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3.8 Roles and Responsibilities in Investigations

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Contents

3.8.1 Investigation Manager and Investigating Officer Roles
3.8.2 Investigation Manager and Investigating Officer Responsibilities


3.8.1 Investigation Manager and Investigating Officer Roles

Information-sharing

It is the responsibility of the Investigation Manager and the Investigating Officer to ensure compliance with relevant data protection regulations and information-sharing protocols, including:

  • the person's permission to share information;
  • other agencies' access to records;
  • how and where information or reports will be distributed and will be stored;
  • recording of reports and case files, any third party information or advice given to the adult or others involved in the investigation, complies with these regulations and protocols;
  • al recording is in line with these procedures and local recording policies and procedures.

Investigation Manager Role

  • to provide proactive coordination and management for the investigation and ensure risk for the adult(s) and others, including staff, are assessed and actions taken to minimise these risks;
  • to ensure the investigation is effective and meets the standards laid out in these procedures;
  • to ensure actions relating to the procedures are identified and undertaken;
  • to ensure all relevant parties are appropriately involved in the process.

Investigating Officer Role

  • to undertake the investigation or particular aspects of the investigation;

  • to advise the Investigation Manager of any emerging issues as the investigation progresses;
  • to prepare an Investigation Report summarising the investigation, their findings and conclusions;
  • to be the main point of contact for the adult at risk, and keep them fully involved.


3.8.2 Investigation Manager and Investigating Officer Responsibilities

STAGE 1: Responding to an Alert
STAGE 2: Strategy Discussion/Meeting
STAGE 3: Undertaking Investigations
STAGE 4: Case Conferences/Discussions
STAGE 5: Concluding the Safeguarding Process

STAGE 1: Responding to an Alert (Information Gathering & Decision Making)
Timescale(s):  Within 24hrs if urgent/high risk and 3 working days maximum
Investigation Manager Responsibilities
  1. to provide overall management of the response to the alert and any subsequent safeguarding investigation including assessment of risk.;
  2. to ensure an appropriate Investigating Officer is identified;
  3. to provide direction to those undertaking information gathering where required;
  4. to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place for: initial contact with the adult (within 24hrs if urgent/high risk & 3 working days maximum); and for involving and supporting them throughout the process;
  5. to determine whether an investigation under the adults safeguarding procedures is required and/or other actions required;
  6. ensure clarity re the concern or allegation that requires investigating and what category of suspected abuse applies;
  7. to convene a Strategy Discussion (Level 1 & 2) or Strategy Meeting (Level 3 & 4) within 5 working days of the decision to investigate;
  8. to ensure contact with the appropriate manager in Children's Services if the concern might affect a child;
  9. to ensure the alerter receives acknowledgement of receipt of the alert and is advised if an investigation under the procedures will take place or not;
  10. to ensure recording of decisions made on the appropriate documentation / systems.
Investigating Officer Responsibilities
  1. to identify the information required and how to obtain this in order to determine any risks to the person or others and actions required;
  2. to seek direction from the Investigation Manager if required;
  3. to make contact with the person as part of the information gathering process where this is appropriate and would not put them or others at any potential / greater risk;
  4. to liaise with other practitioners and services as appropriate;
  5. to make recommendations to the Investigation Manager regarding whether an investigation under the procedures is required or not, including a clear assessment of risk;
  6. to identify and advise the Investigation Manager any other actions to be taken where an investigation is not required;
  7. to record any decisions made on the appropriate documentation/systems.
STAGE 2: Strategy Discussion/Meeting
Timescale(s):  Within 5 working days from the date the alert is deemed to require Investigation.
Investigation Manager Responsibilities
  1. to lead a Strategy Discussion (Level 1 & 2) with the Investigating Officer/other appropriate individuals;
  2. to determine whether an initial Strategy Discussion may be required ahead of a Strategy Meeting (Level 3 & 4);
  3. to chair a Strategy Meeting (Level 3 & 4) and ensure appropriate attendees are identified and necessary arrangements have been made for the meeting, including administrative support, meeting room etc;
  4. for all Strategy Discussions/Meetings to ensure that:
    • the person remains in control of the process and that their choices and wishes are respected as far as possible notwithstanding risks to others;
    • an appropriate interim Safeguarding Plan is in place;
    • an appropriate risk assessment of the available information informs decisions regarding how the investigation will be undertaken and next actions  and time scales;
    • there is clarity regarding the concern that requires investigation; the categories of abuse that may relate to this and level of Investigation required;
    • the Investigating Officer/others are clear about their role, responsibilities and how the investigation will be undertaken;
    • clear arrangements are in place for line management, accountability and feedback processes;
    • clarification of resources that may be required e.g. available placements, funding, staff, transport, emergency planning, general and local specific arrangements if these apply, including escalation to senior managers;
    • clear arrangements are in place to enable the person alleged responsible to be able to respond;
    • issues relating to equalities / potential discrimination are identified and taken account of;
    • other key processes and procedures are considered e.g. personnel issues, police investigations, child protection issues, Serious Untoward Incident investigations (SUI's) and are effectively coordinated and timescales agreed and that information is recorded and shared in line with the Data Protection Act and thought given to how those involved in the investigation will be advised of their rights in relation to information sharing and the impact this may have for them. Also that arrangements are clear regarding how confidential information will be stored for e.g. if employees of an organisation leading the investigation are the alleged perpetrator or connected with them;
    • the record/minutes of the Strategy Discussion/Meeting are finalised and ensure any amendments are included where these have been received within timescales (minutes to be sent out within 5 working days of the Strategy Meeting).
  5. to identify a provisional date for a Case Conference and who is likely to be required to attend;
  6. to ensure supervision of the Investigating Officer takes place weekly;
  7. to convene any further Strategy Discussions/Meetings where these are required & ensure the above areas are addressed.
Investigating Officer Responsibilities
  1. to prepare all information for the Strategy Meeting in discussion with Investigation Manager;
  2. to ensure the person remains in control of the process and that their choices and wishes are respected as far as possible notwithstanding risks to others. Ensuring the person's views are represented appropriately, including contacting or meeting them before the Strategy Meeting/Discussion where this would not place them or others at greater risk; and use of advocates where appropriate;
  3. to take part in attending the Strategy Meeting/Discussion and ensure full understanding of their role, the plan and scope of the investigation, and arrangements for consulting with the Investigation Manager, where appropriate, as the investigation progresses;
  4. to identify further discussion or support required to undertake the investigation, including:
    • the approach and nature of questions to be asked of people involved in the investigation;. how the Investigating Officer will introduce themselves; the reason for their visit; and explanations for staff and others who may be present;
    • how the information required will be sought, including interpreting services; who will have appropriate access to records in different agencies; 
    • how situations will be managed, for example, if the person alleged responsible arrives during the visit;
    • identifying resources that may be required e.g. available placements, funding, staff, transport, emergency planning, general and local specific arrangements if these apply and discuss this with the Investigation Manager;
  5. to ensure clarity re risk assessment and risk management arrangements for themselves, the adult at risk and others and arrangements for contacting the Investigation Manager or office in an emergency;
  6. to  ensure clarity re arrangements for co-ordinating and documenting , where there is more than  one Investigating Officer;
  7. to ensure they are clear regarding expectations for completion of the Investigation Report and how any third party, data protection issues will be addressed;
  8. to determine whether a separate review is required as a follow up for the person.
STAGE 3: Undertaking Investigations
Timescale(s):  For Level 1 and Level 2 Investigations: 14 Working Days from the Strategy Discussion; for Level 3 and Level 4 Investigations: 28 Working Days from the Strategy Meeting
Investigation Manager Responsibilities
  1. the person remains in control of the process and that their choices and wishes are respected as far as possible;
  2. appropriate involvement and contribution to the Investigation by all interested parties;
  3. there is ongoing, proactive management and co-ordination of the investigation;
  4. timescales are agreed for making contact with the adult at risk at each stage of the investigation;
  5. if the person alleged responsible is another adult at risk,  a carer and/or cared for person, that they have been spoken to as part of the investigation, and the Safeguarding Plan and actions have been included in the person's risk assessment and ongoing support/care plan, where appropriate;
  6. all decisions are recorded on the approved documentation/system and ensure clear actions from meetings are identified and recorded;
  7. weekly supervision of the Investigating Officer is provided;
  8. further Strategy Discussions/Meetings are convened where further planning for the investigation is required;
  9. the assessment of risk is reviewed and updated regularly and actions identified and undertaken to address changes;
  10. information gathered through the investigation is responded to appropriately i.e. alerts are raised; senior managers notified, resources identified, timescales reviewed, other organisations / individuals  involved.
  11. determine when the Investigation is complete  and that:
    • it was thorough and covered all the relevant areas;
    • the adult at risk has been central to and in control of the process and that their wishes and views have been respected as far as possible;
    • the person alleged responsible has been appropriately involved in the process and has had a fair chance to respond to the allegation/s;
    • there is a recommended outcome for the investigation based on a clear evaluation of the information/evidence gathered through the investigation;
    • where the investigation is judged to be complete, the Investigation Manager will sign off the recommended outcome and/or note any additional comments relating to the Investigating Officer's findings/conclusion.
  12. a Case Conference discussion (Level 1 & 2)/Case Conference (3 & 4) is convened when the Investigation Report and recommendations re the outcome of the investigation are available;
  13. practical arrangements for the Case Conference are in place, particularly regarding support for the attendance of the person/their representative;
  14. relevant reports are available and distributed as appropriate ahead of Case Conferences - (a minimum of 2 working days ahead of conference).
Investigating Officer Responsibilities
  1. to undertake the investigation and, where appropriate, an assessment, review or CPA of the person's needs and proactively advise the IM of any emerging issues or risk factors as the investigation progresses and of any significant new information;
  2. to ensure that their area of the investigation is completed within the timescales agreed at Strategy Discussions and/or Meetings, and if this is not possible to keep the I.M advised;
  3. to keep the adult at risk/their representative updated and involved in the process;
  4. to ensure all areas of the Investigation are covered effectively, including contacting the alleged perpetrator and ensuring their views are represented in the Investigation;
  5. to record key activity, decision making and other key information on the approved documentation/system throughout the Investigation and process;
  6. to ensure the investigation is completed within 28 working days from Strategy Meeting.  If this is not feasible or not achieved, reasons for this must be clearly recorded, including the impact that any delays will have on the adult at risk and others, or on the outcome/effectiveness of the investigation;
  7. to produce the Investigation Report and determine how the information gathered through the Investigation will be presented in this and ensure this is recorded on the relevant documentation;
  8. to recommend a clear outcome for their investigation (i.e. 'substantiated' , 'not  substantiated' or ' inconclusive' ) with evidenced reasons for this;
  9. to  produce an overarching Investigation Report, where they are Lead Investigating Officer, that includes reference to the key findings and outcomes of other Investigation Report s produced by other Investigating Officers involved in the Investigation;
  10. to ensure all interested parties have been advised of the key findings and recommended outcome/s of the Investigation Report ahead of the Case Conference Meeting/Discussion,
STAGE 4: Case Conferences/Discussions
Note: Case Conferences Discussion (Levels 1 and 2) Case Conference Meeting (Levels 3 and 4)
Timescale(s):  For Level 1 and Level 2 Investigations: 14 Working Days from the Strategy Discussion; for Level 3 and Level 4 Investigations: 28 Working Days from the Strategy Meeting.
Investigation Manager Responsibilities
  1. make sure practical arrangements for the Case Conference are in place, particularly in relation to support for the attendance of the adult at risk/their representative;
  2. ensure relevant reports are available and distributed as appropriate ahead of Case Conferences  a minimum of two working days wherever possible;
  3. ensure the investigating officer has fulfilled their responsibilities regarding the investigation;
  4. where the investigation is judged to be not appropriately completed to ensure this is completed;
  5. the actions taken to address any risks are appropriate and robust.;
  6. any future or wider actions have been appropriately identified and acted upon, and incorporated into the person's ongoing care/support plan and risk assessments;
  7. the contracts team, Care Quality Commission, and other local authorities are informed of the outcome of the investigation if this is a local authority contracted/regulated service;
  8. minutes of the Case Conference and the Safeguarding Plan are circulated within 5 working days, and that any amendments are included within a further 10 working days of the meeting.
Investigating Officer Responsibilities
  1.  to make a clear recommendation regarding the outcome of the investigation (i.e. 'substantiated' , 'not substantiated', or 'inconclusive') based on the information / evidence available from the investigation and an analysis of this on the balance of probabilities;
  2. level 1 & 2 investigations -To complete Investigation Reports within 14 working days;
  3. level 3 & 4 investigations - To complete Investigation Reports within 28 working days;
  4. to ensure the Safeguarding Plan is developed for the person/others affected and that this is implemented, monitored and reviewed effectively, where the Investigating Officer is a provider service manager;
  5. to inform the Investigation Manager when they consider the investigation is complete i.e. at the point when there is a  recommended outcome for the investigation based on a clear evaluation of the information/evidence gathered and a draft report is available for discussion and agreement;
  6. to ensure comprehensive feedback is given to all those involved in the investigation, particularly the adult at risk and the person alleged responsible prior to the Case Conference. This must include the key findings, general content and recommended outcomes of the Investigation Report that is being prepared;
  7. for level 1 & 2 investigations, take part in a Case Conference discussion with the Investigation Manager and other individuals as appropriate to conclude the investigation and agree its outcome. For level 3 & 4 investigations participate in the Case Conference meeting and present their investigation report;
  8. to ensure that relevant information and reports, including the investigation report, are circulated to all those involved in the investigation Case Conference attendees at least two working days before the discussion/meeting, where attendees are bound by confidentiality policies.   NB Distribution of documents must comply with data protection regulations and local confidentiality and information-sharing protocols;
  9. to ensure the Safeguarding Plan is included in the individual's care/support plan.
STAGE 5: Concluding the Safeguarding Process
Timescale(s):
Investigation Manager Responsibilities
  1. to check recording is appropriate to the process undertaken;
  2. to ensure any learning is identified and progressed appropriately;
  3. to ensure arrangements are in place to undertake and/or monitor actions identified at the Case Conference discussion/meeting;
  4. to undertake any action the Investigation Manager is responsible for;
  5. to consider whether a Serious Case Review (SCR) may be required and ensure this is requested where appropriate;
  6. to ensure arrangements are in place to make referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service or professional bodies where appropriate;
  7. to ensure all the requirements of their organisation to conclude the safeguarding process have been completed.
Investigating Officer Responsibilities
  1. to ensure any specific actions for the Investigating Officer are undertaken;
  2. to ensure the Safeguarding Plan is transferred to the person's care/support plan or that arrangements are in place for this;
  3. to ensure appropriate feedback has been provided to all those involved who would require this.


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