Merton Safeguarding Children Partnership (MSCP) work together to agree how local child protection services are carried out. The Partnership is also responsible for conducting audits to assess how local organisations and services are meeting standards to safeguard children and young people, as part of the Section 11 of the 2004 Children Act provision.
MSCP administer this audit every two years, and prior to implementing the Phew Audit System, the process was lengthy, with resources limited and often stretched.
Audits were a manual process, using Microsoft Word and Excel, which was time-consuming for both the Partnership and respondents. The responses were also manually reviewed and reports produced were limited.
The Partnership were keen to have a clear overview of how partner agencies in Merton adhere to their duty to safeguard children, and what actions are taken to improve any issues identified
Phew collaborated closely with MSCP to create an online system which enabled them to carry out their Section 11 audit successfully.
The Audit System provides the Partnership with time-saving features for respondents, including extensive question flexibility and the ability to automatically bring answers forward from previous audit submissions
MSCP have found that their partner agencies are able to fill out the Section 11 audit questions in a much easier format than ever before using the Phew Audit System, due to the previous processes being streamlined into one place. They are able to input relevant information in simple and appropriate ways, as well as take advantage of being able to bring answers forward from a previous audit so they can review answers, rather than needing to input the answers all over again. This has increased stakeholder engagement and MSCP hope to build upon this in future audits.
The Partnership now has all of the agency audit responses collated in a single location, which has made them much easier to process and reduced administration time significantly.
A key benefit is the ability to view the responses so they can prompt agencies to complete their audit if they are still outstanding, or go into more detail if needed, such as expanding upon what actions they will take following their self-assessment. MSCP have also found that being able to generate a variety of reports has also helped with interpreting findings. They have the option to include action plans and to keep agencies accountable for improvements needed.
“The Section 11 audit helps provide the MSCP Executive leadership with a clear overview of how partner agencies in Merton adhere to their duty to safeguard children, and what actions will be taken to improve any issues identified.
“Using the Phew Audit System has reduced the resources required, both to deliver the audit by the business support team and to contribute to the audit by partner agencies, which is much appreciated by everyone where resources are limited and often stretched.”
Sarah Slater, Manager of the Policy, Improvements and Partnership Team