Quality assurance and performance improvement activities are key functions undertaken by all member organisations of Warrington Safeguarding Partnership.

As a multi-agency coordinated partnership we monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of what is done by our partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.  Most importantly, the process of learning allows us to drive forward continuous improvements in practice.

Our activities include many key principles of learning:

  • Understand child protection and safeguarding processes from the child’s perspective.
  • Assessing the effectiveness and impact of the services being provided
  • Quality assuring practice rigorously and in detail through examining cases through the use of audits to identify what worked well, what are we worried about, what needs to happen?
  • Drive forward lasting improvements to services to safeguard children and families as a result of the actions from reviews and audits
  • Foster transparency about issues and actions arising from those reviews and audits.
  • Asking partners to self-evaluate.

The information collected through these activities informs the strategic priorities for the Partnership and our business plans.  Warrington Safeguarding Partnership Quality Assurance group are responsible for coordinating this work, however there are strong links across Impact and Development group and Practitioners Forum to ensure learning, development and communication issues identified are addressed and implemented effectively.

 

Quality assurance framework

Warrington Safeguarding Partnership updated their quality assurance framework in September 2019.

The WSP uses different pieces of intelligence to understand the quality of the work, all of which has both the practitioners and the children and families of Warrington at the centre.  Feedback from practitioners is sought through the Practitioners forum.

Children and families contribute through the practitioners that work with them, and the WSP seeks to engage with them through established forums (Youth Council, Children in Care Forum, WARPAC etc.) and focused pieces of work.

Intelligence is gathered from the following pieces of work;

  • Learning from single agency audit activity
  • Learning from multi agency audit activity
  • Learning from single agency practice observations
  • Learning from compliments and complaints
  • Feedback from Practitioner Forum
  • Findings from inspection activity
  • Findings from reviews – locally and nationally including Safeguarding Practice Reviews, Child Death Reviews, Domestic Homicide Reviews
  • Safeguarding Self-Assessments – Section 11, Section 175 Audit
  • Feedback on services from children and young people
  • Single agency led intelligence (qualitative and quantitative) fed into the Safeguarding Profile and Storyboard information

 

Safeguarding profile and storyboard information

Regular quarterly reporting on selected measures of performance from across the safeguarding system enables members to understand how Warrington is performing. The partnership collects information about key safeguarding performance information which is collated into the Safeguarding Profile, alongside more qualitative and contextual information from key agencies in the partnership using a storyboard. 

Intelligence from this forms part of the Business Plan for the partnership and key findings are included within the annual report.

Data alone cannot assure the Partnership that its efforts to foster consistent practice and partnership working is having a positive impact on outcomes for children and young people. However, when taken together with audit findings and case reviews a greater understanding emerges.

 

Multi-agency case audits

Warrington Safeguarding Partnership undertakes multi-agency case audit days a minimum of twice a year. It also plans to undertake an annual audit day with Warrington Safeguarding Adult Board to explore learning across both partnerships.

These audit days allow the partnership to assess the quality of the safeguarding work being undertaken, with a specific focus on multi-agency working. 

All agencies involved with the partnership through the Strategic Group, Quality Assurance Group and Impact Group are invited to attend as audit facilitators. This broad range of individuals are able to evaluate, reflect and learn from the cases being audited. 

A key part of the day are the reflective case discussions which take place with the practitioners who have worked directly with the children and families. 

Future audits also plan to engage with the families and children directly to gather their views on the work being undertaken.

Most audits are based on a theme. The theme is chosen by the Warrington Safeguarding Partnership based on priorities identified in their business plan or in response to specific areas of concern or emerging themes. Previous audits have been undertaken around the themes of fabricated and induced illness and early help. 

Please read the guidance:

Results of themed audit days

A full report of the findings from each Themed Audit Day is presented to WSP. A single page Learning Brief is also produced which includes a summary of the findings and key messages for professional practice.

Safeguarding self assessment

Section 11 audit

Under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 specific types of organisations and individuals are required to evaluate their compliance with safeguarding and child protection practice and procedures and their overall practice in this regard.

In Warrington this is undertaken annually using an audit tool completed by the agency which is scrutinised by the QA group and action plans developed to improve compliance.

The sharing of practice and systems provides an opportunity for agencies to learn from each other. Through feedback from partners on how systems and process impact on joint working agencies develop insight into where practice can be enhanced or changed.

Section 175/157 audits

Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 requires school governing bodies, local education authorities and further education institutions to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. They are required to pay due regard to guidance by the Secretary of State. A similar requirement is made of independent schools under Section 157 of the Education Act 2002.