Laming report: index of recommendations

Lord Laming published The Protection of Children in England: A Progress Report on 12 March 2009. The report, which was warmly welcomed by children’s services and social work leaders, made 58 recommendations. These are all summarised below.

  1. Strategic child protection priorities set across government and reflected in the priorities of frontline services. (p15)
  2. Establish a National Safeguarding Delivery Unit, whose remit ill include: leading a change in culture across frontline services that enables them to work more effectively to protect children; working with existing organisations to create a shared evidence base about effective practice, including the implementation of the recommendations of Serious Case Reviews; commissioning training on child protection and safeguarding. (p71)
  3. All government departments to create a comprehensive approach to children through national strategies and the organisation of their services. (p15)
  4. Targets for child protection, similar to school targets. (p16)
  5. Safeguarding and child protection performance indicators for Primary Care Trusts. (p16)
  6. Regular review meetings for directors of children’s services, PCT chief executives, police area commanders. (p19)
  7. Experienced social work managers to support directors of children’s services with no experience of child protection them (p21)
  8. The government should provide child protection training for council leaders and senior managers. (p21)
  9. Children’s Trusts should regularly review the needs in their areas to inform their Children and Young People’s Plan. This should be monitored by government.(p21)
  10. Ofsted should give greater prominence to how well schools are fulfilling child protection responsibilities. (p25)
  11. The Department for Children, Schools and Families should revise Working Together to Safeguard Children to ensure: intake/duty teams have sufficient training, an  experienced social worker is available for on-site support. Local authorities must implement this. (p27)
  12. The Department of Health and the Department for Children, Schools and Families must provide guidance, systems and training so that Accident and Emergency staff can tell if a child has recently visit A&E or is the subject of a Child Protection Plan. (p28)
  13. Children’s Trusts must ensure that all assessments include evidence from all the professionals involved, take account of case histories and include direct contact with the child. (p29)
  14. Local authorities must ensure that ‘Children in Need’, as defined by Section 17 of the Children Act 1989, have early access to effective specialist services and support. (p30)
  15. The Social Work Task Force should establish guidelines on guaranteed supervision time for social workers and the Department for Children, Schools should set out the elements of high quality supervision. (p32)
  16. The Department for Children, Schools and Families should set out elements of high quality supervision. (p32)
  17. The Department for Children, Schools and Families should consider the feasibility of a better single national Integrated Children’s System, or an alternative, within six months. (p35)
  18. The Department for Children, Schools and Families should improve the Integrated Children’s System, in consultation with social workers and their managers. (p35)
  19. The Department for Children Schools and Families must strengthen Working Together to Safeguard Children and Children’s Trusts must ensure: all referrals to children’s services from other professionals lead to an assessment; casework reviews and decisions include all the professionals involved; and formal procedures available to manage conflicts of opinion between professionals. (p37)
  20. All police, probation, adult mental health and adult drug and alcohol services should understand referral processes. (p38)
  21. The National Safeguarding Delivery Unit should urgently develop guidance on referral and assessment systems and share it with local authorities, health and police. (p38)
  22. The Department for Children, Schools and Families should establish statutory representation on Local Safeguarding Children Boards from schools, adult mental health and adult drug and alcohol services. (p38)
  23. Every Children’s Trust should ensure that partners consistently apply the Information Sharing Guidance. (p41)
  24. The Social Work Task Force should: develop a national children’s social worker recruitment and retention strategy; develop national guidelines setting out maximum case-loads of children; and develop a strategy for remodelling children’s social work (p50)
  25. Children’s Trusts to ensure police, community paediatric specialists and health visitors send representatives to act as partners to children’s services departments. (p50)
  26. The General Social Care Council should: work to raise the quality and consistency of social work degrees and work towards reforms that allow for specialism in children’s social work; establish a comprehensive inspection regime of social work degrees. (p53
  27. The government should introduce a fully-funded, practice-focused children’s social work postgraduate qualification. (p54)
  28. The introduction of a conversion qualification and English language test for internationally qualified children’s social workers. (p55)
  29. Children’s Trusts should ensure that all staff who work with children receive initial training and continuing professional development. (p56
  30. All Children’s Trusts should have multi-agency training to create a shared language and understanding of local referral procedures. A named child protection lead in each setting should receive this training. (p56)
  31. The General Social Care Council should review the Code of Practice for Social Workers and the employers’ code. The employers’ code should then be made statutory for all employers of social workers. (p57)
  32. The Department of Health should prioritise its commitment to promote the recruitment and professional development of health visitors. (p58)
  33. The Department of Health should review the Healthy Child Programme for 0–5-year-olds to ensure that the role of health visitors in safeguarding and child protection is prioritised. (p58)
  34. The Department of Health should promote the statutory duty of all GP providers to comply with child protection legislation and to ensure that all individual GPs have the necessary skills and training to carry out their duties. (p59
  35. The Department of Health should work to develop a national training programme to improve the understanding and skills of the children’s health workforce to support them in dealing with safeguarding and child protection issues. (p60)
  36. The Home Office should take national action to ensure that police child protection teams are well resourced and have specialist training. (p60)
  37. The Care Quality Commission, HMI Constabulary and HMI Probation should review the inspection frameworks of their frontline services in a similar way to the new Ofsted framework. (p62)
  38. Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HMI Constabulary and HMI Probation should ensure their staff have the skills, expertise and capacity to inspect the safeguarding and child protection elements of frontline services. Ofsted Inspectors responsible for inspecting child protection should have direct experience of child protection work. (p63)
  39. The Department for Children, Schools and Families should revise guidance to say that the formal purpose of Serious Case Reviews is to learn lessons for improving individual agencies, as well as for improving multiagency working. (p64)
  40. The Department for Children, Schools and Families should ensure that the Serious Case Review panel chair has access to all of the relevant documents and staff they need. (p64)
  41. The Department for Children, Schools and Families should ensure Serious Case Reviews focus on the effective learning of lessons and implementation of recommendations and the timely introduction of changes to protect children. (p65
  42. Ofsted should focus its evaluation of Serious Case Reviews on the depth of the learning a review has provided and the quality of recommendations it has made to protect children. (p66)
  43. The Department for Children, Schools and Families should underline the importance of a high quality, publicly available executive summary which accurately represents the full report, contains the action plan in full, and includes the names of the Serious Case Review panel members. (p67)
  44. All Serious Case Review panel chairs and review authors should be independent of the Local Safeguarding Children Board. (p69)
  45. Chairs and authors must complete a training programme provided by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. (p69)
  46. Government must ensure there are enough trained authors and chairs. (p69)
  47. Ofsted should share full Serious Case Review reports with HMI Constabulary, the Care Quality Commission, and HMI Probation. (p70)
  48. Ofsted should share Serious Case Review executive summaries with the Association of Chief Police Officers, Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities to promote learning. (p70)
  49. Ofsted should produce reports at six-monthly intervals, which summarise the lessons from Serious Case Reviews. (p70)
  50. The government must provide further guidance to Local Safeguarding Children Boards on how to operate effectively following recent Loughborough University research. (p74
  51. The Children’s Trust and the Local Safeguarding Children Board should not be chaired by the same person.  (p74)
  52. Local Safeguarding Children Boards should include membership from the senior decision makers from all safeguarding partners. (p74)
  53. Local Safeguarding Children Boards should report to the Children’s Trust Board and publish an annual report on the effectiveness of safeguarding in the local area. (p75)
  54. The government must ensure children’s services, police and health services have protected budgets for the staffing and training for child protection services.(p77)
  55. The Department for Children, Schools and Families must sufficiently resource children’s services. (p77)
  56. A national annual report should be published reviewing safeguarding and child protection spend against assessed needs of children. (p77)
  57. The Ministry of Justice should lead on a system-wide target that lays responsibility on all participants in the care proceedings system to reduce damaging delays. (p82)
  58. The Ministry of Justice should appoint an independent person to review the impact of court fees. In the absence of incontrovertible evidence that the fees had not acted as a deterrent, they should then be abolished. (p82)

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