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 February 2020
Welcome to the latest tri.x Information Circular for Children's Social Care and Safeguarding

A collection of some of the latest information in relation to consultations, research, statutory guidance, government policy, tools for families and children, with links to related sources.
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The multi-agency response to child sexual abuse in the family environment

A report from Inspectorates Ofsted, Care Quality Commission, HMI Probation and HMICFRS, found that while agencies have improved their response to child grooming outside the home, the less high-profile issues of familial sex abuse is not getting the priority it needs.  Efforts to protect children are also being hampered because within communities, there remains a disbelief and denial that sex abuse can happen at home.

Report findings include:

  • Practice is too police-led focusing on the criminal investigation at the expense of children
  • Poor quality criminal investigations - inappropriate bail conditions leave abusers free to contact or return to live with the children they are abusing
  • Preventative work is absent or focused on known offenders
  • Professionals rely too heavily on children to speak out about abuse. Education on the signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse is vital.

See the report here:  The multi-agency response to child sexual abuse in the family environment
The Lighthouse project - co-ordinated support  for children who have been sexually abused
A multi-agency service provided by the The Lighthouse for young victims of sexual abuse.  The service is based on Iceland's 'Barnahus' model, offering many support services in one place.  It is child-centred, and also covers emotional support and guidance to help children and young people recover.

Visit: The Lighthouse here
Truth Project Thematic Report: Child sexual abuse in the context of children's homes and residential care
This is the second research publication in a series of thematic reports examining what victims and survivors have shared with the Truth project about their experiences of chid sexual abuse and the institutional context in which it occurred. This report highlights some specific features and characteristics about non-recent child sexual abuse in residential care contexts that were notable from this research.

To read the full report click here
Female Genital Mutilation: resources pack
Published by the Home Office this FGM guidance, case studies and support materials for local authorities, professional services and specialist voluntary organisations has been updated to add information on guidance for schools, including the Harmful Practices Schools Charter.

To view click here
Safeguarding children in education: types and indicators of abuse (SCIE)
Teachers and school staff may be the only adults outside the child's family that have significant contact with them. The signs of abuse and neglect can be difficult to detect. Children may be seen as easy targets for abuse. Their developing communication and understanding of what constitutes mistreatment means that they may have difficulty alerting others to it.  A child's reliance on their parents and family may also mean that it is easier to conceal harm or coerce a child into not disclosing it to others.

This briefing from SCIE aims to equip teaching professionals and all those working with children with an understanding of:
Physical Abuse
Sexual Abuse
Emotional Abuse
Disguised Compliance

See Safeguarding children in education: types and indicators of abuse
County Lines Exploitation - Practice guidance for Youth Offending Teams and frontline practitioners
This guidance is designed to provide clear referral pathways for frontline practitioners to follow nationally and use as a best practice template when responding to, and safeguarding children involved in, county lines.

See: County Lines Exploitation Guidance (Ministry of Justice) 
'All of Us were Broken' - An exploratory study into family experiences of child criminal exploitation

Missing People publishes new research exploring the experiences of family members whose children have been criminally exploited, including county lines and been frequently missing, shows that families are being failed, forgotten and ignored by  services.

Findings in the report include common early warning signs of exploitation, the links between missing and exploitation/county lines, and the severe implications of not providing effective intervention at early stages of grooming.

See "All of us were broken"


Suicide prevention - a quality standard (from NICE)
This quality standard covers ways to reduce suicide and help people bereaved or affected by suicide.  It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.  It does not cover national strategies (including internet safety), general mental wellbeing, or areas such as the treatment and management of self-harm or mental health conditions.

Click to view the Quality Standard: Suicide Prevention (pdf document)

Source: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 
Mental Health Foundation - The truth about self-harm - a booklet
This booklet aims to help you understand more about self-harm and what to do if you are worried about yourself or someone else.

All of the information is based on the findings of the National Inquiry into self-harm among young people.  The Inquiry was carried out by two charities, The Mental Health Foundation and The Camelot Foundation.

The Inquiry panel heard evidence from many hundreds of people including young people who self-harm, or have self-harmed in the past, and those who work with or care about them. This booklet is based on what they said.  

Click here to view: The truth about self-harm

Top tips for working with families affected by Domestic Abuse
This leaflet from the Family Rights Group is for social workers working with families affected by domestic abuse.  Sometimes you will know that domestic abuse is happening within a family, but sometimes it may not be evident, and family members may need to know that they can trust you before they ask you for help and advice about their situation.

Click here to view
Anti Bullying Alliance - Change Starts with Us:  A report outlining recommendations to address bullying face to face and online.
The recommendations were written in co-production with young people and look at evidence of what works to address bullying. They are framed around the six groups (called 'stakeholders') that young people believe have the power to make changes to address bullying.

Read the report here Change Starts with Us (pdf)
Born into care: case law review
This paper from the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory considers judgments from the higher courts over the period 2008-2018 which are relevant to the removal of newborns from their parents at birth or shortly afterwards. One aim of the report is to provide information to professionals involved in making decisions as to whether a newborn should be removed, about the legal framework and its application in court in order to assist that decision-making process.

Source: Nuffield Foundation - News

Read the report Born into care: case law review
Open Consultation - Regulating independent educational institutions
This consultation is seeking view on changes to registration requirements for independent educational settings, and changes to independent schools legislation.

In summary the proposals are:
  • Expanding on the categories of full-time institutions that will be regulated in the same way that independent schools are currently regulated, and defining what is "full-time";
  •  Changing the basis for how some appeals against enforcement action, under the Education and Skills Act 2008, are to be determined by the court;
  • Revision of the system for making changes to the registered details of independent educational institutions

Opened 14th February 2020. 
Closes 8 May 2020.

To give your views go to Department for Education

Reforms to Unregulated provision for children in care and care leavers

Unregulated provision consultation - Opened 12 February 2020, Closes 8 April 2020.

Use of unregulated provision for children in care - Research to understand the increase in use of unregulated and unregistered provision for children in care and care leavers, and concerns about quality.

Looked-after children in independent or semi-independent placements - transparency data.  Characteristics or semi-independent living accommodation in England.
Pass the parcel: children posted around the care system

Anne Longfield Children's Commissioner for England has published a report showing that thousands of children in the care system are living many miles away from family and friends.  The report highlights the experiences of children in care who are moved 'out of area'.

See: 'Pass the parcel: children posted around the care system'

See also: LGA responds to Children's Commissioner report on children in care moving out of area

Place-based approaches to preventing child abuse and neglect (Research in Practice)
This blog describes how the NSPCC developed Together for Childhood, a place-based, evidence-informed approach that aims to bring local partners and families together to make communities safer places for children. The blog includes key findings from and evaluation of how Together for Childhood was implemented in local areas within Glasgow, Grimsby, Plymouth and Stoke-on-Trent. Five key messages are highlighted in the hope that this learning will be useful for others seeking to undertake similar place-based initiatives. 

Click here to view
Care Leaver Local Offer - National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum release toolkit for Local Authorities

Catch22’s National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum has released the Care Leaver Local Offer Report, to support local authorities in raising the standard of provision across the country. The toolkit will be of interest to practitioners and policymakers and anyone with an interest in improving outcomes for care leavers.

see Care Leaver Local Offer: Guide and Key messages


Government confirms extra support for Troubled Families to succeed
Up to £165m new funding to help families get their lives back on track announced

More information available here
New funding for Adoption Support Fund (Department for Education)

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced an additional £45 million for the Adoption Support Fund in England. The funding will help support new adoptive families and reduce the number of children waiting for a permanent home. More than £1 million will also go to help Regional Adoption Agencies and voluntary organisations run campaigns to find adoptive families for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) children.

DfE Blog - New Funding for Adoption Support


Ofsted annual report
Ofsted has published its annual report looking at schools, early years, further education and skills, and children’s social care for the academic year 2018/19. The commentary by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman includes a section on peer-on-peer abuse which quotes NSPCC Childline statistics and states that this is an area that requires effective working across the system.

Read the report: The annual report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspection of Education, Children's Services and Skills 2018/19

Fosterline England launch new website to reduce national shortage of Foster Carers

Fosterline England is funded by the Deparment of Education and delivered by FosterTalk.

Read the news story: Fosterline England launch new website to reduce national shortage of foster carers

Did you know we also produce an Information Circular for adult social care?

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