eBulletin Edition 31

October 2018

Welcome to the October 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 Case Reviews and to new statutory requirements. The E-Bulletin includes;

  • Information Sharing & Consent
  • Neighbourhood Learning Circles
  • Signs of Safety
  • Project Choice
  • Chronology Guidance
  • Complex Safeguarding

Information Sharing & Consent

The Department for Education has published revised Information Sharing Guidance for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers. A section containing a myth-busting guide to information sharing has been added to address the introduction of the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Please note that we have clarified with the Children’s Hub and Information Governance that it is not necessary to seek consent when referring safeguarding concerns. In the majority of cases you should always tell the parent/carer that you are making a safeguarding referral along with the reasons why. You can tell the family that you have a statutory duty to safeguard the child. You should not inform the family of your intentions if to do so would place the child at further risk of harm such as where there are concerns about Forced Marriage, or where it might impact on a subsequent Police investigation, in cases of suspected sexual offences for example.

The Children’s Hub has also clarified that they will record all safeguarding referrals as a contact on their Integrated Care System. Any safeguarding referrals should be followed up in writing using the Single Agency Referral Form (SARF). Any calls that are just for advice will be classed as a consultation and will not be recorded as a contact.

Neighbourhood Learning Circles

4 Neighbourhood Learning Circles have been arranged as part of Tameside’s roll out of the new Integrated Neighbourhood Model. You are invited to attend the Neighbourhood Learning Circles for the area that you work.

These are multi-agency meetings where local issues are discussed and professionals jointly develop local solutions. We will have access to information that will identify issues causing concerns such as Health, Crime, School or Social care data and intelligence. Please come along to influence change in your Neighbourhood.

Signs Of Safety

Tameside is implementing Signs of Safety as its overarching practice model for all its work with children and families. The overall aim is to transform how we deliver services and provide support to children and families. The model provides tools for professionals to build effective relationships with families in order that they develop a clearer understanding of what needs to change and how this can be achieved. It recognises the strengths within families and aims to give them the best chance to bring their own solutions to problems.

Training is already being delivered to staff in Children’s Services and will continue into January 2019. Half day briefing sessions for a wide range of partner agencies will begin in November. Children Services staff will begin to use the Signs of Safety Model in its child protection proceedings, LAC Reviews, Child in Need and CAF meetings so the way that you are asked to contribute to those will start to be quite different from now on. If you attend a meeting where the Signs of Safety approach is used we would value your feedback. Please email Catherine.davies@tameside.gov.uk with any comments that you have.

Project Choice

The Project Choice team provides practical and emotional support to anyone at risk of, or experiencing so-called honour-based violence and abuse, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). The service advocates on behalf of people at risk of harm to ensure safe decisions are made in a timely fashion.

Practitioners can speak to Project Choice for general, initial advice on current legislation, statutory guidance and best practice or request specialist advice at strategy meetings, legal planning meetings, multi-discipline team meetings, core groups or other multi-agency meetings. They also support colleagues with risk assessments and safety planning.

Project Choice are based in Oldham but provide services across Greater Manchester. They can be contacted on projectchoice@oldham.gcsx.gov.uk, Telephone: 0161 770 2999 (9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday)

Chronology Guidance

Good quality chronologies can be used to inform assessments, assess risk and develop plans. Chronologies are already being used in child protection proceedings, care planning, and when writing court statements. The quality of chronologies across services and from one practitioner to another varies a lot though. Chronology Guidance has been produced to help practitioners to understand what makes a good chronology, what to include and what not to include. Some of the benefits of a good quality chronology are;

  • Identification of emerging patterns, strengths and difficulties, over time.
  • A sound evidence base for escalation or de-escalation of cases.
  • Help to prevent drift (when used in Supervision).
  • Help to prepare for meetings with confidence i.e. Child Protection Conferences and to inform decision making.

Complex Safeguarding

Complex Safeguarding is defined as “Criminal activity (often organised), or behaviour associated to criminality, involving often vulnerable children where there is exploitation and/or a clear or implied safeguarding concern”. Services across Greater Manchester are being developed to tackle a range of complex safeguarding issues including sexual and criminal exploitation, modern slavery and trafficking.

The next Safeguarding Practice Update on the 15th November will be on the theme of Complex Safeguarding. Jayne Horan, Complex Safeguarding Lead for Greater Manchester will present alongside Barnardo’s and the Children’s Society to talk about Complex Safeguarding and the Greater Manchester response, Independent Advocacy for Children and Disrupting Exploitation.

Please book your place on the TSCB Training page.

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