Parents and carers

The safety and welfare of children – also known as safeguarding – is everyone’s business. You could be a parent, relative, neighbour, friend,  childminder, or you may work for any organisation which has contact with children and young people such as teacher or doctor.  Each and every one of us has a duty to safeguard, protect and promote the welfare of children and young people.  Safeguarding is everyone’s business.

Safeguarding means helping children to grow up into confident, healthy and happy adults . It also means protecting children from physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect.  Most children generally enjoy a happy childhood experiences within their own family. Unfortunately for some, this is not the case. During difficult family times, everyone who knows the child must do the best they can to keep them safe and protect them from future harm.

This part of the website is about assisting parents, carers or guardians in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. We hope you will find the information useful.

Early Intervention

In Calderdale, services to children, young people and their families are provided on a ‘Continuum of Need’ – see diagram below.  In other words, most children will access universal services such as, School, Dentist, GP as required throughout their life and will not have any additional needs.  Children whose needs are met in this way by universal services are described as children at Level or Tier 1 of the Continuum of Need.

The diagram shows that when additional needs are identified or are unmet, additional services need to become involved and the response from the relevant agencies should be more coordinated.  Most children with additional needs will be at Level 2, those that require a coordinated response may be referred to one of the Early Intervention panels (with parental consent) in order to identify the correct services to support members of the family and to nominate a Lead Professional to complete an Early Intervention Single Assessment.  The Lead Professional may be someone the child or family is already working with, for example, Learning Mentor, Health Visitor, YOT worker, Youth Worker and the aim of the assessment is to better understand the child and young person’s needs. The family and professionals will produce a plan to help the family to deal with the difficulties they are experiencing.  This will involve having regular multi-agency meetings to make sure that the plan is working.  This is Level 3 of the Continuum of Need.

When the support of services has not been able to make a difference or if the child’s needs are very complex, Children’s Social Care may need to become involved to provide a more specialist type of support.  ‘Children in Need’ are at Level 4 of the Continuum of Need.

Statutory Intervention

Concerns about the abuse, exploitation or neglect of a child or young person, need to be referred to MAST (Children’s Social Care) so they can make enquiries to find out what is happening to the child and whether protective action is needed.  Children who are involved with Children’s Social Care for these reasons, are said to be at Level 5 of the Continuum of Need.

The referral process

As you would expect, the local authority (Children’s Social Care) takes all reports or ‘Referrals’ of abuse seriously. This summarises the procedures that will be followed if Children’s Social Care receive a referral that a child may suffer or has suffered abuse.

More on the referral process

Domestic abuse and violence

The term domestic violence is used to describe anything from emotional abuse and financial abuse to sexual abuse, intimidation, isolation and/or threats.

More on domestic abuse and violence

What is Abuse?

Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. More on What is Abuse?