Please read below for explanations and information on key safeguarding terms:
Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 enables a local authority to provide accommodation for a child who has no person with parental responsibility for him/her, is lost or abandoned or whose parent cannot provide suitable accommodation and care.
A legal process by which a child becomes a permanent and full member of a new family. The biological parents lose parental responsibility and the new parents obtain parental responsibility.
Cafcass is the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. A Cafcass officer or children and family reporter may be appointed by a court to provide assistance in the course of action most appropriate to your circumstances and to provide a welfare report to the court.
Acourt order under s.31 of the Children Act 1989 placing a child in local authority care to protect the child from harm they are suffering or may suffer, whilst under the care of his/her parent (and/or being beyond a parent’s control).
Child Death Review Process
Function of LSCBs from April 2008. Requires involved professionals, working together in a co-ordinated way, to review all child deaths in their area. Unexpected child deaths will undergo a more intensive review process. The findings to be used to inform strategic planning to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Child in Need
Defined under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 as: “Those children whose vulnerability is such that they are unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health and development will be significantly impaired, without the provision of services”. Note: this includes all children who have a disability.
It refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm. This is enshrined within Section 47 of the Children Act 1989.
Child Protection Case Conference
A conference used to establish whether the child should be referred to as a ‘child subject to a child protection plan’.
Child Protection Plan
For all those children who have been identified at a child protection conference as being at a continuing risk of significant harm, a Child Protection Plan will be created. This is a plan setting out what steps and provisions are needed to safeguard a child’s welfare and minimize all risks of harm to a child.
Child Protection Register (CPR)
In April 2008, the Child Protection Register ceased to exist. The term now used is ‘children subject to a Child Protection Plan’.
A child contact centre is a safe environment where children of separated families can spend time with one or both parents and sometimes other family members. Contact centres can be used for supervised contact if there were concerns about the non-resident parent having unsupervised contact with a child. Referrals can only be made by a solicitor or a judge.
A legally binding order requiring the resident party/parent to make the child available for contact with the person named in the Order.
As set out in the Serious Violence Strategy, published by the Home Office, a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line’. They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move and store the drugs and money, and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
The sexual exploitation of children and young people is a form of child sexual abuse.It involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive “something‟ a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
Responsible for processing requests for criminal records checks, deciding whether it is appropriate for a person to be placed on or removed from a barred list and placing or removing people from the DBS children’s barred list and adults’ barred list for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Formerly called CRB checks. The DBS search police records and, in relevant cases, barred list information, and then issue a DBS certificate to the applicant.
Educational Health Care Plan
A single plan, which covers the education, health and social care needs of a child or young person with special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND). See the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 0-25 (2014).
Exclusion Order (child protection)
An order children’s services can apply to the courts for, to have a person removed from the family home for a child’s safety if there is an interim Care Order or Emergency Protection Order.
Emergency Protection Order (EPO)
A court order under Section 44 of the Children Act 1989 giving Children’s Social Care and the Police the power to protect a child from harm by removing the child to suitable accommodation or preventing a child from being removed (e.g. from hospital).
The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meets the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Extremism goes beyond terrorism and includes people who target the vulnerable – including the young – by seeking to sow division between communities on the basis of race, faith or denomination; justify discrimination towards women and girls; persuade others that minorities are inferior; or argue against the primacy of democracy and the rule of law in our society.Extremism is defined in the Counter Extremism Strategy 2015 as the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist.
Family Assistance Order
An order to provide assistance to parents following separation or divorce. A family assistance order will make a Cafcass officer of the service available or will request a local authority to make one of its officers available in order to assist, advise and (where appropriate) befriend any person named in the order (Children Act 1989, s. 16(1).)
Female Genital Mutilation
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but there’s no medical reason for this to be done.
When a person is made to marry against their will. The victim does not consent freely, but instead enters the marriage under duress. This term is not to be confused with arranged marriages, in which both parties consent to the union. The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 allows courts to order civil measures to be taken to prevent forced marriages.
Forced Marriage Protection Orders
This order allows police and councils to intervene to prevent a forced marriage from occurring or to help the victim of a forced marriage. They can request that the victims passport is handed over to stop someone from being taken abroad to be married and can force relatives to disclose the whereabouts of a person at risk of forced marriage.
Fraser Ruling/ Gillick competence
The competency test resided by Lord Fraser, 1985 (known as Gillick Competence), which laid down criteria for establishing whether a child, irrespective of age, had the capacity to provide valid consent to treatment (by health professionals) in specified circumstances.
Honour Based Violence
Honour based violence is a violent crime or incident which may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family or community. For example, honour based violence might be committed against people who: become involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend from a different culture or religion.
Human trafficking refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer, and harbouring of someone with the intention of threatening them or using force and or other forms of coercion, and abusing the power or of a position of vulnerability, and achieving coerced consent of a person having control over someone else by giving and receiving of payments or benefits, for the purpose of exploitation”.
Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)
A person employed by children’s services whose duties include chairing the child protection conferences.Interim Care Order (ICO)Time limited court order under the Children Act 1989 to be renewed by the court after no more than 8 weeks and then every 4 weeks.Kinship CareKinship care is an arrangement where a child who cannot be cared for by their parents goes to live with a relative or a family friend.
Local Authority Designated Officer (for allegations against staff). Has the responsibility to oversee allegations against members of staff across all organisations, including health.Looked After Child (LAC)When a child is “in care‟ on a statutory basis, or “accommodated‟ on a voluntary basis by the local authority. The child may be in a foster or residential home or placed at home.
Looked After Child
A child who has been in the care of their local authority for more than 24 hours is known as a looked after child. Looked after children are also often referred to as children in care, a term which many children and young people prefer.
Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)
Local panels which bring together police, probation, social services and other agencies to monitor violent and sex offenders in the community once they are released from prison.
Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC)
Multi-agency meetings which focus on the victims of domestic violence where there is a high or very high risk. They aim to provide a co-coordinated response to support the victim and to link into relevant groups (e.g. MAPPA).Parental ResponsibilityA legal term from section 3(1) of the Children Act 1989, meaning ‘all the rights, duties, powers and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.’ Always held by the mother and also by a father where the parents are married. An unmarried father also acquires parental responsibility if he becomes registered as the child’sfather (for a child born after 01/12/03), or through a legal order. Parental responsibility is only removed from parents completely at the point if the child is adopted. PR is also acquired by the local authority if the court commits child to its care.
The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care- givers);Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Parental Responsibility Agreement
A parental responsibility agreement is an agreement made between the mother and the unmarried father to allow him to have parental responsibility.
Parental Responsibility Order
An Order granted by the Court which in effect gives a parent parental responsibility.The Public Law OutlineThis came into force with effect from 6th April 2010 following on from previous statutory guidance for local authorities effective from 2008, which resulted from the Review of the Child Care Proceedings System in England and Wales. A Pilot Scheme of a revised Public Law Outline is being phased in between 1st July 2013 and 7th October 2013, and will run until 31st March 2014.The Public Law Outline sets out streamlined case management procedures for dealing with public law children’s cases. The aim is to identify and focus on the key issues for the child, with the aim of making the best decisions for the child within the timetable set by the Court, and avoiding the need for unnecessary evidence or hearings.
Peer on peer abuse
Peer on peer abuse occurs when a young person is exploited, bullied and / or harmed by their peers who are the same or similar age; everyone directly involved in peer on peer abuse is under the age of 18.
A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Prevent is a Government strategy that was launched in 2007. This strategy aims to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism and is part of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy
Private fostering is an arrangement that is made privately, without the involvement of the local authority, when a child under the age of 16, (or 18 if the child has a disability) is placed for 28 days or more in the care of someone who is not the child’s guardian, a close relative, or by private arrangement between parent and carer. The local authority will need to be made aware of the situation to check everything is satisfactory. It is a criminal offence if the local authority is not notified.
Prohibited Steps Order
A prohibited steps order details certain actions that cannot be taken by a person so named in the order without the consent of the court. A common example is parents being prohibited from taking their children out of the country.
A Place where the child lives permanently.
An order made by a court directing with whom a child under 16 years should live. The holder of a residence order shares parental responsibility as long as the order lasts.
A parent with whom the child lives. Orders under section 8 of the Children Act 1989. These are: A residence order, A contact order, A specific issue order, A prohibited steps order.
Serious Case Reviews
An multi-agency review of practice which must be undertaken for every case where abuse or neglect is known or suspected and either:a child dies; ora child is seriously harmed and there are concerns about how organisations or professionals worked together to safeguard the child;They are led by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Special guardianship is a Court order that places a child or a young person to live with someone other than their parents
Specific Issue Order
Where there are contentious issues arising in respect of parental rights and responsibilities, administration of a child’s property, or, in respect of guardianship matters, these may be considered and regulated by the court by means of a specific issue order.
Upskirting is the practice of surreptitiously photographing underneath a female’s dress or skirt. Upskirting often occurs by voyeurs who carry small video cameras or cell phones with photo capability in escalators in public places, outdoor parks, and shopping centres.