Agenda item

Sub-group Updates

·           Child Exploitation sub group – Phil Cook

·           Pan Berks Child Exploitation Sub Group (to follow)

·           Policy & Procedures Sub Group

·           Pan-Berks S11 Sub Group


Child Exploitation Sub Group - Bracknell Forest

Phil Cook updated on progress of the Child Exploitation Subgroup. Phil commented on capacity issues within the group, and poor attendance from some key partners. The subgroup had been renamed the Child Exploitation subgroup rather than Child Sexual Exploitation subgroup as previously to address changes and increased understanding of wider exploitation risks for children. The Child Exploitation strategy was due for refresh, and the subgroup would be addressing this in the coming months.


The subgroup highlighted that they wished to maintain connections with local businesses and organisations on a wider level, such as some units within the town centre which attract young people. Maintaining engagement with the Board was also highlighted as an area of challenge/risk, to ensure that relevant data from partners was captured and shared. 


The Board recognised the new dimension to the local Child Exploitation challenge with other authorities placing families in the Bracknell Forest area, where the standards of support and care for young people may differ to what was expected in their home authority. The Board had spoken in a previous meeting about escalating these concerns back to the placing local authority.


Communication around exploitation was continuing, and was being led by Involve.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • It was not clear how many primary schools had used the exploitation e-learning package, but this was raised as an action. (Action: Rachel Morgan /Paula Jenkins)
  • Attendance was stressed to be key to the subgroup functioning, as many actions were being rolled forward without an update. Phil had developed a template to gather written updates when an agency was not able to be represented.
  • It was stressed that the reformed LSCB Forum could be used to address any thematic issues arising from the sub-group, such as the Modern Day Slavery training which had been delivered at the last meeting.


Pan Berkshire Child Exploitation Subgroup


The Board received a written update which described the purpose of the sub group and its workplan. They had developed screening and assessment tools for all practitioners which had been signed off by the subgroup, and were being promoted by all 6 LSCBs and partners. It was noted that some local schools were familiar with their local arrangements and would continue to use a separate tool, but other partners would be expected to use the new tool. Information about this tool would be re-circulated with the minutes of this meeting. (Action: Jonathan Picken)


Training had also been proposed across Berkshire to improve the work around Return Home Interviews, although this had been recognised as a strength in Bracknell Forest.


Pan-Berks Policies & Procedures subgroup

The Board received the report of the pan-Berkshire Policies and Procedures subgroup. Key updates included work undertaken to clarify the guidance around Child Protection conferences, and guidance regarding families moving across Local Authority borders.


The subgroup was also addressing issues of gang activity and exploitation, modern slavery, child deaths, sexually harmful behaviour, children living away from home and fabricated illnesses.


The current focus of the subgroup was on the escalation policy, which had been a key piece of work with a great deal of consultation and had continued to be identified through 4 Serious Case Reviews undertaken in the west of Berkshire.


Jonathan agreed to circulate the report of the subgroup. (Action: Jonathan Picken)


Pan Berkshire S11 subgroup

The Board noted the S11 subgroup report, which had undertaken a midterm review process. Recent cases submitted to the subgroup included Barnardo’s, Get Berkshire Active and the Alexander Devine Hospice.


Children Social Care were now represented on the membership and the work of the group was recognised for its support and challenge of safeguarding within organisations.


It was noted that Children’s Trusts within Local Authorities were now also subject to S11 arrangements as well as the commissioning Local Authority.