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1.5.4 Children Subject to CP Plans who go on Holiday within the UK and Abroad

Where parents of children subject to a child protection plan inform the social worker of a planned holiday, it is the social worker’s duty to assess the risk that the change in circumstances are likely to have on the child.

RELATED GUIDANCE

This assessment will make reference to the following procedures as applicable:

This chapter was added to the manual in March 2017.


The assessment will include:

  1. Discussions with:
    1. Each parent, so that they can explain how they intend to keep the child safe while on holiday;
    2. The child, to seek their views about the plans to travel;
    3. The core group to ascertain their views about the travel plans;
    4. The Child Protection Chair in order to seek their views about the travel plans.
  2. The Social Worker will:
    1. Ascertain the address where the child will be staying; if this address is in UK then checks should be completed on the address with the police and the relevant local authority;
    2. Ascertain who the child will be staying with if not just the parents; if this address is in UK then checks should be completed on the address/adults with the police and the relevant local authority; Where children are being taken abroad, the social worker should, at the earliest opportunity, gather information about the family they will be staying with. Consideration will be given to requesting the support of CFAB (Children and Families Across Borders);
    3. Ascertain the exact dates and times of travel and flight numbers;
    4. Ask for evidence of travel and accommodation arrangements;
    5. Agree with the parents how they can be contacted e.g. mobile phone number, contact numbers of travel agent;
    6. Obtain passport numbers for the children and family members travelling.
  3. Actions:
    1. Where the social worker suspects that children have been removed from the home address without an agreed plan, the police will be contacted and where appropriate a missing persons report generated for each child;
    2. Social Worker will share the assessment with the Child Protection Chair;
    3. Where the assessment evidences significant concerns about the safety of a child who is due to go on holiday, social worker to request urgent LPM;
    4. Where the assessment does not evidence increased risk, the social worker will develop a plan to monitor the child’s safety; this will include telephone/video contact with the child/family at least every 10 working days during their trip if the family are travelling abroad; where the family are travelling in the UK, the relevant local authority should be informed of a child subject to a CP plan temporarily residing in their area; consideration should be given and recorded for the relevant local authority to visit the child while in their area; where a decision is taken that a visit is not required contact must be completed as if the child was abroad;
    5. Visits should be made to the child/family within 48 hours of the date of travel to verify that the plans are understood and that there have been no changes in the travel plans. A visit should also be made within 48 hours of the family returning home;
    6. If a family go out of the country without prior discussion with the social worker, then it is important that the social worker convenes an urgent strategy meeting; one outcome of which will be to request urgent assistance from CFAB;
    7. Deputy Head of Service will alert the Head of Service to any child who is removed from the UK without a plan or who does not return at the agreed time;
    8. Social Work Team Manager to alert the Deputy Head of Service of all children subject to CP plans who are taken abroad and the risk analysis. Deputy Head of Service will review the plans with the social worker/team manager on at least a fortnightly basis until the children return to the UK;
    9. When children return having holidayed in the UK, the relevant local authority should be informed that the child has returned to Waltham Forest and end the temporary child subject to a CP plan;
    10. The team manager/social worker will inform the Deputy Head of Service of a child’s return from holiday.


Useful Resources

CFAB, International Child Protection Factsheet.

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