Children’s Policies & Guidance
On this page, you will find policies, procedures and guidance for professionals who work with children in Herefordshire.
National, regional and local policies, procedures and guidance are held on the West Midlands Child Protection Procedures Site. See tab below for information on how to access the site and for additional local resources.
Herefordshire has adopted Signs of Safety as its overarching practice model for working with children across all partner agencies in Herefordshire. Click on the tile below to find out more about Signs of Safety and access tools, guidance and resources.
Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership has developed a Toolkit to share tools, tips, and approaches for listening to the Voice of the Child at all levels of a service – from front-line practice to service planning and self-assessment. Click on the tile below to access the HSCP Voice of the Child Participation Toolkit.
Additional resources and guidance for professionals in Herefordshire can be found in the tabs below:
Visit our Child Exploitation page for more information about child exploitation and trafficking, and useful resources for schools, families and children: Child Exploitation
The tools and pathways for Herefordshire include:
Exploitation Practice Flowchart: for young people and care leavers: The exploitation risk assessment and risk management process applies to all young people identified as being at risk of exploitation, including care leavers. This flowchart explains the pathways for these children.
Multi-agency Exploitation Risk Assessment Tool: Any professional working with children, young people or care leavers where they are concerned about exploitation, should complete this tool.
Agenda for Risk Management Meeting: This is a standard agenda template, to be used at a child’s risk management meeting. The agenda has been revised to align to the Signs of Safety approach.
Child Sexual and Criminal Exploitation Safety Plan (Practice Guidance): The child’s Safety Plan should be actively reviewed and updated at every Risk Management Meeting. This practice guide explains how Safety Plans should be used for children who are at risk of or experiencing exploitation.
Toolkit for professionals: Working with deaf and physically disabled children and young people in relation to child sexual abuse and other forms of exploitation.
Children and young people in Herefordshire can be referred to the CLIMB programme, offered by the Children’s Society, which provides positive activities to young people who may otherwise be drawn into criminal activity. For more information and referral instructions, see CLIMB
The BRANCH project, offered WMRSASC, is a support service for children and young people under 18 years, or under 24 years for those with additional needs, who are victims and/or at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). For more information and referral instructions, see BRANCH.
Exploitation Intelligence Report Form: This Exploitation intelligence reporting form has been developed for use by multi-agency partners, voluntary organisations and carers, to report soft intelligence on child exploitation to the West Mercia police.
This document can be used by families, professionals and community members to help understand what intelligence is and how it can be reported: Capturing and Reporting Intelligence: Child Sexual and/or Criminal Exploitation Guidance for Families, Professionals and the Community.
Home Office Child Exploitation Disruption Toolkit – This toolkit has been developed to support frontline practitioners to safeguard children and young people under the age of 18 from sexual and criminal exploitation.
Childrens-society-Criminal-Exploitation-Stages-of-Recruitment – from the Children’s Society
Contextual Safeguarding is an approach that is often used to protect children vulnerable to exploitation. Contextual safeguarding is about understanding, and responding to, young people’s experiences of significant harm beyond their families. The Contextual Safeguarding Network provides an overview of all the research projects, practice support and strategic engagement in the Contextual Safeguarding programme. You can visit their website at www.contextualsafeguarding.org.uk.
Visit the Child Neglect Resources page for resources and tools for practitioners to understand, identify, and respond to child neglect.
The HSCP has published a Neglect Strategy – see Neglect Strategy (Interim) 2021-23
There is also guidance for West Midlands authorities on Child Neglect – see Child Neglect regional guidance
Graded Care Profile 2 is a tool to help professional assess child neglect. Professionals in Herefordshire can access training on how to use Graded Care Profile 2 by booking on courses via www.herefordshirecpd.co.uk.
Read our learning briefing on Honour-Base Abuse and Violence – Honour Based Abuse - Learning Briefing
For more information, see:
Voluntary, community, faith-based, and provider organisations organisations make a huge contribution to supporting and enriching the lives of adults, children and young people in Herefordshire.
All organisations working with adults, children and young people and / or their parents and carers should have robust policies and procedures to ensure that they are safe, workers know and understand their roles and responsibilities and how to respond appropriately if they have concerns about a person’s safety or welfare.
Note – Some of the information below specifically refers to children and young people, but may also be useful for organisations and providers working with adults.
Resources for voluntary and community groups
The NSPCC has developed guidance and a wall chart called ‘Are They Safe?’ specifically for voluntary and community groups. These set out expectations and responsibilities for settings and help to identify areas where improvement may be required.
NSPCC has developed a safeguarding standards and guidance for safeguarding children, young people and adults aged 0-25 in the voluntary and community sector.
NSPCC self-assessment tool can be used to help audit your organisation’s current child protection arrangements.
The Charity Commission
The Charity Commission has a range of guidance and instructions that apply to charities in relation to their safeguarding arrangements. See Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees.
If you run a voluntary, faith or community group you need to make sure that people who work for you (either paid or voluntary) have been recruited using correct recruitment and vetting procedures. By following the correct procedures you will be preventing unsuitable people from working with children and young people in your organisation.
Organisations must also ensure they have in place safe recruitment policies and procedures, including Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for all relevant staff, including agency staff, students and volunteers working with children.
DBS checks will provide information about an individual’s criminal history, to help determine whether a person is a suitable candidate for a particular role. There are different levels of DBS checks. See DBS check eligibility guidance for the charity sector and overseas aid organisations for more information. You should also check if the job role is eligible for DBS checks by referencing the DBS check – eligible positions guidance.
HVOSS (Herefordshire Voluntary Organisations Support Service)
HVOSS provide information, guidance and support to voluntary community organisations and groups in Herefordshire. They offer a range of support services to ensure that charities, community groups, village hall committees, sports and leisure clubs and social enterprises can thrive and continue to make a huge contribution to life in the county. For more information visit their website http://www.hvoss.org.uk/
A LADO referral must be completed where there are concerns that a person who works with children
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with
- A person has behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children
This is in connection with the person’s employment or voluntary activity.
The Herefordshire LADO is Terry Pilliner who can be contacted as follows:
Tel: 01432 261739
Visit LADO/Managing Allegations for Referral instructions and guidance
The Herefordshire Professional Differences Policy should be used when a professional has a concern or a professional difference with another agency decision or action related to a child or young person. The policy explains the process to raise an escalation and respond to that challenge.
The notification form should be used for any escalations that reach Stage 2 – Stage 2 Notification Form
The Right Help, Right Time Levels of Need framework has been developed by the HSCP to support practitioners at all levels working in statutory, public, voluntary and independent sectors in Herefordshire.
The document is intended to enable practitioners:
- to make decisions about how best to respond to the needs of children and young people
- to give families access to the right help at the right time;
- to provide children and families with access to the most appropriate services for their needs
Information and resources will be available soon
To learn more, check www.herefordshirecpd.co.uk for training opportunities, or check out these resources:
E-learning: ACEs (acesonlinelearning.com)
The Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership has subscribed to the West Midlands Child Protection Procedures. National, regional, and local policies and procedures that apply to professionals in Herefordshire can be found on the West Midlands Child Protection Procedures site. To access local Herefordshire policies and procedures:
- Select “Herefordshire” in the partnership tab,
- Go into “Content,”
- Scroll to Section 3, which holds the local policies and procedures
Section 1 contains national guidance, and Section 2 contains regional West Midlands procedures, policies and guidance.