Partnership working in the context of safeguarding is the co-operation between agencies and professionals and the joining up of all services to a central point to ensure the beneficial outcome for every individual child and young person. A varied number of internal and external professionals may be involved and each with a different area of expertise relevant to the individual. It is of utmost importance that all these agencies communicate and interact in the interests of the child and young person. Similarly the child, young person and their family or carers must also be heard and their interests and wishes must be considered when securing the safeguarding and beneficial outcome for the child or young person. The ‘Team Around the Child’ (TAC) will combine the efforts of the concerned parties and the CAF will ensure the sharing of information and communication. These relevant parties may draw up an information sharing agreement (ISA) where all vital information is recorded and identified and regularly updated by all parties. From previous experience of attending TAC meetings, we always ensured the voices of the child and family were heard, recorded and responded to. Following the meeting every party present would receive a copy of the transcript.
Unfortunately the joined up approach has not always occurred which has been highlighted in the past where the lack of professionals communicating and working together resulted in unnecessary harm and death of a child. This sadly being the case for Victoria Climbié in the summary report of the inquiry by Lord Laming he wrote “I am forced to conclude that the principal failure to protect her was the result of widespread organisational malaise”. The inquiry also highlighted that close family members along with Victoria’s childminder had raised concerns not to mention Victoria’s own allegation. This is why it is vital for partnership working in the context of safeguarding, with good partnership working and communication safeguarding works.