If you work with children, young people and their families or carers you have a responsibility to safeguard. These golden rules will make everyone SAFER:
- Communicate concerns across agencies involved with the child and family.
- Attend and participate in conferences, core groups, reviews and meetings.
- Do not use data protection as a barrier.
- Seek advice if in doubt.
- Record your decision as to why you share or do not share information.
- Always be child-centred in assessments.
- Use evidence to analyse risk and protective factors.
- Maintain a multi-agency focus, include all children, read the history and identify recurring patterns.
Focus on the child
- Use multi-agency guidance policy and procedures.
- Record the child’s wishes feelings and behaviour.
- Listen to what the child is saying.
- Do not take adult explanation of injuries at face value; have the confidence to challenge.
- Plans for children must be SMART.
Evidence all decision making
- All professions must know who to go to with safeguarding concerns.
- Supervision must be regular and robust.
- Managers must have regular oversight of case files.
Recording is paramount
- Records must be legible, accurate, dated, and signed.
- Records must contain up to date information about the child.
- Share records as appropriate.
Five key points about information sharing
- Explain to people openly and honestly what information you will share, with whom and why. The only time that you should not do this is if letting them know may leave someone at risk of significant harm.
- You should respect the wishes of family members if they do not want information shared unless someone will be placed at risk of significant harm if you don’t share the information.
- If in doubt speak to your manager or have a general discussion with children’s services, by which we mean, one where you do not necessarily share the name of the family.
- Make sure that the information that you are sharing is accurate, up to date, necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it and only shared with those who need to know it. The information should also be shared securely. Having decided to share information you need not tell everyone everything.
- You should always record the reason for your decision; whether you shared the information or not.
Source: South West Child Protection Procedures Opens in a new window