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Ian’s Blog – Independent Chair and Scrutineer

Date: Monday, 05th Feb 2024 | Category: General

Just prior to the Christmas break, the Department of Education published a series of significant documents, not least Working Together 2023 which has significance for all agencies and the multi-agency safeguarding partnership arrangements. The safeguarding lead partners have until September 2024 to publish their new arrangements. Alongside the publication of Working Together 2023, came the publication of the Children’s Social Care National framework outlining statutory guidance on principles and best practice within Children’s Social Care. Having read through this guidance, I am drawn to the fact that social workers will not achieve that best practice without the involvement and co-production of a wide set of agencies and partners. Now more than ever, protecting, safeguarding, and ensuring the wellbeing of children and young people can only ever be achieved by all agencies, schools, colleges and early years settings working together both at an operational and strategic level.

The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel published its report on Safeguarding Children with Complex Health Needs in Residential Settings with a key set of recommendations and colleagues would benefit from reviewing this document. The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel is also undertaking a National Review into Child Sexual Abuse within the Family, and I believe it would be really helpful to be involved in that national review given the recently published Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews in Staffordshire. Agencies could really benefit from some shared learning and working across the country and highlighting best practice. I would also recommend colleagues review the Internet Watch Foundation’s report on artificial intelligence generated child sexual abuse material. This is an emerging and worrying threat to the safety of children and young people which professionals are not currently well sighted.

Finally, the safeguarding partnership has begun a journey of learning through the introduction of a ‘Learning Hub’. This is an opportunity to delve deeply into a specific area of safeguarding practice, hear the experiences of children, young people and their families and practitioners and consider opportunities for best practice. The current focus is on child exploitation and we can share more details later in the year.

I look forward to meeting some of you in the next few weeks and months.

Best wishes