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Safeguarding Children and Young People Jeanette Pugh Director, Safeguarding Group 13 th December 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Safeguarding Children and Young People Jeanette Pugh Director, Safeguarding Group 13 th December 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Safeguarding Children and Young People Jeanette Pugh Director, Safeguarding Group 13 th December 2007

2 Overview Our ambition Public Service Agreement Staying Safe strategy Ensuring a safe workforce Strengthening the guidance framework Supporting LSCBs Child death reviews

3 Ambition for safeguarding Everyone taking responsibility A focus on prevention and early intervention Clear accountability, decision making, planning Effective local services – co-ordinated by LSCBs Public understanding and action Measurable improvement in outcomes Staying safe as well as child protection – tackling interconnections

4 Public Service Agreement Improve Children and Young Peoples Safety Public Service Agreement Improve children and young peoples safety – mechanism for focusing Government work and driving progress Part of suite of PSAs announced in October 2007 Indicators: –Percentage of children who have experienced bullying –Percentage of children referred to childrens social care who received an initial assessment within 7 working days –Hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries to children and young people –Preventable child deaths as recorded through child death review processes Delivery Agreement sets out plans for driving progress.

5 Staying Safe: a consultation on children and young peoples safety

6 Staying Safe strategy Published 18 July – consultation to 31 October Objectives of the strategy: –Raise awareness of importance of safeguarding and encourage wider debate around safeguarding as everyones responsibility –Promote better understanding of safeguarding issues, and start to change behaviour towards children and young people –Ensure work in this area is coherent and effectively co-ordinated across Government to maximise the impact on outcomes –Reinforce existing activity by proposing new actions in each area of safeguarding framework (universal, targeted and responsive) to plug gaps or improve linkages Fed into the Childrens Plan Cross-Government Staying Safe action plan early 2008

7 Staying Safe consultation responses –General positive response to the consultation. Over 1,000 written responses as well as regional events and focus group discussions –Majority felt that: Children are currently safe Keeping children safe is everyones responsibility Its important to balance protecting children with allowing them the freedom to learn about managing risks

8 Staying Safe consultation responses –Multi-agency working is important –Importance of universal / preventative services, in particular Health Visitors –Online concerns – internet use, social network sites and cyber-bullying –Children and young people in particular are concerned about safety on the streets

9 Strengthening the guidance framework To help agencies apply Working Together effectively to the needs of children in particular circumstances. Core processes and requirements still apply. –Safeguarding children from abuse linked to a belief in spirit possession – published May 2007 –`Safeguarding children who may have been traffifcked – consulted on July-August 2007, published 7 th December 2007 –Sexual exploitation - forthcoming

10 Child Abuse Linked to Accusations of Possession and Witchcraft Concerns around service response to this situation – research commissioned Eleanor Stobarts report, Child Abuse Linked to Accusations of Possession and Witchcraft found relevant cases, looked at scale and nature of the abuse. The Government accepted all the recommendations, one of which was to publish good practice guidance for professionals

11 Guidance – safeguarding children from abuse linked to a belief in spirit possession (published May 2007) Places this in context of core processes Definitions, information about incidence, and other background. How such abuse can arise. Things to consider in identifying and dealing with this abuse including: –Involving key services –If there is a concern about a child being taken out of the UK –Taking advice. Points of good practice from agencies and institutions including: –Understanding the wider context –Early identification –Developing partnership with communities –Working with places of worship and faith organisations

12 Guidance – Safeguarding children who may have been trafficked To help services safeguard trafficked children. Summarises what is known about the problem Issues for practice include: –Aligning Border and Immigration Agency and other services –Circumstances of trafficked children – reluctant to approach or confide in services? Coached in how to engage with services – then disappear? Consultation during Summer – draft largely welcomed, suggestions for improvements Final version published 7 December

13 Guidance – sexual exploitation Announced in Governments prostitution strategy: updating and revising 2000 guidance on Safeguarding Children Involved in Prostitution. Currently being drawn up with help from stakeholders. To retain key messages from earlier guidance. New version to reflect: –Broader understanding of the problem - a continuum of sorts of sexual exploitation – including organised sexual exploitation, short of prostitution as such –Legislative changes and new Government strategy on prostitution –Working Together guidance including on sharing information around under-age sex. –Lessons from practice e.g. often needs time to work with victims, build trust

14 A safe workforce System for preventing unsuitable people from working with children progressively strengthened Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 provides for the establishment of the most robust scheme yet for vetting and barring individuals Independent Safeguarding Authority to be established 2008 Planning assumption for go-live of the new scheme autumn 2008 Critical all employers, organisations, parents and individuals understand the new schemes requirements

15 Allegations review Consultation on effectiveness of allegations guidance implementation held over the summer Findings being analysed Key issues around timeliness of resolution and awareness and understanding of the guidance and procedures across the childrens workforce Report to be published early 2008

16 Planned work to support LSCBs Practice guidance to be developed Emphasise importance of participation Define framework for progress Provide support for better LSCB practice Clarify the place of LSCBs in the performance cycle Undertake a further stocktake – end 2008 Trial national template for local protocols Clarify how LSCBs and SHAs can most effectively engage one another

17 LSCBs functions relating to child deaths Collecting and analysing information about the deaths of all children in their area Putting in place procedures for ensuring a co- ordinated response to the unexpected death of a child

18 What is an unexpected death? death of a child which was not anticipated as a significant possibility 24 hours before the death or where there was a similarly unexpected collapse leading to or precipitating the events which lead to the death (para 7.6 in Working Together)

19 Multi-agency team: responds to all unexpected deaths; carries out immediate investigations of these deaths; undertakes the types of investigations that relate to the current responsibilities of statutory agencies e.g. police, paediatric/forensic services, social care services; has an on call capacity; collects information in a standard manner; follows the death through and maintains contact at regular intervals with family members to inform them of the current situation. Rapid response to unexpected deaths

20 Overview of all child deaths Paper exercise based on information available from the rapid response team and other sources including, perhaps the coroner; Fixed team membership to review these cases; Team holds regular meetings. Population covered needs to be >500,000; Team may cover more than one LSCB – some have already formed groups of local areas; Age range to be covered – birth to under 18 (consistent with Children Act 1989).

21 Study of trial LSCBs: Warwick University Multi-disciplinary research team Evaluation of early starters to learn from their experiences 9 pilot sites chosen Due to report by the end of the year

22 Support work Supporting materials –Familiarisation DVD produced –Multi-agency training resources commissioned and underway; due for completion March 2008 Funding to cover Local Authority costs via Area Based Grant: £7.2m in , £7.4m in and £7.7m in DH looking at costs to health service

23 Web references PSA delivery agreement 13: Working Together to Safeguard Children: Information on LSCBs: New guidance on safeguarding children who may have been trafficked:

24 Safeguarding Children and Young People Jeanette Pugh Director, Safeguarding Group 13 th December 2007

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