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Part 2: Notification Regarding Adults and Young People who Pose a Risk or a Potential Risk to Children

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Registration of RTCs
  3. Actions to be Taken

    Appendices

    Amendments to this Chapter


1. Introduction

This protocol is intended to apply when agencies need to notify Children’s Services about adults and young people who pose a risk or a potential risk to children (RTC).

The Children and Young Persons Act 1933 was intended to protect children of school age from “cruelty and exposure to moral and physical danger”. Schedule 1 of the Act laid out a set of offences against children and young people to which particular provisions of the Act applied. The term “Schedule 1 offender” subsequently came into general use across agencies, as a means of identifying anyone convicted of an offence against a child.

The term “Schedule 1 offender” is a label that lasts for life with no review procedure. It does not take into consideration the circumstances of the offence, or any assessment of ongoing risk that the individual may pose. Thus a child involved in a playground fight, for example, may find themselves subject to scrutiny from child protection agencies for life with no opportunity to challenge that scrutiny.

The term “Schedule 1 offender” is ill-defined and thus often unhelpful since it defines people by their offending history rather than the ongoing risks they pose; therefore the term should no longer be used, but instead, where applicable, should be replaced with “a person posing or potentially posing a risk to children”.

In order to protect children effectively, good information sharing between agencies is essential. To date, agencies have notified Children’s Services of any adult/young person charged with or convicted of an offence against a child. Children’s Services in turn have recorded the basic details in an electronic system. Further detailed information that may later be required to complete an assessment is therefore not always available. This protocol aims to ensure that the best possible information available is shared between agencies, at the point of notification, and ensures that only those who pose a risk or a potential risk to children are recorded as such.


2. Registration of RTCs

RTCs may only be registered on Children’s Services electronic systems upon receipt of written notification by another agency such as:

  • Probation Service;
  • Police;
  • Courts;
  • Youth Offending Team;
  • Prison Service.

RTCs are only registered by Children’s Services if:

  • The RTC resides in the Authority’s geographical area; and/or
  • The RTC will not give an address or states “no fixed abode”;
  • The victim(s) resides in the Authority’s geographical area; and/or
  • The offence was committed in the Authority’s geographical area.
The information held by Children’s Services will be held securely and may only be accessed by practitioners undertaking assessments of risk to children - this will primarily be social workers in relation to individual cases. Information will be held in accordance with Children’s Services file retention policies.


3. Actions to be Taken

Police: - where a person is being investigated for an offence against a child (see Appendix 1 for details of relevant offences - this list is not exhaustive) the police will need to make a judgement about whether the person poses a risk or a potential risk to children. The points to consider in reaching this judgement are contained in Appendix 2: Reaching a judgement about whether notification is required.

In cases where an arrest is made for a person under the age of 18 years of age. The Officer in the case will create a Public Protection Notification (PPN) and raise it for the attention of the Safeguarding Referral Unit (SRU) it will be risk assessed by the Detective Sergeant and shared appropriately with Children’s services.

If the police consider that the individual poses or potentially poses a risk to children, Children’s Services should be notified using a Public Protection Notification (PPN) (see flowcharts in Appendix 3a: Adult Offender Flowchart and Appendix 3b: Juvenile Offender Flowchart).

If the case does not proceed to prosecution, or if the prosecution is unsuccessful, Children’s Services will liaise with the Police Officer in the case for appropriate disclosure/outcome.

Police - Sex Offenders Unit:  where there is a new registration of a sex offender or a change of address of a registered sex offender, the sex offender unit need to make a judgement about whether the registered sex offender (RSO) poses or potentially poses a risk to children. The points to consider in reaching this judgement are detailed in Appendix 2: Reaching a judgement about whether notification is required.

If the RSO is judged to pose such a risk, Children’s Services should be notified and information shared based on threat risk and harm using the Police NDM (National Decision Making Model). See Appendix 3a: Adult Offender Flowchart and Appendix 3b: Juvenile Offender Flowchart.

Probation: when notifying Children’s Services about the court hearing or the outcome of a court hearing of a person charged with an offence against a child, the probation officer will firstly need to make a judgement about whether the individual poses or potentially poses a risk to children. The points to consider in reaching this judgement are detailed in Appendix 2: Reaching a judgement about whether notification is required.

If the probation officer considers that the individual poses or potentially poses a risk to children, Children’s Services should be notified, using Public Protection Notification (PPN), and enclosing the relevant papers. (See flowchart - Appendix 3).

Where an offender, convicted of an offence against a child, and judged to pose or potentially pose a risk to children, is supervised by the Probation Service, the probation officer should:

  • Liaise with the relevant Children’s Services fieldwork team, where there is a suspected or known risk to an individual child/ren;
  • Forward a copy of any assessment completed to Children’s Services at the end of the supervisory period.

(See Appendix 3a: Adult Offender Flowchart and Appendix 3b: Juvenile Offender Flowchart).

Probation - prisons: wherever a prisoner, convicted of an offence against a child is to be released:

  • To Dorset;
  • To an unknown destination.

The prison probation officer needs to make a judgement about whether the individual poses or potentially poses a risk to children. The points to consider in reaching this judgement are detailed in Appendix 2: Reaching a judgement about whether notification is required.

Where the individual is judged to pose or potentially pose a risk to children, the prison probation officer should notify Children’s Services using Public Protection Notification (PPN), and enclosing the relevant papers (see Appendix 3a: Adult Offender Flowchart and Appendix 3b: Juvenile Offender Flowchart).

Youth Offending Team (YOT): Where the YOT become aware of/are working with a young person who has been cautioned/convicted for an offence against a child (see Appendix 1: List of offences (chronological)) the YOT officer will need to make a judgement about whether the young person poses or potentially poses a risk to children. The points to consider in reaching this judgement are contained at Appendix 2: Reaching a judgement about whether notification is required.

If the YOT officer considers the young person to pose or potentially pose a risk to children, Children’s Services should be notified using form CC8029 and enclosing the relevant papers (see Appendix 3b: Juvenile Offender Flowchart).


Appendices

Click here to view Appendix 1: List of offences (chronological)

Click here to view Appendix 2: Reaching a judgement about whether notification is required

Click here to view Appendix 3a: Adult Offender Flowchart

Click here to view Appendix 3b: Juvenile Offender Flowchart

Click here to view Appendix 4: Notification of Person Posing or Potentially Posing a Risk to Children Required to Register/Registered with Police Under Sexual Offences Act 2003 by Police Sex Offenders Unit C202A

Click here to view Appendix 5: Notification of Person Posing or Potentially Posing a Risk to Children Required to Register/Registered with Police Under Sexual Offences Act 2003 by Police Sex Offenders Unit C202B

Click here to view Appendix 6: Notification of a Child/Young Person Posing a Risk, or Potential Risk to Children (RTC) by Youth Offending Team CC8029

Click here to view Appendix 7: Notification of Person Posing or Potentially Posing a Risk to Children by Probation Service PROB 129


Amendments to this Chapter

This chapter was reviewed and updated in August 2016. Previously a single chapter it has now been set out in four parts to help professionals more easily identify what they need. It should be read in its entirety.

End.