The Munro Recommendations on Child Protection in England

Eileen MunroIn summer 2011, the government published their formal response to Eileen Munro’s review of child protection, commissioned the previous year.Following the ministerial statement, Munro told Community Care: “I am very pleased to get such a positive response from the government.

This is the start of a long process of shifting from a compliance to a learning culture and the government response rightly emphasises that this needs to be a matter of the government working in partnership with the sector to make such fundamental changes.”




Recommendation 1:
Initial and core assessments should be scrapped and replaced with a single, ongoing assessment listing decisions to be made.
1 )The government will make full revision of Working Together to Safeguard Children and The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families.2) The government will implement an interim amendment to Working Together to Safeguard Children to remove assessment deadlines and the distinction between initial and core assessments.
Eight councils are currently piloting the new flexibilities.
1) By July 20122) Originally by December 2011 but the government has extended the trials to March 2012 and any changes will be part of the full consultation on Working Together later this year
Recommendation 2:
Unannounced inspections should examine the safeguarding performance of other agencies as well as children’s services.
Ofsted and other relevant inspectorates are working on what a new model of inspectionwould look like.
By May 2012
Recommendation 3:
Inspections should also look at outcomes and how children’s wishes and experiences shape services provided.
Ofsted intends to have a new local authority inspection framework in place, following a consultation in July 2011.
By May 2012
Recommendation 4:
A combination of nationally collected and locally published performance data should be used.
1 ) The government has published local performance information that will be published annually.2) The government is currently consulting with Ofsted and Director of Children’s Services on what will be on the list of nationally published performance information.
1) By December 20112) By May 2012
Recommendation 5:
Each Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) should submit an annual report to the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council, and (subject to legislation) to the local Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chair of the health and wellbeing board.
The government will identify the appropriate legislative vehicle.
As soon as practicable
Recommendation 6:
Local safeguarding children boards should assess local outcomes, including the effectiveness and value for money of early intervention services and multi-agency training.
Accepted in principle
The government will publish an amendment to Working Together to Safeguard Children regarding the role of local safeguarding children boards in monitoring effectiveness of early help and protective services.
Originally by December 2011 but no further date given
Recommendation 7:
The role of the director of children’s services and the lead member for children’s services should be protected from departmental mergers.
Accepted in principle
The government is currently consulting formally on revised statutory guidance on the director of children’s services (DCS) role and the lead member to clarify and strengthen the role
Originally by autumn 2011 but no further date given
Recommendation 8:
Research is needed on the impact of health reforms on partnership working in child protection.
Accepted in principle
The Department of Health and the Department for Education have published a joint programme of work. Following consultation the Chief Nursing Officer is currently working on a draft accountabilities framework.

No new date given
Recommendation 9:
LSCBs should use a systems approach to serious case reviews (SCRs) and Ofsted’s evalution of SCRs should end.
Further consideration needed
The government will consider evidence and opportunities for using systems review methodologies for SCRs and options for developing the national resources recommended. The SCIE model is currently being tested on cases of child deaths in three councils
Originally by second half of summer 2011. Formal consultation on new arrangements some time 2012.
Recommendation 10:
Councils should have a legal duty to provide enough early intervention services.
The government has decided a new statutory duty is not needed as there is existing legislation already in place
By September 2011
Recommendation 11:
The Social Work Reform Board’s professional capabilities framework should specify those qualities needed for child and family social work.
The professional capabilities framework and CPD framework, developed by the Social Work Reform Board, will include child specific skills and learning and be implemented.
By autumn 2012
Recommendation 12:
Employers and higher education institutions should work together on student placements.
1 ) The government expects the College of Social Work to develop plans for designated approved practice settings and teaching organisation status and to consider the merits of student units.2) The government will build partnership arrangements with employers and higher education institutions.
1) By December 20122) By summer 2012
Recommendation 13:
Local authorities should review and redesign the ways in which child and family social work is delivered, drawing on evidence of effective interventions and helping social workers use evidence based practice.
Local leaders will undertake self-assessment, considering whether child and family social work services are appropriately configured so that they meet the needs of children and families
At a locally determined pace
Recommendation 14:
Local authorities should designate a principal child and family social worker.
1 ) The government expects most local authorities to have chosen to designate a principal child and family social worker.2) The government expects that all local authorities “will have chosen” to designate a principal child and family social worker.
1) By April 20122) By July 2012
Recommendation 15:
A chief social worker should be created in government.
Accepted in principle
The government plans for a chief social worker to oversee children’s and adults’ services to be implemented.
By late 2012
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