At the end of September 2023, the LSCP welcomed David Derbyshire as its new Independent Scrutineer. This is a new job role and different from the independent chair role which was in place previously.
So what does a scrutineer do?
The role of the scrutineer is to ask questions about how well services are safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people in Leeds. This will take several forms:
- Reading documents about trends in cases reported by children’s social care, the NHS and police
- Advising the LSCP about its case reviews when children have suffered serious harm as a result of abuse or neglect
- Helping the LSCP to organise the reviews of cases and identifying good practice, which all practitioners can learn from to improve their work.
- Meeting with front line practitioners who have experience of working directly with children and young people
- Understanding children’s experiences when in contact with children’s social care, NHS and police safeguarding services
- Participating in multi-agency audits to explore how services work together and identify suggestions for improvements.
There is no set list of things for the scrutineer to do or how to do them. The above items above are just some of the possible examples.
The aim is to make sure that Leeds continues to do its best in keeping children and young people safe from harm and neglect.
David said, ‘This is a new and bold step on the part of the LSCP to appoint someone with the purpose of inviting questions about whether different answers and solutions can be provided. It is good to have met so many people already working in Leeds sharing a really strong commitment to making children safer in the city. My aim is to ask those questions to help services in Leeds go from strength to strength in safeguarding.’
The Independent Scrutineer role is contracted for a limited number of days each month.
Safeguarding concerns about individual children and families should be directed to the Duty and Advice Team.