Performance Monitoring of Safeguarders

Here are some frequently asked questions that will help you to understand a little bit about the Safeguarder Performance Monitoring process.

As described previously, there is a specific approach that Safeguarders should take whilst performing their role. This is described in detail in the Practice Standards.

Practice Standards for Safeguarders

Practice Notes are developed alongside Safeguarders to supplement the Practice Standards and we hope these will be helpful in clarifying the areas of practice covered:

Under the provisions of The Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011, Scottish Ministers must monitor the performance of members of the Safeguarders Panel.

The Safeguarders Panel Team (SPT) at Children 1st is tasked with supporting Safeguarders to fulfil their role and monitoring their performance. This is done through a range of mechanisms and opportunities, including:

Support Managers

Each Safeguarder is allocated a Support Manager, who has the necessary knowledge and experience to provide direct support to Safeguarders. Two Support Managers will cover each region of Scotland (East, North and West), and the Safeguarders in these regions are allocated to one of these Support Managers for supervision and support. The learning style and needs of the Safeguarder are taken into consideration when allocating Support Managers to ensure support is tailored to each Safeguarder and the approach to this is a collaborative exercise.

Having Support Managers geographically based enables the development of more localised knowledge and relationships with other professionals and agencies (e.g. Locality Reporter, Local Children’s Hearings Manager, Social Work Teams), which will raise awareness of Safeguarders and the Safeguarders Panel Team (SPT) and support the discussion of issues and/or concerns at local levels.

Support Managers work restoratively and relationally to develop an authentic supportive relationship with each Safeguarder and support the Safeguarder to develop their practice, considering their present learning, confidence, competence, knowledge and skills. Through this relationship, they will get alongside Safeguarders, offer help and feedback, ask questions, provide support and challenge practice when necessary. The aim is to further develop Safeguarder’s reflective practice, so that the questioning approach is utilised within the Support Manager relationship and also personally, by each Safeguarder, reflecting on their own practice against the Practice Standards. This enables Support Managers to capture evidence of fitness to practice.

In addition to their regional Support Manager, Safeguarders will be able to contact any member of the SPT team for support when issues, concerns or emergencies arise.

Support focuses on helping Safeguarders to work independently and accountably to the Practice Standards and within the Performance and Management Support Framework.  

Individual and Group Support

Safeguarders are required to participate in one individual support session per year to discuss and reflect on practice and performance. Report sampling, or randomly selecting reports to review, is part of this support session, and within each year it is mandatory that two Safeguarder reports are sampled and discussed. Safeguarders greatly value the support from individual relationships, and SPT provides additional support sessions for individuals which reflect their learning/development needs or the complexity of the work they are currently involved in.

In addition to individual support sessions, Safeguarders also have the opportunity to attend a small group support session of up to four Safeguarders, which provides opportunities for peer support, learning and practice discussion. These sessions will be planned over a year in advance, will be facilitated by a Support Manager

Peer Mentoring

A new development for the Service is the opportunity for peer mentoring for Safeguarders. This will first be offered to new Safeguarders, and the learning from our initial implementation of the peer mentoring programme and the experiences of Safeguarders will be gathered to inform the development of this for all Safeguarders. It will be the responsibility of the Mentoring Coordinator to implement and review this approach with Safeguarders. With the oversight and responsibility of the Mentoring Co-ordinator and their allocated Service Manager, experienced Safeguarders will be recruited, trained and accredited as mentors.  

A minimum of six peer mentors will be recruited and trained in the first year and this number will increase at least to 12 in the second year. Peer mentoring sessions will be arranged for new Safeguarders over the first year of their appointment to support them in their new role as well as other Safeguarders who will benefit from the approach in order to develop capacities and performance.

Evidence about the impact of peer mentoring will be recorded over the initial period through Support Managers in their individual support and supervision records. This will contribute further evidence as to the development of Safeguarders for re-appointment.

We are in the process of joining the Scottish Mentor Network and will adhere to their Code of Practice to achieve the Project Quality Award. We will ensure the Mentor Co-ordinator has attended the Training Guidance for Mentoring Co-ordinators and to support individual Safeguarders to achieve the Professional Practice Award in Mentoring.

Performance Support & Monitoring Framework (PSMF)

SPT measures the performance of Safeguarders against Practice Standards and the Performance Support and Monitoring Framework. Assessment of performance is carried out throughout a Safeguarder’s appointment, from interview, through to pre-appointment assessment, after their initial appointment, and to re-appointment.  

The focus of the support and monitoring provided by Support Managers will be on supporting Safeguarders to continuously improve their practice and prepare for reappointment as appropriate

Safeguarder performance is currently measured against the 2012 regulations. Elements of the Performance Support & Monitoring Framework are currently being implemented: Performance Support & Monitoring Framework

Support Managers are responsible for recording information about each Safeguarder’s performance to be held within their individual electronic files. This information will be shared with Safeguarders and discussed in individual support sessions so that Safeguarders can be encouraged to reflect on feedback (positive or negative), and they can be supported to improve their practice as required. The range of information described in the PSMF is the basis of the assessment of practice against the Practice Standards which will result in a recommendation for reappointment or not.

Records and Re-appointment

Each individual Safeguarder has an electronic file held within the Children 1st Integrated Information Management System (IIMS), in line with our Data Protection Policy and GDPR. This file will be used to prepare for individual and group support sessions and to store important information regarding the Safeguarder, such as contact details, allocations taken, and any issues, concerns and feedback received.  These files can only be accessed by authorised members of the Safeguarder Panel Team.

Each Support Manager will refer to the Safeguarder’s individual file in preparation for the re-appointment process.  The information contained within these files will be analysed to determine if Safeguarders have met the requirements expected of them and if a recommendation for reappointment, or not, is to be made to the Minister.

Yes! We always want to hear from you. 

Your views and opinions help us make sure that Safeguarders are doing their best to protect the best interests of the children and young people they work with.

Fill in our online survey.

If you have a worry or concern about your Safeguarder’s work, actions or behaviour, then we want you to tell us about it. We want children, young people and families to feel comfortable with and confident in their Safeguarder, so when things have gone wrong, we want to address it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. 

Learn how to raise a concern here.