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Information sharing and homelessness duty in key updates to England's safeguarding guidance

Last updated: 31 Dec 2020 Topics: News
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December 2020 update to Working together to safeguard children 

The Department for Education have made updates to England's statutory guidance for anyone working with children.

Information sharing for child protection

The updated guidance clarifies that the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) do not prevent the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children.

Homelessness duty for public authorities

There is a new section on the homelessness duty that requires public authorities (including social services for early help, leaving care and child protection) to refer any service users they consider to be homeless, or threatened with homelessness, to a housing authority.

Domestic abuse threat to children's safety

The list of potential threats to children and young people’s safety has been expanded to include domestic abuse, including controlling or coercive behaviour. It states that practitioners should continue to expand their understanding of domestic abuse and the impact it has on children.

Definitions of domestic abuse and controlling or coercive behaviour have also been added to the glossary.

Child mental health awareness in schools

The updated guidance states the importance of staff awareness in schools that mental health problems can be an indicator that a child has suffered abuse, neglect or exploitation.

For a full update on the guidance read our briefing.

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