As many of you may have seen, the government has recently published the Wood Review of the Role and Functions of Local Safeguarding Children Boards, together with the government’s response.
To summarise the key points, the Government plans to:
- Place a new requirement on three key partners (LA, police, health) to make arrangements for working together in a local area, in order to ensure engagement of key partners in a better coordinated, more consistent framework for protecting children.
- Place an expectation on schools and other relevant agencies to cooperate with the new multi-agency area.
- Remove the requirement for local areas to have LSCBs with set memberships. Key partners will take decisions around membership, and be afforded greater flexibility in developing arrangements that respond to local need and in which agencies are better invested.
- Bring forward legislation to underpin new arrangements, supported by statutory guidance and working with inspectorates to establish suitable review arrangements.
- Require the three key sectors to establish governance arrangements, including area covered, agencies involved, a published plan for the arrangements, resourcing, and independent scrutiny;
- Replace the current system of Serious Case Reviews with a system of national and local reviews, and legislate for an independent National Panel responsible for commissioning and publishing reviews and investigating the most serious/complex cases relating to children in circumstances which the Panel considers will lead to national learning;
- Use the planned What Works Centre for children’s social care to analyse and disseminate lessons from both local and national reviews - £20m has been announced to fund both the What Works Centre and the centralisation of serious case reviews;
- Put in place arrangements to transfer national oversight of Child Death Overview Panels from Dept of Education to the Dept of Health, whilst ensuring the focus remains on distilling and embedding learning within the necessary child protection agencies.
The full reports are available by the following links and we will update the website as there are developments with the review.
Alan Wood’s review: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wood-review-of-local-safeguarding-children-boards
Government response: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wood-review-of-lscbs-government-response