AILC NEWSLETTER
May 2017

 

Chair’s Introduction from David Ashcroft


Dear Colleagues,

Thank you to all colleagues who responded to our recent members’ survey on the CSW Act. Details of the initial conclusions are included in this Newsletter, but we will be tracking the changing progress for new arrangements over the coming months and rerunning the survey later in the year. Clearly most people are at an early stage of digesting the Act and thinking through how they will approach new partnership arrangements. There are three key messages I want to give. 

Firstly – please hold firm to the principles and propositions that we have set out for effective safeguarding. The structure and form of local arrangements should follow agreement on the core functions of multi-agency partnership. Inclusive arrangements; strong oversight of performance and practice; listening to children and championing their rights and interests; adequate resources and expertise to hold all to account; a focus on learning and improvement; and facilitating leadership for safeguarding in the face of competing priorities, are all critical. These are the key elements that we have said must be at the heart of any new local plan. The latest report on Ofsted reviews of LSCBs (also covered in this Newsletter) reinforces that these elements should be the benchmark of what needs to in place. Many Boards and Chairs are demonstrating these qualities, and the Ofsted reviews have shown a steady improvement in the effectiveness of Boards and Chairs. The footprint over which this is organised, the exact structure of meetings and sub-groups, even the configuration of business units, etc., are means to an end – not the goal, which must remain ensuring that children and young people are safe and have their wellbeing promoted by working well together.

Secondly – don’t panic. Although a few places are starting to examine innovative ways of reorganising safeguarding functions, and will be devising new structures as a result, these changes will take time to work through. Colleagues are already keen to share thinking and test new possibilities across our membership’s unique combination of skills and knowledge, experience and leadership. We will make sure that we circulate and make this developing body of learning and exemplars available. But new proposals will take some time to emerge, and it will take time to negotiate revised leadership of partnerships with police, health and local authorities. There are likely to be substantial issues over footprint, resourcing and representation to be worked through. New guidance in a revised Working Together has still to appear. 

So, neither assume that nothing will change, or that it all has to be done tomorrow. In the face of austerity, competing priorities, and a lowest common denominator approach to safeguarding, we need to take the time over the next few months to encourage local authority, police and health partners to be bold and ambitious in their aspirations for future safeguarding plans, and to use the new flexibilities to do it better, rather than to do less. Replacing LSCBs with something better is a job that needs to be done carefully and building on what we know works – not in a reductionist ‘what can we do away with’ manner. I hope that the revised guidance in Working Together will make the minimum requirements both clear and challenging.

Thirdly, all these changes will mean that the Association itself will need to consider how we evolve for the future, and whether and how we form new relationships with others interested and responsible for safeguarding and for children’s welfare. No decisions have been made, but we are assuming that we will have a key role to play through the period of transition, and that we do not want to lose the collective contribution we can make. The AILC Board will be developing some ideas so that we can have an informed and inclusive debate, and if necessary make decisions and changes from our November conference ready for next year. In the meantime we are determined to continue to offer members practical peer support; to collate evidence and knowledge about working well together; and to use the capacity of our staff and directors to assist member chairs and partnerships, and to influence policy and raise issues of concern.

Thank you to the several members who have made a point of contacting me about local arrangements and issues. I am reliant on your information and feedback to shape our future – and my personal sense of the moment is that we should be cautiously optimistic!


David Ashcroft
AILC Chair

Association News


The Children & Social Work Act Update
On 27th April 2017, just before the election was called, the Children & Social Work Act received the Royal Assent. You can find the Act here .
As well as provision for new local safeguarding arrangements to replace LSCBs; proposals for local and national practice learning reviews to replace SCRs and reforming CDOP, the Act contains important proposals on social work regulation, care leavers, the statutory inclusion of PHSE in schools and other measures.

Here is AILC’s understanding of the likely Timetable of Implementation, we will keep you updated as we receive further information from DfE and others:

Draft orders and regulations will be prepared for the minister after the election, and the revised guidance for ‘Working Together’ (plus anything else if it does not all come as one document) is being prepared and will be out for 12 week consultation in the Autumn. This was expected to be September 2017, but is now probably going to be a little later due to the election. The expectation is that local plans will be drawn up by April 2018 and agreed for implementation by April 2019, but that some jurisdictions may propose and have agreed new arrangements ahead of this. Further updates will be provided regularly by AILC.

AILC’s Chair, David Ashcroft, has just produced a PowerPoint presentation on Future Arrangements which he used at a recent conference. Members are welcome to use this and can find it hereIt expands on the “Key Propositions” that the Association has been promoting.

AILC will be writing to DfE about key matters to be included in new arrangements, which we will share with members shortly, and also developing a framework of functions and fundamentals to help LSCBs decide the best format for future arrangements.

The Development of New Arrangements within LSCBs – Members Survey
Thank you to those Chairs who completed this recent survey. Richard Burrows and Sarah Webb have collated the responses and for the link to the survey, click here.

We hope this will help you to have a feel of where LSCBs are up to across the country with their views and developments. The report includes the findings that most LSCBs are currently Staying the Same, and that the feeling is mostly Somewhat Pessimistic. There are also some good examples of new developments and how Chairs and LSCBs would like national support. The issue of Elective Home Education was the most cited as a policy issue.

We will rerun the survey at the end of the summer to track whether things are changing – it feels important to build up a picture over time of how this is moving forward.

AILC’s Latest Analysis of Ofsted Reports re LSCBs
Our new analysis of Ofsted reports has been compiled and is now available to Chair members and contributing LSCB partnerships. This report shows that nearly half of LSCBs have been judged Good or Outstanding by Ofsted during the year 2016-2017. It also provides a summary of all comments regarding Chairs, LSCB themes and issues being highlighted by Ofsted, JTAI developments and areas for improvement.

The attributes of an effective Board, and the skills and contribution from an independent chair, provide very clear and important benchmarks for what needs to be built and sustained into new arrangements. The six reports we have published have shown a steady improvement in LSCBs and have reinforced that effective partnerships bring real benefits to safeguarding work. Click here.

AILC Mentoring Support Scheme for Chairs Undergoing Inspection/SCR Decision/Publication
Please do contact info@lscbchairs.org.uk if you would like to offer to stand as, or be put in touch with a mentor to support re the SIF. This operates alongside the existing peer support for SCR decisions/publication scheme available to Chairs.

For an SCR challenge/support discussion, please contact your Regional Director or:

David Ashcroft chair@lscbchairs.org.uk
Alex Walters alex4.walters@btinternet.com
Richard Burrows richard@rba-consulting.co.uk

AILC National Conference
Invitations for your National Conference on 21st & 22nd November 2017, will be with you shortly.

Thank you to the 40 Chairs and Business Managers who offered to contribute to the May consultation session regarding views about topics and speakers for our Annual Conference. We will update you on the outcome in the next Newsletter. Contact for any views is
policy@lscbchairs.org.uk.

Website Development
The new A-Z Resource for Safeguarding Partnerships is now mostly populated with recent examples of policies and ways of working from LSCBs –these are broken down into Process categories such as Governance and Subject categories such as Child Sexual Abuse. If you would like any help with these, or wish to offer more such examples to share with members only, do contactpolicy@lscbchairs.org.uk.

Business Managers…..
Do you have examples of work your LSCB has undertaken or policies created which you can share (with membersonly) on AILCs website? Please send these to Sarah Webb policy@lscbchairs.org.uk.

National Policy News


SCRs
President’s Guidance: Judicial Cooperation with Serious Case Reviews’, 2nd May 2017 - Guidance issued by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division:

“It is apparent that there is widespread misunderstanding as to the extent to which judges (which for this purpose includes magistrates) can properly participate in Serious Case Reviews (SCRs). The purpose of this Guidance is to clarify the position and to explain what judges can and cannot do.”Click here.

Children Missing Education
LSCBs will be well aware that children have the right to education under English law, which is underpinned by the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, in practice, various groups of children cannot exercise this right.

NCB have just published this new research to voice the experiences of children missing out on an education. A Freedom of Information request by the BBC found that 33,262 children were recorded as missing education in the academic year 2014-2015. This is based on the narrow statutory definition of children missing education, but research suggests the real number of children who are not being educated may be significantly higher. Click here.

‘Preventing Child Abuse - The Role of Schools’
New report by the Children’s Commissioner; AILC tweeted that it shows “Half of Primaries & Significant Minority of Secondary Schools are NOT teaching about sexual abuse. @annelongfield encourages schools as safeguarders”. Click here.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder & Childhood Maltreatment’
NSPCC has published information on this new research useful for LSCB agencies and LSCB training programmes. Dr. John Devaney and Dr. Michael Duffy consider how cognitive therapy could help children suffering from PTSD after experiencing abuse. Click here.

‘Making Noise : Children’s Voices for Positive Change After Sexual Abuse’
An NSPCC study of children and young people’s experiences of help-seeking and support after child sexual abuse in the family will be valuable for LSCB groups. Click here.

‘Duty of Care in Sport’
An Independent Report to Government has been produced by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, with recommendations of interest to LSCBs on safeguarding. Click 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.

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
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