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SASW 2011, September: Response to Safeguarder Panel Regulations 2012

Social workers have been constantly examined in child protection work through many public enquiries following child deaths. The role of the Safeguarder was first conceived in the light of the Maria Colwell Inquiry and the role of the independent Safeguarder for the child has become increasingly a part of the checks and balances within the court and hearing proceedings to make sure that the child’s best interest is paramount. They are in a unique position, independent of the system, to see if system abuse or collusion in the system is failing to safeguard the child. This independence is critical to how a Safeguarder contributes to the safety and well-being of a child. The comments that follow from SASW would seek to ensure that the independence of that perspective in Children’s Hearings proceedings is continued in order to protect the best interest of the child.