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Training and resources for professionals

Induction – welcome to Devon’s services for families and children

Introduction to the Devon SCP

All children are best safeguarded when everyone works together effectively in partnership with families, communities and services.

It is our aim to make sure that children and families can get the right support, in the right place at the right time.

The Devon Safeguarding Children Partnership (Devon SCP) was established on 1 July 2017. It merged the functions of the Devon Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB) and the Children, Young People and Families Alliance (Alliance). You can read more about the history of the Devon SCP here.

In response to Working Together to Safeguard Children (July 2018) the Devon SCP partners – Devon County Council, Devon Integrated Care Board (ICB), Devon & Cornwall Police and Children & Family Health Devon – agreed and published our local Safeguarding Arrangements for Children and Young People in Devon. Our partners include everyone who are involved in the lives of children.

We work closely with other Devon partnerships including Safer Devon and Torbay and Devon Safeguarding Adults Partnership and our neighbouring children’s safeguarding partnerships in Torbay, Plymouth and Cornwall.

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 is the key document that sets outs what local authorities should do. This also includes “adult services, the police, academy trusts, education, youth justice services and the voluntary and community sector who have contact with children and families”.

The guidance reminds all professionals that come into contact with children and young people of the key principles namely:

  • safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility: for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part
  • a child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children.

We believe that every child in Devon should have the best possible start in life and the opportunity to thrive. We want to ensure children and families receive the right support, at the right time, and in the right place.

Staff induction

As a partnership we are committed to eliminating negative discrimination, providing equality of opportunity and challenging prejudice in order to advance the achievement of equality and foster good relations between diverse groups and individuals in Devon.

We value the development of effective relationships that achieve improved outcomes for children and young people through a Restorative Practice approach.

Evidence shows that a structured induction process, along with programmes for professional development, play a significant part in developing an effective and stable workforce.

A sound induction process can help to make sure:

  • children are better protected from potential harm
  • the practitioner’s team is protected from the effects of poor performance
  • practitioners are better integrated into the team
  • practitioners are better supported
  • employers are more likely to retain the best people for the job.

Induction can:

  • be used to identify the learning and skills needs of practitioners
  • help to develop individual development plans for practitioners
  • help identify and prioritise ongoing learning

Learning and development

There are many ways that people learn. It is good practice to use a variety of methods throughout the induction process which may include:

  • distance learning
  • e-learning
  • guided reading
  • structured use of supervision
  • taught courses
  • shadowing
  • mentoring by a more experienced colleague

The induction should also be conducted in bite-sized pieces rather than overloading the new practitioner with too much information all at once.

Supporting the learning process

The person with responsibility for induction needs to ensure practitioners are given enough time, encouragement, support, regular and appropriate supervision.

Induction can:

  • be used to identify the learning and skills needs of practitioners
  • help to develop individual development plans for practitioners
  • help identify and prioritise ongoing learning

Who needs an induction programme?

All practitioners, whether full or part-time, need an induction programme. The induction programme should be flexible to meet the needs of everyone including people returning from career breaks, long-term absence, maternity/paternity leave or trainees and apprentices.

What should a good first day include?

  • A warm welcome for the practitioner
  • Introductions to colleagues, families and children (if appropriate)
  • Completion of necessary paperwork and documentation including core policies and procedures e.g. safeguarding children, confidentiality
  • Basic health and safety information e.g. accessing the building, signing in and out requirements
  • Information on the length of any formal induction period and probationary requirement eg six month probationary period
  • Line management arrangements
  • Familiarisation of the work environment and introduction to working virtually/on-line if this is also part of the role
  • Organisational documents and routines, for example, a copy of the staff handbook, staff structure, dress code etc
  • Information on regulations and standards

If possible, provide an induction plan and checklist to help highlight areas covered above. This can be signed by the practitioner and the person in charge of induction and retained in the practitioner’s personnel file.

Recommended main areas of learning at induction

This section has been designed to provide with an overview of the recommended core areas that should be covered within a thorough induction.

Understand the Devon SCP’s vision for children and young people

Our vision directs the way we work with children and is an important basis of our practice. The vision also reflects importance of children’s rights and listening to what children have to say.

Understand children’s rights

This is about the rights of the child or young person as expressed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Practitioners should be aware of these rights and should be able to promote them through their work.

Understand your role in the children and young people’s workforce

During induction, time can be spent to ensure that the practitioners understands his/her role and responsibilities in relation to the children they work with and within the wider children and young people workforce. The practitioner should understand to who they are accountable and limits of their responsibility. The following areas may be covered:

  • your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities
  • the importance of working in partnership
  • the different types of organisations, agencies and individual workers that make up the early years workforce
  • the legal and organisational responsibilities of practitioners
  • the aims of the individual work setting

Understand health, safety and security

Practitioners need to show that they have created a safe environment, appropriate to the age and developmental abilities of the children in their care, taking action to support the physical, mental, social and emotional health and well-being of children. This means having full information about the health of the child they care for and understanding what particular health issues they may have. It is especially important that the practitioner is able to understand the laws about health and safety and how they relate to their work with children and young people.
To achieve the above, the following areas may be covered:

  • Hazard and risk
  • Health and well-being
  • Moving and positioning
  • Fire safety
  • Emergency first aid
  • Infection prevention and control; and
  • Medication and health care procedures
  • Security

Understand the importance of listening and communication

Listening to children is very important skill. Practitioners should be able understand and demonstrate effective communication. The following areas may be covered:

  • Engaging with children
  • Listening to children
  • Communication with children
  • Communication with others
  • Record keeping
  • Complaints and compliments

Understand child development and behaviour

It is important that practitioners have a broad understanding of children’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual development and the difference between growth, chronological age and expected development milestones. You may want to cover:

  • Child and young person development
  • Child and young person sexual development
  • Transitions
  • Play
  • Educational development and potential

Understand the importance of keeping children safe from harm

Practitioners working with children and young people must know the laws, work policies and procedures that are intended to protect children and safeguard them from harm. They must be able to recognise the signs of abuse and clearly understand their responsibilities for protecting children under the law, together with the safeguarding policies and procedures of their place of work. To achieve the above, the following areas may be covered:

  • Safety
  • Safeguarding & child protection
  • Levels of Need and Consent
  • Safe practice


Please see our training and events page for information on courses, training and continual professional development opportunities.

What next?

Upon completion of your employee’s induction the practitioner should be able to demonstrate that they have the skills to work safely, efficiently and effectively with children and their carers.
Going forward, the employer can encourage and ensure that practitioners undertake regular Continuous Professional Development to retain and enhance their skills.

Continual Professional Development (CPD)

CPD is a planned, ongoing development of knowledge and skills throughout working life to ensure the development of good practice and quality services. It contributes to work based and personal development enabling practitioners to fulfil their potential.

CPD involves intentionally developing the knowledge, skills and personal qualities all practitioners need to perform their professional responsibilities and duties. It is a holistic approach to learning that recognises everyday experiences as learning opportunities. The essence of CPD is about achieving professionalism in everything and is a personal commitment to continuously updating knowledge and skills.

The Devon SCP has a full programme of courses, workshops, self-directed learning, videos and e-learning modules which can help with on-going CPD.

Recommended Devon SCP Induction Training

Welcome to the Devon SCP

Essential Training

  • Multi-Agency Safeguarding & Child Protection (Group 2 or Group 3)
  • Responding to Allegations and Role of the LADO
  • Domestic Abuse Awareness (Level 2)
  • Recognising and responding to Domestic Abuse (Level 3)
  • Those who don’t cruise rarely bruise – bruising on babies (Video)
  • Sowing Seeds: Trauma Informed practice for anyone working with children or young people
  • Prevent Essentials
  • Restorative Practice – Introductory e-learning module
  • Early Help and Right for Children
  • SEND Module 1: An introduction for all new and existing staff in Devon to SEND and the Code of Practice

Please note that Group/Level 2 is a requirement for anyone working with children and young people not in a supervisory or safeguarding role, and Group/Level 3 is needed for anyone working with children and young people in a supervisory/management or safeguarding role.

Desirable Training

  • Levels of Need and Consent
  • Exploring Family Networks and Family Mapping
  • Recognising and Responding to Neglect
  • Tools to Assess Neglect (Graded Care Profile 2)
  • Adolescent Safety Framework (ASF)/Safer Me Assessents
  • Confidence in Child Protection Conferences
  • MASH and Early Help in Devon webinar
  • Introduction to Restorative Practice Workshop

Continual Professional Development (CPD)

For lots of CPD opportunities click on Training and events – Devon Safeguarding Children Partnership ( including monthly continual professional development sessions and annual events such as SaFest (an annual week long on-line symposium on supporting and safeguarding children, young people and adolescents) and online study days.

If you are worried about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person in Devon,
please complete the request for support online form.


If you think that the child is at risk of significant harm,
contact our Front Door directly by calling 0345 155 1071.


In an emergency call 999.