The Children and Social Work Bill is now being considered by the House of Commons. It had its 2nd Reading on 5th December and is currently being considered through the committee stage, which is when most amendments and debate on the details will take place. This stage is scheduled to finish by 17 January 2017, following which guidance and implementation will be developed through to 2018. AILC will be submitting its views to MPs over the next few weeks and woking with other national stakeholders to ensure that the Bill does not weaken the fundamentals of strong multi-agency working: obligations on all partnersh; independent scrutiny and challenge; adequate authority and resource to fulfill the functions required.
LSCBs may wish to submit their own comments on the Bill if they have views about abolition of LSCBs, or ANY aspect of the Bill. This must be done in the next three weeks. You can submit your comments here.
The Government commissioned a
fundamental review of LSCBs, Serious Case Reviews and CDOP arrangements
which was undertaken by Alan Wood and reported in March 2016. The
Association, together with many individual chairs and boards, made
representations to the Review and also consulted widely, gathering
evidence, surveying members views and setting out clear recommendations
for effective multi-agency safeguarding arrangements. The Association
has been able to collate considerable evidence of what is working well
in local areas, as well as identify where improvement and change may be
required. The Association’s submission to the Review is available
A general response to the Review from the Government was published in May 2016, and a number of the recommendations from the Review have been incorporated into the Children and Social Work Bill which is currently under consideration in Parliament. Our news page will carry up-to-date information about the content of the bill, the process for revising Working Together and other guidance and regulations, and the implementation of new arrangements when these are finalised. It is clear that there will be an extended period until 2018 of transition and implementation of whatever new framework is agreed by Parliament, and LSCBs must continue to undertake their work to co-ordinate, ensure co-operation and to challenge and scrutinise the safeguarding performance of all partners.
In January, March, June and September 2016 the Association convened a series of roundtable meetings with invited representatives from all parts of the safeguarding community, including ADCS, SOLACE, LGA, the Royal Colleges, Public Health, NHS England, Police and Police and Crime Commissioners, and the inspectorates. The Department for Education and Alan Wood also attended these sessions.These have been extremely useful in exploring the risks and opportunities involved in reforming safeguarding arrangements. The Department for Education is now starting its own process of discussion with stakeholders to which the Association is committed.
The Association Board has agreed as set of key proposition to serve as a framework for national and local responses to these changes. The Annual Conference in November 2016 will concentrate on debating these issues and setting out a clear strategy for both leading and adapting to these changes at local, regional and national levels.
The NSPCC carried out a study of
Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) in England and Wales to
explore their learning and improvement processes and experiences. They interviewed business managers from 12 LSCBs about how they identify
learning opportunities and drive improvement. This report discusses the
findings of the research, with practice examples. It includes a review
of the literature on learning and improvement within the child
This research is relevant in light of the
government's response to Alan Wood's independent review of the role and
functions of LSCBs in England, which was published in May 2016. You can download the report here.