Agenda item

Safeguarding Policy and Procedures

To consider the updated Safeguarding Policy and Procedures (report of the Assistant Director – Wellbeing and Community Leadership enclosed).


The Panel considered the report of the Assistant Director – Wellbeing and Community Leadership, to consider the updated Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.


Following a review of the Safeguarding Policy, the Communities Manager provided the Panel with an overview of the policy framework for the Council to fulfil its safeguarding statutory responsibilities and to demonstrate competence and compliance.

An outline of the changes was given, which related to:

·         roles, responsibilities and reporting arrangements;

·         guidance on domestic abuse to reflect the implementation of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021;

·         multi-agency working practices;

·         internal reporting and monitoring processes;

·         refreshed and updated web links; and

·         policy layout changes for ease of navigation.


The Communities Manager highlighted that:

  • the policy framework was aligned with other district councils in Lincolnshire to agreed county multi-agency policy and practices.
  • the framework had interdependencies with other Council policies including complaints, recruitment and selection, and whistleblowing. 
  • Safeguarding compliance was audited both internally and externally.


Members considered the report and made the following comments:


  • Members noted point 5.6 of the report and queried whether any financial implications existed relating to training or potential liabilities.
    • The Communities Manager confirmed that a contribution was made to Safeguarding Boards which allowed employees to access the Lincolnshire training for free. This point would be updated within the report.


  • Members questioned whether the Council could prevent domestic abuse.
    • The Communities Manager stated that everyone had the responsibility to act. Whilst the council could not always stop incidents, it had the mechanism to speak to individuals to offer support and guidance, and ultimately escalation to those authorities which could take enforcement action.  District Councils were involved in the prevention of escalation and levels of risk were assessed in order to apply the most appropriate course of action.


  • Members asked if the policy was county-wide.
    • The Communities Manager confirmed that whilst the policy had related to South Holland, it linked to consistent county-wide, multiagency protocols.


  • Members asked if safeguarding information was shared with other professional bodies; and whether access to/ sharing of systems would be in place.
    • The Communities Manager stated that the different elements of the policy had distinct information sharing arrangements, for example, in relation to Domestic Abuse, meetings were held with other agencies twice per week, and separate information agreements were in place with the Vulnerable Adults Panel. Whilst information sharing with professional bodies occurred, this was limited to relevant personnel and required the highest level of care. Consent also needed to be considered.


  • Members stated that the policy was a good piece of work and understandably extensive but suggested that a precis be produced for ease of reference.
    • The Communities Manager confirmed that the following actions were planned upon formal adoption of the policy update:
      • briefing sessions for staff and members, including within induction training for new/returning elected members;
      • crib sheets would be made available; and
      • the Safeguarding area of the intranet would be refreshed.


  • Members stated that wellbeing was difficult to quantify and that recent events had placed extreme financial pressure on individuals. It was the responsibility of the Government of the day to assist. 
    • The Communities Manager acknowledged that a close relationship existed between Safeguarding, Health and Wellbeing and Community Safety. Financial inclusion had an impact on the wellbeing of individuals. From a safeguarding perspective, the council’s prevention measures were aimed at protecting those individuals who were identified as at risk from self-harming, personal neglect or suicide. A piece of work to support the health and wellbeing of vulnerable residents, including the financially vulnerable, would identify such risks. Advice and assistance were available to individuals through the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Wellbeing Service.


  • Members asked when the SHDC Safeguarding Policy would be aligned with the partnership.
    • The Communities Manager anticipated that alignment would occur later in the year. All seven Lincolnshire districts were in the process of reviewing their Safeguarding policies and they would be sharing /collaborating on updates in the summer. It was envisaged that alignment of the Safeguarding Policy across the partnership would occur when this process was complete. Whilst the policy had a three-year review cycle, the Communities Manager would bring annual updates to the Panel.




That the comments of the Policy Development Panel regarding the Safeguarding Policy be noted prior to going forward to Cabinet for approval.


Supporting documents: