Statement on Child Protection and Common Assessment Framework Procedures
Current legislation gives the Local Authority a duty to investigate when it is suspected or found that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. The local authority will then make enquiries with other agencies to enable them to decide whether they should take any action to safeguard or promote the childâ€™s welfare.
As a school we have a statutory duty to assist social care departments acting on behalf of children in need or enquiring into allegations of child abuse. As well as this statutory duty we have a pastoral responsibility towards our pupils and we recognise that pupils have a fundamental right to be protected from harm. Children cannot learn effectively unless they feel safe and secure. We therefore have a Child Protection Policy, which reflects both our statutory duty and our pastoral responsibilities.
If we have a concern that a child has been abused or is at risk of being abused, we have a duty to refer this to social care. In making any referral, the school is not making any judgement, for example, about individual parents or carers. It is for social care to decide whether there should be an investigation.
At Lowerplace School we understand that sometimes there may be other circumstances (which are not to do with child protection) when we feel that you and your family may benefit from some support from other agencies. There are often good reasons for why a parent might be finding it difficult to meet a child’s needs at a particular time. Often, parents recognise that they would benefit from support in one or two areas, and as a school we are able to help parents to get the guidance and advice they may need. This can include referrals to the following:
School Health Team, for concerns about medical conditions or needs
CAMHS or MIND, for any mental health queries for adults or children
Young Carers, for children who help to look after/support parents with medical conditions
Charities who work with adults struggling with worklessness
Charities/agencies who support parents dealing with alcoholism or substance abuse
Charities who support families living with domestic abuse or domestic violence
Charities who support families who are at risk of homelessness or debt
Education Welfare Service, for children experiencing difficulties with school attendance
The Youth Offending Team, for children at risk of committing crime
Parent Support agencies/charities including 1:1 Family Workers, Advocates and Befriending Services
There are also a number of courses available throughout the borough which parents may like to take part in, covering subjects such as household management, behaviour management, confidence building, parenting and much more.
In order to access these levels of support, school may initiate a CAF (Common Assessment Framework). This is simply a form that is completed with parents, outlining your circumstances and which services it is felt would be best placed to help you meet the needs of your family. A CAF is not a referral to Children’s Social Care, and parents are actively encouraged to take part in this process to ensure the best outcomes.
To read our full Child Protection Policy, please see below.