Quality Assurance Group

The work of the Quality Assurance Subgroup enables the ESSCP to fulfil its monitoring and evaluation function as laid down in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2015: i.e. ‘To Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of what is done by the Local Authority and  partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and advise them on ways to improve’.

The subgroup meets bi-monthly and includes representatives from ESCC (including SLES, Early Help, Social Care, and Safeguarding), Health (Designated Doctor and Designated Nurse) and the Police. The subgroup is chaired by the Designated Doctor.

Annual Work Cycle:

  • Quarterly monitoring of the ESSCP ‘Performance Dashboard’ which contains a range of performance indicators on multi-agency working and outcomes for vulnerable children.
  • Conducting a programme of multi-agency audits (up to six a year) which can scrutinise the entire child protection process, or based on one part of the process or a theme.
  • Collation of responses of individual member agencies to National Child Protection/Safeguarding audits/inquiries in order to identify any issues for multi-agency working locally
  • Audit of agencies’ compliance with Serious Case Review recommendations
  • Conducting thematic audits/reviews as determined by the annual work programme for the ESSCP
  • The Quality Assurance sub-group also serves as the Serious Case Review sub-committee as required

Annual Audit Programme:

The Quality Assurance Subgroup undertakes up to six audits annually, including one ‘deep dive’ audit a year. These can be ‘regular case file audits’ scrutinising the entire child protection process, or based on one part of the process or a theme, for example an audit of strategy discussions, cases referred for sexual abuse, or fabricated or induced illness, or cases relating to privately fostered children. In 2017/18 audits have been undertaken on children with disabilities, sexual abuse, private fostering, and neglect.

The audit reports are shared with managers and the ESSCP Steering Group. In 2018 the ESSCP has started to produce learning briefings for practitioners and managers from each audit. Briefings include: