Working Together to Safeguard Children - Regulations & Guidance

legislation 

Working Together is the UK government resource for safeguarding children applicable to England. 

 

Background: The Wood Review (2016) of the role and functions of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) recommended that appropriate steps should be taken to 'recast the statutory framework that underpins the model of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs), Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) and Child Death Overview Panels (CDOPs)'.  Changes to local multi-agency arrangements were subsequently established through the Children and Social Work Act 2017. 

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 replaced Local Safeguarding Children Boards (established under the Children Act 2004) with new local safeguarding arrangements, led by three Safeguarding Partners (Local Authorities, chief officers of police, and clinical commissioning groups). It also placed a duty on Child Death Review Partners (Local Authorities and clinical commissioning groups) to review the deaths of children normally resident in the local area - or if they consider it appropriate, for those not normally resident in the area.

 

The Child Safeguarding Practice Review and Relevant Agency (England) Regulations 2018. SI 2018/789

Further to sections 16A to 16Q of the Children Act 2004 inserted by the Children and Social Work Act 2017, these Regulations make provision relating to the functions of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel (in connection with section 16B(1)) and local safeguarding partners (in connection with section 16F(1)). The safeguarding partners for each local authority area are the local authority, clinical commissioning group and chief officer of police. The Regulations also specify relevant agencies for the purposes of section 16E(3) of the Act.

Regulation 3 specifies the criteria to be taken into account by the Panel for the purpose of the Panel’s functions, which are to identify serious child safeguarding cases in England which raise issues that are complex or of national importance, and where appropriate, to arrange for those cases to be reviewed.

Regulation 4 describes the eligibility and selection process for appointment as a reviewer, in particular, the Panel’s duties regarding selection and appointment.

Regulation 5 describes the process of removal of a reviewer from a review (and what action the Panel and the Secretary of State must take in that regard).

Regulations 7 and 8 describe the Panel’s supervisory powers in relation to a national review, and the form and content a review report must take.

Regulations 9 and 10 specify the Panel’s duties regarding provision of the report to the Secretary of State and publication of the report.

Regulation 11 specifies the criteria to be taken into account by the safeguarding partners for a local authority area for the purpose of the safeguarding partners’ functions to make arrangements to identify serious child safeguarding cases which raise issues of importance in relation to the area, and for those cases to be reviewed.

Regulation 13 specifies the timeframe in which the safeguarding partners may remove a reviewer from a local review.

Regulation 14 details the procedure for a local review, in particular regarding the duty on safeguarding partners to monitor the time being taken to conduct a review and the quality of that review.

Regulation 15 describes the form and content a local review report must take.

Regulations 16 and 17 specify the duties on the safeguarding partners regarding provision of the local review report to the Secretary of State and the Panel, and publication of the report.

The Schedule to these Regulations lists relevant agencies for the purposes of section 16E(3) which specifies that a relevant agency in relation to a local authority area in England means a person who is specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State and exercises a function in that area in relation to children. The relevant agencies list will be used by safeguarding partners in their function set out in section 16E(1) to make arrangements for the safeguarding partners and any relevant agencies that they consider appropriate to work together in exercising their functions, so far as the functions are exercised for the purpose of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area

 

Referencing: Regulations (statutory instruments) enable provisions contained within Acts of Parliament to be brought into force without the need for a new Act. The SI abbreviation indicates 'statutory instrument ', the number is the SI date/number - the reference list entry is therefore The Child Safeguarding Practice Review and Relevant Agency (England) Regulations 2018. SI 2018/789

 

 Statutory framework: legislation relevant to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children (2018)

This document details the legislation relevant to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children including; Children Act 2004; the Education Act 1996; the Education Act 2002; the Education and Skills Act 2008; Children Act 1989 [including provision of services; co-operation between authorities; emergency protection powers; exclusion requirement; Police protection powers]; Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012; Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011; Childcare Act 2006; Crime and Disorder Act 1998; Housing Act 1996.

The statutory framework should be read alongside the statutory guidance, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.

 

Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children

Whilst it is parents and carers who have primary care for their children, local authorities, working with partner organisations and agencies, have specific duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in their area. The Children Acts of 1989 and 2004 set out specific duties: section 17 of the Children Act 1989 puts a duty on the local authority to provide services to children in need in their area, regardless of where they are found; section 47 of the same Act requires local authorities to undertake enquiries if they believe a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm. The Director of Children’s Services and Lead Member for Children’s Services in local authorities are the key points of professional and political accountability, with responsibility for the effective delivery of these functions.

These duties placed on the local authority can only be discharged with the full cooperation of other partners, many of whom have individual duties when carrying out their functions under section 11 of the Children Act 2004. Under section 10 of the same Act, the local authority is under a duty to make arrangements to promote cooperation between itself and organisations and agencies to improve the wellbeing of local children. This co-operation should exist and be effective at all levels of an organisation, from strategic level through to operational delivery.

The Children Act 2004, as amended by the Children and Social Work Act 2017, strengthens this already important relationship by placing new duties on key agencies in a local area. Specifically the police, clinical commissioning groups and the local authority are under a duty to make arrangements to work together, and with other partners locally, to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in their area.

Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.


Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this guidance as:

protecting children from maltreatment
preventing impairment of children's health or development
ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

This guidance applies to all organisations and agencies who have functions relating to children. Specifically, this guidance applies to all local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, police and all other organisations and agencies as set out in chapter 2. It applies, in its entirety, to all schools. It applies to all children up to the age of 18 years whether living with their families, in state care, or living independently. 

This Statutory guidance replaces the 2015 version in its entirety.

 

Reference:  DfE. (2018). Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. London: DfE

 

commentary

 

related: 

Working Together: transitional guidance Statutory guidance for Local Safeguarding Children Boards, local authorities, safeguarding partners, child death review partners, and the child safeguarding practice review panel. (2017 - 2020)

 

see also: 

Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers

Directors/lead member of children’s services: roles and responsibilities

 

Statutory guidance is issued by law; it must be followed unless there’s a good reason not to.

Guidance and regulations are updated as the Acts of parliament upon which they are based are amended (revised) or new legislation is enacted. The links we provide are to the official .gov.uk source. The pdf content below may not be the latest version. The pages produced here are for educational purposes only and we advise that for any legal purpose the reader consults professional advice and the .gov.uk resource. E&EO. Print copies are available on the .gov.uk website - follow the links and select print options. 

 

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Crown copyright material is reproduced here under the Open Government Licence for public sector information.

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