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Ian’s Blog

Date: Monday, 08th Apr 2024 | Category: General

Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board Independent Chair and Scrutineer Ian Vinall

Dear colleagues

Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board Lead and Delegated partners are now in the process of making changes to the safeguarding arrangements in Staffordshire given the implementation of Working Together 2023.

There are planned workshops for safeguarding partners to progress these arrangements, including the current role I hold as chair of the partnership which has now been removed in the revised version of Working Together 2023. I have had the chance to meet with the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police, the Chief Executive of the Integrated Care Board and the Chief Executive of the County Council who will take on their new roles as Safeguarding Leads in the new arrangements. They will delegate those responsibilities to colleagues in their agencies and as a partnership we will work towards publishing those arrangements later this year.

The Safeguarding Leads must then decide together who will take on the chair role and how my role will evolve into that of scrutiny. My hope is that I continue to have the opportunity to work in person across the county meeting frontline practitioners to help me assess the effectiveness of those arrangements for all practitioners working with children and families. The practitioner voice is so key in those new arrangements, alongside the voice of children and young people who have experienced the safeguarding system and thanks to the Safeguarding Education Team we are in the process of setting up a Schools and Early Years settings reference group to support me in the role of scrutineer.

I have had the opportunity to visit Ivetsey Bank in Stafford, a hospital specialising in supporting young people with severe or complex mental ill-health conditions who need intensive inpatient treatment. It was a humbling experience and I am very grateful to the young people for their time and conversation, as well as a big thank you to all of the staff for their support and guidance. It did strike me that we need to celebrate all of the children’s workforce across Staffordshire who commit their time, energy and expertise for caring for our children and young people.

There were a couple of things I would like to flag to colleagues, firstly, the Department of Education (DfE) has opened a Call for Evidence on safeguarding practice in schools in England. The DfE is seeking views from schools and other professionals on safeguarding practice development to help inform Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2025. The link can be found via the DfE website here. Secondly, NSPCC Learning has just published a briefing on data and statistics regarding emotional harm in children alongside some helpful reference documents to assist practitioners with evidenced based decisions. These briefings can be found here and are easy to read and can be really helpful to practitioners to reflect on their practice.

I look forward to meeting you in the coming months.

Best wishes