For children to be kept safe from harm it is essential that the local workforce of practitioners and managers, including volunteers and workers in faith settings, are well informed and understand the agreed local child protection procedures.
Workers and volunteers in all services (including adult-focused services) need to know:
- how to recognise signs of need or possible abuse, harm or neglect to children (up to 18 years)
- what actions to take
- how and where to seek advice
- how to refer children in need and children in need of protection to the relevant early intervention and protection services
- what to say to children and their families
- rules about sharing confidential information
- what records to keep.
Research has shown that children are best protected through well co-ordinated multi-agency working and multi-agency information sharing.
Merton Safeguarding Children Board and its member agencies are signatories to the London Child Protection Procedures as our local procedures.
You may access the London Procedures here:
London Child Protection Procedures updated March 2016
The London Child Protection Procedures derive from the current legislation and the latest edition of national statutory guidance:
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015
Where the MSCB has agreed supplementary protocols or procedures to those agreed for London they can be accessed in this section of our web pages, below. As these website pages are updated we will also show how the London Child Protection Procedures operate locally within Merton.
Local Child Protection Protocols and Procedures are agreed by the MSCB and local agencies, on the advice of the MSCB Policy Sub Group & the Promote and Protect Young People Sub Group.
The MSCB has agreed definitions for ‘strategy’, ‘policy’, ‘protocol’ and ‘procedure’.
Your own agency may also have its own internal procedures, which you should follow.
There is a special section of advice for schools.
Advice on child protection: If you need advice your agency may have a ‘designated’ person whose job it is to advise on child protection or you can seek advice from the
See the MSCB pages on Learning and Development to access our current Training Programme and apply for courses which link to these policies and procedures.
Procedures and protocols
The ‘Trigger trio’
Research, including lessons from serious case reviews, has shown that where there is presence in a family of domestic violence, drug or alcohol misuse or parental mental ill-health there is a greater possibility that a child or young person may be neglected, including emotional neglect, or abused in some way. The risk may be increased where more than one of these factors is present and where the focus is easily distracted to the parents’ needs.
In Merton the MSCB expects all agencies to ensure that staff, especially those who work mainly with adults who may be parents or carers, are aware of this increased risk and consider the welfare of children, as well as adults. Where there is a possible conflict of interest the child’s needs are paramount.
Merton SCB Administrators
Children, Schools and Families Department
Tel: 020 8545 4866