The updated Children and Social Work Act 2017 and Working Together 2018 set out some changes in relation to multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.

The documents place a shared and equal duty on three Safeguarding Partners, namely the Local Authority, the Clinical Commissioning Group and the chief officer of the police, to co-ordinate their safeguarding services and act as a strategic leadership group. These partners were tasked with setting out what their new local arrangements would look like and how they would work with one another and with other relevant agencies to fulfil this role.

What this means locally?

Based on existing successful collaboration between Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees in relation to the Children’s Hub and the joint multi-agency safeguarding children training, it was decided that Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees would work together to form a new strategic safeguarding partnership. From April 2019, the existing Hartlepool Safeguarding Children Board (HSCB) and Stockton Local Safeguarding Children Board (SLSCB) ceased to exist; being replaced by the new Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSSCP).

Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Safeguarding Children Partnership’s vision is to ensure:

“Every child in Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees feels safe, secure and is protected from harm, enabling them to reach their full potential.”

Part of this agreed vision was an understanding that partners did not want to simply provide a more efficient way of doing the same things. Instead, the safeguarding partners want to ensure that we strengthen and deepen the way we work together to ensure effective multi-agency working throughout our whole system. A way of working which is focused on the child, on the way we work together to develop relationships, share information and ultimately, focus on the right support, at the right time. Our aim as a partnership is to understand what is working well, what needs further development in our collective safeguarding practice to achieve this vision and how to address areas that do not meet the required standards. We will work as a partnership harnessing the importance of working with practitioners via our new ‘Active Learning’ approach, focusing on facilitating and driving action beyond the usual organisational and agency constraints and boundaries. Practitioners developing effective and trusting relationships with families will be at the heart of our methodology. This will ensure we influence front line safeguarding practice as we learn and improve together. More information about the new partnership can be found here.

What this means for me as a professional?

  • You have access to multi-agency safeguarding training.
    Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSSCP) have now published their Safeguarding Children Training Programme 2019-2020 (Issue 1) which is available via the following link: HSSCP. With additional e-learning courses that can be accessed via: https://tsab.virtual-college.co.uk/
  • You may be asked to take part in ‘Active Learning’
    Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSSCP) have adopted an ‘Active learning’ approach in order to fulfil their role. To fully understand what is working well and what needs further development in our collective safeguarding practice, professionals from all agencies will be invited to take part in multi-agency audits, focus groups, rapid reviews following serious incidents and other learning events linked to specific safeguarding themes. Your role within this is to share best practice examples as well as any barriers or issues; which will in turn feed into strategic learning and improvement planning.

What I need to do now?

HSSCP will send regular monthly e-bulletins containing key safeguarding messages (including the training programme); professionals are asked to read and disseminate these as appropriate. Professionals can also keep themselves updated on key messages from HSSCP via the new website which can be accessed here. In addition, professionals can share any good practice examples or barriers/issues with HSSCP and request Active Learning by submitting the Key Line of Enquiry Request form to HSSCP.

In the event of a serious incident, professionals are able to submit a Child Safeguarding Practice Review Consideration Request form to HSSCP (Please note, the referring agency should follow their own procedures for informing Local Authorities of the case identified prior to submitting a HSSCP consideration request).

If you would like any further information please contact HSSCP via: HSSCP@hartlepool.gov.uk