We are proud to announce that the Children's services: Alarm guide to managing risk won the Public Sector Risk Management Award at the 2017 CIR Risk Management Awards. A big thank you goes out to all those involved in the development and delivery of the guide.
The abuse of children is undoubtedly one of the most serious issues facing modern society. While child protection legislation and victim support has improved over time, the safeguarding of children must always remain a priority and local authorities have an important part to play in this multi-agency process, along with partner agencies such as schools, housing and voluntary organisations.
In developing the guide, we believed the primary purpose was to assist risk managers in identifying important issues in this complex area and to provide guidance on how those issues can be managed effectively. By helping the risk manager to recognise and address key issues, our aim was to ultimately assist local authorities in their core objective of working effectively with other agencies to protect children from harm.
Our approach in delivering the guide was to share the real life experiences and lessons learned from those who have been involved in child protection, child sexual exploitation, non-recent sexual abuse and child safeguarding processes. These included leaders of local authority law and children's claims management, as well as local government practitioners, and risk and insurance professionals within the public and private sectors.
The leading theme that runs through the guide is how important is it for the risk manager to build and maintain strong internal relationships and establish clear lines of communication with those responsible for the safeguarding of children.
Benefits from this approach include:
- Increased corporate challenge, scrutiny and ownership of authorities' safeguarding and responsibilities.
- A more efficient and effective response to claims, which will reduce costs for the authority and importantly ease the claims journey for those seeing redress for harm suffered.
- A clear strategy for managing risk to the council where services have been outsourced but the statutory responsibility remains.
- Increased confidence by external stakeholders such as regulators and insurance carriers that risks have been identified and adequate controls are in place.