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