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1.1.9 Protocol Between Knowsley Youth Offending Service and Knowsley Children's Social Care

Summary of Policy

The Youth Offending Service is a statutory partnership between The Police, Probation, Children’s Services, Education and Health in accordance with the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The principal aim of the partnership is to prevent offending by children and young people and to tackle it effectively through a range of measures when it does occur. Children’s Social Care (CSC) and the Youth Offending Service (YOS) are committed to working closely, particularly where there is child protection or child welfare concerns, or when a child is being looked after by Knowsley Borough Council.

Summary of Supporting Procedure

The Protocol between YOS and CSC is a working tool, which provides the framework for how we will work together. The approach taken should be one of co-operation and problem solving whilst remaining child focused. The Appendices are particularly relevant and should be referred to when dealing with particular matters such as bail or accommodation issues.

Communicating with Service Users of Carers

Learning, speech and language difficulties are prevalent amongst children within the criminal justice system. When following this protocol, if you need to communicate with service users or carers, it is essential that the communication is made in a way that is understandable to them. If the service user has a learning / communication need, you will need to ensure that any written communication is in an appropriate form and consider whether it would be advisable to have an Advocate available for any discussions. Additionally where people may be from a different ethnic origin, it is essential to confirm whether English is their first language. If English is not their first language enquiries should be made as to whether written or spoken communications in their first language would be preferred. It is important that information is accessible to all.

RELEVANT GUIDANCE

Knowsley Safeguarding Children Board Procedures

National Standards for Youth Justice Services

RELEVANT CHAPTERS

Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure

Knowsley Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual, Preventing and Tackling the Criminal Exploitation of Children

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated and amended throughout in December 2016.


Contents

  1. Statement of Aims and Principles
  2. Service Provision
  3. Information Sharing
  4. Maintaining Links
  5. Dispute Resolution
  6. Diversity Statement
  7. Working Together
  8. Review

    Appendices


1. Statement of Aims and Principles

1.1

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 places a statutory responsibility on all Local Authority departments to consider the implications for crime and disorder reduction in their policies and service provision. Children’s Social Care are actively contributing to this in a number of ways:

  • As a member of the Knowsley Children’s Safeguarding Board;
  • As a Statutory member of the YOS Strategic Management Board;
  • As a financial statutory contributor to the YOS budget.
CSC and the YOS recognise that there are many areas where partnership working can enhance the quality of their services and improve outcomes, and that these areas can best be delivered within a framework of clear agency principles and responsibilities.
1.2

The principal aim of the legislation established under Section 37 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 is “to prevent offending by children and young people”. The YOS will be the main vehicle by which this aim is delivered through the following supporting objectives:

  • The swift administration of justice;
  • Confronting offenders with the consequences of their offending;
  • Tackling risk factors in offending;
  • Intervention proportionate to the seriousness of the offence;
  • Restoration and support to victims of youth crime;
  • Reinforcing the responsibilities of parents / carers.
1.3 The Local Authority, which includes YOS and Children’s Social Care, has a duty under the Children Act 1989 to “safeguard and promote the welfare of Children In Need and to provide a range of appropriate services accordingly. Children Looked After for whom the Local Authority acts as Corporate Parent are a defined category of children in need along with other children who are deemed to be a Child in Need under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989. YOS duties should be delivered within the broader context of a Local Authority Children’s Plan, Youth Justice Strategic Plan and Community Safety Plan and in tandem with an over-arching safeguarding responsibility for children and young people.
1.4 Both Services recognise the responsibilities of parents. This agreement is based on the principle that, wherever possible, parents will be involved unless parental involvement is clearly not in the child’s best interests, or the interest of justice. In respect of children looked after, the relationship between the YOS and CSC will, so far as is possible, mirror that between the parents and the YOS with any other child. The allocation of respective responsibilities reflects this principle.
1.5 The purpose of this Protocol is to define areas of responsibility concerning service provision, practice arrangements and information sharing so that common principles of intervention are established and that where different demands exist between the parties to this agreement, there are measures in place for them to be reconciled.
1.6 Children’s Social Care and the YOS are both committed to the principle that meeting the needs of a child often requires a multi-skilled and, therefore, joint approach and that this approach will take priority over agency boundary issues. There is also recognition that while interventions will be constrained by resource issues, they will not be resource led.
1.7

Links with other policies/procedures:


2. Service Provision

2.1

The YOS is required to ensure the provision of a number of core services either by providing the service directly, or through another Local Authority department or agency. This section defines the respective role of the CSC and the YOS in respect of provision of those core services. Particular attention is given to the role of the CSC in relation to its responsibilities to children looked after and other children in need.

These include:

Appropriate Adult under PACE / Accommodation Responsibilities Appendix 1
Accommodation Appendix 2
Bail, Remands and Custodial Sentences Appendix 3
Reports Appendix 4
Statutory Criminal Justice Interventions and Risk Management Appendix 5
Quality Standards for Children Looked After Appendix 6
Parenting Orders Appendix 7
Referrals to Children’s Social Care by YOS Appendix 8
List of Specified Violent and Sexual Offences Appendix 9


3. Information Sharing

3.1 General Principle - Effective joint agency practice will depend to a large extent on the sharing of relevant information between agencies. Section 115 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 enables agencies and individuals to disclose information, where that disclosure is necessary or expedient for the purposes of enabling the YOS to discharge its primary functions. It is the responsibility of both services for an Information Sharing Protocol to be in place to ensure the legitimacy of these arrangements.
3.2

Specific Cases - The YOS and CSC will exchange information relevant to the referral, assessment, planning and review processes in the following individual cases:

  • Children currently Looked After by the Local Authority referred to the YOS;
  • Children previously Looked After by the Local Authority referred to the YOS;
  • Children currently an open case to the Local Authority as a Child in Need under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989;
  • Children previously an open case to the Local Authority as a “child in need” under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989;
  • Children currently open to the Local Authority who are subject to a Child Protection Plan;
  • Children previously open to the Local Authority who were subject to a Child Protection Plan;
  • Any child reasonably suspected by a member of the YOS to be suffering, or likely to suffer Significant Harm as defined by local Safeguarding Children Board procedures;
  • Where risk to staff or wider community have been identified.
3.3 In all cases where appropriate the relevant authority will advise the children and their parents that appropriate information will be shared, unless to do so would compromise a child’s safety and wellbeing.
3.4

The YOS will make enquiries in order to establish whether a child is known to CSC and will establish contact with CSC to notify them of YOS involvement.

  • Where a child open to CSC is assessed to require further services from CSC, the YOS will contact the relevant team directly, discuss the matter with the allocated social worker and share the completed AssetPlus or relevant Early Help Assessment pertaining to their disposal or court order;
  • Where a child known to YOS, not currently open to CSC, is assessed as requiring services, the YOS will complete a MARF as would any other external agency (see Appendix 8: Referrals to Children Social Care by YOS).
3.5 The YOS will provide to the CSC aggregated information on its involvement with Children Looked After and Other Children in Need. The CSC will provide the YOS with aggregated information on Children Looked After, Children in Need and Children with a Child Protection Plan for the purpose of joint working and effective practice.


4. Maintaining Links

4.1

In order to ensure efficient and effective partnership working, a communication structure will be established with nominated staff links to include the following:

  • Nominated YOS Operational Manager to liaise with nominated equivalent manager from CSC on a monthly basis;
  • Named Independent Reviewing Officer linked to the YOS to provide consultation and guidance where required in relation to safeguarding matters and contribution to Quality Assurance;
  • Nominated YOS manager to liaise with nominated EDT manager for all relevant cases;
  • YOS and CSC (or equivalents) to meet bi monthly with attendance by CSC Improvement Manager as required.


5. Dispute Resolution

5.1 This agreement is designed to provide the framework to reduce the areas of uncertainty between the CSC and the YOS. In the event that there is a dispute between the parties to this agreement the principle is that it should be resolved at the management level closest to the area of dispute. In the event that it cannot be resolved at that level is should be escalated appropriately, if necessary, to the respective Heads of Service or equivalent within YOS and CSC. The final level of appeal is the Executive Director for Children’s Services. Where relevant KSCB escalation procedures remain applicable and should be used in accordance with KSCB Procedures.


6. Diversity Statement

6.1 All the agencies who are signatories to this protocol seek to ensure that it does not disadvantage any groups, or individuals on the grounds of their ethnicity, gender, culture, religion, sexual orientation or disability. All agencies should also seek to promote and celebrate diversity and give due regard to equality of opportunity.


7. Working Together

7.1

The YOS and CSC will ensure there are processes consistently applied across the services to ensure that staff in both agencies:

  1. Maintain an ongoing dialogue on all areas of common interest to the Borough;
  2. Alert each other to key legislative and policy requirements which either will or may necessitate changes to procedures or practice;
  3. Develop shared practice guidance which is informed by national and local requirements and by learning on a case by case basis;
  4. Share management information which ensures an understanding of the outcomes for children and young people where both YOS and CSC have been jointly concerned;
  5. Promote best practice including Workshops between the two agencies;
  6. Facilitation of joint practice audits to monitor performance and identify training needs.


8. Review

The signatories to this protocol will nominate senior managers to meet on a quarterly basis for monitoring purposes and be responsible for ensuring formal review.

Signed:

 


Name: Dionne Atkinson
Title: Head of Service
Service: Integrated Services

Signed:

 


Name: Peter Murphy
Title: Assistant Executive Director
Service: Children’s Social Care

Date: October 2018

Review: October 2020


Appendices

Click here to view Appendix 1: Appropriate Adult under PACE / Accommodation Responsibilities

Click here to view Appendix 2: Accommodation

Click here to view Appendix 3: Bail, Remands and Custodial Sentences

Click here to view Appendix 4: Reports

Click here to view Appendix 5: Statutory Criminal Justice Interventions and Risk Management

Click here to view Appendix 6: Quality Standards for Children Looked After

Click here to view Appendix 7: Parenting Orders

Click here to view Appendix 8: Referrals to Children Social Care by YOS

Click here to view Appendix 9: Specified Violent and Sexual Offences

End