Quick Exit

What to do if you are worried about a child

Pan Berkshire Safeguarding Children Procedures

Statement from the Pan Berkshire Policy and Procedures Sub Group

The Pan Berkshire Policy and Procedure Group will make updates to this webpage as necessary in response to the challenges to the safeguarding system presented by the Covid-19 crisis. We are not going to amend the Procedures as it will hopefully be a short-term set of circumstances, but we will provide interim guidance regarding deviation from the procedures where it is likely to be helpful.

We understand that exceptional measures will need to be taken during these times, particularly as staffing levels fluctuate and guidance around social isolation take effect. Each agency will have to consider how best to continue to safeguard children given the changing circumstances. For example, face-to-face visits may be undertaken virtually, following appropriate risk assessment.

We would add that in these difficult times, all boroughs and agencies should work together to safeguard children. We recognise that, whilst practice will need to change to reflect local circumstances and available resources, every area will be experiencing huge challenges and our work will seek to avoid any unnecessary demands on the work of organisations.

A specific issue which has arisen is that of transfer-in conferences – and whether boroughs should accept them. In other areas of the country, for example London, the recommendation has been that the originating borough should continue to hold case responsibility for them. The reason being that few, if any, of the benefits derived from a transfer conference are likely to be realised, i.e. allocation of a new key worker, the establishment of a new professional safeguarding network. Within Berkshire we do not disagree with this position but are suggesting a pragmatic approach to be determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration whether it is better for the keyworker that already knows the family to continue to be in contact with them. All six local authorities will be relying heavily on phone contact to work with families and these arrangements can continue even where a family has moved out of borough. However, effective communication between boroughs is vital to ensure a sensible and safe solution is agreed, with information about the family being shared appropriately.  If the risks escalate, an additional agreement regarding a home visit will be required, if the originating authority has retained the case.

Our procedures provider Tri.x have developed a Covid-19 resource hub, which contains relevant changes and information as they relate to key procedures: https://www.proceduresonline.com/resources/covid19/

In addition, they have expanded their online resource which collates useful information across adults and children’s services in one place, and links to relevant guidance as it becomes available. It will be reviewed this daily as new guidance is released: https://www.trixonline.co.uk/resource-hub/.   

In addition, recent guidance has been issued in respect of the Rapid Review and Child Safeguarding Practice Review processes that relaxes the timescales set out within our current procedures. However, this same guidance emphasises the importance of local authorities continuing to notify serious incidents in line with the established guidance Communication from DfE and Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel

Pan Berkshire Safeguarding Children Procedures

To view the latest procedures manual please go to Pan Berkshire Safeguarding Children Procedures

Feel free to view the Tri.X Policy briefings that are issued every month.

 

Comments

Have your say...

Comments are closed for this article

Professionals

Berkshire Child protection Procedures Online

If you are concerned about the safety or welfare of a child, you should report your concerns to your local authority. Please click on your local authority link below to be directed to the correct page.

Call 999 in an emergency if you believe a child is in immediate danger