Launch of The London Child Sexual Exploitation Operating Protocol
On Monday 3rd February 2014 the Pan London Child Sexual Exploitation Protocol was launched.
This protocol has been developed and piloted over the last twelve months. It sets out how agencies will identify and address CSE: providing a standard and consistent response across London. Three key signatures to this document are; the MPS, London Children's Safeguarding Board and the Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children's Boards.
The full document can be found via this link http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Launch-of-The-London-Child-Sexual-Exploitation-Operating-Protocol/1400022286691/1400022286691
Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation: A Study of Current Practice in London
In autumn 2013, London Councils and the London Safeguarding Children Board commissioned a team of researchers from the University of Bedfordshire to map current responses to child sexual exploitation (CSE) across London. The study was conducted in October/November 2013. The findings are drawn from an in-depth quantitative survey (completed by 30 London boroughs and local safeguarding children boards) and eight semi-structured interviews with statutory and voluntary sector providers.
The report provides a snapshot of current responses to CSE across London, in relation to:
• Local scoping of the issue;
• Local policies and procedures;
• Training and awareness raising;
• Identification and early intervention (re. victims and perpetrators);
• Responding to cases of CSE (re. victims and perpetrators); and
• Overarching reflections on progress and challenges.
Although there is still much progress to be made, the report encouragingly demonstrates that significant work is underway within this field, with pertinent learning emerging from a number of different boroughs. Please follow the link below to download copies of the full report and an executive summary highlighting the main findings:
London Child Protection Procedures Part B now out for consultation
The London Child Protection Procedures Editorial Board has now completed work on Part B, Practice Guidance. This guidance is intended as a high level framework for London, aimed at a multi-agency audience rather than experts in a particular field.
The Editorial Board is currently seeking comments on the revised chapters, which will be available for consultation at www.londoncp.co.uk until Monday 10th March 2014. Please note that the sections dealing with "roles and responsibilities for health services" and "learning and development" are currently under review by specialist working groups, and will be the subject of consultation at a later date.
This stage of the editorial process has focussed on updating existing chapters in line with the latest national policy developments, rather than making detailed changes. Where consultation feedback indicates that more significant amendment is required to specific sections, specialist editorial groups will be established to lead on this process throughout 2014. The editorial board would therefore welcome views on which sections require this more focussed attention, alongside general feedback on other chapters as appropriate.
The Editorial Board would also welcome comments on the London Threshold Document - Continuum of Help and Support, and the Part A chapters covering 8.Organised and Complex Abuse and 9. Unexpected Death of a Child.
London Child Protection Procedures: updated Part A now available
A multi-agency editorial panel, working with colleagues from Tri.x(appointed by London Councils following an open tendering process) have now completed the work on Part A of the London Child Protection Procedures, covering the Core child protection procedures. These are available to download at www.londoncp.co.uk.
The principles underlying this revision of the procedures have been to separate out procedures from practice guidance and to update the procedures in accordance with Working Together 2013 and other developments in social work practice. The editorial panel are now working on a fully revised section of practice guidance as Part B of the new Procedures. This section is accessible via the 'Part B' tab.
The contents in Part B is the same chapters, which were in the 4th edition of the London Child Protection Procedures and are currently being revised. The time table for the final Part B is to open a consultation of the revision during February 2014 with the publication of the final 5th edition by Spring 2014.
The new 'London Threshold Document - Continuum of Help and Support' has been developed and is linked throughout Part A of these procedures. This document will form a part of the consultation process in Feburary 2014 and the final version will be part of the final 5th edition in Spring 2014.
Mash having a positive impact on child protection in London
The turnaround time for child protection cases judged as high or complex needs has almost halved in some areas since the London multi agency safeguarding hub (MASH) programme began in 2011, according to a new academic report from the University of Greenwich for London Councils.
A MASH co-locates a whole range of agencies, including police, local authority children’s social care, education, probation and health staff, to share information and spot emerging problems early, potentially saving lives. The MASH approach was first introduced by Devon County Council and has since been adopted across much of the UK, with London being one of the most comprehensive roll outs so far.
This first independent report into the effectiveness of MASH was commissioned across five local authority areas by the London Safeguarding Children Board (London SCB) and London Councils. It found that the mean turnaround time for cases initially assessed as level 3 (high or complex needs) nearly halved in some areas, from 2.5 days to just over 1.25 days. The turnaround time for referrals initially assessed as level 2 (low to vulnerable) halved from more than four and a half days to less than two and half days.
Cheryl Coppell, Chair of London Safeguarding Children Board, said: “The Mash approach has the potential to address some of the issues highlighted in serious case reviews. All the evidence in this report, the first of its kind, suggests that working in this way improves communication and breaks down professional boundaries, which can sometimes act as a barrier to information sharing.
Ian Smith, Director of Children’s Social Care in Lewisham, one of the boroughs sampled in the report, said:
“In Lewisham we have been particularly pleased with how well all the professionals have worked together to share information promptly so we can make appropriate decisions to provide the right support to children and their families. On some occasions it is only through the information that was gathered as the result of the MASH that enabled us to identify that children could be at risk of significant harm and take appropriate action to safeguard them. There is no doubt that MASH is helping us protect children.”
“Among the more significant findings is a reduction in turnaround time of referrals to safeguarding services at all levels of risk. This is a quantifiable improvement that makes children safer and is very encouraging.”
“London is an excellent example of how the model can significantly improve outcomes, with a Mash up and running in boroughs and the remaining areas set to follow.”
The report states, ‘One of the particularly beneficial impacts of the Mash on services to children was in the identification of children who would not have come to notice previously, but were now receiving a service.’
MASH final report
2013 Safeguarding London Children's Conference
The 2013 London Safeguarding Children's Conference was held on Monday 9 December 2013. Agenda and presentations for the day can be found at http://www.londonscb.gov.uk/diary/2013_safeguarding_london_childrens_conference/
Winner of the London Safeguarding Children Award announced
An innovative project which supports young victims of sexual exploitation has won the London Safeguarding Children Award.
Merton Safeguarding Children Board’s Promote and Protect Young People initiative helped to improve the co-ordination of a range of specialist services to support victims of sexual exploitation and young people at risk. This reduced the number of young people who ran away from home or care; increased school attendance and helped victims to start to come to terms with what had happened to them and begin their recovery.
The charities Barnardo’s and Jigsaw4u provided tailored support to victims of sexual exploitation as well as training to raise awareness among frontline professionals. The project also broke patterns of behaviour by perpetrators and disrupted organised gangs which groom and exploit young people.
The London Safeguarding Children Award showcases fresh ideas and best practice to improve child protection in the capital. Local authorities, health workers and the police nominated examples of their work, including projects with other agencies and charities.
The other shortlisted entries were:
• The Your Choice team in Westminster, helping to stop young people on the periphery of gangs from being drawn in further and also works with neighbouring boroughs to prevent cross-border gang violence.
• The Domestic Violence Intervention Project in Hackney, aiming to break the cycle of abuse and reduce the risk of young victims developing long term mental health issues, addiction and replicating abusive relationships when they become adults.
• The Helping Families programme in Ealing, designed for professionals working with parents who are facing a number of issues which may include isolation, substance misuse and difficult relationships which could mean their children are at risk of being taken into care.
• The Hounslow Quality of Care Assessment, aiming to cut through the chaos surrounding families with multiple needs and has led to specific ways to improve their daily lives and guide frontline workers through care proceedings.
The winner was announced and presented with their award at the London Safeguarding Children Board’s annual conference on 9 December.
The judging panel were Cheryl Coppell, Chair of the London Safeguarding Children Board, Amanda Edwards, Deputy Chief Executive at the Social Care Institute for Excellence and Sue Woolmore, Chair of the Association of Independent Local Safeguarding Children Board Chairs.
Making Mash Fit for London
The London MASH partnership held a MASH conference on Wednesday 13 November 2013. Agenda and presentations for the day can be found at http://www.londonscb.gov.uk/mash/.
Updated MASH information sharing advice issued
In September 2013, The London Safeguarding Children Board issued a revised MASH Information Sharing Agreement for local use. This has been updated to include specific advice around consent. The Board also issued a new Information Sharing Guidance booklet, aimed at practitioners and managers working in a multi-agency safeguarding hub. Both these documents are available to download via the links below:
Please see http://www.londonscb.gov.uk/mash/ for further information on MASH, including a range of helpful documents and the latest rollout schedule.