Children, Families & Schools Committee

Agenda Item 23


Subject:                    Strategic Risk 15 Annual Progress Update


Date of meeting:    11th September 2023


Report of:                 Executive Director – Families, Children & Learning


Contact Officer:      Name: Carolyn Bristow

                                    Tel: 01273 293736



Ward(s) affected:   All


For general release


1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1         This report provides an update on progress on the actions that the Council is taking to mitigate the risk around ‘Keeping Children Safe from Harm and Abuse’ (Strategic Risk 15).


2.            Recommendations


            That the Committee agrees to:


2.1         Note Appendix 1, which details the strategic risk and current mitigating controls and actions being taken.


2.2         Note Appendix 2, which provides a guide to the risk management process and guidance for Members to input in the process. 


2.3         Make any recommendations for further action(s) to the risk owner, the Executive Director, Families, Children & Learning.


3.            Context and background information


3.1         The council has a Strategic Risk Register (SRR) to ensure strategic risks for the organisation are proactively captured and appropriate mitigating actions are in place. Audit & Standards Committee approves the Risk Management Framework and the respective policy committees are responsible for having an oversight of Strategic Risks linked to their areas of business. In discussion with Audit & Standards Committee members, it has been agreed that each policy committee will receive an annual update on the progress of their Strategic Risk(s).


3.2         The council’s Strategic Risks are reviewed quarterly by the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) taking account of comments from quarterly risk reviews carried out by Directorate Management Teams. This process ensures the currency of the city council’s SRR.


3.3         The Children, Families and Schools Committee has a role in monitoring and scrutinising risks relating to its policy area. It can also provide support by making policy decisions that have an effect on the overall risk likelihood or impact.


3.4         The initial risk score takes account of the existing controls in place to mitigate the risk (current score). The revised risk score assumes that all risk actions are successfully delivered (target score). The ‘likelihood’ (L) score ranges from Almost Impossible (1) to Almost Certain (5) and the ‘impact’ (I) score ranges from Insignificant (1) to Catastrophic (5). These scores are multiplied to give the risk score. The detail on this for SR15 is given in Appendix 1.


3.5         Appendix 2 provides a guide to the risk management process; guidance on how Members might want to ask questions of Risk Owners, or officers connected to the strategic risk actions; and details of opportunities for Members or officers to input on Strategic Risks.


4.            Updates to Strategic Risk 15


4.1         When DMT last reviewed SR15, it was agreed to maintain the current risk score as L3 (Moderate) x I4 (Major). The rationale for this is the effectiveness of existing controls that are in place and the focus this area of work continues to have across Families, Children & Learning.


4.2         Detail is provided within Appendix 1 on the causes of this risk, the potential consequences and the many existing controls that are in place to manage this risk.


4.3         The following actions are listed as further mitigations for SR15

·         Providing family coaching to the most vulnerable families

·         Offering a range of family help and support

·         Developing Family Hubs in the city

·         Delivering on a directorate wide performance and quality assurance programme

·         Continuing to deliver high quality social work

·         Working with the Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership to ensure safeguarding delivery is well coordinated and scrutinised


4.4         The latest progress on implementing these actions is detailed in Appendix 1.


5.            Analysis and consideration of alternative options


5.1         Through consultation with ELT, the Risk Management process currently in operation is deemed to be suitable.


6.            Community engagement and consultation


6.1      This is an internal risk reporting process and as such no engagement or consultation has taken place.


7.            Conclusion


7.1         The council has a robust Risk Management Framework and approach to key Strategic Risks, as evidenced by this report. There are a number of well established, existing controls in place to ensure the council is taking actions to safeguard children and young people.


8.            Financial implications


8.1         There are no financial implications arising from this report.


Name of finance officer consulted: Louise Hoten Date consulted: 15/08/2023


9.            Legal implications


9.1       The actions described in the report will assist the Council to meet a range of statutory duties to the children and families of the city, including duties relating to child protection under the Children Act 1989 & 2004 and the statutory guidance Working Together. 


Name of lawyer consulted: Natasha Watson Date consulted: 17/08/2023


10.         Equalities implications


10.1      Risk owners are requested to ensure that equalities implications are considered in describing strategic risks, their potential consequences and when developing mitigating actions. This will continue as part of regular ELT & DMT risk review sessions.


11.         Sustainability implications


11.1      Sustainability implications are considered when describing Strategic Risks,

their potential consequences and when developing mitigating actions. This will continue to be part of regular ELT & DMT risk review sessions.


12.         Other Implications


Public health implications:


12.1      Public health implications are considered in describing Strategic Risks, their potential consequences and when developing mitigating actions. This will continue to be part of regular ELT & DMT risk review sessions.


12.2      If the risks in SR15 occur then there are significant implications for the health and wellbeing of the people in the city, so it is critical to have mitigating actions to reduce the likelihood and impact of these risks occurring. Through our fair and inclusive action plan and the day-to-day work of Families, Children & Learning, we aim to reduce inequalities and hence the potential impacts that certain groups of people in the city may face.


Supporting Documentation



1.            Strategic Risk 15 report

2.            A guide on the risk management process