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Understanding Unidentified Adults

Welcome to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Safeguarding Children Partnership’s (LSCPs) Understanding Unidentified Adults Toolkit.

The term ‘Unidentified Adults’ refers to an adult who agencies are not aware of, or not engaging with. They could be living within a household where children live or with someone who has regular contact with children. This can be in any capacity (such as parent, partner, grandparents, non-family member etc.)

There is a plethora of information both locally and nationally which highlights the need to understand who is living within the household with a child. Many reviews highlight the issue of professionals not identifying and/or assessing key adults, such as fathers, mothers/fathers partners, extended family and friends involved in the care of children who died or suffered harm.

The risk of not engaging effectively with adults who have regular contact with children or live within the family home includes understanding:

  • What the child’s main caregiver and other family members might be saying about the ‘Unidentified Adults’ role within the family.
  • The positive contribution which they might make to the needs and welfare of the child.
  • What support they may offer to the family, including caring for children.
  • Any risks which they might present.

It is important to ensure that when information is sought and responses are received regarding adults involved in a child’s life, that it is recorded within your agencies records.