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Ian’s Blog

Date: Monday, 20th Nov 2023 | Category: General

Ian Vinall, Independent Scrutineer and Chair of Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board blog

“Over the last few months, the Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board had the privilege of holding their monthly meeting at Werrington Young Offenders Institute. We had the opportunity to meet some of the young people, hear their voices and talk about the role of the Board in keeping them safe. This was such an insightful and powerful meeting and we agreed to formulate a process of engaging the young people in future discussions. It has prompted further consideration to hold future Board Meetings in your venues and closer to children and families.

As part of my role as a scrutineer is to go out and about and meet with partners including managers, social workers, early help practitioner’s and administration staff etc’ and I have had the opportunity of visiting most of the District Offices in Children’s Social Care. This gave me an invaluable opportunity to hear how frontline safeguarding practice is working, how partners are working together at the frontline and hearing some individual children’s stories.

What was clear, despite the pressures of workload, distance, and the complexity of the work, was the commitment and dedication of staff across all agencies in providing the best they can for children and families. Staff know their children well and all the conversations were very child centred.

There were opportunities to highlight what wasn’t working in a balanced way and I have logged some of those issues for further scrutiny. I truly enjoyed hearing about some of the children you are all working with and was humbled by practitioners going above and beyond for children and young people. These visits are vital to connect the Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board to frontline practice and they help me in my scrutiny role. I hope to be visiting other partners in the New Year to hear their stories too.”

For more information or to discuss Ian visiting you in your workplace contact Ian on