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Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership

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Central Bedfordshire Multi-Agency Safeguarding Children Arrangements

The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Arrangements (MASA) in Central Bedfordshire are known as Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (CBSCP).

The arrangements outline how emphasis is placed on considering outcomes for children and young people, and the impact of work that organisations in Central Bedfordshire do to keep children safe, well and achieving their aspirations. The partnership makes time for reflective discussion, scrutiny of work with children and families and sharing learning so that we can improve.

The Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (CBSCP) works closely with the Safeguarding Partnerships in Bedford Borough and Luton to ensure that multi-agency working is as joined up and efficient for partners across the county.

Pan Bedfordshire guidance, policies and procedures relating to the safeguarding of children can be accessed here. Our Pan Bedfordshire multi-agency training programme is available here.  

It is everyone's responsibility to keep children safe, and any concerns should be reported to the Access and Referral Team on 0300 300 85 85 or via email at AccessReferral@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

The Central Bedfordshire Multi-Agency Safeguarding Arrangements:

MASA Document

Appendix A - TOR

Appendix B - Child Safeguarding Practice Review Flowchart

Appendix C - MASA Training Arrangements

CDOP Information

Summary Presentation

CBSCP publishes an Annual Report every year, please see links to our 2022/23 Annual Report. For our latest 2023-24 Business Plan and priorities, please select this link

CBSCP Contact Details

Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Business Unit Contact Details 

Email: cbscb@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk 

Telephone number: 0300 300 6455

Threshold Document

Multi-agency guidance for assessment and thresholds of needs, risk and intervention for children and young people in Central Bedfordshire.

Serious Child Safeguarding Cases

A function of the Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership is to conduct a Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review after a child has died or is seriously harmed as a result of abuse or neglect who’s permanent residence is within the Local Authority area.  The Pan Bedfordshire National & Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review Procedure & Guidance sets out the arrangements that are in place to respond to these reviews and what happens once a referral is made to the Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership under Chapter 4 of Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018).

The purpose of reviews of serious child safeguarding cases, at both local and national level, is to identify improvements to be made to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Reviews seek to prevent or reduce the risk of recurrence of similar incidents. They are not conducted to hold individuals, organisations or agencies to account.

‘Serious child safeguarding cases’ are those in which:

(a) Abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected

(b)  The child has died or been seriously harmed

Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) states that serious harm includes (but is not limited to) serious and/or long-term impairment of a child’s mental health or intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development. It should also cover impairment of physical health. This is not an exhaustive list. When making decisions, judgment should be exercised in cases where impairment is likely to be long-term, even if this is not immediately certain. Even if a child recovers, including from a one-off incident, serious harm may still have occurred.

Meeting the criteria does not mean that Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership must automatically carry out a local child safeguarding practice review. Locally it is for the Care Review Group, on behalf of the Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership, to determine whether a review is appropriate, taking into account that the overall purpose of a review is to identify improvements to practice.

Local Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews reports will be published on our website to enable the sharing of learning across the children’s workforce. All reports are anonymised for publication.

Notifications of Serious Child Safeguarding Cases

Where a local authority in England knows or suspects that a child has been abused or neglected, the local authority must notify the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel (the Panel) if –

  1. The child dies or is seriously harmed in the local authority's area; or
  2. While normally resident in the local authority's area, the child dies or is seriously harmed outside England.

16C(1) of the Children Act 2004
(as amended by the Children and Social Work Act 2017)

The local authority must notify the Panel of any event that meets the criteria within 5 working days of becoming aware that the incident has occurred. The local authority should also report the event to the safeguarding partners in their area (and in other areas if appropriate) within 5 working days. Where the child was Looked After, the local authority must also notify the Secretary of State and Ofsted that they have died, regardless of whether abuse or neglect is known or suspected.

The duty to notify serious child safeguarding events to the Panel rests with the local authority. Information on the process to be followed using the Child Incident Notification System can be found on GOV.UK.

The Central Bedfordshire Case Review Group

Any partner agency may refer a case to the Case Review Group if they believe that there are important lessons for multi-agency working to be learned from the case.

The Case Review Group has several functions and tasks delegated to it. In summary, the Case Review Group will coordinate the following inter-related activity:

  • Make recommendations to the Independent Chair as to: - whether a child safeguarding practice review should be carried out and the methodology to be used, or - whether a child safeguarding practice review should not be carried out but another type of review should be undertaken and the methodology to be used, or - whether other action should be taken by the Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership.
  • Commission local child safeguarding practice reviews, positive learning reviews or other types of reviews on behalf of the Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership.
  • Monitor partner agency and the Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership’s action plans following the publication of child safeguarding practice reviews or completion of another type of review.
  • Use the learning from local and national child safeguarding practice reviews to inform policy, practice and the Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership learning and development programme.

Referring Cases to the Case Review Group for Consideration

Each agency must have arrangements for identifying cases where the agency considers that criteria for either a local or national child safeguarding practice review may be met. It is important that any practitioner or professional is able to discuss a case with their agency Case Review Group representative if they think a child safeguarding practice review may be required.

The Case Review Group representative should notify the Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Business Unit of a referral and confirm this in writing within 48 hours using the Pan Bedfordshire Serious or Non Serious Notification Form.

The Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Business Unit will request agency information to enable the reports to be available to the Case Review Group so that the group can undertake a rapid review of the case and make a recommendation to the Independent Chair as to what kind of review should be commissioned, or if no further action should be taken.

Locally the three safeguarding partners have ultimate responsibility for deciding whether to conduct a local review. The Independent Chair will also be informed to allow independent scrutiny of the decision making process.

Cases may be referred by the local Child Death Overview Panel. The Chair of the Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) may refer a case to the Case Review Group that appears to meet the criteria and which they considers is likely to have important lessons for inter-agency working.

Please see the Pan Bedfordshire Serious Incident Notification & Rapid Review Process flow chart for further information.

The Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Business Manager is available for further advice.

Please contact CBSCP Business Unit to submit notifications or for further support CBSCB@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

Learning from Experience

In the past year the CBSCP has carried out and published the following Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews:

Daniel and Sophie Child Safeguarding Practice Review (March 2023)

Please click here for more information on the Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews process

NSPCC National Case Review Repository

The national case review repository provides a single place for published case reviews to make it easier to access and share learning at a local, regional and national level.

National Case Review Repository

The NSPCC have put together a series of themed briefing documents highlighting the learning from published reviews. Each briefing focuses on a different topic, pulling together key risk factors and practice recommendations to help practitioners understand and act upon the learning.

Learning from Case Reviews 

Index of all pages: