New multi-agency child safeguarding arrangements in Plymouth and Torbay will come into effect on 29 September 2019.

In accordance with the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 our strategic safeguarding partners, Plymouth and Torbay Councils, Devon & Cornwall Police and NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group have made arrangements to work together with relevant agencies to safeguard and protect children across Plymouth and Torbay.

Director of Children’s Services Alison Botham said: “By creating a joint partnership between the key agencies we are going to be able to work more effectively to ensure the delivery of effective, consistent and sustained safeguarding and promotion of welfare of children and young people across Torbay and Plymouth. The proposed partnership arrangement will mean that children and young people get the right response at the right time.”

A consistent framework between the Plymouth and Torbay local authorities, our clinical commissioning group and police will result in improved arrangements which focus on positive outcomes and continuous improvement. All parties will continue to ensure that the voices of children and young people are at the centre of all strategic work and operational safeguarding practice.

The new arrangements will be referred to as the Plymouth and Torbay Safeguarding Children Partnership (PTSCP).

The new multi-agency safeguarding arrangements at out how the PTSCP will work with its relevant agencies to coordinate their safeguarding services, identifying and responding to the needs of children and young people across Plymouth and Torbay. Plymouth and Torbay schools, colleges and other educational providers are all named as relevant agencies. The Statutory guidance Working Together 2018 applies in its entirety to all schools.

The arrangements set out the process for new national and local safeguarding practice reviews. The responsibility for how the system learns lies at a national level with the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and at local level with the safeguarding partners. The National panel commenced operation from 29 June 2018.

Child death review partners consisting of Plymouth and Torbay Councils and NHS Devon CCG have made arrangements to review child deaths.

The PTSCP will come into effect on 29 September 2019, when the respective Plymouth and Torbay LSCBs will come to an end.    The business of Plymouth and Torbay LSCBs will pass into the care and control of the PTSCP.  This overarching strategic partnership will be underpinned by local partnerships with each of Plymouth and Torbay that direct and promote local dynamic safeguarding practice and responses.  The current Independent Chair role will be replaced with a single Independent Quality Assurance role that has oversight for reviewing and improving safeguarding practice. This will ensure the partnership enhances the identification and embedding of learning and improves outcomes in practice across Plymouth and Torbay.

The PSCB Independent Chair, Mr Andy Bickley said: “Local Safeguarding Children Boards have been in existence for over a decade and in light of national learning it is time to move partnership working to new governance and delivery arrangements. I am confident that the design of the new Plymouth and Torbay Safeguarding Children Partnership will keep the safeguarding of children and young people at the heart of its work and the practice of local agencies.”