Agenda and minutes

Local Safeguarding Children Board
Friday, 23 November 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 14 September 2018 were approved as a correct record. The following points were noted as matters arising from the minutes:

  • The Future in Mind group had become the Local Transformation Plan group.
  • The Safeguarding in Education report had been scheduled to be presented to the LSCB in March 2019.
  • Alex Walters had written to Tania Atcheson at NHS England to raise the matter of safeguarding engagement and training for pharmacists and dentists. A positive response had been received, and a report would be brought to the meeting in January 2019.
  • The BHFT inspection report undertaken by CQC had been published, and the organisation had been rated as ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ for the Well Led category. The recommendations had no ‘Musts’ and one ‘Should’ in Children Services, which related to infection control. The report had been well received.  The inspection had focussed on children’s community services and had not inspected CAMHS at this time.
  • Christina Berenger confirmed an action arising from the minutes relating to the higher police rates in relation to sexual offences previously reported. The Board were advised that the apparent increased related to improved recording processes rather than increased crime. It was noted that Alison Burnell was undertaking an audit with DCI Howard Rose which planned to look at 10 cases from Q4.
  • Lucy Cooke agreed to further discuss BHFT’s representation on the Child Exploitation sub-group, as it was agreed that there needed to be a consistent dissemination of information in this area relating to sexual health services and CAMHs.
  • The Local Authority structure chart would be circulated to all for information, to update on the new structure after transformation.
  • Jonathan had agreed to meet with Lisa Tingle and Mairead Panetta to discuss the final recommendations arising from the Female Genital Mutilation report. (Action: Jonathan Picken)
  • It was agreed that the LSCB would discuss Edge of Care at a future meeting to give feedback on progress after 3 months.


Agency updates


Nikki Edwards provided a staffing update on behalf of the Council. Recruitment to the posts of Assistant Directors or Children’s Social Care, Adult Social Care Operations, and Early Help and Communities to complete the management team in the newly formed People directorate were underway. Interviews were planned during the next month, and it was hoped that all appointments would be formalised by March 2019.


Tom Wilson reported that the Council was changing the way complaints were handled. A consultant had been commissioned to undertake a quality assurance review to assess this and overall QA processes  and this would be complete within 3 – 6 months.


Spencer Hird reported that CAFCASS had launched their child impact framework for children experiencing parental separation, and agreed to circulate a briefing paper for partners’ information.


Christina Berenger reported that Community Safety Partnerships had been invited to bid for a PCC fund for Early Intervention. It was commented that sometimes affected groups missed opportunities to bid for these funds, and it was commented that the communication of these opportunities could be improved. Rachel Morgan and Nikki Edwards agreed to raise the opportunities with Headteachers to explain the process. (Action: Rachel Morgan / Nikki Edwards) and Jonathan Picken agreed to raise the Board’s concerns over the need to ensure robust communication with the Community Safety Partnership. (Action: Jonathan Picken)


Debbie Hartrick updated partners on the Frimley Integrated Care System (ICS) which covered areas of East Berkshire, Surrey Heath, North Hampshire and Farnham. A bid had been accepted to set up a children’s board under the ICS, with priority areas of Prevention, Crisis Care and Autism/ADHD. Safeguarding teams would be represented, and all Directors of Children’s Services in the footprint were invited to attend. It was requested that the Terms of Reference be circulated to the Board for information. (Action: Debbie Hartrick)


Debbie also reported that the work of the Joint Commissioning Board was ongoing, and that GPs had been supplied with information on County Lines. A replacement for Jennie Green’s post had been recruited on a part time post, and the CCG Safeguarding Team were ensuring cover was maintained.


Julia Powers reported that the NPS- South West had been inspected and rated as ‘Good’. Particular strengths included victim and court work, areas for improvement were around staffing and estates. The action plan would be brought to the Learning and Improvement Subgroup. (Action: Julia Powers)


Challenge Log


The Board noted the challenge log and commented on the following updates:

2.    Audit activity around children with disabilities was planned through the Learning and Improvement Subgroup, and further advanced training would be developed for professionals.

3.    The LADO function performance data, had showed the number of referrals from health professionals had improved since the last time this had been reviewed.

4.    Domestic Abuse notifications to Early Years providers had been discussed at the MASH Programme Board and it was understood that Early Years providers were receiving notifications.

5.    Work to enhance the LSCB training provision was progressing well and would be reflected in its programme for 2019. The Council’s new SLA Online arrangement is set to provide improved efficiency within the administration of multi-agency training from April 2019.

6.    The CAMHS dataset had been reviewed during the Summer, and it was hoped that an amended dataset to support improved performance management by the CCGs and LSCBs would be provided in April 2019.

8.    Performance data and the requirement for an enhanced narrative was ongoing. Alex Walters agreed to make a formal request for narrative to underpin the data provided from all organisations. (Action: Alex Walters)


Family Safeguarding Model - one year on


Tom Wheeler, Consultant in Children’s Social Care at Bracknell Forest Council attended the meeting to present on progress around the Family Safeguarding Model.


Recruitment to specialist posts had been a success, and all adult workers had been recruited. All Family Safeguarding Model staff had been trained in motivational interviewing. Caseloads were being reduced to ensure capacity for intensive work.


The Model was being evaluated on effectiveness of implementation by York Consulting.


In a recent survey, 70% of staff in the model at Bracknell Forest had indicated that they valued working alongside adult workers. 50% felt that there were effectively using the new tools, and this had been identified as an area for improvement to embed the tools.


Since the model’s launch, Bracknell Forest had seen a reduction in the number of Child Protection and Looked After Children entrants. There had been a reduction in the number of Domestic Abuse incidents, Missing episodes, PLO and legal proceedings. 15 Child Protection cases had safely remained as Child in Need cases.


With regards to next steps, it was commented that caseloads needed further reduction. Financial support from key partners was critical to the success of the model, as once the funding from DfE ended, the whole programme would be unsustainable.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • Caseloads were currently around 15 cases with efforts being made to ensure these remain manageable and reflect the Hertfordshire guidance.
  • It was difficult to find comparative data to evidence the impact of Family Safeguarding, as elements of the model had been established across children’s social care. It was suggested that this could be compared to data of statistical neighbours who did not use the model.
  • The Council had included funding for a further 18-24 months for the model in its budget, but the importance of securing partner support was reiterated.

·         The data around Care Proceedings was queried as it did not seem to align with CAFCASS data. The Board suggested that numbers rather than percentages would be useful in future reports, and distinctions between children/cases. Tom Wheeler agreed to circulate the data with amendments made.


Independent Chair's report


Alex Walters presented the Independent Chair’s 6 monthly report for April- October 18.


Regarding CAFCASS representation, it was noted that Bracknell Forest had the most consistent  CAFCASS representation of all the Berkshire LSCBs, however this remained a national issue.


It was noted that Paula Jenkins (Headteacher at Cranbourne) had joined the Board as the primary head representative.


Alex commented on the ongoing communication with the FJB to scrutinise delays in care proceedings. Alex had written to the Designated Family Judge to raise the quality and capacity of the Reading court, and the impact on families and staff. The Board noted with concern that there was currently no disabled access at the court due to a broken lift. The process for sharing learning from SCRs locally and nationally with family judges was discussed and agreed to take place in Spring 19.


Alex also commented on the future of multi-agency safeguarding arrangements given the new Working Together guidance, and it was noted that the three statutory partners in Bracknell Forest needed to agree this process going forward and consult with the LSCB.


An amendment was raised to note the renaming of the Child Exploitation subgroup, rather than Child Sexual Exploitation.


LSCB Annual Report 2017-18


Jonathan Picken presented the LSCB Annual Report 2017-18. Amendments had been made to ensure links with the CSP were specified, and to strengthen the description of Domestic Abuse Audit work. The detail around the Child Sexual Abuse audit had also been included.


The report was due to be presented to the usual partnerships, and partners were encouraged to disseminate the Annual Report through their organisations’ networks (on LSCB website at The Board welcomed a comprehensive report and expressed their thanks to Jonathan and Alison for their work to produce this.


Local Transformation Plan for Children and Young People Mental Health and Wellbeing 2018-19


Debbie Hartrick presented the Local Transformation Plan for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing 2018-19. It was noted that the plan would imminently be published but was not yet public.


Where previously the Local Transformation Plan had been felt to be a single-agency plan for Health colleagues, it was understood that the new Plan was a multi-agency plan across the footprint of Berkshire East to better inform the need for therapeutic input in the area. Janette Fullwood, Head of Children, Young People and Families at the East Berkshire CCG had been undertaking engagement with partners, and had consulted on the draft plan.


It was noted that the governance was now the Berkshire East Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Board. Thom Wilson, Rachel Morgan and Chris Stannard had been appointed as the Bracknell Forest representatives on this group and the Local Transformation Plan group would lead the implementation of the plan. Each meeting of this group would be themed around an area of work, and meetings would be bi-monthly from May 2019 onwards.


The new plan focussed on sustainability rather than short term change.


Colleagues from the CCG felt that they had further work to do to connect with schools, and it was proposed that health and wellbeing champions within schools be launched. There was also the possibility to connect with the virtual school heads across East Berkshire, to connect with Looked After Children work.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • The plan included a detailed delivery plan, ambition and funding, and would be published.
  • It was important for health colleagues to connect with SENCOs, further to the connections already established with headteachers.
  • Partners stressed that although schools were happy to be involved, school colleagues would require support from health colleagues to undertake tier 2 work with children.
  • The Local Transformation Plan group would develop a standard of what ‘good’ looks like in schools.

·         Any comments from partners on the plan were welcomed and would be collated for consideration.


CSC Compliments and Complaints Annual Report 2017-18


Thom Wilson presented the Children’s Social Care Compliments and Complaints Annual Report 2017-18.


There had been a significant increase in the number of complaints compared to the last Annual report, rising from 47 to 77. This demonstrated an increasing trend which correlated with the increase in Looked After Children, as a significant number of these complaints were from parents of Looked After Children.  Four of the complaints received had been from children, which had been given attention at Stage 1.


The most complaints had been received in regards to Under and Over 11s teams, the key areas related to communication and the attitude/conduct of staff. Timescales had been missed on a number of complaints due to staff turnover in the complaints function but the council had been successful in the recruitment of a permanent children’s services complaints manager, Alison Keeling.


The service was being reviewed to assess complaints at each Stage, and to prevent complaints escalating to Stage 2. Repeat complainers were also being assessed to see if there was a resolution. The report assessing the service would be available at the end of January, with an action plan arising. This review of the processes and the learning gained from complaints and the improvements made as a result were welcomed by the LSCB.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • Learning mechanisms had been put in place with managers / practitioners to reflect following complaints. This would be done thematically to encourage colleagues to consider learning more widely.
  • The Board recognised that there had been 55 compliments received during the year.

·         Only two complaints had been raised with the Local Government Ombudsman, and both of these had been resolved prior to the LGO’s involvement.


Children Missing, CSE and SEMRAC


Nick Young, Exploitation Prevention Manager at Bracknell Forest Council attended the meeting to present the Children Missing, CSE and SEMRAC report. 


It was noted that the format of SEMRAC meeting was changing. The service was down on referrals from 176 in the previous year to 151 in this annual report, it was thought this could be attributed to Operation Orcus which was an operational police led response to high risk children.


The cohort were separated by risk level, with Levels 1 and 2 being discussed at fortnightly meetings. Action plans for individuals would be merged with existing Child Protection plans.


It was noted that now there was one screening tool for all exploitation cases, individuals would not be distinguished by criminal or sexual exploitation.


BME referrals continued to grow over the year, from 3% in 16-17 to 15% in 17-18. Partners welcomed this increase as it demonstrated confidence in reporting. 


Most referrals to SEMRAC were open to the Duty Team or MASH at time of referral, which was hoped to move towards a preventative approach.


Children Missing

The Exploitation team conducted Return Home Interviews with each child who went missing within the specified guideline of 72 hours. The team conducted 377 Return Home Interviews, 92% of which were held within 72 hours of the return. It was stressed that the independence of professionals was key to these interviews, but key information shared during them was shared with Police or the local authority in which the child went missing (if placed out of area). It was noted that while there had been a rise in the number of Missing numbers, there had been a smaller cohort of children. The team had held Missing prevention meetings with a few young people, which were held in a relaxed environment and were proving to have an impact.


The Children Specialist Support Team undertake all interviews for children subject to any involvement with Children Social Care, and those who are not were undertaken by Youth Services.


There had been more males than females involved in missing episodes. The Board discussed the process for those who became adults, and how this transition period was managed.


The Board recognised an increase in boys aged 13-16 in all areas of Missing and Exploitation. It was suggested that prevention and early intervention needed to be key in these cases. The team also faced challenges due to the primarily female workforce working with these young men.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • The Exploitation team had been looking to commission work from the St Giles Trust to work in the Pupil Referral Unit.
  • The Board recognised how much more effective proactive work was than reactive work.
  • The Board commented on the learning established within its primary schools exclusion audit and the challenge to ensure effective early help to reduce children’s vulnerability to poor outcomes including forms of exploitation.
  • Nick shared Bracknell Forest data with the wider Berkshire Exploitation sub group to examine key themes.

·         The LSCB recognised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


MASH Update


Sonia Johnson presented the MASH update report.


The MASH Board had held an extraordinary meeting in October 2018 to review the front door process. The Board had also assessed Thames Valley Police’s review of their MASH involvement, and had gathered assurances about multi-agency processes.


The Bracknell Forest MASH was perceived to be successful, however it was felt that partners were co-located rather than undertaking integrated decision making. Sonia reminded partners that the MASH was a process rather than a team.


With regards to involvement in the MASH, Children’s Social Care and TVP were consistently represented by the same people. There had also been support from the Early Help worker and Youth Services, who spent some time each week in the MASH and were available for virtual support. Consistency of the same representatives was valued to help the MASH function as a sustainable process. Housing colleagues were not represented in the MASH, and it was noted that this may be an omission.


Currently 80% of referrals into the MASH proceeded to Single Assessments. Schools were highlighted as having made the most appropriate referrals. The Police were the biggest referrers, but fewer of these proceeded to assessment.


The MASH processes were primarily compliant with Working Together.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • The online referral form now highlighted the consent based model, and asked the referrer to seek consent from the individual before submitting the form. This avoided any MASH worker having prior involvement by seeking consent with the individual before the case was considered.
  • Partners queried the format of online form as this could not be downloaded as a PDF. Sonia Johnson agreed to investigate this. (Action: Sonia Johnson)
  • The LSCB recognised and congratulated education colleagues on the success of quality referrals from schools.

·         Sonia commented that any partner was welcome to come and observe the MASH to better understand the process.


Domestic Abuse update


The Board noted the 6 monthly Domestic Abuse update report.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • There had been limited sign up from schools to Operation Encompass, at 61%. There had been a range of experiences from schools with Encompass, and some had not believed to have received any invitation.
  • It was suggested that it might be useful to circulate a summary of the number of notifications to each school.
  • Some schools had requested further information on each notification, but this could not be provided given this very early stage of each open investigation.
  • Schools should be encouraged to share these notifications on a need to know basis with only staff who were directly involved. These staff should be encouraged to keep a watchful eye on the child and for their practice to be trauma informed.
  • GPs had reportedly found the notifications very useful and that is has enabled the chance for a conversation.
  • Keith Grainger and Rachel Morgan agreed to promote the Operation Encompass service to Headteachers. (Action: Keith Grainger / Rachel Morgan)
  • It was suggested that there may be some confusion from schools regarding the two different notification systems from Local Authority and Police, and whether these were the same and causing the low number of engaged schools.
  • Parents and Children Together (PACT) had developed a schools offer around Domestic Abuse, and partners believed this to be a good model.
  • It was noted that learning from an SCR in West Berkshire would be shared with partners once agreed by the LSCB, which had elements of Domestic Abuse learning involved.


Performance Report Q1 2018-19


Alison Burnell presented the Performance Report Q1 2018-19, including the notes of the discussion/analysis already undertaken at the Learning and Improvement Subgroup and responses received.


While of homelessness remained an significant concern, oversight of this was frustrated by changes to the format of the associated data which is no longer comparable with previous periods.


LSCB Finance Mid-term Report


Jonathan Picken presented the LSCB Finance Mid-term report for 18/19. There was a renewed level of scrutiny following the appointment of the LSCB’s new senior accountancy assistant. The budget demonstrated income generation around training, and the spend against budget.


Partnership arrangements update


Alex Walters updated partners on the requirement to review multi agency safeguarding partnership arrangements arising from Working Together 2018.


An initial workshop was planned with Local Authority, Health and Police partners who were the statutory safeguarding partners. It was stressed that any new arrangement would build on the existing strong arrangements in Bracknell Forest.


The Board agreed that in any instance, the Pan-Berkshire arrangements should be sustained.


The outcome of the workshop would be brought to the Board for discussion / consultation.


Partnership minutes


The Board noted the minutes of the Health and Wellbeing Board, Corporate Parenting Advisory Panel, and the Community Safety Partnership.


Any Other Business


Jonathan Picken reminded partners of the LSCB’s new website ( and Twitter (


Phil Cook commented that at the Community Cohesion and Engagement Partnership, an update had been given around Hate Crime demographics which indicated that the majority of suspects and offenders had been 11-18 year old males. It was suggested that the CSP could be invited to join in a themed discussion around this.


Date of Next Meeting


18 January 2019