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Consultation: New Multi-Agency Safeguarding Arrangements (MASA)

New Safeguarding Arrangements Consultation 2019

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 ensuring how effectively this happens. The St. Helens Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) has fulfilled this role for St. Helens and has supported professionals, and all who work with children, to improve safeguarding practice and services by delivering training, auditing practice, developing and publishing safeguarding procedures, undertaking reviews into serious cases and publishing learning. However, LSCB’s will soon be replaced.

Changes - 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 for safeguarding arrangements that currently sit with LSCBs and will have a shared and equal duty for new safeguarding arrangements and for working together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in St. Helens.

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 whose involvement the safeguarding partners consider is required to safeguard and promote the welfare of local children.

St. Helen’s New Safeguarding Arrangements - The main safeguarding partners, together with Education representatives, have considered and developed new safeguarding arrangements for the borough. A summary of the new arrangements is detailed below together with detail of how partners will organise to deliver the new safeguarding arrangements.

St. Helens Safeguarding Partnership - New Safeguarding Arrangements Draft for Consultation

St. Helens Safeguarding Partnership - New Safeguarding Arrangements - Structure

Consultation – Partners require your views!

Views on the new safeguarding arrangements for St. Helens are being sought! When you have considered the new safeguarding arrangements please complete the short online questionnaire by following the link: St. Helens Safeguarding Arrangements Consultation Questionnaire.

The consultation will close on Monday 12th March 2019. – Please note: The new safeguarding arrangements are subject to change following consultation. Final arrangements will be published April 2019.

Key Features of the New St. Helen's Safeguarding Arrangements

St. Helens Safeguarding Partnership Board (SHSCP)

The SHSCP Board will provide leadership, direction and governance, for the delivery of safeguarding arrangements in St. Helens, through equal and joint responsibility. The SHSCP Board will be responsible for the scrutiny of performance across the partnership with indicators identified by the three key partners as part of the improvement journey. This will be supplemented by the Safeguarding Children Unit, multi-agency audit and review findings and real time data from children and families experience. The Partnership Board membership includes representation from the main safeguarding partners (Council, Police, Health Organisations and Education). The Board will meet regularly to consider the effectiveness of multi-agency safeguarding arrangements. 

St. Helens Safeguarding Partnership Forum (SSPF)

The St Helens Safeguarding Partnership Forum comprising of named Safeguarding Partners from relevant agencies that are not named within the wider SHSCP structure; including sub groups and forums, will be accountable to the SHSCP Board and provide the leadership and frameworks for collaborative working, scrutiny and challenge, and organisational learning. This SSPF will also facilitate ‘horizon scanning’ for new and emerging issues affecting the safety and welfare of children.

SHSCP through its Board and Partnership Forum membership will have links to the St. Helens Safeguarding Adults Board to ensure an all-age focus is embedded across safeguarding activities. Membership links will also offer access to clinical expertise from named and designated professionals where relevant to audit, scrutiny, learning and review activity.

St Helens Safeguarding Partnership Subgroups:

Rapid Review Group (RRG) - The Rapid Review Group will oversee the process and arrangements for identifying, commissioning and reviewing serious child safeguarding cases and will respond to serious incidents of harm, in accordance with the Child Safeguarding Practice Review guidance (WTSC18, Chapter 4, para 10, 11).The group will conduct a rapid appraisal of such incidents and make recommendation to the National Panel about threshold for review. Learning from the rapid review will be disseminated as soon as is practicable.

Children at Risk of Exploitation (CARE) - The CARE group will focus on child exploitation in the wider context of criminal and sexual exploitation and also that of harmful practices such as Domestic Abuse, Female Genital Mutilation and Radicalisation. The group will utilise agency data to understand themes and patterns to inform the partnership’s approach to child safeguarding in the above areas and will inform and support the auditing process within the partnership.

Audit Review and Learning (ARL) - The ARL group will support the partnership to embed a culture of learning. The group will support the board to obtain assurance about the application and quality of practice within the Borough by conducting and providing intelligence and learning from multi-agency audit and case review including national findings and research. Case reviews conducted within this sub group are those that do not meet the threshold for child safeguarding practice review.

Reference groups - These groups will support the SHSCP to deliver against its priorities. The reference groups will be networks of agencies or organisations identified as relevant partners who will engage with the SHSCP with regard to the safeguarding system. The groups will promote and embed the work of the SHSCP across the networks, will receive learning from audit and review and support the communication out of such. Three groups will be established namely the Education Advisory Group, the Health Forum and the Voluntary and Faith Forum.

Assurance of SHSCP Multi Agency Safeguarding Arrangements

SHSCP Board and SHSCP Forum members will deliver the following activities to provide assurance that appropriate and robust safeguarding policies and procedures are in place across St Helens:

  • Annual Section 11 (S11) and Section 175 (S175) self-assessment audit of arrangements across all relevant agencies.
  • Regular (quarterly) performance reports to the SHSCP Board and St Helens Safeguarding Children Partnership.
  • Reports, performance updates and minutes of the SHSCP Board.
  • Qualitative reports reflecting the views and feedback of children and young people using the Young Advisors and other consultation mechanisms involving children and young people i.e. Shadow Board, Children in Care Council, Youth Parliament.

Scrutiny of St Helens multi-agency safeguarding arrangements

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 specifies that arrangements should be subject to independent scrutiny to establish that the multi-agency arrangements in place are effective. Whilst part of a wider system of scrutiny such as partnership audit, review and external inspection, SHSCP in its initial transition phase will utilise the skills of the LSCB Independent Chair who will provide objective critical challenge and appraisal of SHSCP’s multi-agency safeguarding arrangements in relation to children and young people. Long term arrangements will continue to define and develop the framework for the independent scrutiny affiliated to the SHSCP but will include:

  • Supporting a culture and environment conducive to effective scrutiny and constructive challenge.
  • Contribute to the content of the partnership’s annual report through evaluation and comment on the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements, their performance and the effectiveness of local services.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and impact of services to protect children and young people in St Helens, through frontline visits and reviews of performance data, providing objective challenge to ensure improvement.
  • Development, as necessary, of partnering arrangements with neighbouring and regional safeguarding partners to implement peer review of arrangements.

Timeline 

New safeguarding arrangements must be published and in place by September 2019.

The St. Helens Safeguarding Partnership Board intends to have all new local safeguarding arrangements in place by April 2019.

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Useful Information

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is Timba Kanengoni.

To make a referral please call the LADO Secretary on 01744 671809