Why Calderdale has been chosen by the Government to pilot child safeguarding scheme

Councillor Megan Swift, Calderdale Council's Cabinet member for Children and Young People's Services
Councillor Megan Swift, Calderdale Council's Cabinet member for Children and Young People's Services

Calderdale is one of just 17 areas nationally chosen by the Government to adopt new local safeguarding arrangements for children early.

Children at risk of abuse or neglect will now be protected through improved partnerships between local police, councils and health services with new legal requirements set for the three safeguarding partners who will be required to make joint safeguarding decisions to meet the needs of children and families.

Senior police, council and health leaders will jointly be responsible for setting out local plans to keep children safe and will be accountable for how well agencies work together to protect children from abuse and neglect.

The new advice, introduced by the Department of Education, is aimed at all professionals who come in to contact with children and families and includes guidance on current threats to child protection, such as sexual and criminal exploitation, gangs and radicalisation.

After its successful bid to the Government, Calderdale is one of 17 areas to become an “early adopter”, working with the National Children’s Bureau to launch the new safeguarding arrangements before they are adopted across the rest of the UK.

Calderdale was chosen because the council, West Yorkshire Police and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have innovative ideas for how to improve safeguarding.

They have also secured around £10,000 from the Department for Education to hold two full-day events – one in November this year, the other in April 2019 – to raise awareness of the new arrangements, talk to local children and families about what support they need, and involve them in shaping the help provided.

The events will involve children, parents and carers working alongside a range of organisations such as schools, faith groups and other community organisations.

People will have the chance to tell the three safeguarding organisations what is important to them, what issues they need addressing and when.

Learning from these events will then be shared across the country and Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services, Coun Megan Swift (Lab, Town) said: “We’re really pleased to receive further national recognition for our work.

“We welcome the new safeguarding requirements as they will ensure we continue to make excellent progress in making joint safeguarding decisions to meet the needs of local children and families.”

Council, Police and CCG will share more information publicly about what they are doing to ensure safeguarding helping ensure everyone knows how they can support vulnerable children, how to spot any potential issues and where to go if they need help.

Detective Chief Inspector David Shaw, of Calderdale District Safeguarding, said: “Joint safeguarding initiatives and partnership working is key to ensuring we work as effectively as we can and to continue to raise awareness of safeguarding.

“We all have a part to play in safeguarding vulnerable children and adults, and, as a district, we continue to make strides in this area.”

NHS Calderdale CCG’s chief officer Matt Walsh said: “We are excited at the opportunity this gives us to help shape future safeguarding arrangements across the country. I would encourage everyone to come to the events and tell us what you think.”