Summer consultation on new 'flexible' safeguarding guidance
The government has launched a consultation on the newly revised draft Working Together to Safeguard Children guidance.
Working Together is the statutory guidance for all agencies about the need to work together in respect of children in need, including children in need of protection. The new guidance is contained in three documents:
- Working Together to Safeguard Children – draft guidance on what is expected of organisations individually and jointly, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
- Managing Individual Cases – The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families – draft guidance on procedures for undertaking assessments of children in need.
- Statutory Guidance on Learning and Improvement – draft guidance on proposed new arrangements for serious case reviews.
The Working Together document is greatly reduced from previous versions. The 2010 version consists of 390 pages giving very full descriptions of policy practice and procedure.
The new draft guidance is broken into very short paragraphs describing the legislation
The new draft guidance is radically reduced and consists of 22 pages. It aims to state the legislation that covers child protection and the need to work together and is broken down into very short paragraphs describing the legislation that is applicable to each agency and safeguarding boards.
Managing Individual Cases aims to offer a more flexible approach to assessments of children in need. It follows the recommendations made by Eileen Munro by removing timescales on assessments. It recognises that the assessment needs of individual children and their families will differ and that assessment is an ongoing process not a one-off event.
Arrangements will enable serious case reviews to get to the heart of what happened
Learning and Improvement aims to improve the arrangements for serious case reviews so that they get to the heart of what happened in a particular case and set out what improvements need to be made to help prevent reoccurrence.
The government has also published the new Children’s Safeguarding Performance Information Framework. The framework describes the nationally collected data and recommended questions to ask locally to understand the impact and effectiveness of safeguarding. The aim is to shift the focus from processes and indicators towards performance measures.
The consultation closes on 4 September.
For more information see this schools-focused analysis by Ann Raymond