The Local Safeguarding Children Partnership brings together representatives of the main agencies responsible for promoting children's welfare and helping to protect children from abuse and neglect in Sutton, such as schools, police, health and social services.

For Hayley Cameron, Education Safeguarding Manager at Cognus, this partnership working has been a real strength during the pandemic. 

“Within the partnership there is a huge commitment,” says Hayley. “Everyone comes into this job because they care about children. You want to protect children and be sure your policies, procedures, and networks are in place.”

The Partnership has developed an online child safeguarding toolkit to make learning from serious child safeguarding incidents more accessible to everyone who has a role to play in safeguarding children and young people. 

The process was led by Camilla Webster, LSCP and Learning and Development Manager. “I feel strongly we have a duty to ensure the learning from serious incidents is embedded,” said Camilla. “We have created something easily accessible and with the voice of the child at the centre. This is unique- before we created the e-learning course, there wasn't any easily accessible training on this difficult topic.”

"The Toolkit is based on ten key principles to help prevent future child deaths and serious injuries, and we have learnt that we must support staff to do their best in these difficult circumstances,” said Hayley. “I was a Designated Safeguarding Lead and a Headteacher, so I understand what schools go through when they face these challenges.

“There has been a lot of emotional impact, anxiety and exceptional challenges for the Designated Safeguarding Leads as a result of the pandemic. They are the people working on the frontline with our children and so I want them to feel supported and to know what resources are available to them. The toolkit does exactly that.”

The toolkit was launched in March 2021 and is used nationally to raise awareness about important aspects of child safeguarding. It is designed for anyone who comes into contact with children, and is part of the safeguarding training for all schools, social workers, health professionals, police and other professionals and volunteers working with families in Sutton.  

“The toolkit is the most rewarding thing I have done in my career,” said Camilla. “All too often the voice of the child is not heard in decisions that have an impact on their life and this is what we tried to change with the Toolkit.”

Frontline staff in Sutton have found the toolkit really useful. Beth Wilson, Named Nurse for Safeguarding in Sutton, said:

“We have to learn from absolutely everything and try to ensure that learning is implemented. The toolkit absolutely supports that and provides training and resources that you can use as and when suits. Having everything in one place which you can access at any time has really helped my team to continue to learn and provide the best protection for our children and young people.” 

The Partnership is building on the success of the Toolkit. “The relationship we have across the partnership is strong,” said Hayley. “We want to continue to look for more opportunities to develop this and in turn continue to support our frontline safeguarding professionals.”

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