Agenda and draft minutes

Local Safeguarding Children Board
Friday, 12 July 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


Arising from the minutes of the previous meeting, the following points were noted:

·        A meeting to agree the CAMHS Emotional Health dataset had been scheduled to be held in early August, between BHFT, East Berkshire CCG, Public Health and the LSCB Business team.

·        There had been no comments arising from the Exploitation e-learning package used by primary schools.

·        The report on safeguarding through pharmacies and dentists would come to the Safeguarding Partnership under the new arrangements.

·        Jonathan Picken agreed to look into why Voluntary and Community groups to support those affected by Domestic Abuse were not being fully utilised and agreed to speak to Berkshire Women’s Aid. (Action: Jonathan Picken)

·        Jonathan agreed to follow up on the Family Safeguarding Model briefing note for schools, to confirm that this had been circulated. (Action: Jonathan Picken / Rachel Morgan)

·        The content of LSCB training was being reviewed under the new arrangements. Partners commented that the recent Thresholds training had been particularly useful.

·        Samantha Jordan updated that the issue around Level 1 MAPPA cases had been addressed, and each MAPPA meeting now included a standing item to ask all Partners whether they had any concerns relating to Level 1 cases. The Board welcomed this development, but queried which Local Authority body should monitor this issue. Jonathan agreed to write to the Community Safety Partnership to discuss the matter. (Action: Jonathan Picken)

·        The JTAI Action Plan had been developed and submitted, and it was noted that a number of tasks had already been completed. The Board queried where the governance of the action plan would sit, following the close of the Learning and Improvement Sub-group in its current form.

·       The Board noted that the Local Transformation Plan had applied for Mental Health Support Teams pilot, and had been offered a place for one team in Wave 1 (beginning September 2019). It had not been decided which Local Authority would use this pilot slot, but would be confirmed.


Agency Updates


Debbie Hartrick reported that work was ongoing in the Integrated Care System to connect Designated Safeguarding Leads across the system.


Debbie also reported that following the publication of the new CDOP arrangements, implementation would take place over the summer. Jo Barnett would be overseeing the implementation phase and ensuring the new process was fit for purpose.


Debbie reported that the CCG’s Lift the Baby co-sleeping campaign with London Irish rugby team had been a success and would be shown at every London Irish game next season.


Debbie reported that the Hidden Carers campaign on buses in Bracknell had been successful, and it was hoped that the associated helpline could continue for advice and support.


Debbie reported that the CCG had recently had a safeguarding and Children Looked After CQC inspection in Slough, and the report would be published in August 2019.


Thom Wilson informed partners that a new Head of Commissioning (Sam Morrison) had been appointed, and a team of 13 Commissioners were now in place in the Local Authority.


Chris Stannard updated partners that she would be leaving the Local Authority, and recruitment was due to fill the role. Cynthia Folarin, Interim Consultant in Public Health would be staying in post for the time being, and would be the main point of contact for Public Health in the new Safeguarding arrangements.


Samantha Jordan reported that the Probation service had produced a briefing on intrafamilial sexual abuse, which was due to be signed off and released.


Samantha also reported that Probation had established a shared email account for MASH referrals.



MASH Update


Andrew Ellery, Service Manager MASH and Assessment at Bracknell Forest Council attending the meeting to update on the MASH.


The MASH Board met every 4-6 weeks for Senior Managers to maintain operational oversight. Dip sampling had been planned to assess the quality of decision making in the MASH.  


The MASH Duty and Assessment team was mid-transformation, and a trial was planned for the new arrangements on the week commencing 22 July 2019. All Early Help referrals into the Local Authority would go through the MASH in order to prevent any disjoint between the two services. If the trial was successful, this practice would be rolled out.


The MASH would benefit from Early Help involvement in order to fully understand and implement thresholds.


Strategy meetings for cases were to be held within 1 working day (with some flexibility around cases involving fabricated illness), and the quality of having face-to-face strategy meetings was recognised.


MASH performance data had improved, with 90% of contacts dealt with within 1 working day. It was noted that when the MASH included Early Help, the ambition was to contact all cases within 24 hours but partners recognised that this was only statutory for Children’s Social Care cases.


There had been an increase in confidential MASH enquiries, and consent in these cases had been discussed. Conversations between professionals and referees in these cases were being reassessed to clearly explain the process. 86% of MASH confidential enquiries had been responded to within 24 hours.


The number of Section 47 enquiries which lead to an Initial Child Protection Conference was at 58% in the year to date, and the Board commented that this upward trend was reassuring, and demonstrated appropriate referrals.


Initial Child Protection Conferences held within 15 days had increased, and was a significant focus of the service currently. Andrew commented that partners had supported this process, which was welcomed.


The social worker role in the MASH was now an Assistant Team Manager role, which would be used to manage dedicated MASH workers. Previously the management of MASH staff had rotated between Team Managers.


Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust had reviewed their referral processes in light of the JTAI, and had been fully engaged in MASH work. Andrew commented that Health Visitor attendance at the MASH had much improved, and BHFT had fed back that the process had been positive. A Health Visitor was now based in the MASH at peak times, and was included in daily strategy meetings. Strategy meeting conference call technology was being reviewed to encourage participation where partners could not attend.


The arrangements with Police involvement in the MASH were being reviewed, and Police colleagues were now present in the MASH and were trialling attendance at strategy meetings. This arrangement would continue to be assessed.


A Manager Review was due to be introduced into the MASH to review cases with workers every 30 days.  


The Early Help Hub had been reconfigured to form Early Help Panels, which was hoped to encourage families to go to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.


Broadmoor Annual Report


The Broadmoor Annual Safeguarding Report was deferred to be considered by the Safeguarding Board under the new arrangements.


Pan-Berkshire Policy and Procedure Sub-Group


The Board received an update from the Pan-Berkshire Policy and Procedure subgroup.


The Board expressed its continued and ongoing support for the work of this Pan-Berkshire arrangement.


The subgroup had reviewed core policies on abuse and neglect, children living away from home and fabricated and inducted illnesses.


The subgroup continued to be consistently well supported and attended.


The subgroup had established a bi-annual newsletter, and continued to maintain a forward plan to identify new issues as they arose.


The terms of reference for the subgroup had been reviewed in light of the new safeguarding arrangements, in order to future-proof the work of the subgroup. Mandeep Gill, Head of Family Safeguarding had been reviewing the governance of the subgroup to align with the new safeguarding arrangements in Bracknell Forest.


Upcoming areas of work included reviews of policies around criminal exploitation, new arrangements for Serious Case Reviews, and Child Death Overview Panel arrangements.


Arising from discussion, the following point were noted:


·        Board reiterate need for oversight across all LAs and aprtnerships – need to consider mechanism for this assurance.

·        All want to keep things working across areas and expand where hadn’t previously.


Pan-Berkshire Child Exploitation Sub-Group (Revised screening tool)


The Board received an update from the Pan-Berkshire Child Exploitation Sub-group.


The subgroup had recently revised the Child Exploitation screening tool, which served as an aide memoir for anyone considering what to do about a concern they had. The tool included a focus on forced labour, which was an addition to the previous tool.


Partners were asked to raise the tool in team briefing to remind professionals of the tool and its purpose.


Arising from discussion, the following points were noted:

·        Jonathan agreed to ask the subgroup whether there was a feedback mechanism in the referral system, and whether the referrer would know the outcome. (Action: Jonathan Picken)

·        The Board asked the MASH to monitor who the main referring partner agencies were, and which partner agencies were not referring.

·        The Board fed back to the subgroup that for some practitioners who saw a child for a short length of time (eg GPs), the screening tool asked for too much detail.

·        The screening tool would be added to the LSCB website and disseminated to all partners.


Jonathan also updated on the local Bracknell Forest LSCB Child Exploitation subgroup, and whether there was an opportunity to merge with the pan-Berkshire group. The Board commented that if the governance was in place, the local subgroup could be replaced with an operational group to support existing Child Exploitation groups run by Nick Young. It was agreed that if the subgroup was to continue locally, the governance and structure of this needed to be clear and subject to review by the Safeguarding Board.


Phil Cook, current chair of the local Child Exploitation subgroup updated on a number of key priorities which had been identified by the subgroup for further attention:

·        Wider information sharing amongst partners, including wider team members

·        All partners seizing opportunities to tackle/address CE and CSE from their own contacts/customers.

·        Wider training and awareness raising amongst businesses, communities and gen public and enhanced community engagement

·        Increased understanding of local/national offer of support, advice and services

·        Protecting and supporting people with learning disabilities

·        Addressing the increased level of violence amongst young people.

·        Maintain focus on the sexual element of Child Exploitation, as well as other areas.



Performance Data for 2018-19


Jonathan Picken presented the Performance Data for 2018-19.


Arising from the presentation and discussion, the following points were noted:

·        Referrals to Early Help services: It was noted that the launch of family hubs in December had resulted in increased number of cases, and also a proportionate increase in caseload.

·        Referrals to Children’s Social Care: There had been some discussion around this data, as partners noted that it was possible that some cases had been closed prematurely, but that the case closures had been monitored carefully.

·        Children Looked After and Children Protection cases: Partners noted that numbers had reduced to 145 from 158 in March 2019. These numbers were not more aligned with national averages and comparable local authorities.  

·        Initial Child Protection Conferences: It was noted that resources for ICPCs were being used more effectively, as only those cases which required a conference would progress that far. This had been helped by the Conference and Review team manager reviewing all decisions prior to conferences being arranged.

·        Repeat Child Protection Conference: The number of RCPCs had reduced, which partners welcomed. It was noted that in other East Berkshire Local Authorities, there had been a trend in seeing older children and those with more complex issues at RCPCs.

·        Violent offences against under-18s: It was noted that Christina Berenger had put together a TVP-wide commentary on this matter, and the subject had been raised at the Pan-Berks Exploitation subgroup. It was proposed that Public Health colleagues might look into the background behind this, and any causes for it. (Action: Chris Stannard/Cynthia Folarin)


Thresholds Guidance (Dissemination, Implementation and Quality Assurance)


The Board welcomed the multi-agency work around the Threshold Guidance which had been reviewed and revised. The new guidance had been published with the new Safeguarding arrangements on 29 June 2019.


It was proposed that the guidance could be aligned with the MASH review.



Multi Agency Safeguarding Arrangements (Transition of business)

·        Update on transition

·        Review of Risk Log

·        Outstanding Actions

·        Quality assurance and learning

·        Recommendations for Safeguarding Board



Jonathan Picken introduced the Multi-agency Safeguarding Arrangements, which connected adults and children’s safeguarding into one Safeguarding Board for Bracknell Forest. Partners noted the opportunity this afforded to assess transition between the two services for older children and young adults.


The statuory partners were due to meet to agree the schedule of four meetings per year for the Safeguarding Board, under whose governance a Safeguarding Partnership would meet more often. The frequency and membership of these meetings was yet to be agreed but would be communicated when clear.


Partners recognised the need to maintain robust scrutiny in the new arrangements, which would include the Safeguarding Business Unit and the independent chair. Further work was required to clarify the relationship between the independent chair and scrutiny function.


Board members were keen to maintain involvement and engagement with the pan-Berkshire subgroups.


The arrangements would be reviewed in February 2020, and comments from colleagues would be taken on board.


The Board also received and noted the risks and issues log to be transferred to the Safeguarding Board. It was proposed that an additional action be added around the Safeguarding arrangements themselves, and a review of practices.



Any Other Business


Board members thanked Chris Stannard for her work, as she was due to leave the Local Authority.


Board members thanked Alex Walters for her hard work and dedication as the LSCB’s independent chair.