Under the Children and Social Work Act 2017, the Knowsley Safeguarding Children’s Board (the local strategic children’s board) will be replaced with the Knowsley Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (the local safeguarding partners). The Partnership will continue to be led by the independent chair, Audrey Williamson.
Other changes will also see the establishment of a new national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel to undertake complex reviews or cases of likely national importance.
Responsibility for Child Death Reviews will also transfer from Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards to new Child Death Review Partners.
Whilst nationally the changes need to be introduced by September 2019, in Knowsley, planning is well advanced and the new partnership will be launched on 29 July 2019.
The partnership will operate as follows:
- Strategic Forum – providing the strategic direction and governance around local children’s safeguarding arrangements.
- Core Business Group – supporting the delivery of the business plan and progressing the strategic priorities of child exploitation (led by Merseyside Police), domestic abuse (led by Knowsley Council) and neglect (led by Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group).
- Safeguarding Review and Learning Group – facilitating the management of serious child safeguarding review cases and act as a conduit for those cases where the review is being undertaken by the national Child Safeguarding Review Panel.
- Policy and Performance Sub-Group – create a performance framework to report on progress against the three identified priorities.
Safeguarding responsibility rests with three partners – Merseyside Police, Knowsley Council and Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group – who have a shared and equal responsibility to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in the local area. Whilst these are the three statutory agencies, other agencies will continue to play a role in safeguarding children in Knowsley.
Further information about the partnership, including roles and responsibilities, governance arrangements and priorities, is available on the children’s safeguarding board website.