Conducting local child safeguarding practice reviews
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One of our core statutory duties as Barnet Safeguarding Children Partnership is to respond to serious safeguarding cases and identify learning for local agencies.
In Barnet the independently-chaired Learning and Thematic Review Group will be responsible for commissioning, overseeing and implementing local child safeguarding practice reviews. This group is responsible for deciding whether or not to commission a review against the criteria set out within the Child Safeguarding Practice Review and Relevant Agency (England) Regulations 2018 and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.
This group will have representation from the LA social care teams, community safety, police, health, public health and legal, and will draw on wider partners when specific expertise is required. These representatives will be senior safeguarding leads for the relevant agency or those with senior managerial responsibility for safeguarding. Any representative or deputy must be able to:
- Speak with authority for the safeguarding partner they represent
- Take decisions on behalf of their organisation or agency and commit them on policy and practice matters
- Hold their own organisation or agency to account on how effectively they participate and implement learning.
The group will oversee shared action plans with details of each action relevant agencies are to take forward in response to the recommendations arising from serious case reviews/child safeguarding practice reviews, single-agency reviews and other relevant national reports.
The independent chair will require each agency to report on the steps taken to implement learning and report on the impact this has had to improve safeguarding in Barnet. There will be a systemic and child-centric approach to improvement and partners will collaborate and be held to account about improvements required.
National Safeguarding Practice Review Panel
The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel has a responsibility for how the system learns from serious child safeguarding incidents. LTRG will communicate with the National Panel about Rapid Reviews and decisions made about whether to propose a local or national child safeguarding practice reviews. LTRG will also attend to National Panel publications and work to implement local learning in Barnet.
Criteria for local child safeguarding practice reviews (CSPRs)
In line with national guidance, the criteria that will be followed to decide whether a local CSPR will be triggered are as follows – cases which:
- Highlight or may highlight improvements needed to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, including where those improvements have been previously identified.
- Highlight or may highlight recurrent themes in the safeguarding and promotion of the welfare of children.
- Highlight or may highlight concerns regarding two or more organisations or agencies working together effectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
- The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel have considered and concluded a local review may be more appropriate.
Cases will also be considered for local CSPRs where:
- The safeguarding partners have cause for concern about the actions of a single agency.
- There has been no agency involvement and this gives the safeguarding partners cause for concern.
- More than one local authority, police area or clinical commissioning group is involved, including in cases where families have moved around.
- The case may raise issues relating to safeguarding or promoting the welfare of children in institutional settings.
Before a Serious Incident Notification is made (which triggers a Rapid Review and then possibly a local CSOR) , the 3 statutory Partners must be brought together under a Case for Consideration in order to determine whether the threshold for serious harm , as outlined in Working Together 2018 , has been made. A unanimous decision must be reached by Partners.
Rapid Reviews then will be carried out by LTRG within 15 days of a Serious Incident Notification and will consider all serious incidents and other cases referred to the group to decide whether a local or national CSPR is required, if alternate routes of learning should be considered (for example a single-agency review), or if no further action is required. The Rapid Review will consider:
- The facts of the case
- Immediate actions needed to ensure child safety
- How to share immediate learning
- The potential for identifying improvements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Local CSPRs will be undertaken where the case raises issues of importance in relation to the area and the National Panel will be notified of the decision and the appointed lead reviewer.
Following formal SIN notification to the national child safeguarding practice review panel, BSCP’s Partnership Manager will lead on supporting the Partnership to complete the Rapid Review. The Rapid Review will be chaired by the Independent Chair of the LTRG. The Independent Chair will support the Partnership in its decision making as to whether a local CSPR is to be undertaken or not. If a local CSPR is not undertaken, the Chair will direct the LTRG group to take forward the learning and embedding in practice. Every Rapid Review must be signed off by all 3 statutory partners.
Any disagreements arising in respect of all of the above will be managed through a defined resolution protocol.