The Hydrant Programme, via the Partnerships hub, engages with stakeholders and organisations from across child protection and child abuse. This engagement both strengthens our relationship with our key partners, facilitates the process of information sharing and provides a pathway for complex referrals to be made into policing.
As part of the referrals process, The Hydrant Programme acts as the interface between organisations and national policing, receiving safeguarding referrals and disseminating them to relevant police forces for action to be taken, and victims to be supported and safeguarded.
The process of information sharing and reporting concerns with local policing can be seen as challenging for organisations, particularly where there are multiple offence locations and perpetrators. The Hydrant Programme assists in making this process more accessible ensuring that referrals sent to us by organisations are then received by local police force safeguarding teams.
The Hydrant Programme does not have an investigative remit. It is the responsibility of the home force to investigate any identified offences and address any safeguarding concerns. On occasion, however, it is necessary to make a direct approach to a victim where there is insufficient information within the referral to enable dissemination to the relevant police force(s) or in order to allow a full assessment of risk to be made. This direct intervention provides for concerns around the welfare of the victim to be allayed or appropriately addressed.
Liaison with the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team continues to be developed and we ensure that an appropriate pathway is open for referrals from the Anglican Church into policing. Numerous dioceses are supported by the programme.
An effective working relationship was established with the Catholic Standards Safeguarding Agency (CSSA), a new professional standards body with regulatory powers. CSSA advises on and audits the work of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. It replaces the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS) following recommendations of the independent review of the safeguarding structures and arrangements within the Catholic Church in England and Wales, along with those made by the IICSA.
Alongside the above numerous other areas of the Catholic Church utilise the programmes referrals pathway.
The Hydrant Programme engages with national sporting bodies to support them with improved information processes and a referral pathway within national policing.
Twenty-four national sports bodies have now signed up to the programmes Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU).