Section 11 of the 2004 Children Act sets out the provision for Local Children Safeguarding Boards to undertake a self-assessment audit of how organisations and services are meeting standards to safeguard children and young people.
The purpose of this annual exercise is to:
- Provide all organisations and groups that work with / are involved with children and young people with the opportunity to provide an account of how they prioritise safeguarding
- Provide evidence of how your organisation or group has been able to learn and improve in how you do this
The role of the CSCB is to support this exercise and to collate the responses in order that the Board may determine:
- What the self-assessments tell us about the effectiveness of arrangements for the safeguarding of children and young people in Calderdale
- What this tells us about the effectiveness of joint working to protect children and young people in Calderdale
The results of the audit will then form an important part of:
- Demonstrating in a transparent way how all organisations, professionals and others who are involved with children, young people and their families are accountable for how individually – and collectively – they safeguard children in Calderdale
- The CSCB Annual Report which is a public statement as to the sufficiency of joint working arrangements to protect children and young people in Calderdale
- The development of priorities to provide leadership and support for learning and improvement, and sharing things that work well
Benefits of completing the Section 11 self-assessment audit
How will completing the Section 11 benefit your organisation?
- Provides evident for national inspection organisations e.g Ofsted / CQC / HMIC
- Provides evidence that Safeguarding is a priority within your organisation
- Provides evidence that your organisation works closely with the Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board and understands its roles and responsibilities.
- Demonstrates compliance with the relevant legislation e.g. Working Together 2015.
- Provides evidence of reflective practice
- Feeds into improvement / development plans for your organisation
- Identifies good practice and areas for development within your organsation
Why CSCB require you to complete an annual Section 11 audit?
- Provides an understand of the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements and of joint working to protect the children and young people of Calderdale for the CSCB annual report.
- Enables the future CSCB training and support for the Calderdale Partnership to be planned.
- Enables organisations to give evidence of their understand of safeguarding responsibilities by grading against quality standards model answers.
Calderdale Partnership benefits of the 2015 Annual Section 11 self-assessment
- Useful tool to measure progress
- Many organisations reported progress since 2014
- Many organisations found it useful to support reflection and resetting of plans
Section 11 April 2015 – March 2016
For the year 1st April 2015 – 31st March 2106 the questions have been simplified and additional lines of enquiry have been added to the self-assessment tool in response to priority areas in the Board’s work streams to gather information about how:
- The additional vulnerabilities of disabled children are taken into account in your work
- The new Prevent duties are being prioritised
- Your VIPs and visitors arrangements safeguard children and young people in your organisation.
The self-assessment tool continues to:
- Allow you to use the model answers to guide your rating and provide you with the opportunity to comment and qualify this
- Allow you to include your story, and we encourage the inclusion of or links to the forms of evidence you currently use to assure yourselves as to how you prioritise safeguarding, and how effective you consider your safeguarding arrangements to be
- Provide the opportunity to deliver your organisation with a running commentary and review of progress, in addition to providing assurance to the Board.
Finally, the CSCB continues to be keen to demonstrate support for organisations completing the audits; the high levels of completion of the audit in Years 1 and 2 showed a strong commitment to the requirement for self-assessment, improvement and collective accountability. The quality of self-assessments and the additional evidence provided by respondents indicated that this was seen as a useful and worthwhile process for those taking part.
This year’s annual Section 11 Audit and Self-Assessment process will be supported by Jacquie Hellowell, Performance Management Quality Assurance Officer for the CSCB whose contact details are 01422 392530 or firstname.lastname@example.org