Sefton Local Safeguarding Children Partnership

Policy and Guidance

Level of Need Guidance 2020

Children, young people and their families have different levels of need and these may change over time.  Sefton's Level of Need guidance has been revised by local partners and is a significant document in assisting the workforce in identifying the level of need/response to children and families in need of help and support.

Click on the icon below to access and download a copy of the Level of Need Guidance

Practice Guidance Support for Professionals

Practice Guidance

In order to support the multi agency workforce, Sefton LSCB (with thanks to Sefton Safeguarding Children Unit) has developed a suite of detailed Practice Guidance Support documents in a wide range of safeguarding children topics.

The Practice Guidance is primarily to up skill professionals (who work with children, young people and families) to increase their knowledge and allow additional information to support and improve practice.  (The guidance does not substitute Sefton LSCB Procedures but are to support practitioners).

1 Child Sexual Abuse
2 Child Exploitation of Boys and Young Men
3 Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
4 Children's Views - Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)
5 Disguised Compliance
6 Domestic Abuse
7 Harmful Sexual Behaviour
8 Hidden Male
9 Learning Disability CSE
10 Neglect
11 Parental Alcohol Abuse
12 Parental Capacity to Change
13 Parental Conflict
14 Parental Drug Abuse
15 Parental Mental Health
16 The Child's Voice
17 Preventing and Treating Poor Mental Health (LAC)
18 Resilience in Children
19 Returning Children Home from Care
20 Special Guardianship Disruption
21 Together or Apart Assessment
22 Non-Offending Parent - capacity to protect
23 Child Development
24 Assessing the Child's Lived Experience
25 Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control
26 Working with Parents who have a Learning Disability

    Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

    WHAT IS Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?

    FGM, sometimes referred to as female circumcision, is when a girl's genitals (private parts) are altered or removed. It can cause long-lasting damage as well as on-going emotional distress. 

    FGM can be extremely painful and dangerous. It can cause:

    • really bad pain
    • shock
    • bleeding
    • infections such as tetanus, HIV and hepatitis B and C
    • organ damage.
    5 Facts about FGM:
    FGM is abuse, and it's illegal in the UK
    there is no religious or medical reason for FGM
    FGM can happen at any age before marriage
    FGM can be dangerous if there is blood loss and infection
    FGM can happen at any age before marriage

    The Home Office co-ordinates efforts across government and offers outreach support to local areas. You can find out more about FGM through the e-learning package, Recognising and preventing FGM.

    For additional documents and guidance on FGM from GOV.UK

    Multi-Agency Self Harm Practice Guidance

    Sefton have developed a Multi-Agency Self Harm Practice Guidance

    This document has been developed as a reference guide for all agencies and practitioners who come into contact with children, young people and their families.  It is intended as a guide to supporting children/young people who have thoughts of, are about to, or have self harmed.

    The guidance will support practitioners to keep children safe by outlining:

    • What self harm is;
    • The triggers for self harm; and
    • Guidance about what to do when working with young people and children who self-harm

    Children Missing Education

    Children Missing Education (CME) DFE Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities (September 2016)

    What is meant by Children Missing Education (CME)?

    A child of compulsory school age between the age of five and sixteen, who is not registered at any formally approved education activity and has been out of any education provision for a substantial period of time, usually more than four weeks is defined as a child missing education.

    Children go missing from education for a number of reasons. Although not exhaustive, the list below presents some of the circumstances including:

    • Pupils at risk of harm/neglect
    • Missing children and runaways
    • Children and young people supervised by the Youth Justice System –
    • Children of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) families
    • Children of Service Personnel
    • Missing children or runaways
    • Children of new migrant families
    • They do not start school at the appropriate time and so they do not enter the education system:
    • They are removed from school by their parents;
    • They fail to find a suitable school place after moving to a new area;
    • The family move home regularly;
    • Family breakdown;
    • Children who do not make the transition between key stages  (e.g. nursery to primary, primary to secondary);

    What is the role of Children Missing Education (CME) Coordinator in Sefton?

    These ‘missing’ children are amongst the most vulnerable children in Sefton. It is crucial that practitioners in all services work together to identify and re-engage these children back into appropriate educational provision as quickly as possible.

    The CME Co-ordinator leads on the identification, referral, tracking and engagement of children missing education. Working to ensure all schools and agencies are aware of systems of referral for pupils who are missing or at risk of going missing from education.

    If you are concerned about a child who you think may not be accessing Education you can contact Attendance and Welfare (CME Co-ordinator) on the email address below, or by ringing the Sefton Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845.




    Modern Day Slavery

    Duty to Notify Modern Slavery Materials for Partners

    From 1 November 2015, specified public authorities have a duty to notify the Home Office of any individual encountered in England and Wales who they believe is a suspected victim of slavery or human trafficking.

    It is estimated that there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK in 2013. In 2015, 3,266 potential victims were identified and referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The Duty to Notify is intended to gather better data about modern slavery in England and Wales.

    The ‘duty to notify’ provision is set out in the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and applies to all police forces and local authorities in England and Wales, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and the National Crime Agency.

    Download a factsheet and other materials.

    Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI)

    Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) is an inspection framework for evaluating the services for vulnerable children and young people.  It is conducted jointly by the following inspectorates: Ofsted, Care Quality Commission (CQC), Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP).

    Click here to view Sefton LSCB JTAI summary leaflet.


    Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE)

     Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (DfE)

    This guidance covers:

    • the legislative requirements placed on individual services

    • a framework for the three local safeguarding partners (the local authority; a clinical commissioning group for an area, any part of which falls within the local authority; and the chief officer of police for a police area, any part of which falls within the local authority area) to make arrangements to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of local children including identifying and responding to their needs

    • the framework for the two child death review partners (the local authority and any clinical commissioning group for an area, any part of which falls within the local authority) to make arrangements to review all deaths of children normally resident in the local area, and if they consider it appropriate, for those not normally resident in the area

    This document replaces Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015). Links to relevant supplementary guidance that practitioners should consider alongside this guidance can be found at Appendix B.

    What is the status of this guidance?

    This guidance applies to all organisations and agencies who have functions relating to children. Specifically, this guidance applies to all local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, police and all other organisations and agencies as set out in chapter 2.

    • It applies, in its entirety, to all schools.
    • It applies to all children up to the age of 18 years whether living with their families, in state care, or living independently.
    • This document should be complied with unless exceptional circumstances arise


    Information for SCHOOLS

    Model Policy Framework for Child Protection in Sefton Schools

    Tracy McKeating, Locality Manager (Sefton MBC) has developed a model policy framework for child protection in schools. The framework is aligned with Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE). 

    As part of the OfSTED inspection process, schools are required to explain the process of making referrals to Children's Social Care and they have to evidence an example of a referral including the schools contributions to the process and the outcome of referrals.  There is also an emphasis on the learning from serious case reviews (SCRs) and children missing education (CME). The model policy framework is written with the local context for schools to utilise and adapt for their individual setting.

    Click here to download the Model Policy Framework and adapt to your individual school setting.

    Tackling Race and Faith Targeted Bullying Face To Face and Online: A Guide For Schools

    A short guide for schools about how to respond to bullying connected with race or faith, whether it occurs online or offline.

    Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief

    The term ‘belief in spirit possession’ is the belief that an evil force has entered a child and is controlling him or her. Sometimes the term ‘witch’ is used and is the belief that a child is able to use an evil force to harm others. There is also a range of other language that is connected to such abuse. This includes black magic, kindoki, ndoki, the evil eye, djinns, voodoo, obeah, demons, and child sorcerers. In all these cases, genuine beliefs can be held by families, carers, religious leaders, congregations, and the children themselves that evil forces are at work. Families and children can be deeply worried by the evil that they believe is threatening them, and abuse often occurs when an attempt is made to ‘exorcise’, or ‘deliver’ the child. Exorcism is the attempt to expel evil spirits from a child. The belief in ‘possession’ or ‘witchcraft’ is widespread. It is not confined to particular countries, cultures or religions, nor is it confined to new immigrant communities in this country. Any concerns about a child which arise in this context must be taken seriously. (Safeguarding Children from Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession 2007)

    Where the concerns about abuse linked to witchcraft and spirit possession for the welfare and safety of the child or young person are such that a contact to Sefton MASH must be made. Information for those who work with children to help raise awareness and prevent child abuse arising from religion or superstition a national action plan has been developed. This can be found at:-


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