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3.1.5 Safeguarding Management Alert


This chapter was updated in November 2015 to reflect the current organisational structure.


  1. Guidance
  2. SMA Outcome Page
  3. Safeguarding Management Alert

1. Guidance

The Safeguarding Challenge process has been replaced by the Safeguarding Management Alert (SMA) process. This is a ‘Careassess’ document that will sit on each individual child’s electronic file and which should be used when Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) have concerns that Child Protection (CP) policy and/or procedures have not been adhered to or that a child’s welfare is at risk. The SMA process does not preclude issues being addressed on an informal basis.

The SMA process is separated into 4 levels:

  • Level 1 Alerts are directed to Pod Managers (response requested within 3 working days);
  • Level 2 Alerts are directed to Heads of Service (response requested within 3 working days/2 working days if Alert relates to decision of Children's Services Care Planning Panel;
  • Level 3 Alerts are directed to the Assistant Director, Safeguarding & Offending (response requested within 3 working days).

Response timings may be shortened and Levels conflated where urgency requires. It is anticipated that most Management Alerts will be raised and resolved at Level 1. In the unlikely event that cases remain unresolved by Level 4, the matter will be referred to the Executive Director for Children's Services for resolution.

An SMA will be raised in all circumstances where the Child Protection Conference Chair considers that:

  • The child/ren concerned cannot be adequately protected at home with a Child Protection Plan and that insufficient legal safeguards are in place;
  • The Child Protection Plan has not been appropriately progressed and the case is drifting;
  • There is clear evidence of poor practice that could seriously impact on the Child Protection Plan;
  • There has been a clear breach of the Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding procedures;
  • Core Groups have not been held within timescales;
  • Family and/or child’s are not adequately prepared for Conference and/or their views are not known.

In all of the above instances the first priority is to ensure the safety of the child/ren concerned and no actions should be delayed because of the alert process.

The Head of Safeguarding, IRO Manager (Safeguarding) and relevant Pod Team Manager should be notified by the IRO when a management alert is raised under the SMA process, regardless of the level.

2. SMA Outcome Page

Click here to view SMA Outcome Page.

3. Safeguarding Management Alert

Click here to view Safeguarding Management Alert.