Tools for audit and reviews
Learning and Improvement Framework
The PSCB and its committees’ engage in a wide range of activity to identify what is working well and what needs improving in local safeguarding arrangements and practice. The Learning and Improvement Framework enables the Board to make the links between the identification of what needs improving and the mechanisms available to achieve these improvements. The framework builds on and updates the earlier PSCB Evaluation Framework (agreed January 2011) and the draft PSCB Learning and Improvement Framework (developed from November 2012) and it incorporates the Working Together guidance (HM Government, 2015).
Single Agency Audits
All agencies in Portsmouth have a responsibility to check the quality of their child safeguarding and early help practice and processes to ensure children are protected from harm. There are various methods for this including reviewing case files, assessments and/or plans, case reviews and interviews with clients. The PSCB would like to know the results of these. They will contribute to the PSCB’s understanding about how well children are safeguarded and can contribute to our Training Programme. It will also help the PSCB avoid duplication of work, when planning the multi-agency audit programme. Please complete one of these templates for each audit/review you carry out and email the audit report along with the completed template to email@example.com
Portsmouth Safeguarding and Early Help Compact Audit
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 states that one of the key functions of a Local Safeguarding Children Board is “The monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of what is done by the authority and their Board partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and advising them on ways to improve.” Part of the way in which Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board (PSCB) discharges this function is by carrying out a Safeguarding Compact Audit which each agency completes the self-assessment once every two years.
This tool is designed not only to assist in assuring compliance; but also to provide a multi-agency benchmark through the use of a common language. It is hoped that this will create a more consistent approach to considering safeguarding arrangements across Portsmouth.
This safeguarding audit involves agencies self-assessing the practice, policies and procedures for safeguarding children as required by:
- Section 11 (4) of the Children Act 2004 which places duties on a range of organisations and individuals to ensure their functions, and any services that they contract out to others, are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
- Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, (and for independent schools standards issued under Section 157 of that Act), which compels schools and FE colleges to have regard to Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance
The tool is expected to be completed every two years by any service that comes into contact with children (and information about children) from pre-birth up to 18 years old, and beyond 18 for those vulnerable young people who may require ‘transition’ support into adult services, e.g. children leaving care or those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities.
The chosen methodology in Portsmouth is a self-assessment audit of practice against the Portsmouth Safeguarding and Early Help Compact, that sets out 11 standards for effective early intervention and safeguarding practice. In response to feedback from GPs to previous Section 11 audits, PSCB adopted the tool developed by NHS England built upon feedback from Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Medical Committees.
A Reflective Practice meeting toolkit has been developed on behalf of the Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board to assist agencies apply reflective practice effectively.