New safeguarding children arrangements in Surrey
Following new legislation, regulation and statutory guidance, there are significant changes being made nationally to safeguarding governance arrangements. The major changes are:
- There are now three statutory Safeguarding Partners – the local authority; local police service and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups – responsible for the effectiveness of local safeguarding children arrangements.
- There is no longer the requirement for local areas to have Local Safeguarding Children Boards
The Statutory Safeguarding Partners must consider and put in place appropriate arrangements for the purpose of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
- The statutory Safeguarding Partners need to work with others – known as ‘Relevant Agencies’ – to implement these arrangements.
- The arrangements must be subject to external, independent scrutiny.
- There are new procedures for undertaking Serious Case Reviews with local areas having to engage with a new national Children’s Safeguarding Practice Review Panel.
All local areas have been required to review the operation of their existing LSCB and publish new arrangements by June 2019. Any changes must be implemented by September 2019.
Surrey’s review of existing arrangements has led to the following key changes:
- A new Safeguarding Children Partnership will be established and led, jointly and equally, by the County Council, Surrey Police, and Guildford and Waverley CCG (acting on behalf of all CCGs and NHS Providers in Surrey).
- The Partnership will establish and implement a strategic safeguarding children plan for the county and will adopt a more robust approach to performance management and quality of services delivering the plan.
- Surrey’s current Local Safeguarding Children Board will be replaced by the new Partnership.
- The three statutory Safeguarding Partners will form a new Executive Group for the Partnership, joined by representatives from the county’s schools and colleges; district and borough councils; and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Third sector representatives will attend the Executive on an issue by issue basis.
- The membership of the Safeguarding Children Partnership will become ‘relevant agencies’ in the new arrangements and will be extended to more fully represent the breadth of interests/stakeholders in children’s safeguarding in Surrey.
- There will be fewer standing sub-groups with an increased focus on business efficiency and the adoption of a commissioning approach to quality assurance and learning and development.
- New procedures for the commissioning and completion of Local Safeguarding Practice Reviews (previously called Serious Case Reviews), including newly required ‘Rapid Reviews’, are being established.
- New procedures for scrutiny of the effectiveness of the Partnership will be put in place to be led by an Independent Scrutineer. Simon Hart, our existing Independent Chair, has agreed to assume this role and will continue to chair key meetings of the Partnership and Executive.
- There will be a stronger focus on learning from practice and the development of a ‘learning cycle’ approach to be led by Surrey’s new Children’s Workforce Academy.
- There will also be the stronger engagement of service users and the children’s workforce in both the operation and the scrutiny of the new arrangements.
The changes outlined above are being made with the prime objective of increasing the effectiveness of the governance arrangements and the impact they have on safeguarding practice and outcomes for children in the county. They are broadly in line with changes being made in many local areas nationally, including early adopters of the new arrangements, but will be reviewed and amended as necessary over the course of the first year of their operation.
More detail will be found in the document ‘Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership - New Local Safeguarding Children Arrangements’ to be published later in June.