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Agenda item

Local Safeguarding Children's Board Annual Report


The Committee considered a report of the Independent Chair of County Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) Annual Report 2017/18 and Young People’s Annual Report 2017/18 (for copies see file of minutes).


The Independent Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board advised that the work referred to in the report was under the previous Independent Chair and that he was in post as a Transitional Chair to take the LSCB from where they were to move to its new status under the Working Together 2018 guideline.


Members were informed of the recent Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) that had taken place.  A project team were in place and the LSCB would have a series of development days to discuss restructure of the partnership, financial arrangements, transitional arrangements for Serious Case Reviews and Child Death Reviews, and to look at providing independent scrutiny.  Members were informed that there would be streamlining of sub-groups and there would be a focus on audit and scrutiny to understand policies and procedures.


Councillor Bainbridge queried the categorisation for neglect as there was a high number of children identified but no details of type of neglect they had suffered.  She asked what work was done with parents to address this issue.  The Independent Chair confirmed that Reducing Neglect was a key priority and the Tackling Neglect Strategy had included a delivery plan with a number of priority actions.  Early identification was a key objective and as soon as a child was identified, intervention would be triggered, in order to reduce neglect before the requirement of statutory intervention. 


Councillor Brookes referred to the Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) of the multi-agency response to domestic abuse and queried whether lessons had been learned following the outcome.  The Independent Chair confirmed there had been 29 areas of good practice and 43 areas for improvement identified by the inspection.  Councillor Brookes then asked what enforcement the LSCB had to ensure that changes would be carried out by partnership organisations.  The Independent Chair advised that there had to be commitment from every partnership and a working will from the very top of the organisation with a commitment to deliver against all of the recommendations.  He reassured Members that following the feedback from the JTAI and consultation with other agencies, a plan would be implemented, and a series of audits would be carried out in future to mirror the JTAI with additional checks against the Working Together 2018 guidance, ensuring any issues were identified and dealt with accordingly.


Councillor Mavin queried Operation Encompass and the procedure following domestic abuse incidents and whether all schools had signed up to this.  The Independent Chair confirmed that this was a reporting system which ensured that a domestic incident involving a child was reported to their school by the following school day.  Some schools were aware of domestic abuse and were positive in what they were doing but others needed to be more effective and take time for the procedures to bed in.


Councillor Jewell referred to the complexity of a multi-agency service and queried cross boundary issues which may arise.  The Independent Chair confirmed that this would be assessed as part of the scrutiny following the JTAI.


In response to questions from Councillor Durham, the Independent Chair confirmed that he was confident that a robust action plan was in place to identify children at risk from CSE and to pursue perpetrators.  As well as a strategic plan, four sub-groups reported to the LSCB, with additional meetings of the sub-group Chairs.  The LSCB Business Manager confirmed that a further update would be provided to the Committee when new safeguarding arrangements were in place.




That the annual report be received and for a further report to come to a future meeting on the LSCB new arrangements.

Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714