Working together means ensuring a joined-up local response to reduce the risk of harm to children.
This is about leaders who understand the local context. Children and their families do not live in silos, so leaders must create an environment in which multi-agency working can flourish.
We follow working together to safeguard children, the government’s statutory guidance on multi-agency working to help, protect, and promote the welfare of children.
What are the key principles of working together?
A commitment to:
- hold each other to account
- understand interlinking risks and needs from all perspectives
- take collective responsibility to help and protect all involved
- respect and treat everyone justly, according to their individuality, unique circumstances, and barriers
Working with children and young people can be incredibly rewarding, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. One of the most important aspects of this responsibility is your obligation to keep those who are in your care safe from harm.
What is multi-agency working?
Effective multi-agency working means providing a seamless response to those with multiple and complex needs. This kind of collaborative working is essential to offer individuals the range of support they need, in a timely manner.
What are the advantages of multi-agency working?
Multi-agency working can make a unique contribution to preventative and early intervention services. It lets different services join forces to stop problems occurring in the first place.
It’s an effective way of supporting children, young people, and families with additional needs, and helping to secure improved outcomes for them.
Research on multi-agency working has found benefits including improved or more effective services and joint problem solving, as well as the ability to take a holistic approach, and increased understanding and trust between agencies.
How can we improve multi-agency working?
Put processes in place to make it as easy as possible for frontline practitioners to work together and build trusting relationships:
- Provide clear pathways for inter-agency communication
- Build in flexibility for urgent child protection cases
- Include processes for sharing information at times of change
What is effective partnership working?
The key principles of partnership working are:
- openness, trust, and honesty
- agreed shared goals and values
- regular communication between partners
Partnership working is at the heart of the agenda for improving outcomes and making local services cost effective.
What are the challenges of partnership working?
Barriers to partnership working:
- having to fight to access services
- being excluded from what is available, for example short break services
- services being inflexible to needs of families
- a crisis-management approach
- ineffective support for people with challenging behaviour
- being labelled as obstructive when questioning professional opinion
Safeguarding training is the perfect way to make sure your team can provide a service which protects children and young people. The top five benefits that safeguarding training can bring to your workplace are:
Knowing who might be vulnerable
If you’ve never done safeguarding training, it can be very difficult to tell which young people in your care may be at higher risk of mental or physical abuse, or neglect. Safeguarding training gives you a thorough overview of the different ways in which particular young people might be vulnerable.
Recognising the tell-tale signs of abuse and neglect
Moving directly on from learning which young people are at increased risk of being vulnerable, safeguarding training also covers the tell-tale signs of abuse and neglect. Your staff will be able to actively monitor, and be aware of the wellbeing of, the young people in your care.
Improving your team’s communication abilities
At the heart of safeguarding is the ability to communicate with the young people in your care about their needs and wellbeing. Safeguarding training focuses on the different ways in which staff can talk to young people about abuse and neglect.
Increasing trust in your organisation
Enforcing safeguarding training for all staff members shows parents and stakeholders that your organisation takes the welfare of young people seriously. It can also encourage better communication between staff, volunteers, and parents. Parents can ask questions about safeguarding, knowing that staff have completed a professional certification in the subject.
Enabling staff to record and report abuse and neglect appropriately
As an educator, club, or care provider, finding out that there’s been an incident of abuse and/or neglect among the children or young people in your care can be very distressing. Safeguarding training breaks down the appropriate action to take, giving your staff the skills and knowledge they need to report abuse and neglect.