A new edition of Working Together to Safeguard Children was published in April 2006. It sets out how individuals and organisations should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and has been updated since the previous version, which was published in 1999. The new version reflects developments in legislation, policy and practice, particularly following the Children Act 2004.The guidance is addressed to all practitioners and front line managers who have particular responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and to senior and operational managers in organisations that are responsible for commissioning or providing at the same time services to children, young people, parents and carers.
The Government published at the same time Information Sharing: Practitioners' Guide and Information Sharing: Further Guidance on Legal Issues. In Every Child Matters (December 2004), the Government made a commitment to produce clear guidance for all children's services practitioners on information sharing and the guidances have been produced by the Department for Education and Skills, Department of Health, Home Office, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Department of Constitutional Affairs and Youth Justice Board. Key practitioner representative bodies were consulted including the General Medical Council, the British Medical Association, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, a number of Royal Colleges (medical and nursing), the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Metropolitan Police, the Association of Directors of Social Services, the Local Government Association and several national children's charities. The views of children and young people on information sharing were also sought, through events organised by the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Children's Rights Alliance for England. The guidances are also relevant to practitioners who work in services provided for adults, for example mental health services and drug and alcohol services, as some adults accessing those services may have parenting or caring responsibilities. All three guidances are available on www.everychildmatters.gov.uk.