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Local Policies and Procedures

Safeguarding Children

Procedures and Guidance


Reports to Conference

This report template is to be used by services preparing a report for an Initial Child Protection Conference.

 Report to Review Conference

This report template is to be used by services preparing a report for a Review Child Protection Conference.


Complaints in relation to Child Protection Conferences (parents)

Eligibility to use this Procedure

Parents, children (with sufficient understanding) and significant family members who have been invited to attend a Child Protection Conference may make a complaint under this procedure where they have concerns about one or more of the following aspects of the meeting:

  • The process of the conference, for example that the arrangements and conduct of the conference were not consistent with the Walsall Safeguarding Children Board’s Procedures (as set out in this Manual); or that significant information, which should have been made available, was not presented to the conference, and this affected the decision made;
  • The outcome – i.e. the decision whether the child should or should not be subject to a Child Protection Plan; and/or
  • The Category of Significant Harm on which a decision that the child should be subject to a Child Protection Plan was based.

Those wishing to make a complaint must be made aware that this complaints process cannot itself change a Child Protection Conference decision and that during the course of a complaints consideration, the decision made by the Conference stands.

Children who wish to complaint must be offered the services of an independent advocate and arrangements must be made for an advocate to be appointed where requested.

Complaints about individual agencies, their performance and provision (or non-provision) of services should be responded to in accordance with that agencies own complaints process and do not come within the terms of this procedure.

Where any member agency who has involvement with the child wishes to raise any issues in relation to the Child Protection Conference, whether or not they took part in the decision, they should do so under the procedure set out in the Finding a Solution Together (FaST) Policy.

Immediate Resolution

An expressed concern about the conference itself which arises in the course of the meeting must be noted and an attempt made by the Conference Chair to resolve it with the child or parent.

Every attempt must be made to resolve the issue and avoid the need for a complaint wherever possible.

If this initial attempt to resolve matters fails, the child or parent should be reminded of this complaints process by the Conference Chair, and be invited (and if necessary assisted by the social worker) to write within 14 days of the receipt of the Conference decisions and recommendations, to the Manager, Review/Child Protection.

To assist this process, where it is known that a person wishes to make a complaint, the Conference Chair will arrange for a copy of Form WSS626a ‘Complaints Against Child Protection Conferences’ to be sent with the Conference decisions and recommendations of the conference.

Time Limit for Complaints

Complaints must be submitted in writing within 14 days of the receipt of written confirmation of the Conference decisions and recommendations.

It may be but does not have to be submitted on Form WSS626a ‘Complaints Against Child Protection Conferences’.

The written complaint should be sent to the Manager, Review/Child Protection Unit.

It will be the decision of the Manager, Review and Child Protection and the Consumer Relations Officer (Children’s Social Care Services) whether the complaint process will take place if the form is received later than 14 days.

Visit to Complainant

Where a complaint is received and accepted, the Manager, Review and Child Protection will pass a copy of the complaint to the Consumer Relations 0fficer (Children’s Social Care Services) along with any other relevant information.

The Consumer Relations Officer will then visit the complainant to establish:

  • Does the reason for the complaint fall within the criteria for a complaint under this procedure? and/or
  • Should the person be advised to make a complaint to one of the agencies represented on the Walsall Safeguarding Children Board?

The Consumer Relations Officer will then advise the Manager, Review and Child Protection of the outcome of the visit and they will make a joint decision whether the complaint falls within the criteria under this procedure for a Complaint Panel hearing to take place.  If there is disagreement, the matter will be referred to the Chairperson of the Walsall Safeguarding Children Board.  A Complaint Panel hearing will take place where the complaint falls within this procedure and it has not been possible to resolve the issues raised to the satisfaction of the complainant.

If a person has initiated a complaint in respect of an agency, or it seems to the Consumer Relations Officer that such a complaint is appropriate, then a Complaint Panel will not be convened until that agency’s complaint process has been completed.

The Manager, Review and Child Protection will write to the complainant to inform him/her when a Complaint Panel will be convened and the date of this or the reasons it has been decided that a Complaint Panel will not be convened.

NB If the Manager, Review and Child Protection chaired the relevant Child Protection Conference, the relevant Head of Service will undertake the Manager’s functions under this procedure.

Complaint Panel

If it is decided to convene a Complaint Panel, the Consumer Relations Officer will contact or visit any other parent or carer, to ascertain their views, to inform them of the Complaint Panel hearing, and invite them to attend.

The child’s social worker/Keyworker will be informed that a Complaint Panel has been convened.

The Complaint Panel will consist of an Independent Chair and 2 members of the Walsall Safeguarding Children Board or their nominees, none of whom were present at the Child Protection Conference. The Manager, Review and Child Protection will make arrangements for the Complaint Panel to meet, will provide the conference minutes and any other relevant papers and will inform the complainant and will act as professional adviser to the Panel.

The Complaint Panel should be convened within 10 working days of the decision that a Complaint Panel hearing is warranted.

The Consumer Relations Officer will provide a report to the Complaint Panel and the complainant, clarifying the reasons for the complaint, and stating the outcome of any other complaint process.

The complainant, and the other parent, will be invited to attend the hearing and be present throughout the meeting. A friend, relative or someone to help them express their views can accompany the complainant. Solicitors may attend in this capacity, but will not be formally invited by the Chairperson of the Panel to attend the hearing.

The Chairperson of the Complaint Panel will determine who else will attend the hearing. It will be expected that the Conference Chair (of the relevant Child Protection Conference) will be present throughout the hearing to answer points made by the complainant in respect of the conduct of the Conference.

The Manager, Review and Child Protection will be present to advise the Chairperson on issues relating to the Walsall Safeguarding Children Board procedures.

Having heard the points of view and read the papers, the Complaint Panel members will then ask everyone else to withdraw whilst they reach a decision.

The Panel will decide on one of the following outcomes:

  • A new Child Protection Conference will be convened with a different Conference Chair;
  • The Child Protection Conference with the same Conference Chair will review the case earlier than planned;
  • There is no action to be taken, despite the complaint.

The Chairperson of the Complaint Panel will then invite the other persons to return and inform them of the decision also stating the reasons for their decision.

The Manager, Review, Performance and Child Protection will confirm this in writing to those who attended.

If the decision of the Complaint Panel is that a further conference is required, the Manager, Review and Child Protection will make arrangements with the child’s social worker/ Keyworker for the invitations to be sent. The conference should take place within 14 working days.

There is no further appeals process.


If you wish to make a complaint about a Child Protection Conference please use the following policies and procedures.


Core Group Guidelines

Click here for best practice guidelines.


Agencies should use the Rapid Review Referral Form to contact the Safeguarding Partnership about any serious incidents that they think should be considered for a CSPR.

For further information please refer to the following documents:

Children Not Attending School

Related guidance

Working together to improve school attendance

This procedure should be read in conjunction with the supplementary procedure:

Protocol for Children and Young People Missing from Home or Care

This chapter is currently being revised to reflect the updated Children Missing Education: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities (DfE, September 2016) which was issued to reflect the new duties for schools in The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016.


A minimum standard of safety should be afforded to children not attending school. This includes three groups of children:

  • Children who are registered with schools and who are missing;
  • Children who are truants, poor attendees at school or who have interrupted school attendance;
  • Children of school age who are not registered with a school.

Only schools, not parents, can authorise absence. Whenever pupils are absent and their parents have not told the school the reason for the absence, such as not contacting the school to advise it that the pupil is ill, the school must mark the pupil as unauthorised absent. The school can change this mark at a later date if the parents provide a satisfactory reason for their child’s absence.

It is good practice, particularly in terms of safeguarding pupils and encouraging good attendance, for schools to follow up any unexplained absence immediately through First Day Calling initiatives.

All absence can be detrimental to a child’s academic, social and emotional development and therefore schools should be vigilant for early signs and patterns of irregular school attendance.

The national absence codes enable schools to record attendance and absence and help ensure consistency in the treatment and recording of attendance and absence. The data will help schools, local authorities and the government gain a greater understanding of absenteeism and the reasons for absence. Absence data is collected through the School Census system.

There are a number of registration codes which reflect an ‘Approved Educational Activity’ which is part of a child’s education provision taking place off site. These include, Codes ‘W’ (Work Experience); ‘J’ (Attending an Interview); ‘P’ (Approved Sporting Activity) and ‘B’ (Educated off site).

The activity must be educational and meet the individual needs of the pupil in question. Only schools can approve the educational activity.

Children Educated Off Site

When children are educated off site, schools and providers must inform each other of any unexplained absence as soon as it happens. It is good practice for schools and providers to agree who will follow up concerns about absence including any unexplained absence. Only when attendance or absence is verified between school and provider, can the appropriate code be used.

Registration Code B: Educated off site can be used for all pupils who are present at educational provision which is not in a school.

Examples of when this code would be used are:

  • Attending taster days at other schools;
  • Pupils attending another school as ‘guest pupils’ (note a pupil who attends another school as part of a regular pattern must be dual registered – see Code D);
  • Pupils attending vocational courses at college;
  • Pupils attending alternative provision arranged and or agreed by the school; and
  • Pupils undertaking work experience as part of an alternative curriculum or alternative provision (pupils undertaking work experience under section 560 of the Education Act 1996 should be recorded under Code W.

(Absence and Attendance Codes, DCSF, 2009).

For educational and safeguarding reasons, schools should ensure that they have in place arrangements whereby the provider of the alternative activity provided ‘off site’ can notify the school of any absences by individual pupils so that the school can record the pupil absence using the relevant absence code.

Approved Educational Activity must be supervised by someone approved by the school.

Academic Review Day

Academic Review Days are also known as Target Review Days or Pupil Planning Days. The Department understands from school staff unions that some schools have been closing for one such day in a year. This has enabled the form tutor or other staff to meet all parents with their children for a short time (usually no more than 15 minutes) to assess curricular progress and to set personalised targets instead of meeting parents with children in the evening. We understand the pupils then return home with their parents. However, in reducing the teaching days to 189, this puts schools in breach of the regulations that require 190 days. So we would wish schools to discontinue any such days as described above. We would prefer schools to consider alternative methods. Even if such a day involves a discrete group of pupils with the rest of the school attending lessons as normal, the academic review day cannot be counted as one of the 190 days (380) sessions for which schools must be open to all pupils.

If, however, the academic review is organised around a revised timetable, or so that pupils continue their lessons (and leave the lesson for the period of the meeting), then the school is open to all pupils, and the sessions affected can count towards the requirement to open for 190 days. The attendance register should then be marked as normal. We are reluctant to suggest what other methods schools could consider since schools are best placed to consider how to deploy staff and pupils, and work with parents, within regulations. However, schools may wish to ask themselves:

  • Can they continue to hold reviews with parents and pupils after hours?
  • Can they not separate personalised target-setting (with the pupil) from review with the parent with or without pupil?
  • During a target-setting day, could pupils be kept in normal classes except for when each class has its own review? (Targets could be set though parents may not be present.)

Pupil planning days should not be confused with interviews during the normal school day with Connexions personal advisers. Meetings which are held outside the normal school day are not recorded in the attendance register.

Part-Time Timetables

See Appendix 1: Walsall Children’s Services Statement Regarding Part Time Timetables.

Whilst part-time timetables are a useful technique to help pupils adapt or re-adapt to the school setting, they have the effect of reducing the sessions on offer to those pupils to under the minimum required. Such timetables must be a short term measure.

The local authority expects schools and academies to provide pupil details where part time arrangements are in place including the reason and timescales. The local authority will work with schools, academies and other services to minimise disruption for the child.

Child Registered at School who go Missing

Initial Response

On the first day a child is not in school without a valid reason (e.g. a telephone call or letter from the parent giving a valid explanation), a staff member trained to do so should telephone the child’s parent/ home to seek reasons for the absence and reassurance from a parent that the child is safe at home.

If contact is made with the parent and the child is missing, the staff member should advise the parent to contact all family and social contacts, the police and services such as the local accident and emergency departments and the child’s GP.

If contact cannot be made with the parent or the staff member is concerned about the response they receive (e.g. the parent not informing the people listed above), the staff member should consider, with the school’s nominated safeguarding children adviser, the degree of vulnerability of the child to decide on whether any further action is required at this stage (see Children who are Vulnerable or at Risk of Harm below). Any decision not to act should be reviewed on each subsequent day the child is absent.

Children with Poor, Irregular or Interrupted School Attendance

See Appendix 2: First Day Calling

On the first day a child is not in school, or other education provision, the procedures outlined in Initial Response in Section 5, Child Registered at School who go Missing above should be followed.

Schools should make arrangements to investigate the reasons for absence including contacting the parent. Schools should follow their procedures, as set out in their Attendance Policy and staff should be trained to recognise whether any follow up action is required. If the reason for absence can’t be established or if the absence is prolonged the School’s Attendance Lead must be notified.

If a school becomes aware there is a safeguarding issue or they have concerns about a child’s welfare then the school should contact the local authority, i.e. Education Welfare Officers or the MASH.

A Persistent Absentee is defined as a child who has missed 15% of their education in an academic year. Schools should therefore have a system in place to track attendance which identifies children who are at risk of becoming persistently absent. Schools are advised to take action to prevent persistent absence and may refer any persistent absentees who are of concern to the Education Welfare Service. The Education Welfare Service uses their range of legal powers to enforce school attendance.

If a parent fails to comply with local authority efforts to ensure regular school attendance for a child, this must be viewed as a child welfare matter and considered in the context of Walsall’s Early Help Strategy and WSP Child Protection procedures.

Children who are Vulnerable or at Risk of Harm

When a child is absent or missing from school, they could be at risk of Significant Harm. This could be due to Physical Abuse or Sexual Abuse, Neglect or exploitation for example. The child may be absent or missing because they are suffering Physical, Sexual or Emotional Abuse and / or Neglect. See Recognition of Significant Harm Procedure.

Children who are absent or missing from school may also be missing from care or home. See Protocol for Children and Young People Missing from Home or Care.

Teachers, in consultation with the designated safeguarding professional at the school, should make an immediate referral to Children’s Services in line with Referrals Procedure if:

The family may be avoiding contact and therefore the quicker the response the more likely they will be traced. Delay may increase the risk of harm to the child.

Additional concerns may be caused if:

Reasonable Enquiry

Day One

The school/academy should use its existing arrangement for identifying whether a child is absent for an authorisable reason or not to ascertain whether the child is “missing”.

The process of ‘reasonable enquiry’ starts with the questions above as soon as the child is discovered to be missing (i.e. on the first day). After school staff have exhausted the avenues of enquiry open to them, the school should contact the police and/or local authority, i.e. the MASH who will explore all avenues to trace the child, including working with partners agencies.

Days Two to Twenty-Eight

If the judgement on the first day of absence is that there is no reason to believe the child is at risk of harm and the school delays further action, the process of reasonable enquiry should be repeated and accelerated, including reviewing the responses to the causes for concern listed above, weekly for up to 2 weeks. Thereafter, frequency should increase until satisfied that the child’s welfare and needs are being met.  This should be undertaken jointly between the school and the local education welfare or school attendance service and / or the local authority and any other relevant service / agency.

More than Four Weeks

If a child continues to be absent from school for four weeks and neither the school, the LA education welfare, school attendance nor children’s social care service has been able to confirm any reason given for absence and there are concerns about the child’s welfare, it is permissible under current regulations for the child’s name to be removed from the school roll and for their details to be uploaded to the School to School Database. In addition, the school/academy must notify the local authority Pupil Tracking Officer in writing. (See Appendix 3: Guidance for Deletion).

If concerns remain in relation to the welfare of the child, the education welfare service and/or LA children’s social care should continue to pursue reasonable enquiries in accordance with the Protocol for Children and Young People Missing from Home or Care.

If the school, education welfare, school attendance or any other service or agency becomes aware that the child has moved to another school, that service should ensure all relevant agencies are informed in writing so arrangements can be made to forward records from the previous school.

Children of School Age who are not Registered with a School

Children of school age who are not registered with a school share the same vulnerabilities as those outlined above.

Educational achievement contributes significantly to children’s well-being and development; all children have a right to education and young children who reach school age or children already in education who move home, should be supported to enrol in a new school as seamlessly as possible. This is particularly because children who move frequently are often already vulnerable through being Looked After or in temporary accommodation.

Where parents appear not to have taken steps to ensure their child is registered with a school or receiving an appropriate education, the case should immediately be referred to the named contact for Children Missing Education (CME) at Walsall Children’s Services.

This process should be initiated for all children, including those who are likely to remain in a borough only temporarily or whose stay in the UK is intended to be temporary (other than if a child is visiting for a short holiday).

In particular, this process should be implemented for children whose stay may originally be temporary but where they are Privately Fostered. (See Children Living Away from Home (including Private Fostering).

Protocols should be in place between partner agencies both local and national, to ensure that there is exchange of information and communication to minimise the risk of children not being in a suitable education provision. Local authority areas with high numbers of new arrivals from abroad should ensure that parents are aware they are required to enrol their children in school or to receive education in some other way. The local authority must assist parents to do so. All authorities must maintain effective systems for monitoring that any children from abroad living in their area are attending school.

Any professional encountering a child of school age who does not appear to be in a school should ask the parent about this and, if the child is not on a school roll or they are concerned that the parent may be evasive about this issue, they must contact their agency’s nominated child protection advisor to discuss and must refer the child to the LA Named contact for CME.

Children of School Age who are Educated at Home but where there are Concerns about their Welfare

The law allows parents of children in England and Wales to educate their child however they wish.

If a parent never registers their child at a school, they are not obliged to inform the local authority about their intention to EHE.

If a parent registers their child at an independent sector school and then withdraws their child from school to educate them at home, they are not obliged to inform the local authority. Nor is the independent school obliged to inform the local authority

If the parent registers their child at a maintained school or academy and then withdraws their child to educate them at home, they are not obliged to inform the local authority. However, they are obliged to inform the maintained school or academy which in turn is obliged to inform the local authority within two weeks of removing the child from the school roll.

Where the local authority is informed of a parent’s intention to educate their child at home, the parent is required to assure them about the suitability of the education the child is receiving, in line with EHE guidance and local policy.

Rarely, there may be circumstances where the parent is seeking to avoid agency intervention in the child’s life to conceal abuse or Neglect or where, however well meaning, their desire to educate their child at home may give rise to general concerns about the child’s welfare.

In these circumstances, it may be necessary for LA children’s social care to conduct an assessment into whether the child’s needs are being met or whether they are at risk of Significant Harm. See Referrals Procedure.

Appendix 1: Walsall Children’s Services Statement regarding Part-Time Timetables

Guidance on Applying the Education Pupil Registration Regulations permits pupils of compulsory school-age to be placed on part-time timetables but places certain constraints on this practice:

  • Part-time timetables should not be treated as a long-term solution. A point in time should be indicated when the pupil is expected to return to full time education;
  • Arrangements for part-time timetables should be agreed with parents/carers;
  • During the period that the child is absent from school due to part-time timetable arrangements the school must record this absence as authorised.

Walsall Children’s Services advise that:

  • Pupils on part-time timetables are marked with a ‘C’ code (other authorised circumstances) when they are not in school due to a part-time arrangement;
  • Schools keep a record of pupils on part-time timetables evidencing reasons why this arrangement is considered necessary, parental agreement, the expected date of return to full time education and the review process and any other arrangements made;
  • Schools are mindful of the impact placing pupils on part-time timetables has on their overall absence and persistent absence figures as well as possible consequences for the pupil’s academic, social and emotional development. In the case of Looked After Children, part time timetables can contribute to the breakdown of foster care placements.

Appendix 2: First Day Calling

First Day Contact


  • This should be a integral part of the schools Attendance and Punctuality Policy;
  • Parents need to be aware that their child’s absence will be identified and acted upon.

First day contact sends a clear message to pupils and parents of the importance of attendance.


  • Raise awareness of the importance of attendance;
  • Identify and address concerns before they grow;
  • Strengthen home school links;
  • Alerting parents who may be unaware their child is truanting;
  • Clear message that their child will be missed and are valued;
  • Reducing potential pupils at risk of becoming PA;
  • Parents to develop habits that reduce casual absence and encourage early contact from parents.


  • Identify all pupils who have not been marked present and no explanation has been received on the first morning of absence;
  • Make telephone contact with parents and record outcomes / actions;
  • Challenge parents about absence / persistent absence;
  • Request to see appointment cards;
  • If no contact send out a letter asking for reasons for absence;
  • Refer to the School’s Attendance Lead if there is prolonged absence and if there are any concerns arising from the contact.

Appendix 3: Guidance for Deletion

Deletion from Roll (School-age Pupils)

Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/1751)

Regulation 8(1) says that you can remove a name when:

  • The pupil is registered at a school named in a school attendance order, and the local authority substitutes another school for the one named in the order, or revokes the order because arrangements have been made for the child to be educated otherwise than at school;
  • The pupil has been registered at another school, other than when the school agrees to registration at more than one school, in a case falling within (a) above or where a child of no fixed abode is dual-registered;
  • The pupil is registered at more than one school and has ceased to attend the school, and the proprietor of any other school at which s/he is registered has given consent to the deletion, other than when registration at more than one school is agreed, in a case falling within (a) above or where a child of no fixed abode is dual-registered;
  • The pupil has ceased to attend a school and the proprietor has received written notification from the parent that the pupil is receiving education otherwise than at school;
  • The pupil has ceased to attend the school and no longer lives a reasonable distance from the school, unless s/he is a boarder;
  • The pupil is granted leave of absence for a holiday of more than 10 school days, then fails to attend within the 10 school days after the expiry of the authorised leave, and the proprietor does not have grounds to believe that s/he is unable to attend owing to sickness or any unavoidable cause, and both the proprietor and the LA have failed, after reasonable enquiry, to ascertain where the pupil is (a new requirement on schools and LAs);
  • The pupil is certified by the school medical officer as unlikely to be in a fit state of health to attend school before ceasing to be of compulsory school age, and neither the pupil nor his parent has indicated the intention to continue to attend beyond compulsory school age (a new proviso requiring an indication of the parent’s or pupil’s intention);
  • The pupil has been continuously absent for not less than 20 school days, such absence was not authorised, the proprietor does not have grounds to believe that the pupil is unable to attend due to sickness or any unavoidable cause, and the proprietor and the LA have failed after reasonable enquiry to ascertain where the pupil is;

R v London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Barking Comprehensive School [2003] ELR 144 confirmed: (1) there is a legal duty on both the school and the LA to make reasonable enquiries; (2) it is not necessary to wait until after the 20 days to make the enquiries; (3) it is reasonable to inquire by letter to the family’s home, even where it is known that the family is away; (4) it is legal, though harsh, to remove the name on the day the 20 days expires;

  • The pupil is detained in pursuance of a final court order, or of an order of recall by a court or the secretary of state for a period of not less than four months, and the proprietor does not have reasonable grounds to believe that the pupil will return to the school at the end of that period. Pupils in custody cannot have their names deleted for any other reason;
  • The pupil has died;
  • The pupil will cease to be of compulsory school age before the school next meets, and the relevant person has indicated that s/he will cease to attend the school (s/he ceases to be of compulsory school age on the last Friday in June of the year s/he turns 16);
  • The pupil has ceased to be a pupil of a non-maintained school, an academy, CTC or CCTA;
  • The pupil has been permanently excluded;
  • The pupil, having completed nursery education in a school, has not transferred to a reception or higher class at the school.

Deletion from Roll (Pupils not of School Age)

Regulation 8(3) says that you can delete when the pupil:

  1. Ceases to attend the school;
  2. Is continuously absent without leave for not less than 20 school days, the proprietor does not have reasonable grounds to believe that the pupil is unable to attend due to sickness or unavoidable cause and the proprietor has failed, after reasonable enquiry, to ascertain where the pupil is. The local authority is not required to make enquiries, unlike for pupils of compulsory school age in regulation 8(1)(h) above;
  3. Dies;
  4. Transfers from nursery to reception or higher class in the same school (a child only becomes of compulsory school age the term after s/he turns five, but schools may admit pupils to reception classes before they turn five);
  5. Has been permanently excluded.


West Midlands MARAC Operating Protocol 2019

Operating protocol for Walsall Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) for high risk victims of domestic abuse.

Referral Form for MARAC West Midlands MARAC Referral Form

The Walsall Exploitation Pathway Walsall Safeguarding Partnership Exploitation Pathway Flowchart FINAL and Guidance Pathway Guidance Ver 2.5 FINAL can be accessed using these links.

Walsall’s Exploitation Assessment Guidance Exploitation Assessment Guidance Ver 1.6 FINAL and assessment tool Exploitation Assessment Form Jan 2022 are included here.

To watch a webinar about the Walsall assessment tool and pathway click here

The national Child Exploitation Disruption Toolkit can be accessed here.

To create a transparent/standardised process that sets out how professional disagreements should be dealt with between partner agencies, disagreements should be resolved quickly, at the earliest possible level, through person-centred discussion between agencies. This FaST Policy  outlines the process to be followed when professionals are unable to agree about what is in the best interests of the adult or child.

Further information can be found on the Professional pages for FaST


Disagreements at Child Protection Conferences

The procedure for decision making at Initial Child Protection Conferences is dealt with in Categories of Significant Harm of Initial Child Protection Conference Procedure.

If the Conference Chair is unable to achieve a consensus as to whether or not the child should be made subject to a Child Protection Plan, s/he will make a decision and note any dissenting views within the child protection conference minutes. The person(s) with the dissenting view(s) must ensure that the wording is a true reflection of the opinion given at the conference.

The agency or individual who dissents from the Conference Chairs decision must determine whether s/he wishes to further challenge the result.

If the dissenting professional believes that the decision reached by the Conference Chair places a child at (further) risk of Significant Harm, it is expected that s/he will formally raise the matter with the Manager, Review and Child Protection.

The Manager, Review and Child Protection will liaise with the Conference Chair and either:

  • Uphold the decision reached by the Conference Chair; or
  • Require that the conference be re-convened.

A record of the managers decision should be kept on the child’s file.

When making a referral to Walsall Children’s Services, please use the form below.

This form should always be completed by all agencies when making a referral. This is to allow the sharing of information with other agencies and secure the appropriate response.

All urgent child protection referrals should in the first instance be made by telephone to the MASH –0300 555 2866Out of Hours 0300 555 2922. In an emergency call the Police on 999

Click here for the MARF

Safeguarding unborn children: pre-birth assessment protocol


This guidance has been developed to support all practitioners using the Walsall Safeguarding Children Board Procedures in relation to safeguarding unborn babies and, in particular, managing risks following birth.

 Pre-birth Tools & Pathway

The Multi-Agency Guidance on the Continuum of Need is our multi-agency guidance for delivering effective support for children, young people and their families

The Information Sharing Agreement (ISA) defines the arrangements for processing data between members of the Safeguarding Partnership, to facilitate and govern the efficient, effective and secure sharing of good quality Information for the purposes of complying with our safeguarding obligations and duties for the provision of Safeguarding within Walsall. It also defines the arrangements for safeguarding partners to share information with the Safeguarding Partnership or Business Unit.

For further information read the new guidance published by the Information Commissioner: 10 step guide to sharing information to safeguard children.

Allegations against people working with children are managed / overseen by Walsall’s Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) – Belinda Crowshaw 

Office number: 01922 652322


Email for additional information:

(All referrals are to be made below via the online referral form)

The full procedure regarding allegations against people working with children can be viewed within the child protection procedures.

Making a referral

All statutory partner agencies are required to report all allegations to the LADO within one working day. Referrals should be submitted through the portal if the threshold for LADO procedures has been met. Please see the guidance on how to make a referral.

If you are unsure about referring to the LADO please speak to your Designated Safeguarding Lead or manager in the first instance and read Walsall LADO Info all agencies to ensure threshold is met.

If you still require some guidance you can contact the LADO once you have submitted the online referral, we first need the referral to be submitted via the online form in order for any advice from the LADO to be recorded.

Allegations against staff / LADO

If you have concerns regarding someone who works with a child including foster carers and volunteers these should be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). This applies to all paid, unpaid, volunteers, casual, agency employees or anyone working in a self-employed capacity.  These individuals are considered working/volunteering in positions of trust.

What must be reported?

As outlined in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ the LADO must be informed of all allegations against adults who work with children.

The LADO is located within Children and Families Services and should be alerted to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children
  • behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates that they may not be suitable to work with children

What will happen next?

The LADO will record all concerns, including allegations or offences emanating from outside of work. They will provide advice and guidance and help determine that the allegation sits within the scope of the procedures.

The LADO is involved in the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case and will provide advice and guidance to Senior Managers on the progress of cases to ensure they are resolved as quickly as possible. In addition, the LADO will help co-ordinate information sharing with the right people. They will also monitor and track any investigation with the expectation that it is resolved as quickly as possible.

The Step Up Step Down Protocol – Working Together Converstaions & Joint Practice Guidance.

The Flowcharts have been designed to support the Partnership’s Step Up / Step Down Procedure.

Black Country Notification of a Child Death:

Walsall are now using an electronic managements system called ‘eCDOP’

To submit a notification of a death go directly to the following link:

Input the details and press the green submit button. This system is completely secure and the submission will go directly to the CDOP Co-ordinator to generate a ‘case’.

This link is for all notifications of death for children in the Black Country (Walsall, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley).

This Supervision Principles outlines the core principles of effective supervision to which the Walsall Safeguarding Partnership require all relevant and statutory agencies to implement.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and partners have launched a new strategy on tackling sexual abuse in the region.

Strategy document.