Effective multi-agency arrangements to address child abuse at Stockton-upon-Tees has been highlighted in a Joint Targeted Area Inspection.
Inspectors from Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation and Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services undertook a joint inspection of the multi-agency response to abuse and neglect in Stockton-On-Tees, including a ‘deep dive’ focus on the response to children experiencing neglect.
The inspection concluded that local partnership of agencies have a strong shared commitment to tackling neglect.
This is exemplified by the children’s hub which acts as the front door for referrals for children at risk and there is a ‘comprehensive early help offer’ for families, said the report.
The report outlines how:
Areas for improvement include increasing the number of children who attend child protection conferences. Between April and September 2017, just eight of 222 children who could have attended did attend, although work to improve this is underway.
The current joint strategic needs analysis does contain relevant information about vulnerable children. However, much information dates from 2013–14 or earlier, and wider information to support understanding of risk to children and the commissioning of services is absent in some key areas.
Despite the helpful breadth of information presented, the children’s services performance framework lacks sufficient analysis, inspectors found.
The report highlights that while it is positive that Cleveland police have developed additional training for officers, inspectors found that inconsistencies remain in the quality of child safeguarding decision-making at the frontline, including when children are suffering from neglect. Cleveland police are experiencing difficulties in managing demand linked to vulnerability and in the protection of children in particular. This needs close monitoring, the report says.
Partner agencies are not consistently made aware of children living in potentially neglectful environments by Cleveland police.
Agencies are not sharing information sufficiently in some cases when a child becomes a 'child in need'. As a result, strategic and managerial leads within health services cannot always be assured that those children supported by the local authority as children in need due to neglect are known to the health services.
The report concludes that the director of children’s services should prepare a written statement of proposed action responding to the findings.
A National Deprivation of Liberty Court dealing specifically with applications relating to deprive children of their liberty has been announced by Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division.
The court will deal with applications seeking authorisation to deprive children of their liberty and will be based at the Royal Courts of Justice under the [...]
Some children have been failed by the agencies that were meant to protect them because child protection procedures had not been properly followed, an independent assurance review into historic child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Oldham has found.
Evidence of poor practice was attributed to a structural flaw the review team found in the multi-agency system [...]
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Migraines, slugs and war
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