To provide a definitive online procedures manual that drills down from a national statutory child protection procedure level, through regional safeguarding guidance, right down to a local area specific safeguarding information and procedure. With a guide of pooled supported resources that are relevant down to regional level, eliminating duplications and uncertainty but detailed enough for a local level. Why reproduce national and regional procedures in numerous places when one site could have one definitive manual?
Nine Local Safeguarding Children Boards – Telford & Wrekin, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley, Birmingham, Hertfordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire joined together to deliver their children’s safeguarding requirement in the West Midlands.
It was felt that it would be sensible to move to a more regional approach to multi-agency working around safeguarding, especially in light of the fact that so many partner organisations (including Police, Probation and Health) span areas that cross local authority boundaries.
Having worked with Birmingham Safeguarding Childrens Board to deliver an online Audit platform and with extensive expertise in this sector; Phew was asked to deliver this procedures requirement for the West Midlands.
Working alongside the management team, Phew built a straight forward, user-friendly platform with a template that has proven popular with users for its innovative design and functionality, allowing for simple navigation.
A three-tiered (A, B and C) procedures manual was developed with ‘A’ being Statutory, ‘B’ Regional and ‘C’ is Local level alongside a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ for all parties concerned.
With minimal training, admin users can easily update or reword any procedure at any time, with an audited trail tracking any edits, allowing site visitors to see what changes have been made – saving time and resources.
Reports were tailored to West Midland’s specific requirements and the detailed reporting helps them with analysis and future planning.
To facilitate this collective obligation to child protection and safeguarding procedures, West Midlands and Phew developed an online Safeguarding Procedures Manuel, which became effective from 31st March 2017.
Due to other commitments such as budgets and long-standing contracts, not every police force or regional Board were able to be part of this project but with those that did agree that the arrangement is working well and the joined-up working has had huge benefits. Boards/Partnerships feel confident and comfortable to share equal responsibility for updating the information.
The system is easy to administer and delivers a considerable cost saving through pooling efforts.
There are less barriers and resistance to moving forward and a culture of a more regional footprint
“The system puts you in control – the ‘Super Admin’ status is really helpful and we can now make immediate changes that would have previously been made through a third party. It creates a collaborative climate of working together that that benefits all parties.”
Liz Murphy, Lead for Procurement Process, Liz Murphy Consultancy Limited.
With a regional footprint of over seven cross-bordering police authorities and nine local Safeguarding Children’s Boards across the West Midlands, it was thought that economies of scale could be achieved both in the collaboration and sharing of information.
A project proposal was successfully submitted to the DfE on behalf of the West Midlands Safeguarding Children Boards to develop regional safeguarding procedures.
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