Enhanced audit requirements following update to Working Together to Safeguard Children

Date: Tuesday, 23rd Jan 2024 | Category: Audits, General, Safeguarding

The latest major update to Working Together to Safeguard Children, published in December 2023, features a significant focus on strengthening multi-agency collaboration, with new national multi-agency child protection standards. Organisations will need to ensure that their safeguarding practices adhere to these new standards.

The updated statutory guidance emphasises the role of safeguarding partners in ensuring strong multi-agency safeguarding arrangements for children and families. Funding is being provided to safeguarding partnerships to help them strengthen these arrangements, and to review and improve practices in line with the updates.

The new guidance requires safeguarding partnerships to re-evaluate their current safeguarding practices under Section 11 and Section 175/157 audits. They need to assure themselves that collaboration with the various safeguarding agencies is effective and in line with the new framework’s emphasis on multi-agency working. This includes auditing communication channels, joint decision-making processes and shared responsibility for safeguarding children.

There is a newly added chapter bringing together new and existing guidance to emphasise that successful outcomes for children depend on strong multi-agency partnership working across the whole system of help, support and protection, including effective work from all agencies with parents, carers and families. It includes principles for working with families to build positive, trusting and co-operative relationships, delivering tailored support to families, and expectations for multi-agency working that apply to all individuals, agencies and organisations.

Safeguarding audits therefore need to place greater emphasis on evaluating how well agencies are engaging with families, understanding their needs and providing support. Partnerships must ensure there is effective scrutiny in place for their local area, and multi-agency audits are essential to this.

To ensure compliance with the updated standards, it is important that agencies have the right tools to carry out robust auditing processes. The Phew Audit System is the only flexible online platform that delivers increased volume of collated actionable response data to custom questions. The system streamlines and centralises the audit process and enables tracking of progress. All audit data is in one easily accessible and manageable place, and action plans can easily be developed. The Phew Audit System is regulated, tested and purpose-built for audit compliance and supports Sections 11 and 175/157, as well as a variety of other safeguarding requirements.

The Phew Audit System can help with ensuring compliance against the new safeguarding requirements and is a system that evolves and adapts to this and future changes.


Would you like to find out more about the Phew Audit System? We can provide a free demonstration at your convenience. Please get in touch at hello@phew.org.uk or telephone 01234 779050.