Practice guidance and protocols

This is a selection of practice guidelines and protocols available to support inter-agency work as laid out in Working Together. These documents reflect local safeguarding procedures and local practice.

Please also refer to pages on local safeguarding children boards on local authority websites.

(NB Some of these documents are large files and will take some time to download). 

Guidance on quality standards for alcohol dependence and harmful alcohol use in people aged 10 years and over

This guidance, created by NICE (NHS National Instituted for Health and Clinical Excellence) provides specific, concise quality statements, measures and audience descriptors to provide the public, health and social care professionals, commissioners and service providers with definitions of high-quality care. It also defines clinical best practice within this topic area.

Read New guidance on quality standards for alcohol dependence and harmful alcohol use in people aged 10 years and over.

Joint guidance (and supporting information) on development of local protocols between drug and alcohol treatment services and local safeguarding and family services

As described by the NHS National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA): The children of drug addicts will get special help if they are at risk when their parents are receiving treatment, under a new agreement between the NTA and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

New guidance issued to local social services makes clear that drug and alcohol treatment workers can help children’s services identify vulnerable children and families. The document highlights the need for adult drug and alcohol services to work with children’s services to ensure children in families affected by drug or alcohol misuse are safe from harm and have the support they need to succeed.

In addition to safeguarding issues the document suggests that commissioners of adult drug treatment services should ensure that services adopt a ‘Think Family’ approach. 

Supporting information including good practice examples, of how local protocols can work between drug and alcohol partnerships and children's services was published in June 2011.

Alcohol and other drugs: Essential information for social workers - A BASW pocket guide

This document was created by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW).

Joint working protocol: Safeguarding children whose parents/carers use drugs/alcohol or have mental health needs

This document was created by the Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton Safeguarding Children Boards in 2011.

Think child, think parent, think family: a guide to parental mental health and child welfare (SCIE guide 30)

This publication by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) was created in 2009.

A related, 'At a glance' document was published in May 2009 (and updated in 2012). 

Model memorandum of understanding on working together to support young carers

This memorandum of understanding was created by the Association of Directors of Adult services and the Association of Directors of Children's Services in 2012.

Working together to safeguard children:  A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children

The Department for Education (DfE) describes this document as: 

'Working Together sets out how organisations and individuals should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in accordance with the Children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004.

'Part 1 of the document is issued as statutory guidance. Practitioners and agencies will have different responsibilities under different areas of the guidance and should consult the preface for a fuller explanation of their statutory duties.

Also, please note that on 10 June the DfE noted a change to statutory guidance.

Read about Working together to safeguard children and the DfE's statutory guidance.

Multi-agency working: guidance for professionals working with problem drinking parents

This publication, Multi-agency working: guidance for professionals working with problem drinking parents, was created by Alcohol Concern in 2006.

Unfortunately, this booklet is out-of-print. The link above is to an Amzaon.co.uk page.

Contact us

Let us know if you have suggestions for other valuable guidance and protocol documents.