2.5 Underlying Policy, Principles and Values
This chapter was amended in July 2013 to reflect the ethos and terminology in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013. Section 1, Introduction and Section 3, Principles Underpinning Work to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children have both been updated and should be re-read.
- Values and Principles
- Key Principles Underpinning Work to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children
- Children and Young People's Services Plan
- Effective Supervision and Support for Professionals
|1.1||The following principles underpin work with children and their families in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children (see also Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013). The principles will be relevant to varying degrees to different personnel but have general relevance to all services provided to children.|
Children have said that they need:
These procedures have been developed in the context of the legislative framework. For more information see The Legal Context for Child Protection Procedure. They reflect the values and principles that underpin:
|2.1||These procedures set out the essential actions required to undertake and complete the tasks and duties to ensure best practice in working with children in need, including those in need of protection. They are written based on current research and agreed good practice and embody the National Standards on quality and performance as determined by the Department of Health, Department for Education, OFSTED and the Home Office. They also incorporate the principles of the South Tyneside Children and Young People's Plan, which outline the planning of services for children in South Tyneside in line with relevant legislation and government initiatives.|
|2.2||In providing the service, South Tyneside Safeguarding Children Board is committed to ensuring that children and young people who use services provided for them experience positive outcomes.|
All agencies will always work to provide services:
The Children’s Act 2004 defines five key outcomes for children as:
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013 outlines the following key principles.
Effective safeguarding arrangements in every local area should be underpinned by two key principles:
- Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility: for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part; and
- A child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children.
Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility
Everyone who works with children - including teachers, GPs, nurses, midwives, health visitors, early years professionals, youth workers, police, Accident and Emergency staff, paediatricians, voluntary and community workers and social workers - has a responsibility for keeping them safe.
No single professional can have a full picture of a child's needs and circumstances and, if children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.
In order that organisations and practitioners collaborate effectively, it is vital that every individual working with children and families is aware of the role that they have to play and the role of other professionals. In addition, effective safeguarding requires clear local arrangements for collaboration between professionals and agencies.
It is very important that safeguarding arrangements are strongly led and promoted at a local level, specifically by:
- A strong lead from local authority members, and the commitment of chief officers in all agencies, in particular the Director of Children's Services and Lead Member for Children's Services in each local authority; and
- Effective local coordination and challenge by the LSCBs in each area.
A child-centred approach
Effective safeguarding systems are child centred. Failings in safeguarding systems are too often the result of losing sight of the needs and views of the children within them, or placing the interests of adults ahead of the needs of children.
Children are clear what they want from an effective safeguarding system and this is described in Section 1, Introduction.
Children want to be respected, their views to be heard, to have stable relationships with professionals built on trust and for consistent support provided for their individual needs. This should guide the behaviour of professionals. Anyone working with children should see and speak to the child; listen to what they say; take their views seriously; and work with them collaboratively when deciding how to support their needs.
In addition to individual practitioners shaping support around the needs of individual children, local agencies need to have a clear understanding of the collective needs of children locally when commissioning effective services. As part of that process, the Director of Public Health should ensure that the needs of vulnerable children are a key part of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment that is developed by the Health and Wellbeing Board.
|4.1||The procedures have been written within the spirit of these values and principles and in line with the Assessment Framework, in addition to the specific principles defined by South Tyneside's Children's Trust.|
The following values and principles underpin the work carried out by the Children's Services:
|5.1||All agencies should have an accessible agency policy which defines minimum levels of formal supervision of those Staff who are accountable for safeguarding children. Such cases, which give rise to concerns regarding a child within the Children's Services Authority, should be supervised on a minimum of a monthly basis.|
|5.2||For all other agencies, frequency of supervision should adhere to agreed agency procedures. Formal supervision should be differentiated from consultation with designated personnel on specific matters of concern.|
|5.3||Supervision should ensure that members of staff fully understand their roles, responsibilities and the scope of their professional discretion and authority. Supervision should be used effectively to identify training and developmental needs.|
|5.4||Case supervision where there are concerns regarding a child's welfare should include reflecting and evaluating the work carried out as well as future action planning. All case supervision must clearly record content and decisions. The case recording should be checked in supervision by the supervising officer of the relevant practitioner to ensure adherence to these procedures.|