Ofsted publishes inspection of Safeguarding Children’s Board

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Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children’s Board is delivering on its work programme, has strengthened engagement with partners and is promoting a more joined up approach to safeguarding across children’s and adults services.

Those are the findings of Ofsted’s recent inspection of the Safeguarding Children’s Board, a partnership of organisations which work in the city to support children, young people and their families.

Inspectors found the board is meeting its statutory responsibilities, is “well chaired and well led”, has strengthened engagement with schools and health partners, and promoted “a more joined up approach across children and adult services”.

Partner agencies (including Wolverhampton CCG) are well represented on the board and have a “shared commitment to delivering high quality safeguarding services”.

The serious case review sub-group and child death overview panel are both “well developed and effective.” Learning from serious case and child death reviews are “systematically shared with professional and partner agencies”, and “result in improvements in service delivery and safeguarding practice”.

Robust strategic and operational arrangements “safeguard and protect children and young people who go missing or are at risk of sexual exploitation” – with inspectors noting that training for taxi drivers and hoteliers has increased awareness of child sexual exploitation – and links with local faith groups have been strengthened.

The board has “developed a strong local profile by running successful campaigns” highlighting issues such as violence against women and girls, radicalisation and sexual exploitation, while good links with the Children in Care and Youth Councils mean children and young people are “able to shape and influence the work and thinking of the board”.

Concluding that Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children’s Board “Requires Improvement” to be judged Good, inspectors made a total of five recommendations, each of which have been incorporated into the Board’s ongoing development plan.

These include establishing a comprehensive risk register of issues which might impact on the ability of agencies to safeguard children and young people effectively, and ensuring the Board has a rolling programme of audits and the right level of performance management information to enable it to challenge agencies on the effectiveness of their safeguarding responsibilities.

Inspectors also recommended the board develops a robust training strategy which also evaluates the impact of training on frontline practice, and further strengthens its annual report so that it captures a clear picture of the effectiveness of partner agencies and lessons learned from serious case reviews and child deaths.

Alan Coe, Chair of Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children’s Board, said: “We welcome the many positive statements about how agencies both individually and collectively ensure young people are appropriately supported and protected.

“In particular we were delighted to receive recognition for engaging with young people and ensuring their voice is heard.

“We were also pleased that Ofsted recognised the quality of our work regarding supporting children at risk of sexual exploitation and in the provision of useful information and support through our website.

“The inspection confirmed what we already knew about the next stages in consolidating our progress and their recommendations echo our own views about what we will be concentrating on in the next 12 to 18 months.”

To find out more about the work of Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children’s Board, please visit
www.wolverhamptonsafeguarding.org.uk.

Ofsted’s inspection took place between 16 January and 9 February, 2017, at the same time as its review of Children’s Services in Wolverhampton.