January 2017

Quarterly news and information.

Key work of the board

The board agreed that the priority areas for 2017 should be:

  • online safety
  • to improve the response to situations of neglect
  • ensure the effective use of early help assessments across all agencies.

Online Safety

We want to help keep young people safe when they are accessing the internet. We are working closely with young people to understand the key issues for them and to put in place safeguards.

Leicestershire Police have produced a short but powerful video called Kayleigh's Love Story, which is an example of the work being done to achieve this priority.

We are working closely with the Police and multi-agency teams to roll out Kayleigh's Love Story to secondary schools across Derbyshire from 20 February 2017.

This short film is based on a true story. Our aim is to get the message out to young people of the risks and dangers of online grooming. The young people will be supported in watching the film and discussing any issues arising from it.

Improving the response to situations of neglect

We're supporting the introduction of a graded care profile. This is a tool which will help all agencies measure whether the parenting a child receives is good enough.

The safeguarding board meeting on 15 December 2016 considered the graded care profile and the following key points:

  • prioritises cases for intensive family change work
  • prioritises cases for social care involvement supported by the Graded Care Profile assessment
  • assists in identifying issues such as failure to thrive, repeated accidents, development delays, parenting issues.
  • informs intensive work with families and support
  • provides a common language for agencies to talk to each other.

We've organised training to ensure workers will be able to use this tool effectively.

Ensuring the effective use of early help assessments across all agencies

We're going to collate numbers of the of early help assessments to see how these are being used and by which agencies.

We will be exploring along with other relevant Boards whether a Public Protection Board would be helpful in coordinating the work of all agencies. The first meeting to explore this will be on 14 February 2017.

Our functions

There are several sub groups that undertake work to achieve the our strategic aims. These sub groups then report back to the quarterly safeguarding board meeting.

The sub groups are:

  • quality and performance
  • policies and procedures (held jointly with Derby City SCB)
  • serious case review sub group
  • workforce and training providers (held jointly with Derby City SCB)
  • child sexual exploitation sub group
  • education sub group.

View our procedures online.

Policy focus

We would like to take the opportunity in each newsletter to draw your attention to two key DSCB policies that you should be aware of and be using where appropriate.

Escalation policy

It is every professional's responsibility to 'problem solve'. Communication is extremely important and is the key to resolving professional misunderstandings or disagreements. The aim must be to resolve a difference of opinion at the earliest possible stage, as swiftly as possible, always keeping in mind that the child or young person's safety and welfare is paramount. The escalation policy details how any such disagreements should be addressed.

View the escalation policy in our documents library.

Threshold policy

It is important that all those involved in safeguarding understand when the threshold has been reached for increasing levels on involvement.

The policy explains the differing thresholds for different levels of service. Please read and circulate these policies as it will assist you and colleagues in securing the best outcomes for children.

View the threshold policy in our documents library.

Wood Review briefing

We continue to monitor and respond to any changes arising from the Wood Review, whilst ensuring that the important work continues.

Read the Wood review of local safeguarding children boards and the Government response to the Wood review.

The current indications are that:

  • new regulations may be available for consultation in spring 2017 and in place for summer/autumn 2017 with a view to revise board structures in 2018.
  • serious case review arrangements continue pending awaited guidance on revisions.

The SRC work needs to continue to be undertaken carefully and vigilantly.

Further updates will be provided in the newsletters as and when details are available.

Learning and development

A single agency review has been conducted by health colleagues at the request of the serious case review panel. The circumstances surrounding this were that a child was discovered residing with a parent from whom children had previously been removed for safeguarding concerns. It was apparent that the findings made by the family court were not known to a new set of professionals working with the family.

The question was therefore raised as to how findings in the family court could best be available to professionals working with parents. The suggested pathway from the review is that the findings should be recorded on the parents' / carers' medical records. Discussions are ongoing to see if a pathway to achieve this can be created.

Joint targeted area inspection (JTAI) update

As many practitioners will be aware, this is one of the current assessment regimes by which children's services, local safeguarding boards and their partner agencies are assessed for effectiveness. The 'deep dive' inspections follow a child's journey through services.

The current theme relates to children affected by domestic abuse. This theme will be neglect from April 2017. The theme following this will be 'inter-familial sexual abuse.'

We conducted a mock evaluation utilising this regime in October/ November 2016 and intends to conduct further mock evaluations on each theme as it is presented.

The information and co-operation we had from agencies was excellent and timescales were adhered to well. We thank all agencies for this.

A multi-agency action plan is being prepared following on from this audit which will be considered at the quality and performance sub group on 9 February 2017.

Additional points of interest from the board meeting on 15 December 2016

The child death overview panel annual report was presented to the board. The work which they have completed in relation to preventing deaths arising from the use of nappy sacks was noted as was their work related to blood relation child deaths.

The full annual report will be available from February onwards.

We noted the fire hazard of paraffin based skin products. Skin products containing paraffin based products, in contact with dressings and clothing are easily ignited with a naked flame or cigarette.

Future news items

If you have information or news that you would like to share, please email: robert.harwood@derbyshire.gov.uk

The deadline for the next bulletin is Monday 13 March 2017.