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Family Services and Social Work

Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements: guide for social workers

Document Title: MAPPA protocol

Reference: CIN 30

Version: 2

Dated: September 2010

AUTHOR: Deborah Dempsey/

Kate Dempsey

Policy, Participation & Service Development

Unit 6 – 7

Crowndale Centre

218 Eversholt St


TEL: 020 7974 6408

1 Introduction
Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, all local authorities must have arrangements in place to identify and manage individuals who have been convicted of certain sexual and violent offences and who may pose a risk to the public through re-offending once they are released into the community. These arrangements are known as Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).
As FSSW has a role in co-ordinating responses around adults who pose a risk to children, the following protocol has been written to explain MAPP processes and what actions social workers may need to take when:

  • an adult who is subject to MAPPA processes is related or known to a family with young children living in Camden or:

  • concerns about a person in contact with a family are such that FSSW believes the individual should be subject to MAPP arrangements in order to safeguard children.

2 Purpose

The purpose of MAPP arrangements is to:

  • identify relevant offenders who need to be subject to monitoring under MAPP arrangements

  • enable agencies to share information in order to carry out comprehensive risk assessments on individuals and gauge the level of risk they pose to the public

  • put in place a multi-agency risk management plan for individual offenders that is reviewed and revised regularly in order to ensure public safety and reduce risk of re-offending.

3 Scope
MAPP arrangements are designed to provide a targeted and measured response and operate on 3 levels of management depending on the level of risk posed by the individual;

Level 1 (ordinary management): these offenders are subject to the usual management arrangements applied by the agency that is generally responsible for supervising them, for example Probation or YOS. However, there may be information-sharing with other agencies for the purposes of risk management. For FSSW, the child protection system would be an example of ordinary single agency management.
Level 2 (active multi-agency management): The risk management plans for these offenders require the active involvement of several agencies via regular multi-agency MAPP meetings.
Level 3 (active multi-agency risk management): As with level 2, risk management plans require a multi-agency MAPP meeting, but these cases additionally require the involvement of senior officers to authorise the use of special resources, such as police surveillance or specialised accommodation and/or to provide ongoing senior management oversight.
The following offenders will be covered by MAPPA:
Category 1: sex offenders who are subject to registration requirements under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (registered sex offenders).
Category 2: anyone who has been convicted of certain sexual or violent crimes and has received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more (or where a suspended sentence order includes a custodial period of 12 months or more) , including detention in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983 and anyone who is disqualified from working with children.
Category 3: a person who has been cautioned or convicted of an offence which indicates that they may be capable of causing serious harm and which requires multi-agency management.
MAPP arrangements cover adult and young offenders and come into affect prior to the individual being released from custody on licence. The risk management plan approved by the MAPP panel is linked to their licence conditions and any failure to comply may result in the individual being recalled to prison.
MAPP arrangements end when either:

  • the period of registration for a sex offender ends or:

  • the individual’s licence expires or is discharged.

4 MAPP arrangements in Camden

4.1 Roles
The Police, Prison Service and Probation Service are statutory agencies for the purposes of MAPP arrangements and have specific duties within these arrangements.
FSSW, housing providers, mental health services, adult social care services and the Youth Offending Service have a duty to co-operate with statutory agencies in order to implement MAPP arrangements.

The Prison and Probation Services have a duty to carry out a risk assessment for Category 1 and 2 offenders about to leave custody who may meet the threshold for MAPPA and make appropriate referrals to the MAPPA co-ordinator for Camden.

4.2 Referring individuals to MAPP
All referrals should be made to the MAPP administrator based in the Probation Service.
Referrals for Category 1 and 2 offenders are made by the Prison Service and Probation Service whenever an offender is to be released on licence and a risk assessment shows that they may require monitoring under MAPP arrangements.
If the offender is under 18, the Youth Offending Service will carry out an ASSET assessment and make appropriate referrals to the MAPP administrator using the MAPPA A.
Category 3 offenders are defined as a person who has been cautioned or convicted of an offence which indicates that they may be capable of causing serious harm and which requires multi-agency management. These are offenders who will not have met the criteria for MAPP arrangements on release, but are likely to require some monitoring in the community.
All agencies working with offenders who may meet the criteria for MAPP arrangements as a Category 3 offender, (for example the police, FSSW, YOS, mental health services) have a duty to refer the individual to the MAPPA chair via the MAPPA administrator so that a decision can be taken by the MAPPA Panel on the level of risk posed by the individual and how this will be managed.
The referral will be considered at the next MAPPA meeting where the panel will decide on:

  • whether the individual should be subject to MAPP arrangements

  • what level of MAPP arrangements are needed to manage risk of offending behaviour in the community.

4.3 Notifying FSSW of MAPPA subjects
The MAPP administrator will notify the FSSW Quality Assurance Unit of all individuals who are subject to MAPP arrangements at Levels 2 and 3 and who live in Camden, giving details of their category and level of management needed. The Unit will then check on Framework i to see if the individual is related or known to a family with whom FSSW is currently working.

Social workers will be notified by the Unit via email if an individual who has a relationship with a child they are working with is subject to MAPP arrangements so that the social worker can consider whether any further arrangements need to be made to safeguard the child.

4.4 Recording MAPPA information on Framework i
The name of any individual in the Camden area who is subject to MAPP arrangements at Levels 2 and 3 will be recorded on Framework i.

FSSW receive minutes of all MAPPA meetings which are uploaded on to Framework i. All MAPPA subjects who are subject to level 2 or 3 MAPPA management will have a Framework i record with details of MAPPA involvement and risks posed but this information is restricted and can only be accessed by key staff members within the Quality Assurance Unit.

A Bichard Warning flag will appear on the front screen of any MAPPA subject’s Framework i record so that all Framework i users are aware that the person is subject to MAPPA.
Where a MAPPA subject has a relationship with a child or adult with a Framework I record, this will be flagged up as a “cause for concern” on the relationships screen. Again, this flag is also available to all Framework i users.
However, detailed information about why the person is subject to MAPPA is restricted and can only be made available to social workers through the FSSW MAPPA representative. Requests for information should be discussed with the representative in the first instance to establish what information is needed before Unit members disclose any information from Framework i.
Decisions on disclosure are made on a case by case basis by the MAPPA representative. The social worker may also be referred directly to the chair of MAPPA (normally the Probation Service) for further details.
4.5 Level 1 MAPPA cases
As a rule, Level 1 cases are not notified to other agencies and the individual is monitored and risks managed by a single agency. However, the officer holding the case may contact other agencies where this is relevant to implementing the risk management plan.
Level 1 cases may be notified to FSSW via the Quality Assurance if the individual has links with a child known to FSSW and this information will be passed on to the allocated social worker.

4.6 Information sharing
Information sharing is a vital part of MAPPA processes in terms of assessing risk and ensuring public protection. An individual’s MAPPA status is confidential and can only be shared with non-statutory agencies:

  • with the consent of the individual or:

  • in order to prevent crime or:

  • in order to prevent serious harm or abuse.

Disclosure to third parties regarding a MAPPA subject will only take place as part of a risk management programme; all decisions to share information with third parties will be taken at MAPP panel meetings following risk assessment and will form part of the risk management plan.

For example, adult social workers may need access to a Framework i case record of an individual who has MAPPA status and who has recently been referred to them for a service. In these cases, the CPO will need to be notified so the matter can be discussed with the MAPPA chair.
In emergencies between panel meetings, decisions will be taken by the panel chair at the request of agencies working with the offender, who must provide a strong case for doing so.
Disclosure will be considered in the following circumstances:

  • where there is evidence of grooming behaviour in specific locations, ie: churches or youth clubs

  • the licence conditions exclude the offender from going to specific locations or contacting specific people

  • in order to protect past or potential victims

  • where a young offender is returning to school (this information will be limited to head teachers and designated child protection teachers)

  • in order to protect others, for example residents in hostels or staff working with the offender

  • in order to gain information from an individual connected with the offender so that a full risk assessment can be carried out.

Although FSSW can ask the panel for consent to sharing information about a MAPPA subject with third parties, information sharing will be carried out by either the Police or the Probation Service.

4.7 MAPP subjects living outside Camden
As MAPP arrangements are organised around local authority areas, Camden MAPPA will not cover MAPPA subjects living in other boroughs. However, the Police can check the nationwide MAPP computer system (VISOR) for information on MAPPA subjects in any local authority area.
Checks with MAPPA agencies outside Camden will only be carried out where:

  • a police check carried out by the social worker reveals the individual has a conviction that may mean they are subject to MAPPA and:

  • there are grounds to believe the individual poses a risk to children and:

  • the social worker is currently working with a family who may be at risk because of they are related to or in contact with the individual.

Social workers should discuss the matter with their team manager and refer to the CPO responsible for MAPPA.

5 Levels of risk management and MAPP meetings
5.1 Levels of risk
Level of management is based on the principle of using the lowest level of management that can contain the risk.
Offenders are classified depending on the likelihood of their causing serious harm and MAPP meetings are the forum for discussion of risks through information sharing in order to decide on the likelihood of re-offending, what level of risk of harm this poses and what strategies need to be in place to reduce risk. This will form the basis of the risk management plan.
At every meeting, a decision is made as to whether the current level of management is proportionate to the risk posed and whether a higher or lower level of management is required. This will be based on any new evidence of changing circumstances.
Level 1 (ordinary agency meeting) will be used where the risk posed by the offender can be managed by a single agency, with the risk management plan will be reviewed every four months.
Level 2 (active multi-agency management) cases will be managed by a MAPP panel where any of the following circumstances are applicable:

  • the offender is assessed as posing a high or very high risk of serious harm;

  • the risk level is lower but the case requires the active involvement and co-ordination of interventions from other agencies to manage the risks;

  • the case has previously been managed at level 3 but no longer meets this criteria;

  • multi-agency management will enhance the lead agency’s management of the risk of serious harm.

Meetings are held monthly and individual risk management plans are reviewed every 16 weeks.

Level 3 (active multi-agency management) will be carried out by a MAPP panel where the criteria for Level 2 is met but it is decided that the case requires a high level multi-agency response by senior staff and deployment of significant resources. Level 3 will also be applicable in cases that are likely to attract a high level of media interest and scrutiny and there is a need to ensure public confidence in the criminal justice system. Meetings are held on a monthly basis and individual risk management plans are reviewed every 8 weeks.
5.2 Attendance
MAPP panel meetings are attended by representatives from:

  • Camden police

  • Probation service

  • FSSW

  • Camden Housing, voluntary housing providers and the Camden probation hostel

  • Camden PCT and mental health and social care services

  • YOS

  • Mental health agencies

The designated Child Protection Officer will represent FSSW at all Level 2 MAPPA meetings. It is an expectation that social workers and their managers attend any MAPPA meeting where the social worker is working with a family known to have contact with the MAPPA subject or has made a referral to MAPPA regarding an individual.

6 Role of FSSW

  • FSSW has a Child Protection Officer (CPO) with responsibility for MAPPA and who represents the division at MAPP panel meetings at level 2.

  • The CPO will act as a link with MAPPA, providing information and liaising with the MAPP co-ordinator regarding information sharing, referrals and implementation of risk management plans.

  • If a social worker is notified of a MAPPA subject who is known to a family they work with, they should contact the CPO to discuss the case and decide on what action needs to be taken to safeguard the child.

  • Where a social worker requests further information about a MAPPA subject, the CPO will discuss the case with the MAPPA chair to agree what information can be shared.

  • Where a social worker wishes to refer an individual as a Category 3 offender to MAPPA, there should be a discussion with the designated CPO.

  • The CPO is notified in advance of MAPP panel meetings of those individuals who will be discussed. If the individual is related or known to any family with whom FSSW are currently working, the CPO will approach the social worker for information to share at the meeting regarding risk and the social worker may be invited to attend the MAPP panel meeting.

  • Following a MAPP panel meeting, the CPO will take any necessary action required by FSSW to implement the risk management plan. Where the case is open to FSSW, the CPO will discuss the matter with social worker. If the case is not known or closed, the CPO will refer the family to the relevant duty and assessment team.

  • Where FSSW has a responsibility to implement any part of a risk management plan, this will be incorporated into the child’s plan.

  • If a child who is known to FSSW and YOS becomes subject to MAPPA processes, their allocated social worker will attend all MAPP panel meetings to provide information on what work is being carried out and how their safety and welfare is being promoted.

  • The social worker will work with all statutory agencies to ensure that MAPP arrangements take the child’s safety and welfare into account and that any risk assessment is age appropriate and risk management plans take the child’s identified needs into account.

  • FSSW may be approached by agencies for information and assistance in assessing risk, particularly where a risk to individual children has been identified.

  • FSSW will manage any risks posed by this group of offenders via the child protection system, using Assessment Framework assessments to assess risk and child protection plans to record risk management actions.

  • Social workers can liaise with the MAPP chair via the CPO for any advice.

  • If a case does not meet MAPPA criteria but social workers and the CPO remain concerned, the CPO will seek the advice of the Probation Service with regards to managing the case.

7 Role of YOS

  • YOS will carry out internal screening processes prior to the release of any young person from custody to establish the level of risk they pose and make appropriate referrals to the MAPPA administrator.

  • The relevant YOS worker will attend MAPPA meetings where the young person they are working with is being discussed by the Panel.

  • The team will also keep a list of cases held by the service where the young person is subject to MAPPA proceedings.

  • Where a young person who is subject to MAPPA processes is known to FSSW, the YOS worker will contact the allocated social worker to ensure that there is high level of co-operation and joint working.

  • Where a young person who is subject to MAPPA processes has a younger sibling who is known to FSSW, the YOS worker will notify their allocated social worker.

  • Where a young person who is subject to MAPPA processes is thought to pose a risk to a child who is not known to FSSW, for example a younger sibling or child victim, the YOS worker will make an e-CAF referral to the MASH team.

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