How to Raise a Concern

From 17 October 2018, the MASH will no longer be accepting written referrals including NSCB1 forms. The new process is explained below.

Children’s Advice and Duty Service

If you are a professional, i.e. working with a child or young person in a formal or voluntary setting and not a family member or member of the public, you can contact the Children’s Advice and Duty Service on their direct line: 0344 800 8021.

If you are a member of the public you can do this through Norfolk County Council’s Customer Services on 0344 800 8020.

For any call raising concerns about a child, the Children’s Advice and Duty Service will ask for:

  • all of the details known to you/your agency about the child;
  • their family composition including siblings, and where possible extended family members and anyone important in the child’s life;
  • the nature of the concern and how immediate it is;
  • Any and what kind of work/support you have provided to the child or family to date.

They will also need to know where the child is now and whether you have informed parents/carers of your concern.

Notice to Callers:

  • Preparing for the conversation: please see the tools developed by the Children’s Advice and Duty Service to support communication. This includes, FAQs and a flow chart. Please remember to record your concerns for your internal audit trail.
  • Consent: Please can you ensure you seek consent for the referrals unless the concerns being raised suggest that the child/children or someone else (including the referrer) would be placed at risk of significant harm, or it might undermine a criminal investigation if the parents/carers are informed. Reasons for not seeking consent should be clearly stated when speaking with Children’s Advice and Duty Service and recorded on internal systems for your records.

For more information see the Norfolk Threshold Guide.

Child Protection Conferences in Norfolk

The Department for Education (DfE) is responsible for Child Protection in England. It sets out policy, legislation and statutory guidance on how the Child Protection system should work.

A Child Protection Conference is held where concerns of significant harm are substantiated, and the Children/Young Person is judged to be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. It may also take place where there are concerns about an unborn child.

The first meeting is called an Initial Child Protection Conference and any subsequent meetings are called Review Child Protection Conferences.

At the Child Protection Conference relevant professionals will be asked to share information, identify any concerns along with any strengths and safety, and outline what needs to be done to protect the Children/Young People.

In England, this meeting must happen within 15 working days of a Strategy discussion being held.

If a Child Protection Plan is agreed Family and Professionals will produce an outline Child Protection Plan which the Core Group will develop and implement.

A Core Group comprises of family members and professionals.

Child Protection Conferences in Norfolk use the Signs of Safety model which is a tool to help practitioners with risk assessment and safety planning. Its purpose is to enable practitioners across different disciplines to work collaboratively and in partnership with families and Children/Young People to achieve the best outcomes for Children and Young People.

All conferences are Chaired by an Independent Child Protection Chair and are attended by a Social Worker from Norfolk County Council.

Young People can attend the Child Protection Conference, or they can have someone speak on their behalf, such as a Family member or independent Advocate.

For further information on Child Protection Conference documents please click the links below:

Contextual Safeguarding Conferences

Background

Norfolk Child Protection Procedures are clear that an Initial Child Protection Conference (ICPC) must be convened when it is believed that a Child/Young Person is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.

However, we are increasingly working with Children/Young People who have suffered or are at risk of suffering significant harm where the risk is attributed to Criminal and Sexual exploitation.

The Contextual Safeguarding Conference is a way of acknowledging, sharing, managing and reviewing the risk to the Child/Young Person in partnership with the Child/Young Person, Parent/Carer/Family Network and Partner Agencies. The aim is to develop a plan with measurable outcomes to reduce the risk to the Child/Young Person within appropriate timescales.

Framework

To ensure we can best address and meet the needs of children/young people who are being exploited, the Contextual Safeguarding Conference Guidance goes through the stages from ‘Assessment to Plan’.

A Professionals Views and Parents Views Decision Form for Contextual Safeguarding Conferences can be found here.

Next steps

Whilst the attached guidance outlines the stages pre and post Contextual Safeguarding Conference, please contact Gaynor Bane, Independent Reviewing Manager on 01603 222288 should you wish to discuss any aspect of the Contextual Safeguarding Conference process.

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) Referrals

If you have concerns about an adult working with a child under the age of 18 that you would like to report, please see the LADO Guidance and consultation documents below.

All queries relating to the LADO should follow these procedures and be sent to LADO@norfolk.gov.uk or cs.norfolkLADOsecure@norfolk.gcsx.gov.uk.

Completed LADO referral forms can also be posted to:

LADO Service
Children’s Services
1 Norwich Business Park
Whiting Road
Norwich
NR4 6DJ

Alternatively please see the Norfolk County Council Compliments and Complaints pages.