Summary of Croydon Safeguarding Children Board Meeting – Nov 2018
Minutes of the Board Meeting – 29th November 2018
Di Smith (Independent Chair of the CSCB) chaired the meeting and noted that for Eleni Ioannides (Interim Executive Director, People) Philip Segurola (Interim Director for Early Help & Children’s Social Care), and Philip Insuli (CSCB Lay Member), this was to be their last CSCB meeting. Di Smith thanked them for their support, challenge and commitment to the CSCB.
Shaun Hanks (Head of Safeguarding & Quality Assurance, CSC) provided clarity on the Croydon position regarding the local and national debate on the use of multiple child protection abuse categories. Croydon currently uses multiple categories of abuse in Child Protection Conferences where it is felt appropriate. However, this has been queried in SCRs and by the findings in the neglect audit. The use of the four categories of abuse is not a statutory requirement, however it is data which is collected annually by the Department for Education. With effect from January 2019, the CP chairs will use single abuse categories
Serious Case Review – Child Q
The final draft report was presented by Charlie Spencer (Independent Report Author). Child Y, Child Q and the vulnerable adolescent thematic review are all part of the same work to enable the CSCB and its partner agencies to gain a broader understanding of vulnerable adolescents and how to respond to the findings more effectively. This work will be published in the New Year.
Annual Report 2017/18 – Gangs
Richard McDonagh (Met Police, Gangs lead for Croydon, Sutton and Bromley) presented the annual report. The volume of youth violence in Croydon is high but this is linked to the large number of young people in the borough. Croydon are 14th or 15th in London when looking per head of population. An informative presentation and discussion followed.
If you require a copy of this report, please contact: Clifford.Hilderly@croydon.gov.uk
Update on the Single Point of Contact (MASH)
Iain Lowe (Head of Service: Children’s Single Point of Contact and Assessment Service) provided a presentation to show the outcome of the audit activity around SPOC referrals in September 2018.
A number of recommendations have been agreed, including the circulation of a “Consultation Line Flier” to ensure partners understand the reason for the Consultation Line – as well as providing more support to ensure consent is gained before making referrals.
Di Smith was encouraged that SPOC has a sense of moving forward and that the board appreciates the regular updates and the opportunity of partnership engagement and feedback.
A link to the Consultation Line Flier can be found here.
Changes to The Police
Lewis Collins (BCU Implementation Manager, Met Police) provided a presentation on wider changes to local Policing structures, and concentrated on the Safeguarding aspects of the presentation.
There have been a number of changes due to the re-organisation of the Police to a Borough Command Unit (three boroughs of Croydon, Sutton and Bromley). Safeguarding has seen an uplift in their staffing across Investigative and partnership roles. Lewis provided some background information to appraise partners of the changes and agreed to take questions via email after the meeting.
Child Protection Conferencing & the Role of Safeguarding & QA – Annual Report
Dawn West (Quality Assurance Manager, child protection/child in need lead) provided a report summarising the activity and findings for Child Protection Conferences in the year (which year?) As the report was circulated in advance of the meeting, Dawn was asked to focus on section 5, Multi-Agency working, quoracy and attendance. The data in the report identifies that attendance and provision of reports by multi-agency partners is an area for improvement. The full report outlines some of the blocks and barriers to attendance and the provision of reports and identifies recommendations to improve practice.
Di Smith explained that it is important to have the right people around the table at the conferences. The Executive Group will consider the proposals developed by the task and finish group to improve attendance.
Children With Disabilities
Guy Van Dichele (Executive Director Health Wellbeing and Adults) explained how a task and finish group across Education, Health and Social Care, with additional input from colleagues in commissioning and advice from Eleanor Brazil (Independent Consultant) had worked to review safeguarding practice for children with disabilities. Key themes were identified:
- The percentage of children on child protection plans was lower than expected.
- Practitioners felt they did not have enough training around disabilities.
- Questions were raised as to what we need in the borough to make appropriate provision locally so that children stay in contact with the family.
- Evidence has suggested that practitioners struggled to have difficult conversations with parents around safeguarding. Some “risk” conversations were not happening.
- There was a loss of sight of the child, financial requirements of the family often taking priority.
A number of recommendations to improve safeguarding of children with disabilities will be the focus of the Priority Group being set up to address these issues.
Di Smith acknowledge this is a welcome piece of work which is in the early stages.
Communications Plan & SCR Tracker
Both were circulated for information prior to the meeting.
Date of next meeting: Monday 28 January 2019
Time: 2.00pm – 4.30pm
Venue: **The Markee Room, Croydon Conference Centre, 5-9 Surrey Street, Croydon**