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Welcome to the Bristol Children's Services Procedures Manual

Welcome to this update of the new Bristol Children's Services Manual.

In Bristol, 'Looked After Children' are referred to as 'Child(ren) In Care'. However, where there is reference to Statute or Regulation then the term 'Looked After Children' has been retained. Within this context, every care has been taken to ensure appropriate use of this phrase, but should there be any errors please report them to your manager to ensure they are noted for future updates.

In this manual you will find all the information necessary to support you in your day to day social work. It consists of different sections which you can access from the menu bar or, for Signs of Safety and RIP, the contents page.

  • Main Policies - this contains our key policies and ensures that we comply with the law and statutory guidance when safeguarding the needs of the children and families we work with. This guides our social work practice;

  • Practice Guidance - this contains local guidance, tools and other information created and updated by Bristol that supports and complements our main policies;

  • Bristol Keeping Children Safe Partnership - in this section you can access Bristol safeguarding procedures and guidance which will assist you to work effectively with other safeguarding partners across the City;

  • Bristol Foster Carers Handbook - this will assist you when working alongside foster carers throughout the City;

  • Research in Practice is an organisation that brings together academic research, practice expertise and the experiences of people accessing services. They apply this knowledge to develop a range of online resources, learning opportunities, expertise, and training. We have a membership with Research in Practice so – once you create an account – you have full access to their website material as well as being able to book onto training through the website. If you have a practice interest, or require some more information about a practice area, you are likely to find useful resources on the Research in Practice website.
    Are you using RiP? Set up your account now! Click here to create an account;

  • Signs of Safety - this will direct you to key signs of safety documents and the signs of safety website.

The manual is designed to be an up to date, accessible and helpful guide to all aspects of work with children and families. It will be revised at six monthly intervals with the next update being due in July 2024.

Note to all staff: If you are sharing documents from this database please share the link and not download the whole document as this will ensure that the most recent version is being circulated.

Please see 'Using this Manual' for details about the way this manual works. For further details, please contact Donald Gloag (

The content of this website can be accessed, printed and downloaded in an unaltered form, on a temporary basis, for personal study or reference purposes. However any content printed or downloaded may not be sold, licensed, transferred, copied or reproduced in whole or in part in any manner or in or on any media to any person without the prior written consent of tri.x and Bristol City Council.