This document is intended to provide a national framework within which agencies and
professionals at local level – individually and jointly – draw up and agree on their own
ways of working together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. It applies to
This guidance replaces the previous version of Working Together to Safeguard Children,
which was published in 2006. Chapter 8 of this guidance replaces the previous version of
Chapter 8 that was published in December 2009.
Part 1 of this document is statutory guidance. Part 2 is non-statutory practice guidance.
The whole of Part 1 is issued as guidance under section 7 of the Local Authority Social
Services Act 1970, which requires local authorities in their social services functions to act
under the general guidance of the Secretary of State. It should be complied with by local authorities carrying out their social services functions, unless local circumstances indicate
exceptional reasons that justify a variation.
Chapters 3, 4, 7 and 8 are issued under section 16 of the Children Act 2004, which states
that Children’s Services Authorities (county-level and unitary local authorities) and each of
the statutory partners must, in exercising their functions relating to a Local Safeguarding
Children Board (LSCB), have regard to any guidance given to them for the purpose by
the Secretary of State. This means that they must take the guidance into account and, if
they decide to depart from it, have clear reasons for doing so. A full list of statutory LSCB
partners is given in Chapter 3 and summarised in Table A in Appendix 1.
Where this document is not statutory guidance for a particular organisation, it still
represents a standard of good practice and will help organisations fulfil other duties in cooperation
with partners. For example, managers and staff with a particular responsibility in
the organisations covered by the duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in
section 11 of the Children Act 2004 are encouraged to read this document and follow it in
conjunction with the guidance on that duty.
The same principle applies to educational institutions with duties in this area under the
Education Act 2002, sections 157 and 175, early years providers with a duty in this area
under section 40 of the Childcare Act 2006, the Children and Family Court Advisory and
Support Service (Cafcass) which has a duty in this area under section 12(1) of the Criminal
Justice and Court Services Act 2000, and the UK Border Agency which has a duty under
section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.