Agenda item

09.10 Safeguarding Update Quarter 3


The existing Safeguarding Board’s last meeting is in March 2010.  A new Board will be formed based on the new requirements and arrangements include a new independent Chair replacing the Director of Children’s Services.  Councillor Phil Davies will be a ‘participating observer’.  New guidance separates the executive and scrutiny role.


Howard Cooper outlined some of the national high profile cases including Doncaster, Birmingham and Sheffield.  In Wirral the quality of working together is better than it has ever been. Locally we have two Serious Case reviews (SCRs) at different stages.  One at the end of the process and one at the beginning.  Howard Cooper has recently commissioned a new SCR not related to a child death. The Chloe Fletcher SCR has been evaluated and the report received two days ago.


Howard Cooper reported that the nature of the report has changed from a brief letter to a longer report style letter.  The SCR evaluates submitted agency reports that contribute to the overall report; each individual report is now graded.  The letter picks up areas of inter-agency working that are missing from the report.  Once received by the Safeguarding Board, there will be full analysis.  The Ofsted Inspector will meet representatives from all agencies involved to go through the findings.  The Executive summary will be published, not the full report, as per the law. 


Howard Cooper commented that in SCRs agencies involved write a management report, some agencies do not do this often e.g. Housing Associations.  Good practice would be development of expertise in organisations in writing reports.  There is now an independent officer who will be reviewing how reports are written and scrutinised.


Kathryn Podmore asked about the action plan and how it will be progressed. Howard Cooper informed the Board that an action plan was submitted with the report and Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) will monitor the delivery of the action plan.  Some actions will fall to organisations within the Children’s Trust.


ShanilaRhooi noted an issue for Health Care professionals regarding how the public can access appropriate mental health help.  Howard Cooper agreed and stressed the importance of role of the GP in safeguarding children and the relationship of children’s services with adult mental health.


Julia Hassall noted the LSCB and Staying Safe Strategy Group were carrying out an audit of the quality of information sharing which would be shared with the Board.


Councillor Phil Davies asked if GPs know the appropriate pathways.  Shanila Roohi said that healthcare professionals understood the pathways but other agencies involved may not understand the correct triggers and contact the right people to raise concerns.  Shanila Roohi noted extensive safeguard training has been carried out through GP practices including reception staff.


Bev Morgan noted that most organisations understood the pathways and would use them.  However the extent of mental health issues is a difficult area to evaluate and judgements are difficult to make as to when it is appropriate to contact agencies.


Julia Hassall informed the Board that the LSCB website will be updated with new information which will be circulated organisations to ensure information is shared fully.  The Social Care Area Teams co-location project in development will also enhance multi-agency approaches.


Julia Hassall circulated performance information.  Referrals to Children’s Social Care show a sustained increase compared to previous year, an increase of 18%. Analysis has led to work with the Police on referral appropriateness and social worker placement to reflect need. Regarding referrals going to initial assessment (NI 68) the number has increased and is in line with achieving the LAA indicator of 72% by March 2011.


Nancy Clarkson and Caroline McKenna are developing a protocol to outline the arrangements between the LSCB and the Children’s Trust which will be presented at a future board.


  Resolved: That the report be noted.


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