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THE CHILDREN ACT 2004: Probation



To provide an overview of the Children Act 2004, and inform Chief Officers of 23 March 2005
the requirement for Probation Boards to implement Section 10 – Interagency
Co-operation to Improve the Wellbeing of Children. This will require all staff IMPLEMENTATION DATE:
to be briefed accordingly. 1 April 2005


Chief Officers are asked to ensure that the Circular is drawn to the attention 31 March 2010
of all relevant staff, who should note and adopt the contents ready for
implementation on 1 April 2005. Areas should be aware that implementation TO:
of this Act will start to require a review of existing resources allocated to work
Chairs of Probation Boards
with children.
Chief Officers of Probation
Secretaries of Probation Boards
The Children Act 2004 received royal assent on 15 November 2004, and
section 10 of the Act will be implemented from 1 April 2005. This means that CC:
the NPS will become a “relevant partner” in working with other children’s Board Treasurers
services, and will be required to co-operate with inter-agency guidance and Regional Managers
to make arrangements for implementation of the Act. This Circular provides
guidance to all staff on how to take forward this section of the Act. A further AUTHORISED BY:
Circular will be issued with guidance on implementation of section 11 of the Liz Hill, Public Protection and
Act, which is to be implemented from 1 October 2005. Courts Unit


PC25/2003, PC54/2004 – MAPPA Guidance Appendix 1 – Responses from
PC08/2005 – NPS Business Plan 2005/06 Probation Areas (incorporated in
Word file on p.8)
CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES Tel: 020 7217 0670 Tel: 020 7217 0639 Tel: 020 7217 8565

National Probation Directorate

Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW General Enquiries: 020 7217 0659 Fax: 020 7217 0660

Enforcement, rehabilitation and public protection

1. Background

1.1 The Every Child Matters Green Paper was published for consultation in September 2003 and laid the foundations
for the Children Act 2004. This Act provides the legal framework for a whole system programme of reform in
children’s services to both safeguard children (as now) AND promote their welfare (from now onwards). It is
designed to meet the needs of the most vulnerable but, with a fundamental shift in emphasis from primarily
intervention only to much earlier intervention and prevention i.e. moving more from a reactive to a proactive way
of engaging with children. Conceptually, Areas may find it helpful to understand the changes required of them in
relation this Children Act as being a similarly radical change in direction, which was introduced as part of the shift
from anti discriminatory practice to promoting diversity in our organisation.
1.2 The Children Act 2004 makes it clear that in addition to direct work with children, there is now, significant, indirect
work to be completed with adults who are the parents or carers of children in order to promote the welfare of
children. In this respect, it links into the national framework, being developed as part of NOMS, for work with
children and families of offenders as part of the Reducing Re-offending Action Plan which forms the basis of each
region’s Resettlement Strategy. Implementation of this Action Plan is a key objective in the NPS Business Plan
for 2005/06.

1.3 Implications of the Children Act build upon the significant work being delivered via accredited programmes in
relation to consequential thinking which requires offenders to examine and evaluate the effect of their behaviour
on family members as well as themselves and victims. It is directly linked with the accredited programmes for
domestic violence e.g. IDAP which has specific input on the effect of domestic abuse on children.

1.4 This Circular provides an overview of the Act and identifies key issues for implementation. Specific actions and
recommendations for Areas are noted in emboldened italics.

2. Introduction to the Children Act 2004

2.1 The Children Act received royal assent on 15 November 2004. The Act is the legislative spine to support the
reform of children’s services. Fundamental to the Act is the requirement to deliver five outcomes for children
which have been identified as the components of well being for children and the purpose of co-operation between
agencies. This Outcomes Framework consists of:

• Being healthy (physical/mental health and emotional well being)

• Staying safe (protection from harm and neglect)
• Enjoying and achieving (education, training and recreation)
• Making a positive contribution (the contribution made by children/young people to society)
• Achieving economic well being (social and economic well being)

2.2 Appendix 1 provides examples of how Areas are already demonstrating good practice for each of these
outcomes, together with more general, relevant information obtained from Areas, following the issue of a recent
survey from the NPD requesting information on work already being completed in relation to the Children Act

2.3 Each Probation Board will work with Directors of Children’s Services to reform local children’s services. Section
10 of the Act, to be implemented on 1 April 2005, identifies each local Probation Board as being a “relevant
partner” to this process. It establishes a duty for the Probation Service to co-operate and make arrangements
with Local Authorities and other relevant partners to improve children’s well being. Other relevant partners with a
statutory duty to co-operate include the Police, YOTs, Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts.

3. Section 10 of the Children Act 2004 – Explanation of Provisions

3.1 The new duties in Section 10 of the Children Act 2004 require Local Authorities and their “relevant partners” to
co-operate to improve children’s wellbeing. Making arrangements is not just about agreeing a set of processes: it
includes the continuous joint working needed to make co-operation a reality. Interagency governance
arrangements will establish an overall vision and sustain the approach. This is defined as implementing the
Outcomes Framework outlined at paragraph 2.1 above. Local Authorities must take a lead in making
arrangements to promote co-operation between local agencies whose work impacts on children within the
Authority’s area. The relevant partners must co-operate with the Authority in its making of those arrangements.

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Wellbeing of Children: Children’s Trusts 2
This section is to be implemented from 1 April 2005. However, the statutory guidance will not be available until at
least May 2005. Once NPD has had sight of this guidance, it will advise Areas accordingly.

3.2 Chief Officers should note that lead representatives to local Children’s Trusts and Local Safeguarding Children’s
Boards “LSCBs” which replace Area Child Protection Committees, “ACPCs" should be in a position to make
decisions and commitments, particularly on service collaboration and funding, on behalf of their local Probation
Area. Further details on LSCBs are provided at paragraph 7.5 below.

3.3 Each local Probation Area should be able to demonstrate senior management involvement and commitment to
the importance of safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare and have clear lines of accountability within the
organisation for work on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Implementing these new
arrangements then will need to be incorporated into each Area’s Business Plan for 2005/06.

4. Definition of a Child

4.1 Section 63 of the Children Act says a child is a person under age of 18. Section 10 though extends the age range
as follows:

ƒ for the purpose of co-operation to include 18 and 19 year olds

ƒ to include services to young people leaving care age 20 and under
ƒ to include young people up to 25 with learning difficulties

A footnote has been included in the DfES section 10 guidance document, clarifying that NPS do not work with
children directly. It states:

“For probation, police and YOTs, the arrangements apply only up to the age of 17.”

4.2 It is recognised that this definition has the potential for confusion. What it means is that for criminal justice
purposes of sentencing and enforcement, a child is defined as being up to age 17. However, in order to address
the needs of offenders aged from 18-25, and, in order to be able to access suitable resources, Areas need to be
aware of the section 10 definitions as detailed at paragraph 4.1 above.

4.3 A measure will be added to OASys to enable Areas to identify whether an offender is currently a ‘looked after’

5. Children’s Trusts

5.1 Children’s Trusts are to be established to provide arrangements for the planning, commissioning and delivery of
children’s services in each Local Authority. They are not a legal entity. LSCBs will form part of Children’s Trusts
but will function on a fully independent basis (see paragraph 7.5 below). The essential features of such Trusts are
as follows:

5.2 Child-centred, outcome-led vision

Apart from the duty to co-operate, Section 10 places a responsibility on the NPS to ensure that local policies
should be informed by the views of children. This places a new responsibility on Probation Boards and it is
important that steps are taken to ensure that Probation Areas can demonstrate what action they have taken to
hear the views of children. It is recommended that seeking the views of children should be added to the
Impact Assessment Process, alongside race and diversity impact assessments, thus ensuring active
attendance to this requirement when policies and procedures are developed and approved. In addition,
Probation Areas are likely to find mechanisms to seek children’s views in place with Local Authority partners and
may find scope to collaborate and consult with forums such as Young People’s Councils etc.

5.3 Integrated frontline delivery

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Wellbeing of Children: Children’s Trusts 3
Delivery of services should be organised around the child, young person or family rather than professional
boundaries or existing agencies. This may include formation of multi-agency teams with co-located staff or
developing “virtual” teams. However, NPS should approach the co-location issue with care. All such
developments should be subject to thorough risk assessments. A footnote in DfES section 10 guidance states:

“Any strategy for developing co-location must take into account the need to ensure that vulnerable
children are not exposed to risk from other service users.”

Integration opportunities may arise though through the joint delivery of the community sex offender partner
programme or in the development of Women’s Safety Workers roles as part of IDAP and CDVP. Probation staff
completing statutory work with child victims of serious offences may also be able to identify scope for more
integrated working with child victims.

5.4 Integrated processes

Effective joint working will be sustained by a common language and shared processes, such as the Common
Assessment Framework (CAF), further details of which are provided at paragraph 7.1.1 below.

5.5 Integrated strategy (joint planning and commissioning)

5.5.1 In addition to being part of local Children’s Trusts, Local Probation Areas will be statutory members of LSCBs,
(see paragraph 7.5 below) and are likely to be required to contribute to pooled resources for the purposes of joint
training strategies around child development and child protection. In effect, this will replace the contributions
Areas already make to their local ACPCs but, it is recognised that this new approach will, probably, lead to Areas
being requested to make additional contributions to shared resources. Historically, the amount local Areas have
contributed to local ACPCs has been determined by each Area and the results of the recent survey completed by
Areas makes it clear that there has been significant variation in these amounts. Appendix 1 gives more details.

5.5.2 It is recommended that Areas apply the following considerations when deciding on their financial
contributions to LSCBs:-

• The size of the different organisations involved in the local arrangements ( as determined by annual
• The proportion of business involving direct work with children/child protection/child development
• Contributions to training to reflect planned use by each organisation and the extent of shared training
• The existing arrangements for funding the Youth Offending Services locally.

5.5.3 Given that Probation Areas will be engaged primarily with indirect work with adults as parents and carers of
children, rather than direct work with children, Areas might want to consider proposing that their
management participation is their input to the general pooling of resources within Children’s Trusts.

5.6 Inter-agency governance

Chief Officers remain responsible for the exercise of their own functions. However, robust governance
arrangements for inter-agency co-operation will set the framework of accountability for the improvement and
delivery of effective children’s services. Areas will need to update policies and guidance on child protection
procedures to support implementation of the Act, and cross-reference local Children and Young People’s
Plans (see paragraph 7.3 below).

6. Joint Area Reviews (JARs)

6.1 JARs will be developed by the relevant Inspectorates, based on the inspection criteria included in the Outcomes
Framework and these will cover all local authority areas by 2008. Paragraph 4.1 above makes it clear that for
criminal justice agencies, a child is to be recognised as being up to 17 years. While YOT staff will be included
within the inspections, it is not now anticipated that site visits will take place in the 42 Probation Areas. However,
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Wellbeing of Children: Children’s Trusts 4
the JAR will scrutinise the effectiveness of local, working arrangements, which will include an assessment of the
level of engagement by the Probation Service who will be a statutory partner. JARs will also include scrutiny of
the effectiveness of LSCBs when they commence.

7. Key milestones for implementation in the year ahead

In addition to the implementation of section 10 of the Children Act on 1 April 2005, the following key milestones
have been identified for the year ahead.

7.1.1 The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) will start to be implemented in “first wave” local authorities from
March 2005. All local authorities will be expected to have implemented the CAF during the period April 2006-
December 2008. The CAF is a nationally standard approach to conducting an overview assessment of the needs
of a child or young person and deciding how they should be met. It has been developed for use by practitioners in
all agencies so that they can communicate and work more effectively together. The CAF will not replace existing
procedures for raising concerns about child protection, where a child is at risk of harm. Probation Areas should
continue to follow local ACPC/LSCB procedures, informed by the DfES publication “What to Do if You’re Worried
a Child is Being Abused”.

7.1.2 The CAF will directly affect YOT secondees, who will be trained in its delivery. Victim Liaison Officers, who have
direct contact with child victims, will need to be familiar with the CAF, in order to refer children in need to the
relevant professional for assessment. Offender Managers will also need to be aware of the CAF, to understand
the rationale for assessment and its language and how they may contribute through their work with child’s parent/

7.1.3 Areas should be aware that local authorities will have access to dedicated funding for the training and rollout of
the CAF and that local areas will need to ensure that all their staff are appropriately trained/briefed on the

7.2 Director of Children’s Services and Lead Member guidance is to be published by DfES on 31 March 2005. This
sets the expectation that most Local Authorities should have a Director of Children’s Services and Lead Member
by April 2006, with the remaining Authorities having made arrangements for these appointments by 2008.

7.3 Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) guidance is to be published by DfES on 31 March 2005. The Director
of Children’s Services and Lead Member will be responsible for the CYPP in each Local Authority. The
involvement of local partners in the formulation of the CYPP is of fundamental importance. The CYPP will cover
all the services available to children in the locality and the local partners’ shared strategy for improving these
services. The CYPP will be the statutory core for the wider planning activity of Children’s Trusts which will bring
together plans for the full range of services to be inspected under the Joint Area Reviews. All Local Authorities
should have a CYPP in place by April 2006. Chief Officers should ensure that Probation Area Business
Plans are consistent with these plans.

7.4 Duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people (section 11) guidance will be published
from May 2005, for implementation from 1 October 2005. A further Circular will be issued with guidance to
support the implementation of this duty.

7.5 Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) will be replacing Area Child Protection Committees by April 2006.
This is not just a change of name. LSCBs will be strategic bodies with statutory responsibilities and will have high
levels of accountability. They will operate within their own right but will form part of the wider arrangements
contained within each Area’s Children’s Trusts.

They will:

• Co-ordinate and monitor member agencies efforts to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
• Set policy and procedures and monitor performance to reduce childhood death or injury
• Investigate child deaths or injury and promote learning and good practice

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LSCBs will need to have clear links to MAPPA Strategic Management Boards, supported by Information Sharing
Protocols. Examples of how this can be achieved would be:

• Reciprocal/overlapping memberships of each forum

• The LSCB formally receiving the annual report of the local MAPPA and vice versa
• Ensuring there is cross referencing between the annual Business Plans of local LSCBs and MAPPPs

Many ACPCs have already begun making transition arrangements. NPD is contributing to the review of the
Working Together to Safeguard Children guidance, which will be published at the end of 2005.

7.6 A Common Core prospectus sets out six areas of expertise which professionals working with children, young
people and families should be able to demonstrate. This will apply to probation staff and covers existing
competencies. It is specifically included within the Trainee Probation Officer curriculum. The Common Core will
encourage professionals to recognise and build on existing good practice.

8. Specific Implications for Wales

• The Children Act 2004 places Children and Young People’s Framework Partnerships (CYPFP) on a statutory

• Consultation on regulations and guidance for Children and Young People’s Framework Partnerships and
LSCBs will commence in Summer 2005, for implementation in 2006-2007

• There is no requirement in Wales to establish Children’s Trusts or Directors of Children’s Services

• The functions of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales differ from those of the Children’s Commissioner for

• Responsibility for CAFCASS will transfer to the National Assembly for Wales from 1 April 2005, establishing
CAFCASS Cymru as a functional unit of the Assembly

• Existing Welsh inspectorates with continue to strengthen collaboration, adopting a consistent approach to
support partnership working.

9. Informing staff

Areas will need to make staff aware of the Children Act 2004. They may be assisted in this process by the
use of a short Powerpoint presentation which can be adapted to suit individual circumstances. It will be sent on
disk to Areas at the same time as hard copies of this Circular are sent to Areas.

10. Detailed guidance on the Children Act 2004 can be found at the following sites:

Although it is appreciated that Areas have limited access to the internet, further guidance on the Act can be found
at the following websites:-

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Commonly Uses Terms

ACPC Area Child Protection Committee

CAF Common Assessment Framework

CDVP Community Domestic Violence Programme

Children's Trusts Set of arrangements for the planning, commissioning and delivery of
children’s services in each Local Authority

Common Core Prospectus 6 areas of expertise professionals working with children, young peoples
and families should be able to demonstrate

CYPP Children and Young People’s Plan

CYPFP (Wales) Children and Young People’s Framework Partnerships

DfES Department for Education and Skills

DTC Duty to Co-operate

ECM Every Child Matters, Green Paper published September 2003

IDAP Integrated Domestic Abuse Policy

JARs Joint Area Reviews

LSCB Local Safeguarding Children Board

OASys Offender Assessment System

Outcome Framework The 5 outcomes identified as the components of well being in children:
Be Healthy, Stay safe, Enjoy and Achieve, Make a Positive Contribution,
Achieve Economic Wellbeing

Relevant Partner Organisation with a duty to co-operate in interagency arrangements to

improve children’s wellbeing.

Section 10 Children Act 2004 Requires interagency co-operation to improve the wellbeing of children

Section 11 Children Act 2004 Duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people

YOT Youth Offending Team

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Appendix 1

Implementing the Children Act 2004

Responses by Probation Areas to a Survey Circulated in January 2005

In January 2005, the Public Protection and Courts Section of the National Probation Directorate circulated a questionnaire
to all 42 Probation Areas requesting information of work being completed in Areas in relation to the Children Act 2004.
This enabled Areas to feed back examples of good practice in general terms but also, to demonstrate how they already
contribute to children’s well-being as defined by the Outcomes Framework. 29 Areas responded. The survey covered 3
work strands as follow:

• Examples of existing good practice in relation to the Outcomes Framework

• General information and developments required to implement the Children Act 2004
• Developments contributing to a national framework for work with the children and families as part of the national
Reducing Re-offending Action Plan.

This document analyses the responses received.

A. Examples of activity and good practice which contribute to the five outcomes for children

West Midlands Children and Families Project

Invest to Save Funding has been secured for the West Midlands Children and Families Project. The project will establish
the first regional multi-agency approach to work with the children and families of offenders.

About 7% of school age children experience a parent or carer in prison. Prisoners are up to 6 times less likely to re-offend
if good family contact is maintained while in prison. However 45% of prisoners report loss of family contact during

Project objectives include improved quality and availability of information to children and families, better information
sharing protocols between agencies, improved contact and reduced stress experienced by offenders and their children
and families, and a reduction the percentage of relationships which founder. The project also aims to support prisoners in
their parenting role, ensure that other service providers (such as schools and social workers) are responsive to the
experiences of children and families with a family member in prison, and involve families in work to reduce re-offending.

The three year project will initially target those hardest to reach, including prisoners serving less than 12 months, from
BME communities, in juvenile establishments, and the children and families of female prisoners. In years 2 and 3 it will
extend to include training prisons, prisoners serving longer sentences, and develop support and advice interventions in
the community. The project will co-ordinate the work of partner organisations to achieve joint objectives: partners come
from across the statutory and voluntary sectors.

The programme will inform the development of the children and families pathway of the Regional Rehabilitation Strategy
and the National Reducing Re-offending Action Plan. It has the opportunity to demonstrate the impact of maintaining the
family unit on reducing re-offending and of reducing the social impact resulting from broken families, and to deliver a
significant contribution to achieving the five outcomes for children on a targeted basis.

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1. Being Healthy

The majority of work in relation to this outcome was through substance misuse interventions with offenders who may be
carers, such as DTTO and ASRO. Other interventions include a Women’s Group in Hampshire and Lincolnshire’s
‘Healthy Living’ partnership with nursing staff based in Probation offices.

Most Areas provided examples of structural arrangements through ACPCs, which lead to improvements for children’s
health. For example, an ACPC in Staffordshire had juvenile prostitution protocols.

Innovative community punishment work was reported in Bedfordshire, where offenders maintain rugby clubs enabling
younger players to practice and meet safely.

2. Staying Safe

Most Areas reported established practice on child protection procedures, and membership of local ACPCs. In addition,
the provision of accredited sex offender programmes clearly make a significant contribution to this outcome. More
innovative examples included Cambridgeshire Probation Officers acting as ‘independent members’ at case reviews which
involve de-registration decisions, where Probation are not working with the child’s carer. West Mercia reported the
‘Herefordshire Child Concern Model’ which has generated inter-agency definitions of need and a common framework for
assessing and referral. West Mercia is also involved in ‘Leisure Watch’ schemes to safeguard children in sports and
leisure centres.

There were numerous examples of how intervention with domestic abuse perpetrators and victims contributes to safety
planning for partners and children. There was also inter-agency involvement with NSPCC to raise offenders’ awareness
of the effects of domestic abuse on children. Other interventions with offenders included community sex offender
programmes and anti-bullying work in prison.

Community punishment projects contributed to physically safe environments for children, such as work on playgrounds,
swimming pool, and Scout halls in Bedfordshire and Staffordshire. Offenders can also work towards Health and Safety
qualifications in a number of Areas. Innovative examples were provided, such as Sussex’s projects involving a ‘walking
bus’ service to improve children’s road safety, and low risk offenders working as classroom assistants.

3. Enjoying and Achieving

Many Areas reported community punishment activity which contributes to improving children’s experiences at school and
other community groups such as Scouts. For example, Staffordshire delivered a range of projects for offenders who make
bird boxes, picnic tables and allotments. Bedfordshire involved children in the planning of a garden. South Yorkshire also
provided individual CP placements for offenders to “add value to education.”

Warwickshire, Sussex and Leicestershire reported that intervention with offenders around improving basic skills, may lead
to improvements for their children in terms of education achievement.

4. Making a Positive Contribution

Most examples for this outcome were structural, in that Areas are members of local Crime and Disorder Reduction
Partnerships, which contribute to improvements for communities. Established practice, such as seconding staff to YOTs,
was also cited by a number of Areas for this outcome. Each area also produced an annual report detailing the work of
their MAPPA. West Mercia participated in a diversity event for children at school, as well as a Hereford county-wide mock
trial event in crown and magistrates courts.

South Yorkshire reported intervention with offenders that focus on good parenting, which in turn empowers children to
engage in their local communities.

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5. Achieving Economic Well Being

A range of interventions with offenders around education, training and employment were provided. West Mercia gave a
presentation to young people at a sixth form college career’s fair about the National Probation Service. South Yorkshire
provides ETE and basic skills advice and support to offenders on community punishment.

Structural and inter-agency examples included ACO representation on a ‘Supporting People Commissioning Group’
which targets young people at risk in Cambridgeshire, and Merseyside’s Chief Officer sits on the Connexions Board.
Sussex is involved in the West Sussex Strategic Partnership which achieved Beacon status and aims to improve ‘well-
being’ and quality of life in West Sussex.

B. General information and developments required to implement the Children Act 2004

Analysis of the responses to the questions raised is provided below.

1. Percentage £ contribution from Probation Area to Area Child Protection Committees for 2004/05 budget

Some Areas provided the percentage contribution of their Area’s input into their ACPC’s budget. Most Areas, however,
produced the percentage contribution from their Areas to ACPCs. These ranged from 0.03, (quite a common
contribution), to 0.07 of Areas’ budgets. Whatever the contribution, there was no indication that this was arrived at in any
systematic way. The impression gained is that the sums represented a historical accident.

2. Child Protection Training included within Area Training Plan 2004/05

Apart from one, all Areas had included Child Protection training within their 2004/05 Training Plans. Specific examples of
what this can involve were given by Staffordshire:

• The assessment framework

• Children and domestic violence
• Multi agency risk assessment
• Protecting children in prisons
• Substance misuse and child protection
• Working together to safeguard children (the main course – a 2 day event)

Clearly, training/briefing on the Common Assessment Framework will need to be added as a core module to Child
Protection Training.

3. Child Protection Training jointly delivered with other agencies 2004/05

Child Protection training was jointly delivered with other agencies in all areas in 2004/05. In some areas, however,
Probation did not provide the trainers to such events. In Essex, there had been a formal review of these joint
arrangements, initiated by increasing concerns that such arrangements did not have the capacity they required. The
review proposed that competence linked ACPC training should probably be supplemented by formal “basic awareness”
training within each agency. Some Areas seemed to have concluded that at the very least, they needed to provide their
own, in house training arrangements in addition to the jointly delivered events. Emerging best practice seemed to be each
Area providing its own child protection awareness training by incorporating it as a specific module in risk of harm training.
In addition, Areas would continue to benefit from more specialist, multi agency training on child protection.


4.1 Education linked to SMB

There was a mixed response to this question ranging from most areas indicating that there was a designated
representative from education on the SMB to a couple of other areas indicating that there was no such link. In Norfolk,
this education involvement extended to their local education department contributing £12, 000 to the funding of the SMB,

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although this arrangement was being reviewed as part of Education and Social Services joining forces. In a few areas,
there were indirect links only e.g. via the Social Services/Local Authority. It was noted that Education departments of local
authorities have a duty to co-operate under section four (paragraph 235) of the current MAPPA Guidance.

4.2 Education attending relevant MAPPPs

Once more, there were several different responses from Areas to this enquiry. Most areas did have such attendance, with
some areas clarifying that this would be as necessary. Kent was able to report that Head teachers would also attend
when appropriate. One area reported inconsistent attendance and a few areas reported no attendance from Education at
such MAPPS. Clearly, this is not adhering to the MAPPA Guidance regarding Education Departments’ duties to co-

4.3 Access to local Children Database for information sharing

Unsurprisingly, there were also various responses to how local MAPPA were able to access local Children’s’ databases
for information sharing. One Area had formally requested such access but had been refused. A few areas did not have
access. Most Areas did have access, either directly or though Local Authority representatives and most had developed
Information Exchange Protocols to facilitate this process. Developments of a children’s database under the Children Act
will clearly assist with information sharing.

5. Representation on ACPCs by Senior Management

All areas were represented on ACPCs by senior management representatives covering the range of ACOs, ACPOs,
District and Area Managers. In Avon and Somerset, their ACO is accompanied by their Area Performance Manager. In
Leicestershire, in addition to the ACO representation on their ACPC, there is a twice yearly meeting attended by their
Chief Officer with other Chief Executives. This is regarded as good practice.

6. Strategic link in place between MAPPA SMB and ACPCs

All areas had strategic links in place between MAPPAs and ACPCs. Most Areas had Senior Managers represented on
both bodies. It is unclear whether these were the same or different senior managers. Many Areas were working towards
reciprocal/overlapping memberships of each forum. Some Areas had specific well developed links e.g.

• Gwent where a Director of Social Services from one of the 5 local authorities attends the SMB and acts on behalf
of the ACPCs and the SMB, providing a strategic oversight, feedback to other directors and ACPCs. Information
and learning points from SFOs are shared with the SMB and ACPCs and are used to inform best practice/future
training needs.

• Northamptonshire, where the ACO, MAPPA Manager and Police lead all attend the ACPC.

• Staffordshire where in addition to their ACO providing the strategic linkage, the SMB had provided specific
presentations to the ACPC.

Some areas indicated that their arrangements were in place but where developing/improving.

Good practice identified was ACPCs formally receiving the Annual Reports and Business Plans from the SMBs of their
MAPPAs and vice versa. This would ensure cross referencing in future planning and reporting documents.

7. Details of any work already underway with Director of Children’s Services to implement Children Act 2004

Most Areas reported some work had started via the Directors of Children’s Services to implement this Act. A range of
groups had been established to take forward this work, many focussing initially on the establishment of LSCBs, although
Northamptonshire had joined a working group to take forward the Common Assessment Framework. A few Areas had yet
to commence work, but it was clear that they were receiving local information and were being considered as part of the
local consultation process.

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8. Accredited programmes/intervention examples which could highlight addressing parent/carer
responsibilities, if not already highlighted under the 5 outcomes

It was clear that accredited programmes can provide significant input in terms of addressing parent/carer responsibilities.
All accredited programmes focus on skill development both in terms of thinking style and behavioural aspects. Many of
the skills developed on a programme could be related to improvements in parenting skills, if the offender is able to
generalise the new skill in the wider aspect of their lives, for example:-

• Problem solving skills

• Consequential thinking
• Social skills e.g. negotiation skills

Behavioural skills could also be related to improving parenting skills, for example:-

• Impulse control
• Pro-social modelling
• Conflict resolution
• Emotional management

Domestic violence programmes target parent/carer responsibilities e.g. the module “Responsible Parenting”. However,
the other elements of the programmes are also of direct relevance e.g. the links to Social services, the overall joint
working approach and the use of women’s safety workers who will have a key role in ensuring the well being of partners
and children.

9. Does the draft Area Business Plan 2005/06 reference work to be undertaken re implementation of the
Children Act 2004?

Several Areas were still in the process of determining/finalising their Business Plan for 2005/06, but the impression
gained was that they would include a specific objective to implement the Children Act. Of those areas that had finalised
their Plans, it was clear that this work would be included in next year’s Business Plans, either directly or as part of an
objective to implement the Reducing Re-offending Action Plan where working with children and families of offenders is
Pathway 6. There was one exception in one Area where implementing the Children Act was being integrated into other
work streams.

C. Developments contributing to a national framework for work with the children and families as
part of the national Reducing Re-offending Action Plan

10. Information for families and children of offenders

Several Areas make use of information for families and children provided by voluntary sector organisations. This generally
takes the form of leaflets, although Cambridgeshire reported links with the help-line run by the Ormiston Trust and Devon
and Cornwall has links with PACT (in this case supported through the LCJB). Other voluntary sector organisations
providing information include NACRO (leaflets, resettlement help-line) and Action for Prisoners Families (including
booklets for children and families of offenders who are imprisoned). SHARP operates in the West Midlands and Prisoners
Families and Friends Service in the London area.

Other examples of practice include West Yorkshire, who ensure prisoners are informed about a range of available
information, making use of the Safer Parenting Handbook and ensuring families are aware of the Assisted Visits scheme.
London reported developments linked to the Prolific and Priority Offenders scheme: leaflets explaining the scheme will be
available to families.

The provision of information will be a major strand of the West Midlands Children and Families Project (see page 1 of

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11. Enabling children or families to maintain contact with an imprisoned parent/carer

Several of the voluntary sector organisations noted in relation to the provision of information were also mentioned in
connection with assisting families, children and prisoners to maintain contact. In addition, Teeside reported helpful work
by NEPACS, Lancashire reported the “POPs” Service at HMP Kirkham and “Family Man/Father Inside” at HMP Garth.
South Yorkshire mentioned links with partners of prisons at HMP Lindholme and Moorland.

Other Areas mentioned encouraging families to make use of assisted prison visits and support for local prisoner family
transport services, staff available in visitor centres at local prisons (West Mercia), and general advice supported by
availability of a range of information.

Areas in the West Midlands mentioned the regional children and families project in which supporting contact will be a

12. Support to families or offenders on healthy relationships or parenting

Some areas address this aspect of support through casework and referral to local provision. However Lincolnshire has an
extensive “Healthy Living” Partnership which includes nursing staff based in probation offices.

Several areas mentioned the appointment of Women’s Safety Workers attached to the IDAP Domestic Violence
Perpetrator Programme – who will be able to put families in touch with agencies who will provide information on healthy
relationships. Support as an element of the OSAPP programme was also mentioned.

Northamptonshire mentioned referrals to Social Services Parenting Groups, Lancashire use of the Safe Parenting
Handbook, and Staffordshire mentioned a programme run by staff at HMP Swinfen Hall.

13. Involvement of families in the process of rehabilitation, crime reduction and creating safer communities

Areas reported a range of interventions in support of family involvement in rehabilitation, crime reduction and creating
safer communities:

The majority of responses referred to developments in relation to Domestic Violence, in particular the appointment of
Women’s Safety Workers. Several areas also mentioned partners programmes as an integral part of sex offender
programmes. The potential of some other programmes to include this focus was also mentioned, in particular “significant
other” involvement in the One to One programme

Other areas drew attention to the HDC, parole and ROTL processes as a means of involving families, and to the role of
Victim Contact officers in cases of serious harm.

West Midlands and West Yorkshire mentioned indirect work through CDRPs, including a restorative justice perspective in
the case of the West Midlands.

Leicestershire and Rutland, and London, mentioned scope for the involvement of families in the Prolific and Priority
offender scheme, in the early intervention and resettle and rehabilitate strands respectively.

14. Work with prisons and/or voluntary and community sector

A varied range of responses were received in this section:

Several areas reported work with prisons, and with voluntary sector organisations including, Dyfed-Powys, Lancashire
and West Yorkshire. Cambridgeshire mentioned contracted involvement in running a visitor centre in one establishment,
and a child protection brief in another. Teeside also highlighted joint work on MAPPA/child protection issues.

West Mercia mentioned their role in visitor centres, and liaison between staff in women’s prisons and SSD/parenting
classes in male prisons. Bedfordshire mentioned the sentence panning process and Suffolk noted work with the Ormiston
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North Yorkshire noted a different angle – the role of Community Punishment projects in working to support facilities for
children including playgrounds, play centres and scout huts. The SNAPPY project develops facilities for children with

15. Ensuring other service providers (e.g. schools, health professionals, social workers) responsive to child
and family need

The majority of responses focussed on Areas involvement in MAPP activity and ACPCs. Links with, and support to, Youth
Offending Teams were mentioned, as was Connexions. Other strategic level work included through CDRPs. Bedfordshire
mentioned involvement in the Domestic Violence forum, and West Yorkshire through a partnership forum. Other areas
liaise with agencies in relation to specific cases, for example housing providers, schools and social services departments.

Cumbria noted a partnership with the NSPCC in delivery of sex offender group work. The Herefordshire Child Concern
model was also highlighted: This offers a shared definition of needs, common inter-agency assessment, and prioritisation
by levels of vulnerability.

16. Any other examples of policy or practice in relation to the children and families of offenders in prison or
the community

Not surprisingly, responses in this section were varied. They included:

Cambridgeshire noted a proposal for a Board Member to chair a Children and Families Strategy Development Group.

Several areas noted unpaid work projects benefiting young people or children: Leicestershire and Rutland have 10 such
projects: Dyfed-Powys include an unpaid work focus on work in schools and benefiting children including disabled
children, and also support child care costs so that lone parents can attend interventions including unpaid work.

Gwent also noted unpaid work projects benefiting children and added a note on the use of OASys data, including a family
perspective, in contributing to decisions by the Supporting People Planning Group.

Other examples of practice include approved premises assisting low income families to keep in touch with residents
(Northamptonshire), commissioning a lecturer in child development to facilitate a development event (South Yorkshire),
some involvement of children of offenders in sports centre activities (DTTO activity – West Mercia), and area policy
including a children’s perspective in assessing suitability of release addresses (West Yorkshire).

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