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The children’s safeguarding performance information framework

This framework describes the key nationally collected data that can help those involved in child protection at both the local and national levels understand the health of the child protection system. It also describes recommended questions that can be asked of children, families, professionals and providers at a local level. Taken together they give a richer view of the effectiveness and impact of child protection including early help services.

The framework is broken down into five themes, with national performance information items and approaches to local information for each. The themes are:

  • Outcomes for children and young people and their families
  • Child protection activity (including early help)
  • The quality and timeliness of decision making
  • The quality of child protection plans
  • Workforce

The nationally collected data supports the availability of data for the purposes of accountability and transparency at national and local level, and provides benchmarks of national performance against which performance can be judged locally. It is collected through a range of statutory data collection exercises.

National level performance information can only provide part of the picture. Questions about quality and experiences of those who are part of the system need to be asked at the local level, and different ways of doing that will be appropriate to different areas. This framework includes the questions agreed with the sector that local agencies need to ask service users and providers so that their experiences can help drive local improvement. These questions are consistent with those being asked in inspection and peer review and challenge.

The local and national information in this framework should be used by local agencies as well as Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) and Health and Wellbeing Boards. The performance information items included in this framework will be kept under review. The national performance information items need to provide a picture of a broad range of issues from across the child protection system without becoming too detailed or cumbersome. As different sources of performance information become available or different priorities arise, it might be necessary to adapt the framework to reflect these changes.