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Views from the outside looking in… Ian’s Blog

Date: Wednesday, 02nd Aug 2023 | Category: General


Ian Vinall is Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board Independent Chair and Scrutineer. Ian has been a qualified social worker and a senior leader, including Head of Safeguarding in local authorities up to 2018. Ian has worked for several local authorities across the country supporting, mentoring and coaching managers and has chaired and authored Local Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews, Adult Safeguarding Reviews and is an Associate Chair and Author of Domestic Homicide Reviews for the charity Standing Together Against Domestic Abuse. Ian has strong operational experience and understanding of safeguarding practice, alongside strategic experience of managing services in large organisations.

Each month Ian will share his experiences here in Staffordshire.

Ian’s Blog

Dear Colleagues

After a year in the role as the Staffordshire Safeguarding Board Chair and Scrutineer and having met with a significant number of practitioners working with children and young people across Staffordshire since last June, I thought that I would contribute to the Board newsletter with a regular blog highlighting some of the activity and work of the multi-agency partners in safeguarding children and young people. I am in the process of reviewing the partnership arrangements and it’s highlighted that the Board needs to link more closely to frontline practice.

Those working directly with children and families should have a voice as to how the safeguarding system is working and to that end, I am considering how we can achieve that through the development of a multi-agency practitioners forum. If you have any thoughts about that I would welcome it.

In the last few months, I have visited and spoken to colleagues in the police, health, children’s social care, the voluntary sector, schools, and educational settings. I have learnt about the excellent work that is happening at a local level to meet the needs of children and families alongside the challenges. As important, is celebrating the successes, something that we sometimes don’t have the capacity or inclination to give time to.

Again, I am very keen to hear the successful stories of how the safeguarding system has improved outcomes for children, young people, and their families. I have been made aware in my travels of those challenges professionals face, the complexity and volume of casework and am humbled by the child centred and focused approach that professionals continue to take. We work together to address those challenges and can only achieve improvement by working together. Though, I am similarly aware of the need for those working with children and families taking well deserved breaks and may be setting your mobile to Airplane Mode occasionally, taking 30-minute breaks between Teams calls and remembering to indulge in some ‘me time’. From my own experience, you make a better practitioner when you also care for yourself. Have a great summer.

If you would like to get in touch with Ian contact