Effective safeguarding is fundamental to ensuring Dudley is a place of healthy, resilient and safe communities with high aspirations and the ability to shape their own future.
Dudley has adopted and published new partnership arrangements reflect both our legal responsibilities to comply with the Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) statutory framework and also our shared ambition and commitment as the three statutory partners to helping the most vulnerable people in Dudley across the whole life course.
Safeguarding arrangements for both children and adults have been in place in Dudley borough for some years. Working together, the Local Authority, the Police and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have constantly sought to ensure these arrangements are as effective as possible in ensuring residents are safe and able to live the lives they choose. The proposals set out in this document represent the next stage in that journey, building on national guidance, but not narrowly limited by it.
In part, the new arrangements are driven by changes in national legislation. The Children and Social Work Act (2017) set out provisions which will replace Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) with new flexible working arrangements, to be agreed at a local level by the three key agencies as defined in Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018), namely, the police, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities. These partners are under a new duty to make arrangements to work together, with other relevant partners, to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in their area.
In line with Working Together 2018, increased attention will be afforded to;
- Assessing need and ensuring the provision of effective help and support.
- Understanding and complying with the new arrangements under which Serious Case Reviews will be replaced by Child Learning Practice Reviews. These will be directed to a National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel (the Panel), which will commission and publish reviews of cases believed to be complex and therefore of public interest and national importance. The local safeguarding partners will still be required to complete and publish local reviews, where they believe there are multi-agency lessons to be learned. Overseeing the transfer of the Child Death Review process from the DSCB to the CCG and the Public Health function of the Local Authority. At a local level, this new way of working has already commenced, with Dudley being awarded funding as an early adopter to pilot a new Child Death Review process to span across the four Black Country Local Authority areas. Though still in the infancy stages of exploration, the strengths of this joined up approach are becoming evident.
- Strengthening organisational responsibilities to safeguard children.
Whilst implementing the statutory requirements to develop the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Arrangements regarding children and young people, Dudley safeguarding partners have agreed on an ambitious programme of wider change. This will integrate the majority of the current safeguarding work streams of both the Children’s and Adult Safeguarding Boards. Our arrangements will therefore extend beyond the remit of the requirements as defined in Working Together (2018), and will include the functions defined in the Care Act (2014), which requires every local authority to establish a Safeguarding Adults Board (an “SAB”) for its area, with the purpose of helping and protecting adults in the situations defined in the legislation.