Agenda and minutes

Local Safeguarding Children Board
Friday, 13 July 2018 9.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Time Square, Market Street, Bracknell, RG12 1JD. View directions

Contact: Lizzie Rich  01344 352253

No. Item


Minutes and Matters Arising


The minutes of the meeting held on 11 May 2018 were approved as a correct record.


Arising from the minutes the following amendments were noted:

  • The Domestic Abuse triage within the Council would now include Early Help and Early Years providers, as this was felt to be the best way to share police contacts. The LSCB requested that the MASH Board also considers the adequacy of arrangements to specifically notify childminders. (Action: Lorna Hunt)
  • Jennie Green agreed to provide the structure chart for East Berks CCG. (Action: Jennie Green)
  • Jennie Green agreed to provide the Future in Mind membership. (Action: Jennie Green)
  •  The performance dataset for CAMHS was being discussed as an ongoing project. A further meeting is due in August. LSCB colleagues had been keen for a consistent dataset to be used across Board’s within Berkshire, but for local data to also be identifiable for each LSCB area. A proposal would be brought to the next meeting of the Learning and Improvement Subgroup. (Action: Alison Burnell)
  • The FGM report would be brought to the September 2018 Board meeting.


Agency Updates


Lorna Hunt reported that Nikki Edwards was the new Executive Director: People for the Council as of September 2018. The other Executive Director roles were being restructured and would be advertised in September 2018.


Jennie Green advised that the CCG had completed the audit for GP conference reports, and Bracknell Forest had performed well. There had been improvement across Berkshire, and measures were in place to ensure this continued. Details of the the audit were requested to go to the next meeting of Learning and Improvement Subgroup. (Action: Jennie Green)


Jennie also commented that the CCG’s Looked After Children processes had been reviewed and shared across East Berkshire. There were no actions for Bracknell Forest, and the process was felt to be working well in the borough. The report would be presented to Corporate Parenting Advisory Panel.


Lucy Cooke reported that BHFT had recently been inspected by the CQC for: Adults Mental Health; a Community inspection for three teams across children’s services, and a Well Led inspection. The outcome and reports from these inspections would be shared with the Board as soon as they become available. (Action: Lucy Cooke)


Alex Walters noted that the National Probation Service had also been subject to inspection. Jonathan Picken undertook to liaise with Julia Powers in order that the findings of the inspection could be shared with the Learning and Improvement Subgroup. (Action: Jonathan Picken)


Phil Cook recommended that partners read the annual reports produced by Youthline and Home Start as these both provided performance data about children and their families that further details the level of need in Bracknell Forest. (Action: Phil Cook)


Independent Chair report


Alex Walters presented the Independent Chair report which is a 6 monthly report which had been presented to the quarterly safeguarding meeting between Independent LSCB Chair, Chief Executive and Leader of the Council and a number of lead officers.


The key challenges and current issues were Emotional Health and Wellbeing, Early Help, Elective Home Education and implementing Quality Assurance activity.


The Board commented that the new Contest document released under the Prevent agenda could feed into the LSCB priorities. A multi-agency roundtable discussion was planned to discuss the impact of Contest on LSCB work, and would feed back to the Board following this meeting. (Action: Jonathan Picken)


Performance Data


Alison Burnell presented the LSCB Performance Data.


The main points highlighted through the data included:

·         The highest number of referrals had been received by the Early Intervention (EI) Hub in quarter 4, with secondary age children most likely to be referred.

·         Of the secondary age children referred to EI Hub, a significant percentage had been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, ADHD or another disability.

·         Tom Wheeler from Children’s Transformation at the Council had asked to present the first thoughts on Children’s Social Care Front Door approach to the LSCB, and it was agreed that this would come to the Board in September 2018.

·         Child Protection Plan numbers had decreased, and Looked After Children numbers had increased.

·         The number of children at Initial Child Protection Conference (ICPC) who were not subsequently made subject to a Child Protection Plan had decreased.

·         There had been a drop in the number of Child Protection visits conducted in August 2017, but the reasons for this were understood.

·         The number of re-referrals to children’s social care continued to be high, and analysis into this was being undertaken by the Quality Standards group in the Local Authority. This is a group which is jointly chaired by CSC and Education to consider all performance data.

·         There had been a slight decrease in the number of mental health referrals, however it was felt that the mental health data presented to the LSCB did not enable a full analysis although it was noted that previous self harm figures had only included presentations to A&E, whereas now all referrals to CAMHS were included. The Board was reminded that the majority of self-harm cases were unreported. The Board requested an update from the Futures in Mind group chaired by Katie Simpson and that the Transformation Plan come to the September Board. (Action: Lucy Cooke)

·         Domestic Abuse figures had decreased this year, and this was reflected in the number of children who had been witness to domestic abuse. Thames Valley Police’s Operation Encompass had been set up to alert schools to incidents of domestic abuse involving children that had occurred at home. The Board asked Headteacher representatives to find out how effective this new process was. (Action: Jennie Baker/Keith Grainger). It was agreed that an audit of Domestic Abuse repeats undertaken through the CSP would be presented to the LISG.

·         There had been 135 adults who were parents in substance misuse treatment at the end of 2017-18. It was thought that the Family Safeguarding Model may have contributed to increasing this number, due to the holistic approach to the family.

·         The stability of placements for Looked After Children had increased and was being monitored throughout the year.

·         The Return Home Interviews for Missing Children reflected an improving picture of engagement and it was noted that the numbers reflected a small number of children who went missing often was and trends within this data were scrutinised at the CE sub group.

·         The data for sexual offences against Under 18s in Quarter 4  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


CP Chairs Report 2017-18


Lisa Tingle presented the Annual Child Protection Chairs Report.


Following the Board feedback on the last annual report, figures on which partners were involved with families and the Child Protection Conference process had been included. Probation reports and attendance was captured separately. Overall there was good evidence of multi-agency engagement.


The advocacy process for parents and families was being assessed for effectiveness, and it was felt to be improving.


There had been a decrease in the number of Child Protection Plans made, due to intervention and escalation made. A new ‘9 month Panel’ now enabled further screening of cases by the CP Chairs.


The impact of the Family Safeguarding Model could not be evidenced in this annual report, but anecdotal feedback reflected the improvements evidenced from this model. The impact of the model would be evidenced in the next annual report.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

·         It was clarified that although the Signs of Safety approach had previously been used by staff in children’s social care, the Family Safeguarding Model was now the primary operating model within Bracknell Forest. However, many of tools were transferrable across the two ways of working.

·         The process for notifications within timeframes continued to be a challenge, although it was felt that this did not cause significant delays.

·         Partners were reminded that multi-agency engagement was a shared responsibility and CP Chairs were offering training through the LSCB multi-agency programme.

·         The Board requested age and ethnicity indicators to be included in future annual reports. (Action: Lisa Tingle)


The LSCB thanked Lisa for her report.


IRO Report 2017-18


Lisa Tingle presented the annual Independent Reviewing Officer report 2017-18.


The key focus of the report was on participation and consultation with young people. A system was being developed to collate the thoughts and feelings of young people electronically, as input from children had been lacking. Feedback from children and young people indicated that forms had been perceived to be repetitive and boring to complete.


The issue of birth parent engagement with Looked After Children remained a priority area, as too frequently the numbers engaging in the process remained low.


The increase in number of Child Protection Plans escalated to Looked After Children was seen to be appropriate and expected.


The Board asked that the effect of Prevent and Channel be assessed in relation to Looked After Children pathways. (Action: Jonathan Picken)


The Board requested that future reports could contain more analysis on themes arising from the challenges and examples of the quality of practice with looked after children.


Lisa was thanked for her report.


Substance Misuse report


Lee Barefoot and Jillian Hunt attended the meeting to present the 6 monthly Substance Misuse report.


The Family Safeguarding Model had been a key focus of substance misuse work and Substance Misuse workers had been recruited to work within the new teams. There had been initial challenges using motivational interviewing as the core approach, however this was now well embedded. It was felt that the Family Safeguarding Model had improved practice across the board and its impact could be seen in a move from CP to CIN for children and more creative solutions for children in care proceedings. A Serious Success Review was planned to share the learning behind the process, and this would be filmed and disseminated.


In response to discussion, the following points were noted:

  • The Board welcomed the principle of a Serious Success Review to learn from cases as well as celebrating their successes.
  • The Drug and Alcohol Action Team had been assessed for recommissioning during the year, and had been brought in-house to the Local Authority as a suitable externally commissioned service could not be found. The Board recognised Jillian’s work in this and the success that the in-house service was proving to be.
  • There had been staffing challenges during the Autumn/Winter 2018, but staffing had been enhanced by two team leaders who were now in place. Lee Barefoot would be the named leader for children’s safeguarding within the DAAT and attend LISG.


CSE and Missing Group


Phil Cook presented the 6 monthly CSE and Missing sub-group report.


The top 10 children who had repeat missing occurrences accounted for 35% of all missing episodes.


SEMRAC had discussed 151 children in the last year. The particular focus had been on tackling offending, and supporting victims and survivors.


A stronger relationship with the Community Safety Partnership had been established with some areas of crossover on the action plan and shared data.


Sharing of hotspots across the borough had been improved to give partners better oversight of this.


Areas of attention and future focus for the group included the delay in prosecution time of adults, a lack of Learning and Development work, and engagement with unregulated semi-independent living units for children 16+.


Key partner attendance had been an area of concern, with lack of representation from Health and Probation.


The sub-group had been discussing pharmacies issuing emergency hormone contraception. Pharmacies were required to report potential safeguarding matters through the appropriate pathways, however if pharmacies were not signed up to a local contract, there was no control over their conduct. It was suggested that the Chair of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee might be invited to the sub-group as they had engaged positively with the Local Authority.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • Sexual Health services commissioned by Bracknell Forest Council from BHFT were members of group but were not often in attendance. (Action- Lucy Cooke to follow up)
  • It was clarified that Public Health engagement to the sub-group was positive.
  • Lisa McNally agreed that Public Health would fund safeguarding training for pharmacies. (Action: Lisa McNally/Phil Cook)


Principal Social Worker report


Mairead Panetta reported the annual Principal Social Worker report 2017/18


The primary message of the Principal Social Worker role had been the impact of the increase in Child Protection numbers throughout the year, although this had since begun to decrease in 2018.


Although there had been a number of resignations in Q3 that had followed a peak in Child Protection numbers, there had been no resignations in this quarter. Staff who had stayed reported that they were satisfied in their roles and working for the LA. Caseloads remained at an average of 15.9, and this was planned to reduce further. The intake of newly qualified social workers would help to reduce this number, and locums would be retained until the number had reduced.


All posts within the Family Safeguarding Model had been filled, and a Lead Psychologist formerly of Broadmoor Hospital had recently been recruited for 4 days a week.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • The Board welcomed the reduction in caseloads.
  • The Family Safeguarding Model intervention was hoped to reduce re-presentations as parental issues would be addressed.
  • The Local Authority Transformation work was addressing the MASH and Frontdoor, and the perspective was that multi-agency engagement in the MASH had improved.
  • The Board recognised that recruitment and retention at Bracknell Forest was good.
  • It was noted that Lisa Tingle had been appointed the interim Principal Social Worker, and an update would be brought with the next report regarding the new structure of the role and its functions.


Mairead was thanked for her report and the impact of her tenure as Principal Social Worker.


Pan Berks Policy and Procedure sub-group


Jonathan Picken presented the annual Pan-Berks Policy and Procedure sub-group report.


The sub-group was hosted by  Reading LSCB on behalf of Berkshire. Mairead Panetta was the Bracknell Forest representative. Tri.x remained working as the provider of the LSCB’s online guidance and had been working with the sub-group around the changes required as a result of Working Together 18.


The review of Radicalisation had been paused until the new counter-terrorism strategy ‘CONTEST’ was published, as had now been done.


The subgroup engagement had been positive, and the processes and outputs had significantly improved since previous years. The Board agreed that the discussions at the sub-group were effective and the specific function of policies and procedures were valuable interpret the requirements of the statutory guidance such as the new Working Together multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.


Pan Berks S11


The Pan-Berkshire S11 responsibility had transitioned from Bracknell Forest to Wokingham LSCB.


The S11 sub-group focussed primarily on organisations who worked across borough boundaries, but they also undertook S11 assessments of the six Local Authorities . Bracknell Forest’s recent mid-term review had been well received.


The self-audits were accepted in good faith that they were accurate, and the amount to which the sub-group was expected to check and evidence  was frequently considered. The presentation of such audits by officers of  agencies directly to multi-agency panels enabled significant scrutiny.


Representation from Children’s Social Care remained a challenge and had been raised through the Pan-Berks Chairs group. Alex Walters resolved to write to all Directors of Children’s Services to request that one Local Authority take the lead on Children’s Social Care as Bracknell Forest had done this for some time.


The subgroup was an opportunity to raise good practice and share this widely. Organisations with good S11 returns were asked if their responses could be anonymously shared.


It was noted that while S11 processes were referenced in the new Working Together guidance, it was left to local discretion how this was conducted and the current pan-Berkshire processes were felt to be a strength in holding organisations to account.


Multi-agency Training Update


Jonathan Picken presented the Multi-Agency Training Update.


Multi-agency training had been identified as an area of development prior to the Ofsted inspection, and attempts to strengthen arrangements had been undertaken. Training arrangements had been impeded by a significant reduction in the Learning and Development resource within the Local Authority.


BFC offer Service Level Agreements for support and services to schools, around which multi-agency training could also be structured. Nikki Edwards has proposed that a newly commissioned automated booking system could facilitate the LSCB’s multi-agency and bespoke training offer. and would help to address the recommendations of the Training Needs Analysis.


Although the evaluation of the impact of learning remained a challenge, Alison Burnell had commenced the piloting of online evaluation. By employing a dedicated member of staff (on a part-time, temporary basis) tasked wih generating income, it was hoped such monies will offset the costs of developing the Board’s learning and improvement activities.


It was therefore agreed that the LSCB would support the training arrangements proposed in the report and to secure additional staffing on a temporary basis to co-ordinate and deliver comprehensive multi-agency and bespoke training and to integrate this with the audit and scrutiny functions. This 12 month pilot will reviewed in 6 months, while the statutory arrangements arising from Working Together were considered.


A training calendar for core training had been established and was circulated to those present and is now on the LSCB website


Consultation with Children and Young People


Jonathan Picken presented the LSCB consultation with Children and Young People report.


The Board acknowledged Peter Floyd, formerly the LSCB Lay Member and his work to put together the successful event. The report set out the learning gained from the day in February attended by children from all Bracknell secondary schools and the results of the 800 questionnaires responses


Bullying and peer pressure remained the two top issues young people struggled with. There had been comments about LGBT provision in schools, as some young people felt that sex and relationships education was limited by the fact that it was often delivered by RE/PSHE teachers who brought their own perspectives to the teaching.


Colleagues in youth services had offered to repeat the event annually, and the Board agreed this was something they wanted to pursue.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • The report had been discussed at the Local Authority’s Corporate Management Team.
  • Governance of the actions should sit with the Local Authority’s Children and Young People department and Headteachers.
  • It was requested that a specific report be produced for circulation to schools. (Action: Jonathan Picken)
  • It was suggested that online counselling through Kooth could be promoted further to address some of the young people’s concerns highlighted in the report.
  • The Board suggested an action plan arising from the report would be useful to disseminate to all partners to take ownership and would inform the work of a ‘Task and Finish Group’ that will plan a similar event in 2019. (Action: Jonathan Picken/Alison Burnell)


Online Safety Task and Finish Group


Jonathan Picken presented the Online Safety Task and Finish Group report.


The group had used a recent review of national guidance to reflect on local performance. The group had identified that there were challenges related to the speed at which young people’s relationship with technology was changing, and how professionals could keep a track on the impact of this on vulnerable young people.


The national guidance gave the impression that young people generally managed the challenges of being online well.


The group had established five recommendations which had been formed into an action plan. There remained a challenge around the governance of the online safety, which had formerly been under the Community Safety Partnership’s remit.


The Board recognised the challenges for all partner agencies, and noted the lack of resourcing for this area of work.


Lisa McNally offered Public Health’s support for raising awareness and education, and stressed that online safety should be seen in conjunction with other issues facing young people.


(Action: Jonathan Picken/Alison Burnell to develop the action plan and then to disseminate to leads)


Working Together 2018 - transitional arrangements


The Board noted that the new Working Together 2018 statutory guidance and transition guidance had been published on 4 July 2018. The pan-Berkshire Policy and Procedures subgroup were assessing its contents and impact, which seemed to rely in the main on local discretion.


Partners were asked to reflect on the new proposals for multi-agency safeguarding arrangements, which would now be a substantive item to be discussed in full at a future meeting. The timeframe for implementation is for the three statutory partners (CCG, Local Authority and Police) to publish a plan outlining their intended arrangements by June 19 and to implement by September 19.


Date of Next Meeting


14 September 2018 at 9.30am in the Time Square Council Chamber.




Jennie Green reported that the CCG was runningSafer Sleeping groups, and was trying to involve as many fathers as possible.


Information Items (circulated electronically)

·         Strategic framework to reduce violence and vulnerability

·         Berkshire FJB quarterly update to LSCB s June 2018

·         Working Together 2018


The following information items were circulated electronically and noted by the Board:

·         Home Office Strategic Framework to reduce framework and vulnerability

·         Berkshire Family Justice Board Quarterly Update