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Quick Guide

This 'Quick Guide' must be read before accessing the body of the handbook.


  1. Display and Browser Options
  2. Structure of the Handbook
  3. Amendments
  4. How to find a Chapter
  5. Terminology
  6. Keywords
  7. Compliance
  8. Register for Updates
  9. Copyright
  10. Printing and Retaining Copies

1. Display and Browser Options

People with a visual impairment may have difficulty accessing this Handbook.

To change the size of the text/layout - please use these accessibility buttons


which are on menu bar on the left side of every screen. Click a larger button to increase your text size, the very largest being high visibility mode.

2. Structure of the Handbook

This handbook contains the policies, procedures and guidance for the London Borough of Southwark Specialist Children’s Services and Safeguarding.

In this handbook, all Southwark’s Policies, Values and Principles are located in one Chapter called ‘Values’ (available from the left hand side of the screen) which users are required to familiarise themselves with before proceeding to the main body of the Handbook.

Procedures and Guidance: In an attempt to keep procedures succinct, procedures and more detailed guidance are separated - with links provided as appropriate. 'Procedures' summarise how Managers and Staff must act in given circumstances. 'Guidance' provides direction or advice to a decision or course of action.

The handbook also incorporates a copy of the London Child Protection Procedures - see 4.3 below.

3. Amendments

This manual is regularly updated. This manual was updated in October 2020.

This next update is due in April 2021.

Where a chapter has been amended, it is marked as 'updated' in the Contents list and at the top of each chapter. Some new chapters have been introduced as a result of the above legislation; they are marked as 'new' in the contents list.

Click here to view details of updates made to this manual.

4. How to find a chapter

Procedures and guidance are located in individual 'Chapters' which are available from a 'traditional' Contents List - on the left hand side of the screen.

4.1 Using the Contents List

Chapters are categorised or grouped together as follows:

PARTS: The handbook contains procedures categorised under a number of Service Sectors, like 'Looked After Children',

SECTIONS: Within each Service Sector e.g. 'Looked After Services', you will find a Section (group of procedures) like 'Placements'.

CHAPTERS: Under each Section, you'll find individual Chapters/Procedures e.g. 'Placements with Parents'

4.2 You can search for a Chapter

If you are not sure which service or section to look in, try 'Search' which will help you identify specific Chapters and sub headings within Chapters.

4.3 The London Child Protection Procedures

A web based version of the London Child Protection Procedures has been incorporated into this handbook.

To access the 5th Edition of London Child Protection Procedures, click on the London Child Protection Procedures' button - on the left hand side of the screen.

5. Terminology

We believe it is crucial to use consistent terminology, which we agree with individual customers, for example:

'Child' or 'Young Person' both these terms are used to mean any child under the age of 18
'Staff' or 'Carer' means all Staff and Carers (including) whether employed or not
'Parent' means parent or person with Parental Responsibility
'Regulatory Authority' Regulatory Authority is the generic term used in this handbook to describe the independent regulatory body responsible for inspecting and regulating services e.g. Ofsted.
'Social Worker' This means the worker allocated to the child/family. If there is no allocated worker, the Duty Social Worker or Team Manager is responsible.

6. Keywords

The handbook is accessed by practitioners from varying agencies, who may find terms that they are not familiar with. Therefore, a large glossary (Keywords) of terms is available such as Significant Harm (Try it: click on the highlighted text). We call them 'Keywords'. Once clicked, the definitions will appear in a new window or tab, depending on your browser. You can leave it open for reference, or close it using the "close" button at the bottom.

Many Keywords are highlighted in the body of procedures, but you can search for the Keyword you need: Go to the Keywords Index, on the left hand side of the screen.

7. Compliance

7.1 Regulatory Compliance

Every effort has been taken to ensure regulatory compliance. If you discover any errors or mistakes, please alert your manager.

8. Register for Updates

If you wish to register to receive alerts when the handbook is updated, please contact us by using the button on the left hand side of the screen, from anywhere within the handbook.

We will manage your data respectfully and in accordance with your preferences and we will never share your data with other organisations for marketing or other purposes.

9. Copyright

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 the London Borough of Southwark.

10. Printing and Retaining Copies

The Handbook should normally be viewed on line but can be printed, for reference only.

To print a chapter, click on the print icon icon which is in the top right hand corner of the relevant procedure

Please note, the Handbook will be updated regularly, so staff should avoid retaining printed versions - hard copies are only valid for 72 hours.