New arrangements for safeguarding children in County Durham are set to come into place well ahead of a Government deadline.
Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board is to be replaced by a new body as part of national changes to safeguarding provision.
Partner organisations across the country have until the end of June to notify the Secretary of State of their new structures.
However, in County Durham, arrangements for the new Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership (DSCP) have not only already been confirmed but the partnership will be up-and-running on Monday, April 1.
DSCP will be jointly led by Durham County Council, Durham Constabulary and the Clinical Commissioning Groups with responsibility for North Durham and Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield.
They will be supported by a wide range of organisations representing the criminal justice service, education sector, health service and the voluntary and community sector.
The DSCP will take over full responsibility from the LSCB for ensuring that: children are safeguarded and their welfare is protected; partner agencies collaborate and share responsibility for improving outcomes for vulnerable children; organisations hold each other to account; safeguarding issues are identified at an early stage; services learn, reflect and implement changes; and information is shared effectively.
Michael Banks, independent chairman of Durham LSCB, said: “Every child should have the opportunity to flourish and achieve their full potential, and this invariably depends on promoting their welfare and ensuring they are safe.
“The new Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership has been established to coordinate many agencies to get the best possible outcomes for children and their families in County Durham.”
Cllr Olwyn Gunn, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “The new arrangements for safeguarding children in County Durham will enable us to continue to build on the good work already taking place with our partner agencies.”