Legislation & government guidance

There are a number of key pieces of legislation and government guidance that support the work of the Boards.

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018

This revised guidance can be found at www.gov.uk/working-together-to-safeguard-children–2 and covers:

  • the legislative requirements placed on individual services
  • a framework for the three local safeguarding partners (the local authority; a clinical commissioning group for an area, any part of which falls within the local authority; and the chief officer of police for a police area, any part of which falls within the local authority area) to make arrangements to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of local children including identifying and responding to their needs
  • the framework for the two child death review partners (the local authority and any clinical commissioning group for an area, any part of which falls within the local authority) to make arrangements to review all deaths of children normally resident in the local area, and if they consider it appropriate, for those not normally resident in the area.

This document replaces Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015).

Links to relevant supplementary guidance that practitioners should consider alongside this guidance can be found in Appendix B of the document.

Refer to our Working Together 2018 resource.

Children & Social Work Act 2017 – safeguarding reforms

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 is now law and the DfE and DoH will be pursuing implementation – the Act can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk

In addition to provision for new local safeguarding arrangements to replace LSCBs; proposals for local and national practice learning reviews to replace SCRs and reforming CDOP, the Act contains important proposals on social work regulation, care leavers, the statutory inclusion of PHSE in schools and other measures. There remains however a need to have multi-agency partnership arrangements for safeguarding in place.

The expectation is that local plans will be drawn up by April 2018 and agreed for implementation by April 2019, but that some jurisdictions may propose and have agreed new arrangements ahead of this. It was agreed by the MSCB to wait to see what the regulations require before making any changes to the current arrangements.

The Act includes provision about:

Corporate parenting and looked-after children:

  • A requirement for every local authority to publish their local offer for care leavers, and provision of personal advisers to care leavers up to the age of 25.
  • The provision of information and advice to promote educational achievement in relation to previously looked after children.
  • Permanence provisions in respect of care and adoption proceedings in England and Wales. In respect of adoption, a duty to have regard to relationship with adopters.

Safeguarding of children:

  • Establishment of a National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel to consider learning from serious incidents (formally Serious Care Reviews) which will be of national interest for learning.
  • Establishment of local child safeguarding practice reviews designed to identify serious child safeguarding cases which raise issues of importance in the area, and for the cases to be reviewed under the supervision of safeguarding partners as appropriate.
  • The purpose of the review is to identify improvements that should be made to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the area.
  • Deregulation of Local Safeguarding Children Boards; each Local Authority will be required to set out their safeguarding arrangement.
  • Safeguarding partners must make arrangements for safeguarding, and involve relevant agencies to work together in exercising their functions for the purpose of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
  • There is provision to combine safeguarding partner areas and delegating safeguarding functions for two or more local authority areas in England –allowing areas are to be treated as a single area for the purpose of meeting their safeguarding functions

Child Death Review Process:

  • Provisions are set out to allow for combining child death review partner areas and allocate the necessary funding to achieve this.
  • New powers have been introduced to assist in obtaining information from a person or body to provide information specified by a Child Death Reviewer.
  • Child death reviews will be undertaken on child deaths for children normally and not normally resident in the area.

Children’s social care:

  • Provisions relating to pre-employment protection of whistle-blowers. Combined authority functions relating to powers to secure proper performance.

Relationships, sex and PSHE education:

  • Provision for compulsory relationships education for primary school pupils in England, as well as sex and relationships education for secondary school children.

Social workers in England:

  • Provision for a series of changes to the regulation and training of social workers in England such as the creation of a new organisation, Social Work England, which will take over from the HCPC as the profession’s regulator.
  • A requirement for the new regulator to obtain the education secretary’s approval for professional standards.
  • New powers for the education secretary to set ‘improvement standards’ for social workers, and the introduction of assessments for practitioners.

Care Act 2014

The Care Act brought about the Local Safeguarding Adults Boards and can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk

Government publications regarding Safeguarding Children

Key government issued or updated documents each of which is significant for organisations and individual professionals working with children and families:

National and Government Bodies

Links to some of the national and government bodies that influence the safeguarding profession:


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