Venue: Remote Meeting
Contact: Kieran Robinson 01952 382061
Declarations of Interest
RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 16 December 2020 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.
To receive the annual report of the LSCB for 2018/19. Andrew Mason (Independent Chair, Telford & Wrekin Safeguarding Children Board (TWSCB)) and Fiona Bottrill (Partnership Manager) will attend for this item.
Councllior S A W Reynolds will also attend for this item.
The Committee received the report of the Independent Chair of the Telford & Wrekin Local Safeguarding Children Board. It was noted that the body no longer existed and had been succeeded by the Telford & Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership.
The report was for the 2018-19 and was the final report under the previous safeguarding arrangements. It was a retrospective report and had been approved by the Board in May 2020. For twelve months, the Safeguarding Partnership had been focussed on ensuring safeguarding during the pandemic.
One of the key takeaways from the report was the implementation of a West Midlands wide approach to safeguarding. Consistent procedures had been implemented across the region; this was helpful for the Police who often had to work across areas and had previously had to tailor their work to suit each local safeguarding board. The region wide consistency helped to reduce workloads.
The Board was also proud of the work it had carried out in schools; involving children in safeguarding and ensuring their voices were heard. This scheme had been nationally recognised for its child centric, child led, approach. Work with designated safeguarding leads in school had been extended to include designated governors.
The report also recognised the importance of early support; the earlier work was done with families the better. This initiative had led to the adoption of the family safeguarding model in Telford & Wrekin.
Following the 2018-19 year, a legislative change meant that the Board was abolished and a safeguarding partnership established in its place. The new arrangements ensured that the three constitutive partners held equal responsibility for running and funding the partnership. The next annual report would reflect the new arrangements.
Members posed a number of questions:
The lay member of the Board had stepped down, were there any others?
The Board had attempted to find other but had been unsuccessful; they had then waited to find out what the new arrangements for the Board would be following the change in legislation. Under the new arrangements, a lay member was not required.
The number of looked after children had increased, how was the situation? Had the pandemic played a role in increasing the figures?
There was no evidence at that time that the pandemic had led to an increase in the numbers of looked after children. Reducing the numbers was important and was one of the reasons that they had committed to the family safeguarding model. When it had been introduced in Hertfordshire the number of looked after children had decreased significantly. The key aspect of this was bringing people together to support families at an early stage, engaging with them. The policy was about working with families; families welcomed this and would benefit from it. If Telford & Wrekin could replicate the Hertfordshire’s results then it was hoped that the number of looked after children would fall.
Was Telford prepared for the challenges that would come as a result of the pandemic?
From the start of the pandemic, the Safeguarding Executive had asked ... view the full minutes text for item 16.
Members were informed that the School Street Working Group had now been established and was expected to meet for the first time on 30 March 2021.