Change to Safeguarding Guidance
I really enjoy safeguarding training whether face to face – usually in Yorkshire – or further afield…as well as by Zoom. It is great to work with volunteers, staff, trustees and directors who are passionate about safeguarding whether that be children or adults at risk. Indeed, there is often an overlap between the 2 groups.
One of the things we talk about is keeping yourself up to date. In these days of the internet that can be even more challenging as things change so quickly. I always promise learners that I will try to promote any changes via my website. At the end of last year the government guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ was updated. This was an update which would have been easy to miss as it was just before Christmas!
The full document can be found here.
The main changes to be aware of are:
- There is a set of principles for working with parents and carers that centre the importance of building positive, trusting and co-operative relationships to deliver tailored support to families
- The expectations for multi-agency working are strengthened with clear guidance
- A focus on better outcomes for children through new national multi-agency child protection standards.
There is a full summary produced by the NSPCC found here.
Remember – this is statutory guidance so MUST be followed.
Call to action – what should you do?
- Familiarise yourself with the changes
- Update your safeguarding policies to ensure that any reference to Working Together is the most up to date
- Check your policy – which should be updated each year – to ensure that the changes are reflected in your policy
- If you are a Designated Safeguarding Lead or responsible for staff who have safeguarding as part of their role, take some time to update staff. It would be useful to use this as a basis for a conversation. What does this mean for us? What good practice do we have in this area? Where can we look to improve?
As always if I can be of any help
Are you a fox or a hedgehog?
As we move towards Christmas, I always enjoy the space to catch up with my own professional development, do some tidying up and begin to think about the year ahead. It's funny isn't it how you things go to the back of your mind? I have been feeling very virtuous as I've been doing a major tidy of my study. In sorting out some papers, I found an article written some time ago, by Jim Collins, the author of ‘Good to Great’. This article was about the parable of the hedgehog and the Fox. I really enjoyed revisiting it. You can find the article here.
This concept originated with Isiah Berlin who wrote an essay ‘The Hedgehog and the Fox’ which was based on an ancient Greek fable; ‘The Fox know many tricks the Hedgehog knows one big thing’.
The story invites us to consider a battle between a fox and a hedgehog. The fox looks as if they would win a battle – a shiny quick creature with lots of plans and ideas. However, every time the fox gets close to the hedgehog it uses its one strategy – to curl up into a prickly ball. So every time the hedgehog wins the battle!
Isiah Berlin suggested that thee are 2 types of people:
- Foxes – have and hold many ideas and complexities
- The Hedgehog has one simple idea and everything is benchmarked against this.
Jim Collins expands the thought that this leads to three ‘circles’ and 3 questions to ask yourself:
From: Jim Collins Hedgehog Concept from Good to Great as described by Alan Philips in ‘ Age of Ideas’ found at www.theageofideas.com
As you ponder your responses to these three questions, he suggests that as you think about the intersection in the centre this will be your Hedgehog Concept:
'When you get your Hedgehog Concept right, it has the quiet ping of truth, like a single, clear, perfectly struck note hanging in the air in the hushed silence of a full auditorium at the end of a quiet movement of a Mozart piano concerto. There is no need to say much of anything; the quiet truth speaks for itself.' Jim Collins
As always, we all take different things from a model, but what I found really useful was to focus on what I can excel at. What gives me the ‘ping of truth’?
So I am passionate about high-quality training and consultancy What I aim to excel at is my bespoke offering to customers. Whether this is a local group in Yorkshire who I am meeting face to face or further field face to face or by zoom. Sometimes this is fairly straightforward – when someone asks for a training and we work on it together to ensure it is exactly what they want. At other times, I may be using a pre-prepared training - often written by someone else, but I take pride in the fact that I always make sure that it is delivered in the way that is best suited to the audience I'm working with.
As for my economic engine, I need to think more about this one!
This is certainly something I am thinking about as we go into 2024 – and I challenge you to do the same for your organisation. What is your hedgehog concept?
This blog comes wishing you a peaceful and prosperous 2024.
Are you a fox chasing many aims or a hedgehog with one business idea?
Sharing safeguarding information about children and GDPR – new guidance
One of the questions which comes up a lot in safeguarding training is: ‘How do I share information about a child or adult I am worried about under GDPR rules?’
I have always responded that safeguarding ‘trumps’ GDPR and you must always share information if you are worried about the safety of a child. There is much helpful advice in the 2018 document ‘information sharing - advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents or carers.’ Many people I work with find the flowchart in this document really useful.
However, during September additional information has been published by the Information Commissioner’s Office (www.ico.org.uk ). For those who work in safeguarding, this is really useful and makes it 100% clear that information should always be shared if there are safeguarding concerns about children.
In the related press release, John Edwards, the UK Information Commissioner states: "My message to people supporting and working with children and young people is clear: if you think a child is at risk of harm, you can share information to protect them. You will not get in trouble with the ICO for trying to prevent or lessen a serious risk or threat to a child’s mental and physical wellbeing."
In fact, the headline stresses this even more strongly:
‘Share information to protect children and young people at risk, urges UK Information Commissioner’. Click this link to see the full press release.
In order to support anyone working with children and young people, 10 steps of guidance have been produced. These include useful information about information sharing agreements, and also the suggestion to develop a Data Protection Impact Assessment. Clear examples support the guidance and help to bring it to life.
Again, and again the point is stressed that information should be shared when there are concerns about children’s welfare. It is great that this has been made so clear.
For more information click here.
I urge anyone who works with children and young people to have a read of the press release and guidance.
As always, please do