguarding Children Unit.
  • Management and oversight of individual cases.
  • Provide advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations, liaising with the police and other agencies and monitoring the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process;
  • Any allegation should be reported immediately to a senior manager within the organisation. The LADO should also be informed within one working day of all allegations that come to an employer's attention or that are made directly to the police.
  • (WTSC 2013 Ch 2)
  • A Professionals Meeting may be arranged if it is considered that a child/children are at risk of significant harm.

Serious Case Review Process

  • Critical Incident Panel
  • Referral
  • Membership
  • Systems Methodology
  • Case group/ Review Group
  • Conversations
  • Key Practice Episodes Systems
  • Final Report with Findings
brief synopsis of the case child w
Brief Synopsis of the Case: Child W
  • Child W’s mother, WM, moved to St Helens in April 2011 whilst on a Probation Drug Rehabilitation Order which she completed in January 2012. WM had one child, Child WS, who was six years old at the time of the move. The family were not known to St Helens CSC until a referral in May 2012. An initial assessment recommended that Early Intervention Services work with the family. Shortly after this it became known that WM was pregnant with Child W.
  • Child W was born in November 2012 with complex medical needs.
  • Services remained in contact with the family and the case was planned for closure in March 2013, however, before the case could be closed concerns were raised about WM’s behaviour and the safety of Child W and Child WS.
brief synopsis continued
Brief Synopsis continued…

CSC increased their contact and monitoring throughout April and May 2013. They became aware of WM’s new partner who had a criminal history and connections to drugs and gangs.

In June 2013, without the knowledge of other agencies, WM’s new partner was bailed to WM’s home address. On 14th June CSC informed WM that the children and her new partner should not be at the same address.

On 15th June Child W was taken from his home address by emergency ambulance and was pronounced dead.

finding 1

Aspects of procedure and practice in relation to police and court bail do not address potential risk to children.

  • Meeting with CPS
  • Consideration given to questions asked regarding whether vulnerable people are present at bail address
  • Arrange contact with CJB
finding 2

Aspects of Assessment and thresholds for intervention cause confusion and may have unintended consequences

  • New thresholds document (Continuum of Need)
  • Single agency assessment
  • Multi agency launch of new documents with training
finding 3
  • Family Action Meetings were insufficiently focused on risk management. The purpose and authority of FAM meetings is unclear to some professionals.
  • Review of Think Family Procedures, particularly Think Family Meetings
  • (lack of challenge)
finding 4

Parental use of Cannabis (and to a lesser extent alcohol) is not given sufficient weighting as a negative factor.

Raise awareness via media and publicity campaign

Training programme regarding Compromised Care

Access to online training re substance misuse

Review screening and assessment tools

QA training regarding messages


Categories of Abuse

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Neglect
  • Sexual

Activity - flipchart


Physical Abuse

  • May involve: Hitting, Shaking, Throwing, Poisoning, Burning or Scalding, Drowning, Suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child
  • Physical harm can also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on that child’s emotional development.

It may involve conveying to a child they are worthless or unloved, inadequate,or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.

It may involve seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.



  • The persistent failure to meet the child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health and development. Neglect can also occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance misuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
  • provide adequate food, shelter or clothing including exclusion from home or abandonment);
  • protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
  • ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or
  • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
  • It may include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs

Sexual Abuse

  • Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.The activities may include physical contact, including penetration (e.g. rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children

The nationally agreed definition of Child Sexual Exploitation which will be utilised across Merseyside will be:

  • Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities.  
  • Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain.
  • Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social / economic and / or emotional vulnerability.
  • A common feature of CSE is that the child or young person does not recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation.
  • CSE Protocol/ Referral Forms Rochdale and Rotherham Cases
  • Catch 22 CSE Worker

Domestic Violence

‘Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

psychological sexual

physical financial


‘Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

‘Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”

This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

Operation Encompass MARAC/MERIT


Neglect/Chronic Neglect

Compromised Care includes Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

Domestic Abuse

Toxic Trio

Substance Misuse

Mental Health Issues


The 5 ‘Rs’: When a child tells you they have been abused

1. Receive

2. Reassure

3. Respond

4. Record

5. Report


Undertaking/Contributing to assessments



Single Assessments (Child and Family Assessment)

Signs of Safety

Graded Care Profile


Continuum of Need

  • In St Helens, the Continuum of Need has been developed to assist professionals involved with children identify the levels of vulnerability of children and their families.
  • All agencies and organisations in St Helens operate within the Continuum's thresholds for delivery of services.
  • The Continuum identifies 4 levels:
    • Level 1 Children with no additional needs
    • Level 2 Children with additional needs showing early signs of vulnerability
    • Level 3 Children in need who require statutory or specialist services
    • Level 4 Children who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm

Voice of the child – children have said that they need:

Vigilance: to have adults notice when things are troubling them

Understanding and action: to understand what is happening; to be heard and understood; and to have that understanding acted upon

Stability: to be able to develop an on-going stable relationship of trust with those helping them

Respect: to be treated with the expectation that they are competent rather than not

Information and engagement: to be informed about and involved in procedures, decisions, concerns and plans

Explanation: to be informed about the outcome of assessments and decisions and reasons when their views have not met a positive response

Support: to be provided with support in their own right as well as a member of their own family

Advocacy: to be provided to assist them in putting forward their views


Case Study

Simon is 10 years old. He appears much smaller than his peers. His clothing is often older and tattier than other children. He often gets teased because he smells funny and his teacher tells you that Simon has been seen taking food from other pupils’ lunchboxes. His attendance is poor and when he does attend he regularly comes into school with headlice, parents have been spoken to regarding this but they are disinterested. On a few occasions mum has arrived at school under the influence of alcohol. The school have been informed by police that there has been a second incident of domestic violence at the home last night; Simon was present and witnessed mum being held up against the wall by her boyfriend. A neighbour had reported hearing Simon crying and shouting ‘stop it!’


What should happen to safeguard Simon? Signs of Safety?

What services are available locally?