Brighton & Hove LSCB: Board Briefing

September 2014
Welcome to the third Brighton & Hove Local Children Safeguarding Board Briefing. The Board meeting was held on Wednesday 24 September 2014 and was well attended by Board members.  There were a number of significant items that kick started a very busy agenda.  This briefing will give you a brief flavour of the topics discussed.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
A presentation by Detective Chief Inspector and Head of Safeguarding for the Brighton & Hove Division of Sussex Police summarised the main issues and recommendations arising from the Independent Inquiry into Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham, 1997-2013
CSE is one of many forms of organised and family based child abuse that the Brighton & Hove Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)  is working to prevent.  There is information about this work, including the Pan Sussex CSE Strategy, available on the LSCB website.
In Brighton & Hove we are well aware of the challenges we are facing. As a partnership we are working hard together to protect children and young people who may be at risk of CSE, to disrupt the activity of potential perpetrators and to obtain convictions wherever possible.  A clear pathway has now been established which provides a robust, multiagency response with clear operational management oversight for working with suspected victims of CSE.

The Independent Chairperson challenged all agencies working with children and families in Brighton & hove to rate themselves against the Rotherham Inquiry recommendations.

CSE remains high on our agenda and will be further discussed at our next Board meeting in December 2014.  For information about what to do and how to respond as a professional see

If you are a member of the public and you are concerned that someone you know is being sexually exploited / abused or you are being exploited / abused we would urge you to talk to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 01273 290400
Annual Report 2013 - 14

The Board considered the LSCB Annual Report for 2012/13.  Called Safeguarding is Everyone’s Responsibility, the report made clear that Brighton & Hove LSCB is setting local agencies charged with children’s safety challenges to evidence the impact their services have on children and families’ lives.  The report  provides an assessment of the effectiveness of local arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and can be read here (an executive summary is available at the front of the report)
Participation & Engagement Subcommittee Update

It is an exciting time for this Subcommittee.
This quarter has seen the appointment of four new Lay Members who will form their own LSCB Lay Member Subcommittee and attend a number of LSCB Subcommittees, as well as taking it in turns to attend the main Board. We hope this will allow LSCB arrangements to be opened up to further public scrutiny, with an aim of supporting stronger public engagement in, and understanding of, children’s safety issues. It is also motivated by awareness that sometimes local representatives can add a great deal of value to otherwise exclusively professional discussions, helping everyone to stay in touch with local realities, and the issues of concern in our communities. The Lay Members will be introducing themselves in a future LSCB newsletter.
The LSCB is also now collaborating with Safety Net on their termly parents’ newsletter. This newsletter is sent to parents of primary school aged children
and contains multi-agency safety messages and news.
The first collaborative edition can be read here, if you would like to put forward items please do contact us at
As mentioned in the June’s Board Briefing, some consultation work with parents and young people has taken place and this has led to the new look LSCB website. The new site allows for better two way communication and improved navigation. Whilst it still under development at this time you can view the new site at
Our upcoming newsletter themes will include the "Toxic Trio" of Substance Misuse, Domestic Violence, &Mental Health. In the new year will we look at Neglect snd Safeguarding Children with Disabilities. If you would like to contribute please contact us at or call 01273 292379
Table discussion: LSCB Multi-Agency Audits: How do we know we are working together well to safeguard children & young people?

Domestic Violence & Abuse
Safeguarding children exposed to domestic violence and abuse (DV&A) is important to Brighton & Hove LSCB, due to the risks posed to children living with DV&A, and its prevalence in our city. It is a consistent feature of serious case reviews and is the most frequent contributory factor for children subject to a Child Protection Plan (CPP).
The Monitoring & Evaluation Subcommittee of the LSCB Brighton & Hove LSCB carried out an in depth multi-agency audit to assure itself of how well agencies were working together to safeguard children and young people who experience DV&A.
 Overall strengths included:
  • Effective multi agency response to the risk to children from DV&A.
  • All agencies systematic in making relevant checks and referrals to other agencies when safeguarding concerns are identified.  
  • Where disclosures about DV&A are made, the management of this is good and appropriate action is taken by the services working with the family
A task and finish action group has been set up to address areas from improvement. The Board will receive progress updates. Read our manager's breifing on the recommendations from this audit here

Child Sexual Abuse Audit Action Plan
Helping to make sure that children and young people in Brighton & Hove are protected from sexual abuse  (CSA) is a key priority area for the LSCB. A re-audit regarding CSA took place in Quarter 4 2012/13 and the Board was presented with the accompanying action plan for challenge.
Overall strengths included
  • Improvement in recording information and medical assessments
  • Checks undertaken on siblings
One of the main recommendations from the re-audit was around developing a pathway for supporting allegations of historical abuse, and this will be bought back for further discussion at December’s meeting.
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
Annual Report 2013 – 14
Brighton & Hove’s LADO, Darrel Clews, presented the LADO Annual Report. The LADO’s role is to provide advice and guidance to organisations dealing with allegations, to liaise with the police and other agencies, and to monitor the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process.
The annual report continues the trends that have been emerging in the last couple of years, with referrals increasing on both a local and national level. This year there were more concerns recorded around suitability and conduct rather than significant harm which suggests the development locally of a culture of safeguarding encouraging earlier investigation, and reflecting the positive role of the LADO.
The Independent Chairperson wanted assurance that the profile of the LADO has been raised with Academies and non-maintained schools in the City. The Assistant Director, Children's Services (Education & Inclusion) said that this will be question answered in the Safeguarding in Schools Audit (Section 175/ 157 Audit of Schools) – which will be presented at December’s Board within an update for readers in the next Board Briefing.
You can read more about the LADO’s annual report on page 25 of the LSCB Annual Report.
Darrel can be contacted on 01273 295643 or at
All allegations against staff are dealt with in accordance with Working Together 2013
Table discussion: Agencies self-assessments of safeguarding (Section 11)
Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 requires agencies to ensure that they are appropriately safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. The Section 11 Audit is our method of assessing the safeguarding arrangements in place across the key partner agencies within Brighton & Hove.  The most recent Section 11 audits were completed in  March 2014, which a ‘Section 11 Challenge Event’ taking place in May 2014. The findings and recommendations from the Challenge Event were discussed at Board.
In summary, there is commitment and engagement of senior management officers across a range of agencies in Brighton & Hove, demonstrating that the safeguarding & child protection agenda is placed at the appropriate level within individual agencies.
Some deficiency themes spanned a number of agencies and the LSCB will oversee progress. One example was that agencies recognised they could do more in the recognition and response to risk of CSE, consideration of fathers, male partners and other significant adult males in the family in all assessments, online safety and safer recruitment.
More information can be found on the Section 11 findings on pages 21 and 22 of the LSCB Annual Report.
Table discussion: Management Information Report

We discussed the LSCB Management Information Report; this is data and information relating to how agencies safeguard children and young people. The Management Information Report is one of the most important items for the LSCB to discuss as we need to know what is happening, spot trends early and make sure that our services are responsive.
It was noted that the percentage of children on a Child Protection Plan for a second or subsequent time is still higher than the national average but has improved over the past few months. It was agreed that Heads of Service across agencies should provide a narrative to accompany the data to support the Board to better interpret and challenge statistics. The LSCB have tasked the Monitoring & Evaluation Sub Committee with exploring these issues further.
LSCB Year 2 Milestones

The LSCB Business plan has been updated to demonstrate what progress and impact has been made in Year 1. Milestones for Year 2 have been identified and these were presented to the Board for challenge. The Designated Doctor, also the Child Sexual Abuse Board Lead, requested that actions include the development of a pathway for dealing with allegations of historical abuse, which will be a key piece of work over the next year. The CSE milestone was expanded at the Board to include meetings that are happening between LSCB partners and Children’s Services with regards to CSE. It was agreed to add the involvement of the Parents’ Forum to the achievements for Outcome 2 – Participation & Engagement. Debate ensued about what is meant by increased “understanding” of the Board, and whether it is more important for the public to be aware of the work and priorities of the LSCB rather than the presence of a body called the LSCB. The Participation & Engagement Subcommittee were asked to reflect on this and update at December’s Board. You can see the full Business Plan here, if you have any questions please contact the LSCB Business Manager at
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