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Board Manager's Blog (January 2024) Fri 12 Jan 2024

Blog from the BDSCP & BSAB Business Unit Manager for January 2024



January 2024: "New Year, New Safeguarding Directions"

Happy New Year to everyone! I'm not sure when we're supposed to stop saying that, but I hope it brings a smile nonetheless. I trust many of you had some well-deserved rest over the Christmas holidays. And for those working during this time, a heartfelt thank you for your dedication and commitment.


Before we all wrapped up for the festive break, the Department for Education (DfE) released several significant publications as part of their long-term strategy for Social Work reform. These include:

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023
  • Children's Social Care: National Framework
  • Championing Kinship Care: National Kinship Care Strategy
  • Children's Social Care: Data and Digital Strategy

These publications aim to safeguard partners, relevant agencies (including education settings), children's social care leaders, and practitioners.

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023

This revision to the guidance focuses on strengthening multi-agency working across the whole system of help, support, and protection for children and their families. It keeps a child-centred approach while bringing a whole-family focus and embedding strong, effective, consistent multi-agency child protection practices.

Key updates include:

  • Principles for working with parents and carers emphasise the importance of building positive, trusting, and cooperative relationships to deliver tailored support to families.
  • Expectations for multi-agency working that apply to all individuals, agencies, and organisations working with children and their families across a range of roles and activities.
  • New national multi-agency child protection standards set out actions, considerations, and behaviours for improved child protection practice and better outcomes for children.

The DfE has also produced a summary of these changes, and the NSPCC has released a CASPAR briefing on the updates.

There's a strong emphasis on how local multi-agency safeguarding arrangements work to safeguard and protect children locally. The guidance provides more details on working with families and involving the broader family in assessments. It also identifies additional groups of children who may be at risk of harm and adds further clarity to the role of children's social care in supporting disabled children and their families.

Notable Changes:

  • In Chapter 3: Providing Help, Support, and Protection, there are changes, meaning that a broader range of practitioners, not just social workers, can be the lead practitioners for children and families receiving support and services under section 17 of the Children Act 1989. With their safeguarding partners and relevant agencies, local authorities should develop, agree, and publish local protocols for assessments and support to reflect this change.
  • In Chapter 5: Learning from serious child safeguarding incidents, the local authority should also notify the Secretary of State for Education and Ofsted of the death of a care leaver up to and including the age of 24. While the death of a care leaver does not require a rapid review or local child safeguarding practice review, safeguarding partners must consider whether learning can be gained from the death and may wish to undertake a local child safeguarding practice review.

As we step into 2024, there's a real sense of excitement and anticipation, especially as we move ever closer to Bradford's momentous year as the City of Culture in 2025. This upcoming event is not just a celebration of culture and community but also a significant opportunity for us to showcase our commitment to safeguarding within the city.

In light of this, both the Bradford Safeguarding Adults Board (BSAB) and the Bradford District Safeguarding Children Partnership (BDSCP) will focus intently on their priorities. These priorities are not just guidelines but are the backbone of our safeguarding efforts, ensuring that every individual, young or old, is protected and cared for in our community.

Throughout the next 12 months, I will dedicate each monthly blog to reporting on these priorities. It's crucial that we all stay informed and engaged with these developments. By doing so, we can collectively ensure that our safeguarding practices are robust, effective, and tailored to meet the needs of all those we serve.

As I look forward to 2024 and beyond, I am filled with optimism. Together, we can make a significant impact and contribute positively to the safety and well-being of our community, making Bradford a shining example of a city that truly values and protects its community. 

Here's to a year of progress, learning, and collaboration in safeguarding. 

Let's make it a year to remember!

Keep wrapped up, and we will speak again February