SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This is the required procedure when children who are the subject of Child Protection Plans travel abroad.This chapter was added to this manual in June 2019.
Children travel abroad for different reasons such as:
This guide applies to all three of these travel plans.
The social worker and the core group will discuss the likely impact of any planned change in a child's circumstances. They will have to consider whether the child is at increased risk of harm if the planned trip takes place. They inform parents of the outcome of their discussions and what arrangements will need to be in place so that they can make sure the child is safe if the trip does go ahead.
The social worker must consult with the following:
Please note that as part of the child protection plan there may be a requirement that parents submit the child's passport(s) to the Local Authority if it is deemed that child may be at risk if they travel abroad.
After the social worker has consulted with all the people above, Children's Services will inform the parents whether they think the planned trip abroad is in the child's best interests or if they have concerns about their safety.
If the child is taken abroad when Section 47 enquiries have commenced, but are not yet completed, the investigating social worker should inform the relevant authorities in the country of destination, seeking advice from Children and Family Services Across Borders (CFAB) - formerly International Social Services) - as necessary.
If the Section 47 enquiry is accompanied by a criminal investigation, police should inform the relevant Police force abroad.
Strategy discussions should be held and legal advice sought to determine known or likely risk of harm and what action should take place to safeguard the children from harm.
The Social Worker will:
The core group members also have a responsibility to flag the case to their managers for oversight within their agency.
The social worker and the core group remain responsible for implementing the child protection plan until the above actions have been completed. They will resume responsibility for implementing the child protection plan when notified of the children's return.
The social worker and the core group must undertake all steps outlined in Section 2.2, Children Going Abroad on Holiday and Section 2.3, Children Going Abroad for a Temporary Stay with Friends/Family.
Having received any assessment information from CFAB and other relevant agencies, the core group should form a view regarding the continuing risk of significant harm for the child and convene a review child protection conference. All those notified in section 3 should be notified by the relevant core group member of the outcome of the Child Protection Conference and of any recommendations for further action.
If the move is temporary a Review Child Protection Conference should be held at the scheduled time. Consideration should be given for bringing forward the date of this conference.
If the child does not return before the time of the Review Child Protection Conference is due, it must go ahead with information gathered from agencies abroad, as detailed in Section 2.4, Children Moving Abroad Permanently, when children move abroad permanently. A decision whether the child should remain subject to a Child Protection Plan will be made and if so a revised Child Protection Plan must be formulated.
On the rare occasion where the child has moved abroad permanently and all relevant agencies abroad have been notified that it is the view of the core group that no further work can be undertaken, the chair of the child protection conference will write a brief report to the Head of Service for Safeguarding in Children's Social Care requesting that the child is no longer the subject of a Child Protection Plan.
Please also refer to the following Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton Safeguarding Children's Board Procedures if necessary:
Only valid for 48hrs