CSCB Priority 2 – Safeguarding Vulnerable Children in Calderdale

Priority 2 of CSCB Business Plan is that Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board –

Know which children are vulnerable and are assured that they are protected 

The CSCB are currently leading on and therefore prioritising:

  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Child Emotional Wellbeing / Mental Health
  • Sexual Harm
  • Neglect

The information on this page is linked to this priority.

Missing (Unaccompanied Children)

An unprecedented number of migrant children arrived in Europe unaccompanied in 2014. While official statistics related to 2015 have not yet been published, it is certain that this number increased drastically. In addition, many organisations have reported that the chaotic situation at the EU-Balkans’ border caused a high number of children to be separated from their families. Research reveals that up to 50% of the unaccompanied children accommodated go missing from certain reception facility in some countries in the European Union, and in many cases, information about the child’s whereabouts remain unknown.

This summit report ‘Best practices and key challenges on interagency cooperation to safeguard unaccompanied children from going missing‘ reflects research to identify good practices and key challenges in inter-agency cooperation in the prevention of, and response to, vulnerable unaccompanied children who go missing from reception centres and other types of care.

Child Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

Young Minds (UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people) have produced the following statistics

  • One in Four (26%) young people in the UK experience suicidal thoughts
  • ChildLine (UK) has revealed that it held 34,517 counselling sessions in 2013/14 with children who talked about suicide – a 116 percent increase since 2010/11.
  • Among teenagers, rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the past 25 years, particularly since the mid 1980’s.
  • The number of children and young people who have presented to A&E with a psychiatric condition have more than doubled since 2009. (8,358 in 10/11; 17,278 in 13/14)
  • 55% of children who have been bullied later developed depression as adults
  • 45% of children and young people under the age of 18 detained under s.136 were taken to police custody in 2012/13

The First Point of Contact for Calderdale CAMHS provides a single point of entry for all CAMHS referrals and also offers the children’s workforce the opportunity to have a helpful conversation with a mental health clinician.  Click on this link to see how referrals are processed within CAMHS

School staff and other professionals who work with children and young people are able to refer into the service where the child meets the threshold for CAMHS (phone to discuss if unsure). Referrals to CAMHS (both Tier 2 and Tier 3) can be submitted via the secure electronic referral form ( see ) or by sending a paper referral form (attached) to 9 Clare Rd, Halifax, HX1 2HX.

Professionals are encouraged to phone the First Point of Contact on 01422 300 001 if they want to talk through concerns they have about a child or young person, or if they want to discuss a potential referral to CAMHS.

Qualified mental health practitioners are available between 9am and 4.30pm to provide telephone support, consultation, advice, signposting information, and referral guidance.

This development is being led by Northpoint Wellbeing (formerly called Leeds Counselling) who provide Tier 2 CAMHS in Calderdale, in partnership with SWYT who provide Tier 3 CAMHS.

Click on this CAMHS Referral Form 2016 to make a referral in to the Calderdale Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

A number of voluntary sector organisations offer emotional support to children and young people.  See Therapeutic and Counselling Services Directory  and also CVAC directory.

Minded has produced a number of short e-learning modules to provide more information about mental health and young people.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists have produced a lot of useful fact sheets and resources for parents and children which explain different disorders and provide advice on negotiating mental health services.

Children's Commissioner

This links to the Children’s Commissioners website which has lots of useful information for children and young people, parents, carers and professionals. It includes new reports, research findings, news articles and much more

The report for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England ‘It takes a lot to build trust': Recognition and Telling: Developing earlier routes to help children and young people can be downloaded here

‘It takes a lot to build trust’ and the executive summary is available here It takes a lot to build trust EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

See the dedicated page for details about referrals, risk assessment and intelligence

Criminal Exploitation of children and vulnerable adults

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

From 31st October 2015, all regulated professionals (e.g. health  practitioners, teachers, social workers) are required to report known cases of FGM relating to a girl under the age of 18 years, directly to the Police.   West Yorkshire procedures provide more details on other action that should be taken in these circumstances.   More detailed information about the duty to report can be found in this Home Office publication ‘Mandatory Reporting of FGM – procedural information‘.  This West Yorkshire Police FGM Reporting Form should be completed and returned to the email address on the form.

Calderdale has produced a strategy document which sets out what partners (across both the Adult and the Children’s Safeguarding Board) have agreed they will do locally to develop how we ensure that Female Genital Mutilation is identified responded to and ultimately ceases to be a form of abuse that women and girls suffer.  Follow this link to access the CSCB FGM Strategy document Feb 2017

HM Government has produced guidelines which offer advice and support to frontline professionals who have responsibilities to safeguard children and protect and support adults from the abuses associated with female genital mutilation (FGM). As it is unlikely that any single agency will be able to meet the multiple needs of someone affected by FGM, the document ‘Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines: Female Genital Mutilation’ sets out a multi-agency response and strategies to encourage agencies to cooperate and work together. FGM is illegal in the UK. For the purpose of the criminal law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, FGM is mutilation of the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris.

FGM is prevalent in 28 African countries as well as in parts of the Middle East and Asia. It is estimated that approximately 103,000 women aged 15-49 and approximately 24,000 women aged 50 and over who have migrated to England and Wales are living with the consequences of FGM. In addition, approximately 10,000 girls aged under 15 who have migrated to England and Wales are likely to have undergone FGM.

FGM is practised by families for a variety of complex reasons but often in the belief that it is beneficial for the girl or woman. FGM constitutes a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls, and has severe short-term and long-term physical and psychological consequences.

To learn more about this important subject, undertake this free Home Office e-learning course


Working Together 2015 defines neglect as ‘The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
  • protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
  • ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or
  • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

The NSPCC has produced a comprehensive guide to neglect including:

  • A definition and explanation of types of neglect;
  • Signs and symptoms;
  • Details of a child’s needs;
  • Preventing child neglect and how to keep children safe.

A research report on child neglect by the Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre, says that while recognition of untreated dental disease as an indicator of broader child neglect is improving, in young children it still tends to be “unidentified and not communicated” by health professionals. – See more at: Children and Young People Now for an article on the link between neglect and tooth decay.

The NSPCC has also produced a report which highlights under reporting of neglect in teenagers.

The report, Hurting Inside, reveals that of the 23,037 children reported by the public, or referred by the NSPCC helpline, police or children’s services, only 16% were regarding children aged 12-18.

On-Line Safety

The NSPCC has produced this useful guide for practitioners speaking to young people about staying safe on-line and on-line bullying. The document contains session plans as practice tools and further sources of information for both young people and professionals.

NSPCC online abuse and bullying prevention guide

The link to this page on the Gov.UK website provides useful guidance on addressing the issue of sharing indecent images on line  Indecent images of children: guidance for young people

Sports Clubs

In light of the recent concerns raised regarding historical allegations of abuse in relation to football, the CSCB are offering support and advice to all those involved in providing organised sporting activities for children in Calderdale. Click on this document for more information.

CSCB Advice to Sports Clubs Dec 2016

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child describe what a child needs to survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential. They apply equally to every child, regardless of who they are or where they come from. It is the most complete statement of children’s rights ever produced and is the most widely-ratified international human rights treaty in history. The United Kingdom ratified the Convention on 16 December 1991, with several declarations and reservations. The full convention can be found here and a child friendly version on the Children and Young People page of this website.

A summary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child