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New Multi-agency Safeguarding Arrangements

Background

Every Local Authority area has an Independent Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB). LSCB’s are responsible for ensuring agencies work together to safeguard children and for testing how effectively this happens.

The Wirral Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB) has fulfilled this role for our local area and has supported local safeguarding arrangements by delivering training, auditing, publishing learning, publishing procedures, undertaking reviews etc. Most of this activity can be seen on this website. However, LSCB’s will soon be replaced, and new multi-agency safeguarding arrangements will have to be in place by September 2019.

Attached below is a letter to relevant agencies which sets out their continued responsibilities to safeguarding children and young people.

Introduction

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 replaces LSCBs with new local safeguarding arrangements, led by the three named statutory safeguarding partners (local authorities, chief officers of police, and clinical commissioning groups (health)). The three partners will assume the responsibilities that currently sit with the WSCB.

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 also reinforces the duty, which currently exists, under section 11 of the Children Act 2004, on local organisations and agencies who deliver services to children (called relevant agencies) to ensure that they consider the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children when carrying out their functions. Responsibility for ensuring effective arrangements in place lies with the three safeguarding partners who have a shared and equal duty to make arrangements to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in a local area.

The three safeguarding partners are required to agree on ways to co-ordinate their safeguarding services; act as a strategic leadership group in supporting and engaging others; and implement local and national learning including from serious child safeguarding incidents.

The New Safeguarding Model

The safeguarding partners, in consultation with the agencies who attend the WSCB have been developing new safeguarding arrangements over the past year. A wide consultation was held in December and January and the final model document was published on the website on the 26th March 2019.

Key Features of the Safeguarding Model

Partners Executive Group

This is the key statutory ‘holding to account’ part of the model The Partners Executive Group is the ‘engine room’ of the partnership where the statutory partners (the LA, Police and Clinical Commissioning Group) will meet to set the safeguarding agenda and ensure multi-agency arrangements to safeguard and promote positive outcomes for children and young people are robust and effective.

It is the Partners Executive group who will hold agencies to account for the quality and effectiveness of their safeguarding arrangements.

Safeguarding Partnership Board

The wider Partnership Board includes representation from relevant agencies and stakeholders from across the partnership. This group will meet twice a year ay learning events for the partnership and will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the arrangements.

The Safeguarding Partnership Board will be chaired by an Independent scrutineer who will provide an annual scrutiny report. The partnership meetings will give staff from relevant agencies the opportunity to ‘deep dive’ into different aspects of the local safeguarding arrangements as well as having opportunities for multi-agency learning.

The Partnership Board will include representation from young people, families and the wider community. The learning events will be open to the public.

Business Intelligence and QA Unit

The safeguarding partners will be supported by a dedicated business support team who will organise multi-agency activity to audit, review, analyse, evaluate, scrutinize and challenge safeguarding arrangements and activity across the partnership. The Business function will also be responsible for publishing policies and procedures, providing multi-agency training  and ensuring the partnership undertakes statutory reviews.

This activity will include participation from children and young people, families, frontline professionals and the wider community.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Children Groups

Multi-agency groups will meet to agree and challenge activity to protect vulnerable groups including children who are vulnerable to exploitation and those affected by domestic abuse.

All of the groups established by the safeguarding partners will include relevant membership drawn from across the partnership.

As well as exploitation and domestic abuse these groups will scrutinize and develop arrangements to tackle issues such as neglect, contextual safeguarding, children at the edge of care and the effectiveness of early help.

Ensuring Outcomes Group

The safeguarding partners are keen to evidence that activity to keep children safe across the partnership results in visible and measurable outcomes for them and their families. Responsibility for evidencing this and measuring the effectiveness of safeguarding across the continuum of need and through the Supporting Families Enhancing Futures model sits with this group.

Pan-Merseyside Groups

The safeguarding partners will collaborate with neighbouring arrangements on a pan-Merseyside and regional basis when it is advantageous to do so. This will include building on successful activity including the Merseyside Child Death Overview Panel, work to develop policies and procedures, developing a single communications strategy and agreeing a regional approach to learning and development.

Independent Scrutiny

The arrangements will have an independent scrutiny function to ensure independent assessment of the effectiveness of the multi-agency arrangements to keep children safe.

Timeline

The new safeguarding arrangements will be gradually introduced from April 2019 and will be fully in place by September. The WSCB will be officially stood down and replaced by the new arrangements on the 1st September 2019.

The final arrangements will be published on the website and further information including supporting documentation will be added between now and September.

Until the 1st September 2019 the WSCB remains the statutory body for ensuring the effectiveness of arrangements to safeguard children. All WSCB policies and procedures are in place until then.

Downloads

Wirral MASA Model Final – full model document (published 26th March 2019)

Wirral MASA Summary Briefing – summary briefing document

Wirral MASA Model Overview Presentation  – summary powerpoint presentation