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Section 11 Self Assessment Audit

What is the Section 11 Audit?

Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 places duties on a range of organisations and individuals to ensure their functions, and any services that they contract out to others, are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

What does ‘Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Children’ mean?

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children means:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health and/or development
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe effective care
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

Section 11 places a duty on?

  • 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 Partnership 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
  • The British Transport Police;
  • The Probation Service;
  • Governors/Directors of Prisons and Young Offender Institutions;
  • Directors of Secure Training Centres; and
  • Youth Offending Teams/Services.

How will completing the Section 11 benefit your organisation?

  • A completed section 11 provides evidence for national inspection organisations e.g. Ofsted/CQC/HMIC.
  • Provides evidence that safeguarding is a priority within your organisation.
  • Provides evidence that your organisation works closely with the KSCP and understands it’s roles and responsibilities.
  • Demonstrates compliance with relevant legislation e.g. Working Together 2018, Keeping Children Safe in Education, Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework.
  • Provides evidence of reflective practice.
  • Feeds into development/improvement work for your organisation.
  • Identifies good practice and areas for development within your organisation

Why the KSCP require you to complete a Section 11 Audit?

  • Provides an understanding of the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements and of joint working to protect the children and young people of Kirklees.
  • Enables the future KSCP training and support for the Kirklees Partnership to be planned.
  • Enable organisations to give evidence of their understanding of safeguarding responsibilities by grading against quality standards model answers

What if I don’t complete a Section 11?

Section 11 states that all organisations who work with children and young people should ensure that they have effective arrangements in place to safeguard and promote their welfare.

If your organisation provides a service to children and/or young people or comes into contact with them, you need to ensure that you comply with Section 11 of the Children Act 2004. Not completing a Section 11 Audit will mean you are not compliant with section 11 of the Children Act 2004.

Whose responsibility is it to complete the Section 11 Audit?

It is your organisations responsibility to complete a section 11 audit. An appropriate member of staff should have a high level awareness of the service including in depth knowledge of contracts that are out to other organisations to deliver. The actual completion of the audit may be a small team effort but should be submitted by one member of staff on behalf of the organisation.

What Safeguarding Arrangements should all Organisations have in place?

  • A clear line of accountability for the commissioning and/or provision of services designed to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
  • A senior Partnership level lead to take leadership responsibility for the organisation’s safeguarding arrangements
  • A culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings (both in individual decisions and the development of services)
  • Clear whistleblowing procedures and a culture that enables issues about safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children to be addressed.
  • Arrangements which clearly set out the process for sharing information with other professionals and Local Safeguarding Childrens Partnerships.
  • A designated professional lead for safeguarding (or named professional in health). Their role is to support other professionals to recognise the needs of children including rescue from possible abuse or neglect. Designated professional roles should be explicitly defined in job descriptions and professionals should be given time, funding, supervision and support to fulfil their responsibilities effectively.
  • Safe recruitment practices including policies on when to obtain a criminal record check
  • Appropriate supervision and support for staff including safeguarding training:
  • Employers are responsible for ensuring that their staff are competent to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and creating an environment where staff feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in their safeguarding role.
  • Staff should be given mandatory induction, which includes familiarisation with child protection responsibilities and procedures to be followed if anyone has any concerns about a child’s safety or welfare and;
  • All professionals should have regular reviews of their own practice to ensure they improve over time.
  • Clear policies in line with those from the LSCB for dealing with allegations against people who work with children. Such policies should make clear distinction between an allegation, a concern about the quality of care or practice or a complaint. An allegation may related to a person who works with children who has:
      • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child;
      • Possibly committed a criminal offence against a related to a child; or
      • Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose or risk harm to children.
  • County level and unitary local  authorities should ensure that allegations against people who work with children are not dealt with in isolation. Any action necessary to address  corresponding welfare concerns in relation to the child or children involved should be taken without delay and in a coordinated manner.
  • Local authorities should put in place arrangements to provide advice and guidance on how to deal with allegations against people who work with children to employers and voluntary organisations. Local authorities should also ensure that there are appropriate arrangements in place to effectively liaise with the police and other agencies to monitor the progress of case and ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible with a thorough and fair process.
  • Employers and voluntary organisations should ensure that they have clear policies in place setting out the process, including timescales, for investigation and what support and advice will be available to individuals against whom allegations have been made. Any allegation against people who work with children should be reported immediately to senior manager within the organisation. The designated officer, or team of officers, should also be informed within one working day of allegations that to an employer’s attention that are made directly to the police.
  • If an organisations removes an individual (paid workers or unpaid volunteer) from work such as looking after children (or wold have, had the person not left first) because the person poses a risk of harm to children, the organisation must make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service. It is an offence o fail to make a referral without good reason.

Log in  – To log in to the Enable Audit System

Self Registration – (Please note that the Section 11 and Section 175 Safeguarding Schools Audit are different and the latter will be issued separately by the Safeguarding in Education Team)

Useful Resources:

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018

Kirklees Safeguarding Children Partnership Arrangements