These chapters have been organised with the Core Procedures in the most prominent place as these explain the actions that must be taken when there are concerns about the welfare of a child/young person and follows a natural sequence from Responding to Abuse and Neglect through to Child Protection Case Conference processes.

This manual replaces the ACPC Regional Child Protection Policy and Procedures that were issued in 2005. The ACPC Regional Policy and Procedures 2005 should therefore be stood down.

It is acknowledged that a number of the linked guidance documents make reference to the 2005 ACPC Regional Policies and Procedures. It is recognised that these need to be amended in light of these Regional Core Policy and Procedures and that organisations will need to review their own internal guidance documents to ensure that these align with the Regional Core Child Protection Policy and Procedures.

Click here to access Co-operating to Safeguard Children and Young People 2016 (revised August 2017) which is an important reference document. This document provides the overarching policy framework for safeguarding children and young people and is a key text for all those involved in safeguarding children and young people. In particular we recommend staff to reference Chapter 7 that addresses many new and emerging issues plus links to other key documents. The following areas are addressed within this document:

  • Specific Forms of Abuse. For example Honour Based Violence, Abusive Images of Children, Forced Marriage;
  • Children and Young People with increased vulnerabilities. For example Children with Disability, Private Fostering, Domestic Violence;
  • Children and Young People's Behaviour. For example Peer Abuse, Self-Harm, Bullying.

Quick Links:

This Contents list is sub-divided into the following sections, each section contains relevant Chapters/Procedures: (Click on the title to jump to the section you require):

  1. Core Procedures
  2. Individuals Who Pose a Risk to Children/Young People
  3. Learning and Improvement to Support and Develop Child Protection
  4. Roles and Responsibilities of Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland
  5. Interagency Guidance/Protocols

1. Core Procedures

  Responding to Abuse and Neglect  
  Understanding the Needs of Children in Northern Ireland (UNOCINI) Updated
  Child Protection Investigation  
  Medical Assessment of Alleged or Suspected Child Abuse  
  Child Protection Case Conferences  
  The Child Protection Register  
  Appeals Process in Relation to a Child Protection Registration Updated

2. Individuals Who Pose a Risk to Children/Young People

  Management and Use of Information About an Individual of Concern  
  Public Protection Arrangements Northern Ireland (PPANI)  

3. Learning and Improvement to Support and Develop Child Protection

  SBNI Child Safeguarding Learning and Development Strategy and Framework 2020-2023 Updated
  'Learning from Practice': Case Management Review Process Multi-Agency Guidance  

4. Roles and Responsibilities of Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland

  Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (SBNI) - Role and Function  

5. Interagency Guidance/Protocols

  Regional Protocol regarding Bruising/Marks (which could be due to Injury) on Pre-Mobile Babies Updated
  Female Genital Mutilation  
  Information Sharing Agreement Between The Criminal Records Office of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Health and Social Care Trusts Children's Services Directorate  
  Intimate Care Policy and Guidelines Regarding Children  
  Missing Children Protocol (Runaway and Missing from Home and Care) HSCB Police/SW  
  Notification of Children/Families Assessed as Being at Potential Risk and their Whereabouts Remain Unknown  
  Working Arrangements for the Welfare & Safeguarding of Child Victims & Potential Child Victims of Human Trafficking New
  Protocol re the Management of Sex Offenders and Information Sharing in an Acute Hospital Setting
(Applies to Trusts-only Medical/Nursing/SW)
  Protocol for Joint Investigation by Social Workers and Police Officers of Alleged and Suspected Cases of Child Abuse - Northern Ireland Updated
  Regional Policy and Procedure for Managing Allegations and Complaints Made in Respect of Foster Carers in Northern Ireland
  Practice Guidance on Actions to be Taken when a Child/Young Person is Subject to a Threat to Life New
  Resolution of Professional Differences Protocol New
  Harmful Sexual Behaviour Child Protection Guidance New
  Protocol Between Northern Ireland and Ireland for Handling Inter-Jurisdictional Child Cases New
  Guidance on Information Sharing for Child Protection Purposes New


  Local Contacts  
  Using this Manual  
  NICE Guidelines