For professionals and volunteers

The NSCP publishes procedures and practice guidance, regular newsletters and learning bulletins which draw on learning from reviews and case audits. The following resources and information may also be helpful. 

Indicators of possible Child Abuse (green card)

Indicators of possible child abuse (green card) provides indicators of physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and emotional abuse. For further information see the indicators of possible child abuse [PDF] or to order copies of the green card email info.nscb@nottscc.gov.uk.

Pathway to Provision

Pathway to Provision is a set of guidance for agencies to use when they are concern about a child. It identifies different levels of need and the responsibilities of those working with children and young people in addressing these. 

The Voice of the Child & Working with Young Children

The child's voice is a phrase used to describe the real involvement of children and young people. It means more than seeking their views, which could just mean the child saying what they want, rather than being really involved in what happens.

When considering capturing the Voice of the Child there are many resources available of which practitioners can use. Listed below are some resources of which Nott’s County Council staff often use, which may also be useful for partner organisations .

These information gathering tools were developed to help primary school age children talk about (and record) three key assessment questions:

1. What is working well

2. What are you worried about
3. What needs to happen/how would things look in a perfect world

The tools can be re-used to see how circumstances have changed for the child.

Beginning with the ‘Good Things’, questions should be directed around positive things that the child enjoys doing. After this stage you should progress to discuss the ‘Worries’ and find out if there are things that worry the child or things that they don’t like. Finally the ‘Dreams or wishes’ explores thoughts and ideas the child has about what would be happening if things were the way the child wanted it to be. A description is built up detailing who would be present and what types of behaviors would occur.

Reference: Derived from tools by Durie, M. (1998) Whai ora, Maori Health Development. Oxford University Press. Auckland. De Shazer, Steve (1985)

Safer Sleeping Risk Assessment Tool

In Nottinghamshire there are on average 6 deaths each year of babies where an unsafe sleep environment is a modifiable factor in the child’s death.

Safer sleep advice is given out to all new parents in pregnancy and the first few days and weeks of a baby’s life by universal health services. To prevent further deaths we need everyone working with families in Nottinghamshire to help ensure safe sleep advice is followed.

To help tackle this a safer sleep risk assessment tool has been developed. The tool explains what safer sleep is and helps you identify risk factors for unsafe sleeping. It also provides information to help you support families and includes links to resources that you can download for parents.

The tool is recommended for use by professionals from all sectors who work with families with babies and who have completed the NSCP safer sleep e learning package

Baby summer safety and local training

The Lullaby Trust ‘Baby summer safety’ advice is now available and includes information on how to enjoy the summer and keep baby safe when the weather gets hot, including tips on:

  • Travelling by car
  • Following a safer sleep routine on holiday
  • Keeping baby cool when out and about
  • Making sure baby has enough fluids
  • Room temperature

Also if  you haven’t seen it, there is a new animation on safer co-sleeping here. 

Pathway for non-mobile baby with bruising or a suspicious mark

This pathway describes the action that a practitioner should take if they become aware of a bruise or suspicious mark on a non-mobile baby.   A new animation film, developed by a multi-agency partnership group led by Dr Becky Sands (Designated Doctor for Safeguarding), is now available to help promote the pathway.  The film provides advice to practitioners about seeking an explanation from the babies carers  and what action to take if no explanation is provided or an unlikely or inadequate explanation is given. 

Please take a look at the animation and share it with your colleagues 

The ‘bruising in babies pathway’ can be found in the resources section of the procedures 

Adverse Childhood Experiences 

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are highly stressful, and potentially traumatic, events or situations that occur during childhood and adolescence.

We all recognise that repeated and sustained adversity in childhood can lead to emotional harm but did you know it causes physical changes too? ACEs lead to a biological toxic stress response which then causes a trauma response to everyday life challenges.  This is a normal natural response to toxic stress. 

This then affects our physical psychological health, social and financial function meaning we’re more likely to make poor choices such as health-harming behaviour and substance misuse. This effect can also lead to poor physical and mental health outcomes across the life course. All of this combined will have an impact on relationships and with socialising, learning and earning. Four or more adverse childhood exposures significantly increase the impact later on in life. See poster for more information and examples of what kinds of experiences are adverse (see attached poster).

Watch a short and powerful video clip which illustrates the impact of ACEs and of equal importance to us as professionals, how noticing difficulties in children’s lives and responding to them with support and early help can change the outcome for their adult lives.

Addressing childhood adversity and trauma infographic [PDF].

Rethinking Did Not Attend

A short film has been developed by colleagues at Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Board to promote the message that children who miss appointments should not be recorded as ‘Did Not Attend’ and instead the term ‘Was Not Brought’ should be used. Using this wording acknowledges that children need an adult to take them to appointments and that if they miss appointments professionals should look at the reasons behind it and consider any safeguarding or welfare issues.

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

MASH is the county's first point of contact for new safeguarding concerns and has significantly improved the sharing of information between agencies, helping to protect the most vulnerable children and adults from harm, neglect and abuse. 

MASH receives safeguarding concerns from professionals, such as teachers and doctors, as well as members of the public and family members. For those concerns that meet the threshold for social care involvement, representatives from the different agencies in the MASH and outside will collate information from their respective sources to build up a holistic picture of the circumstances of the case and the associated risks to the child or adult. 

As a result, better decisions will be made about what action to take and support will be targeted on the most urgent cases. Feedback will also be given to professionals reporting concerns. Better co-ordination between agencies will lead to an improved service for children and families. 

Information Sharing

Information sharing is vital to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. A key factor identified in many serious case reviews has been a failure by practitioners to record information, to share it, to understand its significance and then take appropriate action.

For more information please see the chapter within the Inter-agency Safeguarding Children Procedures and see the Information Sharing Questions and Answers [PDF].

In addition , see the HM Government Document:- Information sharing. Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, and carers [PDF].

This advice is non-statutory, and has been produced to support practitioners in the decisions they take when sharing information to reduce the risk of harm to children and young people. It is for all frontline practitioners and senior managers working with children, young people, parents and carers who have to make decisions about sharing personal information on a case by case basis. It might also be helpful for practitioners working with adults who are responsible for children who may be in need.

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)

Nottinghamshire Probation Trust works with the Police and Prison Service to manage the supervision in the community of the most dangerous offenders, including violent and sexual offenders.  These three agencies are known as the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements responsible authorities. 

Private fostering

A private fostering arrangement is one that is made privately (not through the local authority), for the care of a child under 16 years (or under 18 if the child has a disability), by someone other than a parent or close relative with the intention that it should last for 28 days or more.

To help keep children safe and support families, all parents and private foster carers must notify the local authority of their intention to enter into a private fostering arrangement.

Local authorities are required to satisfy themselves that the welfare of children who are, or will be, privately fostered within their area is being, or will be, satisfactorily safeguarded and promoted.   After an initial visit to assess the suitability of the arrangement every child in a private fostering arrangement should be visited by an officer of the local authority at intervals of not more than 6 weeks in the first year and intervals of not more than 12 weeks in any second or subsequent year.

Sometimes private fostering arrangements are not notified to the local authority by parents and private foster carers and this can leave a child in a vulnerable position.  If you believe a child is being privately fostered and the local authority is not aware please contact the MASH who will then be able to enquire if the arrangement falls under the private fostering regulations and if so arrange for children’s social care to check the suitability.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It has no health benefits and harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and hence interferes with the natural function of girls and women's bodies. The practice causes severe pain and has several immediate and long-term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth also causing danger to the child.

FGM  constitutes a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls.

The NSCP safeguarding guide on FGM provides further information and guidance and it can be found within the interagency safeguarding procedures. Tho Home Office has a free e-learning module which you can access on our e-learning training page.

The Serious Crime Act 2015 amended the FGM Act 2003 and introduced a mandatory reporting duty which requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wale to report 'known' cases of FGM in under 18s which they identify in the course of their professional work to the police. Please see the Home Office Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation - procedural information [PDF].

Safeguarding children and young people against radicalisation and violent extremism 

Radicalisation is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups.

Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas (HM Government Prevent Strategy 2011).

Keeping children safe from these risks is a safeguarding matter and should be approached in the same way as safeguarding children from other risks.

The NSCP safeguarding guide ‘safeguarding children and young people against radicalisation and violent extremism’ provides further information and guidance and it can be found within the interagency procedures.

Child exploitation and online protection command (CEOP)

The National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) (formerly the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) works with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account. They protect children from harm online and offline, directly through NCA led operations and in partnership with local and international agencies. 

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Concerns Network (Operation Striver)

Nottinghamshire Police have introduced a new way to improve the sharing of low level non-emergency intelligence concerning child sexual exploitation between partner agencies in Nottinghamshire. An information sheet [PDF] has been developed to record information that relates to people, places, activities, or vehicles which may be involved with or connected to CSE. Once completed the information sheet should be sent via secure email to cnm@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk.

Please note that this process does not replace the requirement to refer cases under the inter-agency safeguarding children procedures to children’s social care or the police and that any immediate risks should be reported via 999 or 101 to the police control room.

The information provided will contribute towards the collation of intelligence regarding children and young people exposed to or at risk of CSE, the development of disruption strategies and inform current and future investigations concerning the sexual exploitation of children and young people. 

This method of information sharing has already been adopted successfully within Nottingham City and I would be grateful if you would disseminate details of this approach within your organisation and encourage the use of the information sheet template as appropriate.

Should you have any queries regarding this please contact Hazel McKibbin, Service Manager, email: hazel.mckibbin@nottscc.gov.uk

More information

Safeguarding in Sport

Safeguarding in Sport - useful contact details [Word]

Guidance for professionals and organisations

County Lines

County Lines is the term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to suburban areas, as well as market and coastal towns, by using dedicated mobile phone lines or “deal lines”. Gangs use children and vulnerable people to move drugs and money to these areas. Once caught up in County Lines, exploited individuals are at risk of extreme physical and/or sexual violence, gang recriminations and trafficking.

The Home Office have produced a ‘Partners Pack’ to help raise awareness. Download Local interagency guidance covering criminal exploitation.