Safeguarding Children and Child Protection

North Star Nursery are taking part in a project that will run jointly between schools, Early Years settings and Wiltshire Police: ENCOMPASS is the reporting to schools and early years settings by the next working day, when a child or young person has been affected by a domestic incident.

ENCOMPASS will ensure that a member of staff, known as a Key Adult, will be shared the information in confidence, while ensuring that the school or setting is able to make provision for possible difficulties experienced by children, or their families, who have been involved in, affected or exposed to a domestic abuse incident. We are keen to offer the best support possible to all our children and we believe this will be extremely beneficial for all those involved.

Information Sharing (HM Government 2015): “Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children at risk of abuse or neglect.”

The Data Protection Act 1998 provides a framework to ensure that personal information about living individuals is shared appropriately, it is not a barrier to sharing information where the failure to do so would result in a child or vulnerable adult being placed at risk of harm. Similarly, human rights concerns, such as respecting the right to a private and family life would not prevent sharing where there are real safeguarding concerns.

Lord Laming emphasised that the safety and welfare of children is of paramount importance and highlighted the importance of practitioners feeling confident about when and how information can be legally shared. Poor or non-existent information sharing is a factor repeatedly flagged up as an issue in Serious Case Reviews carried out following the death of, or serious injury to a child. Information sharing enables early intervention and preventative work to safeguard and promote welfare of children. The public needs to be confident that their personal information is kept safe and secure.