What we do
Our job is to make sure that all children and young people in Norfolk can expect to stay safe and that the appropriate action will be taken by relevant organisations, if children are in need of help. We are funded through partner agencies funding contributions and assistance in kind.
We undertake a number of responsibilities by ourselves, alongside a number of NSCP Sub-Groups. Key functions include:
- The development of policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
- Creating thresholds for intervention
- Training of persons who work with children
- Recruitment and supervision of workforce
- Safety and welfare of children who are privately fostered
- Co-operation with neighbouring children’s services authorities
- Communication and raising awareness
- Monitoring, evaluations and serious case reviews
We are committed to continuous improvement, ensuring that we learn from good practice, as well as serious case reviews and child deaths. This enables us to co-ordinate, develop and monitor our safeguarding arrangements in Norfolk.
In addition, the NSCP provides safeguarding training both to professionals working with children and families and to local organisations and charities. Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB’s) adhere to the government guidance set out in Working Together.
Partners in Norfolk have a long and successful history of working together to protect children and to promote their wellbeing. We wish to build on these achievements in establishing new safeguarding arrangements that are effective, flexible, proportionate and inclusive. We wish to reduce duplication and bureaucracy and to involve children, young people and families, alongside professionals, communities, citizens and volunteers in working together to keep children safe.
Norfolk County Council, the Police and Health hold the statutory responsibility for safeguarding Norfolk’s children and young people. Together they champion effective collaboration between all partner agencies working in child protection and promoting the wider development of support for families and young people. The NSCP annual reports set out the range of scrutiny and challenge work that is undertaken, highlighting the partnership’s achievements as well as any areas for improvement.
Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership
The NSCP operates in line with the requirements of the Children and Social Work Act, 2017 and the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2023. The Partnership covers the geographical area of the county of Norfolk as defined by local authority boundaries. This footprint corresponds with that of the Norfolk Constabulary and Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board. The safeguarding partners and other relevant agencies and organisations included in these arrangements are accountable for fulfilling their statutory duties to safeguard and promoting the welfare of children from Norfolk who live or are placed outside the local authority area. The Partnership continues to seek assurance that all relevant partners meet their duties under Section 11 of the Children Act, 2004, where this applies, or have equivalent standards.
The three local safeguarding partners jointly leading the Partnership are:
- Norfolk County Council: represented by the Executive Director of Children’s Services, Sara Tough
- Norfolk Constabulary: represented by the Temporary Assistant Chief Constable, Nick Davison
- The Integrated Care Board: represented by the Executive Director of Nursing, Norfolk & Waveney Integrated Care Board, Patricia D'Orsi.
The governance arrangements can be found in full in the local plan for Multi-Agency Safeguarding Arrangements (MASA).
Prevention and Early Help
Norfolk sees prevention and early help as an integral part of effective safeguarding. It is estimated that over two million children in the UK today are living in difficult family circumstances. These include children whose family lives are affected by parental drug and alcohol dependency, domestic abuse and poor mental health. It is crucial that these children and their families benefit from the best quality professional help at the earliest opportunity. For some families, without early help, difficulties escalate, family circumstances deteriorate, and children are more at risk of suffering significant harm.
The MASA will continue to support and monitor the local multi-agency Early Help offer, for individuals and families. This is a multi-disciplinary approach that brings a range of professional skills and expertise to bear through a place-based approach.
Helping all children and young people in Norfolk to Flourish
The NSCP’s ‘sister’ board, the Children and Young People’s Strategic Alliance (CYPSA) is chaired by the Executive Director of Children’s Services, providing system leadership to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan and the Health and Wellbeing Strategy for children and young people. The core functions of the CYPSA are to:
- Develop and agree strategic priorities and ensure delivery of a CYP Partnership Plan
- Monitor performance in relation to securing impact and outcomes
- Develop and agree strategic commissioning and transformation priorities and processes to ensure best use of resources
- Ensure and promote co-production with service users and stakeholders
- Advocate on behalf of children and young people within wider partnerships and boards
The CYPSA has a comprehensive FLOURISH strategy, underpinned by an outcomes framework, and strengthening synergies between the two partnership groups. The CYPSA relies on the NSCP to act as a critical friend in terms of developing and delivering operational and transformation plans and commissioning specific services that will protect children. The interface between the NSCP and the CYPSA is critical to the ongoing drive for improving safeguarding arrangements.
To enhance governance arrangements the NSCP and CYPSA have streamlined functions to minimise duplications. Workforce development and strategic analysis, including data interrogation and performance intelligence, are shared. This year engagement and participation has also been strengthened by the alignment.
CYPSA is taking the lead for Early Help and Prevention, incorporating the FLOURISH outcomes into its strategy.
Thresholds of Need
Working Together 2023 states: The safeguarding partners should publish a threshold document, which sets out the local criteria for action in a way that is transparent, accessible and easily understood. In Norfolk, we have developed the Continuum of Needs Guidance, which has been designed to support professionals and encourage early discussion and dialogue when we have emerging worries about children. This framework enables effective recognition and assessment of risk and how to agree an appropriate response.
In Norfolk we are working to a model of staged intervention which reflects the dynamic nature of children’s needs according to age and individual circumstances. The purpose of the guidance is to help match the response to the child’s needs, and is not a check list of concerns, but a way of supporting consistent and clear responses to children’s safeguarding and wellbeing.
Our work with children and families will be:
- Relationship based
- Strengths orientated
- Outcome focused.
Success will mean that children:
- Build positive and long-lasting relationships
- Receive family-based care
- Are prepared and able to learn.
All agencies are required to ensure that their staff undertake training and professional development to keep their safeguarding knowledge up to date. This is implicit in our local Section 11 safeguarding self assessment process and the Continuum of Needs Guidance is a fundamental part of the basic skill set. For more information on the NSCP training offer see the NSCP Learning Zone.