Agenda item - Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children's Partnership: Annual Update

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Agenda item

Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children's Partnership: Annual Update

Report of the Independent Chair of the Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership covering the period April 202-March 2021 (copy attached)


36.1    The Board considered a report of the Independent Chair of the Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership (BHSCP) covering the period April 2020-March 2021.


36.2    It was explained that Health and Wellbeing Board were required to receive annual reports of local children’s and adult safeguarding partnerships for information. This report presented the annual update from BHSCP.


36.3    The BHSCP was independently Chaired by an independent scrutineer, Chris Robson, who was responsible for considering how effectively the local safeguarding arrangements were working for children and families as well as for practitioners and how well partners were providing strong leadership. The Partnership consisted of three key agencies who collectively held statutory responsibilities for keeping children and young people safe: The Local Authority (through Families, Children and Learning), Health (through Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group) and Sussex Police.


36.4    Mr Chris Robson, The Independent Scrutineer and Chair introduced the report and highlighted the headline points and areas of work carried out and those identified going forward. Mr Robson explained that the pandemic had highlighted the need to safeguard children, especially when they were not in school, pre-school and after school activities. The BHSCP had been quick to recognise this and had sought to ensure that measures were put into place to fill that gap. Publication of the report had been delayed slightly pending publication of the results of the Woodward review in order to carry forward any learning points arising from that and in order to ensure that rapid review mechanisms were in place going forward.


36.5    Councillor Allcock whilst welcoming the report noted that it was an historic document rather than providing more up to date information. Whilst as a past Chair of the Children, Young People and Skills Committee he was aware that excellent work was being carried out he considered that report could have referenced that in a more structured way. It was explained that these annual reports always referred to the work carried out during the previous year but that clear on-going objectives were set on the basis of its findings and content and that there was a strong emphasis on partnership working.


36.6    Councillor Phillips referred to the period during which young people had been out of school in consequence of the pandemic enquiring regarding the number of children who continued to be home educated. Also, in response to that regarding measures in place to protect those who vulnerable and to ensure that appropriate safeguarding arrangements were in place. The Executive Director, Families, Children, and Learning explained that in the wake of the pandemic a number of children continued to be home educated for a variety of reasons. There had been a reluctance in some instances to send children back into a traditional school setting in view of the relatively high infection rates across the city. In instances where children were home educated that was monitored by the School Attendance Team. This trend was reflected across the country although those being home educated in Brighton and Hove was higher than average.


36.7    Councillors Phillips and Mac Cafferty both referred to the impact on children’s mental health caused by the pandemic. Councillor Phillips stated that she was aware that had been a delay in obtaining appointments with CAHMS prior to the pandemic so enquired regarding the current situation. Councillor Mac Cafferty stated that whilst the valuable work of CAHMS was recognised, delays of 6 - 9 months for an initial appointment could have a further negative impact and asked whether/what arrangements were in place to address that. Lola Banjoko of the CCG explained that this was fully recognised and that funding arrangements had been put into place to seek to address this.


36.8    RESOLVED - That the Board notes the information contained in this report and its appendix (BHSCP Annual Report 2020-21)

Supporting documents:


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