Agenda and minutes

Local Safeguarding Children Board
Friday, 8 March 2019 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 on 18 January 2019 were approved as a correct record. During discussion, the following points were noted:

  • A formal request from the Chair for further narrative to support partners’ data had been issued, and a meeting for performance leads across LSCB partner organisations had been proposed to support this process.
  • The issue of the format for MASH referrals and related forms will be included within the Front Door transformation project
  • Only 4 schools in Bracknell Forest had not signed up to receive Operation Encompass Domestic Abuse notifications. Schools had raised concerns around the process through the Headteachers’ meetings which had been addressed with Debbie Smith and Christina Berenger. It was noted that the procedure for Operation Encompass had changed, so that details were recorded electronically at the scene of the crime in order that mandatory fields could not be missed. Christina agreed to update partners when this change had been implemented.
  • The LSCB requested an update from Nick John who is raising the issue regionally of schools with children from other Local Authority areas and Local Policing Areas which did not support Operation Encompass. It was commented that this was a more pressing issue for West Berkshire than Bracknell Forest, where neighbouring authorities were also within Thames Valley. (Action: TVP to provide update when available)
  • LSCB colleagues discussed concerns around vulnerable families from other authorities being placed into office blocks which had been converted into studios / residential units. The children involved were thought to be known to a number of local services. The Local Authority was looking to address and understand the impact of this issue, and asked partners to notify them of any particular issues arising from these families. Thom Wilson had agreed to organise a summit of key partners (Local Authority, Public Health, Community Safety Team, Police, Probation and others) in relation to the above issue, and would update on progress towards this at the next meeting. (Action: Thom Wilson)
  • The Board agreed to ask Janette Fullwood and Louise Noble for the proposed CAMHs data separated by Local Authority rather than by region. It had been thought that this agreement had been reached, but the proposed dataset had not yet been received. (Action: Alex Walters)
  • Paula Jenkins agreed to consult primary headteachers for assurance around the use of the Exploitation e-learning package. (Action: Paula Jenkins)
  • There remained a need to understand partners’ attendance at strategy meetings and Child Protection Conferences, which had been commented on during the JTAI. The Board asked Lisa Tingle to comment further on this in the next CP Chairs report and this will be an action within the JTAI Action Plan.
  • Jayne Reynolds and Emma Langdon had been in contact regarding the fact that BHFT referrals to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) had not been featured in the data informing the LADO Annual Report, and would be the subject of further review.


Agency Updates


Andrew Ellery reported that the Head of Service restructure of the Local Authority’s People directorate was underway, and the intention remained to move to all-age safeguarding teams under the Family Safeguarding Model, and the Children Looked After Pod.


Chris Stannard reported that Cynthia Folarin had been appointed Interim Consultant in Public Health, and that Bracknell Forest was re-entering the Berkshire shared Public Health arrangement. The timescales to appoint a permanent Consultant were dependent on Council decision making processes.


Kashif Nawaz informed the Board that he was now the Head of Children’s Support Services, which included SEN, Education Psychology, Behaviour Support, the Virtual School , Elective Home Education, Children Missing in Education and Safeguarding.


Philip Bell reported that Involve had restructured and appointed to three new posts - a new Funding Advisor, a Trustee Co-ordinator and his role as Deputy General Manager. The LSCB welcomed the increased capacity.


JTAI report (to follow when released)


Alex Walters presented the JTAI inspection report which had been published on the day of the meeting. The Board recognised the commitment of partners and thanked all those involved for their work.


There were a great number of strengths identified across the partnership and of individual partners. The report identified a number of areas of improvement, however no priority actions were identified.


Alex stressed two key areas highlighted in the report, which were the MASH front door arrangements and the need for further engagement with partners on strategy decisions and Child Protection conferences.


Inspectors had commented that partners were already aware of those areas which needed improvements.


The deep dive of 7 cases had not generated any priority actions, but had demonstrated there was a need for consistency across cases. Although MASH partners were co-located, the report raised concerns that some partners were still working in isolation and could work more collaboratively. The report proposed that agencies could join together to review particular areas of practice across the system.


The report highlighted the fact that senior leaders and link officers worked together effectively, and the Board thanked all partners for their efforts towards this.


Gary Campbell, QA Consultant in the Local Authority would be asked to collate actions across all partners to establish a JTAI statement of action plan to be submitted in June 19 and the LISG would monitor progress and report to the LSCB.


The Local Authority had arranged for communications around the report, which would be published later in the day.


Challenge log - to follow


The following updates for the Challenge Log were noted:


No 1: The Board requested an update from LSCB representatives at a future meeting on the progress of the Children’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing subgroup. (Action: Thom Wilson / Chris Stannard)


No 2: The Board noted that Disabled Children and those with SEND placed out of borough were a  priority, and that the LISG were intending to undertake a multi-agency audit in Q2 of 19/20 to seek assurance.


No 3: The number of referrals from health colleagues to the LADO continued to be monitored and a recent audit will be reported into the LISG in March 19.


No 6: The Board had received an update on safeguarding arrangements for pharmacists and dentists in Bracknell Forest. It was recognised that dentistry for particularly vulnerable children came under the BHFT remit and would be subject to the BHFT safeguarding arrangements. A further update to be requested from NHS England in September 2019.


No 9: The Board had been assured of governance around FGM, and this action had been completed.


No 10: Concerns around CCTV used in community halls had been resolved.


No 11: Domestic Abuse notifications for Early Years providers had been resolved. 


No 12: The Board noted a new challenge and that significant work was ongoing to address the housing need for a cohort of challenging adult offenders.


The Board agreed to add Operation Encompass onto the Challenge Log to capture discussions earlier in the meeting. The Board also agreed to add the issue of other LA children and their families placed in Bracknell and the impact on information sharing and risk management.


MAPPA Annual Report - to follow


It was agreed that this report would be deferred to the next Board meeting.


Substance Misuse


Jonathan Picken presented the Drug and Alcohol Strategic Group 6 monthly update report.


The Drug and Alcohol Service had improving knowledge and understanding of Children’s Social Care arrangements and had hosted lunchtime workshops for Family Safeguarding Model workers on a rolling programme around the implications of specific drugs. 


The service continued to undertake work with individual vulnerable young people.


It was noted that in the JTAI inspection, CQC inspectors had made reference to the need to further integrate the Drug and Alcohol team, Sexual Health services and Midwifery into the wider safeguarding system.


The Board noted Ofsted’s concerns during the JTAI around the Family Safeguarding Model, primarily that its inclusion of services for adults in the family had the potential to dilute the focus on the children. Colleagues in Bracknell Forest understood this dynamic and had been alert to the issue. Board members were urged to keep check and scrutiny on the balance between children focussed approaches and those focussing of the needs of adults.


Learning and Improvement Subgroup six monthly update


Alex Walters presented the Learning and Improvement Subgroup six monthly update report.


The Subgroup had met twice since the last report. The Subgroup had worked on case studies related to two siblings in a family who had both sustained self-inflicted injuries within the space of a year. The discussions had identified strengths in joint working and that led to useful discussions with school partners supporting the family. The Subgroup had considered the importance of a holistic approaches in such cases and had raised the issue of consent within work to safeguard children..


The Subgroup had also discussed a Serious Case Review which was ongoing within  another LSCB, regarding a family who had lived in Bracknell Forest. The children in this family had not come into contact with any partner agency, however links with a faith group within the Voluntary Community Sector had been established late in the review. Jonathan Picken will continue to liaise with colleagues in Surrey and ensure any local learning is disseminated.


The Subgroup had assessed the outcomes of the Child Exploitation Multi-agency audit which had identified opportunities to ensure further joined-up working between the Child Exploitation team, Children’s Social Care, Youth Services, Police and other key partners. The challenge remained around supporting vulnerable young people outside of office hours. The Subgroup would progress this audit further by discussing cases with the children and their families.


The Subgroup also continued to receive Section 11 audits and single agency audits.


The Subgroup planned to develop the audit programme for 2019/20, which may include work around the JTAI action plan and the effectiveness of the Family Safeguarding Model.


It was noted that learning from the multi-agency audits would be presented to the LSCB Forum in April 2019.


LSCB Finance Paper


Jonathan Picken presented the LSCB Finance Paper update for 2018/19.


Training was a key area of spending for the LSCB following the Training Needs Analysis but could also be used to generate income. However, it was necessary to understand the local need for safeguarding training, and to better market training opportunities available as without any development training income is likely to reduce in 2019/20.


The Board noted the increase of administration charged by the Local Authority and the resignation of the LSCB training and QA lead and the reduction in hours of the LSCB Partnership and Performance Officer.


The Board also noted the unexpected costs related to staff hours around the JTAI.


The Board accepted the budget as detailed. 


Training and Quality Assurance paper - to follow


Jonathan Picken circulated the Training and Quality Assurance paper.


The paper had been produced and updated the Board on the historical context of the project informed by the Board’s commissioning of a Training Needs Analysis. The outcome would link with learning arising from audit work and JTAI research.


Jonathan commented that the limited LSCB function had to be maximised to deliver the most effective training provision possible, and that efforts were maintained to ensure the momentum of multi-agency training Jonathan acknowledged the uncertainty around the future costs and income generated by the training service, but that the LA had invested in new SLA Online administrative systems that would enable better marketing of events.


Training would be facilitated through the Local Authority’s SLA Online service. It was noted that while the original timescales for this online service had shifted, it was hoped that the automated online booking system would realise efficiencies. Thom Wilson advised partners that the project manager delivering the SLA Online project had needed to leave due to staff illness. The new project manager was a commercial expert, and it was hoped that this would aid income.


It was hoped that further alignments and efficiencies could be realised with joint training, professional developments and audit activity across Safeguarding Children and Adult’s Boards.


The Board agreed in principle to extend the Training and Quality Assurance project by 6 months to cover the end of the next financial year. This would ensure that normal LSCB business could continue alongside the project. The LSCB agreed the team should appoint to the current vacancy and explore a secondment opportunities for staff from partner organisations who may wish to take up the opportunity of short-term /part-time employment to help further develop the local training provision


Performance Data Q3


Alison Burnell presented the Performance Data for Quarter 3 2018/19. The data had not yet been presented to the Learning and Improvement Subgroup.


Alison highlighted the following key areas:

  • New birth visits had fallen to 80% during Quarter 3, whereas the target was 95%. It was noted that this was attributable to sickness within the team, and 50% of the cases not visited within 14 days of birth were visited on the 15th day. All families were given the duty line contact for BHFT for any arising issues.
  • The number of EHCP assessments completed had risen to 103 by the end of quarter 3 2018/19, compared to 89 done for the whole of 2017/18. 85% of referrals had led to plans, and there was a continued increase in number of referrals and requests to the team.
  • In the year to date, 65% of Children’s Social Care referrals had led to single assessments compared with 85% at the end of 2017/18. This was attributable to a change of management and change of process, as more was done with referrals before lodging a single assessment to ensure all referrals were appropriate. While the Board recognised the complexities of this, the reduction in the percentage of referrals to single assessment was seen as positive as more cases would be moved to different services.
  • The number of Children Looked After had continued to rise to 163 but the rate per 10,000 children remained below the national average, and the number of Child Protection Plans had decreased from the same point in the previous two years. The Board recognised the significance of the increase in the number of Children Looked After in the context of the Family Safeguarding Model. There was no clear cause for the increase in Children Looked After, and the Edge of Care transformation project would impact on practices around this.
  • The stability of placements counted the number of children with 3 or more moves in care. It was clarified that when a child came into emergency foster care, this counted as the first move. All subsequent temporary foster carers would also count as moves.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • Although there was national work to develop predictive analytics around Children Looked After, there was not a reliable way of predicting future need. In Bracknell Forest, there were often links between children who came into care and housing services and so the Local Authority were exploring closer links between Early Help and Prevention, and Housing and Benefits.
  • It was noted that while trajectories were sometimes useful, a predictive approach could lead to professional hypotheses being taken too quickly before a real cause could be determined.
  • The Board welcomed the fact that the data did not record any families temporarily housed by Bracknell Forest living outside of the borough.


Partnership minutes


The Board noted minutes from the following Partnerships:

·         Community Safety Partnership – 24 January 2019

·         Corporate Parenting Advisory Panel – 14 December 2019


Future arrangements

·        CDOP changes


The Board received the National Children’s Bureau document on the DfE funded Safeguarding Early Adopters working on the new Safeguarding arrangements.


It was noted that 13 Local Authority areas had now published their future safeguarding arrangements, and not all of these were early adopters.


In Bracknell Forest, a meeting had been held with statutory partners to begin dialogue around the future arrangements. Further discussions were planned before options were brought to the Board by May 2019.


The Board was reassured that the published arrangements needed to indicate a process and direction of travel rather than a finalised system.


Board members commented that the reassessing of safeguarding arrangements was timely with other partners also reassessing their approach. The Health and Wellbeing Board in particular were looking to redevelop their Health and Wellbeing Strategy from 2020, and partners were reminded not to lose sight of helpful changes arising from the ICS and Primary Care Networks which could help with safeguarding arrangements locally.


It was noted that CDOP was an important part of the safeguarding system locally, and Berkshire CDOP had been working with colleagues from Bristol University to prepare for its transition and to consider the national picture in respect to new arrangements. Partners were reassured that they should not see any drastic change in CDOP procedures, and the local focus ongoing would be reported into the Board. Jonathan also agreed to recirculate the CDOP guidance issued in November 18 (Action: Jonathan Picken)


Pan-Berks Escalation Policy


The Board noted the Escalation Policy from the Pan-Berks Policy and Procedure Subgroup for information.


It was commented that the IRO and Child Protection Chairs have their own Escalation procedure, and any potential overlap should be considered, and the Chair had raised this. It was commented that names would be useful against titles when published in Bracknell Forest.


Any comments on the Policy were requested to be sent to the LSCB team by 22 March 2019 for feedback before the final sign off. 


Information Items


The Board received the following information items:

  • Letter from Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel to Announce of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s First National Review
  • Foster carer recruitment documents designed by SiLSiP
  • Update on Kooth December 2018
  • Learning and Improvement Subgroup Multi-agency Audit Progress against Recommendations
  • BHFT Quarter 3 scorecard


Any Other Business


Jonathan Picken informed Partners of Involve’s Community Cultural Event on 23 March 2019, which would include a safeguarding stand. If any partner had material to be promoted on this stand, they were invited to contact Jonathan. He also informed partners of the CDOP annual conference on 24 April 2019.


Nikki Edwards reported that the Local Authority’s Dogs for Good scheme had included a case study which had got a child back into full time school. The dog, Lexi, had also worked with terminally ill children, and worked with young people to help process their emotions. Lexi was working with 18 cases across children’s and adults services, and had been nominated for an iESE innovation award.


Abigail Simmons reported that the next Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board was themed on transition, and would be assessing their strategic plan. The next meeting would include presentations from both adults and children’s services, and the slides would be circulated to the Board. (Action: Abigail Simmons)


Shaun Virtue reported that Thames Valley Police would be undertaking Operation Sceptre knife surrender the week following the meeting. Lots of marketing had been undertaken for this operation, and partners were invited to support.


Shaun Virtue also reported on County Lines drug activity week in partnership with the Community Safety Partnership. Three further weeks had been planned, and Bracknell Forest would be a key area of focus for this work.


Shaun Virtue also reported that a programme had been established in Wokingham to reduce the number of exclusions. Nick Young was involved in this programme, and if there was appetite, a similar scheme could be developed for Bracknell Forest.


Date of Next Meeting

17 May 2019

12 July 2019


17 May 2019

12 July 2019

20 September 2019

15 November 2019