Safeguarding Children: Literature review

Kerry Martin, Shona Macleod, Jennifer Jeffes

02 December 2010

The purpose of this study is to identify any evidence of changes and improvements in safeguarding practice since the Laming review. It distils current learning about the challenges and identifies factors which are supporting improvements in safeguarding work. This literature review builds on learning from an initial scoping study carried out by NFER for the LG Association earlier in 2010, which set out relevant literature on safeguarding practice published since the Laming review in 2009. It should be noted that this review provides an indication of some of the developments in safeguarding practice rather than a comprehensive research evaluation of progress in safeguarding activity per se.

Key Findings

  • The literature suggests developments across a wide spectrum of practice, specifically in training and professional development, capacity and recruitment, improvements in relationships and understanding, interagency working, quality assurance and monitoring, serious case reviews, and referrals and assessments.
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly given the relatively short amount of time since the Laming review (approximately 18 months), published literature setting out specific developments in safeguarding practice, as a result of Laming’s recommendations, is somewhat limited. Where examples were provided, many referred to developments in Haringey.
  • Similarly, any formal evaluation of changes in safeguarding practice, at a local level, is likely to be currently ongoing and yet to be published.

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