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WSCB Newsletter August 2018
You can find the Wandsworth Safeguarding Board newsletters, Parental Substance misuse and Disabled Children's Register newsletters, in our downloads section.

If you have any questions, or wish to request a previous edition not available on our site, then please call the WCSB administrator on 020 8871 7401. 

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 is now published

The new working together 2018 document is now published. The Department for Education has released the updated version of Working Together to Safeguard Children.

An updated version of Keeping Children Safe in Education has already been published in May 2018, and comes into effect from 3 September 2018. Until then, schools and colleges must continue to use the current statutory guidance dated September 2016. The updated Keeping Children Safe in Education should be read alongside Working Together to Safeguard Children, which clearly states that it also applies its entirety to all schools. 

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 (Commencement Number 4, and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Regulations 2018 brings into force those parts of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 which make significant changes to the following sections of Working Together to Safeguard Children: 

  • Chapter 3: Multi-Agency safeguarding arrangements
  • Chapter 4: Improving child protection and safeguarding practice
  • Chapter 5: Child death reviews

It also makes the necessary amendments to the Children Act 2004. The Children and Social Work Act 2017 can also be viewed.

The section on information sharing has been expanded to remind practitioners that they should be proactive in sharing information as early as possible. The guidance about information sharing can be viewed on the GOV website

WSCB Annual Safeguarding Children Conference 2018

WSCB Conference October 2018

The Safeguarding Children from Exploitation Conference is on Thursday 18 October 2018. The aim of the conference is to enable professionals to hear about experiences and the impact of child exploitation on young people and their families. The conference will also focus on county lines, trafficking and extremism. Strategies for intervention and contextualised safeguarding will be discussed.

Practitioners will be able to draw findings from research, and discuss strategies for providing solutions for early intervention and prevention work. Young people will be safer in their communities, and practitioners will be more informed and feel empowered to make a difference. There will be a theatre production on county lines. There will also be a guest speaker from Trident, and national and local audio visual presentations.

Wscb annual conference

To discuss the conference or any training matters, please contact Carline Benoit, Wandsworth Safeguarding Children Board's Multi-Agency trainer, and training commissioner. She is located within the Wandsworth Children's Social Care Academy, who support the coordination of the learning from experience events and the WSCB annual conference. Carline delivers the three core safeguarding training courses, which are co-facilitated with colleagues from within the children's social care services.

Book online

Data Protection and Privacy Statement

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

From time to time, Wandsworth SCB (WSCB) send out information to interested parties relating to our training programme, newsletter or general information about safeguarding children and young people. To be able to keep a mailing list, we collect, store and process data i.e. names and e-mail addresses. The WSCB is registered on the Information Governance Commissioner (ICO) register of data controllers. From 25 May 2018, with the implementation of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), to receive this general information you will need to have ‘opted in’.

During the coming week, we shall be emailing to all currently on our distribution list requesting this consent. If you receive this email, please do complete and return. If we do not receive consent by close of business on 24 May 2018, your details will be removed from the list and you will no longer receive information that you previously found helpful.

For new contacts, we shall be asking for consent to receive information on our Contact Consent Form. If you have any questions about this or your status on our distribution list, please email WSCB@Wandsworth.gov.uk or call us on 020 88717401.

For more information on GDPR, please view the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website.

Privacy Statement

Wandsworth SCB is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. We only collect personal information about people who engage or come into contact with us, usually through being a member of our WSCB Board and Sub-Committees, being interested in our training programme, website or Newsletter.  Please be assured that your contact details once given to us will be kept securely and not shared with any other organisation without your explicit approval.

Contact details will be kept for a maximum of three years, after which time you will be asked for new consent.

If at any time you would prefer to stop receiving our mailings, please email WSCB@Wandsworth.gov.uk and ask for your details to be removed from our distribution list.

To ask any questions regarding our privacy practices, email WSCB@Wandsworth.gov.uk or call 020 8871 7401.

Learning Lessons from E Children Learning Review

Published March 2018

The multi-agency learning review was carried out by WSCB in partnership with a neighbouring Borough's LSCB. This review considered the permanence planning, decision making and protection of two Black British children now aged 10 and 13 who have been adopted by their former Foster Carers. The review considered the period between 2004 and 2015.  

When the children were placed together in what was their foster home, they had no previous relationship as one of them a baby joining her older brother. The adoptive parents were originally Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) carers who then moved across to become Wandsworth Foster Carers.

The adoptive parents had an older birth child and were a suitable match in terms of identity and culture.  During the placement a number of child protection concerns arose particularly in relation to sexualised behaviour and how this was understood. 

There were also challenges in addressing safe care, requests for financial support and structural changes to the family home. 

Key learning

  • The review identified failings in the protection of the children. There were missed opportunities to assess the children's safety by carrying out Section 47 child protection enquiries in 2011, 2014 and March 2015.
  • Statutory guidance within London Child Protection Procedures and National Fostering Standards was not followed.
  • Need to ensure that standards of approval for foster carers are high that Fostering and Adoption panels fulfil their role in scrutiny and challenge.
  • The need to review the permanence plan for the children when concerns arise including the question of whether siblings should be placed together or apart.
  • To understand the role that complaints and requests for finance may have when addressing safeguarding.
  • Dynamics of disguised compliance need to be understood and recognised.
  • Understanding the importance of internal escalation of concerns and across the partnership within Wandsworth and the neighbouring Borough led to questions about professionals understanding of their responsibility and process for LSCB escalation.

Learning from the review will be presented at the WSCB Learning from Experience events on 24th April 2018 at Wandsworth Professional Development Centre (WPDC) based at Burntwood Academy. 

Learning Lessons from Baby Eliza Serious Case Review

All Local Safeguarding Children Boards follow the statutory guidance in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 when considering the threshold for conducting a serious case review (SCR).

This should take place if a child abuse or neglect is known, or suspected in a case and a child has died or a child has been seriously harmed and there is cause for concern about how the authority or other organisations or professionals worked together to safeguard the child.

The WSCB has undertaken a Serious Case Review on Baby Eliza* in 2016-17.

The SCR was about baby Eliza who received serious injuries whilst living at home with her mother. Eliza's mother was recognized as a young parent who suffered from gendered abuse across her childhood and into adulthood; from child sexual abuse to child sexual exploitation then domestic abuse.

The mother experienced separation and disrupted attachments from her family as child who moved between care arrangements in her family and was in public care as a teenager; she experienced harm/ abuse and was a missing child.

In light of child protection concerns about neglect and harm to animals her first child was removed.

Her own history impacted upon her parenting capacity. Professionals worked with the family recognized their sympathy for her as a child who had been looked after and was also a vulnerable care leaver. The SCR highlighted the potential to identify with the abused child within the adult who was a parent.

The possibility that practitioners may have over identified and whether this unconsciously impacted on decision making and response to concerns was noted. Professionals initiative to ask questions and show curiosity about the role of men and fathers; their history of parenting and relationships was also raised. 

What was learnt from the SCR?

The WSCB recognised the learning highlighted in this SCR as listed below: 

  • Pre-Birth Assessment Guidance was revised and reissued to ensure that pre-birth procedures are understood & followed.
  • Information sharing should be prioritised by all agencies to ensure the welfare of the baby.
  • Importance of detailed safeguarding information being included in referrals for services to help identify the child needs.
  • A recognition that mental ill-health, substance misuse and domestic abuse have an impact on capacity to parent to inform a risk assessment for a vulnerable child and not diminished in consequence of sympathy for a vulnerable parent.
  • The benefit of precision in professional exchanges e.g. status of a service user's given address and commonality of terms (core group v team around the child). The WSCB has now changed the terminology and asked professionals to use the term Core Group in line with the Child Protection Procedures.
  • The WSCB will need to continue to hold professionals and organisations to account to support them to challenge perceived errors of professional judgments.
  • Professionals will need to continue to encourage full involvement of GPs. 

Ruth Lacey, Chair of WSCB Serious Case and Imbedded Learning

New crackdown on child groomers comes into force 

On 3 April 2017, section 67 of the Serious Crime Act (2015) came into force making it a criminal offence for anyone aged 18 or over to intentionally communicate with a child under 16, where the person acts for a sexual purpose and the communication is sexual or intended to elicit a sexual response. The offence applies to online and offline communication, including social media, e-mail, texts and letters.

Update to the London Child Protection Procedures

The London Child Protection Procedures were updated on Friday, 31 March 2017.

The London Child Protection Procedures are now updated every 6 months on 30 September and 31 March of each year. The ‘Archives and Amendments’ tab allows you to view the changes that were made at each update. Where significant changes are made they will be highlighted on the front page. You are also able to register on the website for updates regarding the procedures and we would encourage you to do so.

The front page has a link to a pdf to the updated Part A: Core Procedures. This will be watermarked to expire at the time of the next update. It is produced to be easily printed by professionals and volunteers who don’t have ready access to computers and hence aren’t able to view the procedures online in their day-to-day work. Part B isn’t produced as a pdf because it is intended to be used when there is a specific concern, such as a child at risk of sexual exploitation, hence it is not envisaged that Part B will be required in its entirety but that chapters will be read on an ‘as and when needed’ basis.

The Editorial Board of the London Child Protection Procedures oversees the updating and development of the Procedures. Members include representatives from children’s social care, local safeguarding children boards, health and the police. 

Child Sexual Exploitation - important guidance issued by the government

New statutory guidance on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) was issued on 16 February 2017.

National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day 2017

18 March each year is National CSE Awareness Day

Section 11 of Children Act 2004 Safeguarding Self-Assessment Audit 2018

We would like to thank all the staff who completed the Section 11 audit questionnaire again this year. 

Section 11 (4) of the Children Act 2004 places a statutory requirement on organisations and individuals to ensure they have arrangements in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.  

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 states that one of the key functions of a Local Safeguarding Children Board is "monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of what is done by the authority and their board partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and advising them on ways to improve". The WSCB discharges this function by carrying out a Section 11 assessment on an annual basis. An online process was used this year and agency specific questionnaires were created in response to requests from partners to make the questions more relevant and for the questionnaire to be user friendly. 

7,227 practitioner responses were received for the survey sent out in January 2018. 

In April 2018, a strategic questionnaire was also sent out to all agencies, asking for a self-assessment of safeguarding practice under each of the eight standards of Section 11 to provide an executive level sign off of that statement. This complements the practitioners' survey. Over 61 strategic questionnaires were completed by July 2018.

The Section 11 audit process was concluded in June 2018, after the WSCB board facilitated 27 challenge conversations in the form of interviews with the key agencies that participated.

A total of 35 agencies, including statutory agencies and a selection of partner agencies, were invited. The agencies that attended found the interviews useful and encouraged further participation within their organisations. Agencies had received summaries for their organisations and prepared suitable action plans to address any issues identified by the responses to the survey. Learning for those agencies were shared about key messages from the audit specific to their organisation. The agencies also provided feedback to the WSCB board about the process and other issues they thought could be improved in 2019.

The focus of this year's Section 11 audit was to ensure that staff across all agencies have a good understanding of the referral process, thresholds, are aware of the introduction of IPOC and the updated LADO process. 

Highlights from the findings from the Section 11 process 2018 conclude that the majority of staff surveyed are aware when they need to raise concerns with their safeguarding lead, know when to refer children to IPOC and who to speak to if they have safeguarding concerns about a colleague.

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Wandsworth
Safeguarding Children Board

Independent Chair:
Nicky Pace

Business Manager:
Kaied Ghiyatha