Agenda and minutes

Local Safeguarding Children Board
Friday, 22 September 2017 9.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Fourth Floor, Easthampstead House, Bracknell. View directions

Contact: Lizzie Rich  01344 352253

No. Item


Minutes and Matters Arising


The minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2017 were approved as a correct record.


Matters arising

  • CAMHS and CMHT representation at CP Conferences was being audited by BHFT, and would be presented at a future LISG. (Action: Lucy Cooke)
  • The BHFT safeguarding team had been monitoring contacts to the LADO, and had reiterated the role of the LADO across their organisation. The situation would be monitored. The Chair noted this was an issue in other LA areas and might require a coordinated response and would be added to the Challenge Log.
  • There was an ongoing discussion with regard to governance and oversight of FGM and outcomes would be reported back to the LSCB.
  • Jonathan Picken had attended a meeting of the CSE/Missing Strategic Sub-group at which attendance remained an issue although raised by the Chair. It was suggested that County Lines gang/drug related issues were putting pressure on SEMRAC and given the high risks involved presented a challenge for those seeking to maintain the level of work relating to wider forms of exploitation.. Analysis was ongoing regarding  agency compliance with completion of screening tools and reporting into SEMRAC. If any partner agency required advice on the SEMRAC procedures, they were asked to contact Jonathan or Karen Roberts.


Agency Updates


The following agency updates were reported:

  • Superintendent Shaun Virtue reported on changes to the Police provision to schools, which would see a reduced number of programmes and schools officers to be replaced with a similar function under the neighbourhood teams. Each school would be serviced by a dedicated nominated PCSO who would relay any problems to Inspector Andy Deane. This change had been communicated to schools.
  • Abigail Simmons informed the LSCB of changes regarding deprivation of liberty safeguards. Children aged 16-18 had a community deprivation of liberty in place, which became a standard deprivation of liberty on transition to adult services. Abigail commented that the transition period was an opportunity for partnership engagement. The Board agreed to discuss this under the Approaching Adulthood item on the October Forum agenda.
  • Lorna Hunt informed the LSCB that the Family Safeguarding Model would be launched on 30 October 2017. The Family Safeguarding Model Executive Board including Police and Health representatives had recently met, and the recruitment process for adult workers within teams had begun. Social work teams had begun training on motivational interviewing.
  • Nikki Edwards informed the LSCB that Angella Wells, current Head of Performance Management and Governance would be moving on to the London Borough of Camden Council in late November. The Board would be appraised of interim arrangements going forward, when these are known. 
  • Spencer Hird informed the LSCB that Sally Thomas, Senior Service Manager was the key contact for Berkshire CAFCASS which had recently changed to a public/private model. Spencer agreed to pursue a formal link between the LSCB and the Family Justice Board as the quarterly reports were not forthcoming. (Action: Spencer Hird)


LSCB Challenge Log


The Board noted the updated LSCB Risk/Challenge Log for 2017-18, with the following updates:

  • No 1: The audit undertaken around primary exclusions had been received at LISG and passed to CYPL Council colleagues to consider as part of their strategic work, and the Board would wait for feedback (Action: Ian Dixon).
  • No 2: A further monitoring process was underway for a residential provider in Bracknell Forest, to ensure that progress was made against concerns previously raised by the LSCB, and subsequently by Police.
  • No 3: Ian Dixon had received the final list of nominated LA leads, but identifying a date to discuss with other Local Authorities was challenging. Local Authorities were concerned following a private members’ bill with government that they would be given more accountability with no increase in resource. It was hoped that more clarity could be gathered from government following discussion of the bill. Alex Walters agreed to follow up the minutes from pan-Berkshire meeting at which EHE was discussed. (Action: Alex Walters)
  • No 4: Delays with the Family Court were variable, but Lorna Hunt had met with Sally Thomas who had agreed to discuss the 26 week period and delay with the judiciary at the next FJB at the end of October. The Board recognised a need to streamline this process to cut down on delays. Spencer Hird commented that there had been a significant increase in proceeding relating to children in Bracknell Forest and the wait had decreased to 36 weeks. Berkshire as an area had the second highest waiting times in the UK. Nikki Edwards was due to write to other Berkshire Directors of Children’s Services to encourage to them to write and raise the issue.
  • No 7: A S11 submission had been received from the housing provider, however it was late and not as detailed as hoped. Jonathan had asked for the return to be resubmitted. It was noted that there were wider S11 issues for the Local Authority because of commissioning arrangements, which had made accountability more difficult. Jonathan Picken and Alex Walters agreed to escalate  the issue. (Action: Jonathan Picken / Alex Walters)
  • No 8:  Analysis in respect of e-safety was underway, and the update from Debbie Smith on the Task and Finish Group on sexting. The LSCB core team agreed to assess the best next steps. (Action: Jonathan Picken/Alex Walters/Alison Burnell)
  • No 11: Family Group Conferencing was still being undertaken, but officers were assessing alternative approaches and whether there was a more effective way to do this to mitigate significant costs.
  • No 12: The CSE Pan-Berks subgroup had addressed the issue of the pressures on SEMRAC functions given significant increases in workload. Current Chair DI Andy Howard would be moving on, however group will continue to meet and be chaired by Penny McKenzie. The action around SEMRAC was completed, but needed to be assessed.
  • No 13: Spencer Hird was in attendance as the CAFCASS representative.
  • No 14: The merger between Bracknell Forest Homes and the RBWM Housing Association was no  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


IRO Annual Report


In the absence of presenting officers, the LSCB noted the IRO Annual Report 2016-17 which had been approved by Corporate Parenting Advisory Panel and the Local Authority’s Children’s Services Departmental Management Team.


The Board commented that the report had fewer examples of instances where concerns were escalated than in previous annual reports. It was understood that following a successful Ofsted inspection report, there would be a lot of ‘good news stories’ to report in the next annual report.


It was stressed that it was important for partner organisations to understand the role of the IRO as well as Local Authority staff as the IRO provided a quality assurance function which could raise issues with partner agencies.


Principal Social Worker Report


Lorna Hunt, Chief Officer: Children’s Social Care presented the Principal Social Workers’ report on behalf of Mairead Panetta.


The key issues raised in the report were around staffing levels, although it was felt that managers kept in touch well with staff. The new national social work accreditation would be piloted next year. Social workers reported pressures around CSE/Missing, increased court work, children in care and a lack of foster Placements. The report also described the developments with the MASH and partnership working, and training for Signs of Safety implementation. The Family Safeguarding Model was also mentioned, which was expected to have a significant impact on practice.


The LSCB thanked Mairead and Lorna for the report.


For clarity, it was noted that Cornerstone were a social enterprise company who had worked with Adopt Berkshire around the mentoring of adopters and foster carers.


LSCB Annual Report 2016-17


Jonathan Picken, Board Manager presented the LSCB Annual Report for 2016-17.


The Annual Report had been reduced and simplified, with hyperlinks used to link to other key documents or data online.


The LSCB welcomed the brevity and easy read format of the report, and agreed that it demonstrated effective work over the past year. The report had been considered by the Council’s corporate management team and would progress through the Executive process and be presented to the HWB and the PCC as required by legislation.


Councillor Barnard commented that initial feedback from Members had been very good, and that they were glad to see the level of detail in the report and had been able to use the report in their conversations with Ofsted. It had also helped Members to engage in their role of Corporate Parents.


The Board discussed whether the challenge log at the end of the report was necessary, as it was not a real time document and seemed in conflict with the strategic view of the rest of the report. However, it was agreed that as long as the log was clearly indicated to be retrospective, it served as good evidence of work undertaken but some minor work to the format might prove helpful in terms of differentiating actions from update.


The Annual Report would be published online in the coming week, and Jonathan asked all partners to promote through their organisations and in the public domain.


Learning and Improvement Subgroup Reports


Alex Walters, Chair of the LSCB presented the Learning and Improvement Subgroup 6 monthly report.


The three separate multi-agency audits were highlighted in addition to that of single-agency activity:

  1. CSE audit. This had involved talking to children identified in a cohort of individuals worked with for CSE. The young people who engaged had given powerful messages, and learning had been included in the Learning leaflet.
  2. Early Help and primary school exclusions .This had involved a case file audit of 6 children, meeting with schools and parents and families who had been excluded from primary school, following a significant rise in that number
  3. Domestic Abuse audit. This audit had involved a detailed case file audit and discussions with families and practitioners. It evidenced a positive recognition of multi-agency work, while indicating areas for learning. Concerns were raised around changes and communications in services for children experiencing Domestic Abuse, and the current lack of Domestic Abuse notifications provided to Early Years providers. It had been agreed to raise this issue through the MASH Board, and the report would be considered by the Community Safety Partnership and other groups.


The Sub-group had also coordinated work relating to the following:

  • Audit around Sexual Assault Referral Centre to provide assurance.
  • Considered regular performance data (before going to the full Board.)
  • Health single-agency GP audit across East Berkshire, to assess the quality of Child Protection conference reports


The forward plan for the next 6 months included further multi-agency audits with focuses on CSA and adolescent neglect. The Sub-group also planned to incorporate further facilitated discussions where full audits not necessary. Current facilitated discussions were ongoing including:


  1. A recent Prevent case and learning arising, from Ian Boswell.


  1. Self harm discussion. A multi-agency group  had recently met to assess the challenges around different agency responses, and to consider the different aspects of self harm and suicide prevention strategy. The data collected only refers to the rising hospital admissions, and did not address the low level self harm. It was suggested that qualitative data may be useful in future.


  1. CSE discussion regarding two young people who had been involved with services over a decade or more. Some good learning had come out of discussion, but the discussion had reiterated why changes had been made to practice and highlighted areas of innovative practice.


All three facilitated discussions would be written up and go to the LISG for discussion.


In response to a question regarding communicating the CSE risks to the public, it was recognised that there was a difficulty in engaging the general public on a large scale and that professionals should be targeted first with limited resource. It was suggested that more preventative work could be done with incoming refugee families to explain the risks to them.


With regard to a question on the proposed joint East Berks SCR group, it was noted that work was underway to assess the implications, but that the merge had not progressed. Louise Watson, Designated Doctor had volunteered to chair the joint group  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Policies and Procedures Update and Forward Plan


Jonathan Picken presented the Policies and Procedures Update and Forward Plan.


Subsequent to a joint ownership of the Policies and Procedures Pan-Berkshire Sub-group, the Board was informed of the updated procedures and forward plan. While  Esther Blake (Reading LSCB Board Manager), Jonathan and Alison had done significant work for the group, the chairmanship needed to be addressed.


The Forward Plan had been adopted to keep track of the policies in need of review. The business manager from Tri.X had linked the sub-group into a national network, which produces guidance for DfE. Given the demographic of Berkshire, it had been useful to gather learning opportunities for more challenging areas of the country.


In response to questions, the following points were highlighted:

  • It was the responsibility of sub-group members to communicate the changes and revisions back to their organisations, and in Bracknell Forest this was Alison Burnell. Organisations would be tested on their compliance with the revised policies through auditing processes and S11 returns.
  • It was suggested that the suicidal behaviour/self harm policies could be separated to avoid grouping the two issues together. Lisa McNally agreed to propose the new versions of separate policies. (Action: Lisa McNally)


Training and Professional Development


Jonathan Picken, Board Manager presented the Training and Professional Development report.


Jonathan had spoken with Paul Young who was overseeing the Local Authority Organisational Development regarding changes to the Council’s training function. Paul had offered to join the LISG to advise in the interim before arrangements were confirmed, but had confirmed that the planned LSCB training programme between September 2017 and March 2018 could be maintained. After this period, it was likely that there would be additional costs to maintain the same approach and Jonathan agreed to provide updates on this as they became clear.


It was noted that the training and development function had been reviewed on a Council-wide basis rather than just the LSCB under the Council Wide Support Services Transformation programme.


All partners were encouraged to raise any specific issues or training needs with Jonathan in the interim period.


Multi-agency Audit Progress Tracker


Jonathan Picken, Board Manager presented the Multi-agency Audit Progress Tracker, which was noted by the LSCB.


It was commented that although the tracker did not reflect single agency quality assurance work, there had been an improvement in these being reported into the Board through the LISG.


Inspection Preparation (JTAI and SEN)


JTAI and SEND reports were considered which included the JTAI methodology, the SEND methodology and a recent letter on the SEND inspection in RBWM.


Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI)


It was commented that the JTAI may follow soon after the recent Ofsted SIF inspection to demonstrate the same level of effectiveness and recognise and capture features of a Good LA.. In past JTAIs, the themes had been CSE, Domestic Abuse and the programme was currently focussing on Neglect. It was expected that CSE/Missing and Domestic Abuse would be revisited during the first half of 2018 and the next theme would be Child Sexual Abuse. The JTAI thematic report on Domestic Abuse had very recently been published and would be circulated.


Having been involved in a recent JTAI for Wokingham, some partner commented on the intense inspection procedure, involving many telephone conferences and Keeping In Touch meetings. It was also noted that inspectors requested information in slightly different ways from each agency.


Following the recent Ofsted inspection for the Local Authority, the CCG, Local Authority and LSCB had all fed back that the timings of inspections should be considered to minimise the impact on partner agencies covering more than one LA area.


1. Partner agencies were requested to review the JTAI methodology to ensure they were prepared and appraised of the process and expectations.



2. The LSCB felt it would be helpful to test out the JTAI auditing process, and a multi-agency audit on Child Sexual Abuse was planned with selected cases having been identified.This would report into LISG.


3. Partners were reminded that the inspection would always focus on the arrangements at the front door irrespective of the deep dive theme.



Debbie Hartrick updated the Board on the recent RBWM SEND multi-agency inspection which had lasted for two weeks – one for information gathering and one for inspection and interviews. Inspectors had been interested in referral processes and decision making for EHC plan and the conversion rate from statement to EHCP. The outcome report from RBWM’s inspection had highlighted several areas of improvement .


To improve the role of the Designated Clinical Officer, Debbie had been engaged in co-production with parents/carers, including the development of a children participation plan (survey starting in October), and attended three parent/carer events to ensure the voice of the parent and carer was heard. It was noted that the Bracknell Forest autism parent/carer forum was well established and effective.


Ian Dixon informed the Board of the East Berks SEND Committee and the Bracknell Forest SEND improvement partnership where agencies were developing an action plan which was informed by the actions arising from RBWM’s report. In Bracknell Forest, Ian commented on a reasonably strong co-production of plans for children, but a less strong co-production of the process itself. The key challenge in Bracknell Forest was for those children without EHC plans who still had SEN support needs, and how much was known about them.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

·         The RBWM  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


LSCB Finance Mid-term Report


Jonathan Picken, Board Manager presented the LSCB Finance Mid-term 17/18 report which was on track for the forecast expenditure.


It was recognised that the Board had been mindful of making efficiencies where necessary, and the decision to introduce charging policy for training had offset other costs.


Flexibility had been established in the budget to allow for an SCR notification, which had proven costly in the past.


In response to a question about the income contributions, it was commented that although there was no national forumula for partners’ contributions, the Local Authority had significantly increased their support, and Thames Valley Police had also increased their contribution. The Council’s Chief Executive and the LSCB Chair had written a number of times to partners to inform them that LSCB income rested disproportionately on the Local Authority. Under new arrangements resulting from, the Children and Social Work Act, the Local Authority, Health and Police would be joint partners with equal responsibility and resourcing the safeguarding partnership would require new discussion and agreement and would be subject to independent scrutiny.


LSCB Forward Plan 2017 and 2018


Alex Walters, Chair, presented the LSCB Forward Plan 2017-18 which was noted and set out the timetable and leads for reports to be presented to the LSCB.


Communicating Board Priorities


Peter Floyd, Lay Member presented the Communicating Board Priorities report.


The Communications and Engagement Sub-group had agreed to undertake more targeted, organised and effective outreach, and had suggested that at every LSCB meeting, there would be a key message to take away and disseminate through existing cascade mechanisms within partner agencies. In order to undertake this, Peter commented that he would require identified points of contact in each organisation and their cascade route, the key message ‘owner’ to write the message and for the Chair’s agreement of the key message at each meeting.


The strategy was intended for professional communication, whilst recognising the challenge of public communication. A ‘Take 5’ initiative would ensure the messages were succinct and readable, and it was suggested that easy read formats would be applicable to public communication too.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • Lisa McNally offered to act as the representative for the Public Health and main Council social media platforms, but advised that Facebook was a better platform to use for messages of this type. Lisa also suggested that the new Gov delivery system may ensure public dissemination.
  • It was noted that the message function needed to be clear, whether it was a call to action or for information only.


The LSCB agreed in principle to the new communications approach.




Hassen Boodoo requested that the ethnic minority statistics from the CP Chairs report be followed up, to ensure a breakdown of the ethnicity of children subject to CP /LAC plans and where relevant, consideration be given to ensuring it is including this within other Performance reports.


Lisa McNally informed the Board that on 10 October 2017, Public Health would be attempting to break the world record for the largest children’s mental health lesson at the Madjeski Stadium in Reading, supported by the BBC and Reading Football Club.


Date of Next Meeting

Future dates for 2017/18, 9:30am

24 November 2017

19 January 2018

9 March 2018

11 May 2018

13 July 2018

14 September 2018

23 November 2018


The dates of future meetings were noted, with the next meeting scheduled for 24 November 2017.


Future meetings for 2018

24 November 2017

19 January 2018

9 March 2018

11 May 2018

13 July 2018

14 September 2018

23 November 2018