eBulletin Edition 29

June 2018

Welcome to the June 2018 edition of the Tameside Safeguarding Children Board E.Bulletin.

This edition provides information about new procedures and processes that all practitioners working with children or their parents/carers need to be aware of. They link to the learning and recommendations from Serious Case Reviews and to new statutory requirements. The E-Bulletin includes;

  • Voice of the Child Strategy
  • Safeguarding Induction Checklist
  • TSCB Training Programme & E-Learning Modules
  • Practitioner/Stakeholder Sessions
  • Common Assessment Framework – Quality Assurance Framework
  • Multi-Agency Learning
  • Tameside Safeguarding Children Board (TSCB) Changes

Voice of the Child Strategy

In March members of Tameside Youth Council launched the Voice of the Child Strategy. All our partners have signed up to the ‘Statement of Expectations’ that children and young people have said we, as practitioners and managers, should all strive to deliver against as part of our commitment to deliver the best possible service to them. Voice of the Child training, delivered by young people, will be available to book via the TSCB website soon.

Safeguarding Induction Checklist

TSCB were asked to develop a Safeguarding Induction Checklist. It includes the basic points that all those working with children and families need to be aware of, whether that’s in relation to safeguarding training or policies and procedures. Please have a look at it and check that you’ve completed all of the points on the checklist or if you’re a manager use it as part of your induction process for new starters.

TSCB Training Programme

The new TSCB Training Programme began in April and our training offer has been improved following feedback from our partner agencies and course participants. We’ve added a new Multi-Agency Practitioner course that will be delivered by Research in Practice and a Voice of the Child course that will be delivered by Tameside young people from September. When we issue e-learning licenses for ‘MeLearning’ we will also give you access to 5 modules rather than 1 making it quicker and easier for you to access learning resources on a range of safeguarding topics.

Practitioner/Stakeholder Sessions

We’ll be reinitiating the multi-agency Practitioner Forum in the next couple of months with potential to include a wider range of stakeholders. We want this group to help us to put learning, from case reviews and audits and feedback from service users, into frontline practice by solving problems in a creative but realistic and practical way. If you want to make improvements to multi-agency safeguarding practices and have some good ideas about how to do that then we need you to be involved in these sessions. Please contact the TSCB Business Manager, Stewart Tod, 0161 342 4344, stewart.tod@tameside.gov.uk , if you want to be involved.

Common Assessment Framework (CAF) – Quality Assurance Framework

We’re starting to get a better picture of the level of Early Help activity that is being provided across Tameside. This is in no small part down to the CAF Champions across all of Tameside schools and colleges and our partners. Thank you.

The CAF Team have produced an early help quality assurance framework to help drive up the quality of the CAF Assessments, Action Plans and Reviews. It we get our Early Help Offer right then it means better outcomes for children and families so it really is in everyone’s best interests to offer the right support at the right time.

Multi-Agency Learning

We’ve held two multi-agency learning events and already discovered some valuable learning points. We wanted to re-cap on a few key things as a result;

  1. Professionals meetings can be held to discuss safeguarding concerns even if the family won’t engage. This is a useful way to pull together all of the multi-agency, and historical information, and in some cases professionals might agree to use this collective evidence to support a referral to Children Social Care.
  2. When beginning work with a family, remember to gain explicit consent to share information with relevant professionals at the start of your involvement with them. You should also explain that if at any point you have safeguarding concerns you have a legal responsibility to share that information. Up to date assessments and plans should be routinely and appropriately shared between professionals that are working together to support a family.
  3. Make your action plans as simple and specific as possible so that families know what is expected of them. Also explain in the plan what the impact will be on the child if they don’t do what is asked, and tell them what the consequence of that will be. Including this in the plan gives you an opportunity to challenge parents at any review meetings where there has been little or no change. This should prevent drift and enable cases to be escalated appropriately on the basis of strong evidence.

Multi-agency learning events are run by members of our Serious and Significant Case Panel on cases where we think there is likely to be valuable learning. This could be a case where there has been particularly good (or bad) multi-agency safeguarding practice. The events are an opportunity for the practitioners that were involved to come together in an informal setting to discuss what worked well, what didn’t work so well and how we could improve practice. As with potential case reviews, if you are aware of a case that it might be beneficial for to review please speak to your safeguarding lead who can link with the appropriate representative on the panel.

TSCB Changes

There are lots of changes happening in relation to Local Safeguarding Children Board across England at the moment. Over the next 12 to 18 months they will be replaced by local safeguarding partnerships and the 1st of 2 local Partnership Engagement and Consultation sessions took place on the 23rd April with another planned for the 27th June. Tameside is hoping to be an Early Adopter which could mean that we have new arrangements in place by the Autumn.

Gill Frame became the new Interim Independent Chair of the Board in February and Ian Webb has just joined us as the new Quality Assurance Officer. In addition, we moved offices earlier this year and are now based at Denton Festival Hall instead of Hyde Town Hall. All of our contact details – phone numbers and email addresses remain the same.