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Jersey Safeguarding Children Partnership Board - Role and Function

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

The UK Children Act 2004 required each local authority to establish a Safeguarding Children Board. This legislation has not been introduced into Jersey. Relevant agencies have instead signed a Memorandum of Understanding and agreed to co-operate in relation to safeguarding. Chapter 2 of Working Together 2015 sets out in detail the arrangements for the work of each Local Safeguarding Children Board. This chapter provides a summary only.


Contents

  1. Organisational Structure and Scope of the Role
  2. Objectives
  3. Accountability
  4. SPB Chair
  5. Membership
  6. Role of Elected Members and Non-Executive Directors
  7. Ways of Working
  8. Annual Business Plan
  9. SPB Annual Report
  10. Monitoring and Inspection

    Amendments to this Chapter


1. Organisational Structure and Scope of the Role

Organisational Structure

Organisational Structure

The SPB acts on behalf of the Chief Minister (the accountable Minister) and States colleagues (principally the Ministers of Education, Sports and Culture and Health and Social Care Services Departments) and of the Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Services Department and Chief Officers of other contributing departments/ agencies, with relation to inter- agency and inter-professional roles and tasks specifically delegated to it.

In order to fulfil its statutory functions, an SPB will use data and, as a minimum, will:

  • Assess the effectiveness of the help being provided to children and families, including early help;
  • Assess whether SPB partners are fulfilling their statutory obligations;
  • Quality assure practice, including through joint audits of case files involving practitioners and identifying lessons to be learned; and
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of training, including multi-agency training, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The Children's Safeguarding Performance Information Framework provides a mechanism to help do this by setting out some of the questions a SPB will consider.


2. Objectives

The core objectives of the Safeguarding Children Board (SCB) is to coordinate local work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to ensure the effectiveness of what the member organisations do individually and together.

Specific objectives of the SCB are to:

  • Develop and agree inter-agency policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, consistent with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015), including: The action to be taken where there are concerns about a child’s safety or welfare, including thresholds for intervention;
    1. Training of those working with children or in services affecting the safety and welfare of children;
    2. Recruitment and supervision of persons who work with children;
    3. Investigation of allegations concerning persons working with children;
    4. The safety and welfare of privately fostered children;
    5. Cooperation with neighbouring Children’s Social Care Services authorities and their Board partners.
  • Participate in the planning of services for children in the authority area;
  • Communicate the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child;
  • Develop procedures to ensure a coordinated response to unexpected child deaths;
  • Monitor the effectiveness of what is done to safeguard and promote the welfare of children - see Section 10, Monitoring and Inspection;
  • Undertake appropriate reviews of serious cases and ensure lessons are understood and acted upon;
  • Collect and analyse information about child deaths.


3. Accountability

Whilst the SCB has a role in coordinating and ensuring the effectiveness of local individuals’ and organisations’ work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, it is not accountable for their operational work.

Each Board partner retains its own existing lines of accountability for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children by their services.

Whilst the SCB does not have the power to direct other organisations, it does have a role in making clear where improvement is needed.


4. SPB Chair

In order to provide effective scrutiny, the SPB will be independent. It will not be subordinate to, nor subsumed within, other local structures. In Jersey the Office is organisationally attached to the Chief Ministers Department but strives to maintain political independence.

Every SPB will have an independent chair who can hold all agencies to account.

It is the responsibility of the Chief Executive to appoint or remove the SPB chair with the agreement of a panel including SPB partners and lay members. The Chief Executive, drawing on other SPB partners and, where appropriate, the Lead Member will hold the Chair to account for the effective working of the SPB.


5. Membership

The SCB is made of organisations which will designate particular, named people as their SCB member so that there is a consistency and continuity in membership.

Members will be those with a strategic role in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children within their organisation. They will be able to:

  • Speak for their organisation with authority;
  • Commit their organisation on policy and practice matters;
  • Hold their organisation to account.

As well as the Island/authority with responsibility for Children and Young People’s Services, members of the SCB must include:

5.1 Statutory Members

These are the statutory organisations which are required to co-operate with the area authority in the establishment and operation of the Board and have shared responsibility for the effective discharge of its functions. The Board partners are:

Position AGENCY
SPB Independent Chair INDEPENDENT
  HEALTH
Lead Nurse, Children General Hospital HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE SERVICES
Clinical Governance & Performance Manager FAMILY NURSING & HOME CARE
Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE SERVICES
Directorate Manager, Mental Health HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE SERVICES
Jersey Medical Society HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE SERVICES
Consultant Community Paediatrician HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE SERVICES
Directorate Manager, Social Care Services HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE SERVICES
Co-ordinator, Children's Executive HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE SERVICES
Deputy Medical Officer of Health HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE SERVICES
Service Manager, Children’s Services HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE SERVICES
  EDUCATION
Senior Education Welfare Officer EDUCATION, SPORT & CULTURE
Assistant Director, Sport & Culture EDUCATION, SPORT & CULTURE
Principal Youth Officer EDUCATION, SPORT & CULTURE
  SCHOOL REPRESENTATIVE PRIMARY
  SCHOOL REPRESENTATIVE SECONDARY
  POLICE
Chief Inspector POLICE
Police Protection Unit POLICE
Honorary Police Delegate POLICE
  PRISON
Deputy Governor, Prison Service HMP LA MOYE PRISON
  PROBATION
Assistant Chief Probation Officer PROBATION & AFTERCARE SERVICE
  THIRD SECTOR
Manager, NSPCC Jersey at the Gower Centre NSPCC
  THIRD SECTOR FORUM
  JFCAS
  LAY MEMBERS
  LAW OFFICERS

The States of Jersey must ensure that those responsible for Adult Social Care Services functions are represented on the SCB, because of the importance of adult social care in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Similarly health organisations will ensure that adult health services and in particular adult mental health and adult disability services are represented on the SCB.

5.2 Other Members

The States of Jersey must also secure the involvement of other relevant local organisations and the NSPCC where a representative is made available.

In addition, two representatives of the local community will be appointed as full SPB members (their role is described in Working Together 2015) and the SPB must also appoint representation from schools. This means taking steps to ensure that the following are represented: the governing body of a provided school; and the governing body of Highlands. Independent schools will also be included as appropriate.

SPBs will engage with faith groups, children's centres, GPs, independent healthcare organisations, and voluntary and community sector organisations including bodies providing specialist care to children with severe disabilities and complex health needs.

Where the number or size of similar organisations precludes individual representation on the SPB, for example in the case of schools or voluntary youth bodies, the States of Jersey will seek to involve then through existing networks or forums, or by encouraging and developing suitable networks or forums to facilitate communication between organisations and with the SPB.

5.3 Involvement of other agencies and groups

Each SPB will make appropriate arrangements at a strategic management level to involve others in its work as needed. For example, there may be some organisations or individuals which are in theory represented by the statutory Board partners but which need to be engaged because of their particular role in service provision to children and families or role in public protection. There will be other organisations which the SPB needs to link to, either through inviting them to join the SPB or through some other mechanism. For example

  • The Viscount;
  • Dental health services;
  • MARAC;
  • Drug and alcohol misuse services;
  • Housing, culture and leisure services;
  • Housing providers;
  • Local MAPPA;
  • Local sports bodies and services;
  • Brook;
  • Law Officers
  • Witness Support Services;
  • Local Criminal Justice Board;
  • Other health providers such as pharmacists.

Other agencies who are working with young people aged 16 and 17 who provide meaningful activity and engagement, training and employment support and should also be considered for involvement. Such agencies could include:

  • The Princes Trust;
  • The Education, Sport and Culture Department;
  • The Social Security Department;
  • The Youth Service;
  • The Jersey Employment Trust;
  • Charitable Organisations;
  • Representatives of service users.

Each SPB will also need to draw on the work of key national organisations and liaise with them when necessary for example Child Exploitation and On-Line Protection Centre.

The SPB will either include on its Board, or be able to draw on appropriate expertise and advice from, frontline professionals from all the relevant sectors. This includes a designated doctor and nurse, the Director of Public Health, Principal Child and Family Social Worker and the voluntary and community sector.

5.4 The Role of Members

The individual members of each SPB have a duty as members to contribute to the effective work of the SPB, for example, in making the SPB assessment of performance as objective as possible, and in recommending or deciding upon the necessary steps to put right any problems. This will take precedence, if necessary, over their role as a representative of their organisation. The SCB are provided with a Memorandum of Understanding which clearly lays out their role and responsibilities.


6. Role of Elected Members and Non-Executive Directors

States of Jersey elected members and non-executive directors of other SPB partners will not be members of a SPB. Their role, through their membership of governance bodies such as a scrutiny committee or a governance board, is to hold their organisation and its officers to account for their contribution to the effective functioning of the SPB.

The Lead Member for Children's Services within the area authority will have a particular focus on how they are fulfilling their responsibilities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and will hold the Director of Children's Services to account for the work of the SPB.

The Lead Member for Children will be a participating observer of the SPB. In practice this means routinely attending meetings as an observer and receiving all its written reports.


7. Ways of Working

The working practices of SPB members will be considered locally with a view to securing effective operation of the SPB functions and ensuring all member organisations are effectively engaged.

It may be appropriate for the SPB to set up working groups or sub-groups, on a short-term or a standing basis to:

  • Carry out specific tasks, for example: maintaining and updating procedures;
  • Provide specialist advice, for example: in respect of working with specific ethnic and cultural groups, or with disabled children and/or parents;
  • Bring together representatives of a sector to discuss relevant issues and to provide a contribution from that sector to SCB work, for example: schools, the voluntary and community sector, faith groups; and
  • Focus on defined geographical areas within the SCB boundaries;
  • As a ‘Core Group’ or ‘Executive Group’ of SCB members, to undertake some day-to-day business by local agreement.

Each SPB in the Consortium will establish local arrangements for working groups or sub-groups the details of which will be available on their respective websites.

All groups which are established by the SPB will work to the Memorandum of Understanding. Chairs of sub-groups are SPB members.

Each SPB will consider how to put in place arrangements to ascertain views of parents and carers and the wishes and feelings of children (including children who might not ordinary be heard) about the priorities and effectiveness of local safeguarding work, including issues of access to services and contact points for children to safeguard and promote welfare. The SPB will also consider how children, parents and carers can be given a measure of choice and control in the development of services.


8. Annual Business Plan

Each SCB will produce an annual business plan setting out:

  • A work programme for the following year to include measurable objectives;
  • Relevant management information of child protection activity in the previous year;
  • Progress against objectives established for the year ending.


9. SPB Annual Report

The Chair will publish an annual report on the effectiveness of child safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the local area The annual report will be published in relation to the preceding financial year and will fit with local agencies' planning, commissioning and budget cycles. The report will be submitted to the:

  • States of Jersey Chief Executive;
  • Chief Minister;
  • States of Jersey Police;
  • Director of Commissioning (Health and Social Care Services);
  • Director of Adult Social Care Services;
  • Director of Children’s Social Care Services;
  • Director of Public Health;
  • Chair of Scrutiny.

(there is no equivalent to a UK Health and Wellbeing board in Jersey)

The report will provide a rigorous and transparent assessment of the performance and effectiveness of local services. It will identify areas of weakness, the causes of those weaknesses and the action being taken to address them as well as other proposals for action. The report will include lessons from reviews undertaken within the reporting period.

The report will also list the contributions made to the SPB by partner agencies and details of what the SPB has spent, including on Child Death Reviews, Serious Case Reviews and other specific expenditure such as learning events or training.


10. Monitoring and Inspection

The SPB's work to ensure the effectiveness of work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children by member organisations will be a peer review process, based on self-evaluation, performance indicators and a joint audit. Its aim is to promote high standards of safeguarding work and to foster a culture of continuous improvement. It will also identify and act on identified weaknesses in services.

Where it is found that a Board partner is not performing effectively in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and the SPB is not convinced that any planned action to improve performance will be adequate, the SPB chair or a member or employee designated by the chair will explain these concerns to those individuals and organisations that need to be aware of the failing and may be able to take action.

As part of the monitoring and evaluation function of the SPB, there is a requirement for each SPB to ensure appropriate links with secure settings in its area and be able to scrutinise restraint techniques, the Polices and protocols which surround the use of restraint, and incidences and injuries. SPB's with a secure establishment(s) in its areas will report annually to the on how effectively the establishment(s) is managing use of restraint, the reports will be provided more frequently if there are concerns on the use of restraint. Consideration will be given to sharing the information with relevant departments. Where appropriate, members of the SPB will be given demonstrations in the techniques accredited for use to assist their consideration of any child protection or safeguarding issue that might arise in relation to restraint.

All incidents when restraint is used in custodial settings and in which results in an injury to a young person will be notified to, and subsequent action monitored, by the SPB.

Amendments to this Chapter

In June 2015, the Organisational Structure was updated. Section 5, Membership was updated with regards to the involvement of other agencies who are working with young people aged 16 and 17.

End.