- British Forces Social Work Service (BFSWS)
- Custodian of the Child Protection Plan List Data Base
- Central Referral Team (CRT)
- Joint Response Team (JRT)
- The Service Police
- Independent Conferencing and Review Service (ICRS)
- British Forces Germany Health Service (BFGHS)
- Defence Dental Service (Germany) (DDs(G))
- Service Children's Education (SCE)
- Army Welfare Service (AWS)
- British Forces Early Years Service (BFEYS)
- Courts Martial Report Service (CMRS) (incorporating the BFG Probation Service)
- Voluntary Agencies/Groups
- Sports and Leisure
- Relationship between Children and Young People's Plan (CYPP) and BFG SB
- Role of the UWO
- Role of the UWO at Child Protection Conferences
- Role of the Public
- Commanding Officers (CO)
- Army Legal Services (ALS)
- Military Courts Services (MCS)
- The aims of this section are to:
- Emphasise the common obligations of all agencies.
- Describe the specific contributions to safeguarding and protecting children by each agency.
- Inform partner agencies of mutual expectations.
- Enhance multi-agency work.
- All specified agencies and relevant professionals should:
- Comply with the procedures in this document.
- Ensure that any additional internal procedures or inter-agency protocols are consistent with these procedures.
- Ensure safe recruitment practices.
- Formulate and maintain accurate records of decision-making and actions.
- Ensure sensitivity to needs arising from race, gender, culture, religion or linguistic background.
- Respect confidentiality of information about individuals.
- Share information between agencies to the extent that is required to assess and meet the needs of the child.
- Provide and monitor uptake and effectiveness of regular mandatory Safeguarding Children training for staff, carers and volunteers.
- Those listed below, whose primary responsibility is to provide services to adults should always consider the safety and welfare of any dependent or vulnerable children (including unborn):
- Adult Community Mental Health Worker
- Midwives (MW)
- Probation Officers
- Adult Mental Health professionals
- Service Police
- Any other adult services providers
2. British Forces Social Work Service (BFSWS)^
- BFSWS is mandated by the MoD to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
- BFSWS has a duty to undertake enquiries/investigate where there are concerns that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.
- BFSWS is the service with lead responsibility for Safeguarding Children, although the Service Police has lead responsibility for any criminal investigations arising from a safeguarding issue. Some elements of BFSWS are co-located with the Joint Response Team (JRT) in Bielefeld. BFSWS has statutory powers (Armed Forces Act 1991) to apply, as necessary, for a Protection Order (PO) or a Child Assessment Order (CAO) to protect a child.
- In an emergency the Service Police have the power to remove a child into their protection for a period of up to 72 hours ( AFA 1991 as amended 2006)
- The JRT has responsibility, outside normal working hours, for referrals concerning Child Protection. Ordinarily, out of hours calls are taken by a duty social worker, accessed via the CRT telephone number: 0800 724 3176 ( outside of Germany: 0049 800 734 3176)
3. Custodian of the Child Protection Plan List Data Base^
- The custodian of the database list (detailing children who are the subject of a CPP) is Head of Service (HOS) BFSWS. The custodian is responsible for updating and maintaining a contemporaneous database on behalf of Commander BFG.
4. Central Referral Team (CRT)^
- The CRT is the main contact point for referrals to BFSWS. A Team Manager, SSWP and trained administrative staff. Working hours are 0830 - 1700 hrs and there is an Out of Hours service for the emergency protection of children 365 days per year 1700 - 0830 hrs.
5. Joint Response Team (JRT)^
- The JRT is committed to working together in the best interests of the child, to promote a child's wellbeing and/or protect it from significant harm. Children have a right to justice and the team believes that any enquiry should not prejudice the welfare of the child.
- The JRT currently comprises 3 members of the Special Investigation Branch (Germany) (SIB (G)) Royal Military Police (RMP), a BFSWS Team Manager and 3 Senior SSWPs. The team is currently based in Gütersloh and has the remit to provide a joint response to all Child Protection investigations.
- A Steering Group comprising Chief G1 BFG HQ, Staff Officer (SO) 2 G1 Community Support (Com Sp) HQ BFG, CO SIB (G) RMP and HOS BFSWS, is established to oversee and provide guidance for joint working practices and future development of the team.
- JRT has an agreed and published 'Terms of Reference' (TOR), which should be read in conjunction with this document.
- Provides a joint response for all Child Protection Enquiries or offences involving children.
- Provides a 24-hour service with response by phone within 1 hour and site visit where necessary ASAP to joint SIB/BFSWS Section 47 Enquiries/investigations.
- Co-ordinates Strategy Discussions/meetings and undertake risk assessments.
- Undertakes single or joint investigations (Criminal & Justice Act 03 and Section 47 CA 89).
- Conducts all recorded interviews of children, required in support of criminal investigations undertaken by the Service Police.
- Provides advice to Service Police units regarding other forms of children's evidence.
- Service Police within JRT have the authority to instigate Police Protection with other agencies where necessary to protect children.
- Provides evidence for criminal and or civil proceedings.
6. The Service Police^
- RMP (General Police Duties (GPD) and SIB) and Royal Air Force Provost and Security Services (Germany) RAF (P&SS (G).
- The Service Police has a duty and responsibility to investigate whether a criminal offence has been committed against a child, to identify the offender(s) and to secure the best possible evidence for criminal proceedings.
- The Service Police need to be informed as soon as possible where an offence has been committed or is suspected to have been committed against a child. This does not mean that in all such cases a criminal investigation will be required, or that there will necessarily be any further police action.
- The decision as to whether or not criminal investigation should be initiated will be based on whether there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a crime has been committed or it is suspected that a crime may have been committed. Where there are reasonable grounds, the Service Police should conduct an effective investigation, with particular regard for the best interests of vulnerable children.
- In addition to their duty to investigate criminal offences, the Service Police is authorised to take immediate protection of children who are believed to be suffering from, or at risk of, significant harm. Standing Orders for the British Army in Germany 3351 (Police Protection) (SO BF (G) 3351 (PP). (See Part A for details.)
- The Service Police is committed to sharing information and intelligence with other agencies where this is necessary to protect children. In all Section 47 Enquiries and investigations the Service Police will follow the inter-agency approach, liaising with other agencies, in particular BFGHS and BFSWS.
- Within BFG there are a number of specially equipped facilities, which can be utilised to conduct video interviews with children. Both SIB (G) RMP and RAF P&SS (G) have specially trained investigators who will provide 24 hour cover for Child Protection issues. These investigators can be contacted at the JRT, RAF P&SS (G) or via local Military Police Stations (MPS).
- Details of all investigations conducted by the Service Police are held at the Central Criminal Records and Information Office (CCRIO) RMP. Within BFG the JRT and RAF P&SS (G), also hold records of:
- Children who are or have been subject of a CPP.
- Families/children involved in domestic violence/disputes.
- Those who have come to notice of the Service Police/BFSWS, which have not led to criminal proceedings or an offence.
7. Independent Conferencing and Review Service (ICRS)^
- The Commander BFG is responsible for all aspects of safeguarding the welfare of children and young people in the BFG geographical area of authority (AOR).
- Maintaining the confidence of the community of British Forces in Germany in services put in place to protect children and young people remains a critical task for all those involved in the safeguarding arena and the Commander requires the ICRS to provide an independent service accountable to him.
- The geographical boundaries are those of BFG and, once established, the service can be available to other overseas commands as and when requested via G1/J1 branches. . The ICRS contributes to the wider development of the BFG SB through its membership on relevant subgroups thereby assisting in the development, co-ordination and monitoring of services for children and families.
- A BFG SB escalation protocol is in place that includes all participating and contributing organisations and agencies. The protocol determines how conflict and resolution between professionals will be dealt with. ICRS aims to develop close working relationships with agencies to promote good consistent practice and mutual professional development.
- ICRS is accountable to the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS), BFG HQ.
Responsibilities and Roles
- ICRS has a responsibility to:
- Contribute to wider development of BFG SB through membership of the sub groups.
- Support the development, co-ordination and improve the quality of services to children and families.
- Develop close working relationships with agencies to promote consistent practices and procedures and promote mutual professional development.
- Participate in the review, formulation and implementation of policy, procedures and practice guidelines.
- Responsibilities are informed by the collation of data from conference referral forms and through membership of the following Command forums:
- British Forces Germany Safeguarding Board and Executive Board
- BFG SB Sub Groups
- MoD UK Safeguarding Children Board through membership of the MoD Operational Group.
- Domestic Abuse Forum.
- Community Services Forum
- ICRS contribute to the safeguarding of children through:
- Chairing Initial Child Protection Conferences and Review Child Protection Conferences in line with current legislative, regulatory and guidance requirements applicable in England including relevant associated tasks.
- Chairing Complex Strategy meetings if an allegation covers circumstances that may involve a number of alleged abusers and/or a number of children,
- Chairing Allegations Management meetings when an allegation is made against an individual who has contact with children as part of their work within the BFG, EJSU geographical AOR.
- Independent Reviewing Officer functions in Statutory Reviews for children who become 'looked after' as required by theCA1989 and related regulations and guidance.
- Providing independent consultation, advice and information to operational staff in all agencies on matters relating to safeguarding children.
- Applying and maintaining a common professional level of Safeguarding Children and Young People related practice and procedure across BFG AOR.
- Promoting and monitoring compliance with practice standards and contribute to the development of effective monitoring and audit systems.
- Collate and record and report to the command and executive safeguarding children board statistics of children who become subject to child protection plans on behalf of Commander BFG.
8. British Forces Germany Health Service (BFGHS)^
- All BFGHS staff have a duty to protect children. These procedures apply to all staff working within BFGHS.
- BFGHS staff contribute to the safeguarding and protection of children through:
- Participation at BFG SB and constituent groups.
- Recognition of children in need Early Help, support and/or protection.
- Provision of services.
- Participation in Strategy Discussions, Early Help, Child in Need, Case Discussions and CPCs.
- Contribution to Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) and other Case Reviews as commissioned by SB.
- Contributing to enquiries about the needs of an individual child.
- Assessment of a child's health and development.
- Assessment of parenting capacity.
- Planning and participation in protection plans to support a child at risk of, or exposed to significant harm.
- Provision of therapeutic help to a child, parents or carers.
- Assessment of risks posed by adult patients, including those receiving treatment for substance misuse, those with mental health difficulties and/or learning difficulties.
- BFGHS staff include:
- General Practitioners (GPs).
- Nurses, Health Visitors (HVs) and Midwives (MV).
- Mental health medical and nursing staff.
- Pharmacy staff.
- Child Adolescent Mental Health Specialists (CAMHS).
- Speech and Language Therapists (SLT).
- Allied health professionals e.g., dieticians, physiotherapists, managers and administrative staff.
- All health staff must be:
- Alert to the possibility of child abuse.
- Able to recognise and know how to act upon indicators that a child's welfare or safety may be at risk.
- Familiar with these procedures and own agency protocols and guidelines.
- Able to access contact details for the named safeguarding professionals from whom advice may be sought.
Responsibilities of BFGHS
- BFGHS is accountable for its own Safeguarding Children structures and processes.
- Responsibilities include:
- Providing the strategic health lead in interagency planning within BFG SB.
- Ensuring that health services and health workers contribute to inter-agency working.
- Ensuring that BFGHS is linked in to the BFG SB and there is appropriate representation.
- Co-ordinating the health component of Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) and other reviews.
- Identifying health professionals for children in need of protection who are responsible for the delivery of the child protection plan.
BFG Health Service Named and Designated Professionals
- Working Together 2013 requires health agencies to appoint named and designated safeguarding professionals to take the professional lead on Safeguarding Children matters within their service areas.
In BFG Named General Practitioners and a Nurse are available, whilst access to a Designated Doctor for Safeguarding is available via the MoD Safeguarding Board. Access to a Designated Doctor for Child Deaths is available from a UK contracted Paediatrician.
Key responsibilities of Named Safeguarding Professionals in BFG
- The responsibilities of named professionals can be summarised as follows:
- Providing the health lead on all aspects of the health service contribution to safeguarding children within BFG.
- Providing professional advice on safeguarding matters to the multi-agency network.
- Representing BFGHS on the BFG SB.
- Monitoring, evaluating and reviewing the health service contribution to the protection of children.
- Collaborating with the BFG SB and BFGHS in reviewing the involvement of health services in serious incidents, which meet the criteria for SCRs or other Case Reviews.
- Being a source of advice and expertise on child protection and safeguarding matters to all health staff.
- Promoting good practice and effective communication on matters relating to the protection of children.
- Ensuring that arrangements are in place for Safeguarding Children supervision and training of staff involved in providing services to children and families.
- Ensuring that key staff are aware of the thresholds for triggering Child Protection referrals.
- Conducting BFGHS Internal Reviews when contributing to Serious Case or other Reviews.
- Developing, monitoring and reviewing health service specifications and standards for Child Protection practice.
- Ensuring there are effective systems of audit to monitor the application of agreed Safeguarding Children standards.
Adult Mental Health Services
- All mental health professionals have a duty to seek to discover whether any patient/client has responsibility for, or care of, a child.
- All mental health professionals have a duty to consider the impact of the patient/client's condition on the child and whether the impact is such that a referral to BFSWS is required.
- All mental health staff and GPs, who continue to work with adults with mental health difficulties, must be aware of the possibility of risks of Significant Harm to a child where the parent or carer has a personality disorder, mental illness, problems with aggression, violent behaviour or those misusing alcohol, drugs or other substances.
- The needs and protection of the children (including the unborn child) remain a priority for mental health professionals in their work with adult patients/clients.
- Mental health professionals may treat both victims of past abuse and perpetrators.
- Care programme meetings to consider contact or discharge arrangements relating to users of mental health services must specifically consider any needs or risk factors in relation to children for whom the client/patient is responsible. If risk factors are present, a SSWP from BFSWS should be invited to attend the meeting.
- In circumstances where children are visiting psychiatric patients, including those detained under Section 13 of the Armed Forces Act (AFA) 1991, any visit should demonstrably be in the best interests of the child. Such visits should have been assessed to establish if there are any issues of risks of Significant Harm prior to agreeing to the visit. Where there are concerns a plan should be agreed which might include supervision of the visit.
9. Defence Dental Service (Germany) (DDS(G))^
- All staff working within the DDS (G) have a duty to safeguard and protect children in their care.
- DDS staff contribute to the safeguarding of children through:
- Participation at BFG SB and constituent groups.
- Recognition and referral of children in need of support and/or protection.
- Provision of services.
- Contributing to enquiries about the needs of an individual child.
- All DDS staff must be:
- Alert to the possibility of child abuse.
- Able to recognise and know how to act upon indictors that a child's welfare or safety may be at risk of Significant Harm.
- Familiar with these procedures and own agency protocols and guidelines.
- Able to access contact details for the named/designated professionals from whom advice may be sought.
10. Service Children's Education (SCE)^
- All SCE staff have a duty to safeguard and protect children in their care, including SCE employees in all settings, i.e. schools, 0-3 settings, music centres, boarding houses and the Participation, Skills and Progression service (PSP).
- SCE staff contribute to the safeguarding of children through:
- Participation at BFG SB and constituent groups.
- Identification of and action with regard to children in need of support and/or protection.
- Provision of universal services as well as individualised support.
- Participation in Strategy Discussions, Case Discussions and CPCs.
- Contribution to Serious Case Reviews (SCR), Case Reviews (CR), Child in Need (CIN) plans, Child Protection Plan, Early Help Assessments (EHA) and any other review advised by BFG S
- Contributing to enquiries about the needs of an individual child.
- Contributing to the assessment of a child's holistic needs across all domains, i.e. individual development, family environment and public world, e.g. school.
- Assessment of risk posed by, and potentially to, other children.
- Planning and participation in protection plans to support a child at risk of significant harm.
- Provision of support, guidance and challenge etc to a child, parents or carers.
- SCE has a senior officer (Lead Officer) and a Safeguarding Manager with responsibility for co-ordinating policy and action on Safeguarding Children across settings maintained by SCE, and for providing advice, guidance and challenge to them, (Education Act 2002).
- SCE ensures that guidance on Safeguarding and Child Protection is provided to all relevant staff (i.e. Head Teachers, setting managers, designated staff etc)
- SCE keeps up to date information on Designated Staff and maintains regular focused CPD for all such staff.
- SCE provides a Safeguarding and Child Protection training strategy, and ensures that this is fully implemented across all establishments.
- SCE ensures that other agencies have appropriate access to education information on Safeguarding and Child Protection cases at any stage, i.e. including periods when schools are closed.
Designated Members of Staff (Responsible Person: Child Protection)
- All schools, 0-3 settings, music centres, residential and PSP settings have a Designated member of staff with responsibility for Child Protection. The Designated Person is usually a senior member of staff. It is recommended that a deputy Designated Person should be identified in order to cover the absence of the Designated Person. Head Teachers should also consider whether additional Designated Persons are appropriate, e.g. in individual boarding settings or Foundation Stage 1 setting.
- Both the Designated member of staff and their deputy where applicable, are provided with relevant on-going training
- The Designated member of staff is responsible for:
- Arranging training for colleagues within their setting or school through direct delivery of induction training for new employees.
- Producing internal procedures to be followed by all staff in the establishment when concerns arise; this document conforms to and supplements these procedures and is freely available to all staff including any volunteers.
- Keeping all staff updated with current procedures, ensuring that new and temporary staff are familiar with Child Protection responsibilities (staff, in this situation, includes secretarial staff, midday supervisors, caretakers, school helpers, residential staff etc).
- Providing advice, support and challenge to staff.
- Referring any concerns, as soon as they arise, to the BFSWS, and liaising with other external agencies.
- Monitoring attendance and development of children who are subject of a CPP. Informing BFSWS of proposed or actual change of school or circumstance.
- Ensuring that all relevant information about a child is disseminated to appropriate staff within the school.
- Ensuring that complete records are sent on to the receiving school via the parents. CPC minutes would not be in included with these records when a child moves out of the Command.
- Maintaining accurate and secure Child Protection records.
Schools, Music Centres, Residential and PSP Settings
- Through their daily contact with children, teachers and other staff in SCE schools, 0-3 settings, music centres, residential and PSP settings are well placed to observe signs of abuse, changes in behaviour or a failure to develop.
- These settings contribute to Child Protection through the:
- Provision of a safe environment for children.
- Use of the curriculum to promote personal safety.
- Recognition of significant harm and possible offences against children.
- Referral of all safeguarding and child protection issues to the BFSWS.
- All schools, 0-3 settings, music centres, residential and PSP settings must have policies and procedures which reflect the roles of staff regarding:
- Child Protection.
- The use of force to control or restrain pupils.
- Identification and response to bullying.
- Intimate care.
- All residential settings should adhere to the Boarding Association National Minimum Standards for Care.
Pupil and Family Services (P&FS)
- Pupil and Family Services (P&FS) contribute to safeguarding and child protection through the provision of:
- Support and challenge to education staff and children.
- Training for education and multi-agency staff.
- The majority of cases of bullying will be effectively dealt with within the context of the establishment's policy.
- There will be circumstances in which a referral to BFSWS or Service Police is required, such as when the bullying involves criminal behaviour or initial steps taken to combat it effectively have failed. Staff, in such cases, should take advice from the Designated Staff for Child Protection or directly from the SCE Safeguarding Manager.
School Governance Committees
- School Governance Committees (SGC) have a role in approving the content of school policies on Child Protection and safeguarding children.
11. Army Welfare Service (AWS)^
- All AWS staff have a duty to safeguard and protect children and these procedures apply to all personal support, community support and day care staff.
- The AWS is the principle provider on second-line specialist welfare support to the Army. It provides confidential, comprehensive and professional support to Army Personnel and their families. The AWS addresses Child Protection matters by:
- Ensuring that Safeguarding Children is an integral part of AWS risk management strategy and that all staff are aware of the thresholds for triggering Child Protection referrals and an assessment of risk.
- Referring a child to BFSWS when concerned that they may be in need or at risk of significant harm.
- Contributing to the Single Assessment process.
- Contributing to enquiries about the needs of an individual child, including attendance at Strategy Discussions where appropriate.
- Contributing and participating in protection plans to support a child at risk of significant harm, including provision of the appropriate therapeutic help for parents/carers.
- Liaising closely with BFSWS and any other agency when working with any member of a family where child abuse is known, or thought to have occurred, and where the child remains in the care of, or has contact with, the alleged abuser.
- Contributing and participating in CPCs and any subsequent membership of Core Groups.
- Participating in BFG SB and constituent sub groups.
- Contributing to Serious Case Reviews (SCR), Case Reviews, CIN Plans, Early Help Assessments and any other reviews as directed by BFG SB.
- Being responsible for 'Suitable Persons Checks' for AWS staff who wish to work with children, under 8's and volunteers on behalf of the garrisons and other agencies as outlined in SO BF(G) 3352.
12. British Forces Early Years Service (BFEYS)^
- BFEYS has the responsibility for ensuring day care providers and childminders comply with regulation requirements of English legislation and Standing Orders.
- BFEYS requires that:
- All childminders and group day care staff have knowledge of Safeguarding Children, including the signs and symptoms of abuse and what to do if abuse or neglect is suspected.
- Those who are entrusted with the day care of children or who childmind have the personal capacity and skills to ensure children are looked after in a nurturing and safe manner.
- BFEYS will seek to ensure that day care providers:
- Ensure the environment in which children are cared for is safe.
- Have Safeguarding Children training policies and procedures in place, which are consistent with these procedures.
- Be able to demonstrate that their procedures have been followed when an allegation is made.
- BFEYS must contact BFSWS about any Safeguarding Children issues and, in consultation with BFSWS, consider whether any action needs to be taken to protect children attending the provision.
- BFEYS must attend any Strategy Discussion where an allegation against childminders regulated by BFEYS, might have implications for other users of the day care service and/or the registration of the provider. Ensure day care providers keep BFEYS updated on the Allegation Management process and outcomes from Strategy Discussions
- BFEYS must seek to cancel registration of the facility if children are at risk of significant harm by being looked after in child minding or group day care settings.
- BFEYS will seek the support of the Command when dealing with any issues of enforcement of registered or unregistered day care providers.
13. Courts Martial Report Service (CMRS) (incorporating the BFG Probation Service)^
- The CMRS assists Courts in Germany (Courts Martial and Standing Civilian Courts) and in the UK with criminal matters relating to Military Personnel, United Kingdom Based Civilians (UKBC) and Dependants stationed in the BFG area.
- The CMRS has a statutory duty to supervise offenders effectively and protect the public. In the execution of that duty, Probation Officers will be in contact with people who have convictions for offences against children.
- Child Protection matters always take priority and Probation Officers will:
- Inform the Military Authorities (SO2 J1 Discipline (Disc), HQ BFG and HOS BFSWS of any person who has a conviction for offences against children.
- Refer any Child Protection concerns to BFSWS for investigation and where criminal behaviour is suspected, the Service Police.
14. Voluntary Agencies/Groups^
- All voluntary agencies and groups that G1 Com Sp supports must develop Safeguarding Children procedures consistent with this document.
- The agency/group should ensure that all staff and volunteers:
- Have been checked for suitability for working with children as directed in SO BF(G) 3352 and understand the extent and limits of the volunteer role.
- Are sensitive to the possibility of child abuse and neglect in all environments in which they have responsibility for children.
- Have access to training opportunities to promote their knowledge.
- Know how to report any concerns they have about possible abuse or neglect.
- Are vigilant about their own actions so they cannot be misinterpreted.
- The agency/group should:
- Have guidelines about the care of children, in the absence of parents/carers, which respect the rights of the child and the responsibilities of the adults towards them.
- Have guidelines about safe caring practices, e.g. not being alone with children without alerting others to the reason. Ensuring all allegations, however minor, are reported to the agency/group manager/leader and documented.
- Nominate a senior member of staff to take responsibility for drawing up and maintaining Safeguarding Children procedures.
- Promote and maintain links with BFG SB in relation to both general and specific Safeguarding Children matters.
- Where independent agencies have a formal relationship with statutory ones, e.g. subject to registration and inspection or contracted to provide services, the statutory agencies may reasonably be expected to provide clear advice and assistance.
- Whenever there is concern that a child has been abused or neglected a referral must be made without delay to BFSWS CRT, which must be confirmed in writing on a Multi agency Referral Form(MARF) within 48 hours.
- BFSWS may also be contacted for advice.
15. Sports and Leisure^
- In order to fulfil their obligations to Safeguarding Children and promote their welfare all sport and leisure services must:
- Have a system and arrangements in place to safeguard children.
- Ensure their staff are competent.
- Nominate Safeguarding Children Advisers
- Work with public/local communities.
- Sport and Leisure Services designed for children and families such as libraries, play schemes, events and attractions will have paid staff or volunteers working in their area. It is the responsibility of the employing agency to ensure that Child Protection Training is part of their induction process.
- The above groups who provide these services will have varying degrees of contact with the children who use them and appropriate arrangements to safeguard children will need to be in place. These should include appropriate codes of practice for staff particularly sport coaches. Working practices should also be adapted that minimise unobserved contact with children.
- Managers of library services should ensure their child protection policies include the procedure for staff to follow if staff are left unsupervised with children; all must be competent to comply with internal child protection policies and procedure and the procedures contained in this procedure manual e.g. SOBF(G) 3351.
- As libraries provide opportunities for anonymous access to the internet, staff must be aware and take reasonable practices to prevent access to pornography and chat rooms in which children may be drawn into risky relationships.
16. Relationship between Children and Young People's Plan (CYPP) and BFG SB^
- The BFG Children & Young People's Plan (CYPP) is agreed across all agencies and services working with children and young people; it sets out the agreed vision for children and young people in BFG, the priority actions and the steps which will be taken to improve the lives of children which would cover:
- Be healthy
- Stay safe
- Enjoy and achieve
- Make a positive contribution
- Achieve economic wellbeing.
- The BFG SB is part of the wider context of children's services arrangements that aim to improve the overall wellbeing of all children in BFG AOR.
- Priority 1 of the BFG CYPP is to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of our children is paramount. The BFG SB is enabled to fulfil this priority through the implementation and development of the BFG SB's Business Plan. BFG SB objectives are about co-ordinating and ensuring the effectiveness of what the member organisations do individually and together especially in relation to the Stay Safe outcome. The CYPP has a wider role in planning and delivery of services to meet all 5 outcomes.
- The BFG SB maintains a separate identity and independent voice to the CYPP group and will not be subordinate to or subsumed within the children's services arrangements in a way that might compromise this independent identity.
- There will be close liaison between the BFG SB and the CYPP group through a number of key members who sit on both of these groups. It is these members' responsibility to maintain an ongoing and direct relationship, communicating regularly, ensuring action taken by one body does not duplicate that taken by another and working together to ensure there are no unhelpful strategic or operational gaps in policies, protocols, services or practice. In support of a close relationship between the CYPP and the work of the BFG SB, the Children's Service Director is a core member of the BFG SB.
17. Role of the UWO^
- In providing support to families, Child Protection, safeguarding, or welfare concerns may be identified.
- Where the UWO or unit is concerned that a child may be in need or at risk of significant harm, a referral must be made immediately to the CRT and confirmed in writing within 48 hours. Contact with JRT is available 24 hours, 365 days a year.
18. Role of the UWO at Child Protection Conferences^
- The role and associated responsibilities of the UWO are:
- To act on behalf of the CO as a military interface. Ensuring that the service position and needs are highlighted.
- To share information which assists in the decision-making process about whether or not a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm.
- To enable military personnel (as the employer representative) to fulfil the requirement of any CPP
- The UWO can give an opinion about their perception of risk to a child; however during the decision-making process their view on the need for a CPP will not be sought.
19. Role of the Public^
- It is important that all members of the BFG community understand that safeguarding and protection of children is everyone's concern and that the effectiveness and ability of professional agencies to safeguard children can depend on the awareness and support of the public.
- If any member of the public is concerned that a child may be at risk of abuse or significant harm, they should telephone CRT (Civ: 0800 724 3176).
Referrals by Members of the Public
- When members of the public are concerned about the welfare of a child or an unborn baby, they should contact the BFSWS CRT.
- Individuals may prefer not to give their names. Alternatively they may disclose their identity, but not wish for it to be disclosed to the parents/carers or young person concerned.
- Wherever possible, staff should respect the referrer's request for anonymity. However, staff should not give the referrer any guarantees of confidentiality, as there are certain limited circumstances in which the identity of a referrer may have to be given, such as court proceedings.
- Local publicity material should make the above position clear to potential referrers.
- If a member of the public first contacts another agency, rather than BFSWS, the consulted agency professional is responsible for ensuring that BFSWS has been notified of the concern. It is best practice that this third party referral is confirmed in writing to BFSWS by the professional within 48 hours.
20. Commanding Officers (CO)^
- COs are charged with the responsibility of ensuring the welfare and discipline of Service personnel and their dependants. Additionally COs are required to work co-operatively with Child Protection agencies, and where appropriate, seek guidance from a higher level of Command.
- When a CPP is put in place, the CO is responsible for supporting the Plan.
- Where a CO is present at the CPC they are expected to contribute to the information sharing but do not engage in the decision making process around whether a child should become the subject of a child protection plan.
- In circumstances where a CO, who was not present at the CPC, does not agree with any aspect of the CPP, they are required to bring their concerns to the attention of SO1 Safeguarding, ICRS, Catterick Barracks, BFPO 39. No action should be taken by the CO to impede the application of the CPP.
21. Army Legal Services (ALS)^
- Within BFG, ALS is divided into two branches. Legal branches at Divisional level provide legal advice to the Chain of Command and decide whether an offence can either be dealt with by Courts Martial or summarily by COs. If, in the first instance there is a prima facie case to answer, then a referral will be made to the Army Prosecuting Authority (APA). If the offence can be dealt with summarily and there is a realistic prospect of conviction, then appropriate advice will be given to the CO.
- APA is independent of the Chain of Command. Having received a referral from Higher Authority, they decide whether or not Courts Martial or Standing Civilian Court should try a case. If so, they determine the charges, the mode of trial and conduct the prosecution process.
22. Military Courts Services (MCS)^
- The MCS in meeting its mission to convene Courts Martial and Summary Hearings provides special arrangements for child witnesses to give their evidence, which include video evidence in chief, live television links, private hearing and screening from the accused.
- The MCS can also facilitate a pre-trial visit to the court in order to familiarise the witness.
- The MCS does not have a Family Court facility. Family proceedings can only be heard in the UK.
- If contacted in connection with military personnel overseas the NSPCC will contact the BFSWS CRT.
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