Safeguarding Children, Glossary of Abbreviations

Jon Trew

 Independent Safeguarding Consultant

Taking on the role of the safeguarding lead for any organisation can be a pretty daunting task. As well as the responsibility for managing some quite upsetting situations, we have to learn a whole new language of specialist safeguarding terms and abbreviations. To help you we’ve put together a glossary of commonly used safeguarding acronyms and abbreviations.


ABE: Achieving Best Evidence,
Guidance for Police Officers and Social Workers in conducting interviews with children where allegation of abuse are being investigated.


CAIU: Child Abuse Investigation Unit (Police)

CAMHS: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

CAFCASS: Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service

CSE: Child Sexual Exploitation

CPP: Child Protection Plan.
A plan created following a child protection conference that sets out how the child can be kept safe.

CPOMS: Child Protection Online Management System.
The market leading software solution for monitoring Safeguarding, wellbeing and all pastoral issues.

CO: Care Order.
Places a child under the care of the Local Authority.
This is otherwise known as a child “being in care”.


DV / DA: Domestic Violence or Domestic abuse

DBS: Disclosure and Barring Service
formerly known as the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau)

DSL: Designated Safeguarding Lead (England)

DSP: Designated Senior Person (Wales)

DVPN: Domestic Violence Protection Notice

DVPO: Domestic Violence Protection Order.
The next step up from a DVPN


EPO: Emergency Protection Order.
Protects a child from ongoing or imminent risk of physical, mental or emotional harm where emergency action is needed for a maximum period of eight days.

EWO: Education Welfare Officer


FIS: Family Information Service
provides information on childcare, activities and services for children and young people and family support in a local area

FGM: Female Genital Mutilation

FII: Fabricated or Inducted Illness.
Previously known as Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy


HV: This could mean ‘home visit’ or Health Visitor

HSB: Harmful Sexualised Behaviour
is developmentally inappropriate sexual behaviour which is displayed by children and young people.


IRO: Independent Reviewing Officers.
IRO’s chair reviews for children living in children’s homes or foster care.

ICPC: Initial Child Protection Conference
brings together all the people involved with a child who is not already subject to a child protection plan.

ICO: Interim Care Order.
An order that is applied for by the Local Authority to ask for the power to share Parental Responsibility with the parents of children they believe to be at risk.


KCSiE: Keeping Children Safe in Education (Education Guidance, England)

KLS: Keeping Learners Safe (Education Guidance, Wales)


LAC: Looked After Child, formerly children in care.

LADO: Local Authority Designated Officer,
works within Children’s Services and gives advice and guidance to employers, organisations who have concerns about the behaviour of an adult who works with children and young people.

LSCB: Local Safeguarding Children Board
set up in each local authority and co-ordinates what is done to safeguard children in the area.


MASH: Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub

MARAC: Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference

MARF: Multi Agency Referral Form


NFA: No further action


OFSTED: Office for Standards in Education
(lead inspection agency for Children’s Services in England)


PRU: Pupil Referral Unit

PR: Parental Responsibility

PPO: Police Protection Order
In an emergency situation, children can be placed under police protection for up to 72 hours


SRO: Sexual Risk Order
is a civil order which can be sought by the police against an individual who has not been convicted or cautioned for a sexual offence but who is nevertheless thought by the police to pose a risk of harm.

S47 or Section 47: Investigation of a child at risk of significant harm

SCR: Serious Case Review
is held after a child or vulnerable adult dies or is seriously injured under circumstances where abuse or neglect are thought to have been involved (England)

SERAF: Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Form.
This aims to identify the factors that may render children and young people vulnerable to being targeted for CSE (child sexual exploitation).

SEND: Special Education Needs and Disability


TAF: Team around the Family
provides a service to families who are likely to need help from two or more agencies (e.g. schools, health services, housing).


UNCRC: United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
An international convention signed by Britain on which we have based much of our current child safeguarding legislation

UASC: Un-accompanied Asylum Seeking Child


YOT: Youth Offending Team
is a multi-agency team that work with young people that get into trouble with the law.