Summary of Board Meeting – 19th July 2018
Di Smith welcomed everyone to the meeting and noted that it was Tina Hickson’s last meeting before taking on a new role with the CCG. Tina Hickson’s commitment and contribution to the work of the Board has been significant. She has consistently ensured that the child is at the centre of all discussions.
Follow Up From Previous Actions
It was agreed that one case from the recent Neglect Audit would be reviewed by Children’s Social Care. Step-down processes are also to be examined to strengthen the action by practitioners, particularly when families no longer engage with Early Help or Children’s Social Care. Philip Segurola (Interim Director CSC) will report back at a later date.
Working together 2018 was published on 4th July 2018. Local partnerships have until September 2019 at the latest, to implement the new structure for multi-agency safeguarding arrangements. There was agreement that there are a number of formats and practice across different areas are likely to vary significantly. Croydon Safeguarding Children Board has formed an Executive Task & Finish Group which currently meets monthly. This group will present a proposal on how it intends to handle this transition at the 29 November CSCB meeting.
Learning Review – The Brown Family
Ruth Gardiner (Independent Overview Author) presented this item. The draft report had been circulated in advance of the meeting. The themes and issues identified by the review process was discussed. Those highlighted were:
- The importance of joint assessments based on evidence, feeding into evidence based plans.
- Parents needs masking children’s needs/disguised compliance
- Disregarding the voice of the child
- Recording issues
- Information sharing
Where Neglect is identified in a family, a clear structure is needed. The Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2), currently being implemented in Croydon, is one way of providing this structure. The child’s experience matters and should be the focus.
The members discussed the number of basic failings in the case. Children’s Social Care has agreed a set of Practice Standards for Practitioners and Managers. Philip Segurola also noted that the new Lead Officer for Children’s Learning and Development is arranging ‘back to basics’ mandatory training that will include the need to analyse who’s in the household.
It was agreed that the report would be amended to add more specific references around key areas of practice.
LADO Annual Report 2017/18
The Local Authority Designated Officer role in Croydon is provided by Steve Hall. The role of the LADO is to provide advice and guidance on all cases where there are allegations of abuse against adults who work with children. You can view a copy of the LADO Annual Report 2017-18 presentation here
Consultations were slightly up on last year but appear to have reached their natural level for Croydon at around 700 consultations a year. New proposals to have London wide standards should allow for better bench marking and sharing of good practice.
Physical abuse continues to feature as the primary reason for contact with the LADO (36%). However, over the last twelve months the number of consultations received which relate to adults behaviour in their private life (eg: indecent images on line) have continued to be a significant number (15%). As a result, this featured as a workshop within the LADO Croydon Conference. The Conference itself has helped to foster a safer organisations culture within partner agencies in Croydon.
Update on Early Help Strategy
Carolann James (Interim Head of Early Help LB Croydon) attended for this item. Early Help is a key aspect of the Children’s Improvement Plan. A workshop for partners had taken place earlier that day with the intention to:
- Map existing Croydon early help and universal services and supports and identify gaps and overlaps
- Ensure clarity regarding mutual expectations of early help
- Develop a better understanding of what we all have to offer and how it fits into our common vision of early help and universal services and supports collective delivery of our universal and early help offer across Croydon
- Better understand how the partnership early help offer fits into Croydon’s new operating model for prevention and early intervention
- Agree across the partnership what the next steps should be
Further work is needed to develop the Croydon Partnership Early Help Strategy where partners are signed up to collective delivery of the universal and early help offer to children aged 0-18 years and their families. A progress report will be provided at the September Board Meeting.
Update on the Single Point Of Contact (SPOC)
Iain Low (Head of MASH LB Croydon) provided a presentation to explain how the Single Point of Contact (the front door to the MASH) is evolving. There are still a high number of No Further Action referrals which are a strain on resources (48% of contacts lead to NFA). Appropriate consent is also a challenge and work is being done to analyse what is a good referral and how the CSCB can ensure the partners understand the thresholds. An update will be provided at the November meeting.
Next Meeting: Tuesday 25th September 2018 (2pm – 4.30pm)