Within the police force they have implemented Child Abuse Investigation Units (CAIU) they have access to databases that quickly check information on particular individuals. They provide regular updates with a ‘vetting and barring’ scheme. It is also their responsibility to share information with other agencies regarding children who may be suffering or likely to suffer harm.
The police are committed to sharing information and intelligence with other agencies where this is necessary to protect children. This includes a responsibility to ensure that those officers representing the Force at a child protection conference are fully informed about the case as well as being experienced in risk-assessment and the decision making process. They can also expect other agencies to share with them information and intelligence they hold be enable the police to carry out their duties.
The police should be notified as soon as possible where a criminal offence has been committed, or is suspected of having been committed against a child. Area Child Protection Committees (ACPC’s) should have in place a protocol agreed between social services department and the police, to guide both agencies in deciding how child protection enquiries should be conducted.
Children’s social care
Children’s social care has been set up under the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act. Their function is to :
• Safeguard and promote the welfare of children
• Give advice to the family courts
• Make provision for children to be represented
• Provide information, advice and support to children and their families
Children’s social care champions the interests of children involved in family proceeding, advising the family courts in England on what it considers to be in the best interests of individual children.
Children’s social care professionally qualified social work staff, called Family Court Advisers (FCA) work exclusively in the family courts.
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