SEFTON LSCB Safeguarding Policies and Procedures Online Manual

    17.1 Introduction

    Last updated 18/05/2017

    1. This procedure has been developed by Sefton Local Safeguarding Children’s Board to ensure that there is a clear means for partner agencies to resolve any professional disagreements between practitioners regarding a specific child, in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of that young person.
    2. This procedure does no replace the statutory complaints process within partner agencies.
    3. This procedure is distinctly separate to the Practice Alert Procedure which is used by the IRO Service based within the Safeguarding Unit to draw attention to issues of practice or resourcing by an Independent Reviewing Officer.
    4. In line with Working Together to Safeguard Children partners are expected to adopt an open and transparent relationship to be effective and the LSCB is responsible for overseeing this and ensuring the effectiveness of the entire process, making sure that lessons are learned and that best practice and procedures are adhered to.
    5. The escalation procedure will support the swift resolution of professional disagreements and support staff how to escalate their concerns within the following context.

    a) Where a decision has been made and an agency wishes to formally challenge this decision having taken all reasonable steps to have resolved this matter during professionals meetings and discussions.

    and / or

    b) As part of a decision making process, an agency responsible for specific actions in order safeguard a child, fails to undertake those actions, or comply with agreed procedures.

    There are many examples of when this may happen and as professionals there is an expectation to resolve the matter informally between workers, however in a situation whereby a resolution cannot be sought, then this will be progressed by line managers.

    Safeguarding the child must always be the primary concern and professional disagreements should never compromise a child’s safety or welfare.

    If a professional considers there to be an immediate safeguarding risk, their concerns must be escalated immediately.