SAFE News Archives 2012

Consultation on the revised statutory guidance on children missing education for local authorities

Source: Department for Education published on this site December 20th 2012 by Jill Powell

The purpose of this consultation is to gather views on the revised statutory guidance for local authorities. Consultation ends 15th February 2013

The guidance advises on key principles to help local authorities fulfil their legal duty to put into place effective arrangements for identifying children of compulsory school age living in their area who are missing education.

This guidance is also useful for governing bodies, headteachers, school staff, youth offending teams and those involved in safeguarding children.

To read the guidance click: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/careers/payandpensions/a00218642/children-missing-education-guidance

To download the consultation response form and submit your completed response click: https://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/departmentalinformation/consultations/submit

Parental internet controls consultation

Source Department for Education published on this site 18th December 2012 by Jill Powell

Between 28 June and 6 September 2012, the ministers from the Department for Education and the Home Office who co-chaired the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) Executive Board consulted UKCCIS members and the wider public on their views on parental controls.

Over 3500 individuals and organisations replied to the consultation and gave a wide range of views. The Government has now published its response to the consultation and set out a number of ways in which it would like to see children’s online safety improved.

The Government’s proposals include a new approach to parental controls by the internet service providers, and for all businesses in the information and communication industries, including retailers and device manufacturers, to develop universally-available family-friendly internet access which is easy to use.

Ministers will also explore with UKCCIS what more can be done to: improve online protections for the more vulnerable children; define inappropriate content and improve the means for identifying it online; establish clear, simple benchmarks and classifications for parental control solutions; and encourage a deeper understanding of the reasons why parental controls are not taken up by more parents.

Additionally, ministers will ask UKCCIS to investigate how a person’s age can be verified effectively in order to limit children’s access to harmful content.

To read the report click: http://www.education.gov.uk/ukccis/news/a00218633/parental-internet-controls-consultation

If it seems too good to be true - it probably is

Source: Home Office published on this site on December 14th by Jill Powell

Beware of counterfeits this Christmas

Information about counterfeit goods and how to avoid buying them.

To find out more and take a quiz to see if you can find the click:                                                                                                                      http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/passports-and-immigration/counterfeit-goods/

New grooming report calls for urgent action

Source: NSPCC published on this site 13th December 2012 by Jill Powell

ChildLine has published a new report Caught in a Trap . Based on the voices of 413 children and young people, the report contains many direct quotations from children who have only been able to tell ChildLine of their sexual abuse, and nobody else.

Sexual abuse is the fifth most common reason children contact Childline totalling 5 per cent (15,993), of all contacts to ChildLine received in 2011/12. When talking about sexual abuse to ChildLine, 413 children specifically described aspects of sexual grooming and 60 per cent of these contacts related to online grooming. ChildLine recognises this is the tip of the iceberg and the 15,993 contacts about sexual abuse will predominately include aspects of grooming.

Through in-depth research into hundreds of calls, chat and emails ChildLine received, it is clear young people, professionals and families find it hard to recognise grooming and sexual exploitation. The shame experienced by the young person and the belief that grooming is their fault plays a significant part in preventing them from reaching out for help.

The report calls for immediate action from local communities, protective services, parents, and young people themselves.

To read the report click: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/news-and-views/our-news/nspcc-news/12-11-12-grooming-report/grooming-report_wda92794.html

A tool to help identify child sexual exploitation has been developed.

Source Community Care published on this site December 11 by Jill Powell

Community Care has published a tool to help with the identification of child sexual exploitation. The tool looks at three models of sexual exploitation: inappropriate relationships, exploitative boyfriends and organised exploitation and trafficking. It identifies a number of visible signs of abuse, explains which model of exploitation they relate to and why they could be indicators of sexual exploitation. It also has useful information on contacts and resources.

To access the tool click: http://www.communitycare.co.uk/static-pages/articles/child-sexual-exploitation/

Government publishes final report on Winterbourne View Hospital

Source: Department of Health published on this site December 12th 2012 by Jill Powell

The government has published its final report into the events at Winterbourne View Hospital and has set out a programme of action to transform services so that vulnerable people no longer live inappropriately in hospitals and are cared for in line with best practice.

The programme of action includes:

  • by spring 2013, the department will set out proposals to strengthen accountability of boards of directors and senior managers for the safety and quality of care which their organisations provide
  • by June 2013, all current placements will be reviewed, everyone in hospital inappropriately will move to community-based support as quickly as possible, and no later than June 2014
  • by April 2014, each area will have a joint plan to ensure high quality care and support services for all people with learning disabilities or autism and mental health conditions or behaviour described as challenging, in line with best practice
  • as a consequence, there will be a dramatic reduction in hospital placements for this group of people
  • the Care Quality Commission will strengthen inspections and regulation of hospitals and care homes for this group of people, including unannounced inspections involving people who use services and their families
  • a new NHS and local government-led joint improvement team will be created to lead and support this transformation

This programme is backed by a concordat signed by more than 50 partners, setting out what changes they will deliver and by when. The government will publish a progress report on these actions by December 2013.

The final report into the events at Winterbourne View Hospital states that staff routinely mistreated and abused patients, and management allowed a culture of abuse to flourish. The warning signs were not picked up, and concerns raised by a whistleblower went unheeded.

The report also reveals weaknesses in the system’s ability to hold the leaders of care organisations to account. In addition, it finds that many people are in hospital who don’t need to be. People with learning disabilities or autism, who also have mental health conditions or challenging behaviour can be, and have a right to be, given the support and care they need in the community, near to family and friends.

Read the full final report and related documentation click: http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2012/12/final-winterbourne/

Children tell us: train staff so they don't need to use restraint

Source Ofsted: published on this site December 7th 2012 by Jill Powell

The Office of the Children’s Rights Director has published a report called Children’s views on restraint.

Children’s Rights Director Roger Morgan has not added his views to the report, he has used direct quotes from the 94 children he and his team spoke to as part of the consultation. Overall children agreed that restraint should only be used as a last resort. Every group said staff should always try to calm things down before things get too bad that restraint is needed.

In 2004 children were asked for their views about physical restraint and published our last report about this. Children have raised concerns about restraint in consultations we have held about other things since then, and we decided we should carry out a follow-up consultation to check what children now think about restraint. So we consulted children again this year to find out their views and concerns about restraint. This report gives their views in 2012.

To read the report click: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/childrens-views-restraint-2012

48 countries worldwide join forces to fight child sexual abuse online

Source: European Commission published on this site 6th December 2012 by Jill Powell

On 5 December, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström together with US Attorney General Eric Holder will launch a Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online. The initiative aims to unite decision-makers all around the world to better identify and assist victims and to prosecute the perpetrators. Participants at the launch include Ministers and high-level officials from 27 EU Member States, who are also joined by 21 countries outside the EU (Albania, Australia, Cambodia, Croatia, Georgia, Ghana, Japan, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines, Serbia, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America, and Vietnam).

The countries of the alliance are committing themselves to a number of policy targets and goals. Thanks to increased international cooperation, the fight against child sexual abuse online will therefore be more effective.

"Behind every child abuse image is an abused child, an exploited and helpless victim. When these images are circulated online, they can live on forever. Our responsibility is to protect children wherever they live and to bring criminals to justice wherever they operate. The only way to achieve this is to team up for more intensive and better coordinated action worldwide", said Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström.

Read more: 48 countries worldwide join forces to fight child sexual abuse online

Don’t let fraudsters ruin your festive fun with their top 12 Christmas cons

Source National Fraud Intelligence Bureau published on this site December 5th 2012 by Jill Powell

Christmas is a time for celebration, a time to be with friends and family.

Unfortunately it is also a time when fraudsters cash in, using cons old and new to exploit people’s good will and ruin their festive period.

This year the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) will be aiming to keep the criminals at bay through ' Twelve Frauds of Christmas’, highlighting fraudulent activities, increasing business and community awareness and providing fraud prevention advice.

The team, based at the City of London Police and working as the central fraud intelligence hub for the UK, have compiled a list of a dozen frauds that they suspect will be repeatedly put into play throughout December.

On the top of the tree is online shopping fraud. Every year more and more of us are searching and buying our gifts over the internet, and every year fraudsters are finding new ways to move our money into their pockets.

Sitting amongst the presents is postal fraud. During the festive period you may receive additional letters and parcels, but not all of them may be for you!

Fraudsters will purchase goods online and then direct them to an innocent person’s address. Once an item has been delivered a person wearing official looking clothing will arrive at the door and attempt to take the parcel by stating it has been delivered incorrectly.

Resting on the mantelpiece can be found electronic ‘E’ cards. More of these will be sent this Christmas than ever before, but there are a few you do not want to open.

The fraudsters email may contain a virus and once activated the file will embed itself in your computer without your knowledge. This malware works inside your computer collecting personal data, financial information, passwords and usernames, all of which will then be sent back to the fraudster.

For the Twelve Frauds of Christmas click: http://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/CityPolice/Media/News/Dontletfraudstersruinyourfestivefun.htm

The Disclosure and Barring Service has launched

Source: Home Office published on this site December 3rd 2012 by Jill Powell

 

The merger brings together the skills, knowledge and experience of both organisations in helping employers to make safer recruitment decisions and in preventing unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups including children.

Customers and stakeholders will still use the same contact details as they have always done - whether it’s applying for criminal record checks or referring people for safeguarding decisions. Importantly the staff who process the applications and make the safeguarding and barring decisions also remain the same; so there will be no disruption to the high quality service previously delivered by the CRB and ISA.

Importantly there are some very exciting changes ahead. In Spring 2013, the DBS will be launching the Update Service - more details will be released in the New Year. Also in 2013, the DBS will start issuing the disclosure certificate only to the applicant. This will give the applicant a much fairer process in challenging or clarifying any information on the disclosure, before it is shared with the employer.

All relevant information and instructions are available on the safecic.co.uk site

Department of Health seeks views on new protections if care providers fail

Source: Department of Health Published on this site December 4th 2012 by Jill Powell

Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb has launched a 12 week consultation on new measures to protect people who rely on care services in the event of provider failure.

A system of checks on the finances of the largest care companies is proposed to give early warning of problems and to challenge financial models which could be unsustainable or compromise quality.

Under the proposals the Government would also introduce regulation of major care providers and, if a provider failed, there would be plans to support a well-managed exit.

Read more: Department of Health seeks views on new protections if care providers fail

Working smarter to improve child protection consultation

Source: Department for Education published on this site November 30th 2012 by Jill Powell

Plans to allow Ofsted to share the names and addresses of children’s homes with the police and other bodies have been launched.

Children’s minister Edward Timpson published consultation proposals to allow Ofsted to share the names and addresses of children’s homes on their register with the police, the Department for Education and the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.

Outlining the plans the Minister said:

Read more: Working smarter to improve child protection consultation

Latest Updates on National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland

Source: The Scottish Government published on this site 29th November 2012 by Jill Powell

1. National Framework for Child Protection learning and development

A common set of skills and standards for workers to ensure the delivery of a consistently high standard of support to our most vulnerable children and young people across the country - improving advice and tools available for assessing, managing and minimising risks.

For document click: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/Young-People/protecting/child-protection/national-framework-cp-learning-2012

2. National risk framework for assessment of children & young people

Based on the GIRFEC approach to well-being, and using the National Practice Model as its basis, the Framework sets out a process for assessing risks of children and young people from harm and abuse, and a set of practical tools to consider key factors in their lives.

For document click: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/11/7143/0

Female Genital Mutilation action plan launched

Source: Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Published on this site 28th November 2012

Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, is publishing his action plan on improving prosecutions for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) following his round table meeting with experts in September 2012.

Keir Starmer QC said: "It's critical that everything possible is done to ensure we bring the people who commit these offences against young girls and women to justice and this action plan is a major step in the right direction.

"Everyone who can play a part in stopping FGM - from the doctor with a suspicion that an offence has been committed and the police officer investigating the initial complaint to the prosecutor taking a charging decision - needs to know what to do to improve detection rates, strengthen investigations and, for the part of the CPS, to start getting these offenders into court. I am determined that the CPS should play a key role in ensuring that the impunity with which these offenders have acted will end."

The action points include:

  • gathering more robust data on allegations of FGM, so the scale of the problem can be gauged
  • identifying what issues have hindered investigations and prosecutions
  • exploring how other jurisdictions prosecute this crime
  • ensuring police and prosecutors work together closely from the start of investigations.

Read more: Female Genital Mutilation action plan launched

New Stalking Laws giving protection to victims come into force

New Stalking Laws giving protection to victims come into force

Published on this site 26th November 2012 by Jill Powell

New laws designed to give extra protection to victims of stalking have come into force. The Government is also providing new support aimed at reducing domestic and sexual violence and female genital mutilation (FGM).

Two specific criminal offences of stalking have come into force in England and Wales for the first time.

It is already illegal to stalk a person in Scotland, with the Scottish legal system changing in 2010, but it has taken until now for the laws to be introduced in England and Wales.

To read more click: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/news/stalking-law

The United Nations yesterday approved a draft resolution to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Published on this site November 27th 2012 by Jill Powell

World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics suggest between 100 million and 400 million girls and women, world wide, have undergone some form of genital mutilation/cutting. This welcome acknowledgment of this practice will require a great deal of work overcoming deeply embedded cultural and social customs.

Changes to the CRB

As one of the changes brought about by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012; the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) will be merging with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) to form a new public body called the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The DBS will become operational on December 1st, all disclosure certificates issued on or after this date will feature the new DBS logo, however all CRB disclosure certificates issued before then will remain valid.

The DBS will continue to process CRB application forms until early next year, as such, we ask all our customers with unused CRB forms to submit them to us by December 31st to ensure the processed is not unnecessarily delayed.

 The process for applying for a DBS Certificate will be exactly the same as it currently is to apply for a CRB certificate.

 The CRB have not indicated any plans for price changes or new procedures at this time, however there are further changes to the CRB/DBS checking system expected in spring 2013 (we’ll keep you posted!).

 If you would like to know more about these changes, please visit:

 www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crbischanging

 Or (from the 1st of December): www.homeoffice.gov.uk/dbs

British Association for Social Workers (BASW): Protect children from ‘currency of sex’

Source: BSWA published on this site 23rd November 2012 by Jill Powell

Responding to the publication of the findings of a nationwide Inquiry by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, “ I thought I was the only one. The Only one in the world”, ( see news 22nd November this site) BASW has called on society to stop tolerating the promotion of sexualised images of children for commercial profit.

Bridget Robb, acting chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers said: “Despite ill-informed perceptions to the contrary about young people's behaviour inviting problems into their lives, the very last thing that sexually exploited children want is sex, and they need protection and help to recognise what both good and bad relationships look like.

“The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is a crime without boundaries. While it may be comforting to view it as an offence done by certain types of people to certain types of children, that is a naïve denial of the truth.

“Child sexual abuse has always existed in society, and it is good that there has been so much attention on the subject recently, as it is to be hoped that victims will feel more empowered to speak out about the ordeal they have suffered and the damage that has been inflicted.

“Alongside this, we also have to consider if we have created a society that has promoted sexualised images of children, for advertising and entertainment, for too long, and if so, what do we do about it?

“Young people have always experimented with sexual activity, yet we are living in a society where the currency of sex and the language of abusive relationships are increasingly seen as the norm; not by all young people, but certainly by a growing and worrying amount of young people.

“We have men, women and young people themselves who exploit this shift in attitudes, and they come from all walks of life, including people of all ethnicities and including celebrities. What they all have in common is that they are using sexual abuse to exercise power and to satisfy their own needs.

“Their use of power, secrecy and grooming techniques can prevent some children from even realising they are victims. These common threads can also prevent the abuse ever being proven, with bribes and threats part of the perpetrator's armoury, as well as, if it ever gets that far, efforts to discredit a child's testimony. This discrediting often extends to those professionals attempting to intervene, such as social workers.

“We need to start thinking seriously about how we want our young people to be perceived, treated and protected from this pernicious trend towards sexualising children.

“It seems easier to lurch from one crisis to another rather than to ensure we raise awareness across the board, have sufficient training and support for professionals and, above all, accept the need for societal change.

“We must try to make it easier for children and young people to tell us when they are afraid or being ill-treated. The earlier we can reach children the better.”

“I thought I was the only one. The only one in the world”

Source: Office of the Children’s Commissioner published on this site 22nd November 2012               by Jill Powell

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation In Gangs and Groups. Interim report November 2012

As the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, it is their statutory duty to highlight where they believe vulnerable children are not being treated appropriately and in line with duties established under international and domestic legislation.

THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN ABUSED OR AT RISK OF ABUSE

Imagine that within three medium sized secondary schools every pupil was being subjected to sexual violence on a routine basis over months, and sometimes years, by multiple perpetrators; or that within 20 medium sized secondary schools every child was displaying behaviours which indicated they were at significant risk of being sexually exploited, and only a small number of staff acted on these warning signs.

The equivalent of this is true.

Read more: “I thought I was the only one. The only one in the world”

Mr Gove’s speech on the failure of child protection and the need for a fresh start

Published on this site November 19th 2012 by Jill Powell

To access this speech click: http://www.education.gov.uk/inthenews/speeches/   a00217075/gove-speech-on-child-protection-

Source Self Care Week NHS published on this site November 21st by Jill Powell

Nearly 100% of GPs fear patients are ill-equipped to treat minor illnesses at home – costing the NHS £2billion a year

Most patients in the UK lack basic medicine cabinet supplies and knowledge needed to treat minor illnesses that can be easily dealt with at home, reveals a new survey of GPs.

For more information and what to keep in your medicine cabinet:

Read more: GPs call for medicine cabinet makeover

Government publishes draft legislation on ethnicity and “Fostering for Adoption”

Source: Department for Education published on this site November 16th 2012 by Jill Powell

Two draft clauses were laid before Parliament on 7 November 2012 for pre-legislative scrutiny by the Select Committee on Adoption Legislation.

The draft clauses:

  • place a duty on local authorities to give preference to a “Fostering for Adoption” placement
  • remove the express duty on adoption agencies to give due consideration to religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background, when matching children with prospective adopters. This change reinforces the existing emphasis on the welfare of the child and the impact of any delay.

The draft provisions and explanatory notes are on the Parliamentary website.

Pre-legislative scrutiny gives you the opportunity to comment on the draft clauses. You can send your comments to the Department’s adoption team at: ruth.wilson@education.gsi.gov.uk by 30 November 2012.The select committee will present its views on these draft clauses and existing legislation in due course.

For explanatory notes click: http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm84/8473/8473.pdf

For Ministerial statement click: http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/w/adoption%20written%20ministerial%20statement.pdf

Minister wants end of places like Winterbourne View

Source: Mencap, published on this site on November 15th 2012 by Jill Powell

After meeting families affected, care services minister calls for a “complete culture change” to put a stop to the abuse of people with a learning disability

On Monday the 12 November 2012 care services minister Norman Lamb met with the families of six people who had experienced abuse and neglect in units like Winterbourne View.

Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation arranged the meeting, ahead of the publication of the government’s report on Winterbourne View, so that the minister could hear, from those most affected, why such places need to close. Two families had loved ones at the Winterbourne View assessment and treatment centre, where abuse was uncovered last May. Others had featured in Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation’s ‘Out of sight’ report.

Norman Lamb heard stories of people moving from inappropriate place to inappropriate place, and accounts of the neglect and abuse people had experienced. The families powerfully showed why there must be urgent reform of the way in which their sons and daughters with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges are supported.

Lamb said the government is committed to a robust and decisive report – and ending people being sent to places like Winterbourne View where people are hidden from view, a long way from home. “There needs to be a complete culture change so that individuals with a learning disability are treated with exactly the same rights as any other citizens,” he said.

He also said that care and support should be shaped around the needs of individuals in their own community, where possible. Some of the families showed how it can work, explaining how their sons and daughters are now living close to home, with good support. And their families are being actively involved in decisions about their lives.

The government’s final report on Winterbourne View, and an action plan, is due to be published at the end of November.

To read the Out of Sight report click: http://www.mencap.org.uk/news/article/abuse-and-neglect-institutional-care

Serious Case Review Westminster

Published on this site November 14th  2012 by Jill Powell

The Westminster Local Safeguarding Board has published a Serious Case Review on the death of a baby who died from lack of care. The baby’s mother, an asylum seeker had been moved away from her husband because of domestic violence. At the time of the child’s death the mother was seriously ill and died two days later in hospital. She had called an ambulance and when they got to the home they found the baby had been dead for several days and the mother very ill. The surviving 4 year old was taken into care. They had been seen by professionals who had expressed concerns.

Six broad themes emerged:

  • Cultural & linguistic
  • Communication
  • Accurate & full recording
  • Value of weight monitoring
  • Systematic Issues
  • Ownership & access of professional records

To access the Executive summary click: http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/healthandsocialcare/familycare/safeguardingchildren/serious-case-reviews/

Child protection system is failing older children, warns Education Committee

Source: Commons Select Education Committee published on this site 9th November 2012 by Jill Powell

The child protection system is not meeting the needs of older children and must be reviewed urgently according to a report from the Education Committee.

In a report that recognises the recent positive developments in the child protection system in England, the Education Committee calls for changes to ensure that all children are treated as children and that their interests are put first.

Launching the report Education Committee Chair, Graham Stuart MP, said,

"Our report is the culmination of a year-long inquiry. The recent revelations concerning the BBC and other institutions underline how important it is to get child protection right.

We've seen real improvement among professionals and think the direction of travel championed by the Munro Review is the right one. But there is a lot more to do and risks to the progress made.

Care for older children is not good enough. They are let down too often, frequently ignored or not listened to and can be pushed out of care too young and insufficiently prepared and supported. This has to change.

Read more: Child protection system is failing older children, warns Education Committee

Family Involvement in Case Reviews Report

Source: Bapscan, published on this site 13th by Jill Powell

Yesterday the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (BASPCAN) published their commissioned study of family involvement in case reviews: messages for policy and practice.

Catherine Powell, Chair of BASPCAN said:

One of the greatest challenges for LSCBs is how we engage families both effectively and sensitively in the Serious Case Review process. This thought provoking research provides for the first time an insight to what the process is like from the perspective of the family and from this develops practice guidance that will be a become an invaluable resource.'

The principles to underpin family participation in reviews include clarity about the purpose of family involvement in the review, set out in a way that is clear and easy to understand; inclusivity and a broad understanding of ‘family'; transparency about the limits and opportunities of participation which should be established very early on in the review process; careful negotiation about the terms of engagement for family involvement in each review; sensitivity and professional judgment about the best approaches to facilitate family participation and finally feedback from family members so that there can be evaluation and development of the process.

The report offers guidance to professionals and a brief information sheet for families who may be asked to participate. The report suggests that unless local policies make clear the purpose for participation, family involvement will continue to be an area of practice that can be difficult and at times unsatisfactory.

 

To be able to download the Executive Summary and access the full report click: http://www.baspcan.org.uk/report.php

Children's safeguarding performance information

Source Department for Education published on this site November 8th 2012 by Jill Powell

Performance information has a key role to play in driving improvement locally. It can provide the context for discussion about the effectiveness of safeguarding and early help for children, young people and families and encourage debate and learning. It enables professionals and local agencies to understand what is working and where there may be problems to resolve.

As part of the wider reforms of the child protection system the Department for Education has published the children’s safeguarding performance information framework. The framework has been developed in consultation with the sector. It is intended to help move the focus of the child protection system from processes and indicators towards performance measures that improve professional understanding and drive improvements locally. The framework describes the key nationally collected data and the questions that should be asked at a local level to understand the impact and effectiveness of safeguarding children.

The local and national information in the framework should be used by local agencies as well as Local Safeguarding Children Boards and Health and Wellbeing Boards.

One section asks questions about child protection activity, including providing early help at local level.

Questions asked for this are:

Read more: Children's safeguarding performance information

Home Secretary's statement on historic allegations of child abuse in north Wales

Source: Home Office published on this site 7th November by Jill Powell

In 1991, North Wales Police conducted an investigation into allegations that, throughout the 1970s and 1980s, children in homes that were managed and supervised by Clwyd County Council were sexually and physically abused. The result of the police investigation was eight prosecutions and seven convictions of former care workers.

Despite the investigation and convictions, it was widely believed that the abuse was in fact on a far greater scale. But a report produced by Clwyd Council's own inquiry was never published because so much of its content was considered by lawyers to be defamatory.

In 1995, the then Secretary of States for Wales, my Rt Hon Friend the Member for Wokingham, appointed a QC to examine all the relevant documents and recommend whether there should be a public inquiry. The recommendation was that there should not be a public inquiry but an examination of the work of private care homes and the social service departments in Gwynedd and Clwyd Councils.

This work revealed not only shortcomings in the protection of vulnerable children, but that the shortcomings had persisted even after the police investigation and subsequent prosecutions. In 1996, my Rt Hon Friend the Foreign Secretary, the then new Secretary of States for Wales, invited Sir Ronald Waterhouse to lead an inquiry into the abuse of children in care in the Gwynedd and Clwyd Council areas.

Waterhouse Inquiry

The Waterhouse Inquiry sat for 203 days and heard evidence from more than 650 people. Statements made to the Inquiry named more than eighty people as child abusers, many of whom were care workers or teachers. In 2000, the Inquiry's report, 'Lost in Care', made 72 recommendations for changes to the way in which children in care were protected by councils, social services and the police. And following the report's publication, 140 compensation claims were settled on behalf of the victims.

But the report found no evidence of a paedophile ring beyond the care system, which was the basis of the rumours that followed the original police investigation, and indeed one of the allegations that has been made in the last week.

Last Friday, a victim of sexual abuse at one of the homes named in the report – Mr Steve Messham – alleged that the Inquiry did not look at abuse outside the care homes, and he renewed allegations against the police and several individuals.

The government is treating these allegations with the utmost seriousness. Child abuse is a hateful, abhorrent and disgusting crime, and we must not allow these allegations to go unanswered, and I therefore urge anybody who has information relating to these allegations to go to the police.

Read more: Home Secretary's statement on historic allegations of child abuse in north Wales

Keep Warm Keep Well’ leaflet gives advice on staying healthy in cold weather

Source: Department of Health published on this site November 7th 2012 by Jill Powell

During the cold weather, the Department of Health’s ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ leaflet is a useful resource for the public, especially the over 60s, low-income families and people with a disability or a long-term health condition.

It gives advice on staying well in cold weather and the financial help that is available, covering issues such as healthy lifestyle, flu jabs and heating.

‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ is part of the Department’s Cold Weather Plan, which aims to protect people’s health and reduce harm from severe cold.

To download leaflet click: http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2012/11/keep-warm/

Reforms to protect children in care from sexual exploitation - OCC report

Source: Department for Education Published on this site November 5th 2012 by Jill Powell

Following the verdicts in the Rochdale child sexual exploitation case in May this year, the Secretary of State asked the Deputy Children's Commissioner to report to him urgently on emerging findings from her inquiry into Child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups.

He asked that the report focus particularly on risks facing children living in children's homes. The report was published on 3 July together with the Government's response to its recommendations, which were accepted in full.

The action announced by Government also took account of the Joint All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG) Report into Children who Go Missing from Care which was issued on 18 June.

Read more: Reforms to protect children in care from sexual exploitation - OCC report

Public health approach to violence prevention outlined

A public health approach to preventing violence is set out in a new report.

Protecting People, Promoting Health – A public health approach to violence prevention in England draws on the latest evidence to show that many of the key risk factors that make individuals, families and communities vulnerable to violence are changeable. The report also contains new figures on the cost of violence, estimating national costs to the NHS and a wider cost to society.

The report aims to increase awareness and strengthen commitment to prevention across government, NHS, local authorities, private and voluntary sectors as well as education, employers and other agencies.

To download the report click: http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2012/11/violence-prevention/

Actress teams up with the police service to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation

Source CEOP published on this site November 2nd 2012 by Jill Powell

A new training film to help front-line police officers spot the early signs of group-associated grooming, and support vulnerable children being sexually exploited, has been launched.

The Association of Chief Police Offices (ACPO) and the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) has teamed up with Shona McGarty, the BBC ‘EastEnders’ actress who plays the character ‘Whitney’, to create the new film.

To see the film click: www.cse.siyonatech.com

or click: www.youtube.com/ceop

Do you work with children and young people?

Source CEOP published on this site 31st October by Jill Powell

Exciting new recourses for teachers and trainers

Do you want to know more about what they’re up to online?

Do you want films, games and activities to help educate them about using technology safely?

This site is designed for you. Here you’ll find films, presentations, games, lesson plans and posters that you can use with young people to cover a wide range of issues.

To access these resources you will need to register click: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/teachers/

Looking after vulnerable adults?

Published on this site 31st October 2012 by Jill Powell

Don’t forget to get you flu jab and help protect others

A rapid literature review of evidence on child abuse linked to faith or belief

Source: Department for Education published on this site October 29th 2012 by Jill Powell

Reference:CWRC-00115-2012

Published:October 2012

Publication Type: Research

Audience: Early Years Providers, Lead Member for Children's Services, Local Children's Safeguarding Boards, Researchers

In early 2011, following a consultation on child abuse relating to a belief in witchcraft and spirit possession, a working group was set up by the DfE to understand better the principal issues. It was agreed that stronger coordination of activity was needed both nationally and locally to raise awareness, develop the skills of practitioners and to support communities themselves in combating and resisting such abuse.

Since then, the working group has worked at both national and regional levels to produce a national action plan for England to tackle child abuse linked to faith or belief (DfE, 2012). The action plan focuses on four themes: engaging communities; empowering practitioners; supporting victims and witnesses; and communicating key messages. The DfE requested that the Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre (CWRC) conduct a small-scale review of previous research in this area. This would be used to help inform future policy.

To download the research click: https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/RSG/AllRsgPublications/Page2/CWRC-00115-2012

Health Secretary announces funding for care homes and wards specially designed for people with dementia

Source: DOH published on this site 30th October 2012 by Jill Powell

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced dedicated funding to create care environments for people with dementia that help reduce anxiety and distress, and help people feel safe.

Up to £50 million will be available to NHS trusts and local authorities, working in partnership with care providers, to help tailor hospitals and care homes to the needs of people with dementia. The care providers involved will need to sign up to the Dementia Care and Support Compact, which commits them to providing first rate care and support for people with dementia and their families.

Research by The King’s Fund demonstrates that good design can help with the management of dementia. People with dementia are calmer and less likely to get lost or become distressed in an environment designed with their needs in mind.

Read more: Health Secretary announces funding for care homes and wards specially designed for people with...

Social and emotional wellbeing - early years Public health guidance, PH40 - Issued: October 2012

Source: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published on this site 26th October 2012

The Guidance should be used in conjunction with local child safeguarding policies.

The guidance aims to define how the social and emotional wellbeing of vulnerable children aged under 5 years can be supported through home visiting, childcare and early education. The term ‘vulnerable’ is used to describe children who are at risk of, or who are already experiencing, social and emotional problems and need additional support.

The guidance is for all those responsible for planning and commissioning children's services in local authorities (including education), the NHS and the community, voluntary and private sectors. It is also for: GPs, health visitors, midwives, psychologists and other health practitioners, social workers, teachers and those working in all early years settings (including childminders and those working in children’s centres and nurseries).

The recommendations cover:

  • Strategy, commissioning and review
  • Identifying vulnerable children and assessing their needs
  • Ante- and postnatal home visiting for vulnerable children and their families
  • Early education and childcare
  • Delivering services.

The recommendations:

  • Adopt a ‘life course perspective’
  • Focus on social and emotional wellbeing as the foundation for the healthy development of vulnerable children and to offset the risks relating to disadvantage
  • Aim to ensure universal, as well as more targeted, services provide them with additional support

To find the guidance click: http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/PH40

Resources available for Self Care Week 2012

Source NHS: published on this site October 25th 2012 by Jill Powell

This year, Self Care Week will run from 12-18 November. Self Care Week is an annual national awareness week that focuses on embedding support for self care across communities, families and generations.

This year’s theme is ‘Self Care for Life – growing older healthily’, which builds on the European Active and Healthy Ageing initiative on improving the health knowledge of patients and the public as they get older. For Self Care Week 2012, we are extending this approach through all the life stages – from pre-birth to older years – to ensure healthy and happy living at every age.

Once again, Self Care Week is being run in partnership with the Self Care Forum, which is the leading UK organisation committed to embedding self care into everyday life and whose members include GPs, nurses, pharmacists and NHS managers, as well as the Department of Health.

For resources click: http://www.selfcareforum.org/?page_id=1472

New Research: Young people are warned they may lose control over their images and videos once they are uploaded online

Source: Internet Watch Foundation Published on this site 24th October 2012 by Jill Powell

This follows a study by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). It shows 88% of the self-generated, sexually explicit online images and videos of young people their analysts encountered had been taken from their original location and uploaded onto other websites.

The findings from this study will inform the work of the UK Safer Internet Centre – a partnership between the IWF, Childnet and the South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) aiming to empower and support children and young people to use the Internet safely.

Childnet and the SWGfL have developed two resources to help raise awareness of the potential consequences of sharing sexually explicit images and videos and to provide advice and guidance on how to support children and young people who have shared such images.

The study, which was carried out using data collected throughout September 2012 by IWF Internet Content Analysts, aimed to establish a snapshot of how many self-generated, sexually explicit images and videos of young people there are online.

Read more: New Research: Young people are warned they may lose control over their images and videos once...

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Unit (CEOP) launch a new way to prevent UK child sex offenders from abusing children overseas

The launch of the International Child Protection Certificate

Source: CEOP published on this site October 22nd by Jill Powell

A new weapon to combat the threat of UK sex offenders travelling to other countries and gaining access to children through teaching, charity or volunteering roles has been launched today.

Analysis by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre of offender management cases undertaken in 2011 found that one in five were associated with roles that involved access to children. Teaching and schools-related positions were the most represented occupations or voluntary roles associated with cases of offending overseas. Since 2006, CEOP has undertaken over 1200 investigations into travelling UK sex offenders.

Many international schools, charities and other agencies overseas do not currently have access to the same level of police checks available to organisations in the UK and this has sometimes enabled sex offenders to gain positions of trust with children abroad.

CEOP has worked with the ACPO Criminal Records Office (ACRO) to launch the International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC), which CEOP believes is a vital new tool for schools and other overseas organisations in the prevention of harm to children under their care. Applications can be made at www.acro.police.uk/icpc

To find out more click: http://ceop.police.uk/Media-Centre/Press-releases/2012/CEOP-launch-a-new-way-to-prevent-UK-child-sex-offenders-from-abusing-children-overseas-/

Personal Independence Payment

Published on this site October 23rd 2012 by Jill Powell

From 8 April 2013 the Government is introducing a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for eligible working age people aged 16 to 64.

The Government is committed to supporting disabled people to lead independent and active lives. It recognises that disabled people can face additional challenges to leading independent lives and is committed to maintaining an extra-cost, non-means-tested disability benefit to support disabled people.

However, The Hardest Hit campaign, an alliance of disability charities and grassroots organisations, fears the new PIP will see the criteria for eligibility changed to the detriment of disabled people.

In its report, the Tipping Point, the group claims up to 500,000 people will lose out on "vital support" when the DLA is scrapped.

"Disabled people and their families are struggling to make ends meet and feel increasingly nervous about the future," the report says.

To find out more about the changes click: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/disability/personal-independence-payment/

To read the full report click: http://thehardesthit.wordpress.com/our-message/the-tipping-point/

What works in adult safeguarding?

Published on this site October 19th 2012 by Jill Powell

Jill Manthorpe has introduced a new Unit study into adult safeguarding at the NIHR School for Social Care Research, which funds the project. The study aims to compare the process, outcome and cost of the safeguarding models adopted by six volunteer local authorities. Martin Stevens is the Principal Investigator.

To find out more and see a presentation click: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/sshm/scwru/news/index.aspx

Audit and Analysis of Initial and Significant Case Reviews

Published on this site 18th October 2012 by Jill Powell

This report presents the findings from an audit and analysis of 56 Significant Case Reviews (SCRs) and 43 Initial Case Reviews (ICRs) conducted in Scotland since 2007.

This valuable research into ICRs and SCRs is the first of its kind in Scotland.

To see:

  • Recurrent themes and features
  • What common features could be identified to inform practitioners and agencies about risk and serious harm
  • How findings in Scotland compare with findings elsewhere in the UK, and whether there are any Scotland specific findings which have not been found in other parts of the UK
  • What national policy and practice issues arose from the reports.

Click: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/10/5974/2

A new guide advises parents on internet safety for people with a learning disability or autism

Published on this site October 16th 2012 by Jill Powell

Three charities, including Mencap, have launched a new guide to help parents prevent their sons or daughters having negative experiences online.

Produced by Cerebra, Mencap and Ambitious about Autism, the resource identifies a range of potential risks that people with a learning disability or autism face when using the internet and gives advice on how to prevent and deal with them. It also suggests resources that will help children get the most out of the internet at home and in the community.

To download the guide click:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.mencap.org.uk/internet-safety-guide

Child in care: 'It shouldn't take running away to get your problems sorted'

Published on this site October 17th 2012 by Jill Powell

Ofsted has yesterday published the Running away report by Roger Morgan. He documents the views of children living in care and asks why they ran away. As well as this, children in care were asked what they thought the dangers of running away were and what could be done to prevent them running.

When children were asked why they ran away they said they did so for a variety of reasons. These included problems with relationships, wanting to change placements, or wanting to escape from stress and take time out to think things through and calm down.

To read this report click: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/running-away-2012

Lords debates child development and its bearing on national wellbeing in the UK

Published on this site October 11th 2012 by Jill Powell

Peers including the Vice President of Barnardos and a former primary school head teacher will debate child development in the UK, and its bearing on national wellbeing today 11th October.

The Lord Bishop of Chester, who tabled the debate, said:

“The importance of children for the overall health of society has been a recurring theme in political debate in recent years. And the response of throwing money at the problems our children face is no longer a limitless option, given the current financial crisis. However, I believe that it is not so much a lack of money as the widespread problem of the neglect of children in our society that needs addressing.“It is the role of parents which needs strengthening and the support of wider society, so they can provide stable, loving, secure and safe environments for our children to thrive. Parenting should not be taken over by the state, but we must all recognise the role we have to play in collectively raising healthy, happy children, who will reflect on the nation’s wellbeing as a whole. I look forward to the wide debate around the many and varied contributing factors in this issue and to hearing about the Government’s current thinking in this area.”

Lords question child protection expert

Source: UK Parliament published on this site October 11th 2012 by Jill Powell

The Select Committee on Adoption Legislation has been appointed to conduct post-legislative scrutiny of the legislation that sets out adoption law in England and Wales. The committee will consider the adoption process. Like other select committees it will call for evidence and hear from a range of experts and people with experience in this area. It will issue a report reviewing the relevant Acts and making recommendations for any necessary changes.

Professor Munro is the author of the Munro Review of Child Protection, commissioned by the Department for Education and published in May 2011. She is Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics.

On Tuesday 9th October 2012 Professor Eileen Munro CBE, was questioned.

Professor Munro was a social worker for several years and has since gone on to gain a wide range of research experience in child protection and mental health risk assessment, as well as building professional expertise in child abuse. She has written and published extensively on the issue of child protection.

The Committee will have questioned Professor Munro on a number of issues including:

  • key challenges facing the social work profession in safeguarding children;
  • the child’s journey through the child protection system and how it can be improved;
  • whether there is a looming crisis in maintaining current levels of expertise in social work; and
  • the role of political leadership in effecting change in safeguarding children.

Criminal Records Bureau is changing

Source CRB Published on this site October 9th 2012 by Jill Powell

On 1 December 2012, the CRB is merging with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The service and processes are not changing as a result of the merger and will continue to deliver services to customers as normal throughout this transition. As the DBS we will continue to process applications for criminal record checks so you can keep making informed recruitment decisions and they can continue to protect vulnerable groups from harm. You will however find that the change to the name means they will be going through a rebranding exercise. As part of the rebranding there will be minimal changes to the application form and certificate; some of the language that is use and the website guidance will also look a little different. To keep customers up-to-date with these changes, a new section, CRB is Changing, and is now available, Content will be added regularly which advises how you can also make the transition to DBS and what to expect from the new organisation.For more information please click: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crbischanging

Dealing with allegations of abuse against teachers and other staff – Revised October 2012

Published on this site October 4th 2012 by Jill Powell

This guidance has been revised to be in line with the new law which gives teachers anonymity when an allegation of a criminal offence has been made and before a criminal charge is made.

This is statutory guidance, so recipients must have regard to it when carrying out duties relating to handling allegations of abuse against teachers and other staff.

To find out more click: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/statutoryguidance/g0076914/dealing-with-allegations-of-abuse

What research says about domestic violence risk assessments

Published on this site October 8th by Jill Powell

An article on this research and access to the report can be accessed at:

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles

/03/10/2012/118483/what-research-says-about

-domestic-violence-risk-assessments.htm

Law came into force on the 1st of October 2012, granting anonymity to teachers accused by or on behalf of pupils in England and Wales.

Published on this site October 4th 2012 by Jill Powell

It is now an offence to report information that could lead to the identification (e.g. name or school) of a teacher who is subject to an allegation of a criminal offence made by, or on behalf of, a registered pupil at the school.

The Department of Education said:

“Teachers are particularly vulnerable to false allegations of abuse, which can have a devastating effect on their careers and personal lives. These measures are intended to better balance the rights of teachers against those of pupils. It will prevent pupils, parents and the media from publicising allegations prior to a criminal charge being made. The point of charge is an important threshold as we need to strike the right balance between protecting teachers against damage from false allegations and the importance of open justice and the public interest in genuine cases. This provision is also intended to prevent postings on websites. Whilst it may not stamp out irresponsible gossip it sends an important message that teachers have rights and we support them to restore a culture of respect and good behaviour in the classroom.”

The Government also recognises that others within schools and elsewhere also face false allegations, and has made a commitment to review the impact of the anonymity legislation for teachers in two years.

There is a mechanism for any person to apply to the court for a direction lifting the restriction if it would be in the interests of justice to do so. If the police feel that there is a public interest in certain circumstances for a suspect’s identity to be disclosed prior to charge they can apply to the court to have the restrictions lifted.

To find out more click: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/teachermisconduct/a00214891/anonymity-teachers-accused-

NICE to help drive standards in social care

Source: Department of Health published on this site October 3rd, 2012 by Jill Powell

From April 2013, the role of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will expand to include social care. The Department of Health has agreed an initial list of joint NHS/social care quality standard topics for NICE to start working on.

These include:

  • autism in adults and children
  • mental well-being of older people in residential care
  • the transition between health and social care, including discharge planning, admission avoidance, reducing readmissions and reducing unnecessary bed occupancy
  • medicines management in care homes
  • management of physical and mental co-morbidities of older people in community and residential care settings.
  • domiciliary care
  • transition between children and adult services
  • child maltreatment.

NICE will develop better evidence on what high-quality care looks like with the aim of improving the quality of social care.

To find out more click: http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2012/09/nice-social-care/

The Common-Sense Approach to Moving and Handling of Disabled Children and Young People (Scotland)

Source the Scottish Parliament and published on this site October 2nd by Jill Powell

A new guide for workers and employers, in Scotland, who work with children and young people with moving and handling needs.

Introduction to the guide says:

Working with disabled children and young people may involve moving and handling risks. We need to manage these risks effectively – in ways that ensure we do not limit disabled children and young people's opportunities to play, and to have a wide social experience at home, in education and in their community.

The human rights and safety of the child and the worker must be carefully balanced in a way that ensures that both sets of rights are maintained.

The rights of children and young people may not be realised because of common misunderstandings people have about these rights, and the balance required with the
 

Read more: The Common-Sense Approach to Moving and Handling of Disabled Children and Young People (Scotland)

The picture which emerges is one of vulnerable young girls, some as young as 10, who were being targeted for sexual abuse and written off by authorities who believed the girls were "making their own choices".

Published on this site September 28th 2012 by Jill Powell

Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board has published a review into child sexual exploitation in the Borough. The report looks at how agencies including the council, police, NHS, Crown Prosecution Service and other support services worked between 2007 and 2012 to safeguard children and young people who were at risk of sexual exploitation. The findings have been used to identify the required changes that have now been made, supporting the development of the local Child Sexual Exploitation Strategy and action plan.

The review was ordered after nine Asian men were jailed for grooming young white girls for sex.

Young vulnerable girls, some as young as ten, were being targeted and groomed for sexual abuse. The girl’s cries for help from the authorities had been ignored. One of the flawed decisions made was that there was a belief the girls were making their own choices.

The gang of nine men have received between four and nineteen years in prison

The download the report click: http://www.rbscb.org/

A full Serious Case Review will follow now the case has been concluded.

Historic convictions for consensual acts to be deleted

Anyone with a historic conviction, caution, warning or reprimand for consensual gay sex, that meets the conditions laid down in the new Protection of Freedoms Act, will be encouraged to come forward and apply to have these records deleted or disregarded.

Until now, people wishing to volunteer or work in roles that require criminal records checks have been discouraged from doing so, for fear of having to disclose offences which have long since been decriminalised.

These changes mean that, after a successful application, this information no longer needs to be disclosed on a criminal records certificate and those individuals who may have been inhibited from volunteering or seeking new work will now find that inhibition removed.

The change was made under the Protection of Freedoms Act, which received royal assent on 1 May 2012. The Home Office is working closely with the Courts and Tribunals Service, and the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Ministry of Defence to run the application process. A dedicated team of caseworkers will consider each case and make recommendations to the Home Secretary who will have the final decision.

Successful applicants will have their records updated so the offence will no longer appear on a criminal records certificate or be referred to in any future court proceedings.

Full details of the application process will be published by the Home Office shortly, but any advance queries can be sent to chapter4applications@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

"You have someone to trust”- Outstanding practice in primary schools

Published on this site September 27th 2012 by Jill Powell

Cutbacks in local authority support services, pending changes in statutory guidance and a lack of professional confidence has led Maggie Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner for England, to publish a new report aimed at supporting teachers and other education professionals to identify early and help children at risk of neglect or abuse.

The changing environment has led to a number of schools and services reporting that it is hard to keep up to date and in some cases, has led to uncertainty within the workforce around, for example, vetting and barring procedures and statutory child protection and safeguarding duties.

The Office of the Children's Commissioner (OCC) commissioned the NSPCC, with Youthworks, to examine best practice in schools and also how they work with external agencies who help keep children safe, and who intervene when they are at risk or in need of support. The Commissioner's report, "You have someone to trust" - Outstanding safeguarding practice in primary schools, is based on a sample of primary schools in England and includes case studies from teachers, professionals and children.

The Children's Commissioner will also publish practical tips for teachers and other professionals based on the NSPCC findings. These are intended to help schools to better identify and support children they are concerned about and develop their whole school approach to safeguarding.

The Children's Commissioner is recommending that with the pending changes to the statutory guidance on child protection (Working Together), the role of schools in the safeguarding network should become more important than ever.

For both documents click: http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/

New definition of Domestic Violence announced by Home Office

Source click: http//www.homeoffice.gov.uk

Published on this site September 26th 2012 by Jill Powell

Victims of domestic violence and abuse aged 16 and 17 will be recognised under a new cross party definition.

The new definition of domestic violence and abuse now states:
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.” *

This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called 'honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

Nick Clegg who announced the plans said the new definition will be implemented by March 2013.

Dementia campaign launched

Published on this site September 25th 2012 by Jill Powell

The Department of Health has launched a campaign, supported by the Alzheimer’s Society, to encourage people to talk to loved ones showing signs of dementia.

The three-month campaign in England, launched on World Alzheimer’s Day, will raise awareness of the condition, early signs and symptoms and how to seek help. It includes television and print advertising.

Sir Michael Parkinson, Fiona Phillips and legendary England goalkeeper Gordon Banks have lent their support to the campaign, by sharing their personal experiences of dementia in a series of short films.

The campaign is part of the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge. It will encourage people to have that first ‘difficult conversation’ with a friend or family member when they spot the signs and symptoms of dementia, and encourage them to visit their GP.

Read more: Dementia campaign launched

Safeguarding children and adults in the reformed NHS: An update on progress on the co-produced work programme

Published on this site 21st September 2012 by Jill Powell

Since ministers published the work programme on 31 October 2011, the Department of Health (DH) has been working with the Department for Education (DfE) and a wide range of health, local authority and other partners to develop an accountability framework for safeguarding children in the new NHS. This will set out the roles and responsibilities of the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB), clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), NHS and independent sector providers, the Care Quality Commission and Monitor.

Development of the accountability framework has proceeded in parallel with and has helped inform the revision of Working Together to Safeguard Children. Since the content of the two documents is interdependent, DH plans to publish the accountability framework alongside the final version of Working Together and related statutory guidance.

In addition to the distinct responsibilities that the NHS CB will have as a commissioner of primary care and other services, the Board will also be responsible for developing overall NHS policy on safeguarding, providing oversight and assurance of CCGs’ safeguarding arrangements and supporting CCGs in meeting their responsibilities. This will include working

Read more: Safeguarding children and adults in the reformed NHS: An update on progress on the co-produced..

Serious Case Review published by Leeds Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)

Published on this site September 24th 2012 by Jill Powell

Leeds LSCB has, this month, published a Serious Case Review (SCR). The review looks at the death of a child (Child Q) in 2008. The child died in the Accident and Emergency Hospital of St James’ Hospital Leeds.

Child Q, who was 32 months old, and his half sibling aged 8 were both subject to child protection plans.

Child Q had a history of fitting but a toxicology report revealed he had ingested a lethal amount of a drug prescribed to his mother.

To read this report, and the lessons learnt click:

http://www.leedslscb.org.uk/professionals/executivesummaries/Child%20Q/child-Q-executive-summary.shtml

Leeds LSCB has also published a review of 9 executive summaries of SCR’s involving the death or serious injury to a child, where abuse or neglect was the main contributing factor to see this useful document click: http://www.leedslscb.org.uk/index.htm# and follow the links.

Supervision Guidance- revised September 2012

Published on this site 20th September 2012 by Jill Powell

Following the Protection of Freedoms Act receiving Royal Assent on 1 May 2012, there are certain changes happening this September.

The Act also places a duty on the Secretary of State to publish guidance on supervision. This guidance, to which organisations must have regard, is to help them decide whether the supervision they plan to provide will take the supervised activity out of regulated activity.

Organisations will be able to obtain an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check, but not check barred list status, for supervised work that is no longer regulated activity.

This guidance covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Leaflets on the checking and barring system can be found at: http://www.isa.homeoffice.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=524

To read the guidance click: http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/safeguardingchildren/a00209802/disclosure-barring

Reform of provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs

Published on this site September 19th 2012 by Jill Powell

Draft legislation September 2012

Forward for legislation by Sarah Teather MP Minister of State for Children and Families

 Children and young people who have a special educational need or disability deserve the same life chances as every other child. But, too often, the systems that should support them and their families fail them, putting bureaucratic barriers in their way and failing to address their true needs.

In May 2012, we published Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability – Progress and next steps, to report on progress following the 2011 Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Green Paper. That report provided proposals to reform provision for children and young people with special educational needs or with disabilities.

This document now sets out the draft legislation to put those proposals into practice, providing significant improvements to the support provided to children and young people, and to their parents. A single system would ensure children and young people received the support they need regardless of age or where they are taught, providing for them from birth until, where appropriate, their 25th birthday, with comparable

Read more: Reform of provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs

Local authorities invited to apply for warm homes healthy people fund

Published on this site September 18th 2012 by Jill Powell

A recent local authority circular explains the arrangements for applying for funding from the warm homes healthy people fund in the financial year 2012/ 2013.

Local authorities are invited to make an application for funding from the warm homes healthy people fund by 5pm on Friday 5 October 2012. The aim of the fund is to support local authorities in the coming winter to reduce the levels of deaths and illness in their local authority that are due to vulnerable people living in cold housing in partnership with their local community and voluntary sector and statutory organisations. The local authority circular LAC (DH)(2012)2 warm homes healthy people fund 2012/ 2013 (RTF 253Kb) includes:

  • information about the grant scheme
  • arrangements for grant payment and allocation
  • annex A explains the arrangements for administering in 2012/ 2013 the project funding available to local authorities and their partners under the warm homes healthy people initiative.
  • annex B contains the application form.

To find out more click: http://www.doh.gov.uk/publications/coinh.html  

Silent Voices

Published on this site 13th September 2012 by Jill Powell

Supporting children and young people affected by parental alcohol misuse

Dr Maggie Atkinson Children’s Commissioner for England says in her forward to the Report, ‘Silent Voices’ published this month, “The misuse of alcohol by parents negatively affects the lives and harms the wellbeing of more children than does the misuse of illegal drugs. Yet too often, parental alcohol misuse is not taken as seriously, in spite of alcohol being addictive, easier to obtain, and legal. The effects of parents’ alcohol misuse on children may be hidden for years, whilst children try both to cope with the impact on them, and manage the consequences for their families.

 To read the full report or the briefing of key themes click: http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/content/publications

New Ofsted School Inspection Handbook Published

Published on this site September 17th 2012 by Jill Powell

This handbook published September 2012 provides instructions and guidance for inspectors conducting inspections under section 5 of the Education Act (as amended) It sets out what inspectors must do and what schools can expect, and provides guidance for inspectors on making their judgements.

 On page 39 In the section The behaviour and safety of pupils at the school amongst others it states: ‘the extent to which pupils are able to understand and respond to risk, for example risks associated with extremism.’ In the footnotes it adds, ‘This includes risks associated with e-safety, substance misuse, knives and gangs, relationships (including sexual relationships), water, fire, roads and railways.’

To read the full handbook click: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/school-inspection-handbook-september-2012

Local MP Dr Dan Poulter visits SAFE Office.

Local MP Dr Daniel Poulter visited the SAFE office Friday 7 September to discuss the many changes to vetting and barring under the new Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Dr Poulter kindly offered to work with his Suffolk MP colleagues to raise our concerns with the Home Office.
Follow this link to his website for more information.

Comment on New Care and Support Bill

Published on this site 12th September 2012 by Jill Powell

The draft Care and Support Bill was published on 11 July 2012. It proposes a single, modern law for adult care and support that replaces existing outdated and complex legislation.

Pages 5 to 7 are focused on the safeguarding of adults at risk.

You can post comments on the draft Bill on the Department of Health website until 19 October 2012, and contribute to the largest overhaul of the law around adult care and support in 60 years.

For more information and comment links click: http://careandsupportbill.dh.gov.uk/home/

36 children under 15 convicted of sex offences on other youngsters in 2011

Published on this site 11th September 2012 by Jill Powell

The Daily Mail reports that one teenager a day is being convicted in our courts of sexual offences against a child. Last year a total of 357 youngsters aged 18 and under were found guilty of offences ranging from rape of another child, sexual grooming and the taking or possessing of indecent photographs of minors.

Shockingly, this includes 136 children aged between 10 and 15 who have been convicted of sexual offences against other children and who are, in effect, child paedophiles.

To read the full story click: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2197369/The-paedophiles-aged-136-children-15-convicted-sex-offences-youngsters-2011.html#ixzz263l8zFO5

Bogus Calls

Published on this site on September 6th 2012 by Jill Powell

The Office of Public Guardians (OPG) have been made aware that a small number of Deputies (people who have been appointed by the Court of Protection to protect those who lack capacity) have received calls and/or e-mails relating to their Deputyships which appear to be fraudulent. In each case the caller claims that they have discovered shares belonging to the client and that their contact details have been passed on to them by the OPG or the Court of Protection.Deputies are requested to terminate any suspicious calls relating to the above and immediately notify the OPG via the Customer Contact Centre 0300 456 0300.As a precautionary measure, all OPG staff taking external calls may ask additional security questions in order to verify the identity of a caller. The OPG are in regular contact with police on any further developments.

The OPG is an agency with responsibilities that extend across England and Wales (separate arrangements exist for Scotland and for Northern Ireland).

It supports the Public Guardian in the registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA), and the supervision of deputies appointed by the Court of Protection.It also helps attorneys and deputies to carry out their duties, and protects people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. It works closely with other organisations to ensure that any allegations of abuse are fully investigated and acted on.

The OPG also has responsibility for mental capacity policy, and provides guidance to public, legal and health professionals.

For more information on the OPG click: http://www.justice.gov.uk/about/opg

Safeguarding: disclosure and barring – changes from September 2012

Published on the site 10th September 2012 by Jill Powell

Announced by the Department of Education

Following the Protection of Freedoms Act receiving Royal Assent on 1 May 2012, there are certain changes happening this September. Regulated activity is work that a barred person must not do. As a key part of changes to reduce the scope of regulated activity, the Protection of Freedoms Act removes from regulated activity, broadly, supervised work such as instructing or looking after children, which if unsupervised would be regulated activity.

The new definition of regulated activity comes into force on today the 10th September 2012.

For the full announcement and relevant links click: http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/safeguardingchildren/a00209802/disclosure-barring

The School Nursing Service and Young People

Published on this site September 4th by Jill Powell

 

The Department of Health and the School Nursing Service are encouraging children who are starting secondary school for the first time this September to get to know their school nurse so they know where to go for help and advice when they need it.

The start of new school year, for some parents and young people brings anxiety and worry. This is especially the case where children are starting school for the first time and where pupils are leaving the familiar surroundings of their primary school to what can be a large and intimidating environment of a new secondary school.

The School Nursing service has a crucial role in improving the physical and emotional health of children and young people. The service has been working with young people to design eye-catching information to promote the range of services from a school nurse and inform pupils on how to access them – including texting to make appointments.

To read more click:

http://mediacentre.dh.gov.uk/2012/08/31/tips-to-tackle-the-back-to-school-blues/

Serious Safeguarding Review

Published on this site August 29th 2012 by Jill Powell

Nottingham Safeguarding Children Board has published the executive summary of a serious case review into the sexual abuse of unrelated boys by their foster carer. These boys had been looked after by the local authority from September 1999. The abuse was carried out by a longstanding, white, married foster carer. The abuse happened over a number of years. The abuser was jailed for 13 life sentences. Key areas for learning identified include: the importance of encouraging children to express their views, particularly at transitions such as moving placements; and ensuring investigations around inappropriate sexual behaviour are jointly planned from the outset.

To see the summary report click: http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/caring/protecting-and-safeguarding/nscb/about-the-board/serious-case-reviews/

National Increase in Diagnosis of Dementia

Published on this site 28th August 2012 by Jill Powell

A report on the audit of the use of anti-psychotic drugs in dementia cases has been published by the NHS. These drugs can have serious side effects. Despite an increase in the number of people diagnosed with dementia over the last six years, the use of the drugs has reduced.

The audit shows that a higher proportion of women are diagnosed with dementia than men with the majority of people diagnosed with dementia aged 65 years and above.

 To see the report click: http://www.ic.nhs.uk/dementiaaudit

For information on Dementia click: www.nhs.uk/pathways/dementia/

Mother aged 20, jailed for leaving baby home alone

Published on this site 24th August by Jill Powell

A mother has been jailed for 15 months for leaving her baby daughter at home alone every day for a week while she went out drinking.

The woman, 20, of Brecon, Powys, admitted neglect of the 15-month old while she went out at Christmas. Neighbours raised the alarm when they heard cries, Merthyr Crown Court heard.

Judge John Curran said: "You may have gone back to the house on occasions but the fact is you neglected her for a very long time."

The court heard how the woman left the girl in the cot and would go home every day to give the baby breakfast cereal and a microwave meal before going back to a friend's flat to continue partying.

To read the full report by the BBC click: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-19318591

Progress in implementing the 2010 Adult Autism Strategy

Published on this site 27th August by Jill Powell

The National Audit Office (NAO) sent a memorandum to the Public Accounts Committee during July 2012 in which they say considerable progress has been made in implementing the Adult Autism Strategy.

The memorandum provides information on the progress that has been made since the Strategy was published. The NAO state that 24 of the 56 commitments in the strategy have already been fully implemented and highlight work in progress on the remaining commitments.

To read in full click: http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/

1213/adult_autism_strategy_progress.aspx

Protecting disabled children: An Ofsted Report

Published on this site August 23rd by Jill Powell

Disabled children are at risk of slipping through the child protection net, according to an Ofsted report published today. The study found that many children and their families receive good multi-agency early support but too many children had child protection needs which went unidentified.

Protecting disabled children: thematic inspection report looks at the effectiveness of child protection work for disabled children in 12 local authorities, examining 173 cases and tracing the child’s journey through the system to understand how well disabled children are protected from harm.

Deputy Chief Inspector, John Goldup said:

'Research suggests that disabled children, sadly, are more likely to be abused than children without disabilities. Yet they are less likely than other children to be subject to child protection. This report examines in depth, through the experiences of individual children, some of the reasons for that discrepancy.

'Inspectors saw some fantastic examples of good early multi-agency support for children and their families. But in some cases the focus on support for parents and their children seemed to obscure the child’s need for protection. The report highlights the need for greater awareness among all agencies of the potential child protection needs of disabled children, for better and more coordinated assessments, and for more

Read more: Protecting disabled children: An Ofsted Report

An introduction to Dementia (NHS Choices)

Published on this site 22nd August by Jill Powell

Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) that is associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. These include:

  • memory
  • thinking
  • language
  • understanding
  • judgement

People with dementia may also become apathetic, have problems controlling their emotions or behaving appropriately in social situations. Aspects of their personality may change or they may see or hear things that other people do not, or have false beliefs. Most cases of dementia are caused by damage to the structure of the brain. People with dementia usually need help from friends or relatives, including help in making decisions.

To read the full description click: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Dementia/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Birmingham’s Local Safeguarding Children Board have published Serious Case Review

Published on this site 22nd  August 2012 by Jill Powell

The review concerns the death of a four month old baby girl, following serious head injuries. Her uncle has been convicted of manslaughter and her mother and mother's partner were charged with child cruelty although only the mother was found guilty. Both parents, mother 18 years of age, father 19 years of age had been in care until their 18th  birthday.

To read the executive summary of the case review click: http://www.lscbbirmingham.org.uk/images/stories/downloads/executive-summaries/BSCB+2008-9+5+SCR.pdf

Looked-after children and young people: consultation on draft quality standard

Published on this site 20th  August 2012 by Jill Powell

National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) have been asked by the Department for Education and the Department of Health to pilot the development of a quality standard for social care on the health and wellbeing of looked after children and young people for use in England. The draft NICE quality standard on the Health and wellbeing of looked-after children and young people is now available for consultation. The consultation period will end at 5pm on 16th  October 2012.

Registered stakeholders for this quality standard are invited to submit comments on the draft quality standard. Individuals and organisations who have not registered as stakeholders are not able to comment during the consultation. If you are interested in submitting comments during the consultation please either register as a stakeholder or contact a registered stakeholder organisation that closely represents your interests and pass your comments to them. Further information about existing stakeholders and stakeholder registration process can be found below:

Consultation dates: 16th August to 16th October 2012

Please note that this quality standard is provisional and may change after consultation with stakeholders and field testing.

To find out more and access relevant documents and consultation proforma click:

http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qualitystandards/socialcare/LookedAfterChildrenAndYoungPeopleConsultation.jsp

Should extremely obese children be taken into care?

Written by Helen Grady BBC Radio 4's for The Report

Published on this site 21st August 2012 by Jill Powell

 Does allowing a child to become morbidly obese qualify as child abuse? Some health and social care professionals believe it is a question that needs to be considered more seriously.

To read the full article click: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19267308

Tackling Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief

Published  17th August 2012 by Jill Powell

 A national action plan, has been published by the Department of Education, on 14th August  2012, to tackle abuse linked to faith or belief. It is intended to help raise awareness of the issue of child abuse linked to faith or belief and to encourage people to take practical steps to prevent such abuse.

  Key Principles 

  Child abuse is never acceptable wherever it occurs and whatever form it takes. Abuse linked to belief, including belief in witchcraft or possession, is a horrific crime which is condemned by people of all cultures, communities and faiths.

  Key messages

  • Child abuse is condemned by people of all cultures, communities and faiths, and is never acceptable under any circumstances.

  • The National Working Group applauds the work being done in communities to tackle this form of abuse and to stand up to the perpetrators.

  • Everyone working or in contact with children has a responsibility to recognise and know how to act on evidence, concerns and signs that a child may be suffering, or is likely to    suffer, significant harm.

  • Standard child safeguarding procedures apply in all cases where abuse or neglect is suspected, including those that may be related to particular belief systems.

  • The number of cases of child abuse linked to faith or belief in spirits, possession and witchcraft is believed to be small, but where it occurs it causes much distress and suffering to the child. It is likely that a proportion of this type of abuse remains unreported.

  • Abuse linked to faith or belief may involve a wider context, where the child is treated as a scapegoat in circumstances of family stress, deprivation, domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health problems. Extract from Executive Summary page 4.

  To download the Executive Summary or the full plan click: https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/DFE-00094-2012 

Winterbourne View Serious Case Review Published

The report into the abuse of people with learning disabilities at Winterbourne View, was published on the 7 of August 2012. The report catalogues a series of serious failings both by the hospital and agencies involved in safeguarding adults.

To read the report click: http://www.southglos.gov.uk/NR/exeres/DDE51D39-E8AC-4343-8DDA-7F08B03CBA10

Good practice guidelines for Northern Ireland for stores selling children’s clothing

The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC) has launched on the 8 August 2012 new ‘good practice' guidance for stores in Northern Ireland selling children's clothing. The guidance reaffirms commitments made by retailers across the UK in response to Chief Executive of the Mothers' Union, Reg Bailey's 2011 review of the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood.

To access the guidance click: http://www.brc.org.uk/nirc_news_detail.asp?id=2271

Clarity Needed On 'Internet Trolls'

From police oracle

Clear guidance should be given to officers over how they should investigate alleged offensive comments made on social media sites, the Police Federation has said.

Vice-Chairman Simon Reed (pictured) said there had to be “common sense” around the issue after Dorset Police arrested and then released with a harassment warning a 17-year-old boy who had posted comments about British Olympic diver Tom Daley.

“We need to have some idea of what we are going to treat as truly offensive or what we deal with in a way which tells people to grow up.” Mr Reed said police did not have the resources to constantly investigate these types of cases.

However, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said the decision always rested with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)to decide whether the comments “meet the threshold” of legislation.

Mr Reed said: “If we are going to get constant complaints we will run out of resources pretty quickly. “There has to be some common sense around the area, what would we consider a worthy prosecution and we need to ask: Is it really appropriate to use public order legislation or the older telecommunications legislation, which was designed in an age before we had this kind of technology, to prosecute.”

Mr Reed said he agreed that an element of self-policing was needed by users of social media – and sometimes a simple response to the alleged offender, by way of a rebuttal, could be appropriate. He added: “We need to have some idea of what we are going to treat as truly offensive or what we deal with in a way which tells people to grow up.”

Read more: Clarity Needed On 'Internet Trolls'

Suffolk Police investigated 10 reported rapes by children over last five years

Children, some aged under 10, have been reported for rape offences in Suffolk over the last five years, according to police statistics. Suffolk Police confirmed that four of the 10 reported offences were carried out by people as young as seven. The statistics show there were a total of 666 crimes committed by that age group reported between January 2007 and June 2012. Of those, 37 were sexual crimes, the figures show.

Children under the age of 10 are under the age of criminal responsibility and cannot be charged.

Susan Dowling from Suffolk County Council said: “We have to show them what is appropriate and what isn't”

The statistics were compiled by police following a Freedom of Information request by the BBC.

Det Insp Tonya Antonis said: "It might be a case where children are experimenting, it might be something they've seen, but they're not often actually aware of the extent of what they've done or what's happened. It's important to say this isn't about criminalising young children, so a lot of that work is looking at the needs of the children, the families and putting the appropriate levels of support in to those families and having an appropriate level of support for victims. We're often asked if it's a case of children seeing things on television and we haven't got any evidence that that is the case."

The force said it deals with the offences in partnership with Suffolk County Council's Youth Offending Team by assessing the behaviour of the children

Other offences from the police statistics included 109 cases of malicious wounding and 100 cases of shoplifting. Children aged 10-14 can be convicted of a criminal offence, if it can be proved they were aware that what they were doing was seriously wrong

 

Information reported by BBC online http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-19164512

Clare's Law pilot to stop domestic violence

The Home Office have announced from July 16th 2012

Police in Gwent and Wiltshire will be the first to start piloting the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as Clare's Law.

Under the scheme women will have the right to ask the police whether a new or existing partner has a violent past. If police checks show that a person may be at risk of domestic violence from their partner, the police will consider disclosing the information.

The pilot will also look at how the police can proactively release information to protect a person from domestic violence where it is lawful, necessary and proportionate to do so.

Both processes can be implemented within existing legal powers but new guidance developed for the pilot will help ensure that recognised and consistent processes are in place.

Forces in Nottinghamshire and Greater Manchester will join the pilot, which runs until 2013, in September.

Read more: Clare's Law pilot to stop domestic violence

Out of Sight

The long awaited report of the Winterbourne View Care Home Inquiry is released today. Commissioned by South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB), the report was carried out by an independent expert. First exposed by undercover filming by the BBC programme, Panorama; the report highlights what can be learnt from this serious case review. If you have concerns about adults in care always contact your local social care services, or the police if a crime, has, or may have been committed. The CQC also run a Whistleblowing helpline 03000 616161 for care staff.

To read the Mencap and Challenging Behaviour Foundation report visit http://www.mencap.org.uk/outofsight-report

Announcing SAFE's Annual Safeguarding Conference "Shifting Sand"

Ipswich - Kesgrave Conference Centre, 12 Acre Approach, Kesgrave, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP5 1JF

Annual Conference Friday 19th October 2012 from 09:30 to 16:00

Speakers Include:

Chaired by DCI Stuart McCallum, Suffolk Constabulary

Charles Fortt, Consultant on Sexual Crime and Expert Witness

CEOP Officer (name to be confirmed)

Diana Porter from Action for Children

Prices for the above conference are £40 for SAFE Members, £80 Non-Members

Email rachael.oliver@safecic.co.uk to reserve your place.

Independent experts set out recommendations to improve children and young people’s health results

They recommend a number of new outcomes measures and the strengthening of existing indicators and makes specific recommendations for different organisations within the health and care system to ensure the improvements are achieved.

Forum joint chair Christine Lenehan, Director at the Council for Disabled Children, said:

“The Forum is clear that the implementation of these recommendations is key to improving health outcomes for children and young people, which was the ambition of the Secretary of State when he established us to do this work.

“This Report needs to form the basis of a wider children and young people’s health outcomes strategy, which needs to be owned by all organisations in the health system and beyond who have a responsibility for improving the health and wellbeing for this group.”

The Forum’s starting point for identifying what outcomes matter most for children and young people were the existing NHS and Public Health Outcomes Frameworks.

The Forum recommends four new outcome indicators for inclusion within the NHS Outcomes Framework. These are:

  • time from first NHS presentation to diagnosis or start of treatment
  • integrated care – developing a new composite measure
  • effective transition from children’s to adult services
  • age-appropriate services, with particular reference to teenagers.

Read more: Independent experts set out recommendations to improve children and young people’s health results

Look Behind Children's Bad Behaviour, Barnardo's Urges Teachers

Schools must do more to tackle the causes of bad behaviour, as unruly children may have special needs or serious problems at home, a leading charity has warned. Barnardo's said some pupils may be "acting out" rather than simply "acting up" in class, and that schools should not simply deal with the symptoms of naughty behaviour.

Official figures published last week revealed that, in England, pupils with a statement of special educational needs (SEN) are around nine times more likely to be expelled from school than their peers. In 2010/11, SEN children with a statement were permanently excluded on 430 occasions, and accounted for 8% of all expulsions, the Department for Education statistics show.

Read more: Look Behind Children's Bad Behaviour, Barnardo's Urges Teachers

New learning from serious case reviews: a two year report for 2009-11

Researchers from the Universities of East Anglia and Warwick studied the details of two years of serious case reviews covering the period from 2009/10 to 2010/11, as part of a government-backed project.Of the estimated 85 deaths of children aged 17 and under, between 50 and 55 were directly caused by violence, abuse or neglect. Maltreatment was considered a contributory factor, though not the primary cause of death – for example accidents, sudden unexpected deaths in infancy and suicide – in a further 30 to 35 cases. Meanwhile, the study found that the number of children who died while subject to a child protection plan dropped from 16 per cent in 2007/08 and 2008/09, to 10 per cent between 2009/10 and 2010/11.
This is despite the fact that the overall number of children with a child protection plan rose during the same period.

For a copy of the report click:

https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/

RSG/AllPublications/Page1/DFE-RR22

Managing individual cases: the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families

This draft guidance is intended for use along side of the draft Working Together 2012 Guidance and the draft amendments to Serious Case Review Guidance 2012.

The guidance is for all those who work with children and with adults with parenting responsibilities. Social workers and the range of professionals from health including adult services, the police, education, schools and the voluntary and community sector must work together to understand and respond to children’s needs.

It is therefore an important document setting out how cases are to be managed when there are concerns about a child’s safety. Consultation is taking place until September 4th 2012

 

To read and respond to this draft document click:

http://www.workingtogetheronline.co.uk/consultation/managing

_ind_2012.html#preface

Stop children and adults drowning: water safety tips

The Royal Life Saving Society provide tips on water safety, even more relevant during the school holidays.

On average, over 420 people drown in the UK each year. Nearly 60 of these are children and young people. It is estimated that for every death by drowning there are around 300 near misses. The majority of drownings are preventable.

Here are some important water safety tips to help everyone stay safe, whether you’re at the pool, the beach, a lake, or by a river, use the

SAFE code to ensure you enjoy the water safely.

  • Spot - Spot the dangers. Learn about the hazards at swimming pools and open water sites.
  • Advice - Take safety advice, read the signs and listen to lifeguards.
  • Friend - Always go with a friend if one person gets into difficulty, the other can go and get help. Never swim alone.
  • Emergency - Learn what to do in an emergency
  • Learn personal survival skills.
  • Learn how to help others.

For advice in a variety of differet situations

Read more: Stop children and adults drowning: water safety tips

Domestic violence protection notices and orders

On 30 June 2012, the domestic violence protection order (DVPO) provisions operating in the West Mercia, Wiltshire and Greater Manchester police force areas were extended for another year.

The domestic violence protection order (DVPO) pilot closed on Saturday 30 June 2012, but all three police forces will continue the scheme for a further year while the Home Office evaluates the pilot to assess whether or not a change in the law is needed.

Under the scheme the police and magistrates can protect a victim when they are at their most vulnerable, in the immediate aftermath of an attack, by preventing the perpetrator from contacting the victim or returning to their home for up to 28 days. This helps victims who may otherwise have had to flee their home and gives them the space and time to access the support they need and to consider their options.

Previously, there had been a gap in protection for victims of domestic violence due to either the police being unable to charge the perpetrator due to lack of evidence (meaning that the protection available to a victim through strict bail conditions could not be applied) or the process for granting longer-term injunctions taking several days or weeks to apply for. DVPOs are designed to bridge this gap by empowering the police and magistrates to issue an immediate order to ban the perpetrator from returning home or making contact with the victim for up to 28 days.

For more information click: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime/violence-against-women-girls/domestic-violence/dv-protection-orders/

Know your rights on the Mental Capacity Act

Mencap’s new Mental Capacity Act resource aims to make sure that families are involved in best-interests decision-making. Mencap has produced a practical resource to ensure that parents and carers of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) are involved in best-interests decision-making regarding their health.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 requires all health professionals to consult with family members when an adult lacks the mental capacity to make the relevant decision themselves. However, in its latest report into the deaths of people with a learning disability in NHS care (Death by indifference: 74 deaths and counting), Mencap found that family carers are not always involved and listened to when decisions are made by healthcare professionals. Sometimes this has tragic consequences.

The new resource, which is aimed primarily at families of a person with PMLD, informs parents of their rights and gives practical suggestions on how to ensure that they and their family member are involved in decisions. It includes film clips of families telling their own stories of their experiences of healthcare. It also outlines useful tools that families can use, such as hospital passports and health action plans. It is very important that parents should start planning for decision making before there child reaches the age of 16, when the act becomes applicable.

The resource has been funded by SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence), with families providing invaluable guidance through an advisory group. It follows the publication of another Mencap resource, in April, which includes two template letters to see these letters and

find the letters click: http://www.irwinmitchell.com/servicesforyou/support/Pages/ActivitiesViewer.aspx?item=149

To find out more on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 click: http://www.mencap.org.uk/all-about-learning-disability/health/mental-capacity-act

To download a copy of the new resource click: http://www.mencap.org.uk/all-about-learning-disability/health/mental-capacity-act

To send for a free copy of the resource and videos on CD-Rom click:

Email: publications@mencap.org.uk
Telephone: 020 7696 6900

Consultation on revised safeguarding statutory guidance

Closing Date: Tuesday 4 September 2012

This consultation seeks views on three statutory guidance documents:

Working together to safeguard children: draft guidance on what is expected of organisations, individually and jointly, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;

Managing individual cases: the framework for the assessment of children in need and their families: draft guidance on undertaking assessments of children in need; and

Statutory guidance on learning and improvement: proposed new arrangements for Serious Case Reviews, reviews of child deaths and other learning processes led by Local Safeguarding Children Boards.

It is proposed that the three guidance documents which are the subject of this consultation will replace over 700 pages of guidance currently issued through:

Working together to safeguard children (2010)

The framework for the assessment of children in need and their families (2000)

Assessing children in need and their families: Practice guidance (2000)

Statutory guidance on making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 (2007). 

The draft documents can be read on:

http://www.workingtogetheronline.co.uk/consultation/contents.html 

You can download the consultation response form from the associated resources section, and submit your completed response via the online form and associated resources click: https://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/departmentalinformation/                                                                                                                                      consultations/a00211065/revised-safeguarding-

Listening to Troubled Families:

Intergenerational domestic violence, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, neglect and arson is blighting the lives of thousands of children, according to a report by the troubled families tsar, Louise Casey.

A hard-hitting report with Louise Casey formally interviewing 16 problem households and meeting many more, reveals that those responsible for antisocial behaviour feature a high incidence of incest and sexual abuse, physical violence and a spiral of alcohol abuse and crime. The study has found that generations of the underclass shrug their shoulders and dismiss pregnancies as ‘just happening’ even when their other children have been taken into care Half of the families studied for the report had four or more children, while the national average is one family in ten.

Read more: Listening to Troubled Families:

Child Protection Project

Coram Children's Legal Centre has launched a new FREE service for professionals and frontline practitioners working with children. The Child Protection Project provides information, advice and training on all aspects of child protection and safeguarding law and policy. Funded by a grant from the DfE’s Improving Outcomes for Children, Young People and Families Fund, the CPP provides FREE information and legal advice to frontline practitioners on their legal obligations regarding child protection and safeguarding.

 The service consists of a telephone advice line, an interactive and informative website and online and bespoke training courses.

 The services provided by the CPP are designed specifically for the full range of professionals, volunteers and staff who have a duty to safeguard the welfare of the child, including but not limited to, those working in: Education, Health, Children’s Services, Early years and child care, Youth, sport and culture clubs and groups, Justice and crime prevention, and Adult services.

Tel: 0207 636 1245 for more information click: http://www.protectingchildren.org.uk/

Action needed to protect children and young people in sport from sex abuse

Chris Buckler BBC News reported

Leading UK sporting bodies are warning that they are unable to share crucial child protection information. New figures given to the BBC reveal that 124 allegations of sexual abuse in sport were made last year. There are fears that under the current system those accused can move to another sport or part of the country.                                                                                                                

The Independent Safeguarding Authority says it is limited in the information it can share with sporting organisations.

Figures gathered by Brunel University show that of the 652 child protection issue cases examined by national governing bodies in 2011, almost a fifth involved allegations of sexual abuse. Some led to criminal prosecutions but 98 were referred back to the sport by the police or children's services.

"They are the cases in which the sports are left in a kind of limbo about really knowing what to do, maybe there wasn't enough evidence or no chance of prosecution. Obviously there are the extreme cases of sexual abuse where it's clear-cut and it will go to the police, but slightly further down the line there are a lot more grey areas." says Dr Daniel Rhind who carried out the research.

Anne Hunter with the Independent Safeguarding Authority said:    

“You can look up a plumber, to see if they're registered and whether they're equipped to do the job. So it wouldn't seem unreasonable that you could do that with a sport. I think that would be something that would be worth taking forward.”

Consultation on a new adult safeguarding power

The Department of Health’s aim for adult safeguarding is to ensure there is a clear legal and policy framework, enabling the most effective local arrangements and practices to protect adults at risk of abuse and neglect. They have based their approach to new safeguarding interventions with reference to the Law Commission’s recommendation that new legislation “should not include any new compulsory or emergency powers unless Government decides that such powers are needed”. (Recommendation 41, page 122, Adult Social Care: Law Commission No 326).

They seek evidence as to whether this would be an effective, proportionate and appropriate way to support the duty to make enquires proposed in the draft Care and Support Bill. They do not want to intervene in people’s lives unnecessarily. However, they are aware of the strong feeling from some that a specific power of entry in the circumstances set out in this consultation could give an opportunity to offer timely information and advice, and ensure that people who are unable or unwilling to ask for help can have their voices heard.

To see the consultation click: http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2012/07/safeguardingadults/

The consultation will run from 11 July until 12 October 2012. Comments received after 12 October 2012 will not be considered. Please submit your comments by email to safeguardingconsultation@dh.gsi.gov.uk or by post to: Quality and Safety Team, Department of Health, 124 Wellington House, 133-155 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UG.

GMC launches new guidance to help doctors protect children from abuse

The General Medical Council (GMC) has today (10 July) issued new guidance to every doctor in the UK to help them protect children from abuse or neglect. The guidance comes into effect   3 of December 2012

The guidance, Protecting Children and Young People: the responsibilities of all doctors, is aimed at supporting doctors who have to deal with a wide range of complex child protection issues.

It makes clear the responsibilities of doctors in this area and advises where they can turn for support. It states that:

If doctors are treating an adult patient, they must consider whether the patient poses a risk to children or young people. Doctors must be able to identify risk factors in their environment that might raise concerns about abuse or neglect.

  • Doctors should get support if they have concerns that a child or young person may be at risk of abuse or neglect. Every Trust has a named or designated professional or lead clinician (Scotland) and all doctors should know who they can turn to if they need advice.
  • In sharing concerns about possible abuse or neglect, doctors must remember that they work within a wider team of professionals, all of whom have a responsibility to keep children safe from abuse.

Read more: GMC launches new guidance to help doctors protect children from abuse

Legal loophole closed for those who seriously abuse children

A legal loophole that allowed people accused of seriously abusing children to escape justice by blaming another person, will be closed from next week. The change came as a result of a private member's bill, introduced by Sir Paul Beresford. The changes to the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2012 come into force on Monday July 2nd. The act already contains measures to convict people for causing or allowing the death of a child, but did not cover cases where children were seriously injured, but did not die. Data released by the Crown Prosecution Service reveals that among the cases where people escaped prosecution because of the loophole, was that of a five-month-old baby who suffered a brain haemorrhage and fractured skull as a result of abuse.

To see the act click: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/4/contents/enacted

Online Consultation on automatic blocks on harmful and adult websites

Parents and businesses are being asked whether automatic online blocks should be introduced to protect children from adult and harmful websites, in a discussion paper published today by ministers. It asks for views on the best way to shield children effectively from internet pornography and other adult and potentially harmful content - including websites promoting suicide, anorexia, gambling, self-harm and violence, as well as those exposing them to online sexual grooming or cyber-bullying. It also asks which approaches are effective and technically practical; what improvements are already in development; and what more could be done to build on industry’s progress in the last year in better protecting young people and helping parents manage what their children access online.

It was published at a UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) conference last week where over 150 organisations , including SAFE; discussed the central issues with Children’s Minister Tim Loughton and Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone.

Read more: Online Consultation on automatic blocks on harmful and adult websites

Communications Data Bill published June 2012

Vital powers to help catch criminals, save lives and protect children have been outlined in the Communications Data Bill.

The Bill increases the range of data, telecoms firms will have to store for up to 12 months. Any organisation could be ordered to collect information about communications made using webmail, internet telephony, or instant messaging over its networks, and to retain it. It will include for the first time details of messages sent on social media, webmail, voice calls over the internet and gaming in addition to emails and phone calls. The data includes the time, duration, originator and recipient of a communication and the location of the device from which it is made. The Police, Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the intelligence agencies and HM Revenue and Customs can see the content of the time and place of messages as long as it is furthering the investigation of serious crime including child abuse or to protect national security. The content of messages will only by seen by Officers with a warrant.

Peter Davies, head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, said his unit received 1,500 referrals a month from people concerned that children were being abused but investigators were being "stymied" by not being able to access the communications data they needed to see. 

Before this bill can be passed the government has appointed two committees to look at the bill before its starts to go through parliament. The Intelligence and Security Committee will scrutinise the bill from an intelligence standpoint, and a separate, cross parliamentary committee of 12 under Lord Blencathra will also review the bill. 

To find out more click: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/news/communications-data-bill

Half of learning disability services did not meet government standards

Almost half of all care homes and treatment centres in England are failing to protect the welfare of adults with learning disability, a report says. Following unannounced inspections carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), England's health regulator, nearly half of the 145 hospitals and care homes inspected by the CQC did not meet required standards.The inspections focused on examining the general care and welfare of people who used the services as well as whether people were safe from abuse.

Meeting all the required standards and providing the evidence can be daunting in a busy working day. Becoming a member of Safecic can help with standard 7 “keeping people safe from harm and abuse.” For services such as toolkits advice etc press the Membership and SAFE Award button on the home page of this site.

Read more: Half of learning disability services did not meet government standards

Safeguarding children: proposed changes to child performance legislation

This joint DfE and Welsh Government consultation sets out proposals to update and simplify the legislation on the involvement of children of compulsory school age in a range of performance activities. The licensing arrangements sit alongside the Ofcom Broadcasting Code and accompanying guidance which includes specific provisions for the protection of children who take part in all television and radio programmes. 

Proposed changes will: 

  • Speed up the system by making a clear presumption that licences will be issued if it is clear that the safety and welfare of children (before, during and after performances) is not at risk.
  • Put a clear onus on parents to take responsibility for their own children’s activities and producers to show they have put in place robust safeguarding arrangements and thorough risk assessments before they apply for a licence.
  • Clarify, simplify and strengthen guidance on exactly what programmes and shows licences need to be granted for, so young people will be fully protected wherever they perform - from the West End to local theatre; television and radio; film productions, modelling and sport. 

Read more: Safeguarding children: proposed changes to child performance legislation

New laws to make forced marriage illegal

New laws are going to be introduced to make it a criminal offence to force someone into marriage. This means that parents who force their children to marry against their will could face jail. The new laws will be introduced in England and  Wales. Scotland has had laws regarding forced marriages in place since last November. Ministers in Northern Ireland will be able to introduce their own legislation. The new laws will distinguish between forced marriages, where there is no consent, and arranged marriages. It is believed that up to 8,000 women are forced into marriage every year.

CRB Identity Checks Tightened Up

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) is strengthening checks so that it is harder for people with a criminal record to hide convictions by changing their identity to hide their past.

Since 28th May, the CRB is reducing the number of documents accepted for identity verification. Applicants will now be required to produce documents that involve undergoing tighter checks with the document issuer, such as a passport or driver's licence.

Steve Long, Chief Executive of the Criminal Records Bureau said: 'The changes are designed to enhance the good working practices adopted by many organisations when verifying and validating the identity of those they intend to recruit, appoint or licence.

Serious Case Review Executive Summary on Peterborough child

Peterborough Safeguarding Children Board has published the serious case review into the death of Child T, the five year old boy who died in 2011 after being beaten by his mother's partner. Issues include: domestic violence and maternal depression. Both Child T's mother and her partner were charged in relation to his death. Lessons learned include: domestic violence must consistently be viewed as a child protection issue; child assessments should take into account previous incidents and background information; clear and up to date record keeping is essential; and assumptions should not be made about the actions or decisions of other professionals. For a copy of the executive summary go to:

http://www.peterboroughlscb.org.uk/user_controlled_

lcms_area/uploaded_files/Executive%20Summary.pdf

Safeguarding girls at risk of female genital mutilation

Following recent media coverage, the Chief Medical Officer and the Director of Nursing have asked all health care professionals to familiarise themselves with the actions they need to take where they have reason to believe that a girl has undergone, or is at risk of, Female Genital Mutilation

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/

Lettersandcirculars/Dearcolleagueletters/DH_134368

Man jailed for life for murder of 5 year old

A man who kicked and beat his partner's five-year-old son to death has been jailed for life for his murder.  Elvis Lee, 34, attacked Tyler Whelan, who died in hospital in March 2011 after collapsing at their home in Paston, Peterborough. Lee must serve a minimum of 17-and-a-half years, minus time spent in prison on remand. The judge said that Tyler was particularly vulnerable because of his age.

His injuries at the time of his death included 18 to his face and neck, 17 to his body, 10 to his arms and hands, and 13 to his legs, including a human bite mark.

A Serious Case Review published on Monday stated there were "numerous missed opportunities" to help Tyler, and "concern that no professional ever saw him in the family home". It also stated there was no evidence to suggest the death could have been prevented, the report condemned a "lack of professional curiosity" among agencies involved in Tyler's case.Tyler was taken to hospital three times, with injuries prior to his death and the hospital reported their concerns to social care.

This case once again underlines the importance of each one of us being aware of children and their circumstances and having the conviction to report our concerns to the right authorities. Waiting to be sure can be too late.  If you are concerned about a child or a vulnerable adult ring your local social care office.

To find your local contact number for both children and adults go to: http://www.safecic.co.uk/your-scb-acpc or ring the police on 101

In an emergency always ring 999 Other contacts for children:

NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000

Childline 0800 1111

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

This new act has now been  given Royal Assent. The key changes are:

  • ISA registration is scrapped
  • CRB & ISA will be merged and become the “Disclosure & Barring Service”
  • A new “portable” & updated system for CRB disclosures
  • ISA will continue to bar but only for “regulated activity”
  • Barring will not apply to other activities
  • It will continue to be an offence for a barred person to apply for, or an employer to appoint, when barred
  • Introduction of basic checks for all posts except regulated
  • Only the applicant will receive the CRB disclosure

There are several serious implications for all those who recruit and manage staff working with vulnerable groups and rigorous recruitment will become even more important as the changes are implemented.  The CRB have also  announced changes to the established systems for checking the identities of CRB applicants, some of which will pose particular difficulties for checking young people. Over the coming weeks the SAFE expert team will update members, ID checkers and the public. We already  have plans to work with  key partners to cascade information by email and face to face in the near future.

BBC2 This World: The Shame of the Catholic Church

You may have seen this evocative documentary on 2 May which explored the handling of “historic” child abuse investigations going back to the 1970’s. If the programme raised any safeguarding concerns for a child, either now or in the past; social care services and/or the police are always available to help. You can find your local social services contact details by visiting your local Safeguarding Children Board, or Area Child Protection Committee, website at http://www.safecic.co.uk/your-scb-acpc . You can also ring your local police Tel: 101.

Other contacts:

NSPCC helpline: 0808 800 5000.

Childline 0800 1111

A report has been published on the relationship between bullying and self harm.

The British Medical Journal has published a report on the relationship between bullying and self harm. Findings from the representative study of children in the UK include: 56% of the children aged 12 who had self harmed were victims of frequent bullying; and compared with bullied children who did not self harm, bullied children who self harmed were distinguished by a family history of attempted/completed suicide, concurrent mental health problems and a history of physical maltreatment by an adult.

The study found marginally more girls (52%) than boys resorted to wounding themselves. It also showed bullied children with a family member who had either attempted or committed suicide were more likely to self harm than others.

To see the report go to:

http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e2683

Teachers fear malnourishment and poverty are on the rise among students

The Prince's Trust and the Times Education Supplement (TES) have released research into the impact of the recession on pupils and teachers.Teachers are increasingly faced with evidence of poverty and malnourishment among their students, a new survey for the Prince’s Trust and TES has found. Nearly half of more than 500 teachers polled by YouGov said that they encounter students who are malnourished, or show signs they have not eaten enough, at least once a term.

To read the article go to: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6213282

Panorama Undercover Elderly Care

You may have seen  the  BBC1 Panorama programme on 23rd April ,"Undercover Elderly Care" which featured the physical abuse and neglect  of an elderly patient in a care home. Following  the sacking of four female care staff and the imprisonment of another carer, the programme raised many questions for those who have relatives in care homes. 

If you have concerns about the level of care a loved one may be receiving in a care home it is important, in the first instance, to raise your concerns with the registered manager. If you are still unhappy, it is important to contact your local social care services, or the police, if a crime has, or may have been committed. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

You can also contact the CQC and make a complaint to the National Customer Service Centre Telephone: 03000 616161 or complain online at https://webdataforms.cqc.org.uk/Checkbox/contactus.aspx .

'Sarah's Law' protects more than 200 children in first year

More than 200 children have been protected from potential harm during the first year of the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme.

Over the last 12 months the police have received more than 1,600 enquiries and over 900 formal applications. At least 160 disclosures relating to child sex offences have been made, together with at least 58 made concerning other offences. The scheme, known as 'Sarah's Law', was rolled out across all police forces in England and Wales from 4 April 2011. It allows anyone to ask the police to check whether people who have contact with children pose a risk. If the individual has convictions for sexual offences against children or poses a risk of causing harm then the police can choose to disclose this information to the parent, carer or guardian.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: 'Thanks to Sarah's Law, we know that more than 200 children have been protected from potential harm over the last year. We are doing everything we can to protect the public, and especially children, from predatory sex offenders by tightening the law and closing loopholes. But families themselves have a vital role to play.  It is important that parents, guardians and carers are aware of the disclosure scheme and their right to request information if they have concerns.'

Anyone wishing to make an application should make contact with their local police force.

Taxi drivers eligible for enhanced criminal records check

From March 26th 2012, all taxi licensing authorities can apply for enhanced criminal record checks before issuing licences to taxi and private hire vehicle drivers. This means licensing authorities can find out if someone is barred by the Independent Safeguarding Authority from working with children or vulnerable people before issuing a licence. The changes will help simplify the system of criminal record checks, and provide reassurance to women and other vulnerable customers who use taxis and mini-cabs.

Criminal Information Minister Lynne Featherstone said: 'Taxi drivers provide a vital service so it is only right that the public are confident proper checks have been carried out. 'Good recruitment practices are a key responsibility for all employers. These changes will ensure that licensing authorities have access to relevant information to make informed decisions before granting taxi licences. Until today, only drivers who regularly pick up vulnerable people, including children, have been eligible for enhanced checks. Today's change will standardise this practice for all drivers.

Director of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Linda Craig, said: 'We encourage the public to use licensed minicabs and taxis and these changes will give licensing authorities the information necessary to ensure that the public who use them are as safe as possible.'

Tighter checks on taxi drivers are part of a radical overhaul of the criminal records regime and vetting and barring, scaling it back to common sense levels, while still ensuring adequate protections are in place where they are needed most.

CRB Checks Reveal 4,000 Offenders Seeking Teaching Jobs

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) helps employers in England and Wales make safer recruitment decisions. A number of roles, especially those involving children or vulnerable adults, are entitled to a criminal record check.

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) said that to date checks had helped stop more than 130,000 unsuitable people from working with children and many of the offences would lead to an automatic ban on the offenders becoming teachers.

Paedophiles, violent thugs and drug dealers were among more than 4,000 offenders who applied to become teachers last year despite having almost 10,000 criminal convictions between them, figures show.

Criminal records checks even revealed four previous convictions for child sex offences, including one for a sex attack on a girl under 13, as well as three convictions for assaulting or neglecting a child.

Read more: CRB Checks Reveal 4,000 Offenders Seeking Teaching Jobs

Children's Workforce Development Council - CWDC

From April 2012  the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC), funding has been withdrawn. To ensure the valued programmes of work will continue, new homes have been found to develop and build on the  work of the CWDC, this includes:

  • A virtual employer and workforce group set up by the Skills for Care and Development (SfCD) http://www.skillsforcareanddevelopment.org.uk/home/home.aspx
  • Continued work with early years and educational psychologists by the Department for Education's (DfE) Teaching Agency  http://www.education.gov.uk
  • The social work reform programme transforming to DfE alongside sector-led development across all other sectors of the workforce; and
  • The leadership and support of integrated working transferring to the Children's Improvement Board found at http://www.local.gov.uk

Tightening the law on sex offenders

Sex offenders are to face tighter controls, the home office announced on 5th March 2012 as the government set out plans to close loopholes identified with the operation of the sex offenders’ register.

Government proposals will strengthen and extend the current checks, and will make it compulsory for offenders on the sex offenders’ register to:

notify the police of all foreign travel, requiring offenders who travel abroad for fewer than three days to notify in the same way as those who travel for longer must do under the existing scheme;

  • notify the police weekly where they can be found when they have no fixed abode;
  • notify the police when they are living with a child under the age of 18;
  • notify the police of passport, bank account and credit card details, and provide identification at each notification, tightening the law so that sex offenders cannot seek to avoid being on the register when they change their name by deed poll.

    Read more: Tightening the law on sex offenders

New Courses coming soon

We are pleased to announce two new online courses which will be shortly available. These courses are aimed at all those who work with adults who have dementia and their families or carers. The first is a standard course for all staff. The second is a follow up course for those who lead on safeguarding for their organisation.

The first course will also be available soon as face to face group training.

For more information email info@safecic.co.uk

Guidance and toolkit for vulnerable adults interventions

The NHS Building Partnerships, Staying Safe provides guidance and a toolkit for both healthcare organisations and frontline staff working with providing support and interventions for vulnerable individuals. "Read More"

Read more: Guidance and toolkit for vulnerable adults interventions

SAFEchild becomes SAFEcic

SAFEchild is now SAFEcic.Re-branded, redesigned and modernised to offer our clients an even wider range of solutions. 

Read more: SAFEchild becomes SAFEcic

 

 

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