Working Together 2018

The Government has carried out a small update to 'Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018' with factual changes in relation to:

  • Information sharing; In the information sharing section, there are additional references to the General Data Protection Regulations and a guide has been added in further sources of information in Appendix B of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.
  • Homelessness duty; A new section on the homelessness duty and the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 has been included. Guidance on the prevention of homelessness and provision of accommodation for 16 and 17 year old young people who may be homeless and/or require accommodation and the homelessness guide for local authorities have been added in further sources of information in Appendix B of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.
  • References to domestic abuse; Domestic abuse including controlling and cohersive behaviour has been included in the ways of which children may be vulnerable to neglect and abuse and is reflected at key points throughout the document.

All key changes are summarised below:

Amendment to the definition of safeguarding:

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this guidance as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment
  • 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
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. 

 

Chapter 1: Assessing need and providing help

  • there is an additional paragraph for schools on children’s mental health
  • there is a new reference to practitioners considering whether a referral to local authority children’s social care is necessary where a child or young person is admitted to a mental health facility
  • in the information sharing section, there are additional references to the General Data Protection Regulations and a guide has been added in further sources of information in Appendix B
  • a new section on the homelessness duty and the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 has been included. Guidance on the prevention of homelessness and provision of accommodation for 16 and 17 year old young people who may be homeless and/or require accommodation and the homelessness guide for local authorities have been added in further sources of information in Appendix B
  • the ‘Contextual safeguarding’ section has been renamed as ‘Assessment of risk outside the home’

 

Chapter 2: Organisational responsibilities

  • there is an additional criterion for allegations against a person who works with children - behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children

 

Chapter 3: Multi-agency safeguarding arrangements

  • multi-agency safeguarding arrangements should link to Violence Reduction Units, where relevant, as part of their strategic partnership work

 

Chapter 4: Improving child protection and safeguarding practice

  • the link to the Child Safeguarding Online Notification form for local authorities to notify incidents to the national Panel has been updated
  • a new section on how to notify a serious incident, rapid review, and local child safeguarding practice review has been added

 

Chapter 5: Child death reviews

There are no substantial changes apart from taking out the wording ‘once operational’ to the National Child Mortality Database which is now operational.

All practitioners should consider the full changes in this amendment and the implications to their practice.