On the 26th March 2015, the government published ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015’. This is a revised version of the previous guidance from 2013. Many of the revisions have been made to incorporate legislation or statutory guidance that has been set out over the last couple of years. This revised document also makes it clear that safeguarding and child protection guidance applies to all schools and colleges whatever their status or constitution.
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 is the key document that sets outs what local authorities should do. This also includes “adult services, the police, academy trusts, education, youth justice services and the voluntary and community sector who have contact with children and families”.
The guidance reminds all professionals that come into contact with children and young people of these two principles:
- safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility: for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part; and
- a child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children.
Changes in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015
- LSCBs must commission services for children who have been or may be:
- sexually exploited
- subject to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
- Local authorities must establish Channel panels to assess the extent to which identified individuals are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism and arrange for support to be provided to them. Education is a panel partner.
- Young carer’s assessments must reach a view on whether any care tasks are “inappropriate” or “excessive.”
- Organisations need clear whistleblowing procedures in line with Sir Robert Francis’s Freedom to Speak Up report
- Previously local authorities must have in place a ‘Local Authority Designated Officer’ (LADO) to handle all allegations against adults who work with children and young people. Although this practice must continue, Working Together to safeguard Children 2015′ no longer refers to them as LADOs only ‘designated officers’ or teams. People undertaking this must now be qualified social workers (apart from people currently in post or moving between authorities).
- Other changes include notifiable incidents involving the care of a child, the definition of serious harm for the purposes of serious case reviews and child death reviews