Safeguarding Children / Child Protection Training

Safeguarding Children / Child Protection Training

We offer a range of online and face to face child protection training programmes to cover the fundamentals of safeguarding and child protection for anyone who comes into contact with children and young people through their work or voluntary activities. Our Online and Face to Face Training fulfils the safeguarding outcomes as specified by Ofsted and the CQC, and are independently verified for continuing professional development by the CPD Certification Service

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‘Mistaken beliefs’ on information sharing hold back safeguarding work

‘Mistaken beliefs’ on information sharing hold back safeguarding work

Misunderstandings among child protection professionals about what information can be shared between agencies is undermining the effectiveness of multi-agency safeguarding hubs (Mash), a government report has concluded.

Many of the professionals interviewed by the Home Office for its review of procedures to identify children at risk of abuse,, felt that some practitioners withheld information too frequently because there was a perception that the risk of sharing it with others was higher than it actually is.

The review, which spoke to professionals in 37 local authority areas operating Mash, found multi-agency work to safeguard vulnerable children was being held back as a result of “mistaken beliefs” over information sharing by practitioners and managers.

A MASH co-locates a range of agencies, including police, local authority children’s services, education, probation and health staff to share information and spot emerging problems early, potentially saving lives.

Most of those interviewed for the review felt that while the law around information sharing was fit for purpose, guidance for practitioners needs to be improved. They also raised concerns that a legal ruling over a case involving the London Borough of Haringey was being misinterpreted to mean that information could not be shared by Mash partners due to Data Protection Act restrictions.

The report has prompted the government to review guidance for practitioners and the Centre for Excellence for Information Sharing has been commissioned to work with local areas to provide targeted support to Mash on information sharing. The report’s findings will also be shared at a series of practitioner workshops and roadshows over the coming year.

Crime prevention minister Norman Baker said: “The government is determined to tackle child abuse and Mash have a clear role to play in this.

“Local agencies are now better placed than ever before to make informed decisions about how best to ensure children are protected, and I want to send a clear message – if it’s a choice between data protection and child protection, child protection must come first.”

The report also finds that multi-agency working is key to effective early identification of risk, and highlights best practice examples on how Mashs do this.

A report last year found MASH in London have nearly halved the amount of time it takes to deal with child protection referrals, according to new research.

Has anyone experienced this first hand ?  would love to hear from you.

Children’s social workers face knowledge test

Children’s social workers face knowledge test

New children’s social workers will have to pass a test of their knowledge in order to become an approved practitioner as part of government attempts to improve the quality of the profession, it has been announced.

The test will be based on a range of skills that social workers will be expected to know, as set out in a Knowledge and Skills Statement created by the chief social worker for children, Isabelle Trowler.

The government has said that the statement, which is in direct response to concerns raised by government adviser Sir Martin Narey about the standard of social workers’ skills, will act as the cornerstone in the drive to overhaul the training of the profession.

The statement, in its proposed form, sets out a range of requirements, including that children’s social workers should be able identify the full range of risks to children, including sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect, and that they should know how to protect children.

They should also be able to support families by “strengthening their relationships, resilience and access to resources”.

Following graduation, newly qualified social workers will be required to complete a “rigorous” pass or fail test based on the knowledge and skills outlined in the statement in order to gain an “approved child and family practitioner” status.

The Knowledge and Skills statement will be subject to public consultation for 10 weeks.

Trowler said she is determined to ensure the profession earns the public’s “respect and confidence”.

“Having absolute clarity about what a social worker needs to know and be able to do and testing that knowledge and skill against a national standard is a critical part of this ambition,” she added.

Children’s minister Edward Timpson, said: “These new measures will help set social work on a whole new path to success – setting the very highest standards for social workers providing greater assurance to the public and most importantly ensuring the very best for our children.”

The measures follow the publication in February of Sir Martin Narey’s review into the education of social workers, which called for greater rigour in training, a sharper focus on practical skills and places for only the very best students.

In his report Narey called for a single skills list that would be the basis for all social work curricula – stating that the current absence of one means courses vary widely in quality.

Narey said it was possibly the most important of his recommendations.

“Isabelle Trowler started work on this immediately my report was published and the statement reflects discussions with practitioners, academics and others,” he said.

“I think it has the potential significantly to improve the capacity and confidence of newly qualified social workers and I hope that the response to the consultation is constructive and prolific.”

The government has also announced it will fund a third year of a support programme for child and family social workers in their first assessed year in employment, aimed at developing their skills and improving their confidence in dealing with the most difficult and complex cases.

Dave Hill, chair of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) workforce development committee, said:

“The draft document has been informed by over 950 front line child and family social workers, and builds on the recommendations of the Social Work Taskforce, that ADCS has long supported, in particular a ‘License to Practice’, which has been re-visited in the consultation document.

“Clarification on the skills and knowledge required to undertake high quality social work with children and families is particularly helpful at a time of significant change in the landscape of children’s services.

“ADCS also welcomes the extension of funding for the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment, which will enable local authorities to continue to further support newly qualified social workers as they make the transition from education into employment.”

Enver Solomon, director of evidence and impact at the National Children’s Bureau said the skills document will help ensure that all social workers have the right training, skills and support.

“Being a social worker is extremely demanding and the chief social worker quite rightly wants to improve the ability of newly qualified staff so they are equipped to do the best possible job,” he added.

Source: CYPNow

Nottinghamshire police force has written to schools in the county warning school children that they could face prosecution for sexting

Nottinghamshire police force has written to schools in the county warning schoolchildren that they could face prosecution for sexting. The letter cites the case of a teenage girl who was cautioned for distributing an indecent image of a child after sending a topless picture of herself to her boyfriend.
Source: Guardian 22 July 2014

Metropolitan Police child abuse investigators have seen an increase an increase of 52% in reports of rape and a 68% rise in allegations of sexual assault.

The Guardian reports that, in the last 6 years, Metropolitan Police child abuse investigators have seen an increase of 52% in reports of rape and a 68% rise in allegations of sexual assault. There was a particularly sharp spike after December 2012, when allegations against Jimmy Savile came to light and Operation Yewtree was set up. These figures were obtained from a London Assembly Police and Crime Committee report.
Source: Guardian 22 July 2014
Further information:
Keeping London’s children safe: the Met’s role in safeguarding children (PDF)

civil protection order to tackle female genital mutilation (FGM).

The Ministry of Justice has published a consultation on a proposal to introduce a civil protection order to tackle female genital mutilation (FGM). In addition, the Department of Health has introduced a range of measures at the Girl Summit to tackle FGM including: funding to launch the FGM prevention programme; improved data collection across the NHS to help establish prevalence; and improved training for frontline workers to recognise and respond to FGM.
Source: Ministry of Justice press release
Further information:
Department of Health press release

Children to be given greater voice in care proceedings

Children to be given greater voice in care proceedings

More will be done to ensure children over the age of 10 who are involved in care proceedings or custody cases have their views heard in court, the government has announced.

Under the Children Act 1989, courts considering a public or private law order in relation to a child already have to pay regard to “the wishes and feelings” of the child concerned.

However, speaking at an event today, justice minister Simon Hughes said that the legal right is often overlooked.

“Children and young people have a legal right to be heard before decisions are made about their own future, and where decisions are being made that will impact on them,” Hughes said at a conference held by the Family Justice Young People’s Board today.

“Too often that legal right is not being exercised or it is being interpreted to mean others can make a presumption about a child’s view – often for the best of intentions and acting in their interest, but nevertheless the outcome is that the child does not feel that their own distinct voice has been heard.”

Hughes said the government is committed to all children and young people having a role in all family proceedings affecting them so that they can put across their views and feelings.

“It is my clear intention that where disputes about children are settled in court or through an alternative form of resolving disputes such as mediation, children and young people aged 10 and over will in the future be given the chance to make clear their views, in person or if preferred in an another way, as to what is the best resolution of the family dispute in their interest,” he said.

Hughes said he will work alongside the president of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, and other family court judges, as well as the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), local authorities, and young people to implement this change.

Ensuring children and young people are able to make their views known was one of the recommendations to come out of the Family Justice Review, which was published in November 2011.

It said that children should, as early as possible, be supported to make their views known, and older children should be offered a menu of options, to lay out the ways in which they could, if they wish, do this.

Anthony Douglas, Cafcass chief executive, said the government had outlined “some progressive and practical ways” for how children can be more included in their own cases.

He added: “All agencies will be sitting down together to find a way to make these changes happen on the ground in a way which improves the responsiveness and sensitivity of the whole family justice system to children and young people who need our help, and to find better and better ways of improving their lives.”

Source: CYPNow

Barnardo’s calls for better education on the dangers of ‘sexting’

Barnardo’s calls for better education on the dangers of ‘sexting’

Barnardo’s has urged police forces not to take a “heavy-handed” approach to dealing with young people found to have sent explicit images of themselves to friends.

The charity is calling for young people to receive better education and support to understand the dangers of sexually risky behaviour such as “sexting”, the term used to describe the sending of indecent images of themselves to a friend by phone or the internet.

The call follows media reports that a Nottinghamshire schoolgirl received a police caution for sending a topless picture of herself to her boyfriend. Her boyfriend was also reported to have received the same penalty after he showed the image to his friends.

Nottinghamshire police highlighted the case in a letter recently sent to all secondary schools in the county that warned about the rise of instances of sexting involving children. However, it said it was unaware of the outcome of the case reported in the media and so could not confirm whether the young people were convicted.

Under the Protection of Children Act 1978, any conviction involving indecent images of young people can carry a sentence of between six months and 14 years in prison. Those convicted can also be placed on the sex offenders register.

Commenting on the reported conviction, Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said: “The police have got it wrong in this case. Criminalising young people for sexting can harm their education, job prospects and life chances.

“Barnardo’s is seeing more sexting among the people we work with. Young people need to realise the danger of indecent ‘selfies’, which can’t be withdrawn once they are sent and can be used by peers to bully or coerce a child into sexual behaviour.

“Barnardo’s is calling for sexually risky behaviour to be prevented and tackled with better support and tailored sex education measures such as our Wud-U app.”

Coram Children’s Legal Centre warns that while young people who possess or send sexual images of themselves are unlikely to face conviction for a first offence, “each case is looked at on its merits, and individual aggravating factors such as emotional and psychological damage will be taken into account”.

Source: CYPNow