Nothing is more important than children’s welfare. Children who need help and protection deserve high quality and effective support as soon as a need is identified.
We want a system that responds to the needs and interests of children and families and not the other way around. In such a system, practitioners will be clear about what is required of them individually, and how they need to work together in partnership with others. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined in Working Together 2023 as:
- providing help and support to meet the needs of children as soon as problems emerge
- protecting children from maltreatment, whether that is within or outside the home, including online
- preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development
- ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- promoting the upbringing of children with their birth parents, or otherwise their family network through a kinship care arrangement, whenever possible and where this is in the best interests of the children
- taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes in line with the outcomes set out in the Children’s Social Care National Framework
The legislation relevant to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is set out via the link below. It is valuable information in its own right and should also be read alongside the statutory guidance, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023
Somerset Independent Scrutiny
The Partnership has a range of ways which our work is scrutinised and evaluated, including:
- by children and young people through our SSCP Youth Forum
- feedback from our Community members
- multi-agency audit and focus group activity
- considering data from partner agencies to understand the impact of changes to the system locally.
- our Independent Scrutineer
- our SSCP Young People’s Champion
- overview of our lead members
Our Independent Scrutineer provides support and challenge in order to ensure the SSCP is fulfilling its duties and supporting improvements across practice in Somerset.
The SSCP also creates a 12 monthly report to evaluate progress, which is scrutinised by the Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board:
The work of the SSCP is mainly carried out through different multi-agency groups, with a range of functions to support our statutory roles and developing the safeguarding system. Each group has representation from across the Partnership to support multi-agency decision making.
Learning Reviews & Quality Assurance
The SSCP Learning and Improvement subgroup oversees Rapid Reviews, Local Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews and non-statutory learning reviews. Please see the link below to find out more about SSCP methodologies:
The SSCP Quality and Performance subgroup considers data, trends and themes across single and multi-agency quality assurance work to identify what development is needed across the system. Please see the link below to find out more about the SSCP Quality Assurance framework:
The statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2023) promotes good information sharing in order to enable the key partners to fulfil their duties under multiple pieces of legislation.
The SSCP Information Sharing Arrangement (ISA) provides the framework for sharing of personal data between agreed parties to meet the purpose of:
- improving access to information in order that each organisation can fulfil their legal duties
- safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in Somerset and to protect them from harm