The Children and Social Work Act 2017 received royal assent on 27th April 2017. Section 16E of the Act requires each Local Authority Area to establish local arrangements for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
In Merton, the Local Authority, the Police, Basic Command Unit and the Merton Clinical Commissioning group met to agree the safeguarding arrangements for Merton. The result of this work is the Merton Safeguarding Children Partnership Agreement. The Partnership Agreement is the governing document for the new Safeguarding Children Partnership. This document that sets out the Merton Safeguarding Children Partnership’s Vision and the purpose, principles and priorities of the Partnership. The Partnership Agreement is a statutory requirement under the Children 2004, Section 16E and the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and Chapter 3 of Working Together 2018.
Safeguarding children is a key strength in Merton. The 2017 Ofsted Inspection found the Board to be Outstanding with no recommendations for improvement.
In making the transition from a Local Safeguarding Children’s Board to a Local Safeguarding Partnership, Merton is moving forward from a position of outstanding performance. The aim of this partnership agreement is to reflect the kind of partnership which was recognised in the 2017 Ofsted Inspection of the Board, whilst recognising that there have been significant changes in the resources and capacity of partners. The constitution of the new partnership, therefore, builds on the strength of our existing partnerships and our continued relentless focus on safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.
In accordance with Working Together 2018, the Merton Safeguarding Children /Partnership recognises that “Schools, colleges and other educational providers have a pivotal role to play in safeguarding children and promoting their welfare. Their co-operation and buy-in to the new arrangements will be vital for success. ” The Partnership therefore recognises the vital role of schools, colleges and other educational providers by including sector representatives as a primary Relevant Agency. Other named Relevant Agencies include:
- Housing – a representative Registered Social Landlords and Housing Associations and Merton Housing Needs
- Probation (including National Probation and CRC Probation)
- Department for Work and Pensions
- Voluntary Organisations represented by the MVSC or another relevant body
- Acute Trusts, Health Providers and Mental Health Trust