In 2018-19, NCB facilitated the Safeguarding Early Adopter Programme. Through the development of a community of practice across the 17 early adopter sites, NCB worked with local areas to innovate, share knowledge and ultimately support the national implementation of effective multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.
The learning that has been gathered throughout the programme is published in the report, ‘Developing the Learning on Multi-agency Safeguarding Arrangements’.
Framed through 15 principles for effective implementation, the report highlights that:
- Changes to the statutory framework present a range of opportunities for innovation and improvement in local safeguarding arrangements;
- In the short-term it may be necessary to focus on a limited range of improvements in implementation, but this should be part of a gradual longer term transformation plan towards improving outcomes for children and young people;
- Attention should be paid to ensuring leaders in local authorities, police and health come together in equal partnership and also how partners engage other relevant agencies, including school leaders;
- An agreed vision should be ambitious in terms of outcomes for children;
- Collaboration across areas where there are shared priorities can allow for streamlined processes, the sharing of intelligence and may reduce duplication for the benefit of practitioners, children and young people, and their families;
- Methods of scrutinising practice should be integrated throughout safeguarding arrangements;
- A learning culture should be embedded into safeguarding arrangements and plans should adapt over time to emerging lessons.
The central message from the report for safeguarding partners across England is that the transition to the new legal framework in 2019 should be seen as just the beginning of a transformative journey towards arrangements which are increasingly efficient, equitable, responsive and dynamic.