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Safeguarding standards group D
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National safeguarding training, learning and development standards - group D

Important points to note

  1. These standards refer to some role examples, but do not identify all roles and responsibilities across the sector. It is incumbent, therefore, on organisations to identify within their own workforce which roles fit into the specific groups. When determining appropriate training for each individual member of staff, the organisation will need to satisfy itself which group each staff member will fit into. If organisations or managers are unsure of which group is the appropriate one, and the role may straddle more than one group, the expectation is that the practitioner will be trained up to the higher group, for example if a worker straddles group B and C, then they should be trained at group C level.
  2. Throughout the standards, any practitioner commencing in a new role from group B onwards, it is expected that they will have completed training in the previous groups prior to commencement in role. If not, they should be supported to complete the training within the first six months of their induction period.
  3. In groups C to E there is an expectation that practitioners will undertake both generic and role specific training. The generic section will include training that all practitioners in these groups will need to complete regardless of role or organisation. In addition to the generic training, however, the role specific training will need to be formally agreed as part of the individual’s personal training and development plan and will reflect the specific elements within their role and responsibilities.

Roles and responsibilities

Group D practitioners are those who operate at a higher level in the safeguarding process. They give advice, guidance and supervision (if applicable) to group C practitioners. They can make higher level decisions, such as if to apply for court orders.

Group D practitioners would:

  • be expected to have a high level of knowledge and expertise in their area in relation to safeguarding
  • be expected to contribute to and chair safeguarding reviews when needed
  • be able to advise partner agencies about safeguarding matters and understand the importance of multi-agency working
  • be able to justify their decision-making using legislation, process and procedures
  • be aware of the importance of child / person-centred practice and the positive impact it can have on the safeguarding process
  • make sure the person’s voice and control is heard in the decision-making process, where possible, and would make sure the group C practitioners in their service area worked in this way.

Group D practitioners often hold specialist safeguarding roles, either in addition to a main role or as a specialist safeguarding practitioner. They will provide advice and support to colleagues within and outside their team and organisation. They will need the knowledge and understanding of the standards for groups A to C and also have experience and knowledge of working in more complex situations. For example, group D practitioners will have a thorough understanding of safeguarding and protection law. They will also support colleagues to apply the law to their practice when making decisions around a person’s safety.

Memorable principles:
  • I will lead the organisation’s safeguarding agenda
  • I will make sure people’s voices are heard at each stage of the process
  • I will use my knowledge and expertise to enhance safeguarding practice.

Training, learning and development standards (group D)

Everyone in group D will also need to know everything in groups A to C.

a) How to work in ways that safeguard people from abuse, harm and neglect.

  1. Understand the specific role and responsibilities of practitioners in relation to the child or adult at risk process when there’s a need for escalation.
  2. Understand the different types of advocacy and how they apply to the safeguarding process and the decision making needed at this level.
  3. Understand all legislation relevant to safeguarding as listed within the introduction section to the Standards.
  4. Ensure there’s a supportive culture for building relationships that create trust with people, families and carers and making sure strengths and risks are given equal weight in the safeguarding process.
  5. Ensure the person’s voice and control is clear to see at each stage of their involvement.
  6. Ensure your workforce is encouraged to enable people to make decisions about what matters to them and stay in control of their lives as far as possible, including explaining decisions they don’t like or don’t agree with.

Promote the safeguarding of people

b) Promote child / person-centred practice.

  1. Be responsible for promoting a culture of being inclusive and strengths based.
  2. Make sure staff are trained to recognise the impact of a family’s ethnic, cultural and religious background when assessing risk and managing concerns.
  3. Make sure staff are trained to assess the person’s capacity to make decisions about risk, while balancing their rights and responsibilities.
  4. Make sure your workforce is supported to carry out, contribute to and support inter-agency assessments or enquiries, including getting the person’s views about risks and risk management, and referring to other agencies when appropriate.

c) Participate in safeguarding processes.

  1. Consider other multi-agency frameworks and assessment processes that underpin outcome-focused practice.
  2. Lead your organisation’s understanding and contribution to measuring the effectiveness and quality of services.
  3. Contribute to or lead on the development and updating of internal and regional safeguarding policies, procedures and protocols.
  4. Ensure correct procedures are in place and advise others about the need for information sharing in line with legislation.
  5. Understand the referral process and pathways at all levels.

d) Support others to safeguard people.

  1. Ensure your managers and partners are supported to help others to carry out their safeguarding duties.
  2. Ensure you promote a supportive environment and that your staff know when to seek and offer support.
  3. Ensure the workforce are aware of the emotional impact safeguarding may have, and where and when to seek help.
  4. Ensure your workforce is aware of how to manage and monitor allegations of abuse against practitioners in a position of trust, including escalation and seeking help.
  5. Support staff to be able to present information appropriately at meetings and in written reports, in accordance with the legal requirements.
  6. Create and support a working environment that allows people to develop skills and knowledge in safeguarding.
  7. Complete or undertake supervision of group C practitioners and provide support for other staff and peers.
  8. Ensure your workforce understands the processes for identifying if an adult, child or young person is known to professionals in social care and other agencies.

e) Work with others to safeguard people.

  1. Identify and contribute to decisions that discuss high risk people, such as Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).
  2. Where there are safeguarding concerns work with colleagues and other agencies to safeguard adults and children at risk.
  3. Ensure your managers and group C practitioners know when to liaise with other agencies about the assessment and management of safeguarding planning.
  4. Work to resolve and escalate resource or operational difficulties that may affect the provision of safe care and support.
  5. Deal with an insufficient response from organisations or agencies.
  6. Be able to escalate matters via the Dispute resolution protocols when necessary.
  7. Participate in and chair peer review and multi-disciplinary meetings as needed.
  8. Be able to get support and help in situations that need more expertise and experience.
  9. Be able to advise colleagues about approved local, regional and national guidance, policy and procedures.
  10. Help with learning opportunities and providing updates.
  11. Comply with the duty to co-operate[1] (if applicable).

f) Maintain professional accountability.

  1. Understand the purpose and process of chairing child or adult practice reviews, homicide reviews and Single Unified Safeguarding Reviews (SUSR).
  2. Analyse regular documented reviews of your own (and / or your team’s) safeguarding practice.
  3. Embed the principles of effective safeguarding supervision and peer support.
  4. Influence local, regional and national frameworks for the assessment of risk and harm.
  5. Lead on applying the core values and principles of safeguarding across the organisation.

[1] Duty to co-operate: Wales Safeguarding Procedures

First published: 20 October 2022
Last updated: 17 November 2022
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