Latest Newsletter

 

September 2017

 

Chair's Introduction from David Ashcroft

 

Dear Colleagues,

There is a constant tension in our safeguarding work between nurturing and developing the relationships and structures needed for effective partnerships – and actually concentrating on the risk and issues that face children and young people. The AILC Board meeting this month is looking at a number of current issues to try to harness our collective attention and knowledge. The topics include:

  • Strengthening our national strategic response to CSE and Online Grooming
  • Home Education
  • The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children’s inquiry into thresholds which starts soon
  • The recent statements from Sir James Munby and inspectors on the availability and safety of welfare and secure beds
It is vital that we keep these challenges in focus as we confront change and reorganisation over the coming year. Please let us know of local or national issues that are causing concern with your Boards (by emailing policy@lscbchairs.org.uk) and ensure that your Boards are testing how well your local arrangements are doing to identify and address factors that help keep children safe.

There is a great deal of good practice now established around Section 11 audits, challenge events, self-assessment processes etc., but the equally important Section 175 audits for schools, are often less prominent and, do not always inform Boards about safeguarding issues across the education sector. With schools’ relationship to the new arrangements uncertain, it is vital to make sure that we have a solid baseline of how well schools, of all types, comply with their safeguarding responsibilities. Not all LSCBs make use of the S175 results, make sure that your education colleagues see this as a key part of Working Together (see here for ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ HM Govt 2016)

The recent coverage of the implementation difficulties in meeting the 30 hour nursery place offer
highlights how key nursery and child minding settings are for supporting families, and for being aware of safeguarding and protection issues. In my own Board, a recent SCR highlighted gaps in how early year settings are supported and informed about safeguarding best practice and how they access advice when they have concerns, so we have now set up an Advisory Group to the Board which is tackling these issues. Across a large rural county, we have many very local and dispersed services who can become isolated from our larger system. It has struck me how we have to keep asking fresh questions about safeguarding practice all the time – it doesn’t just happen, but has to be worked on, built and sustained.

A few random observations from me this month – must be that start of term feeling! We will have further bulletins in October and November before the Conference – please let me know any issues that are of concern to you or you’re Boards. As always, please send me any comments or views on the Newsletter – it is meant to be a helpful compendium of thoughts and information, but we need feedback in order to improve!

David Ashcroft
AILC Chair

Association News

The Children & Social Work Act Update

We now believe that the new ‘Working Together’ will consist of two parts:

  • One document as the future guidance for local safeguarding arrangements, practice reviews and CDOP; and
  • One as the guidance setting out the transition arrangements and duties that will need to be met to get from where we are now to the future arrangements
These transition arrangements may well need to last long enough to complete existing Serious Case Reviews, and other current work, and may last until 2019-2020. We are also expecting a clearer, and possibly stronger role for the independent scrutiny of local plans, which will need to be independently reviewed before they are put in place.

We expect the DfE Speaker at AILC’s Conference to update us all on these matters, as well as to take your views. We have extended an invitation to the Chair of the new National Practice Review Panel who we expect will have been appointed by then.

AILC has just collated information from those few LSCBs who are already making changes in light of the new Act. We know from our survey that most are currently staying the same or are at early stages of discussion about possible changes. Documents from “Early Adopters” and links will be available to members on the website later this month. We will continue to seek, and share, information nationally so that LSCBs can see what others are doing and learn from all developments.

Please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Webb at policy@lscbchairs.org.uk or call 07880 209788 if you wish to discuss or share any of your own developments.

The LGA has just published their own report on the Act, click here to access.

We will keep you abreast of further information. A second stage AILC Survey, to both Chairs and Business Managers on local implementation, which we hope you will all support, will be issued, then shared, prior to Conference.

Here is the reminder about continuing to comply with current guidance until full Implementation of the Act in 2019:

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

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

STOP PRESS…
We have just been told by DfE that the first stage of consultation on Working Together is expected in October, to close by 31st December 2017.

 
The Department for Education has invited AILC to two consultation events in Sheffield and London on 22nd and 27th September 2017, to seek views on several aspects of the new arrangements. About 30 people will be attending each multi-disciplinary event, including police, health, ADCS, schools etc and a few LSCB Chairs. If those Chairs attending - or indeed any Chairs or Business Managers - would like to discuss this, or suggest views or ideas, please asap contact Sarah Webb policy@lscbchairs.org.uk, or call 07880209788. The areas outlined by DfE for discussion are:

Assessment Timescales
  • Views on the full implementation of Munro’s 2011 recommendation to remove timescales from the social work assessment process
Local Safeguarding Arrangements
  • Regulations on relevant agencies
  • Revisions to Chapter 3 of Working Together
  • Practical issues involved in LSCBs evolving into local safeguarding arrangements; 
  • Best practice in engaging/consulting with relevant agencies

The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, National and Local Reviews and reviewers

  • Regulations on national and local reviews; 
  • Revisions to Chapter 4 of Working Together
  • Practical issues involved in transitioning from one review process to another; 
  • Driving up the quality of reviewers – national and local


Significant New Developments for your National Conference - Safeguarding Reform Board Involvement


We are very pleased to announce that the representatives from the Safeguarding Reform Board, who are advising the Government on implementation of the Act, will be contributing to your conference this year. Our Chair has been working hard behind the scenes to forge positive relationships with such key stakeholders, to help LSCBs and new safeguarding arrangements going forward – the SRB representatives for Health, Police, Social Care and Local Government will be at Conference to update us on developments for future arrangements, and to hear your views. 

Other confirmed speakers and subjects at Conference are:

  • Ofsted and all the Inspectorates
  • Lawyer Richard Scorer on the legal implications of the CSW Act and lessons from current inquiries
  • Various LSCBs on neglect strategies
  • Senior DfE representatives on the new arrangements, including SCRs
  • Suicide, CDOP and new technologies
Bookings for the Conference in Crewe on 21st to 22nd November 2017 are coming in fast from Chairs and Business Managers. To book your place, click here.

AILC’s Conference Planning Group has representatives from both Chairs and Business Managers, and the group had decided that the next step in early September would be an invitation to all LSCB members through LSCB Business Managers –this has now been sent to you for onward forwarding to your LSCBs, from which we are already receiving bookings. We want this to be a challenging event. It will be the premier opportunity before Working Together is finalised to discuss the future issues for children’s safeguarding.

Recent Ofsted Findings

Congratulations to “Outstanding” LSCBs - Merton and North Lincolnshire!

AILC added it’s Congratulations to Merton and North Lincolnshire LSCBs by tweeting the news, following which many LSCBs and other national organisations added theirs. Ofsted’s reports on Merton and North Lincolnshire are useful for other LSCBs in highlighting what they believe makes a successful LSCB (with many points similar to AILC’s Ofsted Analysis.

Merton LSCBs Ofsted Report on Merton can be accessed here
North Lincolnshire LSCBs Ofsted Report can be accessed here

See below for some extracts from their reports:

Merton LSCB - Outstanding


“The MSCB is highly effective. There are strong governance arrangements underpinned by established partnerships with other strategic boards. Strategic leaders, elected members and partners work collaboratively and focus relentlessly on what matters to children in keeping them safe and promoting their welfare.

The independent chair provides decisive strategic leadership and challenge to partners. Members expect, receive and are open to challenge, as the board seeks assurance on individual agency safeguarding responsibilities. The business manager is highly experienced and competent and actively monitors the risk and challenge log and drives the business plan forward. The work of the board also benefits from excellent business administrators. This supports detailed scrutiny in the monitoring and reviewing of the progress of plans. 

Think Family, vulnerable adolescents and early help. The board’s priorities are the result of rigorous analysis of local need and reflect learning from SCRs, LiRs and national issues. The subgroup plans are closely aligned to the board’s priorities and crosscutting themes around vulnerable children, including disabled children and children at risk of sexual exploitation. The joint focus on families in which neglect features in children’s lives is well managed. “ 

North Lincolnshire LSCB - Outstanding

“The board partnerships are exceptionally strong, with comprehensive representation, commitment and a healthy culture of challenge. The board chair is highly visible and formidable in holding partners to account. 

The significant strength of the board is the power of the voice of the child in influencing practice, service delivery and training. 

The effectiveness of the board is further enhanced by the safeguarding operational management (SOM) group and the newly formed safeguarding pathways lead officer group (SPLOG). They provide robust oversight and an important link between the strategic board and frontline practice. 

The LSCB effectively promotes a culture of continuous learning and improvement.” 

AILC has uploaded related policies for you to access easily -those which are Outstanding, and also those of other recently published LSCB reports by Ofsted with a range of outcomes:

  • Merton - Annual Report and Early Help
  • Central Bedfordshire - CDOP Information Sheet for the public
  • Stockport - Missing
  • North Somerset - CSE
See the above protocols, by searching the AILC website, under the subject name here.

Missing from Home, Education and Care

AILC has just uploaded six examples from LSCBs regarding children missing, here.

Advertising Posts Related to LSCBs

Your LSCB can advertise any related posts for FREE if you are a member (cost for non-members is £650 for a four week period).  Click here for further information.

National Policy News


How is your LSCB ensuring effectiveness for Vulnerable Migrant Children?

A new report, “Cut Off from Justice”, written in partnership with Children’s Society and Dr. Helen Connolly from the University of Bedfordshire, highlights how vulnerable migrant children, on their own in the UK without their parents or family, aren’t getting the legal help they desperately need to resolve their immigration cases. You can find the report here.

How are Schools in your LSCB Area working with Other Agencies? 

A new project to research the interface of schools and other agencies in safeguarding has recently been announced. AILC is liaising with this research based at Kings College London’s Social Care Workforce Research Unit 'Supporting and engaging schools in decision-making and multi-agency working for the protection of children’, Click here to access their website.

A key aspect of the research question on schools is 'How schools are supported and engaged in multi-agency work to protect and safeguard children'. We are helping the SCWRU to ensure LSCBs (as well as other bodies such as LA’s) are consulted on this key matter, not least with schools being left out of the triangle of partners in the CSW Act , via a survey to LSCB Business Managers in October, which we hope you will support. 

Thousands of vulnerable children in England are being "left in limbo" because their needs are not severe enough, a charity has warned.

Action for Children estimates 140,000 children referred to social services over issues like drugs, alcoholism, domestic violence and neglect are not getting the help they need. Action for Children says some children "may be stuck in a 'revolving door' of children's services, repeatedly referred and assessed but not receiving help". A BBC report is here.

Is your LSCB aware of the new Government guidance on Early Years?

“EYFS providers must have and implement a policy, and procedures, to safeguard children. These should be in line with the guidance and procedures of the relevant Local Safeguarding Children Board.” This is an extract from the new government guidance on EYFS, ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage : Setting the Standards for Learning, Development and Care for Children from Birth to Five’ HM Govt 2017. Click here.

Violence to Women and Girls : A Report for your LSCB

In July 2017, Amber Rudd announced more than 40 projects will share around £17m from the VAWG Service Transformation Fund to help prevent violence against women and girls. Click here to access this information.
Projects are listed 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 be 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