Improving effective supervision in safeguarding by mapping the journey of children in case auditing with case holders, Stockport.

Themes this local practice example relates to:

  • Safeguarding

Organisation/s submitting example:  Stockport Children and Young People Service
Local authority/local area:  Stockport Borough Council


The introduction of a monthly audit process and Team Around the Child (TAC) Reflective Case Summaries, through which Team Managers routinely map the journey of children within Social Care, in discussion with the case holder within a reflective learning environment. The process has added immense value to our local understanding and evidence of social work practice, on a case level, practitioner level and whole Social Care Service level. The process is enshrined within a wider Social Care Quality Assurance and Improvement Framework. It is supported by a number of processes designed to complement the audit process and further develop local learning. These are notably, Social Care Thematic Reviews, Records Compliance audit, Work Shadowing Programme and a series of innovative Service User Engagement activities. 

Context and rationale

The 2012 Ofsted Announced Inspection of Safeguarding and Looked After Children identified a gap in Stockport’s Social Care quality assurance systems:

A framework for performance management within children’s social care is established which includes supervision and case file auditing. However more work is needed to ensure that team managers are fully engaged in the quality auditing process and to provide evidence that remedial action is being taken where this is identified within individual audits.

In response to the inspection, together with Stockport Children's Social Care Service’s commitment to provide high quality social work practice, it was identified that the Quality Assurance and Improvement Framework for the Social Care service should be revised in line with national best practice.

The framework supports the effective delivery of improvements to safeguarding and child protection practice in Stockport. The Introduction of the Stockport Journey of the Child Monthly Audit tool and TAC Reflective Case Summaries within a larger Social Care Quality Assurance and Improvement Framework can be found at: improvingourservices/

The framework is driven by the following principles:

  • Child centered – We will follow the journey of the child through our services.
  • Outcome based – We will continually seek to improve performance and demonstrate the impact of help for children and their families in improving their outcomes. It is not enough to carry out quality assurance activity; the findings from all activity will drive service improvement and create better outcomes for our clients and workforce.
  • Fair – We will take equality and diversity issues into account when developing and undertaking quality assurance activity. We will use the results to promote equality of access.
  • Participative – All quality assurance activity will be carried out in partnership with service users and professionals; from the student social workers to senior managers. Measuring quality is something done with, and by, service users and professionals rather than an exercise done to them. Everybody has a responsibility to quality assurance and everyone’s views and feedback will be incorporated into service improvement.
  • Consultative – We will use a consultative approach which will encourage an awareness of quality issues and ownership of the findings.
  • Transparent – We will deliver clear messages about the purpose of the quality assurance and how it benefits the organisation and individuals to encourage openness and willingness to participate.
  • Ethical – We will always endeavour to:
    • respect participants privacy and confidentiality;
    • extend and develop our knowledge;
      • use public resources in the most effective way possible;
      • use the findings to create change, which leads to improved outcomes.

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