William Eichler 29 November 2018

‘Substantial shortcomings’ found in local safeguarding guidance

‘Substantial shortcomings’ found in local safeguarding guidance   image

Freedom of information requests have uncovered ‘substantial shortcomings’ when it comes to the use of safeguarding guidance by county councils.

The requests, made by Panlogic, a digital engineering consultancy specialising in the public sector, found that 22 out of 37 respondents reported incidents regarding the safeguarding of vulnerable adults and children in the last three calendar years.

They also revealed that 14 councils had to take disciplinary action against staff not following safeguarding issues correctly. 16 refused to answer this question and only seven councils said no disciplinary action was required from 2015 to 2018.

Panlogic also discovered that guidance in some councils can often remain untouched even after major updates and incidents occur. Two councils admitted they could have a three-yearly cycle for the question, ‘How often are safeguarding guidance standards updated?’

‘Guidance, especially for local authorities, is an incredibly important resource for employees and contractors that must be kept up-to-date and not cut back due to budget or other constraints,’ said William Makower, CEO, Panlogic.

‘The fact that we're seeing a high level of incidents and disciplinary issues is a real concern for public sector workers. This must be addressed so that mandatory services can be delivered without question.’

Mr Makower also stressed the importance of the accessibility of guidance, after five councils admitted that guidance could not be accessed via mobile devices.

‘Just as vital as the contents of any guidance is the accessibility of it to staff; it can be the most up-to-date and detailed guidance possible, but unless it can be put in the hands of staff in critical situations it is worthless,’ he said.

‘There are still councils that are both not embracing appropriate technology or are creating unnecessary hurdles to view the guidance (unnecessary password protection and/or permitted access only being available via council hardware, for instance).’

The length of guidance is also something that needs addressing, according to Panlogic. Several councils reported upwards of a hundred pages of safeguarding guidance.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of Highways & Transport

City of York Council
£58,568 - £66,923 per annum
This is hugely exciting time to join the Council in this new role as the strategic lead for our Highways and Transport service. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Youth & Community Based Commissioner

Essex County Council
£19308 - £19631 per annum
Youth & Community Based Commissioner Permanent, Part Time £19,308 to £19,631 per annum (FTE) Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Family Support & Protection Team

Essex County Council
Up to £207 per day + Umbrella
Family Operations delivers direct provision of services relating to vulnerable children, young people and complex families. These services will be del England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

District Youth and Community Commissioner in Training

Essex County Council
£25313 - £28001 per annum
District Youth and Community Commissioner in Training Permanent, Full Time £25,313 - £28,001 Per Annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Early Intervention Team

Essex County Council
Up to £207 per day + Umbrella
*** This is a temporary position to start as soon as possible based at Colchester Hospital ***About the RoleWorking to support adults, and their famil England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue