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6.2 Training and Supervision


  1. Introduction
  2. The Role of the SCB
  3. Supervision and Staff Management

1. Introduction

1.1 It is the responsibility of all departments to ensure that workforce strategies include systems for delivering single agency and inter-agency training on Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Children.

It is the responsibility of individual employers to ensure that:

  • Their staff are competent and confident in carrying out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting children's welfare;
  • Their staff are aware of how to recognise and respond to safeguarding concerns and that this knowledge is put in place before employees attend inter-agency training;
  • There are adequate resources and support for inter-agency training through:
    • Providing staff who have the relevant experience to sit on the SCB training sub group;
    • Allocating time to complete inter-agency training tasks effectively;
    • Releasing staff to attend the appropriate inter-agency training courses;
    • Ensuring that staff receive single agency training that enables them to maximise the learning derived from inter-agency training, and have opportunities to consolidate their learning;
    • Contributing to the planning, resourcing, delivery and evaluation of training.

2. The Role of the SCB


The role of the SCB is to:

  • Ensure the identification of training needs in relation to safeguarding children across all agencies working with children and their families;
  • Provide inter-agency training as agreed by the SCB to take forward the work programme priorities;
  • Check and evaluate single and inter-agency training to ensure it is meeting local needs.
2.2 The Training and Development Group (TDG) of the SCB consists of representatives from key agencies. They must have sufficient knowledge of training needs and processes to enable them to make informed contributions to the development and evaluation of the training strategy.

The responsibility of the TDG will be to:

  • Identify training needs and develop a strategy for meeting these on a single agency and inter-agency basis;
  • Ensure that the strategy leads to the provision of appropriate training for all the following groups:
    • Those in regular contact with children and young people and with adults who are parents or carers;
    • Those who work regularly with children and young people and with adults who are carers and may be asked to contribute to assessments of a Child in Need;
    • Those with particular responsibility for safeguarding children who need to have a thorough understanding of these procedures;
    • Operational managers at all levels employing staff to work with children and families or with responsibility for commissioning or delivering services;
    • Those with strategic and managerial responsibility for commissioning and delivering services for children and families.
  • Develop and implement systems for evaluating the effectiveness of both single agency and inter-agency training;
  • Inform the SCB of the outcomes of this evaluation on at least an annual basis.

The SCB expects that all training relating to the safeguarding of children will:

  • Be delivered by trainers who are knowledgeable about safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and have training skills. When delivering training on complex cases, trainers should have the relevant specialist knowledge and skills;
  • Be consistent with the SCB procedures and protocols;
  • Be informed by current research evidence, lessons from Serious Case Reviews and Child Death Reviews, and best practice developments from other jurisdictions;
  • Reflect an understanding of the rights of the child and be informed by an active respect for diversity and the experience of service users, and a commitment to ensuring equality of opportunity;
  • Be regularly reviewed to ensure that content is up to date and that it meets the agreed learning outcomes.

3. Supervision and Staff Management

3.1 Agencies should ensure that all staff members working with vulnerable children have access to effective management and supervision.
3.2 In many agencies, supervision and management will be provided by the same person. Where the roles are split it is vital that there is clarity about lines of accountability and how issues of performance management will be dealt with.  

It is the role of a line manager to:

  • Be accountable for the quality of work carried out;
  • Monitor quality through regular case file audit or review of incidents;
  • Endorse decisions made at key points in the process of work with children and their families;
  • Ensure that staff have access to regular supervision;
  • Ensure that senior managers are kept informed of any factors that may adversely affect the ability of staff to deliver quality services, e.g. workload, resource deficits, gaps in knowledge and skills.

It is the role of the supervisor to:

  • Provide a safe environment where staff working with vulnerable children can reflect on their work;
  • Be a source of advice and expertise;
  • Scrutinise and challenge practice in order to assess the competence of the worker;
  • Provide an opportunity for the practitioner to explore cases in depth in order to promote objectivity, evidence based analysis and sound professional judgement. There should be consideration of the way in which feelings about the work might affect both thoughts and actions;
  • Enable practitioners to clarify their roles and responsibilities and how these relate to the roles of others in the professional network;
  • Assess training and development needs and ensure that these are met.
3.5 All staff working with vulnerable children should have a named supervisor who is able to provide the necessary advice, expertise and support. An annual appraisal should identify any areas for improvement and thereby contribute to an understanding of training need.
3.6 Agencies should have in place a supervision policy which specifically addresses the process of supervision for staff involved in safeguarding children. This policy should specify how the roles identified above will be carried out.
3.7 Staff should have the opportunity to discuss with a supervisor all children who are causing them concern or who are receiving enhanced service provision, not only children who are subject to a Child Protection Plan.
3.8 All decisions made by supervisors and line managers should be recorded in the child's case file, with reasons for the decision clearly specified. This includes both formal and informal supervision discussions.