The purpose of the register is:
to ensure Regional Safeguarding Board partner agencies and practitioners are aware of the children who were the subject of a child protection conference where members judged the child to be at continuing risk of significant harm and in need of active safeguarding through the delivery of a care and support protection plan;
to provide a record of all children in the area who were the subject of a care and support protection plan but have been de-registered;
to provide a central point of contact enabling practitioners who are concerned about the well-being of a child to establish whether the child is the subject of a care and support protection plan and the name of the care and support protection plan co-ordinator;
to provide statistical information about current trends in the area and to contribute to national collation of statistics concerning child protection.
The Regional Safeguarding Board is responsible for ensuring that systems and processes are in place for the effective management of the register and accessibility to information by partner agencies.
It is the responsibility of the custodian of the register to ensure:
that all details are entered onto the child protection register;
the register is kept up to date and its contents should be confidential other than to legitimate enquirers;
a child’s name is only added to the register as a result of a decision at a child protection conference, except where it is a child on another local authority child protection register who temporarily moves into the area. in this case, the child will be registered immediately, and the registration reviewed at the first child protection conference in the new area.
Enquiries to the register should not be a substitute for appropriate discussion of concern with social services but as part of background information gathering. There will be different enquiries to the register made, depending on why the information is being requested. For instance, CAFCASS may be required to undertake an enquiry to the register as part of their formal process in private proceedings. Alternatively, a health professional may be making an enquiry due to a child being presented at an A&E department and there are safeguarding concerns. The type of enquiry being made should be clearly specified and recorded. Local procedures/pathways should be in place.
Access to the child protection register is restricted to practitioners who have a safeguarding concern. Their identity will be checked.
It is essential that police and health professionals have access to the register both in and outside office hours.
The enquirer must be a practitioner from an agency represented on the Regional Safeguarding Board and identity will be checked to ensure the enquirer is legitimate.
If a child’s name is on the register, the enquirer will be given the name of the care and support protection plan co-ordinator.
It is the responsibility of the enquirer to notify the care and support protection plan co-ordinator of the enquiry.
A record is kept of the names of children about whom enquiries are made.
If an enquiry is made about a child at the same address as a child on the register, the custodian should ensure that this information is passed on to the registered child’s care and support protection plan co-ordinator.
If an enquiry is made but the child’s name is not on the register this should be recorded together with the advice given to the enquirer.