Newsletter June 2017

Chair’s Introduction from David Ashcroft

The past weeks have presented many challenges for public services, in the face of terrorism, fire, neglect and an apparent failure of investment and concern for the poor and marginalised. We have a Queen’s Speech that makes little reference to the challenges for children’s services, despite acute demand and pressures. This is not the place for a political statement, but I hope that LSCBs are remaining steadfast in asking hard questions about how well children are kept safe in our communities, especially when there is fear, disruption and concern. We conduct reviews, and consider how to learn from tragic events, as part of our core work – and often receive criticism for doing so – but recent events make it clear that we must all bear witness to injustice and failures to learn across our public services and political system. One of our colleagues, chair of an outstanding board, told me that the most important message was “never let it go”, which I believe is a worthy motto for these times.

 

My sincere thanks to so many chairs, and particularly partnerships, who have promptly renewed their membership already this year. This really is a massive help that we can plan knowing the level of income and engagement we have already secured. A few changes – some in and some out - but I am also encouraged that as a community across children’s safeguarding we recognize the value of standing together to argue for the interests of children and young people during a time of change, reducing resources and great uncertainty.

With the election over, we can obviously now push ahead with thinking through the implications of the CSW Act, and seeking to influence the detailed guidance on local safeguarding plans that will be needed. Working Together is now expected around November for a formal period of consultation, followed by the preparation of new plans for each local partnership.

Some of the key questions are now becoming clearer:

  • What will be the footprint and area coverage for joint arrangements?
  • Is there a vision for partnership working that is owned by senior leaders and can motivate and inspire improvement and practice?
  • Are there adequate resources committed by the partners – allowing for the costs of creating and running a local multi-agency strategic body, and the necessary delivery of scrutiny, training, innovation, quality assurance etc. How will this build on the existing capacity of LSCBs and partner boards?
  • What is the model for assessing quality and practice – how will the safeguarding partnership intervene when performance falters?
  • What are the strategies for information sharing; workforce development; identifying and managing risk; and communications?
  • What will be the ‘issues of importance’ that underpin local inquiry and reviews into cases and incidents?
  • How will cross boundary issues be dealt with?

These topics will come into increasing focus over the next few months and I hope that the Association can keep you informed as they develop. Please do let us know how plans are developing in your area.

The Department for Education has two new Ministers of State; Anne Milton and Robert Goodwill, and we say to goodbye to Edward Timpson, who lost his seat at the election, and had been a stable part of the ministerial team for nearly five years. Edward undoubtedly knew his brief well and was passionate about many aspects of improving children’s lives. It is unusual to have consistency in political leadership for such a relatively long time and we extend our thanks for his work.

I have recently met, or am just about to meet, with a range of partners and stakeholders to seek out where we have common concerns and/or see common opportunities. These partners include Department for Education, Home Office, National Police Chiefs Council, ADCS, Children’s Commissioner, Department for Health, LGA, National Network of Designated Health Professionals, Adults Chairs Network and others. As an Association, we seek to keep open channels of communication, persuasion and lobbying to partners.

Many of you also have links and involvement with these and others. Please use our briefings, reports, presentations and other publications where you can, and please feedback issues you believe need further attention. We need to be anactivenetwork, arguing on behalf of effective children’s safeguarding and seeking alliances and partnership where we can, but also making clear the risks of a ‘lowest common denominator’ approach to safeguarding.

We have been invited to participate in a workshop on safeguarding arrangements at the July ADCS conference, and we will be announcing the key messages from last month’s members’ survey at that event, demonstrating how critical our network is to the success of future plans.

The AILC Board meeting last week reviewed a draft Strategic Plan, setting out some of the key assumptions we believe underpin future safeguarding and partnership working, and setting out revised priorities for the rest of this year and beyond. This will be a major feature of next month’s newsletter, so that we can consult on these priorities and seek your views. This is not a radical new Plan, but an opportunity to refresh and refocus our thinking, building on the key propositions that we adopted last year.

Our immediate priorities remain to influence the implementation of the new Act and related guidance in Working Together; to deliver a successful national conference in November; to sustain the support for members; to collate, influence and disseminate new models for local partnerships; to develop the Association for the future; and above all to ensure that during this period of transition there remains a very clear and paramount emphasis on the robust safeguarding of children and young people.

This introduction is developing from a brief preface into something like a blog – providing me with an opportunity to air a few points and thoughts. Please respond with your comments, encouragement, criticisms and suggestions – all are welcome.

David Ashcroft
AILC Chair

Association News

New LSCB Examples Available on our Website

Have you looked at the recently uploaded examples of LSCB work? Click on Resources, then Effective Safeguarding Partnerships to find tabs on 43 different subjects,orclickhere to access.

One such example is Safeguarding in Sport, York LSCB in conjunction with Yorkshire Sport Foundation has developed a handy benchmarking tool for LSCBs. As well as Cheshire East’s “Neglect Strategy 2017-2019”. You can see that there are examples from most LSCBs now for you to access, some of which you have submitted yourselves and others we have selected. We have inputted the Business Manager email addresses, if you would like us to input a different contact please do let us know.

Business Managers and Chairs…..if you would like any help accessing these examples or wish to suggest different subjects, and/or offer further examples to share with members only, please do contactpolicy@lscbchairs.org.uk.

AILC Peer Challenge Discussion on SCR Decision/Publication

There is an existing peer support for SCR Decision/Publication Scheme and Chairs undertaking a peer challenge discussion are urged to complete a very simple one minute survey on our website, which will simply allow the process to be captured so AILC can capture and record the frequency. To access the survey you can find the link on the website underResources/SCR/Peer Support Survey.There is more information on the process of Peer Support atResources/SCR/Peer Support.

Chairs can obviously contact any other Chair to support them but you can also contact your Regional Director or the following:

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

NSPCC Repository of SCRs – Your Views

AILC are intending to develop and undertake a brief survey of members on the NSPCC Repository which has been in place for some years, the purpose will be to capture views on the helpfulness of the individual SCR briefings and the thematic briefings produced by the NSPCC and any recommendations for improvement. This will be undertaken in the summer. Please contact Alex Walters if you have any comments/suggestions on the content.

Can we also please remind all Chairs/LSCBs to submit your SCR to the NPCC Repository on publication. You can find the link on the website underResources/SCR/SCR Repository.

The Children & Social Work Act Update

We have uploaded the Children and Social Work Act on your website, together with the latest version of AILC's Briefing on Local Safeguarding Children Arrangements and a presentation on Future Safeguarding Arrangements, compiled by AILC's Chair, David Ashcroft, clickhere.

The Act was passed on 27thApril 2017. As well as provision for new local safeguarding arrangements, proposals for local and national practice learning reviews to replace SCRs and reforming CDOP, the Act contains important other measures on social work regulation, care leavers and the statutory inclusion of PSHE in schools. The timetable for implementation is outlined on our website at the above link - this will be regularly updated to help you keep informed.

The Development of New Arrangements within LSCBs – Members Survey

We made the findings available last month to members of our survey on views and developments across the country in relation to LSCBs and safeguarding arrangements, clickhere. The report outlines LSCB Chair’s views following the new CSW Act receiving Assent. The survey findings show that most LSCBs are currently staying the same, although the spectrum ranged from the “bemused and bewildered” to the “brave and the bold”, with a few already working towards improvements. One such LSCB Chair says:

"We should be clear of the added benefit of any change before making it. The driver should be effectiveness.”

Planned outcomes of the survey are to share information and analysis across the country, and contribute to the wider context of change and transition. Further surveys will be undertaken to share with you, across the period during which government implement the changes resulting from the new Act, expected to be up until April 2019.

AILC’s Latest Analysis of Ofsted Reports re LSCBs

AILC’s 6thAnalysis of Ofsted Reports was made available to Chair members and contributing LSCB partnerships last month, showing 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. Our next analysis will include the cohort of reports published by Ofsted from April onwards. Clickhere.

How are CAWNs(Child Abduction Warning Notices) working in your LSCB Area?

LSCB scrutiny of the work of the CSE team in Wiltshire identified the issue of CAWNs not being available to young people between 16-18yrs unless they are in care. It is felt that this may be an anomaly and somewhat restrictive in work to safeguard young people at risk of CSE. The Chair of WSCB, Mark Gurrey, has been in touch with Jeremy Oppenheim, Director of Safeguarding in the Home Office. There are no current intentions to change legislation but he is willing to hear what the experiences of this issue might be across the country. Could Business Managers/Chairs explore this in their area and see if other CSE teams are of the same view and whether therefore it is worth having a more formal conversation with the Home Office. Please email the WSCB Business Manager by 13thJuly 2017with any views/feedback toJulie.upson@wiltshire.gov.uk.

MOU Work re NHSE

Many chairs will continue to be engaged in dealing with the different positions some partners such as NHSE, Cafcass, CRC’s and NPS have in maintaining their commitment as statutory board members. Chairs in the North East are responding to an approach from NHSE to develop a “Memorandum of Understanding” that would redefine how they maintain their status and participation, as statutory members. If this develops it is likely that the learning from this may have an impact for other chairs and partnerships as well as future arrangements. The contact for this area is AILC’s Vice Chair, Richard Burrows onrichardkburrows@gmail.com

Robert Goodwill Replacing Edward Timpson as Children's Minister

Following the Children’s Minister losing his seat in the recent general election, Robert Goodwill is taking over.AILC has written to Anne Milton (Guildford) and Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby) as the two new Ministers of State at DfE, outlining the work of LSCBs, AILC and the importance of working together. CYPNow says:

“Goodwill, who started his career as a farmer, was first elected to Parliament in 2005. Following the 2010 General Election, which resulted in a coalition government made up of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, Goodwill was made a Government Whip. He went on to become a Transport Minister in 2013 before moving to the Home Office as an Immigration Minister, last year. Earlier this year, while Immigration Minister, Goodwill prompted controversy when he announced the government’s intention to significantly reduce the number of lone child refugees it plans to accept from Europe under the Dubs Scheme.”

National Policy News

Child Cruelty Consultation Commencing on 13thJune 2017

Abusive or neglectful parents who blame their partner for their own child cruelty could face tougher sentences in new court proposals. The new sentencing guidelines say blaming others should be considered an "aggravating factor" when deciding a sentence.The change comes after many cases where one parent or carer sought to blame the other for what had happened.The proposed guidelines are to be applied in those cases where there are charges of cruelty to a child, allowing a child to die or suffer serious physical harm, or failing to protect from a young girl from female genital mutilation (FGM). The Sentencing Council consultation ending on 13th September 2017 can be accessedhere.

SIFs and JTAIs/Neglect

The latest SIF inspections planned, and outcomes of those published can be foundhere,JTAI guidance on Neglect ishereand RIPs Neglect Mapping Resource ishere.

Childrens Rights

CarolyneWillow of Article39 has written about the importance of Children’s Rights and the legal contexthere.

Sport – Young People in Positions of Trust Webinar

This NSPCC Maywebinarlooks at the issues arising when a young person makes the move from participant to undertaking a formal role such as coaching, officiating or volunteering.

CSE Grants for Your LSCB/Local CSE Projects – Deadline 7thJuly 2017

The Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse has announced the launch of its first grant programme to help evidence the effectiveness of CSE services. This fund aims to assist services to put in place the fundamental building blocks that lay the basis for evaluation. Thefund will make grants of up to £25,000 for no fewer than ten not-for-profit organisations in the child sexual abuse and child exploitation sectors.

All grants are for a maximum of six months and between £5,000 and £25,000. Total fund is £250k. Grant offers will be made in August 2017, with all grants required tocomplete by the 31st March 2018. The grants are specifically for the core costs of building an organisation’s evaluation capacity i.e. staffing, IT equipment, and staff training. Open on 14thJune 2017 and closes midday 7thJuly 2017. Clickhereto access further details.

Contact the Association

Please do phone the Association on 07880 209 788if you would like any help at all, or emailinfo@lscbchairs.org.ukif 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 atchair@lscbchairs.org.uk

With best wishes,

 

David Ashcroft
AILC Chair

www.lscbchairs.org.uk
Association Phone 07880 209788
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