The Barnet Safeguarding Children Partnership

Multi-agency safeguarding arrangements

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Barnet Children Safeguarding Partnership’s new multi-agency arrangements for child safeguarding can be viewed here. This sets our local arrangements, board structure, funding and governance for how we will safeguard and improve the wellbeing of children and young people in Barnet. A visual guide for our governance can be found here

Background

In 2015 the government commissioned a review into Local Children’s Safeguarding Boards by Alan Wood. The report published in 2016 made a number of recommendations on how safeguarding partners, such as local authorities, police and clinical commissioning groups should work together.

The government supported a number of findings, agreeing that effective multi-agency arrangements were ones that were responsive to local circumstances and engaged the right people. They agreed that the current system for local child safeguarding partnerships was too inflexible and needed to change. 

Working Together to Safeguard Children July 2018 is statutory guidance that replaces Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015. The new guidance supports key changes put into law by the Social Work and Children Act 2017.

In 2021 Alan Wood published a review of new LSCP and found that practitioners were reporting renwed confidence upon the new arrangements in improving safeguarding arrangements, but that it was still 'early days'. His report can be found here 

What’s different?

Local Safeguarding Children's Boards are no longer statutory and will be replaced by multi-agency safeguarding arrangements or MASA. The new arrangements must be in place and published by June 2019.

The guidance does not prescribe what this new arrangement should look like, only that responsibility rests with three safeguarding partners ‘with a shared and equal duty to make arrangements to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in a local area’.

These partners will provide the strategic leadership for safeguarding children. Under the Children’s Act 2004 as amended by the Children and Social Work Act 2017; these three safeguarding partners are:

  • the local authority Chief Executive
  • a clinical commissioning group for an area any part of which falls within the local authority area
  • the chief officer of police for an area any part of which falls within the local authority area.

Many of the functions that the new MASA will undertake will be similar to those under Local Children Safeguarding Boards, such as implementing local and national learning from serious case reviews.

The BSCP has taken the opportunity to look afresh at how as partners we work together to improve outcomes for children and young people in Barnet.

We have made a number of key changes to our governance to streamline the number of meetings and improve the effectiveness of working when we do come together. This is set out in detail in our multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.

We are focused on working with families, local communities and local services to provide our children with the support and opportunities they require at all stages of their life. We recognise how strong partnerships and communities are essential to making sure that Barnet’s children and their families receive the best possible start in life and the best possible care and help when they need it. It is our ambition is to drive forward a strong partnership that enables children and families to thrive and achieve.

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