Training urged to spot ‘child in need’

The Association of Directors of Social
Services has called for all government agencies offering services
to families at entry points into the UK to train staff in the
identification and referral of children in need.

The ADSS makes the argument in its submission
to the first seminar of phase two of the Victoria Climbi‚

The homeless persons unit in Ealing failed to
report signs of neglect when Victoria and her great-aunt
Marie-Therese Kouao first entered the UK, despite Victoria’s poor

Consequently, the referral and the subsequent
dealings between Kouao, Victoria and the duty social work team,
focused primarily on housing needs rather than child protection

Under the ADSS’s recommendations, housing
officers, National Asylum Support Service officials, Immigration
Service staff, and Benefits Agency staff would all receive training
in understanding the concept of a child in need and the threshold
at which referral would be necessary.

To improve inter-agency working, the ADSS is
also recommending information-sharing protocols, improved tracking
systems within and between agencies, and a multi-disciplinary team
model where independent professional practitioners co-locate but
still retain their current organisational lines of

Multi-disciplinary child protection teams
would ideally include the police, social workers, educationalists,
psychologists, psychiatrists, and paediatricians – or possibly even
“specialist paediatricians”.

The first seminar was due to take place this
week following last week’s postponement.

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