From Herefordshire Safeguarding Boards and Partnerships
Information Resources for Herefordshire
Welcome to the eighth Information Bulletin from Herefordshire Safeguarding Boards and Partnerships of 2021. We will continue to publish regular updates with Coronavirus (COVID-19) and other safeguarding related information for professionals in Herefordshire.
Here is a 10 minute video from the National County Lines Coordination Centre made in partnership with Sketchups discussing the County Lines methodology and how this is impacting Children and Vulnerable adults, Partners, Law Enforcement and society.
There's a new opportunity in the Safeguarding Partnership Team
The Herefordshire Safeguarding Partnership Team are advertising an exciting new post of Partnership Practice Improvement Lead – and the closing date is Monday 3rd May.
Full details on the role can be found on the links below:
PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR NETWORKS TO HELP US TO GET THE JOB ADVERT OUT FAR AND WIDE.
Dr David Lewis, Designated Doctor for safeguarding and looked after Children
I would like to introduce myself to all those working within safeguarding roles in Herefordshire as the newly appointed designated doctor for safeguarding children and looked after children within the county.
I have been working in the identical role within Worcestershire now for nearly 5 years where I have had the privilege of presenting the CCG on what was originally the safeguarding board before moving on to be the safeguarding partnership, as well as representation on many of the subgroups where a lot of the hard work takes place.
Attendance on the corporate parenting board has also been fantastic in allowing me to gain a good understanding of the challenges within the looked after system and the dedicated work of those involved in acting in that parenting position for many vulnerable children with significant on-going needs. It was therefore a privilege to be asked to move into Dr Sally Stucke’s hard to fill shoes and widen my responsibilities to also provide this role within County of Herefordshire.
Safeguarding has always been a deep passion of mine throughout my clinical career working as a community paediatrician. As we all know, it is a critical and demanding role but one that can be extremely fulfilling where you can look back and know that you have made a real difference in the lives of the children we engage with.
I also hold a national role in my position within the executive committee of the child protection special interest group, associated with the British Association for Community Child Health, hosted by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health so have the opportunity to raise issues at a national level and would encourage any of you who feel an area needs highlighting to contact me where I can then raise it within this national group.
I look forward to meeting you all, virtually I suspect initially but eventually face-to-face, when the situation allows.
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service provide fire safety advice to everyone. A Safe and Well Check can be carried out for the more vulnerable such as the elderly, people living alone and those with reduced mobility.
What is a Safe and Well Check?
A Safe and Well Check is a FREE home safety visit that is tailored to an individual's needs.
The visit includes a home safety check to help reduce the risk of fire in the home, including the checking and fitting of smoke alarms where required. This includes alarms suitable for those with a hearing impairment and giving advice on a fire escape plan.
It will also identify any health and care needs that require signposting to local services to help ensure safety and wellbeing.
A Safe and Well Check maximises the opportunity to help individuals stay safe and independent and include advice on the following:
Fire safety in the home
Social Isolation and loneliness
How can I arrange a Visit?
Contact our Community Risk team via our on-line form or call 0800 032 1155 Option 2, for advice.
In view of the Government’s current advice around Coronavirus, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service are risk assessing all requests for Safe and Well Checks and are currently only carrying out visits to those individuals in the community who are most vulnerable to fire.
This may mean that visits take longer to be arranged or that occupiers are offered advice over the telephone as an alternative, so that fire safety concerns can be discussed.
New CPD Online system
We are pleased to announce our new and much improved system for booking and managing your multi agency safeguarding training is now live.
The web address herefordshirecpd.co.uk remains the same as before but when you access the site now you will be taken to a completely new booking system that is very simple, efficient and much easier to use. You will see from the screenshot below that courses are easy to find and the system shows at a glance how many places are available on any course. Remember that any log in details for the old system will not work on the new site so a new account must be created.
As we are focussed on getting as many people trained as we can, most training will now be FREE to attend for all participants. Non-attendance will understandably continue to be charged for, so that valuable training places are not wasted. This means that a cost code or purchase order number is required when booking a course.
Going out to drink? Who's in Charge?
To coincide with the easing of lockdown restrictions on Monday, 12 April, a hard-hitting video campaign is urging adults to remember to ask the critical question ‘Who’s in Charge?’ if they plan to drink alcohol while responsible for children.
Members of two households are allowed to have outdoor gatherings in parks and other public spaces such as bars, pubs and restaurants in England from today. While welcoming the benefits to physical and mental wellbeing, public health experts are urging adults to be responsible when drinking alcohol in a multi-generational group and maintain awareness of the safety of children in their care.
The campaign from the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership and Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust was launched in response to increasing concerns that growing numbers of babies and children are at risk of serious harm because of the way some parents and carers consume alcohol – both at home and at outdoor gatherings.
It urges parents, and others with responsibility for children, to be aware of a range of potentially dangerous consequences of drinking alcohol while caring for children and to always have a ready answer to the question ‘’Who’s in Charge?’
The latest video shows how a carefree picnic in a park might result in harm to a child if adults’ supervisory faculties are lessened by alcohol.
The video is the latest in a series of short films depicting real life child harm scenarios, such as baby deaths connected with sleeping on a sofa or co-sleeping in a bed with an adult who is under the influence of alcohol.
Child safety experts warn of a ‘double jeopardy’ effect - that drinking too much alcohol may not only reduce a parent’s capacity to appropriately respond to children’s needs, but also make the adult who has consumed alcohol an active danger to the child.
The number of babies in England to have suffered serious injury through abuse or neglect during the COVID-19 pandemic is up by a fifth on the same period last year, Ofsted report. Eight have died from their injuries.
Dr Joanna Garstang is a consultant community paediatrician at Birmingham Community Healthcare and a designated doctor responsible for overseeing the review of all child deaths in Birmingham.
She said: “It’s geat that we’re all going out for picnics and able to enjoy socialising with friends again but it is vital that adults remember to keep a close watch on young children.
“This slogan represents the voice of the child watching parents under the influence of alcohol as much as it is a reminder to parents of the need to ask each other ‘who’s in charge of the children?’ as they would when asking ‘who will drive?’ when going to a social event.
“The strong message we want to get across is to ask that all parents, grandparents and other adults caring for children consider ‘who is in charge?’ if they become incapable of meeting their responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their children while in or out of their home.”
Penny Thompson CBE, independent chair of Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership said: “The safety and wellbeing of children should always be uppermost in the minds of adults, whether acting in the role of professional or parent.
"There is nothing wrong with parents relaxing and enjoying themselves. In fact it is important that parents get some time to themselves. But, the reality is that our capability to keep children safe from harm is significantly reduced with every alcoholic drink; and, at a certain level of intoxication, adults become a live risk themselves.
“I would urge any adult who may drink while responsible for a child to ask themselves the simple question ‘who’s in charge?’. Parents having a drink together need to ask it of each other; and, most powerfully of all, I would ask every parent or carer to hear in this simple enquiry the quiet voice of the child who needs comfort or care.
“This campaign has come about through Birmingham-based professionals’ commitment to keeping children safe from harm but we sincerely hope the message will be picked up far and wide because these issues are of concern in every kind of community.”
I wrote to you last month to tell you about The Big Ask – the largest ever survey of children in England, designed to find out what their concerns and aspirations about the future are.
I’m now writing to let you know that The Big Ask is now live at thebigask.uk
I would be very grateful if you could share the survey throughout your organisation and with other local organisations supporting children and families, so we can reach as many children as possible.
My office has produced promotional resources for The Big Ask, including posters, social media posts and activity packs for children and young people.
The survey is accompanied by an online video introduced by England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.
Your cooperation will be crucial for us to ensure that all children and young people, including those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged, have their voices heard.
The results from this survey will help me identify the barriers preventing children from reaching their potential, put forward solutions and set ambitious goals for the country to achieve. I need to reach as many children as possible through The Big Ask – the more I hear from, the stronger the results will be.
Thank you in advance for helping me put children and young people at the heart of the country’s plans to rebuild for the future.
Dame Rachel de Souza
Children’s Commissioner for England
Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing, sources of support for children and young people
This Herefordshire specific guide to sources of support was created for schools and colleges to use in order to support their students - particularly those returning to educational settings. It may also be useful for a wider professional audience and can be downloaded here: Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing, sources of support for children and young people.
Home isn’t always a safe place. Schools closing could put some children at greater risk of abuse and neglect and that’s why we’re supporting the NSPCC. If you’re worried about a child or young person, or if you notice that something just doesn’t seem right, the NSPCC is here. You can talk to their helpline team who offer free support and guidance on 0808 800 5000 (8am-10pm Mon-Fri / 9am-6pm weekends) or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org 24/7.
Domestic Abuse - Information and Advice
We wanted to re-post a link to one of our previous bulletins which was entirely focussed on sources of Domestic Abuse information and advice, because of the importance of this issue and the extra challenges brought by Covid-19 that will not go away just because lockdown is easing.
Some resources on that link are targeted at Herefordshire residents, produced by West Mercia Women's Aid and other local partners, and some are national initiatives but still relevant here.
Home Office Protect Duty Consultation
The Protect Duty consultation and any subsequent legislation could potentially impact all sectors. It’s important to grasp that this is a significant ‘adjustment’ from our previous focus of ‘Crowded Places’. The new term is ‘Publicly Accessible Locations’. It is important to understand what this means and where the responsibility ‘sits’. A publicly accessible location is defined as any place to which the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission. Publicly accessible locations include a wide variety of everyday locations such as; sports stadiums, festivals, music venues, hotels, pubs, clubs, bars, schools and universities, casinos, high streets, retail stores, shopping centres and markets, medical centres and hospitals, places of worship, government offices, job centres, transport hubs, parks, beaches, public squares and other open spaces. The good news is that you can discount beaches! This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does demonstrate the diverse nature of publicly accessible locations. I would respectfully suggest that this matter is given appropriate scrutiny and a considered response is given.
Keeping Children and Young People Safe Online - Resources for parents carers and professionals
During the Covid pandemic there has been a huge increase in online activity. Technology is constantly advancing and sometimes professionals, parents and carers feel that children know more about the internet than they do. Whatever their age, the following websites, resources and links can help you to find out more about keeping children and young people safe online:
Safer internet centre - Advice and resources to support you and children you work to with to use the internet safely, responsibility and positively.
Think You Know – ‘Thinkuknow’ is an education programme from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP command. It is underpinned by the latest intelligence about child sex offending from CEOP Command. There’s lots of information and advice on this site to help you keep your child safe and access support.
Internet Matters - this site provides checklists for professionals & parents that give top tips on how to help them stay safe.
Childnet International - Whether you’re puzzled by parental controls or would like to know more about gaming, this website can help. They know that it can sometimes be challenging to keep up to speed with what children and young people are doing online. Luckily on this site you’ll find a whole host of useful ways to keep your child safe.
NSPCC - Guidance and resources are available from NSPCC for parents and carers to help keep children stay safe online
Police & Crime Commissioner Online Survey
Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking (MSHT) and Organised Immigration Crime (OIC) Service Mapping
A few weeks ago a letter was circulated from the PCC asking each local authority adult safeguarding board to undertake an exercise to map the provision of service for victims of Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Organised Immigration Crime. Due to the wide breadth of questions asked an alteration to the ask has been made and a survey made in replace of the previous letter.
We have been working in partnership with West Mercia Police and the Victim Advice Line (VAL) to look at the service provision and referral pathways for victims of Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking (MSHT) and Organised Immigration Crime (OIC).
Based on the conversations with the force and the VAL about the current pathways for victims of MSHT it has been highlighted that there is a potential gap in service for adults who are victims but do not consent to be referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). In addition to the conversations around MSHT we have been beginning to explore the provision for victims of Organised Immigration Crime and what pathways and future service provision might look like for these victims.
However, what we don’t have is an in-depth understanding of what the existing processes are within each local policing area. In order for us to make an informed and evidenced approach to exploring the need for support services for victims of MSHT and OIC we need have a deeper understanding of the existing pathways each area has.
The aim of this piece of work is:
To highlight the existing provision and pathways for victims of MSHT and OIC
To highlight any gaps in service for victims of MSHT and OIC
To be a supporting document for discussions around future commissioning/funding opportunities for services for victims of MSHT and OIC
The past year has of course been difficult for everyone, including in the area of safeguarding, but we know that many professionals have adapted to the challenging times that we have all faced and come up with new and innovative ways of working.
We would love to showcase these to help inspire others, so if you have a successful new way of working, or just a general good news story about working in safeguarding in the last year that you would like us to include in a future bulletin then please get in touch with the team and let us know.