Serious self-harm and suicidal intent is a safeguarding issue.

However, we recognise that for some young people self-harm may be part of a behaviour pattern, in which case the individual risk assessment and/or care plan, signed off by the assistant director for children's services (ADCS), should signify what is accepted as manageable/safe and does not move it into being reported.

In these cases if the injury warrants treatment by Barnardo’s employees, a Barnardo’s incident report form (BIRF) should be completed. The issue here is to ensure that there is a clear audit trail in case of any subsequent insurance claim.

In cases where the agreed threshold has been breached or where there is an incident involving hospital treatment or the intervention of blue light services then a serious safeguarding incident (SSI) form should be completed. The Head Office safeguarding team will notify the safety team in these cases, avoiding the necessity of completing a separate BIRF.

In situations where young people are unfortunately regularly engaging in a pattern of serious self-harm or suicidal intent then it is suggested that agreement is reached with the Head of Corporate Safeguarding and ADCS and/ or Director as to the frequency of the reviews of the SSI.