Statutory guidance

Working together to safeguard children

Statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.


Working together to safeguard children 2018

Working together: transitional guidance

Working together to safeguard children: statutory framework

Working together to safeguard children 2015


This guidance is for:

  • local authority chief executives
  • directors of children’s services
  • chairs of local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs)
  • teachers and education staff
  • social workers
  • health service professionals
  • adult services
  • police officers
  • voluntary and community sector workers in contact with children and families

It applies to:

  • local authorities
  • all schools

The 2018 version replaces the 2015 version. The transitional guidance helps explain how to move to the new arrangements.

The statutory framework sets out the legislation relevant to safeguarding and it should be read alongside the statutory guidance.

Statutory guidance is issued by law; you must follow it unless there’s a good reason not to.

A version of the guidance for young people and a separate version suitable for younger children are also available for practitioners to share.

Published 26 March 2015
Last updated 21 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated 'Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018' to reflect how local authorities should notify the Child Safeguarding Panel.

  2. Corrected a small error in chapter 5, footnote 99.

  3. Added the Working Together 2018 version, transitional arrangements, statutory framework, and introductory letters from DfE and the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel.

  4. Minor amendment to the guidance to add the definition of child sexual exploitation.

  5. First published.