Working together to safeguard children 2023: summary of changes

The Department for Education (DfE) published a new edition of its statutory guidance Working together to safeguard children in December 2023. The 2023 edition replaces Working together to safeguard children 2018, which underwent a limited factual update in 2020.

The guidance outlines what organisations and agencies must and should do to help, protect and promote the welfare of all children and young people under the age of 18 in England.

The revision to the guidance focuses on strengthening multi-agency working across the whole system of help, support and protection for children and their families, keeping a child-centred approach while bringing a whole-family focus, and embedding strong, effective and consistent multi-agency child protection practice.

The main changes in the 2023 edition, include updates around:

  • multi-agency expectations for all practitioners
  • working with parents and families
  • clarifying the roles and responsibilities of safeguarding partners
  • the role of education and childcare providers
  • multi-agency practice standards
  • support for disabled children
  • tackling harm that occurs outside the home.
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