The government publishes the revised draft of the safeguarding guidance Working Together, and now includes checks on local safeguarding boards.
The guidance has been revised following a report highlighting errors with safeguarding, but directors warn that the revisions are not radical enough to remove the problems.
The revised guidance is due to come in to effect on 15th April, with the intention of changing the focus of the confusing culture of safeguarding, so that those who work with children, young people and families are able to focus on helping them.
A Child-Centred System, a report released last year, highlighted the problems caused by too much red tape for social workers
Followin the recommendations from the report by Professor Eileen Munro, the draft now clarifies core legal requirements on individuals and organisations to keep children safe.
As well as strongly enforcing that safeguarding is every professionals responsibility, it sets out legal requirements that health services, social workers, police, schools and other organisations that work with children, young people and families must follow. Prof. Munro now says the review is a fair compromise as it takes the decision of rules guidance from politicians and gives it to the professionals.
However, directors of children’s services warn that the revisions are not radical enough and will not be enabling the cuts to red tape that were originally promised by the changes.
Changes include removing the requirement to have a separate initial and core assessment of children in need. The 10-day target to complete initial assessments is also removed; however the 45 working days target for an assessment to conclude has been retained. The government has said this target will be monitored and could be removed at a later date.
See the full Working Together draft here.
But the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) is concerned the new document will not be effective in removing the bureaucracy from the process.
ADCS president Debbie Jones has expressed concern about the unneccessary bureaucracy, but has overall backed the document as it gives social workers a greater role in daily decision making.
Nushra Mansuri, professional officer at the British Association of Social Workers, says it will lead to prevention of future tragedies with agencies working together better and evaluation of why mistakes happen will hopefully lead to learning from the mistakes made.
Children’s minister Edward Timpson said the guidance makes clear the legal requirements of safeguarding on all organisations and individuals working with children, and will support professionals to take the “right decisions and the right action to promote the welfare of children and keep them safe”.