11.11 Children on Child Protection Plans who Move Abroad
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This chapter replaced the previous version in February 2014 and should be read in its entirety.
Local agencies and professionals should bear in mind when working with children and families where there are outstanding concerns about the children's safety and welfare (including where the concerns are about an unborn child who may be at future risk of Significant Harm), that a series of missed appointments may indicate that the family has moved out of the area or overseas. Surrey Children's Services and the police should be informed immediately when such concerns arise.
Where a child subject of a Child Protection Plan moves abroad whether planned or unplanned, the Lead Social Worker and Conference Chair should consider whether to reconvene a Review Conference or Core Group to determine what action to take. In some circumstances a Strategy discussion/meeting may be appropriate. Appropriate steps should be taken to inform the relevant local and overseas authorities in the country to which the child has moved of any concerns.
Consideration needs to be given to appropriate legal interventions, where it appears that a child, who has outstanding child protection concerns about their safety and welfare, may be removed from the UK by his/her family in order to avoid the involvement of agencies with safeguarding responsibilities. This also applies when a child, who is subject to a care order, has been removed from the UK. Surrey Children's Services, the Police Public Protection Investigation Unit (PPIU) and the Child Abduction Unit at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office should be informed immediately.
It is vital that early contact is made with the relevant PPIU where suspicion exists that the child may be taken from the UK. In some instances, early checks may indicate the presence of a child on outbound flight and immediate steps may be required to ensure their safe return where the power exists to do so.
In the case of children taken overseas it may be appropriate to contact the Consular Directorate at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which offers assistance to British nationals in distress overseas (020 7008 1500). They may be able to follow up a case through their consular post(s) in the country concerned.