Issue - decisions
SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN SCRUTINY REVIEW
“Making sure our children and young people are safe is perhaps our most enduring and important duty. It is a key pledge within our Wirral Plan and an area of our business which is always right at the top of our agenda.
“This Scrutiny Review is extremely helpful in highlighting where we should focus our attention to strengthen our processes and put the systems in place to identify, as early as possible, where a child is at risk of harm.”
Councillor Tony Smith
Reason for Decision:
The Safeguarding Children in Wirral Scrutiny Review provided an in depth look at safeguarding in Wirral through elected member discussions with a range of different family members and professionals, and consideration of the effective implementation of policies and procedures to satisfy themselves, as far as reasonably possible that vulnerable children and young people in Wirral are safe. The recommendations within the report were borne out of this evidence, and were intended to improve the safety of children and young people.
(1) the contents and recommendations of the Scrutiny Report, “Safeguarding Children in Wirral” be accepted; and
(2) an update report regarding the impact of the recommendations be presented to the Families and Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee, and subsequently Cabinet at its July 2016 meeting.
Councillor M McLaughlin informed Cabinet that members of the Families & Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee had undertaken an in-depth review of safeguarding procedures for children in Wirral, over the course of two years from January 2014.
Councillor M McLaughlin further informed that the review had been reported to Families and Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee on 19 January 2016, and that many of the recommendations emanating from the review had already been actioned and used to improve procedures and practice.
Cabinet noted that the scrutiny review had given members the opportunity to assure themselves that the Council and partners have adequate safeguarding mechanisms in place and that those processes work in practice. Scrutiny would also help the partnership to understand the experiences of families and what may need to change to improve outcomes in safeguarding.
The Members of the Scrutiny Panel had met with a range of witnesses throughout the course of the review, including Council officers, representatives of partner organisations as well as a small number of families who had experience of the social care system.