The strong partnership working in Calderdale to safeguard children from harm (currently known as Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board) has been given a great opportunity to make further improvements to local safeguarding arrangements, following the introduction of new guidance from the Department for Education.
New legal requirements make local police, councils and health services jointly responsible for keeping children safe, and accountable for how well agencies work together.
After its successful bid to the Government, Calderdale is one of 17 areas in the country to become an ‘early adopter’, working with the National Children’s Bureau to launch the new safeguarding arrangements before they are adopted across the rest of the UK.
Calderdale was chosen because the Council, West Yorkshire Police and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have innovative ideas for how to improve safeguarding. They have secured around £10,000 from the Department for Education to hold two full-day events to raise awareness of the new arrangements, talk to local children and families about what support they need, and involve them in shaping the help provided.
The events will involve children, parents and carers working alongside a range of organisations such as schools, faith groups and other community organisations. People will have the chance to tell the three safeguarding organisations what’s important to them, what issues they need addressing and when.
Everyone is responsible for looking out for vulnerable children. Planned for November 2018 and April 2019, the sessions will ensure the new safeguarding arrangements are understood by the local community. The learning from these events will be shared across the country.
Cllr Megan Swift, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, said:
“Protecting the most vulnerable people in Calderdale is always a priority for the Council and our partners, and we’re really pleased to receive further national recognition for our work. We welcome the new safeguarding requirements as they will ensure we continue to make excellent progress in making joint safeguarding decisions to meet the needs of local children and families.”
The new arrangements will mean that the Council, Police and CCG will share more information publicly about what they’re doing to ensure safeguarding. This will help to ensure that everyone knows how they can support vulnerable children, how to spot any potential issues and where to go if they need help.
Detective Chief Inspector David Shaw, of Calderdale District Safeguarding, said:
“Safeguarding the public is at the heart of what we do at the police and we are delighted to be working more closely with Calderdale Council and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group.
“Joint safeguarding initiatives and partnership working is key to ensuring we work as effectively as we can and to continue to raise awareness of safeguarding.
“We all have a part to play in safeguarding vulnerable children and adults, and as a district, we continue to make strides in this area.”
Matt Walsh, Chief Officer of NHS Calderdale CCG said:
“It is really pleasing to have government recognition of the good safeguarding arrangements in Calderdale and our future safeguarding plans. We are excited at the opportunity this gives us to help shape future safeguarding arrangements across the country. The NHS in Calderdale will continue to work with children, their carers and communities to improve safeguarding services for children in Calderdale. I would encourage everyone to come to the events and tell us what you think.”