Joint investigation in child protection
Working together - training together
By Liz Davies and Debbie Townsend

To see sections of this book in a PDF, please click here.

Addressing work done by police officers, social workers and any other professional linked to safeguarding children boards, the Joint Investigation in Child Protection manual can help everyone involved to:
  • understand and recognise what constitutes 'significant harm'
  • focus on the children involved
  • develop suitable investigative skills
  • understand the roles of fellow professionals from all other agencies sufficiently well to work effectively with, and if necessary, challenge them.

  • The Joint Investigation in Child Protection manual has as its primary purpose the joint training of specialist police officers and social workers. But the manual can also help all LSCB-linked agencies achieve their performance objectives, including:
  • health workers in PCTS and hospital trusts
  • teachers and education staff in formal and informal education
  • social workers in children's and adults' services and other local authority workers such as housing staff
  • probation officers, and staff in the prison service, secure provision and youth offending teams
  • police officers who work with children
  • staff in the voluntary and private sectors delivering services for children and adults
  • religious leaders and volunteers providing services to children within faith communities.

  • Workers from all of these backgrounds, with varied levels of experience, knowledge and prior learning can benefit from this training's approach to child-centred interviewing.

    The Joint Investigation in Child Protection manual:
  • challenges and goes beyond existing government guidance in ways that can significantly improve safeguarding and protecting work with children and young people
  • follows English and Welsh statutory guidance, and is adaptable for use in Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • contains a wide range of 23 presentations and 31 activities, which specialist police and social work trainers - working and training together, demonstrating their flexibility and expertise across disciplines - can pick and choose from to design their own 5-day course, depending on participants' experience and needs, including those who needs may be at an introductory level. And trainers will still have further materials 'left over' for use at other times: this is a rich and extensive resource. The manual includes a wide range of materials suited to adult learning such as role plays, carousels, storytelling and quizzes
  • is available at a price commensurate with the budgets of even the smaller organisations that are involved in this work; or of agencies of any size for whom this work may be crucial, but which perhaps is not their principal undertaking.

  • A4 wiro. 334 pages. 978-1-905541-32-4. Published 2008. £44.95


    Those training police officers, social workers and other professionals who have responsibilities to work together to safeguard and protect children, including those whose work is linked to Local Safeguarding Children Boards (such as health workers in PCTs and hospital trusts; teachers and education staff in formal and informal education; probation officers, prison service staff, youth offending teams; religious leaders and volunteers providing services to children within communities).



    About the authors
    About this manual and the training course
    Photocopying permission for use of the handouts
    Electronic supply of the handouts
    Introduction and overview
    Day 1: Introduction to the Course: Making Judgements in Child Protection

    Introductory quiz: true or false? 40 questions and statements about child abuse
    Exploring role perceptions/consequences
    Exploring role perceptions through reflection on a case study
    Investigative skills
    Defining acceptable and unacceptable behaviour
    Defining significant harm
    Making judgements about seriousness of harm to children
    Day 2: Recognition of child abuse, assessment, investigation and intervention
    Recognising the indicators of child abuse
    Definition of safeguarding and categories of child abuse safeguarding definition
    Considering the indicators of child abuse
    Record keeping
    Making accurate records of an interview with a child
    The fishbowl: a case study tracking a child protection referral through assessment, investigation and intervention
    Day 3: Child protection, assessment, investigation and intervention
    The child protection conference
    Child protection conference - role play
    Alternative child protection conference - role play
    Professional dangerousness
    Understanding professional dangerousness - Victoria Climbie - the lost opportunitities
    Contribution from survivors of child abuse
    Day 4: Communicating with children, corroborating a child's statement and child sexual abuse
    Listening to children
    Communicating with children - carousel
    Responding to complex questions - carousel
    Adult agendas
    Corroboration of a child's statement
    The paediatric perspective
    Un-trivial pursuit: child sexual abuse quiz
    The dynamics of child sexual abuse: learning from the case of Mary Bell
    Saturdays at half past three: a child retracts
    The child abuse accommodation syndrome
    Young people who sexually abuse
    Young people who sexually abuse - case study
    Supporting the non-abusive carer
    Practising skills in responding to parents and carers
    Day 5: Focus on perpetrators, organised abuse, safe practice and whistleblowingChild sex abusers
    Child sex abusers - distorted thinking
    The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)
    The Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel - a role play
    Organised abuse
    Child sexual exploitation - a case study
    Cheryl - case study
    Protecting a sexually exploited child
    Responding to the protection needs of sexually exploited children
    Investigation of organised abuse
    Investigating organised abuse - case study
    Ritual Abuse
    Whistleblowing - professionals protecting children
    Who to tell?
    Arena of safety
    Sounding the alarm
    Therapeutic healing stories
    Practising storytelling
    Stop, start and continue
    The umbrella
    The toolkit
    National Occupational Standards (NOS) for police work
    National Occupational Standards (NOS) for social work
    Relevant academic standards
    BSc module handbook
    MSc module handbook
    Electronic supply of the handouts from Joint Investigation in Child Protection


    Liz Davies
    is a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University. She has many years' experience as a social worker and child protection manager and trainer. She is widely published, and regularly works with the media on child protection issues.
    Debbie Townsend is a former Metropolitan Police detective specialising in child abuse investigation and also a child protection trainer. She now works as a consultant designing and delivering child protection courses. Together, they deliver the post qualifying training in joint investigation and investigative interviewing skills to social workers and police at London Metropolitan University.

    TERMS AND CONDITIONS for use of the handouts from Joint Investigation in Child Protection

    1. Buying a copy of Joint Investigation in Child Protection and completing the form at the back of the book gives the individual who signs the form permission to use the materials in the PDF that will be sent from RHP for their own use only.
    2. The hard copies that they then print from the PDF are subject to the same permissions and restrictions that are set out in the 'photocopying permission' section at the front of this book.
    3. Under no circumstances should they forward or copy the electronic materials to anyone else.
    4. If the person who signs the form wants a licence to be granted for wider use of the electronic materials within their organisation, network or client base, they must make a request directly to RHP fully detailing the proposed use. All requests will be reviewed on their own merits.
    a. If the request is made when submitting the form to RHP, the request should be made in writing and should accompany the form.
    b. If the request is made later, it should be made in an email sent to, and should not only fully detail the proposed use, but also give the details of the person whose name and contact details were on the original application form.

    RHP and the author expect this honour system to be followed respectfully, by individuals and organisations whom we in turn respect. RHP will act to protect authors' copyright if they become aware of it being infringed.

    Please note
    RHP reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time without prior notice.
    RHP reserves the right to qualify or reject any application which it is not completely satisfied is on an original torn-out page from the back of a purchased book.


    British Journal of Social Work
    Review for both Investigative Interviewing of Children: Achieving Best Evidence and Joint Investigation in Child Protection.

    'The authors of these two training manual - highly experienced social work and police service professionals, respectively - put their cards firmly on the table in the comprehensive historical perspective at the start of each pack. These texts have an entirely different process from the assessment of children in need and a necessary dual focus on both the risks presented by a perpetrator and the needs of child and family. These two closely linked training manuals are intended to... enhance the working together in child protection skills of a wide range of professionals, who come together across the constituent statutory and voluntary agencies of the local safeguarding children boards in section 47 referrals and investigations.

    'Joint Investigation in Child Protection offers experienced trainers a comprehensive and well-researched skills and knowledge base... The material is varied and up to date, using tried and tested adult learning methods to inform and challenge in a secure environment. It is ingenious in its scope and its relevance to a wide range of professionals including those in health and education, probation, housing, and the voluntary sector. Issues of ethnicity, culture, religion and language are addressed. It also deals with the important area of... 'professional dangerousness'... trainers will need to spend some time familiarising themselves with the detailed presentations and activities; there are tips on delivery and clear guidance on the protocol for photocopying handouts from the manual.

    'Investigative Interviewing of Children: Achieving Best Evidence builds on its partner manual, using many similar methods but taking the social worker and police officer investigators on to detailed consideration of the context, process, skills and dilemmas involved in Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) interviews. Through its twenty presentations and twenty-three activities, it is consistently child-centred, includes children with disabilities and children from a range of ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds. It clearly aims to build confidence in those working directly with children in highly sensitive and anxiety-provoking situations and also confidence and trust in the joint working relationship that brings together professionals from two very different work cultures. All stages of the ABE interview are closely examined in a range of scenarios, together with guidance.

    'Both manuals are very reasonably priced, with the first kept deliberately lower than the second, in the hope that even small organisations could afford it. Let us hope that the time is ripe, in the wake of the baby P. case, for serious reflection on the training needs of those working in child protection and more commissioning of this type, quality and length of training.' British Journal of Social Work.