RCPCH Response to Working Together to Safeguard Children - call for evidence

In September 2023 we responded to the Department for Education’s Open Consultation on Working Together to Safeguard Children: Changes to statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

The update to the Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 reflects recent legislative changes, including the replacement of clinical commissioning groups with integrated care boards, the replacement of Public Health England with the UK Health Security Agency and OHID, the transfer of the Chief Public Health Nurse role to OHID, and the referencing of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and the UK GDPR.

Our full response to the call for evidence is available to download below.

In our response we emphasize the importance of an outcomes-focused approach in the rewrite, highlighting the need for identifying appropriate outcomes for children and professionals and the necessity of data collection mechanisms without overburdening practitioners. It suggests the creation of a "child health outcomes bank" and calls for independent academic evaluation of changes to the policy. Additionally, it discusses the potential of Expert Child Protection Units, emphasizing the need for clear guidance, flexible approaches, and child-centred services. The response also stresses the importance of considering individual differences among children and families and adhering to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Both the College and RCPCH&Us, our youth voice organisation, would be happy to meet with the department to further discuss the inclusion of children and young people’s voices in this work, in order to ensure that children’s rights are upheld in this space.