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Working Together to Safeguarding Children 2018

The Department for Education has revised Working Together (2015) guidance in August 2018. The most up to date version can be accessed here: Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.

The guidance sets out how organisations and individuals should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children working from the principal that safeguarding of children is everybody's business. It is addressed to practitioners and front-line managers who have particular responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and to senior and operational managers in organisations that provide services for children.

Working Together 2018 resulted from the Government's review undertaken by Alan Wood regarding the role and functions of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs), published in May 2016, found widespread agreement that the current system of local multi-agency child safeguarding arrangements needed to change. He proposed a new model that would ensure collective accountability across local authorities, the police and health. He also recommended a new system of local and national reviews, to replace serious case reviews and new arrangements for undertaking child death overview reviews. The key recommendations are now included in the Children and Social Work Act 2017.

The Children and Social Work Act removed the requirement for LAs to establish LSCBs and instead to place a duty on three safeguarding partners - the local authority, police and health - to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area. The Act also provides for a new system of local and national reviews. The safeguarding partners will be responsible for local child safeguarding practice reviews, which will lead to local learning. The new independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel will commission and publish reviews of serious or complex cases which can lead to national learning. The framework sets out clear responsibilities for the three key local safeguarding partners (the local authority, police and health), while allowing them the freedom to determine which other local agencies they should work with and how best to improve outcomes for children in their area.

Following the passage of the Act in April 2017, the Government revised the statutory guidance 'Working Together to Safeguard Children', the regulations required to commence the legislation. The revised 'Working Together' was published in June 2018 and amended in August 2018.

One of the main issues that Working Together 2018 deals with is the future Safeguarding Partnerships: 

  • The three safeguarding partners are required to make arrangements to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area.
  • They will have the power to identify and place a duty on other relevant agencies to co-operate with their arrangements.
  • It will be for local areas to decide how this should work in practice and what geographical area their arrangements will cover.
  • In addition to greater flexibility, transparency will be embedded in the system, including through the publication of a plan which will set out how safeguarding partners plan to work together and published annual reports on the effectiveness of their arrangements.
  • Safeguarding partners are required to arrange for the independent scrutiny of these arrangements.
  • Fundamentally, the reforms aim to simplify and strengthen the existing system, putting children first and helping them to be better protected. 

Timescales: the implementation of the new safeguarding arrangements require the partnership to publish a plan by end of June 2019 and to implement this by end of September 2019 by which time LSCBs will be abolished.

Wandsworth
Safeguarding Children Board

Independent Chair:
Nicky Pace

Business Manager:
Kaied Ghiyatha