Chapter 9 summarises the impact of maltreatment on children’s health and developmental
progress, and sets out some of the key messages from research and inspection that have
informed this guidance.
The maltreatment of children – physically, emotionally, sexually or through neglect – can
have major long-term effects on all aspects of a child’s health, development and wellbeing.
Professionals must take special care to help safeguard and promote the welfare of children
and young people who may be living in particularly stressful circumstances. These include
living in poverty;
where there is domestic violence;
where a parent has a mental illness;
where a parent is misusing drugs or alcohol;
where a parent has a learning disability;
that face racism and other forms of social isolation; and
living in areas with a lot of crime, poor housing and high unemployment.
The research evidence in Chapter 9 has been updated since the 2006 edition.
Chapter 10 – Implementing the principles on working with children and
Chapter 10 sets out in more detail specific aspects of working with children, young people
Family Group Conferences (FGCs) may be appropriate in a number of contexts where there
is a plan or decision to be made. The family is the primary planning group in the process.
Where there are plans to use FGCs in situations where there are concerns about possible
harm to a child, they should be developed and implemented under the auspices of LSCB. FGCs should not replace or remove the need for child protection conferences.
Children and families may be supported through their involvement in safeguarding
processes by advice and advocacy services, and they should always be informed of services
that exist locally and nationally.
Local authorities have a responsibility to ensure that children and adults understand the
processes that will be followed when there are concerns about the child. Information
should be made available in the family’s preferred language.
Children from all cultures may be subject to abuse and neglect, and while professionals
should be sensitive to differing family patterns and lifestyles, they must be clear that child
abuse cannot be condoned for religious or cultural reasons.
Chapter 11 – Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children who may
be particularly vulnerable
This chapter outlines the circumstances of children who may be particularly vulnerable. It is
intended to help inform the practice that underpins the procedures in Chapter 5, which set
out the basic framework within which action should be taken when a parent, professional
or any other person has concerns about the welfare of a child.
The chapter gives advice to organisations and individuals on safeguarding in the context of:
children living away from home;
abuse by children and young people;
children whose behaviour indicates a lack of parental control;
race and racism;
child abuse and information communication technology (ICT);
children with families whose whereabouts are unknown;
children who go missing;
children who go missing from education;
children of families living in temporary accommodation;
migrant children; and
unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC).
Chapter 12 – Managing individuals who pose a risk of harm to children
Chapter 12 provides practice guidance and information about a range of mechanisms that
are available when managing people who have been identified as presenting a risk, or
potential risk, of harm to children.
The Children Act 1989 recognised that the identification and investigation of child
abuse, together with the protection and support of victims and their families, requires
multi-agency collaboration. As part of that protection, action has been taken, usually by
the police and social services, to prosecute known offenders or control their access to
vulnerable children. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 introduced a number of new offences
to deal with those who abuse and exploit children in this way.
The term ‘Schedule One offender’ should no longer be used for anyone convicted of a
crime against a child. The focus should be on whether the individual poses a ‘risk of harm
to children’. Home Office guidance explains how these people who present a potential risk
of harm to children should be identified. Practitioners should use the new list of offences
as a ‘trigger’ to further assessments.
Where the offender is given a community sentence, Offender Managers monitor their
risk to others and liaise with partner agencies. Prison establishments undertake a similar
responsibility where the offender has been sentenced to a period of custody.
The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) provide a national framework
for the assessment and management of risks posed by serious and violent offenders. The
Responsible Authorities need to ensure that strategies to address risk are identified, and
plans developed, implemented and reviewed on a regular basis. The MAPPA framework
identifies three separate but connected levels at which risk is managed:
ordinary risk management;
local inter-agency risk management; and
Multi Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPP).
There are other processes and mechanisms for working with and monitoring people who
may present a risk to children. For example, the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) aims to
ensure that unsuitable people do not work with children, whether in paid employment or
on a voluntary basis. Since October 2009, the duties to refer concerns regarding individuals
under List 99 and the Protection of Children Act 1999 have been replaced with a duty to
provide information to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). As another example,
people placed on the sex offender list are served with a notification that ensures the police
are informed of their whereabouts in the community.