Section 11 Audit

What is the Section 11 Audit?

The SSCB assesses the effectiveness of local safeguarding arrangements in various ways, including Section 11 safeguarding self assessments. This is where all local agencies and organisations who provide services to children and young people are asked to self assess the extent to which they meet the safeguarding requirements and standards as set out in Section 11 of the Children Act 2004.

The SSCB has formally adapted and developed the Section 11 Audit Tool and Guidance based on Board priorities, however at an organisational and/or strategic level, the key features for all LCSB’s are:

  • Senior management commitment to the importance of safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare
  • A clear statement of the agency’s responsibilities towards children is available for all staff
  • A clear line of accountability within the organisation for work on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
  • Service development takes account of the need to safeguard and promote welfare and is informed, where appropriate, by the views of children and families
  • Staff training on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children for all staff working with or, depending on the agency’s primary functions, in contact with children and families
  • Safer recruitment
  • Effective inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
  • Information sharing

 

Who does the Section 11 Audit apply to?

Working Together 2015 identifies that the Section 11 applies to the following agencies and organisations:

  • Local authorities and district councils that provide children’s and other types of services, including children’s and adult social care services, public health, housing, sport, culture and leisure services, licensing authorities and youth services
  • NHS organisations, including the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning groups, NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts
  • The police, including police and crime commissioners and the chief officer of each police force in England and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in London
  • British Transport Police
  • The Probation Service – (now the National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Company)
  • Governors/Directors of Prisons and Young Offender Institutions
  • Directors of Secure Training Centres
  • Youth Offending Teams/Services
  • Private and voluntary organisations who are commissioned or contracted to provide services on behalf of the bodies listed above

 The SSCB undertook its first Section 11 self-assessment in 2007. Since then the SSCB has continued to monitor progress and implement action plans to address any weaknesses identified. The next Section 11 self-assessment will be undertaken in the year 2016/17.

 

Why do we carry out Section 11 Audits?

Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB’s) have a Statutory Duty to assess whether agencies in their area are fulfilling their statutory obligation to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as described in ‘Section 11 of the Children Act 2004’.

 In Surrey the Section 11 Audit is undertaken every other year, this allows agencies time to submit all their evidence, create action plans and to challenge findings. The Section 11 Audit is carried out so that the key people and agencies (as listed above) make arrangements to ensure that their functions are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and that the services they contract out (commission) to others are provided having regard to that need.

 In order to enhance our learning from Section 11 audits the SSCB has agreed that there should be an opportunity for agencies and organisations to meet with the Board to discuss the findings and learning from their audits. This process contributes to the SSCB scrutiny function and is a means of assessing the extent to which partners are fulfilling their statutory safeguarding obligations.  It is also a good mechanism for understanding how the SSCB can support partners in further developing any specific aspects of safeguarding arrangements.

 

SSCB Section 11 Audit Tool 2016

The on-line version of the tool  and guidance was circulated at the end of August 2016 and partners agencies were asked to complete their returns via the online tool by 30th September 2016.

A paper version of the tool and guidance was made available prior to the audit to help agencies prepare for the audit before the on-line version was available.

The tool is for agencies to assess their current compliance and use it to develop an improvement plan. Analysis will be done on the responses to allow the Board to gain an overview of the general position around the County. Following completion of the toolkit, organisations requiring additional work and/or clarification will also be invited to attend a Section 11 Scrutiny Panel meeting.

The Section 11 Audit Report for 2016 can be found here

 If you have any questions or queries about the audit document or audit process please contact Ameena Tabassum, SSCB Quality Assurance Officer: ameena.tabassum@surreycc.gov.uk.