Local protocols

Local protocols are guidance and procedures which all practitioners in Leeds should follow to support their work with children and young people.

These local protocols have been developed by the Policy and Procedures Sub Group; a multi-agency group with responsibility for the development of new local policies, procedures and guidance for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people in Leeds. These protocols are developed using agreed principles and standards which are available on request.

Each protocol has a Joint Framework for Dissemination and Implementation (JFDI) which sets out the responsibilities for partner agencies and organisations to disseminate and implement the guidance across the partnership under three levels:

Level 1 – information and dissemination

Level 2 – information, dissemination and action

Level 3 – information, dissemination, action and assurance.

The framework also sets out how the Policy and Procedures Sub Group (through the LSCP Business Unit) will seek assurance that the local protocols have been disseminated and implemented.

If you are the safeguarding leading for your organisation, please ensure that you disseminate and implement each local protocol as per the instructions in the JFDI.

Bruising in Non-independently Mobile Children Protocol

The aim of this protocol is to provide frontline staff with a knowledge base and action strategy for the assessment, management and referral of children who are Not Independently Mobile (NIM) who present with bruising or otherwise suspicious marks. This protocol is the process by which such children should be referred to Children’s Social Work Services (CSWS) and to a consultant paediatrician for further assessment and investigation of potential child abuse.

Please note this is an update version of the previous guidance (updated September 2021).

Burns and Scalds

The assessment of burn and scald injury presents specific difficulties. Accurate assessment of such injuries will ultimately influence the nature of any intervention capable of safeguarding the injured child and any vulnerable siblings. It is therefore imperative that a comprehensive and timely assessment is undertaken. The purpose of this protocol is to provide guidance to practitioners with regard to their responsibilities when dealing with a child who has sustained a burn or scald injury. 

This protocol was last updated December 2017.

Child Protection Medicals; Pathway

This pathway outlines the process for requesting a child protection medical, including medicals in relation to sexual assaults.

Please note this pathway was updated on 2nd September 2019. 

Children travelling abroad with complex needs

Any travel abroad, for children with complex medical needs, may place the child at significant risk of harm. This guidance provides all agencies with a clearly defined procedure, addressing the management of travel abroad, ensuring consideration of the implications of any forthcoming travel for those children.

This protocol was last updated December 2017.

Concerns Resolution

On occasions practitioners will disagree as to the best way to address concerns regarding a child, young person or their family. Such disagreements should, where possible, be resolved between the practitioners to ensure the most appropriate course of action, however where this is not possible this process should be followed. Any disagreements regarding concerns should not stand in the way of safeguarding a child or young person. Please note this is an update version of the previous guidance (updated September 2021).

Domestic Violence and Abuse: School and Further Education Notifications (Leeds Joint Agency Protocol)

This updated protocol sets out a joint-agency approach to provide, by early intervention, appropriate support for children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse in their household. It draws on the principles of Operation Encompass which is established in a number of areas nationally. The protocol identifies how information shared by Police in relation to Domestic Violence incidents where a child is present in the last 24 hours, is shared with a safeguarding lead in the school or educational setting. This sharing of information (by means of a telephone call) allows schools and educational settings to take appropriate steps to support their pupil during what could be an emotionally difficult day.

This protocol was last updated September 2020.

Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a collective term for procedures which include the removal of part or all of the external female genitalia for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons. The practice is medically unnecessary, extremely painful and has serious health consequences, both at the time when the mutilation is carried out and in later life. The procedure is typically performed on girls aged between 4 and 13, but in some cases it is performed on new-born infants or on young women before marriage or pregnancy.

If practitioners are aware, or suspect that a child or young person has undergone, or may be undergoing the procedure they should follow the West Yorkshire procedures. The Leeds multi-agency workflow for managing concerns regarding Female Genital Mutilation for under 18 year olds has been updated (Dec 2019) and can be found here.

From the 31st October 2015, regulated professionals in health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales have a duty to report 'known' cases of FGM in under 18s which they identify in the course of their professional work to the police. Practitioners should complete the and email to cib@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk. This will provide practitioners with an audit trail and a response email for their files. Alternatively reports can also be made by calling 101.

Front Door Processes

This practice guidance on the interface between Children’s Services Front Door and Early Help activity (including Common Assessment Framework CAF) is for use by the multi-agency team at the Front Door when a contact is made, along with all Children’s Services practitioners when a case transfers from CSWS to universal and or targeted services and the need for an Early Help Assessment (including CAF) is indicated.

This protocol was last updated January 2016.

Guidance for The Relocation of Families due to risk

This guidance has been developed to support the relocation of families due to risk into or out of a local authority area, and assist agencies and professionals in supporting this process and to ensure information is shared across local authorities appropriately and safely. Please note this is an update version of the previous guidance (updated August 2019).

This protocol was last updated August 2019.

Interpersonal Violence and Abuse (IPVA) Young People’s Relationships

The domestic violence definition was altered in 2013 to include 16 & 17 year olds in the hope that this would encourage young people to come forward to report abuse.  National research shows that the most at risk age group for domestic abuse are 16-24 years old. This guidance is for practitioners and managers who may encounter situations where a young person under 18 years of age has been harmed through interpersonal domestic abuse from a partner (boyfriend or girlfriend). Please note this is an update version of the previous guidance (updated August 2019)

To understand your agencies responsibilities with regards to the dissemination and implementation of this policy please see the LSCP Policies and Procedures Joint Framework for Dissemination and Implementation.

Intimate Care Policy

It is recommended that where children require intimate care, good practice guidelines are drawn up within the establishment and disseminated to all staff. Parents / carers should also be made aware of how intimate care for their child will be managed. These guidelines should be viewed as expectations upon staff, which are designed to protect both children and staff alike. In situations where a member of staff potentially breaches these expectations, other staff should be able to question this in a constructive manner.

Neglect - Recognising, Responding and Assessing

This document supports the Neglect Strategy and provides guidelines for the recognition, assessment of, and the response to neglect for all staff working with children and their families across Leeds.

Please note that this is an updated version (version 2) and replaces the previous guidance (2015).

This protocol was last updated January 2022.

Paediatric Examination Guidance

Following comments made in judgements in care proceedings by two local circuit judges (including the Designated Family Judge for Leeds, His Honour Judge Hunt), the following guidance is being issued to remind staff of the legal position in relation to paediatric examinations, and in particular, the need for the examining doctors to have appropriate legal authority for such examinations, both during and outside care proceedings.

Recording of meetings and conferences by parents and carers

This guidance supports practitioners and agencies in responding when birth parents and others with parental responsibility want to record a multi-agency meeting such as a looked after child review or a child protection conference, including the use of both audio and visual media. This is not guidance about the local authority or other agency making a recording of a meeting. Please note this is an update version of the previous guidance (updated September 2019).

This protocol was last updated May 2019.

Removal at Birth Inter-Agency Procedures

When a decision has been reached to remove a child at birth following a multi agency assessment the following procedure must be followed by all agencies involved.

Safeguarding children and young people from the threat of violent extremism

The current threat from terrorism in the United Kingdom can involve the exploitation of vulnerable people, including children, young people and vulnerable adults in terrorism or activity in support of terrorism. This exploitation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern. The protocol will support practitioners in identifying people vulnerable to people extremism and how to respond and support them.

This protocol was last updated July 2019.

Self Harm and Suicidal Behaviour

Supporting young people who self-harm or feel suicidal: A guide for professionals in Leeds working with young people aged 25 and under’ is aimed at anyone who works with children, young people and young adults in Leeds. This booklet is available via the Mindmate website.

It explores self-harm behaviours, how to talk to and support a young person who is self-harming, understanding the risk and responding to their needs. Section 2 looks at suicide in young people and gives guidance on talking about suicidal thoughts, supporting someone who feels like this and understanding factors that increase the risk. It also covers information sharing and how to refer for further support.

Hard copies are free to order from the Public Health Resource Centre at Tech North, 9 Harrogate Rd, Leeds LS7 3NB.

Supervision: Policy and Guidance

Minimum standards for the supervision of staff and volunteers working with children, young people and families.

This guidance identifies the minimum standards for the supervision of staff and / or volunteers who work directly with children, young people and families and / or those whose work brings them into regular contact with children, young people and their families.

It can be used as a stand-alone document in order to develop an agencies supervision policy, or as a cross reference to ensure an agencies current supervision policies include these minimum standards. All managers undertaking supervision should ensure they follow their own agency supervision policy and use the associated paperwork.

This protocol was last updated April 2018.

Think Family, Work Family; Principles and Practice Guidance

Building on the previous editions this document sets out how services that work with adults and services that work with children and young people can work together better to safeguard children, young people and adults at risk through more joined up support to help families help each other better. This document supports the implementation of the `Think Family, Work Family’ approach developed to improve the support offered to children, young people and adults at risk within the same family, whereby individual needs should be looked at in the context of the whole family, so those who use services are seen not just as individuals but as parents, carers or other family members.

It is intended for all services working with children, young people and adults, and those who work with families.

Working Restoratively to Safeguard Children and Young People 

Leeds LSCP and its partner agencies believe that a restorative approach can enable practitioners and families to develop appropriate relationships to ensure children and young people are safeguarded and the needs of the family met. This updated  policy focusses on supporting practitioner engagement with families, parents and carers in order to form restorative relationships and in turn support the safeguarding of children and young people. Please note this is an update version of the previous guidance (updated October 2019).

To understand your agencies responsibilities with regards to the dissemination and implementation of this policy please see the LSCP Policies and Procedures Joint Framework for Dissemination and Implementation.