Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Strategy – A Partnership Approach
The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Strategy – A Partnership Approach aims to provide a coordinated and uniform approach to tackling FGM, to eliminate the risk of girls and women experiencing FGM in the Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth (HIPS) areas. In order to achieve this, the objectives of this strategy are:
- To strengthen the HIPS response to FGM in line with current guidance, policy and good practice
- To adapt rather than duplicate existing guidance, policies or procedures to tackle FGM
- To improve the safeguarding response of all relevant agencies concerning girls and women at risk of and already affected by FGM.
The strategy is based on these principles:
- The safety and welfare of the child is paramount.
- All agencies should act in the interests of the rights of the child, as stated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989).
- FGM is illegal in the UK.
- FGM is an extremely harmful practice – responding to it cannot be left to personal choice.
- Accessible, high quality and sensitive health, education, police, social care and voluntary sector services must underpin all interventions.
- As FGM is often an embedded social norm, engagement with families and communities plays an important role in contributing to ending it.
- All decisions or plans should be based on high quality assessments (in accordance with ‘Working Together to Safeguarding Children’ (2018) statutory guidance in England, and the ‘Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act Part Code of Practice – assessing the needs of individuals’) 2015.
This strategy provides multi-agency frontline staff with guidance on safeguarding women, children and young girls who have undergone or at risk undergoing FGM.
Partners (commissioners and providers) within the Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton (HIPS) are encouraged to raise awareness of FGM and share this strategy with professionals within the services they commission and provide.