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Publication - Research Publication

Role of the safeguarder in the children's hearing system

Published: 17 Nov 2017
Part of:
Children and families, Research
ISBN:
9781788512190

This research is to examine the role of the safeguarder in the children’s hearings system from the perspectives of six key stakeholder groups.

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102 page PDF

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Contents
Role of the safeguarder in the children's hearing system
Appendix 2: tables and figures

102 page PDF

1.3MB

Appendix 2: tables and figures

Chapter 2 tables and figures

Table 201: Demographics for the 99 safeguarders who responded to the survey

Variable Levels N (%)
Gender Male 35 (35)
Female 64 (65)
Age (years) 30 – 39 7 (7)
40 – 49 9 (9)
50 – 59 21 (21)
60 – 69 48 (48)
70+ 14 (14)
Previous panel member Yes 13 (13)
No 86 (87)

Table 20 2: Age distribution for the 35 male and 64 female safeguarders. The denominator for the percentage calculations is the total number of males (n = 35) and females (n = 64)

Age Category N (%) male N (%) female
30 – 39 1 (3) 6 (9)
40 – 49 2 (6) 7 (11)
50 – 59 12 (34) 9 (14)
60 – 69 16 (46) 32 (50)
70+ 4 (11) 10 (16)

Table 203: Summary information on the length of time an individual has been a safeguarder. The figures indicate the number and percentage of male safeguarders (n = 35), female safeguarders (n = 64) and all safeguarders (n = 99) in each of the length of service categories

Length of time (years) N (%) male N (%) female Total (%)
1 – 3 11 (31) 16 (25) 27 (27)
4 – 5 5 (14) 6 (9) 11 (11)
6 – 7 1 (3) 9 (14) 10 (10)
8 – 10 2 (6) 10 (16) 12 (12)
More than 10 16 (46) 23 (36) 39 (39)

Table 204: Length of time that an individual has been a safeguarder for each of the age categories

Length of time (years) Age (years)
30 – 39 N (%) 40 – 49 N (%) 50 – 59 N (%) 60 – 69 N (%) 70+ N (%)
1 – 3 2 (7) 3 (11) 9 (33) 13 (48) 0 (0)
4 – 5 0 (0) 1 (9) 4 (36) 5 (46) 1 (9)
6 – 7 2 (20) 2 (20) 0 (0) 6 (60) 0 (0)
8 – 10 3 (25) 1 (8) 3 (25) 2 (17) 3 (25)
More than 10 0 (0) 2 (5) 5 (13) 22 (56) 10 (26)

Table 205: Number of different areas where the 99 safeguarders fulfil their role

  Number of areas safeguarder role fulfilled
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
N (%)
safeguarders
2 (2) 14 (14) 21 (21) 30 (30) 15 (15) 7 (7) 6 (6) 2 (2) 1 (1) 1 (1)

Table 206: Number and percentage of safeguarders (n = 99) working in each area. Note safeguarders could select more than one area

Number of areas safeguarder role fulfilled N (%) safeguarders
Perth & Kinross 12 (12)
Renfrewshire 12 (12)
Scottish Borders 3 (3)
Shetlands 5 (5)
South Ayrshire 9 (9)
South Lanarkshire 14 (14)
Stirling 9 (9)
West Dunbartonshire 12 (12)
West Lothian 9 (9)
Argyll & Bute 3 (3)
East Lothian 13 (13)
Moray 5 (5)
East Renfrewshire 12 (12)
Falkirk 5 (5)
Fife 13 (13)
Glasgow 26 (26)
Highland 10 (10)
Inverclyde 5 (5)
Western Isles 3 (3)
North Ayrshire 10 (10)
Aberdeen 6 (6)
Aberdeenshire 6 (6)
Angus 13 (13)
Edinburgh 14 (14)
Clackmannanshire 8 (8)
Dumfries & Galloway 2 (2)
Dundee 17 (17)
East Ayrshire 8 (8)
East Dunbartonshire 13 (13)
North Lanarkshire 15 (15)
Orkney Islands 5 (5)
Midlothian 11 (11)

Table 207 : Main occupation for the 95 safeguarders who responded to this question

Main occupation Males N (%) Females N (%) Total N (%)
Lawyer 9 (33) 18 (67) 27 (28)
Social Worker 4 (36) 7 (64) 12 (13)
Teacher 2 (100) 0 (0) 2 (2)
Retired 17 (42) 24 (58) 42 (44)
Other 1 (8) 11 (92) 12 (13)

Table 208: Demographics for the 357 non-safeguarders in the study

Variable Levels N (%)
Gender Male 102 (29)
Female 250 (70)
Prefer not to say 5 (1)
Age (years) Under 20 2 (1)
20 - 29 28 (8)
30 – 39 75 (21)
40 – 49 69 (19)
50 – 59 95 (27)
60 – 69 77 (22)
70+ 11 (3)

Table 209: Age distribution for those non-safeguarders who identified themselves as male (n = 102), female (n = 250), and prefer not to say (n = 5)

Age Category N (%) male N (%) female N (%) prefer not to say
Under 20 0 (0) 1 (0) 1 (20)
20 - 29 3 (3) 25 (10) 0 (0)
30 – 39 21 (21) 53 (21) 1 (20)
40 – 49 15 (15) 54 (22) 0 (0)
50 – 59 26 (26) 66 (26) 3 (60)
60 – 69 29 (28) 48 (19) 0 (0)
70+ 8 (8) 3 (1) 0 (0)

Table 210: Occupations for the non-safeguarders in the study

Main occupation Males N (%) Females N (%) Total N (%)
Children’s reporter 10 (11) 28 (13) 41 (13)
Lawyer 8 (9) 8 (4) 16 (5)
Panel member 58 (62) 87 (41) 145 (47)
Social worker 12 (13) 73 (35) 85 (28)
Other 5 (5) 15 (7) 20 (6)

Table 211: Number of areas where the non-safeguarders worked

Number of areas non-safeguarder role fulfilled N (%) non-safeguarders
0 53 (15)
1 278 (78)
2 8 (2)
3 7 (2)
4 6 (2)
6 2 (1)
7 1 (0)
9 1 (0)
10 1 (0)
Total 357 (100)

Table 212: Areas where the non-safeguarders worked

Number of areas role fulfilled N (%) safeguarders
Perth & Kinross 7 (2)
Renfrewshire 19 (5)
Scottish Borders 9 (2)
Shetlands 6 (2)
South Ayrshire 12 (3)
South Lanarkshire 26 (7)
Stirling 12 (3)
West Dunbartonshire 11 (3)
West Lothian 10 (3)
Argyll & Bute 11 (3)
East Lothian 16 (5)
Moray 5 (1)
East Renfrewshire 12 (3)
Falkirk 17 (5)
Fife 19 (5)
Glasgow 40 (11)
Highland 12 (3)
Inverclyde 9 (2)
Western Isles 5 (1)
North Ayrshire 2 (1)
Aberdeen 9 (2)
Aberdeenshire 15 (4)
Angus 10 (3)
Edinburgh 29 (8)
Clackmannanshire 3 (1)
Dumfries & Galloway 5 (1)
Dundee 12 (3)
East Ayrshire 8 (2)
East Dunbartonshire 7 (2)
North Lanarkshire 7 (2)
Orkney Islands 3 (1)
Midlothian 9 (2)

Table 213: Length of service for the 304 non-safeguarders and 13 sheriffs who responded

Length of time (years) N (%) safeguarders N (%) sheriffs
1 – 3 78 (26) 3 (19)
4 – 5 49 (16) 0 (0)
6 – 7 43 (14) 2 (13)
8 – 10 42 (14) 4 (31)
More than 10 92 (30) 4 (31)

Table 214: Authority to, and appointment of, safeguarders by the 303 non-safeguarders and 13 sheriffs who responded

Non-safeguarders N (%) Sheriffs N(%)
No authority to appoint 162 (54) -
Authority to appoint and done so 125 (42) 12 (92)
Authority to appoint and not done so 16 (4) 1 (8)

Table 215: Number of hearings where safeguarders have been involved for the 303 non-safeguarders and 13 sheriffs who responded

Number of hearings Non-safeguarders N (%) Sheriffs N (%)
None 6 (2)  
1 – 10 163 (54) 5 (38)
11 – 30 81 (27) 2 (15)
31 – 50 19 (6) 2 (15)
More than 50 34 (11) 4 (31)

Table 216: Variables used to extract data for the sheriff sample

Record ID Local Authority
Gender Age at Safeguarder Appointment
Number of Additional Children (Siblings) Included on Allocation Form Gender and Age of Additional Children, as appropriate
Date of Safeguarder Appointment Type of Proceedings
Stated Reason for Safeguarder Appointment Additional Information Stated

Table 217: Grouping and variables used to extract data for SCRA sample

Background Safeguarder Appointment Substantive Hearing Decision Appeals
Record ID Age of Child at Safeguarder Appointment Date of Hearing Was Substantive Decision Appealed?
Gender Date of Safeguarder Appointment Purpose of Hearing If Yes, By Who?
Local Authority Purpose of Hearing Hearing Decision – Compulsory Measures Reason for Appeal
Date of Established Grounds Was Hearing Arranged to Consider New Grounds? Other Measures in Place Appeal Outcome
Type of Order in Place at Safeguarder Appointment If Yes, First Grounds Referred to Hearing? Residence Conditions Date Appeal Concluded
Date of Order Is Purpose to Consider Additional Grounds Arising Since Existing Order Made? Contact Conditions  
Date that Order was First Made Hearing Decision – Compulsory Measures 1 Other Conditions
Other Measures in Place Hearing Decision – Compulsory Measures 2 Hearings Reasons Relevant to Safeguarder Appointment
Residence Conditions If Hearing Continued (Decision Deferred) Why?
Contact Conditions Decision to Appoint a Safeguarder
Other Conditions Reason to Appoint a Safeguarder
Date of Safeguarder Report
Safeguarder Recommendation

Table 218: Variables used to extract data for the paired report analysis

Report ID Safeguarder Appointed By Hearing or Sheriff
Structure of Safeguarder Report Safeguarder’s Remit, if specified
Basis of Safeguarder’s Investigation Reference Made by Safeguarder to Professionals?
If Yes, Who Was Consulted and Why? Resources/Services Identified by Safeguarder
Tone/Style of Safeguarder Report Length of Safeguarder Report
Safeguarder’s Recommendation Agreement Between Safeguarder and Social Worker Recommendations?
Similarities Between Safeguarder and Social Workers Reports Differences Between Safeguarder and Social Worker Reports
Duplication of Effort  

Chapter 3 tables and figures

Table 301: Questionnaire responses on to what extent safeguarders felt that (a) they, and (b) others in the children’s hearings system were clear about what is expected of a safeguarder

Scores awarded
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Safeguarders N (%) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 4 (5) 8 (9) 25 (28) 51 (58)
Others N (%) 2 (2) 11 (13) 17 (20) 17 (20) 22 (25) 13 (15) 4 (5) 1 (1)

Table 302: Questionnaire responses on the roles that, in the opinion of safeguarders, do not fully understand the safeguarder role/remit. Results are stratified by main occupation of the safeguarder

Role Main occupation of the safeguarder Total N (%)*
Lawyer N (%) Social worker N (%) Teacher N (%) Other N (%) Retired N (%)
Children’s reporters 1 (25) 1 (25) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (50) 4 (4)
Lawyers 9 (48) 3 (16) 0 (0) 1 (5) 6 (32) 19 (19)
Panel members 15 (32) 7 (15) 2 (4) 5 (11) 18 (38) 47 (48)
Sheriffs 5 (42) 3 (25) 1 (8) 1 (8) 2 (17) 12 (12)
Social workers 10 (33) 5 (17) 0 (0) 3 (10) 12 (40) 30 (30)
Other 15 (31) 4 (8) 1 (2) 8 (16) 21 (43) 49 (50)

*the total number of responding safeguarders (n = 99) is used as the denominator for the percentage calculations in the total column

Table 303: Interview responses, by stakeholder group, on which roles in the children’s hearings system do not fully understand the safeguarder role

Interviewee Group Stakeholder groups lacking understanding
Safeguarders Social workers; Children 1 st
Solicitors Safeguarders
Reporters Panel Members; Sheriffs; Children and Families
Panel members Safeguarders
Sheriffs None

Table 304: Groupings used for both the safeguarder and non-safeguarder free text responses on the key function/role of a safeguarder

Grouping term Activities covered
Child’s views Ascertain child’s views, convey child’s views/wishes, give the child a voice in proceedings
Independence Provide independent view/perspective/recommendation, undertake independent enquiry/assessment, produce independent report/impartial report, be independent from/challenge other agencies
Child’s best interests Represent/promote child’s best interests, safeguard child’s best interests at hearing/court, recommend what is in the child’s best interests, keep the child at the centre of proceedings
Decision making Assist/inform/support decision making, identify options/course of action for child, ensure best outcome for child, enable child-centred decision making
Information gathering and processing Investigate child’s circumstances, consult with child/family/professionals, collate/assess/evaluate available information

Table 305: Number, and percentage of (a) safeguarders (n = 99), (b) non-safeguarders (n = 357), and (c) sheriffs (n = 16) who felt that these activities were a key part of the safeguarder role

Grouping term Safeguarders N (%) Non-safeguarders N (%) Sheriffs N (%)
Child’s views 21 (21) 63 (18) 4 (25)
Independence 27 (27) 133 (37) 4 (25)
Child’s best interests 81 (82) 157 (44) 9 (56)
Decision making 22 (22) 110 (31) 4 (25)
Information gathering and processing 19 (19) 119 (33) 1 (6)

Table 306: Number and percentage of safeguarders that indicated that the safeguarder role (a) was unique in the hearings process, or (b) overlapped with other roles

Variable Levels Unique N (%) Overlap N (%)
Safeguarder NA 71 (81) 17 (19)
Gender Males (n = 32) 24 (75) 8 (25)
Females (n = 56) 47 (84) 9 (16)
Length of service 1 – 3 (n = 25) 20 (80) 5 (20)
4 – 5 (n = 11) 6 (54) 5 (46)
6 – 7 (n = 8) 6 (75) 2 (25)
8 – 10 (n = 9) 8 (89) 1 (11)
More than 10 (n = 35) 31 (89) 4 (11)
Main occupation Lawyer (n = 23) 17 (74) 6 (26)
Social Worker (n = 11) 10 (91) 1 (9)
Teacher (n = 2) 2 (100) 0 (0)
Retired (n = 39) 32 (82) 7 (18)
Other (n = 12) 10 (83) 1 (17)

Table 307: Number and percentage of non-safeguarders that indicated that the safeguarder role (a) was unique in the hearings process, or (b) overlapped with other roles

Variable Levels Unique N (%) Overlap N (%)
Non-safeguarder NA 163 (59) 113 (41)
Gender Males (n = 86) 54 (63) 32 (37)
Females (n = 187) 106 (57) 81 (43)
Prefer not to say (n = 3) 3 (100) 0 (0)
Length of service 1 – 3 (n = 66) 36 (54) 30 (46)
4 – 5 (n = 45) 26 (58) 19 (42)
6 – 7 (n = 42) 26 (62) 16 (38)
8 – 10 (n = 39) 27 (69) 12 (31)
More than 10 (n = 84) 48 (57) 36 (43)
Main occupation Children’s reporter (n = 33) 23 (70) 10 (30)
Lawyer (n = 15) 7 (47) 8 (53)
Panel member (n = 132) 95 (72) 37 (28)
Social worker (n = 80) 32 (40) 48 (60)
Other (n = 16) 6 (38) 10 (62)

Table 308: Number and percentage of sheriffs that indicated that the safeguarder role (a) was unique in the hearings process, or (b) overlapped with other roles

Variable Levels Unique N (%) Overlap N (%)
Sheriffs NA 9 (75) 3 (25)
Length of service 1 – 3 (n = 3) 3 (100) 0 (0)
4 – 5 (n = 0) 0 (0) 0 (0)
6 – 7 (n = 2) 1 (50) 1 (50)
8 – 10 (n = 3) 3 (100) 0 (0)
More than 10 (n = 4) 2 (50) 2 (50)

Table 309: Number, and percentage, of (a) safeguarders (n = 15), (b) non-safeguarders (n = 113) and sheriffs (n = 3) who identified overlap between these roles and that of the safeguarder (more than one role could be specified)

Role overlapped with Safeguarder N (%) Non-safeguarder N (%) Sheriffs N (%)
All 2 (13) 6 (6) 0 (0)
Social worker 7 (47) 71 (63) 2 (67)
Legal representative/solicitor 5 (33) 13 (12) 2 (67)
Advocate/advocacy worker 6 (40) 28 (25) 0 (0)
Children’s rights officer 1 (7) 10 (9) 3 (100)

Table 310: How (a) safeguarders (n = 17), (b) non-safeguarders (n = 113), and (c) sheriffs (n = 3) think the overlap between the safeguarder role and others in the children’s hearings system affects the safeguarder role

Feelings about the overlap between roles Safeguarders N (%) Non-safeguarders N (%) Sheriffs N (%)
Complements/assists safeguarder role 10 (59) 40 (35) 2 (67)
Makes safeguarder role more difficult 5 (29) 26 (23) 0 (0)
Negates the role of safeguarder 2 (12) 47 (42) 1 (33)

Table 311: How (a) non-safeguarders (n = 113), and (b) sheriffs (n = 3) think the overlap between the safeguarder role and others in the children’s hearings system affects the safeguarder role. Information stratified by main profession

Children’s reporter Lawyer Panel member Social Worker Sheriff Other Total
Complements/assists safeguarder role 6 1 18 11 2 4 42
Makes the role of the safeguarder more difficult 1 2 9 13 0 1 26
Negates the role of the safeguarder 3 5 10 24 1 5 48
Total 10 8 37 48 3 10 116

Chapter 4 tables and figures

Table 401: Grouping categories used for the free text question on the types of situations or circumstances that a safeguarder should be appointed

Grouping term Activities covered
Interests To safeguard the child’s interests in proceedings, where child’s best interests are not adequately protected, where child’s interests have been overlooked/lost sight of, where decision in child’s best interests is unclear
Rights To protect the child’s rights, where the rights of the child are not adequately protected, where the child cannot understand the process, where the child cannot participate in the process, where the child is too young to instruct a solicitor but needs representation, when grounds are sent to the sheriff for proof
Conflict Where there is conflict between parents/carers and relevant agencies, predominately social work, where there is conflict within the family, where there is disagreement/differing views about child’s plan, where relationship/communication between family and professionals has broken down, where there is lack of engagement/cooperation by family with relevant agencies
Views To obtain the child’s views, where the child’s views are unknown, where the child’s views have not been represented within proceedings, where child’s voice is lost – to give child a voice, mainly child’s views, but some indication that safeguarders can be appointed to obtain parents’/carers’ views and professionals’ views
Information Insufficient information available to allow hearing to make substantive decision, missing information or gaps in available information, conflicting information/factual dispute, lack of clarity within available information, specific information sought by hearing on particular issue, need for information to be verified – concerns around honesty of parents/carers and potential entrenched views of professionals
Independence To obtain independent assessment, to provide an independent view of the child’s circumstances, to provide an independent overview of case, need for impartial/objective report and recommendation, need for independent perspective

Table 402: Number, and percentage, of non-safeguarders (n = 357) and sheriffs (n = 16) who felt these were the types of situations or circumstances in which a safeguarder should be appointed. (Respondents could give more than one)

Grouping term Non-safeguarders (N, %) Sheriffs (N, %)
Conflict 208 (58) 6 (38)
Gathering information 139 (39) 2 (12)
Ascertaining views 128 (36) 4 (25)
Independence 68 (19) 1 (6)
Child’s interests 65 (18) 6 (38)
Child’s rights 46 (13) 0 (0)

Figure 1 : Reasons for safeguarder appointment extracted from the SCRA sample

Figure 1: Reasons for safeguarder appointment extracted from the SCRA sample

Figure 2 : Reasons for safeguarder appointment extracted from the sheriff sample

Figure 2: Reasons for safeguarder appointment extracted from the sheriff sample

Table 403: Roles that mentioned conflict as a reason to appoint a safeguarder

Roles Conflict N (%) Information gathering N (%) Ascertaining views N (%) Independence N (%) Child’s interests N (%) Child’s rights N (%)
Panel members 98 (47) 69 (50) 72 (56) 35 (52) 45 (69) 19 (14)
Social workers 61 (29) 38 (27) 22 (17) 13 (19) 6 (9) 6 (13)
Children’s reporters 27 (13) 16 (12) 23 (18) 13 (19) 10 (15) 15 (33)
Lawyers 10 (5) 6 (4) 7 (6) 3 (4) 3 (5) 2 (4)
Other 12 (6) 10 (6) 4 (3.1) 4 (6) 1 (2) 4 (9)

Chapter 5 tables and figures

Table 501: Groupings used for the free text responses that indicated the activities that took up most of the safeguarders’ time

Grouping term Activities covered
Child/family related activity Playing with child, obtaining child/family views, meeting with child/family, interviewing child/family, explaining process to child/family, observing contact, mediating, handing out leaflets, travelling to family/child meetings
Information gathering Phone calls, obtaining professional views, interviewing professionals, meeting with professionals, talking and listening, travelling
Information processing Reading paperwork and reports, collating information, assessing and evaluating, thinking and analysing
Court hearing/attendance Travelling, sitting in court/hearing waiting rooms, attending hearings/courts
Report preparation Keeping to limited timescales, writing report/recommendations, oral presentations

Table 502: Number, and percentage, of male (n = 35), female (n = 64) and all (n = 99) safeguarders who spent most of their time involved in these activities. (Respondents could give more than one response)

Activity Gender Total N (%)
Males N (%) Females N (%)
Child/family related activity 21 (60) 45 (70) 66 (67)
Information gathering 23 (66) 38 (60) 61 (62)
Information processing 8 (23) 18 (28) 26 (26)
Court hearing/attendance 2 (6) 4 (6) 6 (6)
Report preparation 9 (26) 13 (20) 22 (22)

Table 503: Non-safeguarder (n = 276) and sheriff (n = 12) opinions on the usefulness of safeguarder reports

Role Usefulness of safeguarder reports (N, %)
Extremely useless Moderately useless Slightly useless Neither useful nor useless Slightly useful Moderately useful Extremely useful
Non-safeguarder 6 (2) 11 (4) 5 (2) 37 (13) 18 (7) 92 (33) 107 (39)
Sheriff 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (8) 4 (33) 7 (58)

Table 504: Opinions of non-safeguarders (n = 276) on the usefulness of safeguarder reports

Role Usefulness of safeguarder reports (N, %)
Extremely useless Moderately useless Slightly useless Neither useful nor useless Slightly useful Moderately useful Extremely useful
Children’s reporter 0 (0) 1 (3) 0 (0) 2 (6) 3 (9) 10 (30) 17 (52)
Solicitor 1 (7) 1 (7) 0 (0) 1 (7) 3 (20) 7 (47) 2 (13)
Panel member 4 (3) 0 (0) 2 (2) 5 (4) 6 (4) 43 (33) 72 (55)
Social worker 1 (1) 8 (10) 3 (4) 9 (11) 20 (25) 27 (34) 12 (15)
Other 0 (0) 1 (6) 0 (0) 1 (6) 5 (31) 5 (31) 4 (25)

Table 505: Non-safeguarder (n = 388) and sheriff (n = 12) opinions on whether it is better for safeguarders to appear at the proceedings to present their report

Attendance at proceedings Non-safeguarders N (%) Sheriffs N (%)
Yes 264 (74) 12 (100)
No 5 (2) 0 (0)
Unsure 8 (3) 0 (0)

Figure 3 : The extent to which safeguarder recommendations were followed

Figure 3: The extent to which safeguarder recommendations were followed

Table 506: Non-safeguarder (n = 276) and sheriff (n = 12) opinion on whether the involvement of a safeguarder makes the decision in the case more robust

Response Non-safeguarders N (%) Sheriffs N (%)
Yes 159 (58) 10 (83)
No 81 (29) 1 (8)
Don’t know 36 (13) 1 (8)

Table 5 07: Number, and percentage, of safeguarders (n = 86) who provided an opinion on whether the involvement of a safeguarder affected the number of appeals

Response N (%)
Yes 36 (42)
No 12 (14)
Don’t know 38 (44)

Table 508: Summary information on whether the involvement of a safeguarder affected the number of appeals. Results stratified by main occupation of the safeguarder

Response Main occupation
Lawyer N (%) Social worker N (%) Teacher N (%) Other N (%) Retired N (%)
Yes 15 (42) 5 (14) 0 (0) 5 (14) 11 (31)
No 4 (33) 2 (17) 1 (8) 2 (17) 3 (25)
Don’t know 3 (8) 4 (11) 1 (3) 6 (16) 24 (64)

Chapter 6 tables and figures

Table 601: Groupings and number of respondents for the free text responses that indicate the changes that have been seen since the 2013 shift to a national panel. Note some individuals may give multiple responses

Grouping Activities covered Safeguarders N Non-safeguarders N
None I have not noticed any, I have not observed any changes to practice, I see no difference, I am not aware of any, not in my experience 4 106
More safeguarders Increase in number of safeguarders with different abilities, greater number of safeguarders available, more appointments for safeguarders 1 11
More support/training Support sessions and mandatory training, a lot more training, less isolation, targeted training for safeguarders, better trained safeguarders 24 5
Increased quality/standards and supervision More homogeneous approach to role, a drive towards a national standard, better adherence to timescales/attendance at hearings, better/more supervision, better/more regulation, better assessments by safeguarders, more accountability, development of a professional identity 34 18
Negative changes Unnecessary intervention in the role, too much oversight/scrutiny, threat to independence of role, greater number of appointments outside of local area, no improvement in safeguarder quality, increased number of people lacking key skills and local knowledge, poor quality safeguarders, more bureaucracy, less autonomy, ineffective training 20 29
Don’t know Experience is post 2013, cannot comment, don’t know, don’t interact with enough safeguarders to comment, limited/short time experience of CHS 9 94
Table 602: Safeguarder and non-safeguarder opinions on whether the shift to a national panel in 2013 has made a difference to the way in which safeguarders work. Opinions collected using an 11-point scale where higher scores mean bigger difference
Score Safeguarders (N, %) Non-safeguarders (N, %)
0 1 (1) 38 (14)
1 2 (2) 14 (5)
2 3 (4) 25 (9)
3 0 (0.0) 21 (8)
4 3 (4) 6 (2)
5 9 (11) 106 (39)
6 6 (7) 20 (8)
7 14 (17) 17 (6)
8 14 (17) 13 (5)
9 10 (12) 8 (3)
10 19 (24) 4 (12)

Table 603: Safeguarder (n = 81) and non-safeguarder (n = 271) opinion on whether there have been any changes in policy following the 2013 shift to a national panel

Response Safeguarders N (%) Non-safeguarders N (%)
Yes 9 (11) 7 (3)
No 34 (42) 46 (17)
Don’t know 38 (47) 218 (80)

Table 604: Groupings and number of respondents for the free text responses for changes in policy that have been seen since the 2013 shift to a national panel. Note some individuals may give multiple responses

Grouping Activities covered Safeguarders N Non-safeguarders N
Interactions with child/family Better understanding of effect of circumstances on child, increased understanding of how to get information from child, more friendly interactions 3 3
Standards/accountability Adhering to standards, meeting timelines, more consistency in practice 1 1
Provision of guidelines and training More guidance on how to gather different views, training on how to gather information 4 2
Communication Better reports, more detailed reports, better contact with safeguarders 0 2
Table 605: Safeguarder (n = 86) opinion on the extent that the seven practice standards for safeguarders provide a good framework for the safeguarder role
Score awarded
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Number (%) 1 (1) 1 (1) 2 (2) 10 (12) 4 (5) 13 (15) 18 (21) 19 (22) 18 (21)

Table 606: Safeguarder (n = 86) opinion on the extent that the seven practice standards for safeguarders provide a good framework for the safeguarder role. Results stratified by main occupation for safeguarder

Score Main occupation
Lawyer N (%) Social worker N (%) Teacher N (%) Other N (%) Retired N (%)
2 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (100)
3 1 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0)
4 1 (50) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (50) 0 (0)
5 3 (30) 2 (20) 0 (0) 1 (10) 4 (40)
6 0 (0) 3 (75) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (25)
7 8 (62) 0 (0) 0 (0) 3 (23) 2 (15)
8 2 (11) 3 (17) 0 (0) 3 (17) 10 (56)
9 4 (21) 1 (5) 1 (5) 2 (11) 11 (58)
10 3 (17) 2 (11) 1 (6) 3 (17) 9 (50)

Table 607: Safeguarder (n = 86) opinion on the extent that the seven practice standards for safeguarders provide a good framework for the safeguarder role. Results stratified by length of service as a safeguarder

Score Length of service as a safeguarder (Years)
1 – 3 N (%) 4 – 5 N (%) 6 – 7 N (%) 8 – 10 N (%) More than 10 N (%)
2 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (100)
3 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (100)
4 0 (0) 1 (50) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (50)
5 0 (0) 0 (0) 3 (30) 1 (10) 6 (60)
6 2 (50) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (25) 1 (25)
7 1 (8) 2 (15) 1 (8) 1 (8) 8 (62)
8 5 (28) 2 (11) 2 (11) 3 (17) 6 (33)
9 9 (47) 3 (16) 1 (5) 1 (5) 5 (26)
10 7 (39) 3 (17) 1 (6) 2 (11) 5 (28)

Figure 4 : Safeguarder opinions on how important each of the seven key practice standards are

Figure 4: Safeguarder opinions on how important each of the seven key practice standards are

Table 608: Ranking, in order of importance, of the seven practice standards for safeguarders. One indicates most important while seven indicates least important

Practice standard Order of importance
N (%)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Putting the child at the centre 52
(63)
2
(2)
1
(1)
2
(2)
1
(1)
2
(2)
22
(27)
Developing relationships with all involved 13
(16)
11
(14)
8
(10)
7
(8)
9
(11)
13
(16)
21
(26)
Acting with independence of practice 1
(1)
18
(22)
25
(30)
14
(17)
12
(15)
10
(12)
2
(2)
Providing clear and timely reports 5
(6)
4
(5)
9
(11)
19
(23)
22
(27)
15
(18)
8
(10)
Maintaining confidentiality 1
(1)
5
(6)
16
(20)
27
(33)
17
(21)
13
(16)
3
(4)
Acting with integrity, honesty and fairness 4
(5)
34
(42)
15
(18)
10
(12)
8
(10)
9
(11)
2
(2)
Keeping up to date with skills/knowledge 6
(7)
8
(10)
8
(10)
3
(4)
13
(16)
20
(24)
24
(30)

Table 609: Number, and percentage, of non-safeguarders and sheriffs who were either aware or not aware of the 7 key practice standards

Main occupation Aware N (%) Not aware N (%)
Children’s reporter 21 (18) 12 (7)
Lawyer 7 (6) 8 (5)
Panel member 54 (47) 78 (45)
Social worker 20 (17) 60 (39)
Sheriffs 7 (6) 5 (3)
Other 7 (6) 9 (5)
Total 116 172

Table 610: The extent that safeguarders (n = 82), non-safeguarders (n = 276) and sheriffs (n = 12) felt that the underlying professional skills/qualifications of safeguarders helped them in their role as a safeguarder

Score Safeguarders N (%) Non-safeguarders N (%) Sheriffs N (%)
0 0 (0) 7 (2) 0 (0)
1 0 (0) 5 (2) 0 (0)
2 0 (0) 6 (2) 0 (0)
3 0 (0) 7 (2) 0 (0)
4 0 (0) 9 (3) 1 (8)
5 1 (1) 43 (16) 0 (0)
6 0 (0) 28 (10) 0 (0)
7 4 (5) 35 (13) 0 (0)
8 19 (23) 46 (17) 3 (25)
9 19 (23) 50 (18) 4 (33)
10 39 (48) 40 (14) 4 (33)

Table 61 1: Groupings used for the free text responses that provided further information on the underlying professional skills/qualifications/qualities that were important to the safeguarder role

Skill Activities covered
Communication Written and verbal communication, ability to effectively communicate with a range of groups, listening skills, ability to explain roles/process/report/recommendations in a range of settings/to a range of audiences, report writing skills
Information gathering and processing Interviewing skills, investigation/assessment skills, observation skills, analytical skills, ability to collate and synthesise relevant information, ability to present information clearly in reports/at hearings/in court
Interpersonal Ability to relate to/engage with children and families, ability to work alongside relevant professionals, appreciation of family dynamics, life experience, empathy/compassion, integrity/respect, humour, honesty, confidence/tenacity, objectivity/impartiality, sensitivity, confidentiality, autonomy and independence, child centred approach
Professional Knowledge of legal systems/process, understanding child development, understanding of mental health/addiction/domestic abuse/disability/trauma, experience of working with vulnerable groups, legal/court/hearings experience, advocacy skills, mediation/negotiation skills, problem solving skills, professional qualification in law/social work/health/psychology

Table 612: Number, and percentage, of safeguarders, non-safeguarders and sheriffs who felt these skills/qualifications/qualitites were important to the safeguarder

Skill Safeguarders N (%) Non-safeguarders N (%) Sheriffs N (%)
Communication 57 (58) 149 (42) 5 (31)
Information gathering/processing 32 (32) 75 (21) 1 (6)
Interpersonal 66 (67) 159 (44) 7 (44)
Professional 56 (57) 161 (45) 8 (50)

Table 613: Non-safeguarder (n = 273) and sheriff opinion on whether safeguarders are provided with appropriate training and support to fulfil their role

Response Non-safeguarders N (%) Sheriffs N (%)
Yes 46 (13) 6 (54)
No 35 (13) 3 (27)
Don’t know 192 (70) 2 (18)

Table 614: Groupings used for the free text responses that provided further information on the additional skills/training that safeguarder would find useful

Skill Activities covered
Support Mentoring/buddying, peer support, group support sessions, support hotline, counselling, genuine support – not supervising/monitoring/compliance/management
Professional development Problem solving skills, restorative approaches, consultation of practice guidance, safeguarder input in training – provision and identification of subject matter
Specialist training Court work, legal processes/procedures, safeguarder role in court proceedings (particular appeals), social work input, substance misuse, interviewing techniques, conflict resolution, identification of neglect/abuse, training should be paid

Table 615: Grouping used for free text reponses for skills that would be useful, in the opinion of non-safeguarders, for the safeguarder role

Skill Activities covered
Child development and protection Training on attachment, training on neglect, training on domestic violence, training on substance misuse, training on physical and sexual abuse
Legal issues and processes Training on legal framework and process, training on court work – how to be a party to proceedings, training on permanence legislation and procedures, training on social work processes/decision-making
Communication skills Court work, legal processes/procedures, safeguarder role in court proceedings (particular appeals), social work input, substance misuse, interviewing techniques, conflict resolution, identification of neglect/abuse, training should be paid
Assessment skills Training on how to engage and effectively communicate with children, training on how to communicate effectively with parents/carers, training on how to communicate effectively with professionals, advocacy skills, professionalism – engaging with families/professionals in a respectful manner
Reporting skills Training on how to write a comprehensive report, consistent standard of reporting, adherence to timescales for reports, attendance at hearings and ability to speak to report, training on how to undertake a thorough and independent investigation

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