Brighton & Hove LSCB: Board Briefing

December 2014
Welcome to Brighton & Hove Local Children Safeguarding Board Briefing. The Board meeting was held on 2 December 2014. It was our largest meeting yet, with a few new faces including one of our new lay members, the Principal of City College, the new Head of Safeguarding for Sussex Community Trust, and the new Education Safeguarding Officer for Brighton & Hove City Council.  As always there was a busy agenda and this briefing will bring the headlines to you.
Participation & Engagement Subcommitte
Young budding artists, we need you!

The Subcommittee asked the Board to support a ‘LSCB Drawing Challenge’. We will be asking children and young people in schools across Brighton & Hove to create a design (hand drawn or computer aided) showing:
  • The dangers of online bullying
  • A day in the life of a young carer
  • Being a child or young person with a disability
Designs will be showcased on LSCB multi-agency training slides and winning designs uploaded to our website which is a one stop shop for anyone who wants to know more about how the LSCB and its partners work together to keep children in Brighton & Hove safe from harm.
Prizes include a day at Preston Circus fire station with the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service duty watch! The drawing challenge will be launched on National Safeguarding Day on 28th February 2015. To find out more about the competition please contact us at 
LSCB Constiution
A new Constitution was agreed by all partners; this document sets out the purpose, objectives and arrangements for the LSCB and makes clear the commitment to partnership working.  By each agency agreeing the Constitution, they have formally signed up to the LSCB multi-agency audit programme demonstrating their commitment to support it at a senior level and to take forward lessons learnt into their own organisations.
Board Members have been asked to sign a Member’s Compact, this seeks to enable agencies, professionals and volunteers to understand their vital role in supporting children and young people to be safe and to thrive.
Named Doctor
Mary Flynn briefed the Board on her role and responsibilities as the Named Doctor for Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group. Designated and named professionals have specific roles and responsibilities for keeping children safe. She explained that every GP practice has a safeguarding lead in place and part of her role is to support them in their safeguarding practice. She delivers ‘train the trainer’ style safeguarding and child protection training. She is available eight hours a week to provide advice, support and signposting for GP practices. Mary participates, where practicable, in LSCB multi-agency audits, Serious Case and Learning Reviews on behalf of GP practices across the City.  She is a member of the Child Protection Liaison Group, which is a Subcommittee of the LSCB, and advises and supports pathways to ensure they are workable and accessible to GPs. She was involved with other partners in developing the ‘Bruises on immobile babies’ pathway and leaflet for parents..
Early Help Hub
Working Together 2013 specifically outlines a responsibility for LSCBs to ‘use data’ to ‘assess the effectiveness of the help being provided to children and families, including early help’.  With this in mind, the Executive Director of Children’s Services, Pinaki Ghoshal, presented a report to update on progress of the Early Help Hub (EHH).
Staff in the EHH support professionals in the city to target, co-ordinate and provide early help services to families that do not meet the threshold for the council’s social work service in order to prevent
problems from becoming more serious, reduce the need for intensive and specialist services and improve outcomes for families.

You can read more about the EHH here. Board were told that since its launch in September there has been a large volume of enquiry and referral to the EHH.  It was noted that there has been a high proportion of clients with a previous Children in Need (CIN) episode and that there are fewer than anticipated numbers of referrals being made for the primary age group.
Private Fostering Annual Report 2013-14
Under regulation 5 (1) of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006, the LSCB has a responsibility to make sure children who are privately fostered are kept safe. The Local Authority is required to report annually to the LSCB and so the Quality Assurance and Advocacy Manager, Tina James, joined us to present the Annual Report on Private Fostering 2013 -14.
Tina described a ‘Privately Fostered’ child as a child under the age of 16 (18 if disabled) who is cared for and lives with someone other than a parent or close relative for more than 28 days. Close Relatives are Step Parents, Grandparents, Brothers/Sisters or Aunts/Uncles. It is a legal requirement for people who make arrangements for a child to be privately fostered to notify the Local Authority.
2013-14 saw a range of initiatives to highlight notification arrangements to existing and potential private foster carers, voluntary and statutory agencies, and members of the public.  Private Fostering activity  was seen to increase in 2013–14. Board heard that all new privately fostered children received an initial visit, with 97% taking place within 7 working days. The England average for 2013–14 is 80%.
Future plans for 2014–15 were discussed; these included a new Private Fostering Panel to strengthen management oversight.  Challenges around take up of LSCB multi-agency private fostering training were also discussed. You can read more about Private Fostering on page 23 and 24 of the LSCB Annual Report, which can be read here.
To notify the Local Authority of a private fostering arrangement we urge you to contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub on: Tel: (01273) 290400, Email:

If you are a member of the public with enquiries about the general arrangements for private fostering you can contact Tina James on Tel: (01273) 291209, Email:
Table discussion: Management Information Report
A new look Management Information Report was presented to Board. This contained ‘core data’ which is information from across the Partnership.  Outcome areas include, ‘We know about groups of children with particular needs’, and ‘Children, young people and families are able to access early help when they require it, and it is effective’. The report provided a position statement, commentary and actions against each outcome.
Of note, 74 (22.4%) of  the 330 children becoming subject of a child protection plan during the year ending 30 September 2014, were for a second or subsequent time. Whilst performance has improved it is not as good as we would like it to be.  The Local Authority already regularly audit the quick return to child protection cases in order to ensure that step down planning is safe and appropriate and to pick up any immediate issues. Another of the actions put in place to improve on this includes making sure Child Protection Conference Chairs avoid early step down in cases that feature domestic abuse and substance misuse and mental health without an extended period of stability first.
Table discussion: Safeguarding in Schools
The Head of Behaviour & Attendance Children’s Services, Education and Inclusion, Ellen Mulvihill, presented a report to update the LSCB on the results of the annual schools safeguarding audit and other related schools safeguarding matters. Schools are required to have their own policies, procedures and practice in relation to child protection and safeguarding.  Ofsted inspectors will scrutinise these. You can read more about this here

Each year schools have an opportunity to self assess their safeguarding arrangements by completing a safeguarding audit. This helps them to review their current safeguarding and child protection practice against the most recent national guidance. Whilst this is not a statutory requirement we were impressed to hear that there was a 100% response rate in Brighton & Hove, with over 70 schools submitting an audit in 2014. This gives reassurance that there is a climate of self-awareness and challenge within our schools.
Findings included
  • The majority of the ratings were GREEN and this reflects the priority that safeguarding is given by schools.
  • 9 primary schools reported that the Head Teacher has been identified as the Designated Person. This is against Brighton & Hove policy.
  • Only four schools reported a RED rating on any aspect of the audit.
Next Steps:
All schools submitting an audit have completed an Action Plan highlighting AMBER and RED areas with clear actions, timescales and responsible persons for each action. Schools that were not able to meet either GREEN or AMBER will be contacted to provide advice and guidance.
Table discussion: How is Brighton & Hove dealing with CSE?
The complexities of child sexual exploitation (CSE) mean that it is not a straightforward challenge to address or one that can be dealt with quickly or by a single agency, which is why in Brighton & Hove, we have a partnership approach with input and support from many agencies across Sussex. There is information about this work, including the Pan Sussex CSE Strategy, available on the LSCB website. In November 2014 Chief Executive of Brighton & Hove City Council, Penny Thompson, Executive Director of Children’s Services, Pinaki Ghoshal, Chief Supt Nev Kemp, and LSCB Chairperson, Graham Bartlett gave a joint response to Brighton & Hove Independent about arrangements to tackle CSE in the City. You can read this here 

The Board discussed how CSE cannot be looked at in isolation – there is an umbrella of manifestations which vulnerable children, particular adolescents, fall under including missing from home and care and we must avoid compartmentalising vulnerabilities. We discussed challenges in responding to CSE; the capacity in the system to apply sufficient focus to children who are considered ‘less risky’ (prevention), third sector commissioning arrangements and where strategic responsibility most appropriately sits.
Current Action being undertaken in Brighton & Hove to tackle CSE
Agencies in Brighton & Hove are taking a number of steps to progress a co-ordinated approach to addressing CSE across the city, here a sample of these: 
  • Commissioning of ‘Chelsea’s Choice’ (a young people’s Theatre group with focus on CSE) is to be rolled out in March 2015 to 7 secondary schools for year 8 students. Police and social work colleagues will be in attendance to provide advice/support to young people as required
  • Regular meetings between the Police, Children’s Social Care and other agencies to share intelligence
  • Monitoring and scrutiny of work around CSE is provided via LSCB multi-agency audit
  • Providing multi-agency CSE training opportunities and developing information and advice materials www.brightonandhovelscb/prof_cse
Table discussion: Mental Health & Wellbeing in Schools
At the last Board a point was raised about school’s access to mental health services for students, and the capacity to respond appropriately and effectively to the current level of need. The Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group has recently taken on a new Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service Commissioner. We wanted to talk more about mental health and children and young people and so arranged a table top discussion with representatives from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Public Health, Cafcass, Youth Offending Service and Children’s Social Work chaired by the Designated Doctor for the CCG.
During the table discussion it was suggested that a mapping exercise might be helpful to clearly define what mental health services are available to children and young people, it was recommended that this is shared across the partnership and especially with schools.
Challenges regarding age restrictions, transition from child to adult mental health services and fragmentation across the city kick-started more brainstorming: if we were to start again, what would mental health services for children and young people look like, and does the Mental Wellbeing Strategy support a more creative approach?  The Board will want to contribute and inform ongoing discussions about this.
It was recognised that schools do a fantastic job and may need more support to respond more confidently to early signs of adolescent mental ill health.  The group talked about the national and local increase in A&E attendance due to young people self-harming. A need for training and awareness raising across all agencies about safeguarding adolescents was highlighted, particularly in relation to managing deliberate self harm.
Following concerns raised by the LSCB, Public Health are taking forward a deeper analysis data around attendance at A&E for self harm, substance misuse and alcohol specific conditions and this will be reported back to the Board in 2015.
The impact of bereavement and loss and the unhelpful stigma of mental illness were also noted as issues which would benefit from closer attention.
Reflections from a Lay Member
I have been impressed to see such a comprehensive range of services and agencies represented at on the Board and in Sub-Committees - Even better if - a broader range of voluntary sector organisations that are supporting children, young people and families were also represented; if children and young people from a range of heritages and backgrounds were also represented.
I have seen a genuine commitment to keeping all children safe in our city, through effective preventative services and in effective responses to risks that children and young people face. - Even Better if - there were clear, shared understandings of what 'effective' looks like - useful measures which piece together a picture of a child's life when they are 'Safe from harm' that are relevant for each aspect of a child's wellbeing  (such as, my education, my home and social life, my physical health, my emotional and mental health, my economic situation).
I have seen evidence of a significant amount of work going into developing and collating data which shows what activities the Board is coordinating in its work to keep all children safe. - Even Better If - there was a clearer, shared understanding of the purpose of collecting the data
Following feedback to the Participation & Engagement Subcommittee the Board have agreed that the minutes of the quarterly meetings will be published on the LSCB Website, This is to reflect #yourLSCB's committment to a culture of openess, and as a reminder that Safeguarding is Everybody's Responsibility.
If you would have any questions or comments on this briefing please contact the Board's office
Copyright © 2014 Brighton & Hove Local Safeguarding Children Board, All rights reserved.

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