Councillors and committees

Agenda item

Kingston & Richmond Local Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report 2017-18

To receive the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) 2017/18 Annual Report to be presented at the Committee meeting by the LSCB Chair, Chris Robson.

Decision:

Resolved that -

1.            the LSCB Annual Report for 2017/18 and safeguarding assessment is accepted and approved; and

2.            the Committee’s comments on the priorities of the LSCB are referred to the Chair of the LSCB.

Minutes:

At the request of the Chair, the Committee agreed to the order of the agenda being changed to bring forward this item as it was to be co-presented by two young people.

Alice Bell and Hamish Fyfe (Year 10 students) presented to the Committee an easy-read version of the Local Safeguarding Children Board 2017/18 annual report (‘Keeping You Safe’) which had been produced by young people in order to help young people to understand the work of the Board and to contribute their views to it.  Alice and Hamish were accompanied by Lucy MacArthur the LSCB Coordinator who had supported this project.

The Committee complimented the work which the young people had produced which vividly brought into focus the key themes of the LSCB’s annual report.

The detail of the report was presented by Chris Robson, the Chair of the independent Board, with Elisabeth Major, the Professional Adviser to the Board.

The report indicated that overall, there has been good local performance in services working to provide early help to local children and young people, child protection and looked after children support.  There was a small reduction in local child deaths.  There has been a rise in children becoming looked after in Kingston in 2017-18. 

There are some persistent issues: workforce responses to situations of child neglect; resources to intervene in situations of risky behaviour and support to help with mental health concerns. The Chair of the LSCB has been working with local statutory and voluntary sector agencies to consider what further can be done to work together.

Young people have told the Board that their priorities are mental health and emotional wellbeing support; support around online safety and bullying; and safety on the streets, especially around knife crime.

The Government has outlined in ‘Working Together 2018’ the task for the three statutory partners (Health, Police and Local Authority) to create a new local safeguarding partnership and to review the current local arrangements.  The Government requires a local response to be agreed with the DfE (Department for Education) by April 2019.

The LSCB has developed four priorities for 2018-19:

1)         Neglect – the:LSCB Neglect Strategy was endorsed in June 2018; and was launched in autumn 2018 with a multi-agency conference on 13 November 2018. . Over 100 local practitioners attended.    (Another Neglect Conference was to be offered free of charge on 14 March because of expressions of interest.  The intention is for Neglect Champions to come forward in support from all agencies and sectors; providing further training and quality-assuring work in relation to working with neglect over time. 

2)         Risky behaviour, mental health and emotional wellbeing, and exploitation

3)         Participation - to ensure we are hearing and acting on children’s voices in Kingston and Richmond, not only by the LSCB, but through local agencies and user groups;

4)         Developing a strong safeguarding partnership to replace the LSCB in 2019, by maintaining our good local work and relationships.

Resolved that -

1.            the LSCB Annual Report for 2017/18 and safeguarding assessment is accepted and approved; and

2.            the following comments of the Committee on the priorities of the LSCB are referred to the Chair of the LSCB:

·         thanks are recorded to Alice and Hamish and other young people who assisted in producing the excellent easy-ready version of the annual report and to all the officers of the LSCB for their work on the report

·         the Committee noted the timing and alternative arrangements for next year’s annual safeguarding report

·         the Committee noted that the young people have emphasised the issue of mental health in the report and the importance of supportive provision for young people’s mental health and wellbeing in the school setting

·         the Committee were reassured that the early signs are that the reorganisation of the local Police service into a Basic Command Unit across four boroughs will not adversely affect the continuing collaboration by the Police in local children safeguarding work (Chris Robson confirmed that a  Detective Superintendent, Owain Richards, has been appointed who is strategically in charge of safeguarding, supported by Detective Chief  Inspector, Clair Kelland, and the BCU Commander, Sally Benatar, is also fully engaged)

·         the clarification was noted about the use of Child Abduction Warning notices (which the Police use when there isn’t enough evidence to start investigating someone for grooming or child sexual exploitation – these can act as a warning that the Police are watching the situation and a deterrent, until such time as sufficient evidence might be obtained for the Police to initiate proceedings - these, however, are not used for children at risk of abduction in custody battles for  which the High Court or Family Court would have responsibility.)

Voting - unanimous

 

Supporting documents: