Welcome to the summer issue of the Wandsworth Safeguarding Partnership newsletter.
As I write this we are entering another period of uncertainty with rising infection rates and different opinions as to what if any easing of restrictions the 21st June will bring.
Yet through all of this our services providing for the safety and wellbeing of our children and families have continued to deliver first class services. Health professionals, social workers and teachers have showed endless resilience and flexibility.
Then there are the hundreds of people who work for the community with non-statutory agencies and the many volunteers. As one example schools have seen so many changes away from the normal that have needed fast responses such as being open through holiday periods and ensuring testing of pupils but have managed to adapt and deliver what is required in very fast time.
So a massive thank you from the partnerships strategic leaders and me to each and every one of you.
Over the last year the WSCP has been considering what needs to be done differently to ensure there is no racist or other discriminatory practice. This has been a standing item at all the meetings.
Recently the local authority and the WSCP have decided to cease the use of the acronym BAME (meaning Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people). We recognise that it started being used with good intent but the partnership felt that using such a wide term did not help in focusing attention on the group that was being spoken about. From now on if heritage and ethnicity is relevant to the discussion people will just name that. A simple but meaningful change of thinking which I am sure you will agree with.
Please take care of yourself and look for some down time because this “rollercoaster ride” of fast change doesn’t seem to be over just yet.
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 became law last month and this marks a significant step forward in response to domestic abuse, which affected 2.3m people in England and Wales in 2019 -20.
The act sets out the first definition in law of what constitutes domestic abuse. The definition goes well beyond physical violence. It recognises that domestic abuse can be emotional, coercive, or controlling or economic.
Children as victims
The act defines domestic abuse as occurring where the victim and perpetrator are aged over 16. Abusive behaviour directed at a person under 16 would be dealt with as child abuse rather than domestic abuse.
One of the key functions of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner will be to encourage good practice in the identification of children affected by domestic abuse and the provision of protection and support for these children.
Extension of coercive control offence
The act extends the offence of coercive and controlling behaviour, no longer making it a requirement for abusers and victims to either still be in a relationship or to still live together.
Local authority accommodation duty
Part 4 of the act places a duty on relevant local authorities in England, including all those with social services responsibilities, to provide support to victims of domestic abuse and their children within refuges and other forms of safe accommodation.
The act also places a duty on each such authority to appoint a multi-agency domestic abuse local partnership board. There will be a national oversight board chaired by a minister, which the Domestic Abuse Commissioner will sit on.
On 18th March 2021 we hosted the annual Conference - Victoria Climbie ‘Safeguarding is Everyone’s Responsibility’
Lin Graham – Ray (Chair of Training & Workforce Development sub Committee) "the Partnership Annual conference this year was both reflective and impassioned.Looking Back, looking forward Victoria Climbe 20 years on was an opportunity for all to have time and space to think about the safeguarding journey we have all been on over the last 20 years,
the impact of Victoria’s experience and the legacy that has been left with us. Many positive comments were made throughout the day and in the evaluations and as co-chair with Cherrylyn Senior it was my privilege to make the day as interactive as we could be on teams. All attendees were asked to make a pledge and we will be sharing these as soon as possible so we can all continue our safeguarding journey. A huge thank you to all the conference team and speakers who were all amazing. If you were unable to attend, we will make the recoding available on our website. Please also keep an eye on TPD and the website for more learning opportunities and events."
The Training and Workforce development is looking at the conference’s evaluations and pledges and we will feedback your comments and views.
WSCP Annual Report 2019/20
The WSCP executive met on 14th May and officially signed off the 2019/2020 Annual Report. Every year the WSCP produces an annual report that gives an overview of safeguarding activity across the partnership. The report can be located on the partnership website : www.wscp.org.uk.
To support practitioners across the partnership to understand and apply thresholds consistently the Threshold Road Map and the easy to use poster were signed off the executive on 14th May , these documents do not replace the existing threshold document .
Learning from child safeguarding practice reviews
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (Chapter 4) introduced Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews to replace Serious Case Reviews as a method of reviewing serious child safeguarding cases. Cases published – can be found on the website : www.wscp.org.uk
Frankie was presented to the executive and signed off. The full report SCR Frankie.
Frankie had been an inpatient in hospital for life threatening asthma in the days leading up to the death. Frankie died within 24 hours of discharge.
The cause of death is recorded as an “acute exacerbation of asthma.” Frankie had a history of acute episodes of asthma with frequent admissions to hospital but also with some periods of stability. Frankie had required care on the Paediatric High Dependency Unit on several occasions and the asthma was considered by health professionals to be life threatening.
Learning Audit Jamie was presented to the executive and signed off.
On November 2018, Jamie became unwell and was kept off school for an unnecessarily long time which increased concerns and care proceedings were initiated in December 2018. Efforts to remove were obstructed by the parents who went missing and a recovery order was subsequently obtained. Jamie was placed in foster care and a subsequent CP medical indicated signs of significant neglect with delayed speech and language.
Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel
The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel has completed its second annual report. It looks at serious child safeguarding incidents between 1 January and 31 December 2020. It sets out patterns in practice for national government and local safeguarding partners to better protect vulnerable children.
Neglect is a key factor for both cases and has been a key feature of local and national LCSPRs and to support staff with assessments and analysis the WSCP is implementing the NSPCC Graded Care Profile 2 Neglect Tool.
There are awareness sessions being held to introduce the children's workforce to the tool.
Concerned about a Vulnerable Adult
Contact : Ally Smith
Safeguarding Adults Board Coordinator
Richmond and Wandsworth Councils
3rd Floor, Civic Centre | 44 York Street | Twickenham TW1 3BZ
6th floor Town Hall Extension, Wandsworth High Street, London SW18 2PU