The Cabinet was provided with a report introducing the proposal for the children’s multi-agency safeguarding arrangements in Solihull, which replaced the current Solihull Local Safeguarding Children Board in line with changes introduced by the Children and Social Work Act 2017.
Members were advised that Children and Social Work Act 2017 had brought about significant change to local children’s multi-agency safeguarding arrangements. The Act amended certain safeguarding provisions within the Children Act 2004 by removing the statutory requirement for areas to have Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB’s).
There was now a requirement for the safeguarding partners (which were the local authority, chief officer for police and the local clinical commissioning group for the area) to make arrangements to safeguard children and promote their welfare within their area. Additionally, the safeguarding partners needed to name relevant agencies that they considered appropriate to work with in exercising their functions, and those named agencies then had a duty to co-operate.
The legislative changes introduced a great degree of flexibility as to how the three safeguarding partners achieved these responsibilities. The report provided further detail regarding the new arrangements and the fact that the Council had worked closely with the DfE as an early adopter, of the new arrangements.
The reasons for the preferred option for the future multi-agency children’s safeguarding delivery included;
· It provided for a more ‘learning focused’ and flexible approach to improving children’s safeguarding arrangements in Solihull;
· It retained the engagement of Solihull partners within the arrangements;
· It retained the strengths of the current Solihull Local Safeguarding Children Board arrangements (for example the multi-agency audit process and training offer);
· It focused activity on the delivery of improvements in line with the partners’ safeguarding priorities;
· It had a robust independent scrutiny framework;
· It was compliant with the legislative requirements of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and the statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children – July 2018’; and
· It delivered all of the above within the agreed multi-agency funding arrangements for the current Solihull Local Safeguarding Children Board.
On receiving the report Members sought a number of reassurances around the robustness of the independence of independent chairman, the scrutiny function and information sharing, all of which were vital to the success of safeguarding children. Officers were able to provided Members with these assurances.
That the proposed future children’s multi-agency safeguarding arrangements in Solihull be supported.