Officer: Robert Henderson
Key decision: no
The Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Learning thanked the Chair of the Croydon Safeguarding Children Board (CSCB) for their work and focus on working in partnership which had been important when moving to new safeguarding arrangements from 2019. It was noted that the Vulnerable Adolescents Review (VAR) had received both national and local recognition and this work was congratulated.
The Chair of the CSCB, Di Smith, stated that the annual report was the last report of the CSCB as it had been replaced by multi-agency safeguarding arrangements from 1 September 2019 which had three statutory partners of the council, Police and CCG. The report, it was stated, had been written in a clear format and in line with the legislation and built upon the success and work of the Children’s Improvement Board.
Members were informed that during 2018/19 there had been close engagement with the LSP and Safer Croydon Partnership, and that there had been three priority areas of review; vulnerable adolescents, neglect and safeguarding children with disabilities. By working in partnership the Board was able to identify better where there was neglect. In relation to the VAR; the Chair informed Members that requests to speak at NSPCC conferences had been received and UCL had expressed an interest to undertake further research.
Two serious case reviews had been undertaken in 2018/19 and the Chair stated that they had been reviewed and learnings had been taken from the review and were being put into action. Focus remained on the Voice of the Child and ensuring that was at the centre of all partners work, particularly on the front line.
The Board also continued to focus on multi-agency practice and, as such, an event had been organised for 25 November 2019 to bring together all partners and ensuring learning was being shared. It was recognised, the Chair stated, that relationships with all partners were strengthened and in particular the Croydon Safeguarding Adult Board (CSAB).
The CSCB Chair stated that she would like the two safeguarding boards to come together to look at transitions in particular and parental vulnerability as it was recognised that there were real opportunities to improve safeguarding across the board in Croydon.
Annie Callanan, CSAB Chair, informed Members that the chairs of both safeguarding boards had met and it was felt that there was a real opportunity to work together better and align priorities, where appropriate. The CSAB outlined additional areas of possible joint working being training and development and work to combat modern day slavery.
Members recognised the excellent work which had been undertaken as part of the VAR and congratulated the Board for the recognition it had received nationally. It was further noted by Members that following serious case reviews improvements were implemented which improved safeguarding in Croydon further.
Members welcomed the joint focus on transitions as it was noted that the transition from child to adult was a very vulnerable point in a person’s life and support could be improved. The Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon & Communities informed Members that the Violence Reduction Unit would be looking at the findings of the Boards as it was important that all partners worked to reduce violence and would continue to support the work and build upon the work of the VAR.
The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:
RESOLVED: To note the Croydon Safeguarding Children Board (CSCB) Annual Report for 2018/19 which sets out:
· The work undertaken by the CSCB to secure further improvement in partnership working following the Ofsted inspection of 2017
· Progress relating to the priorities of the CSCB
· Arrangements for managing the transition to the new multi-agency safeguarding arrangements as required by the Children and Social Work Act 2017.