These are brief definitions which are explained in more detail on the relevant webpages.
ALL WALES CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES These are the child protection procedures that are used in all of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards in Wales
CAFCASS CYMRU A social work service which is part of Welsh Government and independent of local authorities, it helps parties to negotiate settlements about child arrangements in private law and provides advice to the family courts in the form of welfare reports. In most public law cases, the court appoints a children’s guardian from Cafcass to represent the child’s best interests to the court.
CAMHS means Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, which are run by the NHS. They are specialist services for support and treatment for young people who have emotional or mental health problems.
CARE ORDER An order is made by the court under section 31 Children Act 1989 which places a child in the care of the local authority, with parental responsibility being shared between the parents and the local authority. A care order lasts until a child turns 18, unless someone applies for it to end earlier under section 39 – discharge of a care order.
CHILD a child or young person aged under 18. There are some differences in the law between young children and 16 and 17 year old, for example if they are looked after, and relating to capacity to make decisions.
CHILD ARRANGEMENTS ORDER The new name (since April 2014) for a residence or contact order under section 8 Children Act 1989.
CHILD ARRANGEMENTS ALLOWANCE A person in whose favour a child arrangements order for residence has been made may apply to the local authority for a financial allowance if the order is needed to prevent the child going into care. Every local authority should have a policy on awarding this type of allowance, which is discretionary.
CHILD IN NEED ‘Children in need’ is the term used in the Children Act 1989 to describe children who need services that will allow them to be brought up within their families, and that local authorities have powers and duties to provide. Section 17 Children Act 1989 states that a child in need is a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain a reasonable level of health or development, or their health and development is likely to be significantly impaired or further impaired, without the provision of services. This definition does not apply in Wales after April 2016 when the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 comes into effect.
CHILD PROTECTION CONFERENCE A meeting with representation from a range of agencies, chaired by the Child Protection Co-ordinator or an independent chair appointed by the local authority, which makes recommendations to the local authority and/or other agencies. There are three types of Conference:
– INITIAL On average about 10 people will attend the conference to submit their reports confirming information shared by agencies and the outcome of the section 47 child protection investigation. Those invited could include the child (if s/he is of sufficient age and understanding), parents, social worker, health visitor, school nurse, nurse manager, midwife, voluntary organisation(s), housing, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Women’s Aid, police, social services team leader, school, education welfare officer, solicitor, consultant paediatrician, probation, substance misuse worker; nursery worker.
– REVIEW Every review will consider explicitly whether the child continues to be at risk of significant harm and continues to need safeguarding through adherence to the Child Protection Plan. If not, then the Conference can decide to remove the name of the young person from the Child Protection Register.
-PRE-BIRTH If a Child Protection Conference decides to register an unborn baby, registration on the Child Protection Register will commence on the date of birth.
CHILD PROTECTION CO-ORDINATOR This is a Social Services member of staff who is responsible for the Register, chairing Conferences and the practice of child protection across and between all agencies
CHILD PROTECTION CORE GROUP The Core Group will meet frequently to facilitate working together on the Plan, monitor actions and outcomes, timetable and prepare the report to the Review Conference. The Key Worker is responsible for calling the Core Group meetings and providing minutes.
CHILD PROTECTION CORE GROUP KEY WORKER The Key Worker is responsible for: making sure that the outline Plan is developed and agreed by the Core Group into a more detailed inter-agency Plan; acting as lead worker for the inter-agency work with the young person or their and child(ren) and family; ensuring communication and co-ordination between members and arranging Core Group meetings and minutes; completing the Core Assessment within the maximum 35 working days.
CHILD PROTECTION INVESTIGATION A local authority has a duty, under section 47 Children Act 1989, to investigate if it appears that a child in their area is suffering significant harm.
CHILD PROTECTION PLAN If the Initial Conference agrees to registration on the CPR (see below), the Conference must also confirm an outline Plan for the Core Group which will then develop and agree a full Plan in the first meeting.
CHILD PROTECTION REGISTER (CPR) On behalf of the Local Safeguarding Children’ Board, the Social Services Department maintains the CPR which lists all the children and young people in the county who are assessed by a Conference to be suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm and for whom there is a Child Protection Plan, a key worker and Core Group. The name of the child or young person can only be placed on the CPR by a decision of an Initial Conference that the criteria for registration have been met. A child’s name can only be removed by a decision of a Review Conference. When a child is on the Register in one county of the UK and moves to another county, they are automatically placed on the Register of the ‘receiving’ county. An Initial Conference will be held to ‘transfer-in’ the child and decide if the grounds for registration justify remaining on the Register.
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE FRAMEWORK FOR PARTNERSHIP The Welsh Government guidance on planning services for children and young people, setting out expectations of statutory service providers and their partners. The local Partnership will produce a strategic statement of how the well being of children and young people will be improved across all areas of their lives, setting the agreed headline aims and objectives.
CODE OF PRACTICE The guidance issued with the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 is a mix of statutory and non-statatory guidance known as Codes.
CONTACT is the term used for ongoing access and contact between a child and a parent (or wider family) who have been separated. There are different legal provisions regarding contact, depending on whether the child is subject to a dispute between separated parents (private law) or whether a child is looked after (public law). Contact in private law comes under section 8 Children Act 1989. Contact in public law comes under s 34 Children Act 1989 and s 96 Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.
CONTACT ORDER Under section 8 Children Act 1989 a non-resident parent or other person may have a court order about the contact they may have with the child. Since April 2014 these orders are called Child Arrangements Orders.
DESIGNATED PERSON The person within an organisation who has lead responsibility for child protection.
DISCLOSURE A statement a child or young person makes to another person that describes the abuse that occurred to them.
DUTY OFFICER The local authority member of staff who is on duty during office hours to receive telephone referrals and interview visitors to the office.
EDUCATION SUPERVISION ORDER A child of compulsory school age can, under section 36 Children Act 1989, be placed under the supervision of the Local Education Authority where they are ‘not being properly educated’ because of the poor school attendance. The aim of the Order is to strengthen and encourage parents in exercising their responsibility to a child.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA were introduced by the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. An adult, child or carer who has been assessed as needing care and support shoud be offered a service if they meet these crieria.
EMERGENCY PROTECTION ORDER (EPO) In situations of crisis where a child needs immediate protection, under section 44 of the Children Act 1989, the local authority can acquire parental responsibility for the duration of the Order, which is up to 8 days (and may be extended to a maximum of 15 days).
EXCLUSION ORDER There are a range of powers available under the Family Law Act 1996 which may allow a perpetrator to be removed from the home, instead of having to remove the child. An exclusion order can be attached to an Emergency Protection Order or an Interim Care Order.
GILLICK COMPETENT describes a child aged under 16 who is judged to have sufficient maturity and understanding to make a particular decision e.g to consent to medical treatment or to instruct their own solicitor.
GROOMING AND TARGETING Description of the actions taken by an individual, deliberately selecting and establishing a relationship of trust which they then manipulate to exercise power over the victim (and their family).
HUMAN RIGHTS usually refer to the rights listed in the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Under the Human Rights Act 1989 these rights should be observed in UK legislation and actions by public bodies.
INDEPENDENT REVIEWING OFFICER (IRO) is an independent person appointed to chair looked-after children reviews.
INTERIM CARE ORDER An Interim Care Order may be made by a court under section 38 Children Act 1989 during proceedings for a care order under section 31. It will last until the scheduled next court hearing.
IN LOCO PARENTIS is a Latin phrase meaning ‘in place of a parent’ and refers to the person legally responsible for a child in the absence of the child’s parent(s) or regular carers.
KINSHIP care (also known as a family and friends placement) is where a child is being cared for by a relative or other adult they know. A kinship placement can have different legal status, depending on whether the child is looked after or whether there is a court order in force.
LOCAL SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN BOARD (LSCB) Section 31(2) of the Children Act 2004 requires each local authority in Wales to establish a LSCB for their area, which will coordinate what is done by its members to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in the area of the authority. Meeting at regular intervals, the Board provides the local inter-agency forum for developing, monitoring and reviewing safeguarding issues.
LOOKED-AFTER CHILD ‘Looked-after’ is a legal status for a child or young person which creates specific rights for the child and powers and duties for the local authority. The child may be looked after by the local authority either because (1) their parents have agreed to this under s 76 Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 [previoulsy section 20 Children Act 1989] or because (2) there has been a court order giving the local authority a share in parental responsibility. These court orders are section 31 (care order) and section 38 (interim care order). Looked-after children are often referred to as ‘in care’.
MENTAL CAPACITY The law on whether a young person or a parent has the legal capacity to make decisions, including rights of parents with learning disabilities.
MAPPA: MULTI AGENCY PUBLIC PROTECTION ARRANGEMENTS Statutory requirements on the police, prison and probation service:
To establish arrangements for assessing and managing the risks posed by sexual and violent offenders,
To review and monitor the arrangements; and, as part of the reviewing and monitoring arrangements;
To prepare and publish an annual report on their operation
There are principally three categories of offender who fall within the MAPPA:
Category 1– registered sex offenders (RSOs), that is those sexual offenders required to register under the terms of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 and its amendments;
Category 2– violent offenders and those sexual offenders who are not required to register; and
Category 3-other offenders who, because of the offences committed by them (wherever they have been committed) are considered to pose a risk of serious harm to the public.
MARAC: MULTI AGENCY RISK ASSESSMENT CONFERENCE A MARAC is a formal multi-agency conference that is used to manage the risk assessment process in cases of reported or high risk domestic violence. Minutes and agreed management action plans are detailed at each meeting and distributed to all attendees to ensure that those involved understand the contribution they are expected to make. MARAC meetings are normally held each month.
MEDIATION is a process whereby an independent mediator enables parties (usually separated parents) in dispute to negotiate an arrangement for the child.
MIAM (MEDIATION INFORMATION AND ADVICE MEETING) Meeting required by the court before a parent can issue an application for a child arrangements order. The purpose is to advise about the option of mediation, where appropriate.
OUT OF HOURS TEAM or EMERGENCY DUTY TEAM The services provided by Social Services during the evening, weekend and holidays
PARAMOUNTCY PRINCIPLE Under section 1 Children Act 1989 , the welfare of the young person is the paramount consideration in all Children Act 1989 court proceedings. After the court considers all the factors in the case, the child’s welfare will be the most important. This principle also apples in Adoption and Children Act 2002 decisions. (Also known as the ‘welfare principle’.)
PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY (or PR) Defined as ‘all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property’ by section 3(1) Children Act 1989. A child’s mother automatically has PR. A child’s father will usually have PR if he is married to the mother or has his name on the birth certificate. He may otherwise get PR by applying to court. Details are set out in section 4 of the Act.
POLICE PROTECTION Under section 46 of the Children Act 1989, where a police officer has reasonable cause to believe that a child would otherwise be likely to suffer significant harm, they may remove the child to suitable accommodation for up to 72 hours. This power is often inaccurately referred to as a ‘police protection order’ but there is no court order involved.
PRE-PROCEEDINGS PROCESS is part of the Public Law Outline (PLO) under which a local authority formally notifies a parent that a care application is being considered. It involves a letter before proceedings and a pre-proceedings meeting.
PROTECTION OF VULNERABLE ADULTS (POVA) PROCEDURES Inter-agency procedures to guide in the safeguarding work concerned with the welfare of vulnerable adults.
PUBLIC LAW OUTLINE (PLO) is the process to be followed to ensure that a care case is completed within 26 weeks of the application being made.
RESIDENCE ORDER Until April 2014, an order under section 8 Children Act 1989 settling the arrangements to be made as to who a child will live with was called a residence order. These are now called child arrangements orders.
RISK ASSESSMENT To identify those activities of potential risk to service users, staff or the public and to agree action to eliminate, reduce or minimise their impact.
‘RISK TO CHILDREN’ (SCHEDULE ONE OFFENDER-Sex Offender Act, 1997) A person convicted of a sexual offence or violent offences under numerous statutes, including Sex Offenders Act 1997.
SAFEGUARDING Actions taken by the organisation to minimise the risks to young people and children and create safe environments for them.
SECURE ACCOMMODATION refers to the local authority’s powers to restrict the liberty of a child under section 119 Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.
SECTION 47 INVESTIGATION The Children Act 1989 places a duty on local authorities to make enquiries in cases where there is reasonable cause to suspect that a young person or child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm.
SIGNIFICANT HARM The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of significant harm as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interests of the young person or children. “Harm” means ill treatment or the impairment of health or development. “Development” includes physical, intellectual, emotional or behavioural development. “Health” means physical or mental health. “Ill-treatment” includes means physical and sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment which are not physical.
SOLE CHARGE Having unsupervised contact with children or young people
SPECIAL GUARDIAN a person who has been granted a special guardianship order (SGO) under s 14A Children Act 1989. This order gives the special guardian parental responsibility for a child, which they can exercise to the exclusion of the parent.
STATUTORY GUIDANCE Written guidance that is stated to be issued under section 7 Local Government Act 1970. Local authorities must follow this guidance, unless they can justify why they departed from it in the circumstances of the case.
STRATEGY MEETING An inter-agency meeting to consider the full details of the allegations and any other relevant information, whether a Section 47 investigation is required, planning the investigation in relation to child protection, criminal investigation and (where necessary) disciplinary investigation and coordinating the tasks to be undertaken within the Child Protection Procedures.
SUPERVISION ORDER An order under S31(1)(b) Children Act 1989 where the threshold criteria have been reached but the child’s welfare will be best met by them staying with the parent under the supervision of the local authority for a 12-mojth period.
THRESHOLD CRITERIA This is the term given to the requirements under section 31(2) Children Act 1989 that a local authority has to prove to the court if a care order or a supervision order is to be made.
THRESHOLD STATEMENT A statement filed with the court application for a care order which succinctly explains what evidence will be presented to prove that the s31 criteria have been reached.
VIABILITY ASSESSMENT An initial assessment by or on behalf of a local authority on whether a potential kinship (family and friends) carer might be able to provide long-term care for a child is sometimes known as a ‘viability assessment’ of whether the time should be taken to undertake a full assessment, which may delay the decision to be made about a child’s placement.
VULNERABLE ADULT A ‘Vulnerable Adult’ means any person of 18 years or over who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reasons of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is, or may be unable to take care of himself or herself or protect himself or herself against significant harm or serious exploitation. In the context of ‘vulnerable adult’, “harm” should be defined to mean ill treatment (including sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment that are not physical), the impairment of, or an avoidable deterioration in, physical or mental health and the impairment of physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural developments. See Protection of Vulnerable Adults Procedures above.
WELLBEING Many references in the law to children’s welfare have been replaced by ‘wellbeing’ from April 2016. Wellbeing is defined in section 2 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.
WELFARE CHECKLIST is the list of factors under section 1(3) Children Act 1989 that the court has regard to when making a decision.