Agenda item

09:25 Safeguarding Board - Quarterly Update


E Hartley introduced the Wirral Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB) Annual Report.  The report is published on Wirral Council's WSCB website and contains information on achievements made by the WSCB over 2011/2012, the business plan for 2012/13 and the changing landscape for safeguarding children.


The report outlines the strength in relationship between the WSCB and the Children’s Trust Board and notes that this relationship will continue to strengthen accountabilities throughout 2012/13.


E Hartley noted the Section 11 audit, a number of quality assurance audits and quarterly performance monitoring had been completed in 2011/12.  The performance framework will continue to be developed across the partnership in 2012/13.


C McKenna noted that there had been a recent change in that Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) would now be submitted to the Department for Education (DfE) and not to Ofsted. Actions identified from SCRs will be assessed as part of the Ofsted inspection process.


The WSCB priorities as outlined in the Business Plan are:

  1. Further develop professional expertise in safeguarding practice
  2. Improve learning from Serious Case Reviews
  3. Ensure outcomes for children are the focus of interventions and performance management reporting
  4. Implement the actions from the 2011 Serious Case Reviews
  5. Continue to improve the functioning and accountability of WSCB
  6. Continue to strengthen joint working between WSCB and SAPB


Caroline added that there are further requirements around developing an action plan against sexual exploitation in response to the Rochdale case.


There has been development of joint working across children’s and adults safeguarding boards and some subcommittees have been merged.  This will develop learning and provide efficiencies.  A new tool will be developed to evaluate training.  C McKenna added that the Pan Merseyside Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) has been formed to provide joint intelligence around child deaths and what can be done to reduce these.


In Wirral currently 335 children have a Child Protection plan.  This is higher than expected for the area, some is multigenerational and mainly issues around neglect.


E Hartley noted that there has been a reduction in the number of allegations of sexual abuse over the last 12 months.


S Brown asked how the Intensive Family Intervention Programme (IFIP) would work with these children and families.  T Coffey answered that the focus would be addressing working with these families through an early offer of support before an intervention is required.


M Parkinson asked if we should be looking to support children before they get to the Team Around the Child (TAC) threshold.  T Coffey commented that research carried out showed that less than 1 in 10 children coming to social care have a previous Common Assessment Framework (CAF). Further work was underway in this area to focus early intervention work with the right families.


B Morgan thanked the WSCB for the training offered to the voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sector.


J Owens asked how the Council involved private and voluntary childcare providers in safeguarding training.  M Parkinson noted that the relationship was good and that take up for safeguarding training was high.


R Longster commented that the report was well written and presented.


C McKenna noted that the Wirral Children’s Trust (WCT) and WSCB had developed a strong relationship underpinned by the shared protocol in the WCT Memorandum of Understanding. There were further opportunities to develop their relationship and work closely to ensure accountability and challenge between the WCT Board and the WSCB. It was proposed that a joint workshop was arranged to develop this further.


M Parkinson thanked E. Hartley for her report and work over the last 12 months.


Resolved:  The Board endorsed the report and agreed with the proposal for a joint WCT and WSCB workshop to be arranged. C McKenna would meet with N Clarkson to instigate this.


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