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Allegations against Residential Workers: Guidance on How Agencies Should Respond

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Appendix 3 Glossary of Terms

Child Protection 2: 'Child protection' is when a child requires protection from 'child abuse' or 'child neglect'. For a child to require protection, it is not required that child abuse or neglect has taken place, but rather a risk assessment has identified a significant likelihood or risk of abuse or neglect. Equally, in instances where a child may have been abused or neglected but the risk of future abuse has not been identified, the child and their family may require support and recovery services but not a response under child protection measures.

There are circumstances where abuse may have taken place but formal child protection procedures may not be required, for example, where the family have themselves taken protective action. Children who are abused by strangers would not necessarily require a child protection plan, unless the abuse occurred in circumstances that resulted from familial responsibility. For example, if a young child is abused by a stranger, a child protection plan may be required only if the family were in some way responsible for the abuse occurring in the first instance or were unable to adequately protect the child in the future without the support of a child protection plan being in place.

Child Protection Investigation: An investigation carried out in accordance with local authority child protection procedures.

Child's Social Worker: The social worker responsible for the child.

Codes of Practice: Standards which SSSC issue to social care agencies and workers about how they should fulfil their obligations to protect service users and workers respectively.

Complaint: Any statement which does not imply any significant risk of harm to a child but alleges that worker's behaviour or practice has not met the standard expected of them either by the agency or another person, for example the child, the child's parent or another professional.

Concern: Any indication that the care of a child may not be meeting the standard expected of residential workers and/or be having an adverse effect on one or more children.

Designated manager(s): Manager(s) in the local authority where the worker is employed who have been designated as responsible for overseeing allegations against them.

Evaluation: Three kinds of evaluation are referred to:

1. hearing from the residential worker about the impact on themselves;

2. giving staff involved in managing the allegation an opportunity to identify what can be learned from the process;

3. A system for collating information on decision making and outcomes, so that agencies and/or local authorities can monitor and learn from current practice.

External Manager: The term 'external manager' is used to refer to those people who are responsible for the external line management of the service, including board members in the independent sector.

Host authority: The local authority in which the residential service is located where different from the home authority.

Independent: The term 'independent' is used in relation to support and reviews. In most instances this means that the practitioner involved is outside line-management for the child and worker and so brings an element of objectivity. In small agencies or in very complex and contentious situations, it may be helpful for someone outside the provider agency to provide independent support.

Internal Investigation: Investigation carried out by the provider agency or person appointed by them to assess what action needs to be taken following an allegation being made against the residential worker. The investigation can be carried out following a child protection investigation or in situations where the allegation, concern or complaint does not involved abuse to the child, so no child protection investigation is considered necessary.

Internal Investigation meeting: A meeting at which the internal investigation report is considered.

Internal Investigation Report: The report which summarises findings from the investigation and makes recommendations about what action is needed to ensure high standards of residential child care practice are maintained.

Manager: Person responsible for the day to day management of the service named on the Certificate of Registration as provided by the Care Commission in accordance with Section 9 of the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001.

Manager: The term 'manager' is used to refer to those people who are responsible for the day-to-day management of the residential service, including those who hold "registered manager" status with the Care Commission.

Placing authority: The local authority that has placed or looks after the child.

Planning or strategy meeting: An interagency meeting to plan the investigation. A planning meeting should always be convened to plan and review investigations involving the residential worker.

PVG: Where an employer takes disciplinary action to remove an individual from regulated work as a result of harmful behaviour towards a vulnerable person, then they have a duty to refer the individual to Disclosure Scotland which administers the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme so that consideration can be given to whether that individual should be barred from any kind of regulated work with vulnerable groups. Without this duty there would be no way of preventing individuals moving undetected to other organisations where they may continue to pose a risk.

Reporter: This is the person who decides whether or not a child or young person, who has been referred to SCRA, should attend a Hearing.

Residential Child Care Service: The term 'residential child care service' is used to denote any service registered by the Care Commission under the following categories:

  • Care home service for children and young people;
  • School Care Accommodation Service (including residential special schools and mainstream boarding schools):
  • Secure Accommodation Service.

Senior Manager: External manager(s) for residential service in accordance with Chapter 4, Paragraph 57 of The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 Regulations and Guidance - Volume 2 Children Looked after by Local Authorities.

Social Worker: The local authority worker who manages the child's care plan.

SSSC: The agency which regulates the social care work force in Scotland.