International parental child abduction policy

With regards to children under the care of the local authority who the Courts have found are at risk of abduction to a foreign country by one and or both of their parent(s) (that risk level can be ascertained by the court as unknown, low, medium or high risk) does the local authority have a policy towards International Parental Child Abduction to prevent the removal of that child under their Care from the UK?

If this policy does exist please could it please be provided.

The following is an extract from the Children and Families that go Missing (Including Unborn Children) section of the Devon Procedures Online/Devon Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual :

If there is any suspicion that the child may be removed from UK jurisdiction, appropriate legal interventions should be considered and Legal Services consulted about options. It may also be appropriate to contact the Child Abduction Unit or the Consular Directorate at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which may be able to follow up a case through their consular post in the country or countries concerned. See also Working with Foreign Authorities: Child Protection Cases and Care Orders Departmental advice for local authorities, social workers, service managers and children’s services lawyers July 2014.

If the Strategy Discussion agrees that the details of the child or family are to be circulated to other local authorities, details of:

  • The children in the family;
  • Other family members or significant adults;
  • The circumstances causing concern;
  • Action required if a child is found;
  • Details of contact arrangements for the social worker – including out of office hours contact;
  • Where possible physical descriptions of the key people and photographs, if available;

should be sent to the Manager of the Safeguarding and Reviewing Unit for distribution to her/his peers nationally, who in turn should circulate within their own Children’s social care and local agencies.

The Manager should inform the Head of Children’s social care and the Council’s Press office.

If the child is subject to a Child Protection Plan, the Lead Social Worker should regularly consult the Child Protection Conference Chair and if the child is not found within 20 working days, the Child Protection Review Conference must be brought forward to consider whether any other action should be taken.

Additional information is available via the following links :