LSCBLocal Safeguarding Children Board Northamptonshire

'Working Together To Safeguard Children 2015' published

The Department for Education published an updated version of the key statutory guidance for anyone working with children in England in March 2015.

This new statutory guidance document supersedes the 2013 version and can be downloaded below.

'Working Together To Safeguard Children 2015' includes some changes and also incorporates new or changed legislation and statutory guidance since 2013. 

There are 3 main changes: 

1. The referral of allegations against those who work with children  (Chapter 2, Section 5, page 54)

This section doesn't refer to the Local Authority Designated Officer specifically and instead states that:

Local authorities should, in addition, have designated a particular officer, or team of officers (either as part of multi-agency arrangements or otherwise), to be involved in the management and oversight of allegations against people that work with children. Any such officer, or team of officers, should be sufficiently qualified and experienced to be able to fulfil this role effectively, for example qualified social workers. Any new appointments to such a role, other than current or former designated officers moving between local authorities, should be qualified social workers.

2. Notifiable incidents involving the care of a child (Chapter 4, Sections 13 -16, page 74)

This section sets out what circumstances would constitue a notifiable incident:

A notifiable incident is an incident involving the care of a child which meets any of the following criteria:

  • a child has died (including cases of suspected suicide), and abuse or neglect is known or suspected;
  • a child has been seriously harmed and abuse or neglect is known or suspected;
  • a looked after child has died (including cases where abuse or neglect is not known or suspected); or
  • a child in a regulated setting or service has died (including cases where abuse or neglect is not known or suspected).

3. The definition of serious harm for the purposes of Serious Case Reviews (Chapter 4, Section 17, page 75)

The description 'serious harm' has been more closely defined than previously: 

“Seriously harmed”..... includes, but is not limited to, cases where the child has sustained, as a result of abuse or neglect, any or all of the following:

  • a potentially life-threatening injury;
  • serious and/or likely long-term impairment of physical or mental health or physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development.

This definition is not exhaustive. In addition, even if a child recovers, this does not mean that serious harm cannot have occurred. 

This is a brief summary of some changes.The full 'Working Together 2015' document can be downloaded and saved using this link:

Last updated: 07 May 2015

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