The local authority has a responsibility to make sure children and adults have all the information they require to help them understand the processes that are followed when there are concerns about a child’s welfare. Information should be clear and accessible and available in the family’s preferred language.
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010 emphasises that where a child or parent speaks a language other than that spoken by the interviewer or does not speak English well enough to understand or participate fully in discussions and express their views, an interpreter should be provided.
Family members or friends should not be used as interpreters, since the majority of domestic and child abuse is perpetrated by family members or adults known to the child. Children should not be used as interpreters. Consideration should be given to the impartiality of the interpreter.
In addition, where a disabled child has communication impairments or learning disabilities, children’s social care and the police should be aware of non-verbal communication systems, when they might be useful and how to access them, and should know how to contact suitable interpreters or facilitators.
Agencies should have systems in place to ensure that interpreters they commission have been safely recruited and practice at an appropriate standard for this complex work. The following links provide additional information: