Managing Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Information and Minutes
1. What is a MAPPA?
The Criminal Justice Act 2003 provides for the establishment of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements ("MAPPA"). These are designed to protect the public, including previous victims of crime, from serious harm by sexual and violent offenders. They require the local criminal justice agencies and other bodies dealing with offenders to work together in partnership in dealing with these offenders.
MAPPA is not a statutory body in itself but is a mechanism through which agencies can better discharge their statutory responsibilities and protect the public in a co-ordinated manner.
The Responsible Authority is the primary agency for MAPPA. This is the police, prison and Probation Trust in each area, working together. The Responsible Authority has a duty to ensure that the risks posed by specified sexual and violent offenders are assessed and managed appropriately.
Duty to co-operate agencies including children's social care will need to work with the Responsible Authority on particular aspects of an offender's.
Local MAPPA meetings are designated "Level 2" (meetings requiring attendance by managers) and "Level 3" (meetings requiring attendance by strategic managers).
2. MAPPA Meetings
MAPPA Meetings in Hertfordshire are held at level 2 and 3 and are generally attended by staff in the Child Protection and Statutory Review Service (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries). The MAPPA attendee will place a case note on the relevant child and adult's file to refer to any Children's Services actions and inform the allocated caseworker and manager via email.
At times, when a case is being considered where there is a high level of social care involvement, allocated social workers may be requested to attend.
Social workers may also be invited to MAPPA meetings being held in other Authorities.
3. Minutes of MAPPA Meeting
MAPPA meetings are chaired by the MAPPA Manager (currently Morris Johnson email@example.com).
The MAPPA manager is responsible for chairing and ensuring that a dedicated minute taker is available.
Minutes of MAPPA meetings are sent to those who attended the meeting (via secure email cjsm) and should never be retained as part of the child's LCS record. They may also be shared with those who did not attend the meeting but who are currently and closely involved in the management of the offender.
Apart from this, the minutes may not be shared or copied without the prior approval of the Chair of the MAPPA meeting. The person attending MAPPA might be able to request a copy of the minutes if these are needed at a later date. Such requests should be made to the MAPPA Manager/Chair.
4. Requests for Information (Data Protection Act 1998 or Freedom of Information Act 2000)
MAPPA is not an official body in itself but a set of arrangements which exist to assess and manage the risks posed by offenders. Therefore, no individual MAPPA agency has the authority to release confidential information shared at the MAPPA meetings.
MAPPA minutes held by Children's Services are "third party information" within the meaning of the DPA 1998 and FOIA 2000.
Whenever an agency or individual worker receives a request for MAPPA meeting minutes or information they contain, they must refer this request to the MAPPA meeting Chair and inform the MAPPA Manager. The MAPPA Manager will keep a record of all such requests, noting who made them. Requests must be considered within the timescales set out in data protection legislation and guidance.
When receiving the request for a copy of the MAPPA meeting minutes from a third party, the person receiving the request should ask for clarification: exactly what information is being sought? Often, what is required is the risk assessment completed by the Probation Trust, or adjudications within a prison or an assessment from mental health services. Where this is the case, the person asking for the information should be directed to the service that owns and holds the original information or report. This third party information does not belong to the MAPPA meeting.
Having clarified that the information that is required is information from the MAPPA meeting minutes, the Chair of the most recent MAPPA meeting will consider whether a MAPPA meeting minute's executive summary might be appropriate.
5. Information for Court Reports or Other Relevant Assessments
Social workers preparing reports for court or other assessments must not quote a MAPPA meeting as a source of information. Where the social worker wishes to use a specific piece of information that has only been shared at a level 2 or 3 MAPPA meeting, he or she must first consult the agency that provided it to seek approval to use the information in a report. The information must be attributed to the agency and the content agreed with the agency representative who attended the MAPPA meeting. Where the information has also been shared other than at a MAPPA meeting, with their permission consideration should be given to attributing the information to that source e.g. an agency report to a child protection conference.
Where an offender is being, or will be, actively managed at MAPPA level 2 or 3 in the community, the report writer may wish to explain this in the report. It is essential that, where MAPPA management is referred to, this is properly explained and that, in doing this, it adds to the risk assessment provided in the report.