Children and Families in Receipt of Statutory Social Work Services Who Move Across Boundaries

Information Sharing and Reporting Arrangements



  1. Introduction
  2. Children Subject to Child Protection Plans – temporary Moves /Out of Area Visits
  3. Information Transmission- Universal services
  4. Statutory Agency Responsibility  Following a Move
  5. Child/ren Subject to a UK Statutory order in the Originating Authority who Resides in BFG/AOR
  6. Children Subject  to CPP in the UK Originating Authority
  7. Responsibility to Provide/Obtain Information
  8. Notification of Service Families, with a CPP, returning to the UK
  9. Children Returning to Their Country of Origin
  10. Children Subject to a CPP who Leave BFG Jurisdiction but remain in Germany
  11. Role of Transfer CPC
  12. A Child in Need Receiving Services from BFSWS 


10 March 2016



1.1BFSWS has the responsibility to ensure that necessary information is transferred across boundaries for children in need, including those in need of protection, when they move or visit out of area.


1.2For the purposes of these procedures the terms ‘originating authority’ refers to the authority where the family previously lived, and ‘receiving authority’ to the authority to which the family has moved.  HQ BFG is the receiving authority; operational responsibility is delegated to BFSWS.


A feature of the service community is that there is frequent movement of personnel and families.


This movement might entail:

  • Movement within the Command.
  • Movement to and from other Commands.
  • A UK posting or other overseas posting.
  • Children and families moving into the host nation community.
  • Children returning to their country of origin.
  • Out of area visits (e.g. annual leave holiday visits)

This Section provides information and instruction about:

  • Indicators of risk for children who move.
  • Best practice for information transmission.
  • Social work case responsibility and transfer of information when the child and/or family move.
  • Responsibility for Child Protection enquiries.


1.3When families move frequently, it is more difficult for agencies to identify risks and monitor a child’s welfare.


1.4All agencies, which come into contact with families who have moved, must ensure that they establish basic information regarding previous address, registration with doctor and the child/ren’s enrolment in school and notify the relevant agency if they encounter a child not appropriately registered/enrolled.


1.5Along with the indicators of risk, the following circumstances associated with a child or family moving, are a cause for concern:

  • A family not being registered with a GP.
  • Child missing from a school roll or persistently not attending.
  • Gaps in information held by agencies/unit authorities


1.6Particular care must be exercised by all agencies in contact with children and families to collect accurate information on any Child In Need:

  • Ensuring that all forenames and surnames used by the family are provided, and clarification is obtained about the correct spelling.
  • Ensuring that accurate dates of birth are obtained for all household members, where at all possible.
  • Obtaining the full addresses of the family for the previous 5 years.
  • Clarifying relationships between the child and other household members. 


2.Children Subject to Child Protection Plans- Temporary Moves/Out of Area Visits

2.1A temporary move could cover a range of situations from holiday stays to moves to relatives. When children subject to a CPP are temporarily visiting places outside of Command area of responsibility the BFSWS Lead Social Worker is responsible for notifying the appropriate equivalent Local Authority and its Safeguarding Manager of the child and family's presence in the area. The notification  should include phone referral, confirmation of referral (email/phone) and then follow up letter  The referral letter should state whether or not a formal social work visit should be made. The family must be made aware of the referral and the expectations of support and social work involvement.

The covering letter should include the following details:

  • Service number and rank of entitled person;
  • Full names and dates of birth of all family members;
  • Details of child/ren subject to a Child Protection Plan;
  • Date and reasons for the CPP including the category of abuse or neglect;
  • Assessment of current risk;
  • Full address and telephone number of the family's destinations in the area
  • Period of stay in the area;
  • Whether or not a visit is requested;
  • A copy of the Child Protection Plan

The following statement should always be included in the referral letter:

"If there are any queries regarding this referral, please contact the  British Forces  Social Work Service, Central Referral Team on 0049 800 7234 3176"

3.Information Transmission for Universal Services 

3.1Professional staff in a receiving authority must ensure that they request relevant records from their counterparts in an originating authority when notified of the move.


Professional staff in originating authorities must ensure that their counterparts in the receiving authority have been sent a copy of all relevant records within 5 days of being notified by the receiving authority of the move. 


4.Statutory Agency Responsibility Following a Move

4.1BFSWS is the agency responsible for statutory duties for a child who is the subject of a Child Protection Plan


4.2Specific issues and exceptions may apply when the child is placed in BFG and is subject to a Care Order, Interim Care Order or Supervision Order, held by a Local Authority (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales).  Case issues will be managed on a case by case basis in accordance with the relevant legislation.


5.Child/ren Subject to a UK Statutory Order in the Originating Authority Who Reside in BFG/AOR

Attribution of Childrens Services Local Authority Responsibility


5.1Children subject to a Care Order, Interim Care Order or Supervision Order, remain the responsibility of the originating authority until the order is discharged or expires.


5.2Where an Order is in force, the receiving authority may, (and this must be confirmed in writing by Team Manager or above) agree to provide required services on behalf of the originating authority, but the legal responsibility remains with the originating authority.  BFSWS will ensure that other agencies involved are informed of the legal status of the child.


6.Child Subject to CPP in the UK originating Authority

Attribution of Children’s services Local Authority Responsibility


6.1The responsibility for a child with a CPP remains with the originating authority until the receiving authority’s Transfer Conference.


6.2The receiving authority must record details of the child, who is subject to a CPP, from the actual date of the move or when informed (if this is later).


6.3It is the responsibility of the agencies with statutory responsibility to agree how the child’s need for protection will be met until the transfer process is complete.


6.4The Transfer CPC should be convened by the receiving authority within 15 working days of being notified of a child in respect of whom a CPP exists having moved into its area. 


6.5Only when a decision has been made about registration by the receiving authority and management responsibility has been transferred, can records be updated in the originating authority.


6.6The BFSWS Central Referral Team (CRT)   or their equivalent of the originating authority must be informed in writing of the result of the conference within 5 working days.


7.Responsibility to Provide/Obtain Information

7.2The BFSWS Key Worker must inform all other professionals involved in the case as well as the receiving Local Authority Children’s Services Department or other responsible agency.  If the move has occurred already, the Key Worker should complete this task immediately.  If the move is to be within the next 14 days, the Key Worker should complete this task within 1 working day.


7.3The BFSWS Key Worker must inform the Team Manager or equivalent manager of the receiving authority of the move.


7.4It is the responsibility of each agency in BFG to try to ascertain that the reciprocal agency in the receiving authority receives detailed information and is made aware of the need to fulfil its role in the CPP.


The Key Worker from BFSWS must: 

  • Make contact with the receiving authority to ensure that they receive detailed information about the level and type of service being required to satisfy the CPP.
  • Discuss any difficulties with their Line Manager.
  • Provide a report and attend the Transfer CPC whenever possible and/or appropriate.


7.5When case responsibility is to be transferred, the Key Worker must inform all agencies of the arrangements so that staff can transfer records and provide information to the receiving authority’s Transfer CPC.


7.6BFSWS is responsible for ensuring that the relevant UK Local Authority Children’s Services Department is notified of any child subject to a CPP overseas returning to the UK. This includes temporary visits to the UK. Core Assets is responsible for liaising with the receiving Local Authority Children’s Service Department. BFSWS is also to inform HQ AWS, who is responsible for ensuring that Annex A to LFSO 3351, ‘Children in need of Protection’, is raised and circulated.


8.Notification of Service Families, with a Child Protection Plan, Returning to UK


8.1BFSWS notifies the appropriate receiving Local Authority, HQ SSAFA FH and the CPSO HQ AWS of all returns to UK, or transfer to another Command, of Army service families who are subject to a CPP. 



8.2BFSWS notifies the appropriate receiving Local Authority and the Head of Service RAF SSAFA FH and HQ SSAFA FH of all returns to UK or transfer to another command, of RAF families who are subject to a CPP.



8.3BFSWS notifies the appropriate receiving Local Authority, HQ SSAFA FH and the relevant Area Officer of the Naval Personal and Family Service (NPFS) of all returns to UK or transfer to another command of navy families who are subject of a CPP.


9.Children Returning to Their Country of Origin

9.1When the nominated Key Worker or other professional, identifies that a child subject to a CPP has left the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces, the HOS BFSWS must be informed without delay.


9.2The Key Worker for the child should ensure all agencies involved with the child and family in BFG are notified of the move without delay and that they take responsibility for informing any necessary authorities.


9.3In the case of children taken back to their country of origin, it may be appropriate for BFSWS to contact the Consular Directorate at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for advice.


9.4BFSWS HOS will take responsibility for clarifying further actions to be taken and notifying the Safeguarding Leads, of universal services (Education, Health and Service Police), of decisions made, investigative outcomes and administrative actions.


9.5Where BFSWS is the receiving authority, BFSWS must ensure prior to the Transfer CPC that it has received sufficient relevant information from the originating authority to clarify details of the case, responsibility for the child and plans.


9.6Where BFG agencies are the receiving authority, they must ensure prior to the Transfer CPC, that where they have not already received it, they seek information from their counterparts in the originating authority.


10.Children Subject to a CPP who leave BFG Jurisdiction but Remain in Germany

10.1Children Subject to CPP who leave BFG Jurisdiction but Remain in Germany


10.2The nominated Key Worker, on establishing that a child subject to a CPP has left the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and intends to remain in Germany, should inform HOS BFSWS and:

  • Make immediate telephone contact with the relevant Jugendamt (German Social Services Office) to give information regarding reasons for the original CPP, current level of concern and date of last visit.  This should be followed up as soon as possible by written confirmation with relevant reports.
  • Ensure that all other agencies involved in BFG are aware of the move and that they are taking responsibility for informing the relevant German Authorities.
  • Ensure attendance as far as possible at any subsequent conferences/meetings convened by the Jugendamt and the receipt of documentation to ensure that responsibility for the case has been accepted by them.
  • All information passed to the Jugendamt must be transcribed into German and, in addition, a copy of the original text must be given.


11.Role of Transfer Child Protection Conference

11.1To provide a forum to ensure that the agencies who are to assume responsibility for direct work with the child and family are able to have information to consider the continuing risk to the child and decide on whether or not a CPP is necessary.


11.2The Transfer CPC may recommend that joint work continues with staff from agencies in the originating authority.


11.3Families should be aware that information will be shared between involved agencies in the receiving authority.


11.4When a planned Transfer CPC is being arranged, the Key Worker from the originating authority must be invited to attend the Transfer CPC.


12.A Child in Need Receiving Services from BFSWS

12.1Where a child and/or family in receipt of services from BFSWS move, it is the responsibility of BFSWS, with the consent of the family, to notify the receiving authority in writing of their circumstances and any ongoing need for services.


12.2Where BFSWS is notified of an ongoing need for services, they must undertake a Single Assessment within 45 working days of the family’s move (or receipt of notification that the family has moved if later).