Appendix G: Armed Forces child protection contacts
When a child and family from the armed forces is involved in child protection processes, the appropriate welfare representative from the unit should be aware and involved. The lead professional should liaise at an early stage and ensure that the Chair of Child Protection Planning Meetings understands the extent of the role of the representative, which may be:
- as a support for the family
- as a bridge to understanding the service context for this family including access to service resources
- as the commanding officer's representative
- as a fully participating member of a CPPM
Agencies such as the British Forces Social Work Service (who provide a statutory social work service on behalf of the Armed Forces overseas) may also be in attendance when a family has transferred in from abroad and where there have been child protection concerns
Points of contact (2019) for the relevant Service agencies in child protection matters are below.
Royal Navy and Royal Marines
Naval Service Family and People Support (NS FPS) is managed and staffed by registered social workers and Defence Specialist Welfare Workers. They provide a confidential and professional service to all Naval Personnel and their families, liaising as appropriate with local authority children's social care.
Child protection issues involving the family of a member of the Royal Navy or Royal Marines is to be reported initially to the relevant local authority and referred to NS FPS as required.
Staffed by registered social workers and trained and supervised Army Welfare Workers, the Army Welfare Service (AWS) provides professional social care support to Army personnel and their families. AWS works in partnership with local authorities, particularly where a child is subject to safeguarding concerns.
Child protection issues involving the family of a member of the Army is to be reported initially to the relevant local authority. Local authorities who have any enquiries or concerns regarding safeguarding or promoting the wellbeing of a child from an Army family should contact the AWS Intake and Assessment Team (IAT):
Army Welfare Service: 01904 882053
Royal Air Force
Welfare Support for families in the RAF is managed as a normal function of Command and co‑ordinated by each Station's Personnel Officer, the Officer Commanding Personnel Management Squadron (OCPMS) or the Officer Commanding Base Support Wing depending on the size of the Station.
A number of qualified SSAFA social workers and trained professionally supervised Personal and Family Support Workers are located throughout the UK to assist the chain of Command in providing welfare support and safeguarding advice.
Child protection issues involving the family of a member of the RAF is to be reported initially to the relevant local authority with the support of SSAFA locally. Local authorities who have any enquiries or concerns regarding safeguarding or promoting the wellbeing of a child from an RAF family should contact the parent's unit, or if this is not known, contact the OC PMS/OC BSW of the nearest RAF Unit.
Additionally, SSAFA can be contacted at: 03000 111 723
When Service families or civilians working with the Armed Forces are based overseas the responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of their children is vested in the Ministry of Defence.
The Ministry of Defence contact is through the Global Safeguarding Team which from 1 April 2021 is based within the Armed Forces Families and Safeguarding Team:
Global Safeguarding Team: 0300 163 3665
Service Child Progression Alliance (SCiP): UK wide network of academic organisations supporting educational outcomes for armed forces children.