Research and analysis

Canary in the cage? Lead indicators and their potential use by local safeguarding children boards and partner agencies

Report summarising the views of child protection professionals on the changes to local performance management arrangements.


The Munro review of child protection (2011) has encouraged us to view local child protection arrangements as complex adaptive systems which, when given the right conditions, are capable of self-organisation, learning and self-improvement.

In the final report, the review proposes that, in future, any national performance indicators should focus on tracking overall progress towards better outcomes for children and young people whilst local safeguarding children boards should focus on developing their own local performance management arrangements to support shared learning and systems improvement.

This report summarises the views of a number of professionals involved in managing and overseeing local child protection arrangements, on the value of including a set of ‘lead indicators’ within these local performance management arrangements.