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Evaluation of Integrated Multi-Agency Operational Safeguarding Arrangements in Wales

McManus, MA and Boulton, L (2020) Evaluation of Integrated Multi-Agency Operational Safeguarding Arrangements in Wales. National Independent Safeguarding Board Wales (NISB).

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Open Access URL: https://safeguardingboard.wales/2021/01/06/nationa... (Published version)

Abstract

The evaluation requirement set out two key elements to be achieved from the evaluation work: 1. A full UK/National literature review of multi-agency safeguarding arrangements of both adults and children (the ‘Front Door’ approach) 2. Ascertain the range of current arrangements operating in Wales and their key features. The evaluation team made contact with 33 nominated safeguarding leads with assistance from NISB, with 29 included in the data analysis across all 22 Local Authorities within Wales. Due to the global pandemic of Covid-19, planned telephone interviews with each individual lead were also offered to be completed via an open survey, which could be returned via email in Welsh, or English. Data was transcribed and analysed using N-vivo for thematic analysis. In summary, the data highlighted some key areas: • There is evidence of effective adoption of ‘Front Door’ services, with this seen as open and accessible to all (via various forms of communication: email, phone, to all users: general public through to specialist services/organisations). • There is evidence of successful adoption of language and vision from the Social Services and Wellbeing Act (2014) and new All Wales Safeguarding Policy in terms of being ‘person centred’, emphasising the individual and family at the heart of decision making processes. • All 22 Local Authorities are engaged in multi-agency collaborative working, however, the way these operate vary significantly (see Table 7). • It was clear when trying to identify relevant individuals to interview that children and adult services were often seen as separate. Initial plans were to interview 1 safeguarding lead from each LA, but on speaking to nominated leads they often had responsibility for one area, for example children safeguarding, and would therefore provide an additional name to follow-up with regarding adult safeguarding processes and provision. o Discussions with safeguarding leads furthered this issue with disagreement as to whether these should be more joined up, or distinctive, specialised and purposely separated. • Some adult safeguarding nominated leads spoke extremely passionately about recent policy and legislative amendments with focus on adults having an equal statutory footing within safeguarding. However, frustrations from adult safeguarding leads still emphasised the need to use ‘duty to enquire’ to push for action, indicating that adult safeguarding still had much more work to be done to achieve similar level of response to children. • Although ‘Front Door’ arrangements were said to be well established in all 22 LA’s, it is clear from the various arrangements (see Table 7) that these were not always co-located with safeguarding teams, with concerns about how processes and pathways across the whole system can be seen, shared, audited and importantly how learning can be taken forward. Those co-located (‘Front Door’ and safeguarding teams’) seemed to have better collaborative working, with talk of more support and learning coming from face to face conversations about cases as they come in. • The above point was furthered in regards to difficulties with Information sharing systems that inhibit understanding data across services (children and adults, also for ‘Front Door’ to safeguarding), which then limits capacity to plan resources and conduct quality assurance (QA) processes. o All those that engaged with the study were asked for referral numbers to give estimation of size of demand across each service. However, some were able to give all parts of the system, for example, ‘Front Door’ through to safeguarding including adults and children, whereas others were only able to provide their service and could not access further data. This once again highlights issues with being able to see the whole system. • There were different viewpoints and implementation of multi-agency arrangements between those using more virtual multi-agency arrangements compared to physical MASHs, particularly when these are in rural and urban areas. o Covid-19 restrictions have further emphasised variances within rural and urban safeguarding provisions. Rural areas seemed more prepared and functional with remote working, compared to urban areas stating concern about eroding relationships between organisations if remote working continued. • There was evidence of effective engagement from key agencies in information sharing and decision making processes, with high levels of engagement with police, but issues with other organisations engaging as necessary. Education and CAMHS were often mentioned. • Although not mentioned frequently, some safeguarding leads discussed issues regarding resourcing and turnover of staff. In addition, a couple mentioned their concerns in being able to adequately support their team dealing with vulnerable families, when they have lost their physical support (peer) network (due to covid-19 restrictions and remote working). • Overall nominated safeguarding leads talked confidently about their safeguarding aims and how they were achieving these, with most acknowledging that there is still much work to be done.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
K Law > K Law (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV697 Protection, assistance and relief
Divisions: Justice Studies (new Sep 19)
Publisher: National Independent Safeguarding Board Wales (NISB)
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2021 11:58
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 11:58
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13717

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