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Preface and Introduction

Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Introduction
  3. How to use These Procedures
  4. Supplementary Leaflets


1. Preface 

"The support and protection of children cannot be achieved by a single agency.  Every service has to play its part.  All staff must have placed upon them the clear expectation that their primary responsibility is to the child and his or her family."

Lord Laming in the Victoria Climbié Inquiry Report 17.92 and 17.93  

'Please keep me safe'. This simple but profoundly important hope is the very minimum upon which every child and young person should be able to depend. Sadly, sometimes even our imaginations fail to help us understand the dependency of young children or the vulnerability of adolescents, regardless of their displays of bravado.  Most adults recognise that children and young people need security, stability, love and encouragement. 

Policies, legislation, structures and procedures are, of course, of immense importance, but they serve only as the means of securing better life opportunities for each young person. It is the robust and consistent implementation of these policies and procedures which keeps children and young people safe. For example, organisational boundaries and concerns about sharing information must never be allowed to put in jeopardy the safety of a child or young person.  Whilst children and young people's safety is a matter for us all, a heavy responsibility has rightly been placed on the key statutory services to ensure it happens.

The Protection of Children in England: A Progress Report

Lord Laming, March 2009 

There are some key features of effective arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children which all agencies will need to take account of.  These arrangements will help agencies to create and maintain an organisational culture and ethos that reflects the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. 

At an organisational or strategic level, these key features are having:

  • Senior management commitment to the importance of safeguarding and promoting children's welfare;
  • A clear statement of the agency's responsibilities towards children available for all staff;
  • A clear line of accountability within the organisation for work on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children;
  • Service development that takes account of the need to safeguard and promote welfare and is informed, where appropriate, by the views of children and families;
  • Staff training on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children for all staff working with or (depending on the agency's primary functions) in contact with children and families;
  • Safe recruitment procedures in place;
  • Effective inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; and
  • Effective information sharing.
These revised inter-agency procedures include changes as a result of Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015), the national statutory guidance which is intended to support and guide the practice of staff and managers in all organisations with responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.

These core procedures were originally developed in conjunction with the Local Safeguarding Children Boards for Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Bedfordshire and Luton. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough continue to seek consistency in procedural arrangements for the practical advantages of those organisations which operate across both areas.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and, in particular, protecting them from Significant Harm, depends on effective joint working between agencies and professionals that have different roles and expertise.  These procedures provide the foundation for you to undertake this shared responsibility.


2. Introduction

2.1 Aim

The aim of these procedures are:

  • Assist decision making when there are concerns about the safety or welfare of a child.
  • Set out the procedures that should be followed when a child has been identified as suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm.
  • Give guidance to assist practice.

They are designed for managers and practitioners in all agencies who work with vulnerable children and is published by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).

2.2 Context

The contents of this document are consistent with government guidance set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015), which provides detailed information about all aspects of safeguarding children and can be accessed via the Cambridgeshire LSCB website.

They also draw on lessons from local case reviews and current literature relating to safeguarding practice.

Under the Children Act 2004 each local authority was required to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board as the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how organisations in each local authority will co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and ensure that practice is effective.

The regulations governing Local Safeguarding Children Boards (The Local Safeguarding Children Board Regulations 2006. Statutory Instrument 2006 No. 90) identify the functions of the LSCB.  The first function is to develop policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area of the authority, including policies and procedures in relation to:

  • The action to be taken where there are concerns about a child's safety, including thresholds for intervention.
  • Training of persons who work with children or in services affecting the safety and welfare of children.
  • Recruitment and supervision of persons who work with children.
  • Investigations and allegations concerning persons who work with children.
  • Safety and welfare of children who are privately fostered.
  • Co-operation with neighbouring children's services authorities and their Board partners.

These procedures cover all of the above and are endorsed and published by the LSCB.  It is expected that member agencies will ensure that all relevant staff have access to these procedures and comply with them.


3. How to use These Procedures

For information about how to use these procedures please read the Quick Guide.


4. Supplementary Leaflets

Leaflets covering a variety of topics are published by the LSCB and are available from the LSCB administrator and on the LSCB website.

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