Posted July 4, 2024

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East Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership: Monthly Digest

This latest roundup of ESSCP news includes highlights from recent publications, information about forthcoming events and training, and other snippets of useful information from across the ESSCP and partner agencies. If you have anything that you would like included in next month’s ESSCP digest, please email esscp.contact@eastsussex.gov.uk.


Launch of updated Neglect Toolkit and Matrix

Following extensive multi-agency redevelopment, East Sussex has updated the Neglect Toolkit (2024) and Neglect Matrix to assist practitioners in identifying and assessing children and young people at risk of neglect. This toolkit should be read in conjunction with the East Sussex Neglect Strategy and Operational Practice Guidance.

To embed the toolkit, the ESSCP are launching refreshed Neglect training. The first multi-agency training session will be held on 3 July 2024 at Wellshurst Golf Club, Hellingly. To book a place on this course please click on this link: Take this course. Future training dates will also be added to the booking system shortly.

There is ongoing development of the neglect tools to ensure that they are useful resources for the multi-agency workforce and are accessible as tools for quick reference, with development expected around signposting and a check list tool that can be used with parents as a ‘do with’ rather than ‘done to’ approach.

If you would like to learn more you can watch the Neglect Webinar for Practitioners which introduces use of the Neglect Toolkit and the Neglect Matrix.


Working Together 2023: future partnership arrangements across Sussex

New multi-agency safeguarding arrangements have been agreed by the Pan-Sussex Lead Strategic Partners and the Delegated Safeguarding Partners to discharge their statutory responsibilities in accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023.  This Letter from the Sussex Lead Strategic Partners 07 05 2024_ and PROPOSALS for WT23 Sussex MASA 2 May 2024 FINAL provide more details about the direction of travel for the arrangements that have to be implemented by December 2024.

 


Safeguarding Children in Elective Home Education

 

The number of children school age children recorded as being electively home educated (EHE) in East Sussex continues to rise. At the end of March 2024 there were 1755 children EHE, making it the largest ‘school’ in East Sussex. The numbers of children ‘missing education’ are also much higher than it was previously. While EHE is not, in and of itself, a safeguarding risk, children are less visible to safeguarding agencies than those who attend school.

The National Child Safeguarding Panel has recently published a report looking at learning from reviews nationally where children were electively home educated. Locally, many of our rapid reviews and safeguarding practice reviews have featured children who were home educated.

Effective multi-agency working is at the heart of local responses to help and protect this group of children. The East Sussex EHE team has produced a short video to help all professionals understand their roles and responsibilities with respect of this group of children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YGMlypetFw


Family Hubs website launched

East Sussex family hubs website launched on 7 May, following months of stakeholder engagement. The fully accessible site will promote support services for new families and those with children aged 0-19 (or up to 25 with special educational needs or a disability).

It includes the start for life offer, parenting courses, speech and language-focused groups, and life skills advice.

Parents can see what’s on guides in their area on the activity pages. For any course or group that needs a booking, parents will use the enquiry booking form answered by our family hubs staff. The website will also include information about the programme’s five youth hubs.


Information Sharing Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services for children, young people, parents and carers

The DfE has published non statutory information sharing advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services for children and families. It includes the ‘seven golden rules’ for sharing information: DfE non statutory information sharing advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services for children, young people,parents and carers (publishing.service.gov.uk)


Pre-birth planning for care leavers

The 15.20 Pre-birth planning for care leavers | Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures Manual protocol was introduced in October 2022 and set out pre-birth processes to be followed when a care leaver is expecting a baby, to ensure their needs (parents and baby’s) are assessed and appropriate support provided. This represented a change in practice, particularly for maternity services across Sussex who routinely submitted a safeguarding referral to Children’s Social Care for unborn babies of care leavers.

The following video has been developed with the help of two Sussex care leavers, to raise awareness of the new processes and why they were introduced. The video is aimed at maternity services but the processes themselves are aimed at all professionals working with pregnant women and their families: Pre-birth Planning Processes for Care Leavers


NEW Sussex Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures website

Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, and West Sussex Safeguarding Adults Boards are pleased to announce the launch of the NEW Sussex Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures website: www.sussexsafeguardingadults.org

This website replaces the previous Sussex Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures website. We therefore ask that you update any internal documents within your organisation, with this new URL address. A redirect on the previous website will remain in place for the foreseeable future.


Unexplained marks and non-accidental injuries (NAI) on babies and children

Research shows that it is very unusual for pre-mobile babies to sustain bruises accidentally and bruising in this age group raises significant concerns about physical abuse. Recent serious case reviews and individual child protection cases both nationally and locally in Sussex have indicated that professionals have sometimes underestimated the significance of bruising in children who are not independently mobile. As a result, there have been several cases where bruised children have suffered significant abuse that might have been prevented if action had been taken at an earlier stage.

Brighton & Hove SCP has recently shared a 15 Minute Bruising Briefing – May 2024 that we would encourage everyone to read and share within your networks. Also produced is a FINAL Referral flow chart for Non Accidental Injuries – June 2024 to remind all professionals of the action to take when a professional sees a baby or child with a skin mark or injury and is concerned. We are aware that markings can present differently on black skin so please refer to Mind the Gap — Black & brown skin (blackandbrownskin.co.uk) where needed whilst BHSCP develop further guidance.


ESSCP training and learning opportunities

We are very pleased to say that the new East Sussex Learning Portal (ESLP) has launched. Therefore, the next time you book training the system will look different and, if you haven’t already, you will need to create a new account to access the system. Please Click here to view the easy-to-follow user-guide, which explains how to set up an account and complete various tasks e.g. book training.

 

The link to the new ESLP is below, please save this new link: East Sussex Learning Portal

There is still time to book for a number of ESSCP virtual and classroom training opportunities. Latest courses include Child and Adolescent Development (virtual 16.07.24) and Parental drug and alcohol use and the impact on children (classroom 18.07.24). Places are also available on ESSCP Multi-Agency Course – Supporting LGBT+ Children & Young People. ‍This training will focus on some of the issues and challenges experienced by children and young people who are LGBT+ or exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.  More information including dates and how to book

eLearning courses covering mental health, child sexual abuse, domestic abuse, alcohol and drug misuse, and much more are now available on our dedicated eLearning website: East Sussex County Council: Log in to the site (learningpool.com)

 

Other multi-agency courses can be found on the Multiagency Safeguarding Training | East Sussex County Council webpage and include:

  • Safer sleep for babies and coping with a crying baby – what everyone needs to know. More information including dates and how to book
  • GRASSROOTS, Suicide Awareness. This introductory awareness course (on 16 July at 10am, via Zoom) is delivered by Grassroots, a Brighton based organisation. The course will equip professionals working with young people to pick up on vulnerabilities, identify who might be at risk and start an open conversation about suicide, as this is one of the best ways we know to prevent suicide. If you wish to attend, please contact Giovanna Simpson, ESSCP L&D Consultant (Giovanna.simpson@eastsussex.gov.uk).

 

The NWG network has three courses for professionals that we would like to highlight:

The Sussex Child Bereavement Support Network are hosting their second annual conference on 11 September 2024. Local Sussex bereavement charities, supported by the NHS, will be delivering talks about their service and there will be stalls with information for you to browse. Places are limited, please book your free ticket here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/booking/t-ojakqqk

 

SPOA has released 2024 dates for their SPOA presentation, via MS Teams. The presentation covers what SPOA is, the continuum of need, what makes a good referral, and there is the opportunity for questions. For more details check out our website: https://www.esscp.org.uk/spoa-presentation-training-dates-for-2024/

The ESCC Family Focus team has shared these light bite presentations that other multi-agency colleagues may find useful and helpful:

  • Supporting ‘Hidden Children’ – Learn about how attending an Early Years setting has many benefits for children, especially as they reach the age of 3 years. Watch Here
  • ‘Fathers Voice’ – These sessions presents facts on how fathers’ input is often missing within plans and decisions in interventions. You will gain some tips and tools on how to feel more confident in including their input within family cases you work with. Part 1: Watch Here, Part 2: Watch Here and Part 3: Watch Here


Local briefings and newsletters

·        The East Sussex Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence/Abuse and Violence Against Women and Girls Team has produced their June information round up. This contains latest news from the sector, events, policy and legislative updates, funding opportunities, research and resources, local service information and job opportunities.

·        The Safeguarding Adult Board has circulated their June Monthly Digest.

·        NHS Sussex produce a monthly ‘Safeguarding and Looked-After Children Newsletter’. All newsletter articles are accessible on the NHS Sussex intranet and all Sussex professionals can request access. If you have not already registered, the please use the following link: Log in (ics.nhs.uk).

  • Following its last meeting the Pan Sussex Policy and Procedures Subgroup has published its Pan Sussex P&P Briefing – April 2024 FINAL. The briefing highlights new policy and procedure updates. Included are details of a new policy on the Contextual Safeguarding of children and young people.

·        Family Focus E-Bulletin: June 2024 (cloud.microsoft) This newsletter is a resource for practitioners to use to support families


National Updates

The NSPCC has produced a summary of learning for improved practice around the voice of the child. The summary has reviewed recent child safeguarding practice reviews nationally. case reviews highlight that professionals often face challenges around hearing and acting upon what children are telling them. Key issues include: children not being seen frequently enough or asked about their views and feelings, barriers to seeing children not being adequately challenged, and difficulties in correctly understanding and reflecting upon the child’s voice. The full briefing can be found here: The voice of the child: learning from case reviews | NSPCC Learning

NSPCC Learning has created a summary of the proposed changes to the Department for Education’s statutory guidance for schools in England, Keeping children safe in education 2024 (KCSIE). KCSIE 2024 is currently for information only. Once the final version is published, it will come into force in September 2024. The proposed changes include: amendments to the definition of safeguarding in line with Working together to safeguard children 2023; additional information about early help; and information on data protection: Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) 2024: summary of proposed changes | NSPCC Learning

Every Child Protected Against Trafficking (ECPAT UK) has published a briefing on unaccompanied children in the UK. The briefing sets out the legal judgements, outcomes and remaining challenges around caring for these children. Recommendations include a call for the UK Government to conduct an inquiry into the use of hotel accommodation for unaccompanied children: Care for Every Child: Unaccompanied children accommodated by the Home Office | ECPAT UK

The House of Commons Education Committee has published a report on the impact of screen time on children’s educational outcomes and wellbeing. It looks at the effects of screen time on children’s mental and physical health, as well as on their education. It also considers mobile phone use in schools; support for parents; the digital literacy curriculum; and the Online Safety Act. Recommendations include that the Government should do more to protect children from addiction, online harms and the mental health impacts of extensive use of digital devices and introduce formal monitoring to measure the implementation and effects of a mobile phone ban in schools in England: Stronger guidance and controls needed to protect children from screen time, Education Committee finds – Committees – UK Parliament

The Children’s Commissioner for England has published a report on children’s experiences of the criminal justice system and support services following a crime. The research draws upon interviews with children who have experienced sexual harm, an analysis of transcripts of police interviews and data from police forces across England. Findings include a lack of awareness amongst children about their statutory rights in the Victims’ Code and issues around the conduct of some police interviews, including the use of inappropriate and victim-blaming language. The Commissioner is calling for guidance for professionals to help children and young people access their rights under the Victims’ Code: Children’s experiences as victims of crime | Children’s Commissioner for England (childrenscommissioner.gov.uk)

Do you know what the ESSCP does? Find out in this short 3 minute video

Follow the latest ESSCP news on our website News – ESSCP

Have you seen our latest briefings on learning from multi-agency audits and safeguarding practice reviews?

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