Subgroups within the Safeguarding Children Board

The Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board is made up of different, smaller groups.

There are representatives from a range of public organisations. They all have duties and responsibilities to children in their area.

The Safeguarding Board is responsible for ensuring organisations work together to protect children and promote their welfare.

The Board also has to ensure that clear local procedures are in place to inform and assist anyone interested (professionally or otherwise) where they have concerns about a child.

Here's a bit more about the subgroups.

Strategic Board

Senior managers in partner agencies set the overall strategy for the Safeguarding Board, overseeing the annual business plan and allocating resources to meet key targets (chaired by an independent person).

Overall objectives

  • Improve outcomes for children and young people in Hertfordshire in relation to all aspects of the ‘stay safe’ outcome.
  • Ensure that appropriate structures and working arrangements are in place for the co-ordination of work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in Hertfordshire.
  • Ensure that the Safeguarding Board has a business plan which is properly resourced by the constituent bodies in order to safeguard children in Hertfordshire.
  • Ensure full and effective implementation of the Working Together guidance, including those aspects of the guidance which deal specifically with the operation of the Safeguarding Board itself.
  • Ensure that the Safeguarding Board makes efficient and effective use of its resources.

Improving Outcomes subgroup

Overall objectives

  • Identify areas of good practice, both locally and nationally on which to base our aspirations.
  • Identify areas of poor performance across agencies, propose improvements and monitor progress. Where solutions cannot be found, recommendations for action will be made to the Strategic Board. The Improving Outcomes Group will only escalate to the Strategic Board issues of significant risk. That includes those that have countywide or national implications, extend beyond the remit of the Strategic Board, or result from a serious lack of co-operation of one or more of the agencies.
  • Identify a shared vision of the outcomes it aims to achieve which will be drawn from the Safeguarding Board business plan, yet be sufficiently flexible to identify where issues arise mid-year which may affect safeguarding. The group will only focus on multi-agency issues.
  • Identify operational priorities based on data.
  • Maintain a register of issues to monitor and follow up progress.

Learning and Development subgroup

Overall objectives

  • To ensure constituent agencies have an effective training programme for their staff in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
  • Ensure that additional multi-agency training is provided to meet local needs in line with the requirements of Working Together.

Policy and Procedures subgroup

Overall objectives

  • Ensure that the Safeguarding Board (and member agencies) have procedures for inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as required by Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 and other government regulation and statutory guidance.

Audit subgroup

Overall objective

  • Receive reports of single agency audits and identify issues for Safeguarding Board.
  • Conduct audits on behalf of the Safeguarding Board to give insight into the effectiveness of multi-agency safeguarding processes. This includes overseeing the multi-agency audit requirements of unannounced Ofsted inspections.
  • Oversee the audit component of the multi-agency Serious Case Review action plans.

Performance subgroup

Overall objective

  • Analyse safeguarding performance data and inform the Safeguarding Board of risks.

Case Review subgroup

Overall objectives

  • Ensure the Safeguarding Board carries out its responsibilities in respect of serious case reviews, as per present guidance.
  • Establish whether there are lessons to be learnt from the case in terms of how professionals worked together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
  • Record any lessons learnt.
  • Analyse the practice of the professionals involved to inform future developments, both in terms of best practice and the need for change.
  • Consider other forms of review such as partnership case reviews where cases do not meet the criteria for a serious case review.

The group is made up of senior managers from a number of agencies covering children’s social care, education, health and the police.

It meets regularly to consider whether serious case reviews should be undertaken, following notifications to Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board.

It is chaired by an independent person and the group is accountable to the chair of the Safeguarding Board.

Child Death Overview Panel

Overall objectives

  • Identify and review trends surrounding child deaths so recommendations can be made to prevent further deaths. This is by addressing and improving the education of agencies and the public.
  • Gather and assess data on the deaths of all children and young people from birth (excluding those babies who are stillborn) up to the age of 18 years who normally live in the Hertfordshire area.

This includes neonatal deaths, expected and unexpected deaths in infants and in older children.

When a child who lives in another area dies in Hertfordshire, the death shall be notified to the Child Death Overview Panel in the area where the child lives. Similarly, when a child normally living in Hertfordshire dies outside of Hertfordshire, the Hertfordshire Child Death Overview Panel should be notified. In both cases, an agreement should be made as to which panel will review the child's death (normally where the child lives) and how they will report to the other.

Strategic Safeguarding Adolescents Group

Overall Objective

  • Provide a local framework in which all partner agencies can work to deliver  the best protection for missing children, those at risk of child sexual exploitation and trafficking. This is done through sharing best practice, improving data and intelligence collection, and continuous monitoring of performance.