Children, Culture and Communities Scrutiny

7 November 2023


Report of the Corporate Director of Children Services and Education


Annual overview of activity through the Children Safeguarding Partnership


1.           This report introduces the annual report of the City of York Childrens Safeguarding Partnership.



2.      Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) requires each Safeguarding Children Partnership to publish an annual report to bring transparency for children, families, and all practitioners about the activity it has undertaken. The report must set out what the partnership have done including on child safeguarding practice reviews, and how effective these arrangements have been in practice.

3.      The core objectives of the Safeguarding Children Partnership is to coordinate local work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to ensure the effectiveness of what the member organisations do individually and together.


4.           The Annual report of the City of York partnership (Annex A) provides an overview of activity in 2022/23 and sets out the key priorities at a system level for 2023/24, taking account of any local learning from case reviews, thematic audit, partnership subgroup work and national thematic learning and/or priorities.


5.           The partnership is supported and challenged through its independent chair and scrutineer, Mel John-Ross, who has extensive experience in the safeguarding arena as a previous system leader in children services within the Yorkshire and Humber Region.

6.           The independent scrutineer provides assurance in judging the effectiveness of multi-agency arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children, including arrangements to identify and review serious child safeguarding cases.


7.           In this context, Mel John-Ross who was appointed in January 2023 has provided robust challenge in the writing of the annual report and provided overall judgement and scrutiny of its content. The next iteration in our journey to strengthen our partnership arrangements will see an annual report from the partnership for 2023/24 and a separate annual report of the scrutineer.


8.           The annual report is being presented to this committee by the safeguarding partnership manager, who is the author of the report on behalf of the partnership and relevant agencies.


9.      The Local Safeguarding Annual Report has been written with many contributing stakeholders across the statutory partnership and other organisations, described in Working Together 2018 as ‘relevant agencies’ This included a partnership day where colleagues came together at an in-person event.

10.        This report is an introduction to the work of the safeguarding partnership and therefore isn’t seeking any decision.




11.        There are no options in this report requiring analysis.


Council Plan


12.        An effective partnership approach to safeguarding is a key enabler to many of the council priorities and particularly to the health and wellbeing priority.



13.        Financial

There are no Financial Implications.

14.        Human Resources

There are no HR Implications.

15.        Equalities

There are no equalities implications.

16.        Legal

There are no legal implications.

17.        Crime and Disorder

There are no Crime and Disorder implications.

18.        Information Technology (IT)

There are no IT implications.

19.        Property

There are no property implications.

20.        Other

There are no other implications.

Risk Management


21.        Ineffective safeguarding arrangements for children and young people presents one of the highest risks to public agencies. However, it is also arguably the most regulated and inspected system with many checks and balances, from individual agency inspections, joint area inspections (looking across agencies) and internal single agency and joint agency reviews.


22.        In addition to this there are also well established local and national processes to learn from issues that arise including where a child dies in our local area, including where abuse and/or neglect are suspected to have been a contributing factor.

23.        The attached report provides an overview of this work.




24.        This report aims to provide opportunity for members of the committee to gain assurance and confidence ‘through probing questions’ that local safeguarding partnership arrangements for children are effective.


Contact Details




Chief Officer Responsible for the report:

Martin Kelly

Corporate Director Children Services and Education

Tel No. 07568132999


Martin Kelly

Corporate Director Children Services and Education

Report Approved



25 October 2023






Specialist Implications Officer(s) None.


Wards Affected:  List wards or tick box to indicate all





For further information please contact the author of the report


Background Papers




Annex A: City of York Safeguarding Children Partnership Annual Report