Newsletters

The archive of AILC Newsletters are available to view below. However, the current months' Newsletter is only available to our Membership Group.


The Association of Safeguarding Partners

 Welcome

 

Welcome to our summer newsletter (July and August), hopefully many of you will be enjoying a well-earned break, from juggling priorities and managing competing demands.

Since the last newsletter we have seen the submission of all the plans for the new arrangements; a change in Prime Minister (and therefore new ministerial appointments); NCB held their successful conference to reflect on the learning from the Early Adopter programme and government continues to bring stakeholders together to ensure a level of focus on this important period of development, transition and transformation. Hopefully we will be able to benefit from an analysis of the published plans, but for now we have to rely on our own and therefore possibly limited understanding of what these represent in terms of the future.

Anyone with the time to read the published plans and draw on the NCB collated Early Adopter evidence, may ponder how and in what ways the new arrangements will differ from the current arrangements. For some there is a scale of ambition focused on geographic and whole system integrative strategic partnership approaches, for others a function and compliance focus is more evident. Others seek to re-set the basis of learning and its relationship to scrutiny, whether by a new model and methodology or through the sharpening of effective present arrangements. Over time it seems reasonable to expect areas of commonalties and differences to emerge.

For many, the journey is about to begin and there is a clear focus on the importance of transition and pace in many plans and new arrangements. Those with a passing interest in the management of change may reflect on the differences between incremental and radical change and how sometimes the former has the potential to be the latter. Though the counter argument can be, that change has to be radical to be effective and that an incremental approach can peter out. There are certainly some attributes of radical change in terms of the original rationale for this change, such as the allocation of leadership and accountability across the three statutory partners, or the move away from a statutory “board”, or the emphasis on local defined measures of success and the focus on outcomes for children and young people.
As with any step into a new place, there are some unknowns and an awareness that legacy and continuity have some importance. Especially as old and new arrangements will continue to balance the complexity of strategic relationships with importance of focusing and supporting front line practice, and the critical judgements about what’s best for children this involves. Letting go of some of the principle attributes of the previous arrangements may be easier for some than others.

Every journey has its risks as well as opportunities and the extent to which we can be clear about what will be better and how we will achieve this, will benefit from new ways of sharing and appreciating the different visions and legacies each arrangement has. TASP will want to reflect the move away from a focus on chairs and boards, and identify in consultation the best ways of meeting the needs of those who now lead arrangements, those who make them work and the emerging roles associated with scrutiny, advise and providing expert assistance.

On the basis of consultation and feedback we have taken the initial steps to establish TASP, in the belief that creating the space and a place for sharing and learning across the safeguarding and partnership landscape, will make a positive and supportive contribution. This is dependent on there being sufficient support for this and as the new arrangements settle, the next few months will be critical in this respect.

We have a genuine desire over the next year, in parallel with local developments, to ensure that TASP membership, and therefore the TASP offer, reflects what people and partnerships want. This will guide our advisory group and Trustees and all being well, the conference we are planning in the Spring of 2020 will establish a firm and sustainable foundation to ensure that the collaborative impact of partnership focus on safeguarding continues to have a real impact on keeping children, young people and vulnerable people safe.

Advisory Group

Many thanks to those who stepped forward, we are working towards convening our first virtual meeting early in September. We have not set a limit to the size of this group so if you are interested then please get in touch. Email Frankie at frankie.good@lscbchairs.org.uk. The idea behind the group is to test and develop the future offer of TASP and whilst we recruit Trustees, to seek support and advice.

Trustees and Charitable Status

We are pleased to announce the status of TASP as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), which will be governed by a board of voluntary trustees and will have professional staff who will be its employees. We have already appointed two Trustees - Chris Miller and Richard Burrows. This is a first step to meet with compliance for registration and to steer us through the next steps, which includes deciding how many Trustees would be best and the recruitment process. This will also be aiming to address diversity and gender balance.

Challenges & Opportunities

Partnerships are all about people, and as changes bed in, we are interested and concerned to make sure that the different roles people hold are understood and reflected in the future shape and offer of TASP. At a national level, we continue to be active with those who represent the interests of the three statutory partners (and other key stakeholders), and in terms of our direct relationship with each member partnership, we are looking to identify the best ways of ensuring that their needs are addressed. We know that the role played by Business Managers and leads remains critical. We intend to build on the learning from AILC in this respect, recognising that we need to identify the best way of giving this form and content.

Whilst some of the new arrangements retain the services of a chair, often as a part of transition, others have or are, appointing to a range of “independent” roles (scrutineers, advisors, facilitators) so we will need to map and understand the context and purpose of these roles to ensure that this is reflected in the TASP offer.

Methodologies & Approaches

Many plans reflect the adoption or commitment to develop different approaches as well as where the balance will be set between process and outcomes and where primary focus of review, scrutiny and learning will be. We know from experience that there is great value in helping people to share and showcase their approaches. The new arrangements for Practice reviews and Child Death Reviews have benefited from the Early Adopter programme and are likely to be an important focus as a part of the developing TASP offer.

Membership

For TASP to be viable (on the basis of it being self sufficient through membership) although we do plan for some limited income through other activities, it will be necessary for at least two thirds of the new local arrangements to support it.

A promising start has been made, but recognising that the majority of new arrangements will not formally commence till the end of September or perhaps slightly before, we will continue to welcome and encourage statutory partners and Business Managers to express interest and commitment.

Please Contact Us or Join Us

By phone on 07880 209 788 or email at frankie.good@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have queries or comments.

  National & Regional News

 

Ministerial Appointments


Gavin Williamson CBE MP has been appointed as Secretary of State for Education and Kemi Badenoch MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State.

Serious Case Reviews

The NSPCC continues to make available published SCR’s and AILC continues to support this. We do from time to time bring to you attention particular reviews, usually at the suggestion of members. One member suggests that we should draw your attention to the review East Sussex have published; an interesting and thought provoking SCR on a teenage diabetic which raised significant questions about how we view safeguarding risks across health and education. Please also see press release regarding this issue, from CYPNow.
 
Medway SCB published earlier this year an important review which highlights significant learning not just specifically in relation to the institution in question but also in terms of how safeguarding arrangements and partnerships for all children and young people in custody might be more effective.

Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel

The chair, Edward Timpson CBE, recently wrote to partnerships signalling the Panels continued intention to work towards a transparent learning system, and also reminded us of their expectations re publication of SCR’s and future Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews. Some of you will have noticed the current recruitment to a part time Practice Lead and also the publication of a list of reviewers.

Health & Social Care Committee: First 1000 Days of Life

This report notes that the bulk of public spending during a child's life comes in their teenage years, but there is a strong case for investing public money much earlier. The Chair of the Science & Technology Committee, the Rt. Hon Norman Lamb MP, told the Committee the problem is the gap between what we know, and what is currently provided. The Committee’s inquiry is not planning to re-examine the evidence base or the economic case. Instead it plans to focus on the three key areas: National Strategy, Current Spending and Barriers to Investment and Local Provision.

IICSA – Truth Project

Many stakeholders across England and Wales supported the “I will be heard” campaign earlier this year. Over 3,000 victims and survivors have now shared their experience with the Inquiry's Truth Project. We are grateful to everyone who has come forward and who supported the campaign. The Truth Project will continue to run into 2021 for victims and survivors who want to share their experience with us, either in writing, on the phone or in person. The Truth Project is launching a new service to enable Deaf who were sexually abused as children, to share their experience, partnering with Deaf health charity SignHealth to support Deaf people to come forward.

Archdiocese of Birmingham’s Report on Child Sexual Abuse

The Inquiry has published its report on child sexual abuse within the Archdiocese of Birmingham, part of the Roman Catholic Church investigation. The report found more than 130 allegations of child sexual abuse have been made against 78 individuals associated with the Archdiocese since the 1930s. The true scale of offending is likely to be far higher. Other IICSA Investigations include:


Children’s Commissioner

2019 Childhood Vulnerability Report examines the latest scale of, and trends over time in, rates of childhood vulnerability. As with last year, they have estimated the total number of children in England currently receiving statutory support or intervention (those who are ‘in the system’). Based on the latest available data, they believe this to be 723,000 children - slightly higher than last year’s figure of 710,000. They estimate that 2.3 million children are living with risk because of a vulnerable family background.

New Children’s Funeral Fund

Carolyn Harris MP was applauded in the House of Commons after making an emotional speech welcoming the announcement of a new Children’s Funeral Fund. The Fund, which will become available from the 23 July 2019, aims to help bereaved parents with the cost of their child’s funeral.

Supporting Children & Young People at Risk of Being Restrained

The Government has published non-statutory guidance on how to support children and young people with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum conditions and mental health difficulties who are at risk of restrictive interventions. The new guidance aims to help education, health and care settings adopt a preventative approach.

Anti-Bullying Alliance

Whether it is verbal or physical, online or in-person, bullying can have a significant impact on a child’s life well in to adulthood. This year’s Anti-Bullying Week (11 to 15 November 2019), will urge young and old to remember that by making small, simple changes, we can break this cycle and create a safe environment for everyone.

Inspections

Whilst the new arrangements are not subject to inspection in the way that LSCB’s were, the current position remains that JTAI will include these in their scope, and it is likely that other forms of inspection will necessarily address the effectiveness of joint working arrangements. OFSTED published details for the latest round of Joint Targeted Area Inspections (JTAI) which will focus from July on Children’s Mental Health.

Transitional Safeguarding

One of the excellent presentations from the recent ADCS Conference, really helps to focus on some of the wider challenges and tensions new partnerships will face in meshing child protection with “Making Safeguarding Personal” approaches.

 Other Safeguarding News

 

Anaphylaxis Campaign: Making Schools Safer Project

This campaign is producing resources for schools around allergy awareness presentation to teaching pupils about becoming allergy wise. As part of this project, they recently made contact with over 26,000 UK schools on the lessons that can be learnt based on the recent inquest into Karanbir Cheema’s death.

 Lastly…

 

For our next newsletter, we would welcome contributions, especially if you have a story you would like to share that others would benefit from. Drop us an email and we can discuss how to include this at chair@lscbchairs.org.uk.

Please phone the Association on 07880 209 788 if you would like any help at all, or email Frankie at frankie.good@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have queries or comments.


With best wishes,

Richard Burrows
AILC Chair

www.lscbchairs.org.uk
Association Phone 07880 209788
Follow us on Twitter @AssocLSCBChair



 

JUNE 2019 - NEWSLETTER

 

 

  

 Welcome

WELCOME TO OUR LATEST NEWSLETTERwhich we hope will help keep you up to date with some important developments about the Association and also about safeguarding generally. As an association we have always sought to ensure that our priorities support the work of chairs and partnerships as they seek to become more effective in the way they safeguard children and young people.

Across England, LSCBs are supporting the transition from their own statutory arrangements to the new Partnerships, co-led by the three Statutory Partners. We want to support this change in a way that provides support to those involved in setting up and leading the new arrangements. AILC has been a source of strength and support to its members and we are keen to see these benefits of association remain available for the future. Our plans are progressing, and shortly, we will be registering The Association of Safeguarding Partners (TASP) with the Charities Commission as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

We will initially appoint some interim trustees to TASP and progress the winding down of AILC and replace this with TASP. We intend to mirror the timetable for MASA, with TASP being in place by no later than the end of September. In the meantime, AILC will oversee this and maintain our commitments to current and past members, as well as the work we do with other national bodies and groups.

The challenge that this places on us, is similar to what you are experiencing locally. We are grateful for the early support that you have shown us and as we firm up our plans, we will soon appoint other trustees on a permanent basis. We want the trustees to reflect not only the new leadership arrangments for MASA, but also to include other individuals from outside the statutory arrangements.

 Association News

 TASP - The Association of Safeguarding Partners

TASP WILL OFFER MEMBERS  the opportunity to be a part of, and benefit from:

  • A wider community of partners and partnerships focused on safeguarding 
  • Newsletters and a new website 
  • An annual conference and events 
  • A learning and sharing resource
  • A voice to make sure that the experiences of those working in a safeguarding role are understood, respected and valued

We will shortly be contacting all partners and partnerships to seek their support, and to explain the new member structure. (See below for further details). 

We would like to inform you that David Ashcroft, who has been our Chair for nearly three years, has decided to stand down for health and other pressing reasons, and he now needs to focus on other priorities.

We are pleased, however, that he will continue in his role as a Chair of a number of partnerships, and intends to be a committed supporter of TASP as it begins to take shape.

We are grateful for the way he has led the Association and the way he has helped to ensure that the position and interests of members have been listened to nationally. David played a key role in ensuring that the Association was able to be a strong negotiating voice as the current changes were being worked though in Central Government. 

In line with the interim arrangements for AILC/TASP Richard, as Vice Chair, will assume the Chair role and support the transition.

TASP Membership

A GROWING NUMBER OF NEW PARTNERSHIPS have, and are signing up and are now members. As plans are published and new arrangements are established we expect further support which will help us to complete the establishment of TASP. The fees and benefits are, for the first year, is £1500 (as it was for AILC). The new TASP membership arrangement allows each partnership to name five individuals who will have access to the member areas of the website and conference/events discounts. Partnerships may wish to nominate statutory partner leads, their business manager and the person fulfilling the independent scrutineer role. We intend to develop a focus on key partnership safeguarding roles and develop the TASP offer to reflect this. For further information on how you can join. Please click here to access.

Website Access

 DURING THE TRANSITION FROM AILC TO TASPwe are focusing our efforts on the public pages. This means that the member section will, for the time being, reflect the AILC focus. Members will continue to have access until the formal launch of TASP but content will for the time being be subject to minimal review and updating. The member pages are a rich resource of information which we hope will continue to be useful. We continue to welcome news items and advertising for vacancies (which members can place at no cost).

Annual Conference

WE KNOW THAT ONE OF THE STRENGTHS OF AILC, appreciated by members, was the quality of our annual conference. We intend to build on this and hold our first TASP conference in the spring of 2020. By then, the new arrangements will be established. Lessons will begin to emerge about the strengths and areas for development of the many variations to be found among safeguarding partnerships. Please note that this means the dates we provisionally circulated for the autumn no longer need to be reserved. We are exploring with members and other stakeholders the possibility of holding a one day event in between now and the spring conference.

Charting the Changes Survey

WE ARE IN DISCUSSION WITH THE NATIONAL CHILDREN BUREAU (NCB) on the basis of their experiences with the Early Adopter project, to look at a joint delivery of the next survey. We will have more news of this shortly.

A Call for Support

IN SETTING UP TASP WE WOULD WELCOME, on a voluntary basis, any help and support you can provide, as we recognise the wealth of talent and experience there is to draw on.

If you are willing to become a part of a temporary and virtual advisory group please contact Richard Burrows, Vice Chair, as we want to explore some of the emerging opportunities and ideas.

 National & Regional News

Triennial Analysis of SCRs Update

 WE HAD FANTASTIC SUPPORT FROM LSCBs IN DECEMBERfor the Triennial Analysis of SCR survey undertaken by the University of East Anglia. They have now completed their report for the Department of Education (DfE). This includes the first national survey about recommendations and embedding the learning from SCRs. Over 66% of LSCBs responded and a great number of them agreed to participate in follow up interviews. 

Some of you had already booked for the launch conference on 27thJune 2019 where they were hoping to share the findings of this part of the report. Unfortunately, there has been a delay in the publication of the report and despite a degree of inconvenience to those already booked the DfE have cancelled this event. They are hoping to rearrange the conference for early autumn and we hope to keep you posted of arrangements.

Department for Education

THE FINAL REPORT FOR THE CHILDREN IN NEED REVIEW has been published this week.

Vision of Policing

DEVELOPING THE POLICE LEAD ROLE AS A STATUTORY PARTNER. This recent paper is an important contribution to enable partnerships to understand how the Police view shared leadership arrangements. It is an explanation of how the Police collectively want to operate across their different Force areas. We would encourage a similar approach to be adopted by CCG’s and Local Authorities.

We have created a dedicated page to promote news of the new arrangements, please scroll down the page and the above information can be accessed here.

Barnardo’s Young People, Social Media & Mental Health

BARNARDO’S HAS RECENTLY published a report about the impact of social media on mental health and wellbeing. Approximately 80 Barnardo’s practitioners were interviewed as part of this process, with nearly four in five saying that the mental health and well-being of the 11-15 year olds they work with have been negatively impacted by cyber bullying via social media. 

Child Sexual Abuse Centre

 THE CSA CENTRE HAS PUBLISHED “MEASURING YOUR EFFECTIVENESS:A practical guide for services working with children affected by sexual abuse.” The guide covers a brief overview of monitoring and evaluation (and why it’s important); highlights issues of particular importance for CSA services; goes through the stages of developing monitoring and evaluation and explains the process of commissioning an external evaluation. You can find the guidance and associated worksheets online here. This is an important contribution to the focus on sexual abuse, especially as many of the new arrangements are looking at how they address this alongside their approach to contextual safeguarding.

Childhood Vulnerability – Office of the Children’s Commissioner

WE HEARD AT LAST YEAR’S CONFERENCE about the important and significant work being done by the Children’s Commissioner, and her report will be launched on the 4th July 2019. This comes at an important time as some partnerships are discussing how the new arrangements might focus on how we understand local needs, vulnerability and risk. The Commissioner will publish work she has undertaken, with some local authorities, that takes forward ways of working out what is spent and on who, in terms of vulnerable groups. This may help us develop our partnership approach to assessing vulnerability and measure our response.

MASA & New Partnerships – What’s Going On? Press Coverage

WE THOUGHT WE WOULD SHARE SOME OF THE PRESS COVERAGE SO FAR – just click on the links below. Of course, this is just small selection of the different responses and approaches, and we are happy to include news about your stories, so do send them to frankie.good@lscbchairs.org.uk

Halifax CourierBath Echo and Northants Telegraph. On a lighter note…. Richmond & Twickenham

Early Adopters and MASA Plans

NCB CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE EARLY ADOPTER PROGRAMME. A further tranche of plans have now been published and are available via the NCB website. The main report on the Programme will be published in July 2019. The deadline for local areas to have completed, published and submitted their MASA plans is 29th June. We know that many areas are still working on the final stages of this process in order to meet the deadline. The implementation of new arrangements is required by 29th September 2019. The Department of Education has convened a stakeholder group (of which we are a member) to look at and develop proposals for the best ways of evaluating progress and learning from the new arrangements. We will provide a more detailed update in our next newsletter and on the website.

Lessons from Early Adopter Areas – National Conference 

NCB WILL HOST A NATIONAL EVENT IN LONDON, to support all areas and agencies, prepare for the new multi-agency safeguarding arrangements on the 27th June 2019 from 12:30 to 16:30. This will include key messages from the experiences of the 17 early adopter areas, and presentations on areas of innovation as well as overcoming common challenges in implementation. We would welcome feedback and items from anyone who attends this, please send this to frankie.good@lscbchairs.org.uk, and we will share in the next newsletter.

 Safeguarding Reform Update

SOME KEY POINTS AS THE DEADLINE for approaches to MASA Plan being published:

  • 29th June 2019 is the statutory deadline for the publication of local safeguarding arrangements. Currently, approximately 50% of local authorities had done this by 25th June.
  • The government will write to those areas that have not published their local safeguarding arrangements by 29th June 2019 and will also inform Ofsted. These letters are planned to be sent out on 8th July 2019.
  • The Department for Education will be completing compliance checks on safeguarding arrangements once they are published. A common issue that they are checking is the seniority of those signing off the arrangements (this should be the local authority Chief Executive)
  • The National Panel is progressing its first National Review. This will include visits to a number of areas where cases have involved child criminal exploitation. The focus of the reviews will be upon learning and they will be looking for a sample of cases with positive outcomes and what methods might be most effective in disseminating learning
  • The focus of the next two National Reviews are likely to be: children previously subject to care proceedings and children whose parents are care leavers
  • The National panel is tracking serious case notifications. It continues to see inconsistencies in defining serious incidents and the quality of rapid reviews
  • We continue to meet with and be in contact with the DfE and the National Panel as well as the 3 statutory partners at a national level

Technology, Information Sharing & Social Media

ONE OF THE THINGS WE HAVE ALWAYS known is that there is scope to improve how information is shared and  so it is good news to learn that NHS Digital reported that the Child Protection Information Sharing (CP-IS) project, a child safeguarding system, has been rolled out across London. CP-IS has been designed to help health and social care staff to securely share information to better protect children, who are or have recently been looked after (LAC) or who are on a Child Protection Plan (CPP). The programme flags to hospital staff any children attending A&E, and other unscheduled healthcare settings the fact that they are or have been LAC or are on a CPP. It also tells social workers of children with these safeguarding needs of these hospital visits.

Wendy Clark (NHS Digital) shared: “It is now live in 142 local authorities providing an extra layer of protection for 180,000 of the most vulnerable children when they attend emergency and unscheduled health care settings in the NHS. Hopefully this will serve to support all new partnership arrangements to continue the work in closing gaps and utilising technology”

So it’s good to know that the What Works Centre (WWC) recently launched a campaign to research projects relating to machine learning and children’s social care. We know that social media can pose a threat to the safety of children, and a recent survey published in the TES suggests there is further scope for supporting people to be more confident.

This echoes the recent article in Community Care, which helpfully provides an overview of some of the issues and opportunities partners, and partnership may want to consider. 

Other Safeguarding News

TASP & Safeguarding Partnerships

We have described how TASP is going to take an inclusive and wider approach to supporting safeguarding partnerships, so it was interesting to learn about developments in Australia and the response of the Catholic Church to recent learning.

Many organisations and the main religious bodies grapple with learning from the past, and are putting in place new arrangements that hopefully will mirror and fit with the new partnership arrangements and strengthen things.

Likewise, in the charity world, it was good to see that Oxfam have followed through on their commitment to be more transparent about and focused on safeguarding issues

(P.S. The press also reported that in the year ending March, Oxfam sacked 43 staff as a result of safeguarding concerns).

Further evidence of how other organisations, in this case the Royal Yachting Association, are developing their approach to safeguarding

A Personal Message from David Ashcroft - Departing Chair

Dear Colleagues

As some of you are aware I received a diagnosis of primary progressive Multiple Sclerosis last autumn. This confirmed the symptoms and fatigue that I had been experiencing for some time – and highlighted that I needed to slow down and take due care if I was not to have more rapid deterioration.

As a result I am reviewing the future commitments and priorities that I can take forward. Now is the time to adjust how much I am doing before it becomes an issue or restricts what else I can do. I need to ensure that I have a better work life balance (don’t we all!). I have therefore reluctantly come to the conclusion that I can no longer continue as AILC chair.

I am pleased and proud to have helped shape the direction and profile that AILC has sustained over the past few years - and that we have continued to be regarded as an important voice for multi-agency working and championing the interests of children and young people.  We have strong and positive relationships with many stakeholders and a privileged reputation to build on. It has been a privilege to represent and advocate for so much innovative and committed work as your national chair over the past three years.

I am remaining as chair in Norfolk until April, and my roles with Sheffield and RNIB, and I intend to continue to be involved as far as possible with regional and national networks as a participant, alongside continuing review and consultancy work. Thank you all for the support and collaboration you have shown - and I genuinely expect that a new phoenix will arise from the achievements of the past few years!

David Ashcroft

Contact the Association

 

Please do phone the Association on 07880 209 788 if you would like any help at all, or email info@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have queries or comments.

  • Does this Newsletter meet your needs?
  • What else would you like to see covered? 

I always welcome feedback on the Newsletter or the activity of the Association. Please contact me at chair@lscbchairs.org.uk

With best wishes,

Richard Burrows
AILC Chair

www.lscbchairs.org.uk
Association Phone 07880 209788
Follow us on Twitter @AssocLSCBChair

 

 AILC Newsletter - April 2019

Chair's Update -  by David Ashcroft

Dear Colleagues,

The Newsletter this month is shorter than usual but reflects important developments for safeguarding and for our network. 

A new network of those working to support safeguarding for children will be launched to succeed the Association of Independent LSCB Chairs. This will be called The Association of Safeguarding Partners (TASP) and will invite support from all partnerships and individuals working not only in Multi-Agency Safeguarding Arrangements, but also across a wider network of those involved with promoting effective safeguarding arrangements and concerned with promoting best practice and effectiveness. The variety and innovation that is intended to develop from the freedom to implement different local arrangements makes the value of a national network, linking partnerships together, even more obvious.

A prospectus will be available shortly, and the formal launch of the new Association will take place at the national safeguarding Conference in October. This will be period of transition and development, and we are seeking the support of local partnerships to sign up for membership of the new Association as early as possible. Individual membership will also be available, but we are encouraging existing members of AILC to continue their affiliation as the new Association is formed.

The formal structure for the Association will be a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, with a number of trustees responsible for overseeing its direction and management, and ensuring that members can shape and influence its development and priorities. It is intended that the new Association will continue regular newsletters and other communications, will seek to represent the interests and views of safeguarding partners, and will promote collaboration and learning. 

The deadline for local areas to have completed, published and submitted their MASA plans is 29 June 2019. We know that many areas are still working on the final stages of this process, but it is imperative that all plans are available by the deadline. The implementation of new arrangements is required by 29 September 2019.

Association News

The Association continues to be asked to represent views and experience from members and the wider partnership landscape, and to participate in consultations and presentations. We have been contributing to the Steering Group for the Early Adopters programme – stressing that there is already a great deal of innovation and creative thinking amongst boards and partners.

We have also met recently with the DfE as part of the Implementation Board for the safeguarding reforms, and with Edward Timpson and Mark Gurrey of the National Panel, to continue the engagement with them that we started at our November conference. Members have also attended several of the regional events and discussions about Child Death Reviews held recently.

There are a number of emerging issues around the reforms that you may wish to raise within local discussions. There is a dialogue starting with the inspectorates as to how they will assess sufficiency and effectiveness of local arrangements – perhaps indicating doubts that the JTAI is enough.

Engagement by the three statutory partners is not consistent at either a national or local level. The police have appointed a lead co-ordinator who will be in post through to next year to support their engagement with reforms, but the support across health and local authorities is less focussed and resourced. There is some concern that health providers are not being fully engaged with new MASAs – when their role in actual delivery of safeguarding is essential.

Section 11 duties underpin the expectations on partners to meet safeguarding obligations – but the centrality of robust Section 11 self-assessment and audit processes is not fully appreciated. 

We have been stressing that a marker of how successful new arrangements are should be in how well they test Section 11 compliance. Many LSCBs have developed strong challenge and peer review processes – these must not be lost in the new arrangements.

‘Charting the Changes’ 
It is still clear that our autumn survey was, at the time, the most comprehensive picture of the progress being made to reform safeguarding arrangements across England. As areas complete their Plans it is critical that we share information on progress, innovations and challenges. We are anticipating a further survey in July to assess progress, but if you have particular learning from your work to date, please let us know.

National Conference – Confirmation of Date
Our next national Safeguarding Children Conference will be held on 23-24 October 2019, building on the success of our events in previous years. We will be holding the conference again in Crewe Hall, and it will include the launch of The Association of Safeguarding Partners as the future network for partnerships and professionals involved in leading multi-agency safeguarding and promoting effective working together.
Please make a note of the date. Representatives from local partnerships, scrutineers, chairs, business managers and others involved with safeguarding work will all be welcome.

Early Adopters and MASA Plans
NCB continue to support the Early Adopter Programme. A further tranche of Plans have now been published and are available via the NCB website. Click here to access their March Newsletter, and here for a simple Compliance Checklist sets out the basic requirements for new MASA Plans. If local partnerships are experiencing any issues about what to include, or the prescribed content, please let us know so that we can share examples and best practice. The main report on the Programme will be published in July 2019. 

National Policy News

National Panel – New Practice Guidance (April 2019) 
The National Panel has issues new practice guidance about its role and how it is proposing to undertake the oversight of serious case reviews and practice reviews.  This new guidance includes details of how the Panel operates, and provides guidance on notification of serious incidents and the Rapid Review process.  Click here to access.

Children in Custody - Use of Pain Inducing Restraint
The use of pain inducing techniques and solitary confinement of children in detention must be banned, says a new report by the UK Parliament’s Human Rights Committee. These cause physical distress and psychological harm in both the short and longer term, and are clearly not compliant with human rights standards. Click here to access the report.

Triennial Review 2014-2017
The Triennial Review 2014-2017 is due to be published at end of May 2019 along with sector briefings prepared by Research in Practice (RIP). Members of the Association have contributed to the editorial and oversight arrangements, as with previous Reviews.  This important source of analysis will help make a substantial impact on our understanding of reviews, prevalence and learning points. 

Early Access to Mental Health Support  

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England have recently published a helpful report on Early Access to Mental Health Support, click here to access. This provides data that can help you track your local spend. LSCBs have repeatedly raised the access and availability of mental health support as a major factor in safeguarding effectiveness.

Online Code of Practice

The Information Commissioner has launched a consultation for a code of practice to help protect children on line and it runs till the 31 May 2019, click here to access. The views of LSCB’s/MASA are important – please respond. 

Recruitment of Potential Reviewers for National Panel: Second Round
As you will be aware, in 2017 the Government introduced new national child safeguarding practice reviews (‘national reviews’), to be commissioned and supervised by the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel (The Panel). The Panel is required by law to set up a pool of potential reviewers whom they will call on to conduct national reviews. The DfE and Panel are pleased to announce that they have today launched the second round of recruitment to this pool of national reviewers.

They are keen to ensure a high quality, diverse pool of applicants; to help achieve this, they have asked for us to disseminate information about this opportunity. Further information regarding this recruitment can be found here. The first round of recruitment resulted in the appointment of the following to the pool:

  • Dr Russel Wate QPM
  • Clare Chamberlain
  • Geoff Debelle
  • Alex Walters
  •  Jane Wonnacott
  • Sophie Humphreys
  • Jenny Myers
  • Sarah Carnegie

First National Child Safeguarding Practice Review

Update from the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel about their first national child safeguarding practice review on adolescents in need of State protection from criminal exploitation:

“I am writing to update you on our first national review which is exploring if adolescents in need of State protection from criminal exploitation get the help they need when they need it.
 
I am pleased to be able to tell you that we have selected Russell Wate and Clare Chamberlain from our newly recruited Pool of Reviewers to join our expert Review Team, comprising me, Karen Manners and Mark Gurrey, who are leading this review on behalf of the Panel. Russell is a retired police officer who for the last six years of his service was the Detective Chief Superintendent for the Cambridgeshire Constabulary. He has a strong operational and strategic understanding of public protection having worked in the field for over 20 years; the first five of these were working jointly in operational settings with social care and other partners. Clare has worked as a social worker and social work manager in both adults and children’s services, and at all levels, for over 35 years culminating in her appointment as a director of children’s services. As part of the review the What Works Centre have joined our Review Team and advised on our methodology and commissioned a literature review from Cardiff University.
 
At the heart of the review will be the learning from the serious cases which have been to Panel since July 2018, involving the death or serious harm of adolescents who have been subject to criminal exploitation, or suspected of being so. We wrote yesterday to those local areas who submitted the most relevant of those cases and with whom we will be working as we begin this important and timely review (a list of those areas is attached). We will report on our findings in autumn 2019. List of areas:

  • Barking & Dagenham
  • Bedford
  • Bristol
  • Calderdale
  • Cheshire East
  • Croydon
  • Devon
  • Durham
  • Kingston & Richmond
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Newham
  • Oxfordshire
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Thurrock
  • Waltham Forest
  • Wolverhampton

We hope our national review will help drive improvements in child safeguarding practice across the country.” 

Dale Simon
The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, Department for Education,

Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BT. Tel: 0207 340 7618 (ext. 307618) Mobile: 07384 521 147

 Contact the Association

 

Please do phone the Association on 07880 209 788 if you would like any help at all, or email info@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have queries or comments.

  • Does this Newsletter meet your needs?
  • What else would you like to see covered? 
I always welcome feedback on the Newsletter or the activity of the Association. Please contact me at chair@lscbchairs.org.uk

With best wishes,

David Ashcroft
AILC Chair

www.lscbchairs.org.uk
Association Phone 07880 209788
Follow us on Twitter @AssocLSCBChair

 

 AILC Newsletter - Feb 2018

 Chair's Update -  by David Ashcroft

 

Dear Colleagues

The Norfolk Leadership Group (or Executive of key partners) recently held a development session to look at the key challenges for safeguarding that we faced in Norfolk. A number of common issues emerged, together with significant differences of emphasis between partners – reflecting their organisational, statutory and policy objectives. That was all part of healthy and lively debate which helped us identify themes and establish a common purpose around future priorities. What was significant and somewhat surprising was that it was only late in the debate that Brexit was mentioned – but when we did so then leaders from all our key agencies started to draw out the direct and immediate impact they believed Brexit might have on children and young people.

The possible short and medium term impact on supplies – whether of food, medicines or other items; the probable increase in hate crime (there is strong correlation between recorded instances and previous episodes of political turmoil and controversy); the prospects for study, employment and training, etc., etc. My point is not to debate any of these factors individually, but to reflect that what our discussion showed was that there was a high level of concern, anticipation and anxiety amongst senior colleagues about the possible impact of Brexit (specifically No Deal Brexit) – but a reluctance to name the issue - even when agencies such as the police are already planning for possible outcomes, cancelling leave and reorganising duties. When we did name the issue, then the discussion got lively.

I wonder how many other partnerships have aired Brexit as a safeguarding issue? Young people themselves seem to regard Brexit as a defining issue – and the levels of engagement, on both sides, from young people has been high and sustained. Academic research as well as anecdotal feedback suggests that most young people did not support Brexit and the referendum result left many feeling frustrated and disempowered[1]. The subsequent turmoil in Parliament and the lack of a clear way forward has deepened these feelings. They fear the vote will make the UK more insular and are highly critical of the way the campaign was conducted. In focus groups, they showed a strong understanding of the EU – and want a Brexit settlement that tackles inequality as well as ensuring Britain is an open and welcoming country.

Has your LSCB talked about Brexit? What are the plans that local agencies are making for possible outcomes? Does your area include a significant port of entry or transit? Have you identified whether there are any safeguarding risks that might increase in the event of No Deal? Isn’t safeguarding about raising the taboo issues so we can better tackle them together?

[1] Shakuntala Banaji and Sam Mejias (LSE) http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/88270/1/brexit-2018-01-10-young-people-are-highly-critical-of-brexit-and-fear.pdf

 

Association News

 

‘Charting the Changes’

It is still clear that our recent survey remains the most comprehensive picture of the progress being made to reform safeguarding arrangements across England. It is also clear that the position is only changing slowly and that there is likely to be a rush of Plans prepared for the June deadline, and that full implementation will continue through into 2020.

Copies of the full Charting the Changes report and slides presenting some of the key findings are available from the AILC website here.

We are considering whether and when we can run a further survey before June. We can only do so if Boards and partnerships feel this will be valuable and are prepared to contribute responses. Please can you give an early indication of any questions you feel should be asked at this stage.

National Conference

We are canvassing whether there is interest in holding a further Annual Conference in October/November. AILC will not be continuing in the same form, but the conference could be a self-financing event if there is sufficient interest and if we can draw on volunteer support to help organise the event. Please let us know if you would find a national event valuable and are prepared to assist in planning.

Early Adopters and MASA Plans

The interim report from NCB on the work of the early adopter areas was published just before Christmas and is available on the AILC website here. A small number of MASA plans have now been published and more will be appearing soon.

It is clear that although there are clear expectations set out in Working Together about what must be included in the 2019 Plans (see the Compliance Checklist below), many areas recognize that this is likely to be a year of transition, and plans may not set out the final, settled form of MASAs, but indicate a programme of work to bring in new arrangements in a planned and managed way. The fact that there is likely to be considerable learning, sharing and further development into 2020 and beyond as new arrangements prove their effectiveness (or not) is one of the reasons why the AILC Board strongly supports a continuing national network to gather and promote the best of this learning.

David Ashcroft is the AILC representative on the Early Adopters Steering Group established by NCB to oversee the work of this programme. Their next meetings are planned for the end of February and in May. Please let me know of any issues you want raised with this forum.

The NCB issued a Newsletter in January about the current work of early adopters. There is also a simple Compliance Checklist, which sets out the basic requirements for new MASA Plans. If local partnerships are experiencing any issues about what to include, or the prescribed content, please let us know so that we can share examples and best practice. Relatively few more Plans have been formally published as yet.

Some Partnerships are developing a distinct role and responsibilities around scrutiny. The recently published Hertfordshire Plan provides a useful breakdown of possible scrutiny activities.

The cross-government Safeguarding Implementation Board regional events for local areas to network and share learning on implementing the reforms, are available on the dates below:

  • 5th March Derby - Spaces going quickly
  •  13th March Manchester - Fully booked
  •  19th March Norwich - Spaces going quickly
  •  21st March Bristol - Fully booked
  •  27th March Newcastle-upon-Tyne - Limited spaces left

Details on how to register for the events is available here.

Triennial Review of Serious Case Reviews

AILC is represented on the current Triennial Review advisory group by Alex Walters and Christine Davies. The response of LSCBs to the recent survey from the Review on the learning and impact from SCRs was extremely high and provided very helpful feedback and along with interviews and workshops will significantly inform the new arrangements. There was a response rate of 66% and 101 LSCBs contributed, which was highly valued by Marian Brandon and Peter Sidebotham as leads. Thank you all very much for supporting this critically important thread of work. When the conclusions from the Review are finalised, we will ensure that there is wide dissemination to partnerships and boards.

 

 National Policy News

 

New Online Notification System for Child Safeguarding Incidents

This is a reminder that the Department for Education is about to launch a new online system for serious incident notifications.

The system has been designed to allow local authorities to make statutory notifications to the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel when they know or suspect that a child has been abused or neglected and:

  1. the child dies or is seriously harmed in the local authority’s area, or
  2. while normally resident in the local authority’s area, the child dies or is seriously harmed outside England

(Section 16C(1) of the Children Act 2004 as amended by the Children and Social Work Act 2017).

The new system will go live on 21st February 2019. It will replace the online form that local authorities currently use for notifying serious incidents of child death or serious harm to Ofsted.

The panel will share information from the notifications with Ofsted and we will, as now, use this intelligence -*to inform our inspections.

Ofsted will be decommissioning the existing serious incident notification form from 21st February. Colleagues who try to access the Ofsted form on Gov.uk from that date onwards should find that they are automatically redirected to the new system via this link.

Local authorities are required to register a “superuser” with the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Helpdesk before they can start making notifications using the new form. You should make arrangements for this ahead of the go live date using the instructions here. Any queries about registration should be directed to the panel secretariat at: Mailbox.NationalReviewPanel@education.gov.uk. Contact: Lisa Pascoe, Deputy Director Social Care Policy.

NHS Long Term Plan

Local Partnerships and Boards will want to consider the impact of the recently published NHS Long Term Plan for safeguarding and joint working in their area. Many STP plans when first published had little to say about the place of children and young people in health provision, and as local plans develop it is important that the needs of children and a focus on safeguarding are prominent, click here to access.

You may also find details of the new service models of interest particularly in terms of CCGs roles in relation to safeguarding. For the Integrated Care Systems, click here.

NHS England & Child Death Reviews

Child Death Review guidance implementation webinars. In response to The Department of Health and Social Care’s new comprehensive guidance for Child Death Review published on 15th October 2018, NHS England are holding two guidance implementation webinars aimed at those who are the decision-makers about allocating resource, commissioning services and leading processes related to child death reviews in their area.

Child Death Review Partners have until September 2019 to revise Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) arrangements to ensure the requirements of the guidance are met which aim to link the child death or mortality review that occurs in the acute hospital setting with the regional process and the National Child Mortality Database.

The webinars will include presentations providing an overview of the key areas for transformation with an opportunity to submit questions and comments to the panel via the chat box.

The webinars will take place on Wednesday 20th March 2019 and Friday 29th March 2019 between 12:30 and 13.30.

Places for the webinars are limited so please register your interest by emailing england.cypalignment@nhs.net indicating which date you wish to attend. The content of both webinars is identical so please register for one webinar only.

Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel announces their First National Child Safeguarding Practice Review

The Chair of the Panel stated:

“As you will be aware, following your telephone conversation with a member of the Panel, since we began operating in June last year, we have seen a growing number of serious incidents involving adolescents who have died or been seriously harmed and where criminal exploitation is a feature of their lives. Our first national review will explore if adolescents in need of State protection from criminal exploitation get the help they need when they need it. For further details of the review click here.

The intention of our national review to help drive improvements in child safeguarding practice across the country. It will be important to get the scope of this review right if we are to maximise the learning needed to identify what improvements are needed at a local or national level. We expect to announce the full scope by March 2019 and report on our findings in the autumn of 2019. We would be grateful if you could circulate this message to your key networks. We will, of course, keep you updated once the review has commenced.”

NICE Child Abuse & Neglect Quality Standard Published

NICE recently published its quality standard on child abuse and neglect. It covers physical, sexual and emotional abuse in under 18s. This is a significant piece of work which will underpin much of health and social care practice in response to abuse and neglect. Boards are encouraged to ensure that it is covered in their policies and procedures and that the implications of working to these standards alongside the statutory responsibilities of local authorities and social care to assess and intervene are well understood. Click here to access.

Elective Home Education

This has long been an area of concern for many Chairs and boards, because of the risks that increasing number of children and young people may be exposed to through an increase in off-rolling from schools, growing exclusions, parental concerns about behaviour and bullying and other factors. AILC has been working alongside ADCS, Ofsted and the Children’s Commissioner to encourage a more proactive approach to this area of safeguarding risk, and to argue for the strengthening of the oversight that local authorities can provide for children who can ‘disappear’ from the networks and services they require and deserve.

We strongly support the findings and recommendations from the recent Report from the Children’s Commissioner, Skipping School: Invisible Children and that were aired on the recent Channel 4 documentary, click here to access.

We agree with the comments from ADCS in response. Gail Tolley, Chair of the ADCS Educational Achievement Policy Committee, said:

“We are pleased to see a continued focus on this important topic. Every child has the right to a suitable standard of education, and missing out on this harms their development and their life chances. We absolutely recognise that parents have the right to educate their children at home. Where they do, we want it to be a positive experience which equips children with the skills to thrive and realise their ambitions. Concerns arise when the learning experience does not meet children’s needs, when home education is used as a means to illegally exclude children with special educational or behavioural needs or when parents use home education as a cover to send their children to illegal schools, for example. There is a clear need for strengthened legislation in this area – it is not good enough that we have no way of knowing whether an increasing number of children are receiving a suitable education at home or not or whether they are safe.

The report draws on the findings of an ADCS survey which found up to 80,000 children were home educated at some point in the last academic year and rightly draws attention to off rolling and exclusions.

We hope that it informs government’s thinking in light of recent consultations on its national guidance and the review of exclusions. We need bold, decisive action from the DfE that deals with the causes not just the symptoms of these issues if we are to prevent children falling through the gaps in the education system.”

National Audit Office Report: Pressures on Children’s Social Care

This report sets out recent trends in pressures on children’s social care demand and activity and the response of both national and local government to these pressures. It also sets out analysis the NAO conducted about what is causing variations in children’s social care demand and activity between different local authorities. The report covers:

  • The pressures on children’s social care (Part One)
  • The response of national and local government to increasing demand for children’s social care (Part Two)
  • An analysis of what is causing variations in demand for children’s social care between local authorities (Part Three).

The report concludes that:

“Over two years ago we judged that the Department had made poor progress in improving children’s social care services. The Department’s goal is now that all vulnerable children, no matter where they live, should have access to high-quality support by 2022. While the Department has put in place a programme of reform, it still does not fully understand what is driving demand for children’s social care or why there is such wide variation between local authorities in their children’s social care activity and costs. It has not yet done the work to tie together available sources of information and therefore lacks a well-informed pathway to achieve its goal. While the Department has recognised the need for this analysis, it will not complete the work until summer 2019. Even if its analysis is completed successfully it will be a tall order for the Department to achieve its goal within three years.”

View the full report and additional material here.

 

Contact the Association

 

Please do phone the Association on 07880 209 788 if you would like any help at all, or email info@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have queries or comments.

  • Does this Newsletter meet your needs?
  • What else would you like to see covered? 

I always welcome feedback on the Newsletter or the activity of the Association. Please contact me at chair@lscbchairs.org.uk

With best wishes,

David Ashcroft
AILC Chair

www.lscbchairs.org.uk
Association Phone 07880 209788
Follow us on Twitter @AssocLSCBChair

 

 

 

 

 

 AILC Newsletter - Jan 2019

Chair's Update -  by David Ashcroft

 

Dear Colleagues,

A very Happy New Year to all. The inevitable rush of work before Christmas has delayed this Newsletter until now, but I hope, as a result, carries more detail about future plans and current activities. The AILC Board met on 3rd January 2019 and we set out, below, our framework for future arrangements. This Newsletter has an initial statement about future plans – more details will follow and any future new arrangements will only flourish if they have the support and commitment of all those interested. So, please feedback your priorities and take what steps you can locally, and with your colleagues and partner leaders, to prepare new partnerships for supporting a new network for the future. Your advocacy and support will help turn an assumption that there is merit in a continuing network concerned with promoting good outcomes for children through effective multi-agency partnerships into a reality.

Firstly, however, my thanks to all those chairs, business managers and others who made our Conference in Crewe such a success. It was great to renew discussions and debate with so many colleagues, amid a very strong sense that the collective work we help lead in children’s safeguarding has never been more important. There was a great deal of determination to ensure that new arrangements remain focussed on ensuring better outcomes for children and young people – and we have a continuing and important role in helping all partners to work well together. The sessions, led by Edward Timpson, as chair of the National Panel for Safeguarding Reviews, and by Leon Feinstein, outlining the recent work by the Children’s Commissioner’s Office on identifying and starting to quantify and describe vulnerability for children, were amongst the highlights. Full details of all the presentations are available on the AILC website, click here to access, to make use of the wealth of material that will help to inform future plans.

AILC will be pursuing continuing dialogue with the Children’s Commissioner and the National Panel, as well as ensuring that we keep you up to date with the progress of new arrangements, the lessons from early adopters and others. Please contact me directly if you have any queries or questions at chair@lscbchairs.org.uk.

 Association News
 

Proposals for the Future

We will be circulating a prospectus for a future network to support children’s safeguarding partnerships later this month. This will build on the legacy of AILC but recognises that the formal end of LSCB and Independent Chair roles during this year means we must establish a new basis for any future or successor organisation. The structure, governance, membership and financial basis of AILC does not fit the new environment and must be replaced to provide a sound foundation for any future work.

The key principles that the current AILC Board are recommending are:

  •  Any new network/alliance or association should be focussed on supporting the range of new multi-agency partnerships that will come into operation during 2019. There is no one else in a position to do this and the need to strong advocacy and peer support across MASAs remains critical in a changing landscape.
  •  We anticipate that partnerships will be asked to contribute a fee to be part of the network at broadly the same level as AILC’s current rate. Funding partners should have a preeminent voice in the governance and management of the new organisation. Options for joining on an individual basis remain important to include a wider range of relevant people who can access support and information. 
  •  The new organisation must have a focus on:
  • what constitutes successful and effective safeguarding?
  • sharing and disseminating learning, interdisciplinary and multi-agency working
  • standards linked to child centre outcomes developing models, and a practical offer, for peer review and scrutiny
  • making sense of, and bringing challenge and scrutiny to, the different models for partnerships that will emerge, and supporting and developing the people and experts, both individuals and organisations who have to deliver future arrangements – as chairs, business/board managers, scrutineers, leaders, professional advisors

     

  • The current view is that in a period of flux, transition and uncertainty, any new organisation should continue to play a key role as a national advocate for consistent outcomes and effective arrangements – developing strong links and setting the agenda for national leadership across local authorities, police and health, as well as government and other stakeholders
  • There are a variety of options for how this could be done – which may involve alliances and close cooperation with other individuals and organisations – and the current AILC Board will be exploring these urgently, but also ensuring that we continue to act as the recognised national advocate for LSCBs, Chairs and Managers, and that we continue to support you and provide as much information and guidance as possible until March 2019.
  •  AILC will cease trading in its current form at the end of March 2019 and will complete an orderly process of closure by the end of June 2019. The Board has sufficient finances to manage this, and any legacy resources would be available to transfer to a new organisation. We will establish a small working group to direct this work – but welcome all contributions

A further mailing will follow later this month setting out a prospectus for a future organisation. Thank you for the very clear and consistent steer provided by members and supporters at Conference through the workshops and other informal discussions.

Regional networks and meetings are still continuing in many parts of the country and will be a vital forum for taking these discussions forward with current members and others. Please keep us informed of any local meetings and discussions that help to support cooperation and coordination.

Charting the Changes

The Association published at its annual conference the results of its third comprehensive survey of local partnerships. The “Charting the Changes” survey asked 10 key questions about how local areas are developing their strategic safeguarding arrangements for implementation next year. The picture remains mixed, with roughly a third of localities still at an early stage of confirming their plans for replace Local Safeguarding Children Boards by September 2019.

The survey, with over 700 responses, reflects a wide range of views, but the consistent themes are:

  • A lack of compelling logic for the need to change arrangements that are working well;
  • Anxieties about an uneven patchwork of arrrangements across the country and about funding
  • Better strategic ownership from senior agency leaders, but also a need to directly support and improve frontline practice across all agencies
  • Partnerships taking opportuntiies to improve working together, but cautious about the disruption and distraction this could mean from front line work to keep children safe

This was the most comprehensive picture available of how the new arrangements are being introduced. It suggests that local partners are seeking to sustain the strengths of existing working arrangements to keep children safe, but are also taking the opportunity to streamline and develop better partnership working. There is growing evidence that areas want to focus on the particular challenges facing children in their specific locality or region. AILC’s Chair, David Ashcroft, says:

“Effective safeguarding faces demanding challenges and increasing pressures. These have been highlighted in recent months by a series of reports and findings across our sector. This survey provides us with the evidence that partners are seeking to ensure children are protected by building on the best of our current system. Most areas wish to maintain an inclusive partnership, especially with schools and all those many organisations who work with families. Over two thirds of partnerships are retaining the role of an independent chair who can help partners to work together, can arbitrate where there are differences, and can champion the voice of children.”

Copies of the full Charting the Changes report and slides presenting some of the key findings are available from the AILC website here.

Early Adopters & New MASA Plans

The interim report from NCB on the work of the early adopter areas was published just before Christmas, click here to access the NCB information and here for the AILC information.

It is clear that although there are expectations set out in Working Together about what must be included in the 2019 Plans, many areas recognize that this is likely to be a year of transition, and plans may not set out the final, settled form of MASAs, but indicate a programme of work to bring in new arrangements in a planned and managed way. The fact that there is likely to be considerable learning, sharing and further development into 2020 and beyond as new arrangements prove their effectiveness (or not) is one of the reasons why the AILC Board strongly supports a continuing national network to gather and promote the best of this learning.

David Ashcroft is the AILC representative on the Early Adopters Steering Group established by NCB to oversee the work of this programme.  Future meetings are planned for the end of February and May. Please let me know of any issues you want raised with this forum.

MASA Plans will be available when published via the AILC website, click here to access.

Your New Members Forum – Ready for you to use re all LSCB/MASA Issues

Your new interactive forum is being used by Chairs and Business Managers to ask questions and share issues and information. This confidential (members only) forum has been designed by AILC for you/all LSCBs to support networking, enhanced safeguarding and the exchange of experience such as new arrangements. Click here to access.

In response to a Chair’s question on new JDs for MASA’s, our Policy Adviser has posted some information about the new UK Codes of Governance, which describes Board Leadership, Division of Responsibilities, Audit & Risk - all useful for MASA considerations. Click on Members, then Members Forum – have a look, and have a go! It takes just one minute to input an issue, question, or response. Thank you.

SCRs

We would like to thank those who participated in the Triennial Review survey of LSCBs.

 National Policy News

House of Commons - Early Intervention

The House of Commons - Science and Technology Committee has published a valuable report on Early Intervention - providing scrutiny and consideration of some of the key issues around early intervention, including a balanced look at some of the pro’s and con’s around ACE. This may be helpful in terms of current LSCB assurance and input about early intervention as well as the extent to which new MASAs are looking at this, click here to access. Pleased to see research coming out of the new “What Works Centre” and raises some interesting questions about Signs of Safety which should promote the debate as many LSCB’s take an active interest in this, click here to access.

Children in Need Review - Interim Findings Published

It is good that Government is maintaining its look at CIN and helpfully this report provides numbers and data. LSCBs will want to see this review in the context of the work the Office of the Children’s Commissioner are doing as well as wider pressures on budgets and services – It is important that future provision and scrutiny of CIN arrangements also addresses the imbalance between moral and statutory obligation as drivers - we know that real risk and vulnerability is increasingly being managed from a reducing resource base but with an increasing level of sophistication that is reliant on the buy in and contribution of non-statutory safeguarding partners! click here to access.


 Contact the Association

 

Please do phone the Association on 07880 209 788 if you would like any help at all, or email info@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have queries or comments.

  • Does this Newsletter meet your needs?
  • What else would you like to see covered? 
I always welcome feedback on the Newsletter or the activity of the Association. Please contact me at chair@lscbchairs.org.uk

With best wishes,

David Ashcroft
AILC Chair

www.lscbchairs.org.uk
Association Phone 07880 209788
Follow us on Twitter @AssocLSCBChair

 

 AILC Newsletter - October 2018

 Chair's Update -  by David Ashcroft

Dear Colleagues,

You will see further details of the AILC national Conference in this Newsletter and I would urge you to make sure that you have extended the invitation to colleagues across partner agencies as well. In the spirit of the new partnership arrangements we, as chairs and business managers, want to host a wider dialogue with others in order to ensure that new arrangements for multi-agency working are inclusive, innovative and build on the best of the skills and experience we already have in the safeguarding system. It is not too late to book your place!
There will be opportunities for chairs and business managers to meet separately as part of the workshops and main sessions and we recognise that this is also an important occasion for catching up with peers and colleagues across the country.

The Association must review its future as we anticipate the end of the statutory basis for LSCBs and for the role of Independent Chair, at least in its present form. It is already clear that in many places there will be a continuing role for effective independent leaders, acting as scrutineers of partnership performance, and in a large number of cases continuing to chair or convene partnership arrangements. Often this role will be about ensuring that the voice of children and young people is heard within the MASA. This means there may be a continuing constituency for the work of peer support, gathering and sharing experience, publishing exemplars of local practice, and lobbying with government and other partners that is the portfolio of activity we have successfully built up as an Association. But we must face the reality that we will no longer have the formal framework and resources to continue in the same way.

Members of the Association will be asked at conference to decide whether and how we can continue or not as a viable network given these changes. We can only continue if we have a viable membership and funding base for the work we want to undertake. This has been based on individual membership for chairs and partnership membership for LSCBs – but we do not know if we can expect either to continue beyond next year. We therefore need to take some prudent decisions about how we go forward. The AILC Board has already changed our staffing structure to respond to this – but we now need your views and commitment for the future. We set out in the Association Strategic Plan 2017-18 (here) some assumptions that underpin our work, and on which we have based our current priorities. In preparation for discussions at the national conference I ask you to review the Core Assumptions and the summary of the context in which we are operating.

  • All LSCBs have been reviewed by Ofsted – there is a baseline of current performance, but no follow-up or improvement offer
  • Reviews showed improving performance over the past four years and have set out and tested a benchmark of what effective multi-agency partnerships, with independent leadership, can achieve 
  • Footprints have few natural determinants – and are different for police, health and local authorities. Many safeguarding issues cross boundaries and involve families that move between jurisdictions
  • WT 18 does not stipulate the core duties and functions for MASAs – so there Is much uncertainty about what will be covered in new arrangements
  • There are a number of transition arrangements required to support the transfer to new local arrangements, especially got reviews and CDOP
  • There will be an independent sign-off for MASA Plans, but no direct inspection of multi-agency effectiveness, other than through JTAIs and single inspectorate judgements on leadership and partnership working. This is a fundamental weakness of the new arrangements 
  • Many areas are already seeking to co-ordinate cross-cutting work with strategic arrangements that link adults, children, community safety and other issues. This is an attractive model for some new MASAs
  • There is likely to be a growing disparity of arrangements between larger metropolitan areas, smaller unitary authorities and larger counties 
  • Mental health support for children and young people across a range of levels is increasingly recognised as a major challenge where advocacy and brokerage is needed to bring partners together
  • The fragmentation of the education sector and the engagement of academy and free schools are both problematic – Schools have not been named as the fourth partner in the new arrangements
  • The NHS lacks consistent ownership and leadership on safeguarding for both providers and commissioners, and this is often delegated to designated and names professionals, whose role is acknowledged in WT 18
  • Children and young people are often marginalised within and between public agencies – there is no requirement to place the voice of the child at the centre of new arrangements
  • Continued austerity will directly impact on safeguarding arrangements

These points were set out last year but remain valid for the future. The Core Assumptions that were set out for the Strategic Plan are as follows:

  • That there is merit in a national network for those involved in leading local safeguarding arrangements – this should be a wider pool that current LSCB chairs, and should include Business/Board managers, and others with leadership and partnership roles
  • Peer support and sector-led improvement will continue to be key drivers 
  • AILC supports multi-agency and multi-professional partnerships as these bring perspectives are not always served by existing networks based on single agencies or professions
  • That support for those exercising an independent scrutiny or challenge role is necessary and valuable
  • That there is value in collating and exchanging information and expertise about what works
  • That this expertise can, and should, contribute to policy and implementation, and can influence others in the interests of children and effective safeguarding
  • That there are sufficient common interests across other safeguarding and public protection agendas to support wider networks
  • That AILC has been a success and seeks to have a positive legacy
  • We need your considered views and aspirations on what you want for the future, and how we might fund and deliver this. The Association can only continue with the engagement and active support of its members – existing and potential, and we need to identify how we can build better alliances with others working in this field in the interests of children’s safeguarding

The AILC Board has had to make changes to our Staffing Structure as part of planning for the future and ensuring that we operate within our resources. We have now implemented the changes that I set out in last month’s Newsletter, replacing our two part time posts of Policy Advisor and Business Manager with a single Association Coordinator role.

It is with regret that we are therefore wishing Sarah Webb farewell this month, although she is leaving AILC with our sincere thanks for a great deal of hard work, initiative and dedication during her time as Policy Advisor. We owe Sarah a considerable debt for the championing she has given to children’s interests, and her persistent and persuasive advocacy of what makes for genuine partnerships and effectiveness. She leaves with our sincere good wishes.

Alison Thorpe has been appointed as the Association Coordinator and we are currently working on the allocation of tasks and ensuring that the core running of the Association – and above all the successful planning and deliver of the Conference - gets top priority. Our current email addresses will continue to be used and monitored. Please contact me directly if you have any queries or questions at chair@lscbchairs.org.uk.

 

 Association News 

 

Your National AILC Conference on 28th & 29th November 2018 at Crewe Hall

"Partnerships to Safeguard Children”

 We have only a small number of rooms remaining at this excellent and popular venue so please make your booking ASAP if you wish to ensure this facility. The deadline for payment and any cancellation is 31 October 2018. In the event your booking or payment is made after all on-site places have been reserved we are able to make arrangements for alternative accommodation nearby, with transport.

We particularly welcome and encourage attendance by Strategic Partners who are critical in achieving the very best Multi-Agency Safeguarding Arrangements in the new emerging landscape. This conference is also a unique opportunity to ensure Lay Members benefit from opportunities of personal development in the important role they undertake. Please ensure that your partners have received information about the event.

We have a wide geographic representation of delegates attending the conference. Our programme is the result of close consultation with an experienced reference group to ensure content is relevant to the issues facing safeguarding partners today – click here to access.

This residential event presents an outstanding opportunity for networking and gaining knowledge of the diverse Multi Agency Safeguarding Arrangements being developed. Delegates will benefit from structured opportunities to explore these issues. The sharing of information and ideas will be informed by the association's recently undertaken Charting the Changes survey which captures the most comprehensive and current overview available of developments in safeguarding partnership arrangements.

Charting the Changes

A big thank you to all those who completed the ‘Charting the Changes’ survey. We are very pleased that 103 LSCBs participated, with a wide range of respondents including Chairs, Business Managers and safeguarding leads from Health, Police and Local Authority.

There are lots of really helpful and interesting findings on how safeguarding arrangements are developing in relation to changing structures, functions, scrutiny, SCRs, Child Deaths and funding. There is still variable practice/development, and extent of change, across the country. We will be soon be sharing the outcome of how changes are being made across the country – Conference will have at least one session on this. Meanwhile if you have any questions about topics covered please do not hesitate to contact info@lscbchairs.org.uk or 07880 209788.

Working Together & Keeping Children Safe in Education Updates

 WT18 Timetable

 “Transition from LSCBs to safeguarding partner and child death review partner arrangements….must be completed by 29 September 2019”. 

Safeguarding partners must publish their arrangements, and should notify the Secretary of State for Education when they have done so, by sending the published link to safeguarding.reform@education.gov.uk. They should also notify the chair of the relevant LSCB(s). They must have published their arrangements by 29 June 2019, but may do so at any time before.

After new safeguarding partner and child death review partner arrangements are set up, LSCBs in the area have a statutory ‘grace’ period of up to 12 months to complete and publish outstanding SCRs and of up to four months to complete outstanding child death reviews. They should, however, seek to complete these reviews as soon as possible and in the case of outstanding SCRs, no later than six months from the date of the decision to initiate a review. LSCBs must complete all child death reviews by 29 January 2020 and all SCRs by 29 September 2020 at the latest. 

LSCBs must continue to carry out all of their statutory functions, including commissioning SCRs where the criteria are met, until the point at which safeguarding partner arrangements begin to operate in a local area.” 

Working Together Transitional Guidance

 AILC’s WT18 Briefing with Transition Timescales can be found here.

This includes a summary of key matters emboldened to act as a checklist when developing your new arrangements from LSCBs towards MASAs (don’t forget to sign in first – if you are having any difficulty accessing information please call 07880 209788).

Keeping Children Safe in Education - DfE Guidance – Implementation Now

A further reminder to all LSCBs that they need to publicise, and be assured – including by publicity, S175/S11 auditing – that their education establishments are all implementing the new DfE safeguarding guidance. There are two linked DfE sets of guidance on safeguarding in education:

  • 'Keeping children safe in education: for schools and colleges' Sep 2018 
    This is the comprehensive generic safeguarding guidance re safeguarding in schools which should be on LSCBs and schools’ websites. It includes a number of references to LSCBs
  • 'Keeping children safe in education: for school and college staff (part 1)' 
    Summary guidance which school leaders must ensure is read as a minimum by all school staff.

 Both have been uploaded in AILC’s ‘Useful Resources’ section, click here.

News from LSCB Areas

We have received, and identified, a number of documents which have been recently uploaded onto AILCs website for you, on a variety of subjects useful to LSCBs and MASAs, as below;
Firstly, documents relating to the moves to MASAs have recently been placed in ‘Partnership Development’ in the Effective Safeguarding Partnerships section here 

  • CCGs of Bristol/N.Somerset/S.Glos – provides an “overview of progress in developing proposed new Safeguarding Arrangements, together with feedback from the LSCB. 
  •  NHS in Nottinghamshire – providing “a high level options appraisal of potential models for delivering safeguarding arrangements in Nottinghamshire”.
  •  ‘Changes to the LSCB’ - a Hertfordshire paper on Early Adopter developments and moves towards a MASA

 Secondly, Newsletter examples can be found in Communication of Functions – the most recent is: 

  • Kingston & Richmond October Newsletter - including a description of moves towards the MASA

 Thirdly, an example of a recent Annual Report has been sent in from: 

  •  Stockton LSCB – see Annual Reports in Resources, Effective Safeguarding Partnerships

AILC’s A-Z of Effective Safeguarding Partnership - LSCB Examples 

Is your LSCB represented with examples of safeguarding developments in the A-Z Directory.  To review our A-Z Directory click our RESOURCES tab then scroll down and click on Effective Safeguarding Partnerships. You can search for information to help your LSCB with policies etc., within AILC’s 46 topics - against each is the name of the LSCB with information/policy documents etc. There are now 180 examples of these. Please do submit further local examples or updates to info@lscbchairs.org.uk.

Your New Members Forum – Ready for you to use regarding ALL LSCB/MASA Issues

  • Your new interactive forum is being used by Chairs and Business Managers to ask questions and share issues and information. This confidential (members only) forum has been designed by AILC for you/all LSCBs to support networking, enhanced safeguarding and the exchange of experience such as new arrangements 
  •  In response to a Chair’s question on new JDs for MASA’s, our Policy Adviser has posted some information about the new UK Codes of Governance, which describes Board Leadership, Division of Responsibilities, Audit & Risk - all useful for MASA considerations. Click on Members, then Members Forum – have a look, and have a go! It takes just one minute to input an issue, question, or response. Thank you. To go directly there, click here

 SCRs 

The Triennial Review will be undertaking a survey of LSCBs regarding SCRs within the next few weeks - we hope you might all respond so that the results can be helpful to safeguard children nationally. For questions or comments, please contact either Christine Davies or Alex Walters via info@lscbchairs.org.uk

 National News

 

 New Ofsted Report on CSA

The ‘Joint inspections of the response to child sexual abuse in the family environment’ can be accessed here. 

DfE Workshops on MASAs - Early Adopters

LSCBs have been sent information by DfE regarding Early Adopters. They say:
“To support implementation we are working with the National Children’s Bureau who are facilitating an ‘Early Adopters Programme’ of 17 local areas that will be sharing their learning as they establish the new arrangements. They will be publishing an interim report at the end of November and a final report in June 2019.

In addition to this, we will also be running six regional events over the autumn and in the spring to provide a forum for local areas to hear from the early adopters and share any learning and/or barriers identified when planning to date. If you would like to attend one of the March events, please register by contacting us through Safeguarding.REFORM@education.gov.uk”.

Reform Workshop Dates:
Tue  20 Nov 18 Sheffield  (Yorkshire & Humber) access further details here
Thu  22 Nov 18 Brighton  (South East) access further details here 
Wed 28 Nov 18 Birmingham    (West Midlands) access further details here
Tue  19 Mar 19 Norwich  (East of England)
Thu  21 Mar 19 Bristol  (South West) 
Wed 27 Mar 19 Newcastle       (North East) 

Click here to register


New NHS Safeguarding Annual Update 2018
This update includes useful information for LSCBs such as on Designated Safeguarding Professionals, and Regional Updates – AILC has uploaded it here.

CAMHS Concerns

One in four referrals to CAMHS were rejected last year, an investigation by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) found. Children in London have to wait more than two months on average, well above the government’s target of four weeks. LSCBs may wish to check their local services in terms of children’s well-being. See the Guardian report here

NSPCC Learning: New Website

NSPCC Learning is a new website for anyone working or volunteering with children. The website features NSPCC’s safeguarding and child protection training and resources, as well as the National Repository of case reviews. Find out more by clicking here.

 Work of the Joint Inspectorates

  • AILC meets several times a year with the joint inspectorates working across children’s safeguarding (Ofsted, CQC, HMIPFRS, HMIProbation). A number of issues were raised at the last meeting in September. For further information or comments please contact me at chair@lscbchairs.org.uk
  •  Ofsted are planning to bring their inspections of the secure estate more in line with the wider social care framework. They would be interested in any chairs who might wish to contribute to this development
  •  Probation have launched a new rolling programme of inspections for Community Rehabilitation Companies. They would be interested to know how well CRCs are engaging with LSCBs
  •  CQC have responsibility for inspecting sexual abuse referral centres (SARCs) and will be starting an inspection programme from November 2018 but because of the varied commissioning and scope of these centres would appreciate any input from LSCBs about local delivery and the location and coverage of sites
  •  SRACs can be critical elements in the local response to CSE, and LSCBs may well be already providing oversight of their work in a partnership context
  •  HMIPFRS are halfway through their national child protection inspections of police forces – a thematic report covering key learning, areas of challenge and good practice will be published soon
 Contact Us

 

Please do phone the Association on 07880 209 788 if you would like any help at all, or email info@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have queries or comments.

  • Does this Newsletter meet your needs?
  • What else would you like to see covered? 
I always welcome feedback on the Newsletter or the activity of the Association. Please contact me a chair@lscbchairs.org.uk

With best wishes,

David Ashcroft
AILC Chair

www.lscbchairs.org.uk
Association Phone 07880 209788
Follow us on Twitter @AssocLSCBChair

 

 AILC Newsletter -September 2018

 Chair's Update -  by David Ashcroft

 

There have been a number of recent stories that have reinforced how critical it is that local partnerships continue to address issues of safeguarding and well-being in an inclusive way and seek to hold all agencies working with children and families to account. Never has it seemed more important that we keep placing effective safeguarding in the partnership arena, rather than retreat to the monitoring of access to social care or the performance of our child protection systems. The stories remind us much health, schools and other services matter to the well-being of children – particularly adolescent young people. The rest of this newsletter will highlight our own survey about ‘Charting the Changes’, we are circulating the repeated advice from the Department about fulfilling current and future obligations through the period of transition, and we have further changes to Working Together and Keeping Children Safe in Education

BUT

Understanding and improving the way that partners co-ordinate their responses to children and families across all their needs remains the core purpose and justification for effective safeguarding. I have been talking to a range of colleagues across health, police and local authorities and I believe there is a growing realisation that we all need to keep this in the forefront of our discussions about new structures and partnership arrangements.

The issues that I wanted to mention are exclusions from School; access to mental health services and self-harm. I question how well these sorts of issues will be addressed in new arrangements unless there is a real engagement with all schools and unless the co-operation between statutory partners is transparent and goes beyond child protection and thresholds for social care.

The growing levels of exclusions, as well as the lack of effective safeguarding arrangements for many children educated at home or in unregulated institutions, has been something on which AILC has campaigned for a number of years. Slowly ministers, the DfE, Ofsted and others have also raised concerns. Individual chairs have raised this directly well before the Association picked up the issue and it has been a feature of several significant Serious Case Reviews. I am not seeking to amalgamate several strands into a single issue – but it does seem that there is a constellation of issues that includes rising exclusions and ‘prompts’ for parents to consider home schooling for children who might otherwise be excluded, which are a worrying and increasing trend. Does your Board receive information on rates of exclusion and are the risks understood within your local safeguarding system? Does your Board ask for a regular picture of the numbers of children who are home educated? Ofsted’s report in June identified more than 19,000 Y10 pupils who disappeared from Y11 rolls between 2016/17. The DfE Review into School exclusions led by Edward Timpson is expected to report by the end of the year – I suggest that LSCBs should schedule a debate about their local picture for the new year.

NHS England figures as reported in The Guardian point out the significant numbers of highly troubled young people with serious mental health problems who often receive care in non-local beds.  1,039 children and young people were admitted to non-local beds in 2017/18 – many with complex mental health needs and presenting significant risks to themselves and others. 119 out of 195 CCGs reported at least one under-18 patient sent out of area. 66 CCGs used a placement more than 100 miles from home.

Access to beds for these patients has been an issue that many chairs and Boards monitor closely and the difficulty of selecting and sustaining placements appropriate to the young person’s needs is well known – but this situation is long standing and we should be demanding faster improvement.  It also highlights how effective safeguarding at local and national level needs to raise issues with departments other than DfE, and how we collectively need to influence commissioning and investment decisions that directly affect our local populations.

The Children’s Society report on self-harm published last week suggested that as many as 100,000 children aged 14 may be self-harming and clearly linked this to austerity, the pressures of exams, and gender expectations.  Certainly, in my own Board we have tracked increasing numbers of self-harm and A&E presentations over recent years - often for children who do not otherwise trigger thresholds for children’s services intervention. This identified very different service responses and data collection practices between different health providers – again reinforcing the need to keep all key local players involved and participating in local arrangements.

There was considerable support for the findings from teachers, mental health professionals and campaigners.  Luciana Berger the Labour MP was quoted: “These shocking statistics on self-harming among children show the extent of the mental health crisis in our country. Children in Britain urgently need more mental health support, earlier on, but the children and young people’s mental health green paper lacks the ambition needed. The government’s continued disregard for early intervention and prevention is failing a generation.”  I believe this is a key issue for local partnerships to tackle – to identify where local investment is being made, whether it matches needs, and to take the debate out to agencies, schools and communities who can help make a difference. Are LSCBs using Section 11 scrutiny to identify where there are shortfalls? And are we ensuring that the promised investment of £300 million in mental health plans for schools is used urgently and equitably across the country?

Boards and Business Mangers will have received details of our next survey of local changes: Charting the Changes. The press release we issued on this is available on our website here. Thank you for the very prompt responses we have already had. This weekend is the last opportunity for participation.

The DfE has contacted us to reinforce the information it has issued about arrangements for Practice Reviews and transitional arrangements. We include this in this Newsletter and will also be sending this to non-member boards and chairs. However, we are concerned that despite several requests, and individually helpful responses from the new Panel, we have not yet been able to establish a regular dialogue on emerging and relevant issues. We know that there are a lot of unanswered queries and the Association is keen to help identify and resolve these. We have received confirmation from Edward Timpson that he and possibly some further colleagues from the Panel will come to the conference in November for what we hope will be a productive and valuable session.

Don’t forget that the Association offers peer support and a confidential sounding board to Chairs and Business Managers for decisions on SCRs and Practice Reviews, as well as providing details on our list of reviewers. We are also happy to provide advice where partners seem reluctant or overcautious to consider conducting reviews.  Current criteria and obligations on Chairs and LSCB in respect of SCRs remain in force until new local plans are formally agreed and in place.

Important Changes within the Association

In previous Newsletters we have reported that the AILC Board has considered new arrangements for using our resources efficiently, reflecting the changing pattern of our activity, and the current and likely future funding position for the Association. As a result, we are restructuring our staffing by creating an 0.8 FTE post of Association Co-ordinator to replace the separate part-time roles of Policy Adviser and Business Manager. We believe this will be more effective in meeting members’ needs, in responding to current and future plans and help us by better co-ordinating and streamlining our internal arrangements within our budget. It will mean changes to our staffing team and in the work expected of Board members and the officer team of Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer. We are also reviewing the overall governance of the Association to ensure that we can live within our means and are equipped to respond to the probability of a new structure in 2019. The staff affected have been consulted and involved in this process as they are at risk of redundancy, and we will be able to make a formal announcement of these changes and handover arrangements within a few days. Please await our formal announcement of the changes and how and when we will implement them in detail.

Next month’s Newsletter will contain feedback from our regular meetings with the joint inspectorates and provide news of imminent inspection activity and thematic reports which may be useful for local partnerships.




 

Association News

 

Your new Members Forum

We have been busy in AILC designing and launching a new interactive forum for you, to support networking, enhanced safeguarding and the exchange of experience such as new arrangements. Please click on Members, then Members Forum to see the first few questions inputted, to which you may wish to respond.

Please do input your own question or issue into the Interactive Forum - what is the knotty issue which your LSCB/MASA is dealing with currently, how can others help you with this? If most of you input a question in the forum this month, we will all have a wealth of information about what is topical or tricky across the country and how partnerships are dealing with this. This only takes a minute to write the question – the Forum is for Chairs and Business Managers, so don’t forget to log in. It’s a tool created for you and will only be as good as the information inputted!

‘Charting the Changes’

As you know, we launched our new survey so that you will be able to see what is happening across the country in relation to local changes towards new safeguarding arrangements. This is for Chairs, Business Managers and the three safeguarding leaders – you will have already been requested to forward this to safeguarding leads and we have had a good response. There are a few individuals who have started the survey and then had to leave it before completing; we would be really grateful if as many as possible could complete this. The 'Charting the Changes' (CSWAct/WT18) Survey closes on Sunday, 23rd September at 23:45. We look forward to sharing the outcome of this with colleagues. Please do not hesitate to call or email with any questions or comments policy@lscbchairs.org.uk 07880 209788.

‘Working Together’ and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ Updates

Dfe have reissued 'Working Together' 2018 due to a very small error re Child Deaths.

Chapter 5 had a foot note on page 96 with an incorrect sentence in the July edition, which has now been replaced with the sentence below in the new August version (which can be found on the DfE website here https://www.gov.uk/topic/schools-colleges-childrens-services/safeguarding-children/latest );

"99. This will include the death of any new-born baby (of any gestation) who shows signs of life following birth, or where the birth was unattended, but does not include those (of any gestation) who are stillborn where there was medical attendance, or planned terminations of pregnancy carried out within the law."

The August WT18 version has removed the word “or”, which existed in the July version between “stillborn” and “where”.

Just to explain re links to this - if your LSCB has placed a link to the DfE website for this document on your LSCB website, it will automatically take the reader to the new Aug version, but if you have placed the actual July document anywhere/used paper documents etc, you will need to replace these.

WT18 Timetable

AILC’s WT18 Briefing with Transition Timescales can be hound here.  This includes a summary of key matters emboldened to act as a checklist when developing your new arrangements from LSCBs towards MASAs. (again, Member’s only content. Please ensure you sign in.)

 

‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ DfE guidance – to be implemented September 3rd.

A reminder to all LSCBs that they need to be assured – including by publicity, S175.S11 auditing – that their education establishments are all implementing the new equivalent safeguarding guidance. There are two linked DfE sets of guidance on safeguarding in education;

'Keeping children safe in education: for schools and colleges' September 2018

This is the comprehensive generic safeguarding guidance re safeguarding in schools which should be on LSCBs and schools’ websites. It includes a number of references to LSCBs including;

  • Individual schools and colleges having an effective child protection policy. The child protection policy should describe procedures which are in accordance with government guidance and refer to locally agreed inter-agency procedures put in place by the LSCB
  • Governing bodies and proprietors of all schools and colleges should ensure that their safeguarding arrangements take into account the procedures and practice of the local authority as part of inter-agency safeguarding procedures set up by the LSCB
  • This should include understanding and reflecting local protocols for assessment and the LSCBs threshold document along with supplying information as requested by the LSCB
  • Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that all staff undergo safeguarding and child protection training (including online safety) at induction. The training should be regularly updated. Induction and training should be in line with advice from the LSCB
  • The School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009 require governing bodies of maintained schools to ensure that at least one of the persons who conducts an interview has completed safer recruitment training.23 Governing bodies of maintained schools may choose appropriate training and may take advice from their LSCB safeguarding in doing so. The training should cover, as a minimum, the content of this guidance
  • The designated safeguarding lead should link with the local LSCB to make sure staff are aware of any training opportunities and the latest local policies on local safeguarding arrangements

'Keeping children safe in education: for school and college staff (part 1)' 

Summary guidance which school leaders must ensure is read as a minimum by all school staff.

Both have been uploaded in AILC’s ‘Useful Resources’ section, here

Transitional Advice from DfE    We have been asked to circulate the following guidance from DfE:

There have been a number of queries into the Department asking for clarification over how Local Safeguarding Children Boards relate to the National Safeguarding Practice Review Panel.  In some cases it appears that the transitional guidance published alongside Working Together, 2018 has not been picked up. Please find the link here

Please note the first sentence of section 2.1 of ‘Working Together: transitional guidance’:

 “LSCBs must continue to carry out all of their statutory functions, including commissioning SCRs where the criteria are met, until the point at which safeguarding partner arrangements begin to operate in a local area.” 

The footnote to that sentence reads: “In addition to the guidance set out in this document, therefore, LSCBs should, while they continue to operate, continue to refer to Working Together 2015: chapter 3; chapter 4 (disregarding redundant references to notifiable incidents and the former national panel of independent experts on SCRs); and chapter 5.”

The final document on the gov.uk Working Together webpage is ‘Working together: letter from Edward Timpson’

Edward is the Chair of the new Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel. He explains that the Panel expect:

  • “Local Authorities to notify the Panel of any serious incident within five working days; and,
  • Safeguarding Partners, or Local Safeguarding Children Boards where the new partnership arrangements are not yet in place, to undertake a rapid review into all serious child safeguarding cases promptly and complete this within fifteen working days of becoming aware of the incident.”

Guidance on rapid reviews can be found on page 8-9 of ‘Working Together: transitional guidance’. It states:

“When a serious incident becomes known to the LSCB, the LSCB should promptly undertake a rapid review of the case. The aim is to enable the LSCB to:

  • gather the facts about the case, as far as they can be readily established at the time
  • discuss whether there is any immediate action needed to ensure children’s safety and share any learning appropriately
  • consider the potential for identifying improvements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
  • decide what steps they should take next, including whether to commission an SCR”

 

Early Adopters of new Multi-Agency Arrangements

The 17 successful bids identified and funded by DfE to adopt the new local safeguarding arrangements early and generate learning and test possible arrangements, opportunities and pitfalls, are:

Tameside; Calderdale; North Lincolnshire; York; Hertfordshire;

North and South of Tyne Strategic Safeguarding Forum (Northumberland, Gateshead, Newcastle on Tyne, North Tyneside, South Tyneside & Sunderland);

Bexley, Greenwich & Lewisham;

Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington & Chelsea & Westminster;

Reading, West Berkshire & Wokingham;

Devon, Plymouth & Torbay; Wiltshire;

Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall & Wolverhampton;

Birmingham;

Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire; Solihull; Trafford; and Salford.

Some are single local authority areas – others involve partners covering a wider footprint.  Each bid will be working on one or two of the key challenges for MASAs and the implementation of the CSW Act reforms.  The facilitator for the programme is NCB, who are currently conducting initial meetings with all the sites.

The Association is already in contact with NCB to ensure that learning is widely circulated.  We hope this will be a significant session at Conference.

 

AILC’s A-Z of Effective Safeguarding Partnership - LSCB Examples

Is your LSCB represented in the A-Z Directory here?

You can search for information to help your LSCB with policies etc. within AILC’s 46 topics - against each is the name of the LSCB with information/policy documents etc. There are now 180 examples of these - a few of which are listed below. Please do submit further local examples or updates to policy@lscbchairs.org.uk.

News from LSCB Areas

Some of the recent uploads to the Effective Safeguarding Partnerships examples here are:

  • CDOP Annual Report from West of England, including themes such as suicide
  • Sheffield LSCB has written about their partnership approach to Licensing and safeguarding
  • Sefton has compiled a one page/7-minute Briefing for practitioners on a recent SCR 
  • New animation aims to encourage children and young people to have their say at child protection conferences.A short animation available here, has been produced by the Cheshire East LSCB that explains what happens at a child protection conference and encourages children and young people to be involved.For more details contact Cheshire East here.

Please continue to send us details of new work and publications to share with other LSCBs and partners

SCRs and Appointment to National Pool of Reviewers

AILC continues to input in the development of SCRs and case reviews. Our joint work with the NSPCC provides an SCR Author list, as well as case review repository and SCR Briefings – you can see that latest SCRs submitted to NSPCC here. In next month’s Newsletter we will be informing you of the Triennial Review forthcoming survey of LSCBs on SCRs. For questions or comments, please contact either Christine Davies or Alex Walters via policy@lscbchairs.org.uk

The National Panel has issued its first advertisement for reviewers to apply to be part of the national pool.  Details can be found here.

Your National AILC Conference on 28th & 29th November 2018 at Crewe Hall

 “Partnerships for Safeguarding Children”

Bookings are being taken for the Association’s national conference Partnerships for Safeguarding Children. This residential event held at Crewe Hall, Cheshire on 28/29 November 2018 will provide thought provoking content with extensive opportunity to address the developments towards new multi-agency safeguarding arrangements. We will of course be maintaining focus upon the important ideas and evidence around best practices for children. 

In addition to board chairs, lay members and business manager delegates we welcome partners from police, health, local authorities and other key national and local agencies who contribute to the success of safeguarding arrangements.

The conference is an unrivalled opportunity for networking with colleagues throughout the country. The programme will include a range of plenary sessions and a good balance of structured workshops designed to promote discussion and engagement. 

Crewe Hall has proved a very popular venue with previous delegates and for those intending to arrive the night prior to conference we intend to provide an informal engagement framework for those who want to take up this opportunity. Timely booking is advised as the accommodation at the venue is likely to be fully utilised. We have capacity at nearby accommodation should that be required.

We would be grateful if members would disseminate information about the conference to relevant partners to augment the communication routes we have utilised. 

We look forward to welcoming you to this important national event. Booking, registration and accommodation details are available on the AILC website here

Social Media       

Are you following us on Twitter at @AssocLSCBChairs ?

We are just about to reach our 10,000 mark on tweets! We follow, and retweet information from national research, topics of importance (see todays tweet on institutional racism), and most LSCBs - but if we are not in your ‘Followers’ list, please do send your LSCB or Chair’s twitter address to info@lscbchairs.org.uk



 

 National Policy News

 

Does your LSCB want to learn how to undertake small scale research?

On 6 December there is a Research Skills Workshop at the University of Bedfordshire. This workshop invites social workers, managers and trainers to consider how they might conduct small scale qualitative research studies from within the doing of social work, training or leadership practice. Delegates will learn about some of the different methodologies suited to practitioner research, and the ethics of researching one’s practice with current clients, colleagues or trainees. Attendance is free for members of Making Research Count at the University of Bedfordshire and King's College London. Info here

Congratulations to North Yorkshire, East Sussex and Bexley -  all judged to be Outstanding in recent Ofsted inspections.

 

Research project – Schools and multi-agency safeguarding

 

AILC asked for an update from the schools’ researchers, here it is;

“You may recall that researchers at King’s College London are undertaking a major piece of research to examine the engagement of schools in multi-agency working in relation to child protection and safeguarding. As part of this research a survey was sent out earlier this year to LSCBs via AILC, as well as local authority education safeguarding leads and managers in children’s social care. We are very pleased that many of you were able to complete this survey. 132 (88%) of local authorities/LSCB areas completed at least one of the three surveys. This included 81 responses from LSCBs covering 87 local authority areas (58%). This excellent response has provided invaluable data on the current challenges faced by local agencies working with schools in this area. The research team have used the survey data to select 5 case study areas where more in depth research is planned. This will include visits to schools in each area. The findings of the surveys will be available later in the year.”   




 

Contact the Association

 Please do phone the Association on 07880 209 788 if you would like any help at all, or email info@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have queries or comments.
  • Does this Newsletter meet your needs?
  • What else would you like to see covered? 
I always welcome feedback on the Newsletter or the activity of the Association. Please contact me at chair@lscbchairs.org.uk

With best wishes,

David Ashcroft
AILC Chair

www.lscbchairs.org.uk
Association Phone 07880 209788
Follow us on Twitter @AssocLSCBChair

 

 AILC Newsletter - August 2018

 Chair's Update -  by David Ashcroft

Welcome to the summer edition of our newsletter and best wishes to all those who are enjoying a break, have done so or are about to do so. Having had a few days myself on leave last month I realised again how the pace of change and general busyness can become an inhibition on reflection and quiet concentration on the things that matter – over the course of the coming year we need to keep a measured focus on outcomes for children and our shared capacity to encourage effective working together.

That is one of the reasons why I am writing to all chairs, business managers and LSCBs who are not members to ask them again to consider joining the Association during this coming year of change. It is only with a strong collective voice that we can argue for and support the best of new innovations and reform, and help each other navigate the turbulent waters of funding, priorities and new expectations. Already we are finding that business managers and chairs are sharing common queries around the implications of WT 2018, and the large number of unanswered questions - especially about the arrangements for SCRs/Practice Reviews and the role of the National Panel. CDOP arrangements remain uncertain in many areas, and the work of early adopters may not engage with all the local variations that we anticipate. Already the Department has approached the Association to work with them to help solve this uncertainty. Our response has been that we are, of course, willing to do so, but that much could have been done to narrow the areas of doubt by clearer statements of the purpose and functions for local MASAs.

As I commented last month, the final published version of Working Together offers considerable opportunities for new innovation and local adaptability – but also risks a retreat to the lowest common denominator in safeguarding partnerships. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children calls for the Government to review within 12 months of implementation the impact of new local arrangements to ensure a consistent approach to child protection. We welcome this call – and I am pleased that the Chair of the APPGC, Tim Loughton MP, has agreed to attend our national conference in November where we can debate the progress being made.

Booking for the Conference is now open to members and our final programme is taking shape. Please use our website to book your place.

In line with our changing remit and to ensure that the Association is managing its resources effectively in tightened circumstances, the Board has proposed changes to our staffing arrangements. These are currently being discussed with those affected and we anticipate that they will be in place during September. Our staff team and directors work extremely hard, and with great commitment for the Association – often doing far more than they are contracted for – but it is important that we live within our means and are in a position to plan positively for future development and change. We continue to explore how we can build alliances and collaboration with others involved with and leading safeguarding work – beyond the distinctive work of chairs and business managers.

Early next month we will be inviting you to participate in our next survey of local changes – seeking to chart how far new arrangements are coming into being and identifying the remaining challenges and opportunities. Please respond promptly so we can bring this information to the Conference for discussion and use the forum as a means of debate.

The impact of austerity and cuts to local government and other services has been a major topic in the news for the last few weeks. Colleagues in Northamptonshire, East Sussex and other areas will have had much speculation about the risks to children and vulnerable adults where services are in danger of reduction to no more than the statutory minimum. I believe that it is important that both locally and nationally chairs and LSCBs should be prepared to point out the risks for children and young people – not necessarily as part of the political debate – but as part of our responsibility to hold partners to account. Please let me know if you feel that the Association should take a more public stance on these issues – and keep us posted of local implications and decisions that you feel increase risks and reduce capacity. The significance of effective local threshold documents and the need to take a whole system view – not just looking at the access to children’s social care – are really important if children and young people are to be kept safe and offered the support and well-being they deserve.

David Ashcroft, Chair 

Association News

Working Together’ Update

 Charting the Changes

Now that the DfE programme of Early Adopters is underway, the Association is looking forward to working with NCB in its role as evaluator. In order to maintain and adjust to this welcome development the Association is re-targeting its work with partnerships and chairs to continue to add, better understand and share the emerging picture and issues across the country. We will be launching in September a new survey to chart and share the changes with you, and will also shortly be launching an interactive forum on the website to support networking and the exchange of experience. The issues for areas who are not early adopters are of particular interest – what are the barriers to new arrangements.

Timetable

An updated WT18 Briefing has just been published by AILC, with Transition Timescales here.This includes a summary of key matters emboldened to act as a checklist when developing your new arrangements towards MASAs. DfE’s implementation timetable is:

  • From now – safeguarding partners should start to plan the new arrangements and any transitional arrangements required, including in respect of live serious case reviews
  • July 2018Government published WT18 with associated guidance and announced 17 areas as ‘early adopters’, which will work with the National Children’s Bureau to implement new local safeguarding arrangements and identify learning before they are established across the rest of the country.
  • July – October 2018 – early adopters identify and share their learning with other areas.
  • By June 2019 – all areas should have published their plans and notified government
  • By September 2019 – all areas should have implemented their plans
  • Beyond September 2019 - If uncompleted SCRs remain - the statutory role of chairs and LSCBs to oversee SCRs will continue if there are still uncompleted reviews


AILC’s A-Z of Effective Safeguarding Partnership - LSCB Examples - Updated August 2018

You can now access 40 new LSCB examples of Effective Safeguarding Partnerships – is your LSCB represented in the A-Z Directory here? You can search for information to help your LSCB within the 46 topics, categorized for ease of use, with both LSCB “Process” topics and abuse/neglect “Subject” topics. Against each topic is the name of the LSCB with information/policy documents etc., There are now 176 examples of these as at 1st August 2018 - a few of which are listed below. Please do submit further local examples or updates, to policy@lscbchairs.org.uk

News from LSCB Areas

Some of the recent uploads to the Effective Safeguarding Partnerships Directory here are:

  • Northumberland and Kingston & Richmond LSCBs Newsletters both have a list of Neglect Resources
  • Bath & North East Somerset LSCB’s Communication & Media Policy includes Leads, Sign Off and Contacts
  • Durham’s Annual Report is clear and colourful, with a good section on the importance of challenge
  • London Procedures have a new section on GDPR
  • Gloucestershire’s Safer Recruitment Accreditation is outlined within an extensive training programme.
  • Southend’s Strategic Plan 2018-2019 includes a comprehensive QA and Performance Monitoring Framework

Child Suicides in Reviews

 Has your LSCB held any reviews with suicides by children? In last month’s Newsletter we reported that Gill Rigg - Chair in Kent and Cumbria - has raised the question of whether or how Boards are responding to the apparent increase in teenage suicide. A number of you have kindly responded and we are now finalising a spreadsheet from your cases, together with info on the NSPCC website to ascertain the extent and decide next steps. We can see that some of these children are younger than teens and are we are looking at any basic themes.

See ‘How Safe Are Our Children’ below, showing that national child suicide rates are increasing.

If you have held any reviews on child suicides since 2016 please send in a line ASAP with the review date, any themes, anon case name, number of deaths and any other info for learning to Gill Rigg at gill.rigg@icloud.com or Sarah Webb policy@lscbchairs.org.uk.

Your National AILC Conference on 28th & 29th November 2018 at Crewe Hall “Partnerships for Safeguarding Children”

Your conference this year will provide information from the implementation of new arrangements, together with a wide range of topics relevant for developments towards the new MASAs. Please put the date in your diary now, ready for booking which will open later this month. Sally Lewis, Conference convenor can be contacted via info@lscbchairs.org.uk – Sally says; “Our conference will seek to be a balance of:

  • Information and discussion opportunity that will support LSCBs in transitioning to the new Multi-Agency Safeguarding Arrangements
  • Sharing of ideas about the current best practices and initiatives in children safeguarding, maintaining best practices”
National News

‘Storing Up Trouble: A Postcode Lottery of Children's Social Care’ APPGC July 2018

Does where a child lives affect their chances of getting support, whatever their level of need, and is it getting generally harder for children and families to get help? This is one of the central research questions posed by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children culminating in a new report of interest to LSCBs and MASAs.

Analysis of 37 Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) threshold documents found some significant disparities in how local areas were addressing need, particularly in response to children who are self- harming, families with housing problems and even children experiencing physical abuse. It will be interesting to see how these disparities play out going forward in the new MASAs.

Responding to surveys carried out as part of this Inquiry, both social workers and Directors of Children’s Services said that locally agreed thresholds, as published by the LSCB, are one of the top three factors that influence decisions about the level of intervention or support (if any) a child receives. Directors of Children’s Services explained that the primary reason for this inconsistency is simply that some local authorities have more resource to fund ‘early help’ services than others.

AILC’s Chair David Ashcroft is quoted in an evidence session, recommending that, “We need to talk about the whole system”. Emma Lewell Buck noted “We are observing a worrying trend in children’s social care in which the shift towards late intervention is getting worse not better, the rate of re-referrals is increasing and cuts to early intervention mean that cases are being closed prematurely. “

The Inquiry heard that “some local authorities are encouraging a re-think of the process for assessing need and risk and providing appropriate support for children and families. David Ashcroft, Chair, Association of Independent Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards, talked about his work as Chair of the Norfolk LSCB to develop a new child-centred approach which encourages professionals to have early conversations with families and make decisions based upon the child’s needs.”

Leeds LSCB was also highlighted and praised for its approach by Ofsted: ‘The [Local Children’s Safeguarding] Board exercises careful scrutiny of the transition from a traditional threshold management model to one where referrals receive considered conversations and responses based on the needs of children, rather than establishing whether a threshold has been met... Board partners, particularly schools (who are the biggest referrers), describe a discernible culture change from rigid threshold discussions with the front door, to one in which productive conversations are held, with growing confidence that the early help offer in clusters is providing reliable, robust and appropriate alternatives based on need and risk.’

‘Distress Signals: Unaccompanied Young People's Struggle for Mental Health Care’

This new report on UASCs by the Children’s Society found that “Lack of awareness and training among paediatricians, GPs, social workers and other professionals working closely with young people hinder identification of mental health need among unaccompanied young people.”

An important report for LSCBs - Sam Royston, The Children’s Society’s Director, Policy and Research says that “low awareness among professionals and services about young refugees’ needs, as well as language barriers, all contribute to making their pain worse. There’s a lot that local and national government can do to help child refugees recover and rebuild their lives” The report is here.

Contextual Safeguarding Apply by 18th September 2018 for Support to your Local Area

Contextual Safeguarding has designed a ‘Scale Up’ project funded by the Big Lottery to offer three local areas the chance of support until 2022 to embed Contextual Safeguarding into their Children and Family service. Having spent a year in the London Borough of Hackney initiating the first Contextual Safeguarding system, we have generated resources, approaches and practical understanding that we now want to offer up to others.

Supported by a Contextual Safeguarding hub at the University of Bedfordshire comprised of a coordinator, researcher, social worker, administrator and headed up by Dr Carlene Firmin, each site will be supported to create an approach that works for them to receive contextual referrals into the front door, screen and assess those referrals, plan and intervene with harm identified in peer groups, school, neighbourhood and online settings. Find out more/apply on the project webpageSites will be selected by November through a multi-stage application process - expressions of interest close on 18th September 2018.

‘How Safe Are Our Children’ NSPCC 2018

This year’s NSPCC report sets out what the available data tells us about the current child protection landscape, and takes a closer look at how safe children are online. The report highlights:

  • There have been increases in police-recorded child sexual offences across the UK and increases in child cruelty and neglect offences in all UK nations except Scotland
  • The last decade has also seen increased numbers of children on child protection plans and registers
  • Almost a quarter of young people were contacted online by an adult they did not know
  • Since the offence of communicating indecently with a child was introduced in England and Wales in April 2017, over 3,000 crimes have been recorded by the police

LSCBs will also be interested to note that the child death from assault/abuse rate has declined slightly over recent years, but suicide amongst 15-19 year olds, previously in decline, have now started to rise in recent years - up 25.7 per cent since the average for 2006 to 2010. There were 115 suicides in England where death was recorded as by intentional self-harm, and a further 28 deaths by undetermined intent of 15 to 19 year olds in 2016.

The report notes: “Research suggests that social and economic factors influence the risk of suicide.”

Revolving Door: Are We Failing Children at Risk of Abuse and Neglect? Action for Children

A new Action for Children Report here, Illustrates concern that opportunities to intervene early are being missed. Some children are stuck in a revolving door into social care, in a cycle of referral and assessment, but only receiving help at crisis point. The Revolving Door report notes that between 2010 and 2017 there has been a:

  • 13% increase in the number of children in care
  • 31% increase in the number of children subject to a child protection plan and
  • 108% increase in child protection investigations.

“And yet there was a £2.4 billion real terms cut in central government funding for children and young people’s services between 2010/2011 and 2015/2016.”

 Contact the Association
 Please phone the Association on 07880 209 788 if you would like any help at all, or email info@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have queries or comments.
  • Does this Newsletter meet your needs?
  • What else would you like to see covered? 
I always welcome feedback on the Newsletter or the activity of the Association. Please contact me at chair@lscbchairs.org.uk

With best wishes,

David Ashcroft
AILC Chair

www.lscbchairs.org.uk
Association Phone 07880 209788
Follow us on Twitter @AssocLSCBChair

 

AILC Newsletter - Jun-Jul 2018

Chair's Update -  by David Ashcroft

This has been a busy few weeks and as I see the latest turbulence in Westminster today there may be even more change to come! I trust you have all received and had a chance to digest the final publication of Working Together 2018 and the related transitional guidance and letters from the minister and Edward Timpson (in respect of SCRs and Practice Reviews). We have circulated these to all chairs and partnerships. The new legislation and arrangements came into force on 29th June 2018, and there are now 12 months for local partnerships to negotiate and agree proposals for new multi-agency safeguarding arrangements, and to publish these. Implementation must be completed by September 2019. LSCBs may continue in being for up to a further 12 months where there are SCRs to complete. The Association will be working hard to ensure that we highlight and help with the many different options that will need to be explored and thought through.

 The final version of Working Together 2018, is a disappointment – it does not deliver on the feedback that Whitehall received from consultation and continues to leave great potential for divergent and variable expectations for safeguarding and partner engagement across the country. There is a growing concern that we may see a patchwork of different arrangements and that it may well become more and more difficult to ensure smooth and frictionless safeguarding work across different jurisdictions. We will be continuing to press strongly for a consistent approach to the functions, standards and cooperation that are required.

 It is a disappointment that there is not a clearer statement about the importance of having clear and inclusive threshold protocols as part of multi-agency co-operation. The only reference to this now sits in the arrangements for access to social care assessment – reinforcing thresholds as part of a gatekeeping process for social care, rather than as a means of engaging all relevant agencies and practitioners with the needs to the child and family. This will not help the development of effective early help and prevention work.

 There is little detail on funding, decision-making and dispute resolution, or on the role of independent scrutiny. Multi-agency training hardly features, and the work to develop Learning and Improvement Frameworks is not taken forward. The Early Adopters announced last week (39 local authorities in 17 local partnerships) will seek to address some of these issues – we urgently need all partnerships to start thinking through these challenges. The Association was not successful in our bid to secure the contract to facilitate the EA programme – this has been awarded to NCB. However, we are already starting discussions with them as to how we can bring our collective experience and knowledge to this programme. We are concerned to see adequate support for those areas that are not ‘early adopters’ where advice, peer support and practical help may be needed to help set up new arrangements. We are continuing to work positively with national representatives of police, health, local authorities and DCSs on these challenges. Please contact me if you feel that we can offer advice or support as your local discussion develop chair@lscbchairs.org.uk.

 There have been a range of other important publications which may be of interest to Chairs, Boards and partnerships. The Children’s Commissioner launched last week her Vulnerability Report 2018. I was pleased to represent the Association at the launch and spoke to Anne Longfield and her team about the important information that this presents and I recommend that Boards consider how the analysis of the wider range of children and young people who are vulnerable – rather than just those who are “in Need”, on Protection Plans or Looked After – can be applied to priorities both locally and nationally. We hope this will feature as part of the agenda at our national conference on 28-29 November 2018.

 The Joint Inspectorates have published an important thematic report from the recent JTAIs looking at neglect for older children. This particularly calls for greater awareness among professionals in adult’s services of the risks of neglect of older children who are living with parents with complex needs. Cooperation and consistency for young people across simplistic age barriers was also a key message from the ADCS conference, for SEND, Care Leavers, and those caught up in criminal exploitation, access here.

 The Government has published important new guidance in information sharing which reinforces the importance of strong working relationships between agencies and encourages a willingness to share and use information in the interest of children. The ‘Myth Busters’ section maybe something LSCB can promote locally where inhibitions about sharing information can undercut effective safeguarding practice, access here.

 The All Party Parliamentary Group for Children will publish this week its report Storing Up Trouble (following on from No Good Options last year), which will highlight the increasing variability of services for children, and especially the considerable local variation in thresholds. This will stress the need to address the funding gap in children’s social care, and the need for a sustainable and long-term support for early help and preventative services.

 The programme and speakers for the conference are nearing completion and we will be circulating further details shortly. The theme of the conference will be “Partnerships for Safeguarding Children” and we hope to attract, as last year, a wider range of those concerned about safeguarding while still providing the opportunity for independent chairs and business managers to focus on their specific concerns and interests.

Some feedback from the work on early adopters will feature, but we also want to ensure that there is a focus on the lives of children and young people, not just on our organisational arrangements.Thank you to the many Chairs and Partnerships who have renewed Association membership promptly this year. We do need to encourage more local partnerships to join the Association if we are to remain effective and a strong voice for multi-agency working. We believe that this coming year (or more) of transition is probably the most critical in our history and we want to bring to the November conference significant and workable proposals for how AILC can develop for the future. We set out the direction of travel in our Strategic Plan towards the end of last year. We strongly believe that there is going to continue to be a need for a network of safeguarding partnerships – to support learning and best practice, and to advocate for children and young people in the midst of the competing pressures on statutory and other partners. If you are able to encourage neighbours (or your own partnership) who have not yet joined, please do so. I will be writing shortly to all to renew our request for support and involvement with the Association as we move forward. The AILC Board this month did agree that we need to refocus some of our staff and director time within our current resources and we have started discussions with staff to streamline the operation of our team. I hope we will have concluded these changes by next month’s Newsletter and can confirm any new arrangements.

 Newsletter introductions have now been posted to AILC’s website under News/Chairs Perspective. Each month we send this members’ Newsletter directly to members (Chairs, Business Managers for LSCBs etc.) and simultaneously upload the previous months’ newsletter for public view.

Association News

The Children & Social Work Act and ‘Working Together’ Update

 DfE’s implementation timetable remains the same:

  • From Now – safeguarding partners should start to plan the new arrangements and any transitional arrangements required, including in respect of live serious case reviews
  • 4th July 2018 - Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 published together with further guidance on transition arrangements for Serious Case Reviews and other business and the new national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel is now operational.
  • July 2018 – The government will have established a programme of areas which have chosen to become early adopters of the new arrangements: 39 local authorities across 17partnerships or projects have been announced. The facilitator for this programme will be the National Children’s Bureau (NCB)
  • July – October 2018 – early adopters identify and share their learning with other areas. There will continue to be updates after that period.
  • By June 2019 – all areas should have published their plans and notified government they have done so
  • By September 2019 – all areas should have implemented their plans

Matters relating to SCRs remain the same as per AILC’s May Newsletter - the statutory role of chairs and LSCBs to oversee SCRs will continue beyond September 2019 if there are still uncompleted reviews; detailed arrangements for linking to the new National Panel have still to be finalised over the coming 6 months; some cases may require to be managed under ‘old arrangements’ until perhaps September 2020. Local areas should consider these matters in setting up the decision-making processes for new practice reviews, and especially where there are joint reviews with SARs and DHRs which have their own timetable and approval issues.

SCRs Monthly Summary of National Learning

 AILC continues its collaboration with the NSPCC in ensuring that LSCBs and partnership staff have access to regular learning from reviews. The monthly case reviews email alert has just been redeveloped so that anyone can now subscribe. Each issue will include a link to case reviews added to the National Repository of Case Reviews that month and will feature one of our learning from case review briefings. Click here.

 AILC Feedback from First Advisory Group Meeting - Triennial Review of Serious Case Reviews

 Christine Davies recently attended the above meeting for AILC and all Chairs, from which this summary:

 Aim:       Extract learning for practitioners and the new National SCR Panel

 Source:  Using DFE notifications, looking at 380 SCRs, crudely broken down:

 46% female - 54% male - 55% child death - 45% serious harm -  42% under 1 year - 21% 1-5 years - 6% 6-10 years - 30% 11 years plus

 Cases: 60 to be looked at in depth- representative of the sample as a whole.

 Research Aims: Identify common themes and trends across all of the 2014-2017 reports by analysing factors such as child and family characteristics, characteristics, and circumstances of each case, the nature of agency involvement, details about progress of each SCR, extent to which recommendations of SCRs have been implemented, consequent impact on practice, and to investigate impact of recent policy initiatives including Working Together 2013.

 Possible Additional Themes: CIN/children on CP Plans.

 Questions to be put to LSCB Chairs:

  • What difference has SCR/s made (to learning)?
  • How do you know? (SCR assurance)?

AILC to agree/influence/scope the questions further as there will be considerable learning for National Panel on evidence of local impact and how this gets replicated nationally. AILC will also be asking about outcome of national recommendations and accountability of respective government departments. Grateful if you could share when you receive questions from the Research team.  If Chairs/BMs/LSCBs would like to share any SCR information from 2015-2017 with your national reps, Christine Davies and Alex Walters, please contact them via policy@lscbchairs.org.uk.

 News from LSCB Areas – Hertfordshire CP Conference Video for Families, and their Family Safeguarding Teams

 Hertfordshire have produced a useful short, very child and family friendly video explaining what conferences are, this can be found in AILC’s Effective Safeguarding partnerships A-Z Directory under Communication of Functions here.

 Pioneering Changes to Child Protection Services - Hertfordshire

 Also in Herts, Family Safeguarding multi-agency teams work with child protection and child in need cases. The Family Safeguarding project allows adult specialists and social workers to focus on direct, relationship-based therapeutic work, with the aim to transform the family life of children at the highest risk, click here to access.

Teenage Suicide - Shared Learning

Gill Rigg - Chair in Kent and Cumbria - has raised the question of whether or how Boards are responding to the apparent increase in teenage suicide.  We believe this is a growing concern for a number of Boards around the country.  Both Kent and Cumbria are conducting thematic reviews into this issue and covering specific cases. If other Boards are already addressing this, or are considering doing so, we would like to hear from you. Gill asks whether there might be some economics of scale or joint learning that we can coordinate. The NSPCC completed a briefing from the national SCR repository in 2014, click here, but may not reflect current issues and learning. AILC’s representatives on the SCR Triennial Review (Alex Walters and Christine Davies) are also aware of this issue. If you have any information on this topic please contact Gill Rigg at gill.rigg@icloud.com or Sarah Webb policy@lscbchairs.org.uk

Your National AILC Conference on 28-29 November 2018 at Crewe Hall “Partnerships for Safeguarding Children”

 It is anticipated that a significant part of your conference this year will include learning from statutory partners and early lessons from the implementation of new arrangements. Please contact Sarah Webb on policy@lscbchairs.org.uk if you would like to contribute any views.

National Policy News

CLA - Children’s Commissioner Report on the Stability Index 2018

 Last month the Children’s Commissioner published the Stability Index 2018, which measures and reports on the levels of stability experienced by children in care. The Stability Index now reports longer-term measures of stability, as well as detailed analysis of the factors that contribute to instability. It features significantly improved data on social worker stability, based on returns from local authorities. LSCB Chairs need to be aware that the Children’s Commissioner will shortly be writing to every DCS and Lead Member for Children’s Services to provide them with Stability Index figures for their local area and those areas that provided social worker data will receive a detailed benchmarking report for their area. Anne Longfield has agreed with AILC’s Chair who wrote, “LSCBs still have important statutory responsibilities for the ‘whole system’ dimensions of care and support, and I would ask you to consider contacting Local Safeguarding Children Boards to urge them to review the picture for their area illustrated by the Index, and to ensure that other partners, with the local authority, fully take up their responsibilities and duties to support children in care.”

Contact the Association

Please do phone the Association on 07880 209 788 if you would like any help at all, or email info@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have queries or comments.

  • Does this Newsletter meet your needs?
  • What else would you like to see covered?

I always welcome feedback on the Newsletter or the activity of the Association. Please contact me at chair@lscbchairs.org.uk

 With best wishes,

 David Ashcroft

 AILC Chair

 www.lscbchairs.org.uk

 Association Phone 07880 209788

 Follow us on Twitter @AssocLSCBChairs

 

 AILC Newsletter - May 2018

 Chair's Update -  by David Ashcroft

 

We are well down the journey towards new local (and national) safeguarding arrangements – and as an Association, and as your chair – I have made our commitment to improvement, to better outcomes for children, and our appetite and ability to innovate and adapt very clear. However, given the track record of many LSCBs over the past few years it was frustrating to see that the Department was still citing the poor ratings of early Ofsted Reviews from before the Wood Review as a justification for the reforms in its recent announcements. Thank you for the responses and endorsement that I had back when we circulated the letter to Graham Archer and his colleagues to register our position, a copy of which was sent to all members.

On a much more positive note, the Association is submitting a bid to be the facilitator for the early adopter programme and we hope this will be successful, and underwrite the work required to help you and your partner agencies deliver safe and effective new arrangements over the coming year. We believe that the Association is uniquely placed to provide this central core of activity and to encourage new ways of working. We want to invite chairs and business managers to be part of this work, contributing your knowledge and experience, and further details will follow if we are successful. We will post details of the bid on the website as soon as possible.

Richard Burrows and I met with Yvette Stanley, the new National Director for Social Care at Ofsted, this week. This was a valuable opportunity to identify some areas of common concern with the regulator. We discussed the growing recognition of the safeguarding risks in some elective home education; and acknowledged that it has been our joint lobbying across the sector which has helped raise the profile of this issue. Please encourage a response to the current DfE consultation on this topic from your partnership.

We also identified the importance of multi-agency understanding of thresholds remaining at the core of good safeguarding practice, and not retreating to gatekeeping for social care as a means of managing demand and controlling resources.   Recommendations from new ILACS inspections will continue to highlight partnership issues and expectations. Both AILC and Ofsted hope that the new annual self-evaluation undertaken by Local Authorities will be shared with partners and be a useful tool for identifying joint challenges. Mental health and emotional wellbeing, and early help were also common areas of interest – and it is possible that prevention and early help could be the focus for a future JTAI round.  We believe this could be very helpful for local partnerships in reinforcing the need for strong multi-agency support for children and families where there are causes for concern, but not explicit child protection risks.

We discussed with Ofsted the importance of retaining partnership engagement over SEND services, and the importance of holding health and others to account for their support for vulnerable children with disabilities. We agreed to meet again later in the year and we continue to attend the Ofsted social care forum and meet regularly with the joint inspectorates. Please raise any topics that you would like us to cover at these meetings or to seek information about.

We also met with the Department for Education and provided practical feedback about some of the complexities for managing practice reviews, and securing timely notifications and robust decisions about what can be learnt from reviewing cases.  We have asked for an early meeting with the Chair of the new National Panel, Edward Timpson, to offer our insights into learning from reviews.

Newsletter introductions have now been posted to AILC’s website under News/Chairs Perspective.

Each month we send this members’ Newsletter directly to members (Chairs, Business Managers for LSCBs etc.) and simultaneously upload the previous months’ newsletter for public view.

 

Association News


The Children & Social Work Act, and ‘Working Together’ Update

Here is the latest Timetable on the CSW Act changes as set out by the Department for Education
Parliament will approve the Regulations by end of May 2018, therefore safeguarding partners should work to the following implementation timetable:

  • From Now – safeguarding partners should start to plan the new arrangements and any transitional arrangements required, including in respect of live serious case reviews
  • 29 June 2018 - Parliamentary approval of commencement and all relevant supporting Regulations that will allow safeguarding partners to set-up their new arrangements. Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 published together with further guidance on transition arrangements for Serious Case Reviews and other business
  • June 2018 – The government will have established a network of areas which have chosen to become early adopters of the new arrangements, and the new national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel will become operational
  • July – October 2018 – early adopters will share their learning with other areas.There will continue to be updates after that period, but we want early adopters to share their learning early enough in the timetable so it can inform the plans and action taken by other areas
  • By June 2019 – all areas should have published their plans and notified government they have done so
  • By September 2019 – all areas should have implemented their plans

LSCBs and Chairs are reminded that they should continue to scrutinise serious incidents and apply the current criteria and decision-making processes to potential serious case reviews until new arrangements are fully agreed and in force.  SCRs must still be commissioned where the criteria are met.  The statutory role of chairs and LSCBs to oversee SCRs will continue beyond September 2019 if there are still uncompleted reviews – although detailed arrangements for linking to the new National Panel have still to be finalised.  It is expected that these will be some cases that will require to be managed under ‘old arrangements’ until perhaps September 2020.  Because the legislative basis under which reviews are conducted is not the same there will need to be these overlap/transition arrangements.   Local areas should consider this in setting up the decision-making processes for new practice reviews, and especially where there are joint reviews with SARs and DHRs which have their own timetable and approval issues.

Independent Scrutiny of MASA's - A Presentation for Discussion in LSCBs
As part of his research work, Phil Picton (Chair of Essex LSCB) has compiled a helpful presentation laying out some possible models of independent scrutiny, with some pros and cons listed - this can be used in LSCBs/with partners to discuss and debate over the coming months. The presentation has been uploaded on AILC's website here, with access by Chair Members and LSCB Partnerships.

Triennial Review of SCRs
Thank you for the volunteers who expressed interest in representing the Association on the next Triennial Review project. Alex Walters and Christine Davies were the first names received. We will keep you all in touch with further work around SCRs and Practice Reviews.

DfE’s Explanatory Memorandum to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review & Relevant Agency Regulations 2018
As this Newsletter goes to print, the Regulations associated with the Act, and to enable publication of ‘Working Together’ are passing through both Houses.DfE’s Explanatory Memo provided for the passage of regulations states:

“One of the key findings of his review in respect of local multi-agency working arrangements was that the government should ‘move away from an over-prescriptive system to one that encourages and authorises local areas to determine how they organise themselves to improve outcomes for children and meet the requirements of the new framework’. The policy of requiring the safeguarding partners to determine the agencies with whom they will work is part of this new flexibility, and contrasts with the arrangements for LSCBs which prescribed a list of statutory members…..We will monitor the way in which safeguarding partners involve relevant agencies through reviewing their published arrangements. We also anticipate that these matters will be considered by the relevant inspectorates.”

Early Adopters
The application process for DfE’s funding of £400k for 10 bids from Early Adopters (which closed on 20th May 2018), following which DfE will announce the successful areas in June 2018. AILC has submitted a bid to be the Facilitator supporting the DfE EA programme – results of this on 1st June 2018.

SCRs/Safeguarding Practice Review
Following Edward Timpson’s appointment as Chair of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, earlier this week Minister Zahawi announced that the government has appointed five further members to the Panel. They are:

  • Mark Gurrey - Chair of South Gloucestershire Improvement Board and Chair of Devon & Wiltshire LSCBs
  • Professor Peter Sidebotham - Associate Professor in Child Health at Warwick Medical School and Consultant Paediatrician at South Warwickshire NHS Trust
  • Dr Susan Tranter - Chief Executive and Accounting Officer, Edmonton Academy Trust
  • Sarah Elliott - Non Executive Director Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and LSCB Chair for Poole and Dorset
  • Dale Simon – a qualified barrister and previously Director of Public Accountability and Inclusion at the Crown Prosecution Service

A further member is being appointed from the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care, and another place will be occupied by the Chief Social Worker for Children and Families. A Panel member from a police background is still being recruited and will be announced shortly.

The Panel will be responsible for commissioning and publishing reviews which are complex or of national importance, and will scrutinise and give guidance on notified incidents for local consideration.

Subject to final Parliamentary approval, the new arrangements will come into effect at the end of June 2018.

Your Views on the Act/Guidance
We continue to be glad to receive your views (to policy@lscbchairs.org.uk), so that our discussions with DfE and key stakeholder are as informed as possible by your views.

Here is our regular reminder of the requirement to continue to comply with existing legislation and guidance:

“LSCBs must continue to undertake their statutory functions, as they are legally required to do, until the new safeguarding arrangements are in place.” DfE 2017

Independent Scrutiny
AILC’s recent presentation at a Westminster seminar on "Policy Changes of the CSW Act" was well received, resulting in subsequent engagement with a number of children’s organisations. Speaking just before AILC, Graham Archer, DfE’s Director of Children’s Services Policy referred to the importance of independence, and AILC’s role in such considerations:

“We haven’t abandoned the idea of independence, I think one of the things that we worried about was in placing that responsibility on those three partners, we might lose the element of independence, independent scrutiny - that the Association, Sarah Webb here from the Association, have provided. We think there are different ways of doing that but we are clear that independent scrutiny is necessary.”

You can access AILC’s presentation, together with extracts from the Conference here.

Business Managers and Chairs - Thank you to those who have shared their changes – others, please do not hesitate to share your local ideas and developments with Sarah Webb at policy@lscbchairs.org.uk or call to discuss on 07880 209788.

News from LSCB Areas – Kingston & Richmond on the Child's Voice, Enfield LSCB on Slavery, Torbay on Thresholds and Wandsworth on QA
Each month AILC uploads a set of recent policies or information from local LSCBs which are thought to be useful for sharing with other LSCBs. A few examples are below, all of which can be found on AILC’s website by clicking Resources, then Effective Safeguarding Partnerships – the A-Z Director lists 46 different subjects of importance to LSCBs including the subjects listed below – Childs Voice, Slavery, Thresholds, and Quality Assurance.

Kingston & Richmond LSCBs have included a helpful summary of the important UNCRC Ladder of Participation regarding the Childs Voice -which should be considered throughout the work of LSCBs as well as practitioners - in their May 2018 Newsletter.



Enfield LSCB held a County Lines & Slavery workshop event.

Torbay LSCB have produced an interactive Thresholds Tool with user guide.



Wandsworth LSCB  re Quality Assurance, received over 7,000 practitioner responses to their S11 audit. All of the above local LSCB examples can be found here.

Your National AILC Conference – 28-29 November 2018 - Crewe
Two conference planning meetings have been held, with Chairs and Business Managers contributing to the content and focus of the programme. The themes will be announced shortly and speakers are being booked.  It is anticipated that a significant part of the conference will include learning from statutory partners and early lessons from the implementation of new arrangements. Please contact Sarah Webb on policy@lscbchairs.org.uk if you would like to contribute any views.

 

 National Policy News


Internet Watch New Report & Child/Parent Guide on Sexual Abuse Online – 98% under 13 years

Here is a useful Online Safety Guide for parents and children – for uploading on LSCB websites. 

LSCBs will also be interested in the new study by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) which has “revealed shocking statistics on children being coerced…into live-streaming their own sexual abuse over webcams, tablets and mobile phones". The research, Online Child Sexual Exploitation: Examining the Distribution of Captures of Live-streamed Child Sexual Abuse click here, identified 2,082 images and videos of live-streamed child sexual abuse in three months.

It revealed that 98% of images found were of children aged 13 and under…while the youngest victim was just three-years-old. 
Click here.

Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment between Children in Schools
Another good resource for LSCBs is the recent Sexual Violence in Schools DfE Guidance. It covers:

  • what sexual violence and sexual harassment is
  • what schools’ and colleges’ legal responsibilities are
  • creating a whole school or college approach to safeguarding and child protection; and
  • how to respond to reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment

A useful video with PowerPoint summary on the implication for schools re Policies, Training etc., can be found in Andrew Hall’s helpful website here.

SRE – New Legislation for Schools Next Term – Resources Available Now
From September 2019, government legislation requires all secondary schools to teach Relationships and Sex Education (RSE or SRE). Experts in the field have collaborated to create resources which are accredited by the PSHE Association and may be useful for LSCBs to publicise. These are also completely free and available for use right now. The website, sponsored by Durex, also gives students and parent’s valuable guidance on how and where to get the kind of RSE that meets the needs of young people today.
Click here to access Website.                            Click here to access Resources.

Abuse Among Children – Information for Parents (Lucy Faithfull Foundation)
The Lucy Faithfull Foundation have a set up a website called 'Parents Protect' to prevent child sexual abuse by raising awareness and encouraging early recognition of warning signs of abuse.

To help parents understand more about the difference between healthy and developmentally expected sexual exploration and play, they have produced separate traffic light toolkit leaflets for parents of children under-5 and those aged 5 - 11. The leaflets can be downloaded here.

For professionals, the sexual health charity Brook, have more information about the Traffic Light Tool, which can be accessed here.

Getting Help to Overcome Abuse : A Quick Guide for Young People Receiving Support
This new guide helps young people to understand what is meant by abuse and neglect and describes how they might feel because of their experience.  It also explains what young people should expect from services and what they should do if they are not happy with the support they are getting. A list of organisations that can help is included. The guide is based on the NICE guideline on Child Abuse and Neglect and was written by a group of young people who have experienced abuse and neglect. Click here to access.

Contextual Safeguarding – Adolescent Panel & Risk Assessments
Learning from Practice
Brent's Strategic Vulnerable Adolescents Panel - Contextual Safeguarding’s blog, this month shares practice from Brent Council's strategic vulnerable adolescent’s panel which takes a holistic approach to understanding and responding to vulnerable adolescents' needs.

Using Contextual Safeguarding to Design Risk Assessments with Young People

In another blog Deanna Neilson explains how Action for Children’s Employability team in Scotland is currently redesigning its risk assessment process, in consultation with young people. The team is integrating contextual safeguarding approaches to address risks in various contexts of young people’s lives.

NSPCC have re-launched “Net Aware” this month – A Simple Guide for Parents

This guide covers the most popular sites, apps and games that young people use. It equips parents and professionals with information about these sites, including the recommended age, the safety features and settings available and the types of risks that young people might encounter. This year’s site is based on reviews of 40 sites from 2,059 young people and 2,049 parents. Visit the Net Aware site here or download the free Net Aware app from the App Store or Google Play.

IICSA Inquiry – Interim Report Publication
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published its Interim Report - of interest to LSCBs as the Report sets out what the Chair and Panel consider to be the key emerging themes from the Inquiry’s work to date and includes recommendations for specific changes which will better protect children from sexual abuse, click here to access.

Government Plans for Transforming Children’s Mental Health Services
This month, the Health and Social Care Committee and Education Committees published the report on their joint inquiry into transforming Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). A statement on the report was made in the House of Commons the following day. Health and Social Care Committee Member Luciana Berger MP (Labour, Liverpool Wavertree) stated that the Committees had jointly found that the Government’s CAMHS Green Paper lacked ambition and represents a missed opportunity.

Philip Hollobone MP (Conservative, Kettering) commended the Committees’ work on the report and its recommendations. In particular he welcomed the recommendation to carry out a full assessment of the transition arrangements between children’s’ and adult services, which is a point that the LGA raised in its contribution to the inquiry.

 

Contact the Association


Please do phone the Association on 07880 209 788 if you would like any help at all, or email info@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have queries or comments.
  • Does this Newsletter meet your needs?
  • What else would you like to see covered? 
I always welcome feedback on the Newsletter or the activity of the Association. Please contact me at chair@lscbchairs.org.uk

With best wishes,

David Ashcroft
AILC Chair

www.lscbchairs.org.uk
Association Phone 07880 209788
Follow us on Twitter @AssocLSCBChair


 

AILC Newsletter - April 2018

 Chair's Update -  by David Ashcroft

This time of year is always challenging for the Association as we anticipate your renewals and membership contributions while seeking to maintain the levels of service and influence that you expect. Please can I urge all members to process their renewals as quickly as possible – prompt payment makes a real difference to the cash flow position of the Association and ensures that we can start planning properly for our work later in the year and for the national conference in November. My thanks to all those who have already agreed and paid for the coming year.

The AILC Board has already made reductions in the number of days allocated to Officers and Directors working for the Association, and we are looking very hard at the budget for the coming year to ensure that we can deliver good value and concentrate on the work that is most essential. But this means that we have limited capacity in some of the other work we want to do to highlight safeguarding issues, and to provide support for chairs and partnerships. We have prepared a bid to the Department for Education to enable us to fully contribute to the process of implementing the new arrangements, recognising that as a network we are key players and leaders in this process, but that we will need additional resources if we are to provide the support that you need to make the best of new changes. Please advocate whenever you have the opportunity with your colleagues across other agencies at local, regional and national levels for their support for the work of the Association.

You will see that the deadline for publishing Working Together is now expected to be “the summer” – possibly late June. The current duties and work of LSCBs is required to be fully continued and sustained – despite this extended anticipation of the new arrangements – and this means that Boards and Chairs must continue to commission Serious Case Reviews, monitor the performance of local partner agencies, sustain training and undertake Section 11 audits – all recorded and published in Annual Reports. The Association has built up considerable expertise and exemplars of how to do this well – please continue to use the information available through our website and keep us informed of new developments and innovations that you may be taking forward locally.

At the AILC Board meeting last week we received a very detailed and useful presentation from Will Kerr (Director, Vulnerabilities) from the National Crime Agency, based on the Falder case and highlighting many important aspects of grooming and abuse through the internet. We hope this is the start of a more regular engagement with the NCA and we will ensure that we report fully in next month’s newsletter on how LSCBs can be better placed to learn from such investigations and what areas of co-operation we can develop.

I will be on leave for the rest of this month – a chance to recharge batteries on Orkney, where you can experience four seasons in a day – whatever time of year. On reflection maybe that is not too different from work in safeguarding after all!!

Newsletter introductions have now been posted to AILC’s website under News/Chairs Perspective.

Association News 


The Children & Social Work Act, and ‘Working Together’ Update

DfE are announcing funding of £400k for 10 successful bids from Early Adopters. They are focussing on the following areas of interest regarding new arrangements:

  • funding - joint arrangements across partners
  • local practice reviews and links to the national Panel
  • involvement of schools
  • how the larger footprint for Child Death Reviews will work
  • independent scrutiny – what it will cover and how it can be undertaken

SCRs/Safeguarding Practice Review – interviews for National Panel members are now underway. The Association has written to ask for an early meeting with the new Chair, Edward Timpson, in order to explore how future arrangements will work.

Transition arrangements will be required to bridge the gap between the current national Panel and future arrangements, in order to be assured that Serious Case Reviews will continue to be commissioned and generate learning on appropriate cases before the new Practice Reviews start.

No standard Outcomes Framework will be provided for the new arrangements

The timetable for implementation of the CSW Act now expects Working Together publication in the “summer” :

 

  • Regulations laid before Parliament – debate and approval now being processed, since Parliament returned from recess, 16th April 2018 onwards
  • 12 months following WT publication - LSCBs/MASAs to have developed and published their arrangements after agreement between the three statutory partners and independent scrutiny of the Plan
  • Implementation of new arrangements within 3 months – late 2019
  • DfE will not judge each new arrangement and there will be no dedicated inspection of arrangements

Your views on the Act/Guidance - If you have contacted or lobbied your MPs to inform them of your views, please consider informing AILC so that we can collate views nationally. Here is our regular reminder of the requirement to continue to comply with existing legislation and guidance:

“LSCBs must continue to undertake their statutory functions, as they are legally required to do, until the new safeguarding arrangements are in place.” DfE 2017

AILC Charting LSCB Changes Across the Country

LSCBs have been looking at the information AILC has uploaded on ‘Early Adopters’ in ‘Resources’.

There are still limited changes to structures across the country - the most common type of changes amongst the 17 LSCBs for which AILC has uploaded information are footprint/partial merging with other LSCBs, streamlining of groups and partial merging of some functions with adults.

AILC’s Policy Adviser and Chair attended a day each of BASPCAN’s national congress this month. David Ashcroft presented on the changes taking place in England, in a session where neighbouring countries provided perspectives on their developments. We will be circulating further details of this in next month’s Newsletter. The fragmentation and potential inconsistency of arrangements in England was in stark contrast to the greater sense of common purpose and clear leadership that was evident in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where national and local work appears better coordinated and driven by a shared sense of being ambitious for outcomes for children.

AILC have also been asked to present their perspective on the changes at a Westminster seminar on Policy Changes of the CSW Act – feedback will be provided in the next Newsletter. David Ashcroft will be chairing a further event in July reviewing the national developments.

Business Managers and Chairs. Thank you to those who have shared their changes – others, please do not hesitate to share your local ideas and developments with Sarah Webb at policy@lscbchairs.org.uk or call to discuss on 07880 209788.

News from LSCB Areas - Hackney SCR, Bolton Information Sharing and Durham Procedures Updates

Hackney LSCB has published a serious case review to learn lessons from the Chadrack Mbala-Mulo case. The review report has important messages for LSCBs, schools and other local agencies about safeguarding and acting promptly when a child is unexpectedly absent from school. The report is availablehere.

Bolton LSCB have been praised by the Childrens Commissioner for an information sharing system across health and the council about vulnerable children. The project links up databases of councils with NHS organisations so that if a child under the care or supervision of a social worker attends an unscheduled care setting such as an A&E or walk in centre, the IT system alerts nurses that they are dealing with a vulnerable child and automatically sends a notification to the child's social worker. Click here to access.

Durham LSCB has created a Briefing listing the updates to their procedures including Modern Slavery and CSE – see this alongside over a hundred other recent example polices by clicking in AILC’s website in ‘Resources’ / ‘Effective Safeguarding Partnerships’.

AILC’s New Analysis of Ofsted Reports of LSCBs – Press Release this week

The ‘AILC Review of Ofsted’s LSCB Inspection Reports 2018’ was published and press released this week. This is the seventh and final report covering the lessons learned about the effectiveness of LSCBs. We now have a comprehensive picture of how LSCBs have developed and improved. It covers the latest analysis of Ofsted's inspection judgements, and the themes identified, together with comments made regarding LSCB Chairs, and what ‘Good’ looks like across three years of reports. We have set out how Boards have demonstrated their delivery against the Key Propositions set out by the Association as the building blocks for better outcomes and successful partnership working. You can access the report by clicking on ‘Resources / Ofsted Analysis’.

A Date for your Diaries – Your national AILC Conference 28-29 November 2018

We hope you have put this date in your diary now. The first conference planning meeting is being held this week, following which we will be asking Chairs and Business Managers if they would like to input to the content and focus of the programme. We anticipate that the conference will be held at a critical time for the development of wider partnership engagement with safeguarding and we are already looking at how we can ensure strong involvement for partners, as well as providing dedicated time for chairs and business managers to meet and support each other. Meanwhile, please contact Sarah Webb on policy@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have any views or questions.

Your AILC Membership

We are pleased to see so many Chairs and LSCBs renewing their membership this year. Your support is essential to the continuing viability of the Association.
Chairs, please note, if you have not paid your membership fees by the end of April, your access will be suspended, and you will no longer be on the distribution list for this Newsletter.

Board/Business Managers similarly, if you have not notified us of your intention to renew your Partnership Agreement, you will no longer receive this newsletter. Please also note, if you have not confirmed your intention to renew you may already be experiencing access problems to Members content. To reinstate access to all content (including the Early Adopters information) please let us know you are renewing, and confirm your requirements for invoicing (for example, if a Purchase Order is required by your finance department) to Alison on manager@lscbchairs.org.uk

National Policy News

Elective Home Education
Government have announced a review of EHE, including £3m to check against harmful practices. This is a topic in which many LSCBs have taken an interest – LSCBs may wish to submit a response. There are 45,500 home-educated children in England. DfE are concerned about vulnerable children, and also the spread of unregistered schools offering services to home-educating parents. The consultation closes on 2nd July and can be accessed here.

IICSA Inquiry Publications - Report on Rochdale, & Interim IICSA Report
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published its report here into the institutions where children were placed by Rochdale Council, following public hearings in October 2017. The report is concerned with the institutional responses of the Council, the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service into child sexual abuse in Rochdale between the early 1960s and the mid-1990s. It highlights how the council-run Knowl View School failed to keep pupils safe from harm for 25 years. The Inquiry says that it finds staff complacent and arguably complicit. Sexual exploitation of boys was also happening in the town centre - the report catalogues the lack of urgency on the part of the authorities to treat the matters as serious sexual assaults.

The Inquiry report outlines the lost opportunities to prosecute former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith (who was Honorary Secretary of Cambridge Boys’ Hostel) in relation to allegations of child sexual abuse, and the “unwillingness of those at the highest level to recognise that a person of public prominence was capable of perpetrating child sexual abuse”- this could be a useful phrase to use for LSCB training events.

The report is also clear that the Inquiry did not believe the evidence of Richard Farnell, then leader of Rochdale Council, who resigned some weeks after giving evidence about child sexual abuse in council-run establishments.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will also be publishing its wider Interim Report on 25th April 2018 - again of interest to LSCBs as key emerging themes will be provided.

Ofsted Publishes – ‘Talking to an Ofsted Inspector’ and LAC Children’s Views

Ofsted have published some supplementary documents to support inspections and visits carried out under the Inspection of Local Authority Children Services (ILACS) framework. They are available on the same web-page as theframework, and include

‘Talking to an Ofsted Inspector’, a guide for children, which LSCBs may wish to put on their websites. Inspectors will use these documents on inspections and visits to help children and their families understand what their involvement in an inspection means. Click here for access.

Ofsted have also just published areport useful for LSCBs on LAC - what 3,157 children said about their experiences of living in children's homes, or living with foster carers, from the Social Care Questionnaire; it focuses upon key areas;

  • Children need to understand why they came into care
  • Children can find moving into a new home a difficult experience
  • Children need to be able to build relationships with adults they can trust
  • Children rely on the adults caring for them to help keep them safe

Contact the Association


Please do phone the Association on 07880 209 788 if you would like any help at all, or email info@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have queries or comments.
  • Does this Newsletter meet your needs?
  • What else would you like to see covered? 
I always welcome feedback on the Newsletter or the activity of the Association. Please contact me at chair@lscbchairs.org.uk

With best wishes,

David Ashcroft
AILC Chair

www.lscbchairs.org.uk
Association Phone 07880 209788
Follow us on Twitter @AssocLSCBChair

 

 AILC Newsletter - March 2018

 Chair's Update -  by David Ashcroft

 

Another busy month – with the DfE response to the Working Together consultation coming out at the end of February and indicating some important shifts in emphasis and the significant and essential addition of the need to have a threshold document published in each local area.  You will note that much of what we anticipated in last month’s newsletter has been addressed – although we still have to see the final wording in June. The details are set out in the section below.

I really feel that this shows how the collective voice we have been able to present on safeguarding is now fully recognised as well-informed, powerfully argued and responsible in the interests of children and young people. That is only possible because we can represent the majority of LSCBs and Chairs – so thank you for the continuing support. It is clear that in most areas it will take time to put the full set of new arrangements in place – we fully anticipate that LSCBs will be operating well into 2019.

Mental Health support for young people, CSE, historic abuse cases in the churches and sport, have all been high profile subjects in the media over the past month. I am sure that these will have featured on recent Board agendas across the country in various ways. The other dominant factor has been the funding pressures not just on children’s social care, but across all services working with and for children. We are starting to see increasing evidence of the impact of poverty and austerity on the capacity of families to cope with pressures of all types. It does appear that this argument – made by ourselves, LGA, ADCS and many others - is starting to be recognised as well founded.

There is also a growing examination of the safeguarding risks for children who fall outside setting regulated and institutional education settings.  Several chairs have argued loudly and clearly for a long time on the need to address the risks of some elective home education for some children (it was a powerfully articulated point when the Minister last attended our national conference). The recent ADCS survey has helped raise the issues, and in my own Board we recently received a very comprehensive report on the numbers, reasons and prevalence of EHE which helped the Board form a full appreciation of the issues.

The last of our reports on the Ofsted reviews of LSCBs is now published and continues to set out the key components of effective Boards and strong partnerships. Please use this evidence in your local discussions about future arrangements.

At the next AILC meeting in April we will be hearing from the National Crime Agency about the lessons from the Falder abuse case – we also hope that this will be an opportunity to discuss with senior NCA colleagues about how LSCBs can work more effectively with them in the future and be better briefed on complex and challenging investigations and abuse cases. If there are any specific issues you want raised please let me know.

These newsletter introductions have now been posted to AILC’s website under News/Chairs Perspective.

 

Association News

 

The Children & Social Work Act Update

The timetable for implementation of the Children and Social Work Act is currently as follows:

  • Regulations laid before Parliament from 19 March – likely debate and approval after the Easter recess (May 2018)
  • June 2018 for publication of final version of Working Together and any transition guidance
  • 12 months following publication - LSCBs/MASAs to have developed and published their arrangements after agreement between the three statutory partners and independent scrutiny of the Plan – June 2018 to June 2019
  • Implementation of new arrangements within 3 months – by September 2019

“As the regulations are subject to the affirmative Parliamentary procedure, the statutory instruments will be debated and voted on by both Houses of Parliament in the Spring. Following commencement of the relevant provisions of the Children and Social Work Act 2017, an updated version of ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ will be published, and the new safeguarding arrangements will come into effect. Local areas will have twelve months from the date of commencement to develop and publish their arrangements, and a further three months to implement them in full.” DfE Feb 2018.
The Regulations set out two formal requirements of the new arrangements: the list of relevant agencies who may be included in safeguarding arrangement; and the arrangements for local and national reviews.
In most cases the relevant agency is identified as the governing body or chief officer – this is an interesting assertion of the individual accountability of key people for safeguarding, not just the inclusion of a list of organisations.
An important addition is that sports and religious organisations are now included. The details of which organisations this will cover is still not precise nor are the mechanics set out for how they will be meaningfully included in local arrangements. The Association welcomes the inclusion of these important sectors with whom LSCBs already do a lot of work – but we suggest that it is important that local arrangements go beyond a merely token inclusion of these partners. There are important issues of training; workforce development and support; accreditation and accountability; quality assurance and validation of policies and procedures; that will all need to be tackled in local plans.
Despite calls from several parties to the WT consultation for the Regional Schools Commissioners to be included they are not listed. Nor are all parts of the NHS – such as NHS Improvement, or primary care and GPs (except as far as they fall within the commissioning remit of CCGs). Adults’ social care and other branches of local government are also not specified other than under the general heading of local authorities.
The other significant part of the Regulations is the framework for local and national reviews. These regulations are the ‘barebones’ that need to be set out with formal powers – there will no doubt be a lot of other practical details about how both local and national reviews will work. The Regulations include the criteria for reviews, and appointment of reviewers and the powers and duties of the national Panel, together with the local responsibilities of the safeguarding partners for local reviews.
The Chair of the Safeguarding Practice Review Panel has been announced – it is Edward Timpson, previously Children’s Minister before the last election. The rest of the Panel will now be recruited and there is likely to be further detailed guidance about how future arrangements will work in practice.
You may feel that there are still significant points to be made about the regulations and the discretionary framework that they will set for further local arrangements – please consider whether you wish to lobby your MPs to inform them of your views when the debates take place after the Easter recess. Parliament returns on 16th April 2018.

Working Together

In last month’s Newsletter we let you know that we had written to the new Secretary of State, asking him to give full consideration to the over 700 responses to ‘Working Together’
The Department has now published its detailed response to the consultation – indicating where they will take account of the representations made by AILC and many others, click here to access.There are some significant changes which we strongly welcome. These include

  • Safeguarding partners will be required to publish a threshold document
  • The required seniority of those representing agencies is likely to be strengthened
  • There will be further strengthening of the reciprocal responsibilities for all types of education settings (including early years settings) to be involved in local arrangements
  • There will be greater detail on what is to be covered by independent scrutiny
  • The CDOP guidance will probably look to areas that can review 60 deaths a years rather than 80-120, and the guidance is likely to be edited and made more multi-agency rather than medical in tone.

There have also been repeated assertions of the need for all three safeguarding partners to be on an equal footing – how this translates into difficult areas such as funding remains to be seen.
The Association has met with the Department to discuss these indicated changes – we now await the final wording for Working Together, but we have been assured that the Association will have an important and contributing role in the implementation of the new arrangements – supporting local initiatives, working through the complexities and variations of local circumstances, and providing the expert knowledge and evidence of what works well. We will continue to maintain our core propositions as the basis for judging the best interests of children and young people.
Please review the consultation response. I am particularly pleased that the work we have done to present a strong, evidenced set of comments has been recognised by the Department and by the other organisations who have agreed with our views and comments. Many thanks to the large number of LSCBs (95) who responded. Of the 497 identified respondents out of a total of 703 representations, 141 were from education establishments; 139 from health; 95 from LSCBs; 67 from social care; 21 from children’s charities and 15 from the police, with 19 miscellaneous organisations identified.
Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi addressed the social work profession at the National Learning Conference on 27th February, including reference to new arrangements – you can see his speech here.
Here is our regular reminder of the requirement to continue to comply with existing legislation and guidance:
“LSCBs must continue to undertake their statutory functions, as they are legally required to do, until the new safeguarding arrangements are in place.” DfE 2017

AILC Charting LSCB Changes Across the Country

A summary of information on those LSCBs making changes across the country has now been uploaded – click on ‘Early Adopters’ in ‘Resources’.

There are still limited changes to structures across the country with most LSCBs either not wishing to change significantly or awaiting publication of the ‘Working Together’ guidance. The most common type of changes amongst the 17 LSCBs for which AILC has uploaded information are footprint/partial merging with other LSCB/s, streamlining of groups and partial merging of some functions with adults.

Business Managers and Chairs. Thank you to those who have shared their changes – others, please do not hesitate to share your local ideas and developments with Sarah Webb at policy@lscbchairs.org.uk or call to discuss on 07880 209788.

News from LSCB Areas

Faith Matters – Bristol and Birmingham LSCBs - AILC has just uploaded information useful to LSCBs on Faith – “A guide to Child Protection and Adult Safeguarding for Faith Based Establishments. Jointly produced by the BSCB and BSAB, adopted from Faith Associates, Birmingham City Council.” Click on Resources in Effective Safeguarding partnerships.

Children Visiting Families In Prisons - Has the issue of children being enabled to have access to imprisoned relatives come to the attention of your LSCB at all? If so, Bath & NE Somerset LSCB would be glad to know/share info -please drop a line to policy@lscbchairs.org.uk, or call 07880 209788.

LSCBs in Lancashire - Police Safeguarding Report - HMICFRS have just published their latest report here, which covers the Lancashire LSCBs and says about the interface of LSCBs with police:
Lancashire Constabulary needs to provide better protection to children at risk of harm – but shows encouraging commitment to improvement…. Professional relationships and engagement with partners involved in safeguarding across all levels of the constabulary were described to HMICFRS as very positive, with the ability to challenge where appropriate. The directors of children's services (DCS) and the LSCB chairs were all positive about Lancashire Constabulary's commitment to protecting children, particularly in relation to the significant amount of collaborative work in developing MASH processes." 

Do you know where to find Inspection reports regarding safeguarding in the police, for your LSCB area? You can find your local report in a list here.

AILC’s New Analysis of Ofsted Reports of LSCBs – now available

AILC’s most recent publication, our seventh ‘Review of LSCB Inspections Report AILC Review of Ofsted’s LSCB Inspection Reports’ has already proved very popular with Chairs and LSCBs alike. It covers the latest analysis of Ofsted's inspection judgements, and themes identified, together with comments made regarding LSCB Chairs, and what ‘Good’ looks like across 3 years of reports. You can access the report by clicking on ‘Ofsted Analysis’ in Resources.

A Date for your Diaries – Your national AILC Conference 28-29 November 2018

We have secured the fantastic Crewe Hall for a second year running as you gave such positive feedback - booked for 28-29November 2018. We hope you will all put this date in your diary now. If you have ideas for this year’s conference, or would like to be involved in the planning, please contact Sarah Webb policy@lscbchairs.org.uk

 

 National Policy News


Contextual Safeguarding – Dedicated LSCB Page

Do you know that there is a dedicated webpage for LSCBs within Contextual Safeguarding Network/ International Centre University of Bedfordshire website? This covers webinars, research, case reviews and interface with schools, and the voluntary sector. You can find it here.

Safeguarding Amendment to Data Protection Bill

The new amendment 85 adopted by the House of Commons on March 13th will ensure that sensitive data can be processed, without consent in certain circumstances, for legitimate safeguarding activities that are in the substantial public interest. Farrer & Co have published a briefing on this safeguarding amendment, here.

Useful Summary of Protection and Promotion of Children’s Rights

The Children’s Society and Children’s Rights Alliance have produced a useful summary on Children’s Rights. In addition to summarising the legal basis for rights, this report outlines amendments to the European Union Withdrawal Bill to ensure that any changes made by the Government are made with due regard to the UNCRC, you can access this here.

 

Alternative Provision – Poor Effects upon Children’s Wellbeing

MPs have been hearing concerns about internal units becoming 'dumping grounds', as well as perverse incentives for schools to exclude pupils - The Commons Education Select Committee recently held its second evidence session for its inquiry into alternative provision – click here to access.

There are eight key points here that came out of the hearing which should be of interest to LSCBs, including:

  • Internal inclusion units can be ‘dumping grounds’
  • Financial incentives to exclude pupils
  • ‘Not enough scrutiny’ of decisions is affecting children
  • Zero-tolerance behaviour policies that do not include “reasonable adjustments” for pupils with disabilities could be illegal – access here.
  • Concerns about ‘completely unregulated’ system for alternative-provision referrals

Learning from the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme

Isabelle Trowler, the Chief Social Worker at DfE, recently summarised the key takeaways from the first round of Innovation Programme projects, introducing the seven key features of practice. These features of practice along with the seven outcomes are detailed in a new report here which explores what the seven features of practice look like ‘on the ground’, alongside the challenges and successes of implementation, and the difference the features make to children and families. The seven features of practice are:

  1. Using a clear, strengths-based practice framework
  2. Using systemic approaches to social work practice
  3. Enabling staff to do skilled direct work
  4. Multi-disciplinary skill sets working together
  5. Undertaking group case discussion
  6. High intensity and consistency of practitioner
  7. Having a whole family focus


New LAC Guidance

The new DfE guidance on ‘Promoting the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children’ and ‘Designated Teacher’ guidance now refers specifically to the higher likelihood that such young people will experience periods of mental ill-health as a result of their early experiences. In particular, the guidance says that designated staff should have a good understanding of attachment issues. The importance of listening to the Voice of the Child is highlighted, and Staffordshire Virtual School pupils have contributed their five top tips when listening to looked after children:

  • Be available, take the time to get to know me
  • Notice if I am upset or angry and listen to me when I need help
  • Understand that even though I’ve had a different past than most people, it doesn’t mean I need to be treated differently
  • Understand my experience of being looked-after
  • Understand that my past will affect my present and my future behaviour even if I don’t notice

Designated teacher for Looked After Children and Previously Looked After Children - Statutory Guidance (February 2018)

Download: Promoting the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children - Statutory Guidance (February 2018)

SCR Thematic Briefings Update

There are some new SCR thematic briefings available – on Children not educated in School, and Infants access here.

CSE Principles, Cards to Share From YP – Good for LSCB Websites

Working with a Young Researcher's Advisory Panel, the University of Bedfordshire’s Alexi Project have synthesised the messages into 10 principles for working with young people affected by CSE. We then commissioned the artistUnato illustrate the principles and have turned these into 10 postcards that can be shared online and in print form with professionals. Postcards for sharing online, which could easily be uploaded onto your LSCB website describe in simple text and colourful graphics:

View all 10 postcards in one file here.

Updated Home Office Guidance on Indecent Images of Children

On 15 March 2018 the Home Office updated their guidance for young people on indecent images – again something for consideration of uploading onto your LSCB website here.

 

Contact the Association


Please do phone the Association on 07880 209 788 if you would like any help at all, or email info@lscbchairs.org.uk if you have queries or comments.
  • Does this Newsletter meet your needs?
  • What else would you like to see covered? 
I always welcome feedback on the Newsletter or the activity of the Association. Please contact me atchair@lscbchairs.org.uk

With best wishes,

David Ashcroft
AILC Chair

www.lscbchairs.org.uk
Association Phone 07880 209788
Follow us on Twitter @AssocLSCBChair