Partnership restructure – The Devon Children and Families Partnership

Our ambition to improve outcomes for children by making multi-agency working more effective, has prompted the restructure of our children’s partnership arrangements. This will lead to the establishment of “The Devon Children and Families Partnership” . The Devon Children and Families Partnership (DCFP) merges the functions of the Devon Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB) and the Children, Young People and Families Alliance (Alliance). Devon LSCB’s statutory duties are discharged through this new partnership.

The new partnership arrangements will ‘go live’ from the 1st July 2017. While all partners agree on the direction of travel some details are still being discussed and arrangements will be tweaked as the partnership settles into the new arrangements.

The aim of the new partnership is to:

  • Translate the partnership’s commitment to ‘good’ Children’s Services into accelerated improvement and better outcomes for children. Continuing to do more of the same will not deliver our shared ambitions. At the heart of the new partnership will be a greater focus on practice and service user experience.
  • Be a streamlined and effective partnership by ensuring that our meetings are purposeful with the right people around the table.  We have reduced the number of meetings and the number of people attending meetings thereby freeing up capacity for all of us.
  • Build on the best of what we’ve done, to develop more mature relationships where creativity, challenge and innovation can flourish.  We want to be a partnership that gets things done.
  • Have a dedicated focus on quality assurance as we recognise that good and effective services require robust quality assurance work to ensure children are safeguarded as well as they can be.
  • Adopt the recommendations of the Wood Review of Local Safeguarding Children Boards because we fully agree with the observed shortcomings of the current LSCB arrangements. There is no good argument for delaying the restructure when we believe that these changes to partnership arrangements will lead to better outcomes for children.

What this means for you?

We want to ensure that we, in the restructure process, don’t lose the things that have been working well and many existing standing and task and finish groups will therefore remain in place. Membership of all groups has been reviewed. Where overlaps have been identified groups have been stood down and where gaps are identified we will respond.  There are some standing groups of course but mostly we want to use a task and finish model.

The new Partnership Executive and Quality Assurance Group will be functioning from the 1st July 2017 and all sub/working groups will report to the Executive and be scrutinised by the Quality Assurance Group. We don’t expect the new partnership structure to be perfect from day one, we will tweak and adjust as we go along and formally review at six months and at twelve months.

A new website will be developed during the course of 2017.  In the interim the Devon Children and Families Partnership will continue to use the existing DSCB website.

Your feedback, about what has worked well in the past and what we can do better in the future, is valued.  As the website development gets underway we would welcome feedback on the website.

Please e-mail childrenfamiliespartnership@devon.gcsx.gov.uk with your feedback.