BASW has submitted its response to the Government’s consultation on Working Together to Safeguard Children: changes to statutory guidance, available to view here.
Some of the main issues raised include the future role of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs). Whilst BASW England has always held the view that LSCBs should be improved, we did not call for their abolition and we consider this to be a regressive, negative and radical change at a time when the system is facing such severe challenge as previously described.
Another is the proposal of ‘approved agencies’ in the work of safeguarding children.
BASW England members are concerned that the mixed economy of provision has led to many ‘for profit’ organisations providing services in the sector.
We agree with Professor Eileen Munro, who articulated her views on this in 2014 arguing that establishing a market in child protection would create perverse incentives for private companies to either take more children into care or leave too many languishing with dangerous families.
A further cause for concern is the deletion of managers in the decision-making process in Annex C of the guidance. No reason has been provided by the DfE for doing this and our members are vehemently opposed to it given that managers are crucial in terms of accountability and shared responsibility.