In this addition

New BCSSP Website

In 2019 a number of changes took place in B&NES to bring together the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, Local Safeguarding Adult’s Board and the Responsible Authorities Group to form the B&NES Community Safety and Safeguarding partnership (BCSSP). The BCSSP collaborates with partners at both a strategic and operational level to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of children, adults and communities in B&NES.

B&NES Council IT team have worked hard to support the BCSSP in developing its new website, that provides accessible information for partners, practitioners, service users and the public. The website contains a breadth of information about the BCSSP and its Community Safety and Safeguarding Arrangements, News from the BCSSP, recent publications of policy documents, case reviews and their learning and crucially, how to get help.

The website has been planned to launch in time for the 1-year anniversary of the BCSSP (29th September 2020) and is available to view here.

The BCSSP welcomes any feedback users may have and these can be submitted through the ‘contact us’ section of the website.

Redesign of Children’s Social Care

Children’s Social Care has successfully completed the re-design of their Safeguarding Outcomes Service. Following a lengthy consultation in 2019-2020, the new service model was implemented with the intention to improve services and outcomes for children and young people in B&NES. A short summary of the changes can be seen below, but for further detail please see the document here.

In this new design, the Duty & Assessment Team will no longer hold casework and will become a triage team. This Team will receive requests for service, from professionals and members of the public. All cases are reviewed by 3 Referral & Information Assistants along with the support of senior staff in the Triage Team.

1. Triage Team

In this new design, the Duty & Assessment Team will no longer hold casework and will become a triage team. This Team will receive requests for service, from professionals and members of the public. All cases are reviewed by 3 Referral & Information Assistants along with the support of senior staff in the Triage Team.

2. Family Support & Child Protection Hub

It is envisaged that once enquiries have been made, and the decision is taken that a social care input is necessary, work with the family will be opened immediately to one of the 6 Family Support Hubs. In this revised model, Family Support Practitioners (FSP’s) become part of the Hubs, aiming to reduce the ‘handover’ or ‘referring out’ for families.

3. Family Support Plus Team

A number of specialist services have now been brought into one team as a shared resource across the service and will bring an added value to the social work service that is provided to families. These services include: New Way, Stepping Stones, Family Group Conferences, Parenting Support Workers, Footprints and Community Based Assessors. Full details of these services can be found here.

Children’s Social Care Services

The Children’s Social Care team has put together an information booklet that details services within B&NES for children, young people and families. The list is not exhaustive and therefore it is encouraged to also refer to the 1 Big Database or Rainbow Resources websites for a more comprehensive list of B&NES services. Should you wish to browse these services on mobile there is also the Early Help App which is free on Apple & Android devices, simply search for ‘B&NES Early Help’ using the search facility of your preferred app store.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Consultation

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is conducting a consultation on its proposed guideline for Safeguarding adults in care homes. Whilst safeguarding adults in care home is underpinned by the Care Act 2014 and the Making Safeguarding Personal framework, safeguarding practice and procedures vary at local level. The guideline makes action-orientated recommendations to improve safeguarding for residents in care homes. Further information regarding the consultation and the draft guidelines can be found here.

People with Lived Experience

A project is being undertaken by B&NES Council to review Independence at Home and Supported Living services in B&NES. In particular, the review is aiming to incorporate the views of those who have engaged with these services in the past. Any agency within this spectrum of care is encouraged to nominate persons with lived experience who may be interested in participating. Interested parties will be asked to identify service gaps, accessibility of services and offer opinions on ‘tender bids’ from service providers.

The collaboration can be tailored to the participant(s) and be individual or group sessions through Zoom, phone, email or questionnaire.

For further information, or to nominate a service user, please contact Ellie Weyman.

Mentoring Service for Young People

As part of the local ‘Early Help’ offer, Bath & North East Somerset requires a mentoring service to provide support for young people where additional needs are identified to prevent them escalating and requiring statutory intervention.

A competitive tender process is due to start in October and the service has asked for feedback on the draft service specification which outlines the proposed description of service. Any interested individuals are encouraged to feedback to Marcia Burgham by Friday 9th October.

Child Safeguarding Reviews

The Child Safeguarding Review Panel met in August to discuss a range of topics with the foremost being sharing of learning. The full recording of the meeting is available via YouTube and an abridged version available via PDF.

A strong and positive theme that ran through the webinar was the desire at a national and local level for learning, and an exploration of how learning can be effectively and sustainably embedded into the system. The Panel believed there would be merit in devoting a future webinar to this, including further exploring mechanisms for sharing learning across networks from rapid reviews, thematic learning at a local level, effective mechanisms for extracting learning and building learning into current and future safeguarding practice.

The most recent national thematic review – ‘Out of Routine’ – was published in July 2020. This was a review of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) in families where the children are considered at risk of significant harm. Although these deaths are not directly caused by maltreatment, they occur disproportionately in families where there are other risks of harm identified and form a substantial proportion of the deaths reported to the panel.

B&NES Council ‘Team of the Year’ Award

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s special educational needs or SEND Partnership Service (SPS) has won the coveted B&NES Council ‘Team of the Year’ award. The service provides children and young people (up to age 25) with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) or emerging SEND, and their parents and carers, with confidential, impartial information, advice and support so that they can make informed choices and fully participate in the decision-making process affecting their care and education.

The award was presented virtually to the team by Council Chief Executive, Will Godfrey and can be viewed here along with comments from service users.

Practitioner Briefings

SAR Elley

A Safeguarding Adult Review was commissioned by B&NES Local Safeguarding Adults Board following the death of a 93-year-old woman, Elley (not her real name), who died in September 2018.

SAR Mark

A Safeguarding Adult Review was commissioned by B&NES Local Safeguarding Adults Board following the death of a 63-year-old man, Mark (not his real name) who died in 2019. The full report will not be published but learning will be shared through this Practitioner Briefing.

Mental Health in Schools

On 23rd September the BCSSP hosted a Mental Health forum focusing on the support available for the wellbeing of pupils (and staff), anxiety management and thresholds for referral which was kindly presented by a number of CAMHS speakers.

These presentations prompted good discussion and attention was drawn to the ‘Wellbeing for Education’ programme (in collaboration with Anna Freud Centre) which aims to ensure staff are empowered to make the mental health of students a priority.

Further details of this training will be distributed via the Public Health Schools Newsletter. The named contacts on this distribution list are headteachers or the school office so please consult with these individuals if this training is of interest. If it is still the case that this newsletter is not being received, please email Clare Laker who will be able to add the necessary details for future circulations.

National Care Leavers Week

October 26th through November 1st sees the 2020 edition of National Care Leavers’ Week which aims to highlight the successes of care-experienced young people and campaign for change to the care system.

On a national basis it has been reported that roughly 30,000 children/young people leave care nationally every year. Following the 2019 iteration of Care Leavers’ Week the government announced a £10m boost for the Staying Put scheme to enable care leavers to stay with their former foster families up to the age of 21, following higher than expected demand and repeated funding calls from fostering bodies.

The Adolescent and Care Experienced Team within B&NES Council have asked if any businesses can be identified that may wish to donate prizes that will awarded to care leavers to recognise their achievements since leaving care. All expressions of interest should be directed to Nicola Bruton. A similar event was carried out in 2019 and a write up of the event can be found in the Bath Echo.

There are a number of schemes for care leaver’s within the B&NES area and should an agency wish to share any details of activities, be they directly tied to National Care Leavers’ Week or a more general overview of provision for care leavers please let us know for inclusion in further newsletters.

BCSSP: A Year in Review

The B&NES Community Safety & Safeguarding Partnership has been in operation for a year. Formed under the intention to tackle both adults and children’s issues within a single all age agenda, the partnership has bought together more agencies than ever before and believes this to be a key pillar of the partnership’s success to date. While the emergence of combined adult/child safeguarding partnerships has been steadily growing since 2019 in the UK, B&NES, alongside Bristol and Milton Keynes are currently the only combined Partnerships though others are interested in our progress.

The BCSSP has been asked to contribute to a paper to be published in the British Journal of Social Work concerning transitional safeguarding and how governance in B&NES prevents cases being missed. A task/finish group has been set up to discuss this and hope to be able to share this with professionals once the paper is published.

Partner agencies have worked tremendously hard to not only continue to keep vulnerable people safe whilst implementing new ways on working, not least managing services during the Covid-19 pandemic. A particular highlight has been the level of multi-agency working within B&NES, evidenced by the speed at which task/finish groups and taskforces have been set up and the level of engagement at these meetings. The MARAC Steering Group and the Mental Capacity Act group has been re-formed as services returned to some normal working post-lockdown. Thanks must go to each individual subgroup chair, each of whom has taken on the challenge of implementing an all age agenda and ensured that tangible results are achieved.

While Covid had initially forced the Schools Forum to be cancelled, the BCSSP were able to hold a virtual forum focusing on mental health for students returning for the new school year. Mental health and wellbeing is a key concern for all agencies in the immediate future and as such, it is hoped this forum helped school staff feel empowered to recognise and manage early signs of poor mental health.

The BCSSP recognises that there are still areas for improvement and there is a dedicated plan to work on these through the various subgroups. On 2nd November there is a learning event to review learning from Safeguarding Adult Reviews and Child Practice Reviews, completed in this last year. The BCSSP would like to encourage as many professionals to attend as possible so learning and best practice can be shared widely.

Going into 2021 the BCSSP is keen to continue building on the momentum generated over the twelve months and will be launching a stakeholder event to formally launch the strategy for 2021-2024. Details about this event will be available soon and as with the learning event discussed earlier, hope that as many professionals as possible can attend that event.

Thanks must go to BCSSP Business Team for supporting and driving forward the partnership’s agenda and broader strategy.