The Barnet Safeguarding Children Partnership

About the BSCP

About Us

welcome

If a child is in immediate danger please call 999

Welcome to the website for the Local Safeguarding Partnership (BSCP) for Barnet. The site aims to inform professionals, parents, carers and, most importantly, children and young people, about the work of the partnership.

Barnet Multi-Agency Children Safeguarding Arrangements

In 2015 the government commissioned a review into Local Children’s Safeguarding Boards by Alan Wood. The report published in 2016 made a number of recommendations on how safeguarding partners, such as Local Authorities, Police and Clinical Commissioning Groups should work together.

The government supported a number of findings, agreeing that effective multi-agency arrangements were ones that were responsive to local circumstances and engaged the right people. They agreed that the current system for local child safeguarding partnerships was too inflexible and needed to change. The government set out the new framework for safeguarding partners with the Social Work and Children Act 2017 and statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.

Barnet Children Safeguarding Partnership’s new multi-agency arrangements for child safeguarding can be viewed here.

What’s different?

The BSCP has taken the opportunity to look afresh at how as partners we work together to improve outcomes for children and young people in Barnet.

We have made a number of key changes to our governance to streamline the number of meetings and improve the effectiveness of working when we do come together.

We are focused on working with families, local communities and local services to provide our children with the support and opportunities they require at all stages of their life. We recognise how strong partnerships and communities are essential to making sure that Barnet’s children and their families receive the best possible start in life and the best possible care and help when they need it. It is our ambition is to drive forward a strong partnership that enables children and families to thrive and achieve and this.

The safeguarding partners in Barnet      

Kay Matthews Chief Operating Officer  Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group

John Hooton Chief Executive London Borough of Barnet

Barry Loader Detective Superintendent, Head of Safeguarding Barnet Brent and Harrow Boroughs

For more information on Barnet Safeguarding Children Partnership please contact bscp@barnet.gov.uk

Our vision

At the heart of our vision for the Barnet safeguarding children partnership is the concept of Resilient Families and Resilient Children. Our ambition is to drive forward a strong partnership that enables children and families to thrive and achieve.

Our Purpose is to support and enable local organisations and agencies to work together in a system where:

  • children are safeguarded and their welfare promoted
  • partner organisations and agencies collaborate, share and co-own the vision for how to achieve improved outcomes for vulnerable children
  • organisations and agencies challenge appropriately and hold one another to account effectively
  • there is early identification and analysis of new safeguarding issues and emerging threats
  • learning is promoted and embedded in a way that local services for children and families can become more reflective and implement changes to practice which are shaped by the experiences and concerns of Barnet children and families
  • information is shared effectively to facilitate more accurate and timely decision making for children and families.

We will coordinate our work through:

The Leadership Forum who provide the strategic direction for the partnership with a membership of the three senior leaders from the London Borough of Barnet, London Metropolitan Police and Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group.

Terms of reference here.

The Performance and Quality Assurance Group will provide insight to the Leadership Forum on the effectiveness of local arrangements for safeguarding children and young people, through multi-agency audits, thematic review, performance reporting and service user feedback.

Terms of reference here.

The Thematic Learning and Review Group an independently chaired meeting looking at serious incidents and deaths involving children and young people.

Terms of reference here.

Information Sharing

What is an information sharing protocol or agreement?

An information sharing protocol or agreement provides a framework for the secure and confidential obtaining, holding, recording, storing and sharing of information between participating partner agencies or organisations. Organisations that provide public services have a legal responsibility to ensure that personal information is lawful, securely controlled and protective of the rights of individuals.

Why do we need to share information?

Sharing information about individuals between public authorities is essential to keeping people safe and ensuring they receive the best services. This sharing must only happen when it is legal and necessary to do so. In addition, adequate safeguards must be in place to protect the security of the information.

Our Information Sharing Protocol:

The website contains information about a variety of the aspects of our work including training and guidance/ advice. It has sections giving information about how to ensure the safety of children and young people. It is a tool designed to raise awareness and highlight how we can all work together. Please remember that "safeguarding children is everyone's business".

I hope you find the website and its contents useful and any feedback is most welcome.

Constitution

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Background

The Barnet Safeguarding Children Partnership (BSCB) is established in accordance with Section 13 of the Children Act 2004 and under statutory guidance; Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 and The Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006.

In July 2017 Ofsted rated the BSCB as inadequate. Specifically, that whilst the current safeguarding arrangements met statutory duties the arrangements were unwieldy and did not provide the environment for effective challenge and accountability and as such the BSCB ‘is not effective in discharging all of its statutory functions’.

This document will clarify accountability, key purposes, functions and tasks of the BSCB ensuring that:

  • All constituent partner agencies of the Board are aware of the role, remit and responsibilities of the Board;
  • They have an informed understanding about how the Board will manage its core business;
  • All constituent agency members are clear about the expectations placed upon their organisation by virtue of their Board membership;
  • Agency representatives are clear about the expectations regarding their performance as a Board member.

 The new governance arrangements aim to support the BSCB to deliver a good or outstanding partnership within 12 months, and have been developed with an eye to the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and the draft Working Together Statutory Guidance 2018.

The full version of our constitution can be found here.

Learning and Improvement Framework

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The Learning and Improvement Framework [LIF] outlines how the partnership intends to monitor, evaluate and quality assure safeguarding arrangements and services for children and young people in Barnet.

The partnership has a number of key quality assurance functions including:

  • assessing the effectiveness of help being provided to children and families, Including early help;
  • assessing compliance of agencies against statutory duties;
  • undertaking reviews including: serious case reviews, practice reviews, serious incidents;
  • delivering multi-agency training in the protection and care of children ensuring that it is effective and evaluated regularly for impact on management and practice;
  • developing multiagency policies and procedures and thresholds that support partnership working and meet statutory guidelines;
  • enabling effective learning and improvement across the partnership drawn from serious case reviews, management reviews and reviews of child deaths.

The aim of the LIF is to support the partnership to deliver its’ quality assurance and learning functions and will:

  • ensure the BSCP fulfils its statutory obligations;
  • ensure that the outcomes from reviews and other learning opportunities are used to influence practice development;
  • support a culture of continuous improvement and learning;
  • ensure that pathways are in place which identify the link between learning outcomes and improved services;
  • ensure that single and multi-agency training and learning is consistently audited and reviewed to ensure best quality and that learning form this is used to develop training programmes accordingly;
  • seek the views of children and families experience of services;
  • use performance monitoring to assess the performance of all partners against core priority areas including:
  • Right Plan Right Time (thresholds)
  • improve assessments for children
  • improve planning for children
  • improve the timeliness of interventions.


Improvement Plan and Ofsted Report

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Barnet Council and its partners are committed to the vision to be the most family friendly borough in London by 2020. At the heart of this journey is the building of resilience in children and their families enabling them to bounce back from adversity. We know that we have failed to deliver this aspiration and have let children and families down. This improvement action plan has been developed in response to these failing and the recommendations and areas for improvement as outlined in the Ofsted ‘Inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers, and review of the effectiveness of the Local Safeguarding Children Board’ which took place in Barnet between 24 April 2017 and 18 May 2017.

Improving the quality of services to children is a key corporate priority we know we need to work collectively across the council to drive the improvements we want. Children in Barnet deserve the best possible services from us and we are committed to doing whatever we can to deliver great outcomes for children and young people across the borough

Most children and young people in Barnet excel, but there are a few children and young people who do not. Effective leadership and partnership is vital to delivering good and outstanding services that keep children and young people safe and give them the right help, at the right time in their lives.

Our commitment to Barnet’s vulnerable children is to deliver services that give children and young people the platform to succeed and thrive. We will work closely together with focus and drive to deliver timely and effective services, achieving good outcomes for children and young people in Barnet.

Following on from the Ofsted Report in July 2017, Barnet Children Services have devised an Improvement Action Plan. You can find it here.

You can find a copy of the Ofsted 2017 Report here.

You can find all official reports and letters from Ofsted regarding Barnet Council here.

Annual Report

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You can find our Annual Report here.

Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)

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Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)

The Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) for London Borough Barnet is established in accordance with the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018). The CDOP is an independent multidisciplinary panel that provides a review of all deaths of children who are under 18 and resident in the borough of Barnet. The CDOP panel members have expertise in the fields of public health, pediatrics’ and child health, neonatology, children’s social care, nursing, midwifery, police, education, and other members who can otherwise make a valuable contribution.

When a child dies, there is a statutory requirement that the death will be comprehensively reviewed in a way which promotes learning and transparency. The CDOP receives notifications on all child deaths occurring in the local area. The Panel will seek information from professionals who had involvement with the child before and immediately following the death. The Panel will discuss each child’s case, and evaluate the data available to identify lessons to be learnt or issues of concern, with a particular focus on effective inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

The Panel will determine whether the death was deemed preventable, that is, those deaths in which modifiable factors may have contributed to the death and decide what, if any, actions could be taken to prevent future such deaths. The Panel also aims to identify any common themes from individual cases (such as road traffic deaths, sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI), or deaths of children with life-limiting conditions) and will report these back to the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

The remit of the CDOP also includes a Rapid Response function. The Rapid Response process includes a group of key professionals who come together for the purpose of enquiring into, and evaluating, the unexpected death of a child. Professionals involved in this process provide initial support to the family and help to inform the subsequent CDOP review process.

Notification of a child death to the CDOP for London Borough of Barnet

Any agency/professional should make a notification to our e-CDOP:  https://www.ecdop.co.uk/Barnet/Live/public if they become aware of:

  • a child death occurring in borough of Barnet;
  • a death of a child normally resident in this borough but occurring elsewhere

Following notification of the death of a child, the coordinator for CDOP will establish which agencies and professionals have been involved with the child or family either prior to or at the time of death by contacting the lead practitioner in each agency.

Relevant practitioners will then be sent a link to complete the e-CDOP Form B, and practitioners are kindly requested to complete as much information as possible about the child and family, but we recognise that it may not always be possible to complete all fields.

Professionals receiving Form B for completion should retrieve their agency’s case records for the child or other family members and complete the form with any information known to them or their organisation (usually within 10 to 14 days).

If you cannot access the link to the e-CDOP above, please notify the Child Death Overview Panel at (Barnet.CDOP@barnet.gcsx.gov.uk) or call our Single Point of Contact, Terri Graham on 020 8359 4049

Rapid Response Meetings

Following an unexpected child death, our Designated Doctor for CDOP will convene a meeting of key professionals in order to:

  • ensure support for the bereaved family members, as the death of a child will always be a traumatic loss - the more so if the death was unexpected
  • identify and safeguard any other children in the household or affected by the death
  • respond quickly to the unexpected death of a child
  • make immediate enquiries into and evaluate the reasons for and circumstances of the death, in agreement with the coroner when required
  • enquire into and constructively challenge how each organisation discharged their responsibilities when a child has died unexpectedly (liaising with those who have ongoing responsibilities for other family members), and whether there are any lessons to be learnt
  • collate information in a standard format using the CDOP Form B
  • co-operate appropriately post death, maintaining contact at regular intervals with family members and other professionals who have ongoing responsibilities to the family, to ensure that they are appropriately informed (unless such sharing of information would place other children at risk of harm or jeopardise police investigations)
  • consider media issues and the need to alert and liaise with the appropriate agencies
  • provide bereavement support as needed, for any other children, family members or members of staff who may be affected by the child's death
  • determine if abuse or neglect appear to be possible causes of death, LA children's social care and the police should be informed and serious case review procedures considered.

Bereavement support for children and families

Bereavement support

Barnet Bereavement Service - Find a service near you

Bliss - Bereavement support for families following the death of a premature baby

Child Bereavement Charity - Supporting families when a baby or child dies, or when a child is facing bereavement

Child Death Helpline - Support for anyone affected by the death of a child

Childhood Bereavement Network - Information about local and national services for bereaved children

Cruse Bereavement Care - Information and advice for bereaved children and families including links to local support groups

Grief Encounter - Support for bereaved children

The Bereavement Trust - National free bereavement helpline

The Compassionate Friends - Support for bereaved parents and their families

The Lullaby Trust - Support for families bereaved by a sudden infant death

Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS) - Support for families following a stillbirth or neonatal death

Winston’s Wish - Support Services for bereaved children and families

Serious Case Reviews

If a child is in immediate danger please call 999

When a child dies or is seriously harmed, including death by suspected suicide, and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor in the death, the Safeguarding Children Partnership is required to conduct a Child Safeguarding Practice Review (formerly known as a Serious Case Review or SCR) into the involvement of organisations and professionals in the lives of the child and the family. For more information see the Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 guidance. The London procedures are followed in Barnet. 

The purpose of a Child Safeguarding Practice Review is to establish whether there are lessons to be learned from the case about the way in which local professionals and organisations work together to safeguard children, identify what needs to be changed and, as a consequence, improve inter-agency working to better safeguard and promote the welfare of children.  At the end of each Child Safeguarding Practice Review, a report is published.

Learning Review Child G, July 2019

Briefing note: Child G

Non-mobile children bruising and injury protocol 2019

Pathway for non-mobile children bruising and injury 2019

Leaflet for parents and carers

SCR Child E, January 2018

Child E report

SCR Child A, May 2016

Child A report

SCR Child D, April 2009

Child D executive summary

SCR Child S, 2008

Child S report

Further information

The NSPCC website contains a library of all Serious Case Reviews conducted in England, where you can find more information on the serious case review/child safeguarding practice review process. There is also a series of thematic briefings on learning from case reviews which can be found here.

The NSPCC has published a set of briefings looking at practice issues relating to how professionals in different agencies communicate and make decisions. They provide a more detailed understanding of practice issues highlighted by the SCR reports and can help support change and improvement work at national and local levels.

Website by: Taylorfitch