beta

You're viewing our new website - find out more

Publication - Guidance

Assessment and management of young people: guidance

Published: 18 Dec 2014
Part of:
Law and order
ISBN:
9781784129378

Guidance for local authorities on the assessment of young people who present a risk of harm through sexually harmful and/or violent behaviour.

49 page PDF

396.0kB

49 page PDF

396.0kB

Contents
Assessment and management of young people: guidance
Appendix 1

49 page PDF

396.0kB

Appendix 1

CARE AND RISK MANAGEMENT PLANNING FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WHO PRESENT A RISK OF SERIOUS HARM

The document is an appendix to the Framework for Risk Assessment, Management and Evaluation ( FRAME) Planning for Local Authorities and partners: For Children and young people under 18 (Scottish Government, 2011).

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 The National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (Scottish Government, 2010) and the Getting it Right For Every Child ( GIRFEC) approach provide a national framework for agencies and practitioners at local level to draw up and agree on ways of working to promote the welfare and safety of children and young people. However there are specific circumstances in which children and young people may present a risk of serious harm to others because of their own behaviours. These can include situations where children and young people are involved in sexually harmful behaviour and/or the commission of sexual offences and/or violence. Many young people involved with offending of a serious nature will have complex needs and may have experienced multiple adverse life experiences in their lives. This group presents many challenges for services which need to manage the risks young people present in order to promote public safety while also offering opportunities for them to develop and to become positive contributors to society. This document provides a template for child centred practice in the risk assessment and risk management of the critical few young people who present a risk of serious harm to others within the context of GIRFEC and the Whole System Approach.

1.2 This document applies to children and young people who display sexually harmful behaviour and/or behaviour involving violence. The former group has been defined in the Youth Justice National Guidance ( NDT, 2013) following Calder (1999) as:

"young people who engage in any form of sexual activity with another individual, that they have powers over by virtue of age, emotional maturity, gender, physical strength, intellect and where the victim in this relationship has suffered a sexual exploitation".

According to this definition, the key elements of sexually harmful behaviour are sexual exploitation and power imbalance.

Violence has been defined in the Youth Justice National Guidance following the World Health Organisation ( WHO) (1996) as:

"the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation".

According to this definition, the key elements contributing to violence are: level of intent; use of coercion or force; and, potential for harm to the person (whether this is realised or not).

1.3 This document may also be applied in exceptional circumstances when young people present significant risk to others as a result of behaviours that are extremely troubling but which may not be captured entirely under the definitions of sexually harmful behaviour and/or violence. Such behaviours might include, but are not restricted to, fire-raising and stalking. As above, assessment of intent and the potential for harm should be the key measures which influence recourse to formal risk management processes. This document may also be applied when a young person has been involved in an incident of a serious nature (irrespective of the legal status of the incident) or where a pattern of significant escalation of lesser behaviours suggests that an incident of a serious nature may be imminent.

1.4 This document has not been written with reference to children and young people who present a significant risk of harm to themselves because of their own behaviour ( e.g. self-harm, substance misuse, child exploitation etc.). However practitioners ought to be familiar with their responsibilities as outlined in the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (Scottish Government, 2010) and Responding to Self-Harm in Scotland Final Report: Mapping Out The Next Stage Of Activity In Developing Services and Health Improvement Approaches (Scottish Government, 2011).

1.5 For the purpose of this document children and young people are defined as individuals up to 18 years of age. Cognisant of the age of the criminal prosecution, no young person under the age of twelve should be subject to the processes described in this document. Where significant concerns exist in relation to the behaviour of a young person under the age of twelve (which may include offending of a serious nature) risk management processes should be facilitated by the child protection system informed by the approach outlined in this document.

1.6 Where physical or sexual abuse of a child or young person is alleged to have been carried out by another child or young person, such behaviour should always be treated seriously and be subject to a discussion between relevant agencies that covers both the victim and the perpetrator. In all cases where a child or young person acts in a physically or sexually abusive fashion, immediate consideration should be given to whether action needs to be taken under child protection procedures, either in order to protect the victim or to tackle concerns about what has caused the child or young person to behave in such a way. It may be appropriate for the risks presented by the perpetrator to be managed within the child protection process exclusively if the individual is also at risk of significant harm themselves.

1.7 The following documents provide further information in relation to work with children and young people with complex needs who present a risk of serious harm to others:

  • National Guidance on Under-age Sexual Activity: Meeting the Needs of Children and young people and Identifying Child Protection Concerns (Scottish Government, 2010)
  • Responding to Self-Harm in Scotland Final Report: Mapping Out The Next Stage Of Activity In Developing Services and Health Improvement Approaches (Scottish Government, 2011)
  • National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (Scottish Government, 2010)
  • Getting it Right for Children and Young People who Present a Risk of Serious Harm (Scottish Government, 2008)
  • Framework for Risk Assessment, Management and Evaluation ( FRAME) ( RMA, 2011)
  • Standards and Guidelines for Risk Management ( RMA 2013)
  • National Accommodation Strategy for Young People Who Display Sexually Harmful Behaviour
  • Youth Justice National Guidance ( NDT, 2013)

Chapter 7 of the Youth Justice National Guidance provides specific advice for practitioners on best practice in working with children and young people who display sexually harmful and/or violent behaviour.

1.8 A local care and risk management process should be in place to assist with the early identification, assessment and management of children and young people who display harmful behaviours. This process should ensure a transparent, proportionate and rights-based approach which places the child or young person at the centre of decision-making and considers risks and needs holistically. The process does not stand alone from GIRFEC and the child's Single Plan: rather the care and risk management process ensures that decisions about risk inform the Single Plan in a meaningful way.

1.9 The status of this care and risk management document is advisory though it may be adopted by particular local authorities as a protocol with adequate alterations to represent local needs. Local protocols should be signed off by Child Protection Committees ( CPCs) and grounded within broader public protection structures and processes ( e.g. Community Planning partnerships). Additionally local authorities should be cognisant of areas of overlap and the need for care and risk management processes to complement rather than conflict with existing arrangements ( e.g. secure screening panels).

2.0 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF CARE AND RISK MANAGEMENT WITH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WHO PRESENT A RISK OF SERIOUS HARM

2.1 To promote consistency across Scotland's local authorities, this document encourages collective adoption of the term Care and Risk Management ( CARM) Meetings. The risk management structure should involve professionals meeting on a regular case-by-case basis to manage, evaluate and monitor risk assessments and interventions. It is recognised that this desire for consistency in terminology may be impractical particularly in local authorities with well-established processes already in operation. As such, it will be at the discretion of individual local authorities to decide whether re-naming might add value.

2.2 It is imperative that children and young people who pose a risk of serious harm have the support and opportunities to grow, develop and reach their full potential. This must be aided by proportionate and effective risk management strategies which include interventions that minimise the risk presented by the child or young person and reduce the likelihood of further harm.

2.3 The key objectives of the risk management process are:

  • To highlight to appropriate agencies individual children or young person who present a risk of serious harm to others;
  • To ensure that a relevant risk assessment is undertaken in relation to a child or young person considered to present a serious risk of harm to others;
  • To share information in a multi-agency forum about the level of risk of harm presented by a child or young person;
  • To clarify the nature of the harm and the individuals who may be at risk from a child or young person's behaviour;
  • To undertake scenario planning which considers the nature of risk in particular settings;
  • To identify safety factors which can reduce risk;
  • To implement risk management measures that are constructive and individualised, bearing in mind the principle of proportionality, the best interests of the individual as well as his/her age, physical and mental well-being and development and circumstances of the case;
  • To ensure that the young person's social, developmental and psychological needs should be addressed within the context of decisions about risk management strategies; and,
  • To ensure that, through the completion of risk assessment(s) and the linked development of risk management strategies, there is an appropriate multi-agency response to the child or young person's behaviour.

2.4 A process to co-ordinate referrals to the care and risk management process needs to be established. Individuals with responsibility for co-ordinating referrals may also be responsible for chairing care and risk management meetings, or the tasks may be allocated to different individuals. Individuals with responsibility for this co-ordination of referrals and/or chairing care and risk management meetings should be suitably qualified and experienced. They are likely to be professionals who have a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the legislative and policy context of working with children and young people;
  • child development and family functioning;
  • child protection procedures and processes;
  • "what works" and "who works" with children and young people both in relation to offending behaviour and related childhood issues and difficulties;
  • desistance theory and its application to children and young people's pathways out of offending behaviour;
  • appropriate risk assessment tools for use with children and young people who display harmful behaviour; and,
  • risk formulation and risk management planning.

2.5 Care and risk management processes ought to be supplemented and strengthened by local and/or inter-authority training for practitioners that addresses:

  • awareness of local care and risk management processes and how universal services can work with children and young people in a risk management context;
  • assessment of young people who present a risk of serious harm; and,
  • intervention work with young people who present a risk of serious harm.

3.0 INFORMATION SHARING

3.1 Sharing information between professionals is a core component of effective risk assessment and risk management. All agencies should be guided by the imperatives of community safety and the welfare of the child in deciding what information is relevant and appropriate to share. As outlined in ss. 16 and 17 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 public protection imperatives supersede the principle of the welfare of the child when the two conflict. It should be borne in mind that a fairly minor concern raised by one agency may, when combined with information from other agencies, point to much more serious concerns.

3.2 Community disclosure of information about a child or young person as a risk management strategy is covered in section 5.10 of this document.

3.3 Scottish Executive Justice Department Circular 15/2005 usefully outlines justifications for sharing information which include:

  • protection of children;
  • preventing, detecting and reporting crime; and,
  • assessing and managing the risks posed by offenders.

3.4 In general, information will not be shared without the consent of the child or young person (and/or his parent(s)/carer(s) depending on the child or young person's age and maturity). However information may need to be shared without consent where:

  • the child is at risk of harm;
  • where there are wider crime prevention and/or crime reporting implications;
  • where there are wider public protection implications;
  • where there are wider child protection implications; and/or,
  • where a failure to share information would impair any subsequent investigation.

3.5 Recent advisory guidance from the Office of the Information Commissioner notes that if there is any doubt about the wellbeing of the child and young person the decision of professionals is to share information, the Data Protection Act 1998 should not be viewed as a barrier to proportionate sharing. The process around care and risk management decision making should be incorporated into any existing local information-sharing guidance.

4.0 REFERRAL

4.1 Referrals to the care and risk management process may come via a number of channels:

  • From the Police on receipt of information about the alleged involvement of a child or young person under the age of 18 in the perpetration of an offence of a serious nature;
  • From the lead professional who holds case management responsibilities for a child or young person where there are significant concerns about the escalation in the frequency and/or seriousness of a child or young person's offending behaviour which is likely to include violence and/or SHB;
  • From the nominated professional co-ordinating a child protection investigation into the victimisation of a child or young person where harmful behaviour of a serious nature by another child or young person under the age of 18 is identified;
  • From the nominated professional co-ordinating an adult protection investigation into the victimisation of a vulnerable individual over the age of 16 where harmful behaviour of a serious nature by a child or young person under the age of 18 is identified;
  • From the Early and Effective Intervention ( EEI) Co-ordinator, multi-agency screening groups or equivalent who have significant concerns about the escalation in the frequency and/or seriousness of a child or young person's offending behaviour which is likely to include violence and/or sexually harmful behaviour.

4.2 When a prospective referrer comes to the view that the behaviour of a child or young person meets the necessary threshold for care and risk management consideration, a referral discussion should take place between the professional and the individual with responsibility for reviewing referrals to the care and risk management process. Ideally this will take place within 24 hours of the behaviour coming to light and after no more than 72 hours.

4.3 The purpose of the referral discussion is to clarify the nature of the prospective referrer's concerns. Ultimately the individual with responsibility for reviewing referrals to the care and risk management process will decide whether a CARM meeting is necessary. A record of the outcome of this referral discussion should be made on any relevant case management system noting:

  • Brief summary of identified risk and protective factors;
  • Date of agreed care and risk management meeting (where relevant);
  • Allocation of immediate tasks; and,
  • Allocation of interim tasks pre-meeting.

Immediate tasks may include:

  • Review of living arrangements and education, employment or training placement (where necessary);
  • Measures in place to mediate community response;
  • Agreement of communications strategy to manage any media attention; and,
  • Agreement of strategies to manage a child or young person's increased risk to self

Interim tasks may include:

  • Development of safety plans in relation to particular settings ( e.g. home, school, residential unit) outlining interim risk management measures to be put in place;
  • The need for a case to be referred to the Children's Reporter;
  • The need for a case to be referred to specialist services ( e.g. for completion of relevant offence-related risk assessments); and,
  • The allocation of the case to a lead professional (if this has not already occurred).

4.4 The outcome of a referral discussion may be that the individual with responsibility for reviewing referrals is of the opinion that no further action is required or that current service provision is sufficient to manage risk without recourse to a care and risk management meeting. Reasons for this decision should be recorded.

4.5 The initial care and risk management meeting should take place within 21 calendar days of the referral discussion, unless a decision is made to hold the meeting at a later date. A clear rationale for this should be provided in the note of the referral discussion.

4.6 If a care and risk management meeting is necessary the referrer should be required to complete a brief referral form including relevant supplementary information pertinent to the referral where available. While recognising timescales may preclude comprehensive information gathering, if available, the referral should encompass:

  • A copy of a full Integrated Assessment Framework ( IAF) report or equivalent and Single Plan for the relevant child or young person;
  • Copies of any completed risk assessments; and,
  • Copies of any specialist assessments or assessments from other practitioners/agencies e.g. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service ( CAMHS) or Education.

4.7 The child or young person and his parent(s)/carer(s) need to be informed that a care and risk management meeting is to be held. The individual with responsibility for reviewing referrals to the care and risk management process will need to decide whether it is appropriate to include them at this stage. Although participation of the child or young person and/or his parent(s)/carer(s) can assist with information sharing, as well as sharing of specific tasks in relation to risk management, this needs to be weighed against the stress and impact the meeting can have on participants.

4.8 In some situations restricted access information will need to be shared at a care and risk management meeting. This includes information that by its nature cannot be shared freely with the child or young person and/or his parent(s)/carer(s). Such information may not be shared with any other person without the explicit permission of the provider. Restricted information includes:

  • Sub-judice information that forms part of legal proceedings and which could compromise those proceedings:
  • Information from a third party that could identify them if shared;
  • Information about an individual that may not be known to others, even close family members, such as medical history and intelligence reports; and,
  • Information that, if shared, could place an individual(s) at risk.

4.9 If a child or young person is subject to Police investigation this should not delay the convening of a care and risk management meeting. Assessment and intervention processes will need to be proportionate to the legal status of the case, balancing the child or young person's rights against identified issues in relation to public safety.

5.0 CARE AND RISK MANAGEMENT MEETING (INITIAL)

5.1 While the standing membership of a care and risk management meeting will vary according to local circumstances it is anticipated that the following agencies (in addition to the referrer, care and risk management chair and minute-taker) will be represented:

  • Social Work;
  • Police;
  • Health ( e.g. CAMHS); and,
  • Education.

Consideration may also be given to the inclusion of:

  • The child or young person who is the subject of the referral;
  • The parent(s)/carer(s)of the referred child or young person;
  • Children's Rights Officer/Advocacy Service;
  • Housing;
  • Psychological Services;
  • Skills Development Scotland ( SDS);
  • Throughcare and Aftercare Services;
  • Intensive Supervision and Monitoring Services ( ISMS);
  • Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements ( MAPPA) representative; and,
  • Voluntary Sector Representatives.

5.2 As regards membership, a balance is needed between individuals who have direct knowledge of the child and family and individuals who have sufficient seniority within their respective agencies to commission relevant resources.

5.3 At the outset, the care and risk management meeting must consider whether or not a child or young person is subject to any form of statutory order(s) ( e.g. Compulsory or Interim Supervision Requirements and any related conditions, Community Payback Order ( CPO) and any related conditions, bail conditions etc.) and the implications of related legal obligations.

5.4 In making decisions about the appropriateness of a child or young person's current living arrangements, the care and risk management meeting must take into account:

  • The nature and level of risk to others (particularly other children and young people) in the home environment ;
  • The impact of family dynamics in either sustaining or preventing further behaviour of a harmful nature;
  • The nature and level of risk to others in the community;
  • The relationship between the referred child or young person and the victim(s);
  • The views of the referred child or young person; and,
  • The potential negative impact of a sudden change to a child or young person's living arrangements.

5.5 Care and risk management meeting attendees will need to consider the home circumstances, educational arrangements and community integration of the referred child or young person in order to identify any on-going and potential protection issues. Specifically the care and risk management meeting should consider:

  • What further action (if any) needs to be taken to keep the referred child or young person safe?
  • What further action (if any) needs to be taken to keep the referred child or young person's family member(s)/carer(s) safe?
  • What further action (if any) needs to be taken to keep other members of the community safe ( e.g. peers, teaching staff, victim(s), residential care staff etc.)?

5.6 In making decisions about the appropriateness of a child or young person's education, employment or training environment the care and risk management meeting must take into account:

  • The safety of the child or young person's victim(s) if attending the same institution or in the same work environment;
  • The safety of other students/colleagues both in the referred child or young person's classes/workplace and in the wider educational, training or employment setting;
  • The safety of staff members at the institution/workplace;
  • The potential risk to the referred child or young person of retribution in relation to the harmful behaviour;
  • The safety of the referred child or young person when travelling to and from the institution/workplace;
  • The nature of supervision and monitoring required to manage safely any identified risks; and,
  • The internal disciplinary response of the institution/workplace to the harmful behaviour ( e.g. exclusion).

5.7 If a full and detailed risk assessment has not been completed in advance of a care and risk management meeting, the chair must identify an appropriate individual to complete the necessary risk assessments. It is the responsibility of the care and risk management chair to ensure that any individual charged with completion of risk assessments is appropriately trained to do so.

5.8 In the event that a risk assessment has been completed in advance of the care and risk management meeting, the content of the assessment should be scrutinised by attendees to identify whether it is sufficient and whether any further information is required. As a minimum, risk assessments must address the likelihood, pattern, nature and seriousness of any previous offending behaviour and implications for future risk. Ideally a risk assessment will provide a formulation of risk that offers an understanding of the interaction and respective role of risk and protective factors, and will help to identify triggers and early warning signs which may assist in recognising and responding to imminence of future harmful behaviour. The risk assessment informed by appropriate risk assessment tools should assist robust scenario planning based on knowledge of how, why and when offending behaviour has occurred in the past and the manner in which it may present in the future.

5.9 In recommending the completion of risk assessments, the care and risk management chair ought to stipulate those which are required which are appropriate with respect to the child or young person's age, behaviour, circumstances and capacity. In the Scottish youth justice context those most likely to be appropriate and requested are outlined in the Risk Assessment Tools Evaluation Directory (Risk Management Authority, 2013).

5.10 The care and risk management chair must ensure that consideration is then given to the following risk management strategies:

  • Monitoring, or repeat assessment, aims to look for factors indicating changes in risk over time. These may be factors indicating imminence of offending, a change in the type of risk posed, or a decrease in current risk. This section should cover: what is being monitored; why is it being monitored; how it will be monitored; who will monitor it; when it will be monitored; where it will be monitored as well as how and when changes will be communicated with the lead professional who has responsibilities for the Single Plan. This should link to the contingency plan.
  • Supervision aims to decrease the likelihood of violence or offending by restricting an individual's freedom. This section should cover activities and associations that are restricted or can only currently take place with supervision and support.
  • Intervention covers all aspects of the Single Plan that are designed to reduce risk over time. This may cover offence related or offence specific work, family work or other therapeutic interventions. Interventions need to be targeted and measurable in terms of impact over time, although it should be noted that it is increasingly recognised that programmes of work designed to focus exclusively on offending behaviours in young people are limited in value and should be supported by enhancing the young person's broader life skills, addressing social isolation, opening up access to appropriate opportunities in the education system, addressing family problems and improving the young person's relationships.
  • Community disclosure involves sharing information with individuals, agencies or organisations to help them manage risk more effectively. This could involve sharing information with a college or employment provider, or adults that are in the child or young person's life. Information sharing of this nature needs to be proportionate and justified in terms of safeguarding the protection of children and vulnerable individuals. In all situations where this is deemed necessary, the justification for disclosure needs to be recorded in care and risk management meeting minutes and a relevant professional designated to share the information. The child or young person and his parent(s)/carer(s) should be informed of this outcome where appropriate and thought should be given to whether self-disclosure may be a more effective strategy.
  • Victim safety planning aims to reduce the likelihood and impact of psychological and physical harm to known previous and potential victims. The focus in victim safety planning is on working with victims and potential victims to improve their safety and maximise their resilience.
  • Contingency Planning gives particular prominence to key factors which may indicate that risk of violence is escalating or imminent. There will also be less concerning factors indicating initial instability, disinhibition or movement towards offending which will require an appropriate, but less urgent response. Those involved in the case, including where appropriate the individual, his parent(s)/carer(s) and potential victim(s), should know what the key factors are to look out for, and what the response to them should be. There should be a clear plan as to what action should be taken by whom and how quickly on their identification. Emergency contacts should be identified both within and out with office hours.

Risk management strategies should build on the strengths of the child and/or young person and pro-actively promote developmental opportunities that can be realised safely.

5.11 Where a referred child or young person already has a Single Plan in place, it will be the responsibility of the lead professional to amend and to update the Single Plan to reflect the risk management strategies agreed at the care and risk management meeting. When a Single Plan has not yet been drafted or is in the process of being drafted, it will be the responsibility of the lead professional to incorporate and implement the risk management strategies agreed at the care and risk management meeting

5.12 In drawing the care and risk management meeting to a conclusion, the chair should seek to establish attendees' views as to the tier of risk practice into which the referred child or young person's behaviour fits. Specifically with respect to on-going risk management arrangements the meeting ought to agree on one of three risk management classifications:

  • Aware;
  • Attentive; or,
  • Active and Alert.

5.13 If the view of the care and risk management meeting is that awareness of the referred child or young person's behaviour is a defensible position to take in relation to on-going risk management, a further scheduled care and risk management meeting will not be required. In such cases, universal services will be required to address any further issues in relation to the referred child or young person's behaviour

5.14 If the view of the care and risk management meeting is that attentiveness to the referred child or young person's behaviour is a defensible position to take in relation to on-going risk management, the chair will recommend the establishment of a risk management core group (see 7.0 below). It is assumed for cases which reach the attentiveness level that a lead professional will already be in place or will have been identified. It will be the responsibility of the lead professional and the other members of the care and risk management meeting to identify the members of the risk management core group and to stipulate how frequently meetings should take place. The participation of the relevant child or young person and his parent(s)/carer(s) is strongly encouraged at the risk management core group. A date for the first risk management core group should be agreed at the initial care and risk management meeting and a review care and risk management meeting should be arranged to take place within six months.

5.15 If the view of the care and risk management meeting is that being active and alert to the referred child or young person's behaviour is the only defensible position to take in relation to on-going risk management, the chair will make arrangements for further care and risk management meetings to review the referred child or young person's case at least three monthly. In tandem with this arrangement, a risk management core group should also be established to meet as regularly as appropriate in the intervening period between care and risk management meetings. Classification as active and alert is likely to occur in only the "critical few" cases.

5.16 It is intended that decision-making at a care and risk management meeting will be consensual and following thorough scrutiny of the available information practitioners will reach a mutual agreement about risk classification and risk management arrangements. However provision should be made for any dissenting views to be recorded when agreement cannot be reached. In such cases it will be the responsibility of the chair to take a final decision about the most appropriate risk classification and risk management arrangements.

5.17 A minute of every care and risk management meeting should be taken which captures discussion as well as key decisions and actions. If the child or young person and his parent(s)/carer(s) are not present at the meeting, reasons for this should be recorded. A full minute should be verified and signed by the chair and circulated to all attendees. In exceptional circumstances a note of action points may need to be circulated after a meeting if immediate risk management decisions need implemented. Care and risk management meeting minutes should be filed safely and securely in "Restricted Access" or each agency's equivalent.

5.18 While provision of a full care and risk management meeting minute to the child or young person referred for discussion may not be appropriate, it is imperative that the key decisions are communicated to the child or young person and his parent(s)/carer(s) by the lead professional as soon as possible. While verbal feedback is a necessary minimum, it may be beneficial for local authorities to give some consideration to creating child-friendly paper-based resources that can distil the content of complex discussions held at care and risk management meetings into a more accessible format.

6.0 CARE AND RISK MANAGEMENT (REVIEW)

6.1 The role of the chair at any care and risk management review meeting will be to direct attendees:

  • To consider any further offences or incidents of concern involving the referred child or young person in the intervening period since the previous care and risk management meeting;
  • To consider whether any form of further assessment is required to inform risk management strategies;
  • To review the risk management elements of the Single Plan and to identify what progress has been made, if any, as regards the implementation of agreed risk management strategies particularly with respect to interventions with the referred child or young person;
  • To consider whether modifications or additions to the existing risk management strategies as encompassed in the Single Plan are necessary and to ensure that the lead professional records any such changes;
  • To evaluate progress in relation to risk reduction; and,
  • To consider the views of the child or young person and his/her parent(s)/carer(s) and to assess their level of co-operation with risk management strategies.

6.2 The final task of the chair at any care and risk management review meeting will be to re-assess the risk classification under which the child or young person's behaviour is being managed and to continue to implement risk management strategies in accordance with this decision.

7.0 THE RISK MANAGEMENT CORE GROUP

7.1 The functions of a risk management core group include:

  • To ensure that the child or young person and his parent(s)/carer(s) are active participants in the process of risk management and risk reduction;
  • To ensure ongoing assessment of the needs of, and risks to, a child or young person subject to the care and risk management process;
  • Implementing, monitoring and reviewing risk management strategies so that the focus remains on improving outcomes of the child or young person. This will include evaluating the impact of work done and/or changes within the family in order to decide whether risks have increased or decreased;
  • Activating contingency plans promptly when progress is not made or circumstances deteriorate;
  • Reporting to care and risk management review meetings on progress; and,
  • Referring any significant changes to risk management strategies, including non-engagement of the family, to the chair of the care and risk management meetings.

7.2 It may be the case that the child or young person whose behaviour is giving cause for concern is already involved in other review processes ( e.g. Child Protection Case Conferences, Looked After and Accommodated Child ( LAAC) Reviews etc.). In order to minimise the reporting burden and to avoid unnecessary duplication, the lead professional may wish to give consideration to scheduling risk management core group meetings to coincide with other relevant reviews.

8.0 CARE AND RISK MANAGEMENT LINKS TO MULTI-AGENCY PUBLIC PROTECTION ARRANGEMENTS ( MAPPA)

8.1 When risk management strategies are in place for a child or young person charged but not yet convicted of an offence of a serious nature, it is possible that during the course of the care and risk management process his legal status will change. As a result of conviction in the Criminal Justice System, a child or young person under the age of 18 may become subject to multi-agency public protection arrangements ( MAPPA). Due consideration should be given to local processes for management of individuals who present a risk to the community but fall outwith the terms of the MAPPA.

8.2 It will be the responsibility of the care and risk management chair to liaise with the local MAPPA Co-ordinator to agree on the most appropriate local arrangements by which to manage safely the risks presented by the child or young person involved in offending of a serious nature. In particular agreement should be sought in relation to:

  • The process for managing a child or young person's transition from the care and risk management process to MAPPA; and,
  • The arrangements for risk management when a child or young person attains the age of 18 and continues to present significant concerns although not subject to MAPPA.

8.3 In preparation for a planned transition of a child or young person from the care and risk management process to MAPPA, it may be useful for the incoming MAPPA Chair to attend the last care and risk management meeting prior to the change. Alternatively, there may be value in a care and risk management chair attending the first MAPPA meeting for the child or young person following transition.

8.4 Given the similarities in many of the tasks undertaken by care and risk management chairs MAPPA Chairs and Child Protection Case Conference ( CPCC) Chairs, it may be valuable to explore opportunities for shadowing, peer mentoring and joint training.

9.0 EXIT PLANNNING

9.1 In accordance with the principle of minimum intervention, every effort should be made to ensure that a child or young person is retained within the care and risk management process for no longer than is absolutely necessary. Furthermore preparation for a child or young person's exit from the care and risk management process, as with any transition, should be calibrated and paced to meet needs.

9.2 Measuring progress as regards a child or young person's compliance with risk management strategies can be challenging. However, assessing progress with reference to the four phases outlined below may prove instructive (Brady and McCarlie, 2011: 134 - 151):

  • Phase One - Risk reduction is largely via the systems and responsibility is owned by the systems around the child not the child or young person themselves. 'Systems' here are defined as the significant people in the individual's life who can have an impact on risk e.g. parents, carers, teachers, peers etc.;
  • Phase Two - The child or young person is engaging in specific work on their harmful offending behaviour in order to allow a more meaningful discussion to take place about risk. In this phase individual risk management strategies are introduced and rehearsed by the child or young person and the systems. The systems move from a learning stage to proactively working with the child or young person to meet their needs and assist them in skills development;
  • Phase Three - Risk is now being reduced by the on-going work with the child or young person and the systems' engagement in risk management. Responsibility for managing the risk is now a shared ownership between the child or young person and the systems; and,
  • Phase Four - In this phase it is important to use the identified individual goals to determine whether or not a child or young person can take responsibility for managing their risk. It would be expected that the achievement of these goals (skills and insights) would be evidenced in different settings. Where this is the case, risk is now reduced and the young person has the ability and increased awareness to manage their own risk where developmentally appropriate.

9.3 The wellbeing indicators which underpin the GIRFEC model may also provide a useful means by which to monitor a child or young person's progress. The indicators ought to be at the core of any Single Plan and related risk management strategies. A further consideration will be the extent to which dynamic risk factors have reduced over time with a concomitant increase in protective factors and attainment of any other desired outcomes.

9.4 The overriding objective in managing a child or young person's transition out of the care and risk management process to an environment with reduced supervision and monitoring must be to ensure that there is continuity in the provision of support, advice and guidance to the child or young person.

9.5 It is recognised that in some instances a child or young person's exit from the care and risk management process will not be triggered by progress made but simply as a result of the passage of time, often the culmination of an extended period of non-engagement. In such instances appropriate arrangements and continuity of service provision will be necessary owing to the ongoing unacceptable level of assessed risk.

10.0 CASE TRANSFERS AND OUT OF AUTHORITY PLACEMENTS

10.1 It is not uncommon for children or young people who present a risk of serious harm to lead relatively transient lives. This may involve frequent changes of address within one local authority area, movement across different local authority boundaries or movement out of Scotland to other jurisdictions.

10.2 When a child or young person who is being actively managed through care and risk management processes moves from one local authority to another local authority within Scotland, it will be incumbent upon the care and risk management chair in the originating local authority to make contact with his counterpart in the receiving local authority to inform him of this development.

10.3 If it appears to be the case that the child or young person in question intends to reside in the receiving local authority on a permanent basis and this is a viable move, arrangements will be made for an official case "handover". This will be best managed through direct liaison between both care and risk management chairs and the exchange of relevant information (including risk assessments, IAF reports and the Single Plan). Furthermore, if deemed appropriate the care and risk management chair from the originating local authority (or his nominee) may attend the first care and risk management meeting to be held in the receiving local authority.

10.4 Care and risk management chairs should enter into case transfer negotiations in good faith and aim to agree upon mutually satisfactory arrangements for seamless transitions, respecting both the needs of the child or young person and the need to protect the public.

10.5 When a care and risk management chair becomes aware of the planned or actual move of a child or young person involved in care and risk management processes to a location outwith Scotland, he will make all reasonable efforts to alert the appropriate authorities in the relevant geographical area. If the location is in the United Kingdom (U.K.) this will in all likelihood involve the care and risk management chair liaising with Emergency Social Work Services and/or the Police.

10.6 When during the course of involvement in the care and risk management process a child or young person's living arrangements change owing to the decision of a Children's Hearing ( e.g. imposition of an out of authority secure or residential placement) or the Court ( e.g. remand or custodial sentence), this change will not automatically trigger the cessation of the care and risk management process. The implications of any change in living arrangements should be taken into account at a care and risk management meeting with the expectation that the care and risk management process remains active for as long as it is deemed necessary to manage the risk presented by the child or young person. The originating local authority will retain responsibility for risk management while the child or young person is in an out of authority placement but certain functions may through negotiation be devolved to the host local authority. Care and risk management processes are likely to have particular value at the point of a child or young person's reintegration to his local community following an extended period accommodated outwith the area.

11.0 ACCOUNTABILITY, PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND QUALITY ASSURANCE

11.1 Local authorities need to know that care and risk management processes in their area are working effectively. An appropriate multi-agency group needs to be tasked with oversight of care and risk management processes. This group should review quantitative and qualitative data on at least an annual basis to allow it to assess how effectively care and risk management processes are operating and to gather data for benchmarking purposes.

11.2 It may be useful for the group:

  • To undertake intermittent audits of the case files and agency information held in relation to children or young people subject to care and risk managementprocesses;
  • To observe care and risk management chairs in their role in order to ensure that they are discharging their responsibilities appropriately;
  • To analyse the decision-making of the care and risk management chair(s) in response to initial referrals and on-going decisions; and,
  • To interview key stakeholders (child or young person and their parent(s)/carer(s)) to evaluate their understanding and experience of the care and risk management process.

11.3 In relation to quantitative data it should be possible at any point to identify the:

  • Total number of children and young people subject to care and risk management proceedings;
  • Total number referral discussions held;
  • Total number of referral discussions that lead to do not lead to a care and risk management meeting;
  • Number of care and risk management meetings held;
  • Number of risk management core group meetings held;
  • Attendance at meetings and (under)representation of specific agencies;
  • Origin of referrals;
  • Re-offending by the child or young person in the care and risk management process;
  • Prevalence of particular forms of concerning behaviour;
  • Number of active and alert cases;
  • Number of attentive cases;
  • Number of awareness cases; and,
  • Number of children or young people exiting the care and risk management process and the reasons for exit.

11.4 The Care Inspectorate may take the view that it would be useful to incorporate some of these qualitative and quantitative measures into their own scrutiny of local authority practices.

11.5 On occasion, despite the best efforts of professionals, child or young people will commit acts of a serious nature. When such acts are committed by a child or young person already involved in the care and risk management process the care and risk management chair ought to submit a Significant Incident Report (or equivalent) to the multi-agency oversight group for its consideration. It will also be valid for the care and risk management chair to submit such reports in connection with "near misses" when, although no-one may have been harmed, there was real potential for such harm to occur.

11.6 Opportunities for organisational learning and reflection in relation to the care and risk management process once established should be encouraged. Furthermore, the multi-agency oversight group should support and encourage care and risk management chairs to take advantage of any training opportunities delivered at local, regional or national level to develop their skills and to engage in purposeful knowledge exchange with their counterparts.

References

Calder, M. (ed) (1999) Working with young people who sexually abuse: New pieces of the jigsaw puzzle Dorset: Russell House Publishing.

Brady, A. and McCarlie, C. (2011) "Embracing Diversity - Risk Management and Risk Reduction: A Practice Model for Children and young people and the Systems Around Them" in M. Calder (2011) Contemporary Practice With Young People Who Sexually Abuse: Evidence-based Developments Dorset: Russell House

World Health Organisation ( WHO) (1996) Global Consultation on Violence and Health. Violence: a public health priority Geneva: WHO

Child or Young Person's Risk Management Plan

There are a small but significant number of children and young people who present a high risk to themselves and others. This group includes children and young people involved in sexually harmful behaviour, sexual offending behaviour and serious acts of violence. Individuals within this group who present significant risks may need to be subject to a risk management plan to promote public protection, and indeed if the child or young person is subject to the notification requirements, they will be subject to a risk management plan.

It is expected that where agencies need to work together to identify and meet needs and manage risks, they will plan together using the Child's or Young Person's Plan. The Child's or Young Person's Plan should be the primary resource for interagency risk management planning. The Child or Young Person's Plan allows us to place behavioural concerns in a holistic context and encourages us to find ways of reducing risk that are sympathetic to the individual's stage of development and which build on the strengths and supports that are already in the child's life.

The template below should be used to summarise key recommendations in relation to risk management that have been made in the Single Plan. It can help facilitate effective communication of decisions in relation to risk management, but should not be used as an alternative to the more comprehensive Single Plan.

Each feature of the management plan should relate directly to features of the risks, resiliencies and needs identified in the comprehensive assessment of the child. It also includes a contingency section to cover what actions need to take place if the risk management plan starts to break down.

The following notes cover relevant sections of the form:

  • Identified risks: The start of the form provides a brief summary of nature and level of risk. It should not replace the more detailed risk formulation which should be part of the comprehensive assessment of the child or young person.
  • Monitoring, or repeat assessment, aims to look for factors indicating changes in risk over time. These may be factors indicating imminence of offending, a change in the type of risk posed, or a decrease in current risk. This section should cover: what is being monitored; why is it being monitored; how will it be monitored; who will monitor it; when will it be monitored; where will it be monitored as well as how and when changes will be communicated with the case manager or lead professional who has responsibilities for the plan. This should link to the contingency plan.
  • Supervision aims to decrease the likelihood of violence or offending by restricting an individual's freedom. This section should cover activities and associations that are restricted or can only currently take place with supervision and support.
  • Intervention covers all aspects of the Child or Young Person's plan that are designed to reduce risk over time. This may cover offence related or offence specific work, family work or other therapeutic interventions. Interventions need to be targeted and measurable in terms of impact over time, although it should be noted that it is increasingly recognised that programmes of work designed to focus exclusively on offending behaviours in young people are limited in value and should be supported by enhancing the young person's broader life skills, addressing social isolation, opening up access to appropriate opportunities in the education system, addressing family problems and improving the young person's relationships.
  • Victim safety planning aims to reduce the likelihood and impact of psychological and physical harm to known previous and potential victims. The focus in victim safety planning is on working with victims and potential victims to improve their safety and maximise their resilience
  • Contingency Planning gives particular prominence to key factors which may indicate that risk of violence is escalating or imminent. There will also be less concerning factors indicating initial instability, disinhibition or movement towards offending which will require an appropriate, but less urgent response. Those involved in the case, including where appropriate the individual , his or her family and potential victims, should know what the key factors are to look out for, and what the response to them should be. There should be a clear plan as to what action should be taken by whom and how quickly. Emergency contacts should be identified both within and out with office hours. The contingency section of this document covers this.

Child or young person's risk management plan

Consider the weaknesses of the preventative strategies, what will be put into place if the early warning signs appear. Who is first to call; what requires immediate action; what should be discussed at the next meeting.

Monitoring Activity and Contingency Plan

RESTRICTED

COMMUNICATION OF THE RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN
Has the plan been communicated to all who need to know?
Is the young person/their family involvement considered inappropriate?

DISCLOSURE ISSUES
Details of disclosure:

REVIEW
Review of Plan - Routine and Responding to Change

The dynamic nature of risk of serious harm, and its effective management necessitate vigilance and continual review. You must be prepared to respond to positive or negative change appropriately.

What events would let the team know that the plan is working or that it requires further review?

Date of next scheduled review form

ADDITIONAL SPECIFIC ACTIONS/ADJUSTMENTS TO RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN

Additional Specification Actions/Adjustments to Risk Management Plan form

ANY REQUIREMENTS TO REFER (provide further explanation)

  • CHILD PROTECTION
  • ADULTS AT RISK OF HARM
  • ANY OTHER AGENCY

ANY REQUIREMENTS TO ATTEND
( NB: note any required alterations to invitation list: additions / removals)

MANAGEMENT LEVEL
Should the management level increase or decrease?


Contact