SAB Structures – Subgroups and task-and-finish groups
To manage their work effectively, SABs need to establish a range of subgroups. Remits vary but subgroups can be concerned with:
- training and staff development
- performance monitoring
- leadership and implementation of ‘Making safeguarding personal’
- communication and awareness-raising
- safeguarding adult reviews and other review processes
- developing and implementing the SAB’s prevention strategy.
Task-and-finish groups may be used for a wide range of functions, including:
- strategic plan development
- annual report development
- arranging conferences and events
- local research.
Subgroups and task-and-finish groups should have:
- clear terms of reference
- a review date
- reporting arrangements to the SAB.
The members of subgroups and task-and-finish groups can include agencies and communities of interest that are not members of the SAB itself. They can draw in wider expertise and also promote ‘sign up’ from a wide range of partner agencies.
Typically, subgroups and task-and-finish groups are chaired either by members of the SAB, or their chairs become members of the SAB while they are in role.
Issues to consider include:
- Are subgroups an effective use of scarce resources?
- Are meetings the most enabling medium to ensure the active participation of the interested parties/communities of interest? Virtual networks may provide an alternative model.
- Are subgroups regularly reviewed to prevent them developing and continuing beyond their original remit?
- Should the same people be nominated to join more than one subgroup or other groups?
- Does the group’s membership reflect the range of interested parties and practitioners, managers, people with care and support needs, carers and specialists?
- Does the subgroup have an action plan that fits with, and is referred to in, the SABs strategic plan?
- Is the work of all the groups coordinated – possibly though regular meetings of the chairs with the SAB chair?
- Do the groups have access to resources to meet their remit?
- Can SAB and subgroup meetings be organised in ways which enable the effective participation of all members, including any who have specific communication needs?
- How are the costs of group members who are not employed by an agency to be met, including support and communication costs?
- How will the engagement of wider constituencies and communities of interest be achieved and evaluated?
- How will the SAB structure and manage its administrative support systems?
- Could a group be commissioned across more than one SAB to make the best use of resources, maximise capacity and join up agendas where there is overlap? For example:
- a human resources and recruitment subgroup across the SAB and local safeguarding children board
- a subgroup on awareness-raising across two neighbouring SABs.