12.1 Safeguarding Children Partnership
The Safeguarding Partners (local authorities, chief officers of police, and clinical commissioning groups) work together with relevant agencies (as they consider appropriate) to safeguard and protect the welfare of children in the area.
Last reviewed in September 2020
Date of next review, September 2021
A safeguarding partner in relation to a local authority area in England is defined under the Children Act 2004 (as amended by the Children and Social Work Act, 2017) as: (a) the local authority (b) a clinical commissioning group for an area any part of which falls within the local authority area (c) the chief officer of police for an area any part of which falls within the local authority area.
The three safeguarding partners for Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex each 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.
For more detailed information, please refer to Chapter 3, Multi-agency safeguarding arrangements
For specific arrangements in each Safeguarding Partnership, please see the following websites, which will include the Annual Reports:
The purpose of the Safeguarding Partnership is to support and enable local organisations and agencies to work together in a system where:
To work together effectively, the Safeguarding Partners with other local organisations and agencies should develop processes that;
Each Safeguarding Partnership must have independent scrutiny.
The role of independent scrutiny is to provide assurance in judging the effectiveness of multi-agency arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in a local area, including arrangements to identify and review serious child safeguarding cases.
This independent scrutiny is part of a wider system which includes the independent inspectorates’ single assessment of the individual safeguarding partners and the Joint Targeted Area Inspections. Whilst the decision on how best to implement a robust system of independent scrutiny is to be made locally, safeguarding partners should ensure that the scrutiny is objective, acts as a constructive critical friend and promotes reflection to drive continuous improvement.
A key role of an independent scrutineer is to consider how effectively local arrangements are working for children and families as well as for practitioners, and how well the safeguarding partners are providing strong leadership and agree with the safeguarding partners how this will be reported. Locally this is reported via Safeguarding Partnership Annual Reports.
Across Sussex the Safeguarding Partners have equal and joint responsibility for local safeguarding arrangements. Should the lead representatives delegate their functions they remain accountable for any actions or decisions taken on behalf of their agency. If delegated, it is the responsibility of the lead representative to identify and nominate a senior officer in their agency to have responsibility and authority for ensuring full participation with these arrangements.
The representatives, or those they delegate authority to, should be able to:
Safeguarding Partners may include any local or national organisation or agency in their arrangements, regardless of whether they are named in relevant agency regulations. Organisations and agencies who are not named in the relevant agency regulations, whilst not under a statutory duty, should nevertheless cooperate and collaborate with the safeguarding partners particularly as they may have duties under section 10 and/or section 11 of the Children Act 2004.
Relevant agencies are those organisations and agencies whose involvement the safeguarding partners consider is required to safeguard and promote the welfare of local children.
Safeguarding partners should communicate regularly with their relevant agencies and others they expect to work with them. It is for the safeguarding partners to determine how regularly their list of relevant agencies will be reviewed. The local arrangements should be shared with all partners and relevant agencies, and information should be given about how to escalate concerns and how any disputes will be resolved. This should give details of the independent scrutiny and whistleblowing procedures.
A list of relevant agencies is set out in the The Child Safeguarding Practice Review and Relevant Agency (England) Regulations 2018
Members will be those with a strategic role in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children within their organisation. They should be able to:
Integration with Other Forums
To be effective, safeguarding partnership arrangements should link to other strategic partnership work happening locally to support children and families. This will include other public boards including Health and wellbeing boards, Adult Safeguarding Boards, Channel Panels, Improvement Boards, Community Safety Partnerships, the Local Family Justice Board and MAPPAs.
To bring transparency for children, families and all practitioners about the activity undertaken, the Safeguarding Partners must publish a report at least once in every 12-month period. The report must set out what they have done as a result of the arrangements, including on child safeguarding practice reviews, and how effective these arrangements have been in practice.
In addition, the report should also include:
Safeguarding Partners make sure the report is widely available on their websites.
A copy of all published reports are sent to the Chid Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and the What Works Centre for Children's Social Care within 7 working days of being published.