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Relay

The RELAY Scheme- Information for Parents and Stakeholders

Purpose of the Scheme

Luton Council (the Council) receives a very high number of domestic abuse reports every year. In 2018/19 there were 2,045 contacts received from Bedfordshire Police (the Police), which is approximately 170 per month. In light of the gradual increase over the past few years, it is anticipated that this number is likely to continue to increase.

It is very likely that many of these incidents will have children and young people in the home, who either experience or are involved in such incidents directly or indirectly.

The purpose of this scheme is to enhance communication between the Police and Luton’s Schools/ Education Establishments (Schools) where a child is at risk from domestic abuse.  Through this notification, Schools will be made more aware of the child’s circumstances and therefore able to support safeguarding of children where necessary. By knowing the child has had this experience at home the School is in a better position to understand and be supportive to the child’s needs and possible behaviours within the school setting.

The RELAY Scheme

The Domestic Abuse Hub within the Luton Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) will run the RELAY scheme in conjunction with Bedfordshire Police. Upon receipt of a domestic abuse police notification (RELAY notification), the MASH will triage, and where deemed appropriate, will contact the Headteacher or the Nominated RELAY Point of Contact (SPOC) within each respective School; and share the notification about the child or young person. The information to be shared is covered under

an information sharing agreement (ISA) signed with each School, the Council and the Police.

The ISA covers what information will be shared, by whom and in what form. It also covers the agreement for sharing such information at a child level and the safeguards around protecting this data.

Overview of the Process

The RELAY scheme will be a joint one between the Council, the Police and Schools, and will follow this process:

1. Information on a domestic abuse incident received by the Police will be captured on

their case systems and sent to the MASH

2. The MASH will receive a notification from the Police, capture the information on their

case systems and share the agreed information with the Nominated RELAY SPOC within the Schools.

3. Information received by the Nominated RELAY SPOC will be added to the Schools’ safeguarding recording system/ record held about the child. Schools are not expected to make parents aware of the domestic abuse notification.

4. The School will assess the risk and develop a working strategy through discussions with the class teacher. The School will also check safeguarding records and decide what appropriate support, if any, should be offered to the child that day.

5. Using the domestic abuse notification along with other recognised concerns (if any), the school can assess the level of need and risk (see Luton Thresholds Framework).

6. The School will consider if an Early Help Assessment (EHA), referral for an early help service; or a referral to the MASH, should the threshold of significant harm be met, is required.

 

It is important to note that the RELAY protocol will not be operated during school holiday closures of longer than one week. This is because where there could be longer periods between contacts made to Schools the contact would be outdated and unlikely to play a role in safeguarding children. There would also be transitions in and out of the schools so care would need to be taken that the right information was going to the right school around the right child.

How will the School Receive the Information?

The School will receive an email from the MASH secure email account ‘Egress’.

The subject line will contain the words 'Domestic Abuse Notification'.

The main body of the email will contain the following details:

Bedfordshire Police have attended a domestic abuse incident in which a pupil of your school/ education establishment was present, details are as follows:

  • Date of incident
  • Address of incident
  • Child’s name
  • Child’s date of birth

Some examples of the type of support the School could offer include, but not limited to:

  • mentoring or providing someone to talk to
  • checking on wellbeing
  • offering ‘quiet time’ or time out spaces
  • discussion with the school nurse
  • should additional concerns exist and the threshold is met consider a referral to
  • Children’s Social Care or Early Help
  • ‘keeping an eye’ on the individual
  • initiate an Early Help Assessment
  • complex case/ professional meeting
  • discussion with social worker if social care already involved

The incident will then be logged on our internal Safeguarding recording and reporting system CPOMS.  The Safeguarding Team have access to this information.

If you require any more information regarding this scheme please approach the school in the first instance- you may be directed to the council or the police for further clarification.