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4.1 Persons, Volunteers / Carers Identified as a Risk to Children


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Criteria for Information Sharing with Children’s Social Care
  3. Who should Share Information with Children’s Social Care
  4. How to Share Information with Children’s Social Care
  5. Storing Information on Persons who Present a Risk to Children
  6. Accessing Information Held on Persons who Present a Risk to Children
  7. Logging Requests for Information on Persons who Present a Risk to Children
  8. Informing People that Information is Held on them/Reviewing Information on Persons who Present a Risk to Children
  9. Sharing Information on Persons who Present a Risk to Children with Other Agencies/Members of the Public
  10. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  11. Offending Behaviour Schemes
  12. The Sex Offender’s Register
  13. Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Risk Orders

    Appendix 1: PPRTC Assessment Framework

    Appendix 2: List of Offences


1. Introduction

In 2005, the Home Office circular 16 / 2005: Guidance on offences against children was published, instructing agencies that the term Schedule One Offender should be discontinued and replaced with 'a person identified as presenting a risk or potential risk to children'. Alongside the circular, Appendix 2: List of Offences was also issued for consultation by agencies when considering those persons who are identified as presenting a risk to children. (Note: this List of Offences has been amended to reflect subsequent legislative changes, and will continue to change as legislation changes. If in doubt, seek legal advice).

Whilst the terminology Schedule One Offender has been widely used by agencies to describe those persons who present a risk to children, it is a label that historically has caused confusion and has elicited inconsistent responses from agencies. Persons with a Schedule One conviction regardless of the age they were convicted, remain labelled as Schedule One Offenders throughout their lives.

Whilst some persons with a Schedule One Offence may always present a risk to children, other persons (i.e. a 15 year old involved in a playground fight with another 15 year old) may never present a risk to children in the future.

The move away from using the terminology Schedule One Offender was therefore intended to ensure that a wider focus is given to identifying persons who present a risk to children. Legislation such as the Human Rights Act 1998, Freedom of Information 2000 Act, Data Protection Act 1998 and Crime and Disorder Act 1998 will also ensure that information held on persons presenting a risk/potential risk to children is held lawfully and is subject to review.


2. Criteria for Information Sharing with Children’s Social Care

Persons who present a risk to children represent a serious threat to the well-being of children in society. Equally, however, it is important that agencies do not hold information on persons without due regard to legislation such as the Human Rights Act 1998, Data Protection Act 2018, Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Crime and Disorder Act 1998. With the above legislation in mind, the following criteria should be considered when making a decision to share information in respect of a person who presents a risk to children with Children's Social Care.

  • Those persons who have convictions included in Appendix 2: List of Offences. Persons who have cautions/final warning may also require referring;
  • Those persons with a finding of fact against them from either 'private or public law proceedings';
  • Those persons whose names are on the Children's or Adults' Barred Lists held by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS);
  • Those persons where it is deemed either at a professional's meeting, Strategy Meeting or Child Protection Conference that they present a risk to children;
  • Information on persons under the age of 18 years, who meet the above criteria, should also be shared with Children's Social Care, if they are deemed by the referring agency to present a risk to children.

Where there are concerns about a person who works with children (either in a paid or voluntary capacity), the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should be contacted in the first instance. See Allegations against Persons who work with Children (including Staff, Carers and Volunteers) Procedure.


3. Who should Share Information with Children's Social Care

All agencies have responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Even where the core business of the agency is not child protection, the welfare of the child is paramount and confidentiality must be breached if a child is deemed to be likely to suffer Significant Harm. See Underlying Principles and Values, Information Sharing and Confidentiality for more information.

Practitioners should familiarise themselves with Appendix 2: List of Offences and the associated criteria for sharing information on persons who present a risk to children with Children's Social Care:

  • Social workers where information comes to light, either through an Assessment, Section 47 Enquiries, Assessment or case work that a person(s) presents a risk to children;
  • Human Resources Officers where an employee has been referred to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). A referral to Children's Social Care should also be made if they are aware that the person has contact with/resides with children;
  • Probation Officers/Youth Offending Team Officers where it comes to light through case work that a person/young person presents a risk to children. A referral should also be made to Children's Social Care if the person is in contact with/resides with children. See Making a Referral following the Identification of Child Safety and Welfare Concerns Procedure.
  • CAFCASS Officers where a finding of fact is made against an individual(s) in either private or public law proceedings and the person resides in the area or is associated with children who reside in the area. A referral should also be made to Children's Social Care if there are concerns about the welfare of a child;
  • The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) where it comes to light that there are concerns about the suitability of a person to work with children and young people. A referral should also be made to Children's Social Care if there are concerns about the welfare of a child;
  • Where a professional's meeting, Strategy Meeting or Child Protection Conference has taken place and it is deemed by the majority of the members of that meeting that a person(s) presents a risk to children/is unsuitable to work with children, the Chair of the meeting will be responsible for recording the decision of the meeting, notifying the said person and ensuring that the information is recorded and appropriate follow up action is taken;
  • All other practitioners (i.e. Health, Police, Voluntary Agencies) where it comes to light during the course of their duties that a person may present a risk to children, should make a referral to Children's Social Care in accordance with the Making a Referral following the Identification of Child Safety and Welfare Concerns Procedure. Where the information relates to an adult who meets the criteria for sharing information with Children's Social Care, but who is not currently in contact with children, the social worker should still pass the information to Children's Social Care Safeguarding Unit.


4. How to Share Information with Children's Social Care

Information should be passed in the first instance to the Children's Social Care, Safeguarding Unit. Information will only be accepted in written form. Emails will be accepted within Children's Social Care. Any verbal information should be followed up in writing.

Where this is not possible, any written communication should contain, as a minimum, the following details:

  • The full name (including any aliases) of the person who presents a risk to children;
  • Date of birth (including any aliases);
  • Current and any previous addresses;
  • Name and address of any children they are associated with/in contact with;
  • Any convictions, findings of fact, sex offender register requirements, Section 47 Enquiries etc.;
  • Name of person sharing information, position within organisation and telephone number;
  • Whether the person who presents a risk to children also works with children and young people and, if so, whether the Local Authority Designated Officer and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has been informed;
  • Whether person who presents risk to children has been informed of the information being shared with Children's Social Care.


5. Storing Information on Persons who Present a Risk to Children

Information received in respect of person(s) who present a risk to children will be stored in two ways:

  • In electronic form on the Integrated Children's System;
  • In hard copy - hard copies of information received in alphabetical order which will be maintained in secured storage;
  • Access to keys for the secure storage will be via the Safeguarding Unit;
  • A hard copy of information received from external agencies in respect of a person presenting a risk to a specific child, will be forwarded to the child's social worker and should be filed in the confidential section of the said child's case record;
  • Hard copies of information will be stored for 75 years.


6. Accessing Information Held on Persons who Present a Risk to Children

Information held on persons who present a risk to children is highly sensitive. Disclosure of information in respect of persons who present a risk to children should be made in accordance with the relevant legislation, i.e. Data Protection Act 2018, Human Rights Act 1998, Freedom of Information Act 2000, Crime and Disorder Act 1998, or to protect a child.

  • Access to information held on persons who present a risk to children will only be permissible via the Safeguarding Unit of the relevant area;
  • Information held by one of the councils in this Consortium in respect of persons who present a risk to children may only be accessed by relevant employees;
  • The exception to this will be delegated persons in Human Resources who will have authority to request information via Safeguarding Unit, for the purpose of employment/volunteer reference checks;
  • Any person outside of the local authority/Children's Social Care wishing to access information on a person they believe may present a risk to children should contact Children's Social Care detailing their concerns.


7. Logging Requests for Information on Persons who Present a Risk to Children

All requests for information on persons who present a risk to children should be logged as a contact by Children's Social Care.

The following details should be requested by the person receiving the contact:

  • Name of person requesting information;
  • Position within organisation and phone number;
  • Name of person information requested on;
  • Reason information is required/ name of child associated with;
  • Date requested.

The name of the member of staff who gave the details and also the date information was shared should also be recorded.

A record of the number of times that information has been requested against a specific person should also be recorded. Where 3 requests for information are made in respect of a person who presents a risk to children consideration must be given to a Strategy Meeting being convened and the Head of Safeguarding for the relevant area must be consulted in relation to any further action required.

An audit of enquiries made to the Safeguarding Unit in respect of persons who present a risk to children should be undertaken on an annual basis to provide management information.


8. Informing People that Information is Held on them/Reviewing Information on Persons who Present a Risk to Children

Information held on members of the general public must be held lawfully and be subject to review. Information held by each Safeguarding Unit on persons who present a risk to children must therefore be held in accordance with current legislation i.e. Human Rights Act 1998, Data Protection Act 1998, Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

  • Any person on whom the Local Authority holds information has the right to request sight of information about them under the Freedom of Information Act 2000;
  • Practitioners sharing information with the Safeguarding Unit in respect of a person(s) who presents a risk to children should make the person aware that the local authority will hold information on them and that the information will be subject to review;
  • The referring agency is responsible for maintaining and updating their records (in accordance with their own internal procedures) and will inform the relevant Safeguarding Unit and the person who presents a risk to children if there is any change in their status.


9. Sharing Information on Persons who Present a Risk to Children with Other Agencies/Members of the Public

There will be some instances when it will be necessary to share information with other agencies/members of the public in respect of those persons who present a risk to children.

However, information sharing in respect of persons who present a risk to children should be done so in accordance with legislation such as the Human Rights Act 1998, Data Protection Act 2018, Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Crime and Disorder Order Act 1998 - see Underlying Principles and Values, Information Sharing and Confidentiality for more information.


10. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is an executive agency of the Home Office. The DBS aims to help employers make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain types of work. These can be standard or enhanced disclosure depending on the duties of a particular position or job. In addition to information about a person's criminal record, an enhanced disclosure contain details of whether a person is registered with DBS or barred from working with children; this is not so with a standard disclosure. It is expected that anyone working in a practitioner or voluntary capacity with children and young people will have an initial DBS disclosure at the start of employment and then 3 yearly thereafter.


11. Offending Behaviour Schemes

Rehabilitation of offenders is the best guarantee of long-term public protection. A range of independently accredited treatment programmes, which have been developed or commissioned by the National Offenders Management Service (NOMS), have been tried and tested at national level.


12. The Sex Offenders Register

The notification requirements of Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (known as the Sex Offenders Register) are an automatic requirement on offenders, including young people, who have offended and who receive a conviction or caution for certain sexual offences.

The notification requirements are intended to ensure that the police are informed of the whereabouts of offenders in the community. The notification requirements do not bar offenders from certain types of employment or from being alone with children. They must inform the police of certain personal details within clear time-scales, of changes in these details and reconfirm these details every twelve months. The length of time they remain under these arrangements depends on whether convicted or cautioned and the sentence that they received; failure to comply is a criminal offence.


13. Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Risk Orders

Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Risk Orders were introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. They replace the previous Sexual Offences Prevention Orders, Risk of Sexual Harm Orders and Foreign Travel Orders which were introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Sexual Harm Prevention Orders

Sexual Harm Prevention Orders can be applied to anyone convicted or cautioned of a sexual or violent offence, including where offences are committed overseas.

The court needs to be satisfied that the order is necessary for protecting the public, or any particular members of the public, from sexual harm, or protecting children from sexual harm from the defendant outside the United Kingdom.

The Orders prohibit the defendant from doing anything described in the order, and can include a prohibition on foreign travel (replacing Foreign Travel Orders which were introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003).

A prohibition contained in a Sexual Harm Prevention Order has effect for a fixed period, specified in the order, of at least 5 years, or until further order. The Order may specify different periods for different prohibitions.

Failure to comply with a requirement imposed under an Order is an offence punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.

Sexual Risk Orders

Sexual Risk Orders can be made where a person has done an act of a sexual nature as a result of which there is reasonable cause to believe that it is necessary for such an order to be made, even if they have never been convicted. They replace the previous Risk of Sexual Harm Orders.

The court needs to be satisfied that the order is necessary for protecting the public, or any particular members of the public, from sexual harm from the defendant; or protecting children or vulnerable adults generally, or any particular children or vulnerable adults, from sexual harm from the defendant outside the United Kingdom.

The Orders prohibit the defendant from doing anything described in the order, and can include a prohibition on foreign travel (replacing Foreign Travel Orders which were introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003).

A prohibition contained in a Sexual Risk Order has effect for a fixed period, specified in the order, of not less than 2 years, or until further order. The Order may specify different periods for different prohibitions.

Failure to comply with a requirement imposed under an Order is an offence punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.


Appendix 1: PPRTC Assessment Framework

Click here to view Appendix 1: PPRTC Assessment Framework.

Appendix 2: List of Offences

Click here to view Appendix 2: List of Offences.

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