Risk Code


Responsible Officer

Risk Category

Last Reviewed

Issue Type

Risk Treatment

Initial Rating

Revised Rating

Future Rating

Eff. of Control


Not keeping children safe from harm and abuse

Executive Director,
Children & Learning Service Manager - Directorate Policy & Business Support









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L4 x I4








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L3 x I4







Revised: Uncertain


Link to Council Plan 2023-27. Outcome 3: 'A Healthy city where people thrive, and actions linked to 'A better future for children and young people'

Keeping vulnerable children safe from harm and abuse is a legal responsibility of the Council. Legislation requires all local authorities to act in accordance with national guidance (Working Together 2018) to ensure robust safeguarding practice. This includes the responsibility to ensure an effective multi-agency safeguarding response. In Sept. 19 the Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership (BHSCP) was established led by the three key statutory partners – Brighton & Hove City Council; Sussex Police & NHS Sussex

Potential Consequence(s)

The complexity of circumstances for many children presents a constant state of risk which demands informed and reflective professional judgement, and often urgent and decisive action, by all agencies using agreed thresholds and procedures. Such complexity inevitably presents a high degree of risk. Children subject to abuse, exploitation and/or neglect are unlikely to achieve and maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health and development will be significantly impaired. In some circumstances, abuse and neglect may lead to a child's death.

Existing Controls

First Line of Defence: Management Controls

1. Robust quality assurance and performance management framework embedded and reported quarterly to Directorate Performance Board and onto the Corporate Performance Board bi-annually.

2. Single point of access ('Front Door for Families') for support and safeguarding issues relating to children.  The Front Door is multi-agency and has responsibility for and oversight of both the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and early help referrals to provide robust risk assessments and information sharing between partner agencies

3. Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children's Partnership (BHSCP) Work Plan established with strong leadership by the Independent Scrutineer with aligned BHSCP sub-group work plans

4. Safeguarding Practice, Local Management and Child Death Reviews identify learning and action for improvement

5. A strong focus on working with CYP at risk of being missing from care, home and education

6. The local Supporting Families (was Troubled Families) programme targets support to the most vulnerable families

7. Continuous professional development (CPD) and training opportunities offered by the council and BHSCP. 

8. In line with the Government’s Prevent Strategy, on-going work with the Police, Statutory Partners, Third Sector Organisations and Communities to reduce exploitation of young people into extremism.

9. BHSCP Threshold document, agreed by all agencies, reviewed in 2021.

10. Relationship based model of social work practice embedded, with Pods (social work teams) in place to provide stability to service users

11. Performance Management information across children's social work enables a more informed view on current activity and planning for future service changes

12.Adolescent Vulnerability Risk Meetings held weekly to consider individual cases where it is considered there is a higher risk of exploitation (sexual; criminal and radicalisation).


Second Line of Defence: Corporate Oversight

1. Development of Family Hubs

2. Multi agency safeguarding quality assurance processes in place, monitored by the BHSCP Monitoring & Evaluation Subcommittee, meets quarterly

3. Corporate Parenting Board meets quarterly with opportunity for cross-party Members, to receive information on children in care and children leaving care.  Attended by Heads of Service, Assistant Directors and the ED FCL,

4. Cross directorate Annual Practice Week developed where senior leaders meet with front line staff to discuss individual cases, picking up best practice examples of positive impact plus discussing any barriers faced by both workers and families

5. Council appointed Violence, Vulnerability and Exploitation co-ordinator who reports regularly to the Community Partnership

6. The A&S Committee reviewed this risk in March 2020 and March 2021.


Third Line of Defence: Independent Assurance

1. Ofsted inspections of social work practice under the ILACS arrangements.  Full inspection July 2018 -   overall judgement was 'Good'.  An ongoing action plan enabled oversight on completing the recommendations, and progress and completion of these have been reported to CYPS committee meetings.

2. Ofsted Focused visit under ILACS framework February 2020 looking at services to children in need and children with child protection plans. Ofsted noted continued improvement made since 2018 inspection. Next ILACS inspection expected imminently which will provide up to date assurance around our wider safeguarding and care arrangements.

3. Ofsted and the CQC inspection of the Local Area’s SEND and Alternative Provision arrangements in March 2023. Provides assurance around our social care arrangements for children with special educational needs and disabilities and confirmation that our existing improvement plans are still correctly focussed

4. National Probation Inspectorate statutory inspection of the city's Youth Offending Service April 2021 - Outstanding grading across every domain.

5. Annual Engagement Meeting (AEM) with Ofsted HMI for social care and education. Most recently held in March 2023 and covered social care and education. A separate discussion focussing on Further Education and Skills took place in April 2023 and the discussion focussing on Special Educational Needs is due to take place in Autumn 2023.

5. Local Government Association (LGA) review of Early Help processes January 2020.  The recommendations were taken forward and formed a key element of the Family Hubs Transformation Programme which is currently underway

6. The Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children's Partnership (BHSCP) commissions Independent Scrutiny (IS) for the partnership, whose role and

function is to provide external challenge to the business of the partnership, its meetings, subgroups and priorities.

7. Internal audit activity relevant to children’s safeguarding :


*   2022/23: Home to School Transport (Reasonable Assurance); Children’s Data Handling (Reasonable Assurance)

* 2021/22: Child Disability Agency Placements (Reasonable Assurance); School Attendance (Reasonable Assurance).

*   2020/21: Education, Health and Care Plans (Reasonable Assurance), Care System Replacement Project – Eclipse (Reasonable Assurance)

*   2019/20: Care Leavers (Reasonable Assurance), Joint Commissioning (Reasonable Assurance).


Reason for Uncertainty in Effectiveness of Controls:  The city council has arrangements in place to manage this potential risk which are regularly reviewed; however, despite efforts there are no guarantees that there will not be incidents.


Risk Action

Responsible Officer

Progress %








Continue to offer a range of family support to our most vulnerable families and deliver the Family Hub Transformation Programme

Head of Family Hubs







Comments: A range of family support continues to be delivered across the city and there is focused work with vulnerable families where needed through the new Family Hubs service. The service delivers support to families across all levels of need including intensive whole family support at tier 3.  Demand for Family Hubs (Early Help) is still very high but the restructure of the early help services implement new systems and processes seeks to address this.  The Early Help review was completed and recommended the development of family hubs as the delivery model for Early Help this was agreed at CYPS committee in June 2022.  A successful bid for £1m was submitted to the Family Hub Transformation Fund and the transformation delivery plan and governance structure has been developed and agreed at DMT and with the DfE in July 2022. The transformation programme will run until March 2024 and the co-production, consultation and engagement sessions will continue throughout the transformation. Recruitment for the transformation posts has completed with all posts being recruited to. The governance structure is in place for the transformation programme. BHCC Early Help service have been restructured to a new Family Hubs Service which was implemented 1st April 2023


Funding from the Supporting Families programme will continue for the next 1.5 years. The self-assessment for 2023 has been submitted. The priority areas from the self-assessment and targets for families will need to achieved to maintain earned autonomy.  The funding for 23/24 will remain the same with an uplift in 24/25. The supporting families outcomes framework has been updated with implementation from 3rd October 2023; developments in Eclipse are completed and staff have received training on the new framework to ensure we can meet the requirements of the new framework.

Last Updated: 10/08/2023


Deliver on a directorate wide performance and quality assurance framework to ensure that safe and effective services are provided.

Head of Safeguarding & Performance







Comments: Families, Children and Learning has an effective QA framework that aims to ensure safe and effective services are delivered.

Within the Directorate Plan there is a target for 85% completion with regular social work audits. This target is currently met and surpassed.

QA Managers support social workers and managers with quality assurance and where they have been unable to physically attend group supervisions, support is provided via video and voice calls. Likewise, support to Pod Managers and Heads of Service on grading and scaling has been provided.

The QA team regularly review the social work audit tool to ensure that it is compliant with social work practice standards, procedures and policy.

Audits regularly also take place in FDFF, FPP, Family Coaching and EHCP.

A QA briefing is presented to each DMT Performance Board.

Thematic Audits are completed twice a year. The themes are identified from current practice issues and other sources such as Safeguarding Practice Reviews, performance data and regular quarterly audits. Themes have included Anti-Racist Practice, Residential Placements, Child in Need work, JTAI preparation and Re-referrals.

The findings are shared with SLTs and DMT as appropriate.

Annual audit reports for ITF&P and Fostering, Placements & Permanence, Children’s Disability Service, EHCP and Safeguarding and Review Service are in place.

FCL is a member of the SESLIP Quality Assurance Network which seeks to improve the effectiveness of existing quality assurance activities. The Network meets each quarter and the QA Manager, Performance & Safeguarding attends on behalf of the local authority. The group has developed a Common Components of a Quality Assurance Framework which aims to develop and share 'good quality assurance of practice and improve consistency across the region’.

The council continue to be compliant with all statutory reporting requirements.

The Performance Team provides data support to the Directorate to support its QA function. Providing structured reports for DMT Performance Board and regular reporting for all SLTs.

The Performance Team and the QA Team support the functions of the Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children’s Partnership with the multi-agency Dashboard Reports and regular multi-agency audits twice a year.

The team is ensuring that all statutory performance reporting for the directorate is compliant with requirements and returned in a timely way.

Current support to our Children’s recording system, Eclipse, from both the Performance Team and QA Managers is helping to ensure a good QA function continues in the system.

Measures of Success:

- 85% compliance with QA activity

- Compliance with statutory performance reporting requirements

- Findings from QA activity are reported to SLT and FCL Performance Board (within the agreed timeframe).

Last Updated: 09/08/2023


High quality social work is provided to ensure that Children & Young People (CYP) are effectively safeguarded

Service Manager - AD Children's Safeguarding & Care







Comments: The Eclipse roll out took place at the end of November 21. The system is embedded, and large amount of work has been undertaken to embed this.  Work is now being undertaken to ensure that changing practice and developments are captured. Staff are feeling more confident in using the system and management reports are now in place, reviewed by pod mangers weekly    This has enabled performance management oversight to be effective.

•          Audits were completed in quarter 1, with 100% being completed in safeguarding and care. with 67% Green, 33% Amber for compliance. This reflects the average number of green cases over the last 3 quarters. Compliance in regard to genograms (88%) and chronologies (81%), while this is an increase in chronologies further work needs to be undertaken in regard to quality.

•          During quarter 1 the completion of SFA’s on time (within 45 days) has this increased and 86.5%.

•          We continue to work towards delivering on the action plan following the Ofsted visit in Feb 2020. Monitoring is being undertaken and focused work is in place to ensure Return Home Interviews are completed and recorded in a timely way.

•          The CIN improvement plan remains a focus, with 65.9% of plans completed in timescale and 82.7% having a plan in place.



Next Steps:

To continue to address quality in relation to Genograms and Chronologies- HOS April 24

To address CIN plans in timescale- HOS April 24


Last Updated: 09/08/2023


The Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership (BHSCP) will continue to monitor safeguarding delivery across all agencies in the city to ensure effective safeguarding is in place.

Head of Safeguarding & Performance







Comments: The Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership (formerly the LSCB) launched its safeguarding arrangements on 29/09/19.

A Steering Group comprising of the below meets quarterly.


• The nominated officers for the three lead safeguarding partners

• The independent scrutineer

• The designated professionals for the 3 lead safeguarding partners

• The chairs of the BHSCP subgroups

• A representative from the Community Safety Partnership (CSP)

• A professional to represent schools and early years

• People with expertise (including members of the Youth Reference Group) if required to discuss specific issues.


This group is responsible for the following:

• Analysis of multi-agency statistics, performance measures and outcomes

• Scrutiny of reports

• Section 11 self-assessments and challenge events

• Practitioner and partnership challenge events

• Oversight of Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews (CSPRs)

• Developing & overseeing the overarching strategic aims of the BHSCP


The current Business Plan is published on the partnership website. The priorities were determined via consultation and based on identified local and national areas of safeguarding concern and will be reviewed as needed. They are delivered by the BHSCP’s subgroups.

Priority 1 - Partnership Engagement and Accountability Aims: Embed the principles of safeguarding children citywide.

Priority 2 - Safeguarding children from violence and exploitation: Objectives: Ensure there is a clear understanding of the scale of complex and contextual safeguarding within Brighton & Hove and that the needs of children and young people affected by any form of violence, from any source, are identified and assessed effectively resulting in timely and appropriate intervention.

Priority 3 - Reducing Neglect: Aims: The needs of children and young people affected by neglect are identified and assessed effectively resulting in timely and appropriate intervention

Priority 4 - Mental Health and Emotional Health and Wellbeing: Aims: Consistently good service provision for children who need support for emotional and mental health issues.


An annual programme of multi-agency thematic auditing to test the effectiveness of local safeguarding arrangements is in place. Learning from audit activity will continue to feed into the BHSCP learning and development offer and cascaded across the safeguarding partnership. A multi-agency audit programme is developed, agreed with partners and findings shared. This is supported by the council's Quality Assurance Programme Manager.

Last Updated: 09/08/2023