Updates to Working Together 2018

Please note a list of the changes and updates to Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.

Clarifying that consent is not needed for information sharing of safeguarding concerns arising from the Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR.

Working Together 2018 suggests that consent would have to be obtained to share information about safeguarding concerns. There have been concerns that the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR altered the understanding of consent to information sharing, such that it is generally not applicable in safeguarding. The information sharing section of the guidance has now been amended to make clear that information sharing around safeguarding concerns does not need consent where other legal bases for sharing will be more appropriate, for example, information about safeguarding concerns should be shared where this is necessary (e.g., in the child’s best interest) as part of the performance of a task in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority. Corresponding changes to the non-statutory Information Sharing Guidance: advice to practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (2018) will follow to a later timescale in late Spring 2021.

NEW Inclusion of references to Domestic Abuse/ insertion of definitions and strengthening words on domestic abuse and controlling or coercive behaviour.

To include definitions and strengthen wording on domestic abuse and controlling or coercive behaviour to reflect the forthcoming Domestic Abuse Bill which will introduce a statutory definition for domestic abuse and incorporate the impact of domestic abuse on children as victims in their own right. These minor changes also respond to the recommendations of the Joint Committee on the draft bill where we committed to amend Working Together to clarify that coercive control is included within the existing definition of harm.

New paragraph on – Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 insertion of a section 213 B into the Housing Act 1996- duty to refer: and corresponding inclusion in the Working Together Statutory Framework document.

This duty has been in force since 2018 but was missed in the last full revision of Working Together. The duty to refer to local housing authorities’ cases of (threatened) homelessness as a result of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 (which amended the Housing Act 1996) places duties on public authorities, including local authorities, to intervene at earlier stages to prevent homelessness in their areas. This duty applies to all social services functions, including early help, leaving care and child protection; and is intended to increase early identification and intervention, which is critical for safeguarding against homelessness.

Updating contact details and streamlining the section on Armed forces

Minor clarification on the voluntary, charity, social enterprise (VCSE), faith-based organisations and private sector paragraph.

Footnoting Public Health England (PHE) reference to reflect forthcoming re-structure.

Inclusion of reference to the words missing children.

Text inclusions to align with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (KCSIE) guidance 2020.

Inclusion and clarification on multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.

New table included to strengthen clarity on notifying a serious incident, rapid review and local child safeguarding practice review.

Change of title in relation to the term ‘Contextual Safeguarding’.

Inclusion Toolkit/ Framework on (Child Sexual Exploitation) CSE/ (Child Sexual Abuse) CSA

Adding reference to children of offenders

Strengthening the wording around the safeguarding of children in mental inpatient settings

Deletion of link in Appendix B – Guidance on safeguarding children with illness fabricated or induced.