Working together to keep children safe from harm
At it’s next meeting (Wednesday 19 June) county council’s cabinet will be asked to endorse new guidelines which will see the county council, police and health partners working more closely to keep children safe from harm.
Working Together 2018, set out how local councils, the police and NHS commissioning groups should join forces to protect vulnerable children and young people. Where in the past the county council had sole responsibility for safeguarding children, the new guidelines place ‘shared and equal’ duty on Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Constabulary and the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (GCCG).
As part of the arrangements, the county council, the constabulary and Gloucestershire CCG will form a partnership known as the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Executive (GSCE). The GSCE will be responsible for making sure that each organisation is putting the health, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people at the forefront of everything they do. They will also make sure that safeguarding policies are in place; evaluating their effectiveness and making sure lessons are learnt from Serious Case Reviews.
In addition to the three partners, an Independent Scrutineer will provide an overview and objective challenge of the local arrangements. The GSCE will build on previous work of the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children’s Board (GSCB), which will be replaced when the new arrangements are implemented on 15 July 2019.
Cllr Richard Boyles, cabinet member for children and young people at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Safeguarding children remains everybody’s business and it’s important that we are doing all we can to keep children and young people safe. Through the new safeguarding arrangement, the GSCE can hold us and our partners to account to make sure we are doing just that.”
Kevin Crompton, Independent Chair of the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children’s Board, said: “Although we are required to make these arrangements, this is a welcome change that is crucial for ensuring children and young people across the UK are protected. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the current Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children’s Board for their hard work and commitment over the years, and I look forward to working with the new GSCE in the near future.”
Assistant Chief Constable, Julian Moss at Gloucestershire Constabulary said: "Keeping children safe from harm is vital and through this safeguarding arrangement and partnership working we will all continue to do everything we can to achieve this. GSE is another example of how agencies in Gloucestershire are determined to work together to use all resources available to protect those in our county. I would like to thank the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children’s Board for all of their work and am hopeful that the members of GSE can work together to make a difference.”
Dr Marian Andrews-Evans, Executive Nurse and Quality Lead at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Executive Lead for Health under the new arrangements said: “The CCG is absolutely committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of children in Gloucestershire, and these new safeguarding arrangements strengthen our shared responsibility and accountability to protect and safeguard vulnerable children. We look forward to working more closely with our partners to keep the county’s children protected.”
The change to the way safeguarding is overseen in the county comes after a central Government review of all Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCB) in 2015 which required all local authorities in the UK to change their safeguarding arrangements for children under the Children and Social Work (CSW) Act 2017.
You can read the full paper online here.