Safeguarding reviews and audits
Expert support on conducting statutory reviews, learning reviews and audits to improve safeguarding practice
SCIE helps organisations to review and learn from safeguarding incidents in a way that supports improvement. We support with statutory case reviews, routine audits and learning reviews across children’s and adults’ services.
SCIE’s reviewing experts:
- broker access to accredited lead reviewers
- develop local capacity to review safeguarding cases and practice through training and mentoring
- train leaders and managers on using a systems approach for effective learning and improvement.
The style and substance of the (SCIE Learning Together) report allowed for a more honest discussion with the Board about learning from the review.Independent chair, Local Safeguarding Children’s board
Organisations that SCIE supports
We work with organisations in the UK and overseas that have a legal responsibility to protect and safeguard children and adults at risk of abuse or neglect including:
- safeguarding boards for adults and children
- Scottish child protection committees
- local authority commissioners
- health commissioners, including clinical commissioning groups
- the police, youth justice and other criminal justice agencies
- care and support providers, including statutory, voluntary and private sector organisations
- health providers, including NHS Trusts and GP services
- housing providers, including housing associations
SCIE can help your organisation and partners to learn together and improve safeguarding practice.
SCIE’s Learning Together model
SCIE’s Learning Together model is one of the most developed and tested systems-approach models available. This collaborative methodology aims to gain a deeper understanding of current local practice and cultivate an open, learning culture. Each review is bespoke, designed to fit your needs, the case(s) and circumstances.
Our in-house experts and associates conduct audits and case reviews on a consultancy basis, supported by methodological supervision from SCIE.
More on Learning Together
Become an accredited reviewer
SCIE runs a support programme for lead reviewers accredited in the Learning Together systems model. We welcome both salaried professionals as well as independent consultants. There are two routes to accreditation:
- An individual mentoring scheme – The favoured option for developing local capacity. An accredited Learning Together mentor is matched with a trainees to support them complete their first Learning Together case review to ensure they are using the systems approach to best effect. This follows participation in a Learning Together foundation course and is a requirement for application to the accreditation process.
- A cohort scheme – The favoured option for independent consultants. Trainees are supported to complete their first Learning Together case review through group supervision sessions. This scheme begins with a bespoke Foundation Course for group members.
Accredited lead reviewers who work within local agencies benefit from:
- ongoing supervision of all Learning Together reviews
- a community of practice for accredited Learning Together reviewers – an annual programme of peer support, seminars, short life working groups, and annual conference
Safeguarding reviews and audits - clients
Over 90 organisations have commissioned SCIE and our associates to carry out safeguarding reviews. We have an international reputation.
- 59 Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards in England
- 11 Scottish Child Protection Committee reviews
- 12 Safeguarding Adult Boards
- Northern Ireland Safeguarding Board
- NHS England
- Church of England
- Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)
- Ministry of Defence
Church of England – Independent audit of safeguarding arrangements and survivors’ survey Open
The Church of England commissioned SCIE to provide an independent audit of diocesan safeguarding arrangements, including a survey of survivors views on what a good response from the Church would look like.
The process began with four audits designed to test the planning, the conduct and output of the audit approach in 2016. The dioceses in Portsmouth, Salisbury, Blackburn and Durham volunteered to participate in the pilot stage of the project, which enabled the audit methodology and supporting documents to be amended on the basis of the evaluation of the pilots.
SCIE has now completed 42 independent audits across all dioceses in England. The audits can be accessed via the Church of England website (under Reviews and Reports).
SCIE is also carrying out an independent, confidential survey of survivors. We are seeking the views of people with first-hand experience to find out what a good response from the Church should look like. The results of this survey will complement learning from the independent audits.
The survey is open until the end of July 2018. Access the survey on our website.
SCIE and MACSAS (Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors) are holding a fringe event at the Church of England General Synod on Friday 6 July 2018.
The event will bring together survivors of abuse and Synod members to consider: How can the Church best support victims and survivors of church abuse? It is being run in association with the Church’s National Safeguarding Team.
The event will include presentations by survivors and group discussions drawing on preliminary themes from the independent survey.
Key messages from the fringe event will be shared with the wider General Synod on Saturday 7 July 2018 when Synod members discuss safeguarding issues.
An overview report including learning from the audits and the survivors’ survey will be published later in 2018. Register for SCIE’s email newsletter to get alerts.
These audits are part of our commitment to making the Church a safer place for all… They show how each diocese can improve, while also commending good practice that is already in place. Our policies and practice must start from the place of seeking the very best for all. This includes them being survivor-focused. SCIE’s experience in safeguarding will help us to do that.The Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, lead bishop on safeguarding at the Church of England
The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has delivered independent safeguarding audits for all 42 dioceses of the Church of England over 2.5 years. We have been impressed with the collaborative way they have worked with us, and with each diocese, to make the audits a positive learning experience for everyone involved. SCIE staff have developed a good understanding of faith-related safeguarding challenges, and have helped formulate practical ways to improve our practice.Heather Reid, Deputy National Safeguarding Adviser to the Church of England
More on SCIE’s work on safeguarding
Downside school and monasteries: working with SCIE Open
Downside Abbey incorporates a Benedictine monastery and a Catholic boarding school in Somerset.
As part of a commitment to keeping children and young people safe, Downside wanted to gain an understanding of how well the safeguarding of children is practiced and promoted within and between the school and the abbey. SCIE were commissioned to carry out a systems based joint audit of both the abbey and school, testing current arrangements and ways working against models of good practice. The process and outputs were designed to provide independent, rigorous and constructive challenge, which will enable all parties to progress on the journey of better keeping children safe.
Drawing on SCIE’s Learning Together model, an approach that is collaborative in nature, SCIE and Downside embarked on a review that involved site visits across both the school and abbey to conduct conversations, focus groups and review case material. Engagement took place with not just senior leaders from Downside but also current staff, pupils and parents, past pupils and those that have previously held safeguarding roles. This process concluded with a final report delivering a challenging and constructive review of safeguarding arrangements that looks forward to how to consolidate progress and tackle remaining difficulties.
Department of Health - Learning from safeguarding adults reviews (SARs) Open
The Department of Health has commissioned SCIE and RiPfA to improve the quality and use of safeguarding adults reviews (SARs).
The initial phase of work runs from March 2017 to March 2018 to draw together and develop an online library of open access resources on the SCIE website containing reviews, reports, guidance and tools to support practitioners working in safeguarding. National safeguarding networks will be involved to ensure that stakeholders’ views and knowledge are represented in the development of the resources.
The space will provide open access to SAR reports alongside a search function to support easy navigation. There will be analysis of the reports to identify trends and emerging issues, and translation of this analysis into user-friendly materials containing key messages for practice.
We have three upcoming events on the theme of Making the learning from Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) accessible through a national library.
Mencap and safeguarding: SCIE review Open
SCIE were commissioned to support the charity Mencap with their safeguarding responsibilities. In response to the introduction of the Care Act 2014, Mencap established an internal safeguarding panel to develop and oversee arrangements in this area. The panel was tasked with providing organisational oversight of safeguarding arrangements, reporting and management of incidents to provide assurance and to improve outcomes for the people that Mencap support.
As part of its safeguarding plan, Mencap commissioned an independent, external review of their safeguarding arrangements, including a review of current assurance processes that were in place, and to review the effectiveness of such arrangements.
The objective of the review was to provide a formal and independent assessment to the board of trustees - quality and compliance committee. As such SCIE were asked to review:
- The effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements and practices, specifically how safeguarding risks are identified, reported and acted upon.
- The awareness and understanding of leaders and practitioners of safeguarding, their responsibilities and accountabilities
- How senior leaders and trustees oversee safeguarding and discharge their responsibilities and accountabilities
- If Mencap’s safeguarding arrangements and practices are reflective of today’s best practice.
SCIE worked with Mencap to make sure that their governance arrangements provide sufficient oversight for the board to fulfil its responsibilities and obligations; and to ensure that roles and responsibilities have been identified and understood, that national and local safeguarding responsibilities are being carried out appropriately with partners and most importantly that people being supported by the organisation are safe.
The review also identified how Mencap could incorporate the principles of Making Safeguarding Personal within its person-centred practice framework.
On completion of the review it was recommended that Mencap consider appointing an independent chair for its internal safeguarding panel. This recommendation was approved by the Board of Trustees and a new independent chair is in place.
Reshet. Children and young people’s safeguarding in the Jewish community Open
SCIE is supporting Reshet with developing and strengthening best practice in child protection and safeguarding for synagogues and communal organisations; and in working with children and young people. Reshet is a specialist team, funded by UJIA and supported by the Jewish Leadership Council, to build capacity and confidence in the provision and delivery of informal education to children and young people across the Jewish community. Informal Jewish Education engages with over 10,000 children and young people engaged on a weekly basis in schools, synagogues, youth centres and home hospitality.
Over the last two years SCIE has provided a range of support; training and advice to organisations in the Jewish community. Highlights have included:
- Child protection and safeguarding training for multiple synagogues across London- including rabbis, volunteers and staff
- Supporting Reshet on the development of the first children and young people’s safeguarding position paper for the Jewish community. This paper was launched in March 2018 at the SCIE offices, with over 50 senior members from across the Jewish community present
- Tailored designated safeguarding lead in October 2017 for Designated Safeguarding Leads across the community. Thirteen separate organisations participated from across the reform, masorti, united and orthodox community
- Providing policy support and review for an ultra-orthodox outreach service; a liberal and orthodox synagogue.
At the heart of each relationship is an understanding of the specific needs of the community - whether liberal or orthodox- and ensuring that we build a learning approach that is inclusive. We have taken each relationship with separate communal organisations slowly to try understand what the specific needs of each community are, given that provision ranges from liberal to ultra-orthodox. This has enabled us to build trust and a strong rapport with synagogues, charities and youth movements. As a direct result we have seen our work within the community grow and we are currently in talks with Reshet to develop accredited training for the community; and also more designated safeguarding lead training.
SCIE's safeguarding training was extremely well run and sensitive to our specific needs.Avi Lazarus, CEO, Federation of Synagogues.
Royal Chelsea Hospital and SCIEOpen
Having attended one of SCIE’s open courses, staff at Royal Chelsea Hospital commissioned SCIE to deliver a programme of safeguarding training to almost 250 people. Those attending the training ranged from the matron and nurses working in the high dependency unit with an extensive experience of health and social care through to volunteers and auxiliary staff who were new to the topic. The objective for the training programme was to establish a common and clear understanding of safeguarding under the Care Act 2014, in particular in the context of the Hospital. Following the conclusion of the training Royal Chelsea Hospital have appreciated an increased awareness of safeguarding concerns; staff are more confident in identifying safeguarding incidents and sharing information.