When primary teacher and safeguarding lead Kate is alerted to one of the pupils at school she suspects the young boy is being neglected and possibly abused.  But with a manipulative mum who knows how to “play” the safeguarding process, can the various agencies involved in the pupil’s welfare ascertain the truth?
  • Child Safeguarding
  • Child Abuse (Physical, Emotional and Neglect), Multi-Agency Working, Childcare Professionals / Allegation Management
  • No Guidance Required

Level of Complexity: Intermediate
  • Differentiation applies depending on the audience
  • Trainer to develop the questions accordingly using differentiation words such as List, describe, identify, develop a policy, develop a pathway etc.

Video Synopsis

  • Four-year-old child is being neglected and physically and emotionally abused by mum and mum’s partner
  • School suspects abusive behaviour and alerts relevant agencies
  • School, police, children’s social care / services and hospital all become involved in the child’s life
  • Manipulative mum “plays” the safeguarding process and attempts to divert attention away from her
  • Working within their procedures, agencies are unable to ascertain any clear evidence of abusive behaviour

Issues Covered

  • Child Abuse
  • Disclosure
  • Professional Hierarchies
  • Escalation Procedure
  • Disguised Compliance
  • Start Again Syndrome

  • Recognising and responding to child abuse
  • Interagency communication
  • Cumulative harm and the impact on a child
  • Understanding each others’ roles and responsibilities
  • What to do if not happy with a response from a partner agency
  • Good practice/guidance disclosures from a child
  • The importance of reflective supervision

  • There is a history in this case from the nursery school to the primary school.  How best can we ensure that information is shared?
  • There are a number of injuries where the explanation is inconsistent.  How can we make sure that the full picture is clarified?
  • The parent and perpetrator are in a relationship.  Is the significance of this being considered as part of the assessment? How could this be improved?
  • The school has a lot of information and understanding of the situation.  Have the procedures which have been followed, enabled this to be shared fully? If not, how could this be improved?
  • The teacher has a lot of anxiety about the child and feels her voice is not being heard. What else could she do to ensure that her concerns are included in the assessment?
  • The mother is very manipulative and knows how to work the system.  How can we guard against this when considering child safeguarding concerns?
  • Each agency appears to be working in isolation.  How can this be prevented?
  • There seems to be a hierarchy where the school defer to children’s services and the police, they in turn defer to the opinions of health professionals. How can interagency communication and decision-making guard against this approach?

Target Audience:

  • All frontline staff working with children and families
  • All frontline managers of staff working with children and families
  • Multi agency partners who have a responsibility for working together to safeguard children

Useful For:

  • Follow on from Basic Awareness of child abuse and neglect
  • Working Together / Safeguarding It’s everyone’s responsibility courses

Training Suggestions:

  • Team discussions in single agencies
  • Multi agency training / conferences / voice of the child
  • Reflective supervision – individual / group

Useful Links

For Further Support

  • Local Safeguarding Children Board Multi agency procedures
  • Local Safeguarding Children Board Multi agency training