London gets new protection rules

By Sarah Cooper

| 11 September 2007

The London Safeguarding Children Board will tomorrow (13 September) publish a set of child protection guidelines to ensure children in the capital receive consistent levels of care.

London Child Protection Procedures sets out the roles and responsibilities of agencies and individuals and how they should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Paul Sharma, who was involved in developing the guidelines, said the procedures will help bring consistency to how the 33 London boroughs deal with child protection matters, so if a child moves to a new area of London, professionals will be following the same procedures.

Sharma, a child protection manager at the London Borough of Sutton, said: "This is a living document. We use it every day of our lives. These procedures apply not just to councils, but all statutory and non-statutory agencies. The London procedures mean that the approach that's taken by agencies is going to be the same."

Derek Myers, chairman of the London Safeguarding Children Board, added: "London's children should all be able to grow up in circumstances where they are safe and supported. To ensure this is the case, all agencies need to work together to promote children's welfare and prevent them from suffering harm and this is where the London Child Protection Procedures come in. They are the most comprehensive child protection procedures in the UK and we hope they will have continuing relevance."

Anyone working with children can use the procedures, including those working in statutory agencies, the voluntary sector, community and faith groups, police, health authorities and social workers.

Topics covered by the procedures include bullying, disability, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, foster care, private fostering, residential care, sexually exploited children and young carers. The guidelines were drawn up after a year-long consultation.

The procedures will be sent out to agencies through London's local safeguarding children boards as a hardcopy or CD and will be available on the London Safeguarding Children Board website.

- www.londonscb.gov.uk.

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