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3.11.1 Dealing with Incidents of Racial Harassment

Contents

  1. Definition of Racial Harassment
  2. Prevention
  3. At the Time of an Incident
  4. Formal Multi Agency Response Following an Incident of Racial Harassment or Racial Assault
  5. Monitoring


1. Definition of Racial Harassment

A racial incident is any incident involving an element of racial motivation by ANY person.

Racism is one type of discriminatory behaviour that is used to justify the unfair treatment of black people by white people.


2. Prevention

All the agencies involved in this procedure recognise that preventing racial harassment occurring is the best strategy, thereby requiring staff/carers to be vigilant and pro-active - ensuring everyone knows that they will not tolerate racism.

The leaflet "Let's Talk About Racism" should be given by the social worker to all Looked After children and it should be available in all area offices, children's homes and foster homes.


3. At the Time of an Incident

When there has been an incident of racial harassment, the child needs to tell as soon as possible someone who can help - relative, social worker, foster carer, Link Worker, teacher or the police.

If the report is to a foster carer, the carer must seek the advice of the supervising social worker and/or the child's social worker or, out of hours, the Emergency Duty Team.

The most crucial factor at this stage is the support given to the child whether the incident was verbal or Physical Abuse. The impact should not be underestimated.

If it is a member of staff or foster carer who has been racist, then the child should speak to a senior member of staff or speak to the Complaints Officer.

If a physical assault has taken place, the person to whom the report was made should ensure that medical attention is sought.

They should call 999 in an emergency or otherwise call the local police - see the Contacting the Police Procedure

Every effort should be made to inform the child's parents as soon as possible.


4. Formal Multi Agency Response Following an Incident of Racial Harassment or Racial Assault

4.1 First Response Meeting

This should take place within 5 days of the incident. The meeting can be requested by any of the main people involved and should be organised by the social worker for the child or a duty social worker.

The venue should be chosen to ensure the child feels comfortable.

The meeting will be chaired by a Team Manager/Assistant Team Manager from Children and Families.

The following should be invited:

  • The child and parent or other close relative;
  • Interpreter if appropriate;
  • The child's Independent Visitor if applicable;
  • The child's social worker;
  • The Link Worker/foster carer;
  • Police officer preferably the investigating officer and community liaison officer;
  • Other directly relevant professionals e.g. teacher, supervising social worker.

The purpose of the meeting is to support the child, clarify the purpose and progress of the police investigation, decide and allocate tasks and plan the agenda for the Racial Harassment Conference.

Minutes will be taken and copies sent to all participants and to the Chief Inspector, Community Liaison and the Head of Safeguarding.

4.2 Racial Harassment Conference

This must be called within 10 working days of the First Response Meeting. Only a Service Manager can agree that a conference is not required.

The meeting will be chaired by a Team Manager/Assistant Team Manager from Children and Families or an Independent Reviewing Officer.

Participants will be those invited to the First Response Meeting and any other relevant people.

Minutes will be taken and copies sent to all participants and to the Chief Inspector, Community Liaison and the Head of Safeguarding.

The purpose of the meeting is to support the child, report on the progress of the police investigation, allocate specific tasks, advise the child about criminal injuries compensation (see Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claims for Looked After Children Procedure) and provide information to the Head of Safeguarding who is monitoring the response of Children and Families to the incident.

4.3 Review Conference

This should be called by the child's social worker within 3 months of the Racial Harassment Conference only if it is clear that there are outstanding issues and/or longer term work that was indicated at the Racial Harassment Conference.

The meeting will be chaired by a Team Manager/Assistant Team Manager from Children and Families or an Independent Reviewing Officer.

Participants will be those invited to the Racial Harassment Conference and any other relevant people.

The purpose is to monitor the overall response and establish whether there has been a satisfactory outcome for the child and to ensure that the agencies concerned have dealt with any equality issues arising from the process.

Minutes will be taken and copies sent to all participants and to the Chief Inspector, Community Liaison and the Head of Safeguarding.


5. Monitoring

The Head of Safeguarding will receive copies of all minutes of meetings held under this procedure and will collate statistical returns and present them annually to the Children and Families Management Group, the Cabinet member for Children's Services and to the Racial Harassment Forum.

End