Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 14th December 2017
Title of Item/Report
Stockton-on-Tees Local Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report 2016/2017
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report on the Stockton-on-Tees Local Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report 2016 / 2017.

The report was presented to Cabinet by the Independent Chair of the SLSCB (Dave Pickard) for information and outlined the achievements and future challenges of the SLSCB. The Annual Report was attached to the report.

There was a statutory requirement under section 14A of the Children Act 2004 and the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 for Local Safeguarding Children Boards to produce and publish an annual report on the effectiveness of safeguarding in the local area, including the implementation of Serious Case Review action plans.

In accordance with this statutory requirement the report was submitted to the Chief Executive, Leader of the Council, the local Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chair of the Health and Well-being Board.

It was the intention of SLSCB to share this with all partner agencies and with those that had influence over the services provided to children and families in Stockton-on-Tees. The purpose of this report was:

- To provide an outline of the main activities of SLSCB and achievements during 2016-17;
- To comment on the effectiveness of safeguarding activity and of SLSCB in supporting this;
- To provide the public and partner agencies with an overview of safeguarding activity;
- To identify gaps and challenges in service development in the year ahead.

The key achievements and challenges of the Board for 2016 / 2017 were referenced in the SLSCB 2016 /2017 Annual Report. The following was a snapshot of some of the other achievements:

- All of the Councils Children's Homes, including those developed as part of the joint venture with Spark of Genius, were rated good or outstanding.
- 31million secured to invest in school and nursery buildings across the Borough.
- 62.4 per cent of young people across Stockton-on-Tees attained five A*-C grades including English and Maths.
- The joint multi agency Children's Hub with Hartlepool providing advice and guidance on services and support for children, young people and families was established
- 99% of early years provision were rated good or outstanding
- 4.7% young people were either Not in Education, Employment or Training or Not Known, compared to a national average of 5.7%.
- Concordat for Children in Custody alongside a Tees Vulnerable People in Custody Group report was considered and an action plan for improvement was developed.
- Findings from the CQC Children Looked After and Safeguarding Review (Hartlepool) was discussed to consider the implications for services in Stockton-on-Tees. Assurance was obtained around the CAMHS DNA pathway, and the LAC Nurse/Named Nurse arrangements. This was a productive piece of work from which learning was shared to improve local circumstances.
- 700 taxi drivers and private hire firms received training so they can help protect vulnerable adults and safeguard children
- The Youth Offending Team was praised by the Youth Justice Board for its "excellent performance", particular reference was made to safeguarding work.

The embedded working approach introduced during 2016 / 2017 would remain, focusing on:

- Ensuring co-operation and co-ordination between agencies
- Effective challenge and scrutiny of policies, practice and performance
- Enabling change to improve outcomes

In addition the Board would continue with its two operational priority areas of:

a) Preventing harm: tackling the root causes of neglect, with a focus on domestic abuse, drugs and alcohol and parental mental health
b) Protecting vulnerable children: reducing the risks of children and young people who are VEMT or at risk of being VEMT.

It would also continue to build upon its third priority area - business improvement.

Work would also include the following, which was not in any particular order and in some cases was already underway:

- Review and propose preferred footprint option for the new Safeguarding Partnership that is required from the Children & Social Work Act 2017.
- Continue to request Operational Assurance Reports as a means of facilitating effective scrutiny and challenge.
- Champion the Graded Care Profile 2 Assessment Tool
- Request assurance of effectiveness of the Hartlepool & Stockton-on-Tees Children's Hub.
- Recognise the importance of ensuring Children Missing Education are monitored / seen to avoid them being ‘lost'.
- Challenge all agencies to share learning from single agency audits highlighting that this is not solely the function of Children's Social Care.
- Monitor improvements and the impact made, following the appointment of the VEMT Co-ordinator.
- Highlight and share good practice related to the ‘Future in Mind Programme' that will take place within schools to support mental wellbeing of children.
- Continue to ask 'So What' and ‘Why' in order to establish the impact of work taking place with children and their families.

All partners of SLSCB strive to make continual improvements of their effectiveness in ensuring the safety and well-being of children both individually and as a partnership whilst at the same time recognising the challenges faced, locally, regionally and nationally.

RESOLVED that the 2016 / 2017 Annual Report of the Stockton-on-Tees Local Safeguarding Children Board be noted.
Reasons for the Decision
There is a statutory requirement under section 14A of the Children Act 2004 and the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 for Local Safeguarding Children Boards to produce and publish an annual report on the effectiveness of safeguarding in the local area, including the implementation of Serious Case Review action plans.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Jim Beall declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 6 - Stockton-on-Tees Local Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report 2016 / 2017 as his wife was the SLSCB Business Manager.

Councillor Nigel Cooke declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 6 - Stockton-on-Tees Local Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report 2016 / 2017 as he was employed by TEWV.

Councillor Steve Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 6 - Stockton-on-Tees Local Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report 2016 / 2017 as he was member of Catalyst.
Details of any Dispensations
N/A
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight, 22 December 2017
Attachment

Date of Publication: 18 December 2017


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