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Report Children’s Services Sub-committee 3June2003 2 DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY CHILD PROTECTION COMMITTEE 1. 1.1 1.2 1.3 2. 2.1 2.2 REASON FOR REPORT This report advises Members of the outcome of a review of the role and responsibilities of the Dumfries and Galloway Child Protection Committee. Attached is a revised constitution, completed following consultations with current members and their organisations. This is a holding position, pending further consideration by the Chief Executive of the interface between this Committee and the Child Protection Committee and the role and membership of the Children’s Services Executive Group. The background to these changes is the findings of the national review of child protection in Scotland. The report of this review, ‘It’s everyone’s job to make sure I’m alright’, was published in November 2002. Attached is a copy of a report to the Social Services Committee, the Children’s Sub-committee and the NHS Joint Board, summarising this. An update on the actions being taken to implement the recommendations of the national review is provided and a copy of the Child Protection Committee’s ‘Action Plan’ is attached for reference. PROGRESS REPORT The Chief Executive and Convener of the Council met with officers of the Council to be briefed on the national review and to discuss how the recommendations are to be taken forward. In addition, they attended a ‘summit’ organised by the Executive in February 2003. At this the First Minister and the Minister for Education and Young People, presented a 3-year programme of sustained activity intended to transform child protection in Scotland. Since then there has been ongoing dialogue between the Chief Executive and the Chair of the Child Protection Committee about progress. The Dumfries and Galloway Child Protection Committee, has drawn up an Action Plan to implement those recommendations in the report specifically targeted at local agencies (Appendix 3). Dumfiies E sa lo wa , y C O U N C I L

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  • Report Childrens Services Sub-committee 3June2003 2

    DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY CHILD PROTECTION COMMITTEE

    1.

    1.1

    1.2

    1.3

    2.

    2.1

    2.2

    REASON FOR REPORT

    This report advises Members of the outcome of a review of the role and responsibilities of the Dumfries and Galloway Child Protection Committee. Attached is a revised constitution, completed following consultations with current members and their organisations. This is a holding position, pending further consideration by the Chief Executive of the interface between this Committee and the Child Protection Committee and the role and membership of the Childrens Services Executive Group.

    The background to these changes is the findings of the national review of child protection in Scotland. The report of this review, Its everyones job to make sure Im alright, was published in November 2002. Attached is a copy of a report to the Social Services Committee, the Childrens Sub-committee and the NHS Joint Board, summarising this.

    An update on the actions being taken to implement the recommendations of the national review is provided and a copy of the Child Protection Committees Action Plan is attached for reference.

    PROGRESS REPORT

    The Chief Executive and Convener of the Council met with officers of the Council to be briefed on the national review and to discuss how the recommendations are to be taken forward. In addition, they attended a summit organised by the Executive in February 2003. At this the First Minister and the Minister for Education and Young People, presented a 3-year programme of sustained activity intended to transform child protection in Scotland. Since then there has been ongoing dialogue between the Chief Executive and the Chair of the Child Protection Committee about progress.

    The Dumfries and Galloway Child Protection Committee, has drawn up an Action Plan to implement those recommendations in the report specifically targeted at local agencies (Appendix 3).

    Dumfiies E s a l o wa , y

    C O U N C I L

  • 3 Report Childrens Services Sub-committee 3 June 2003

    2.3 An inter-agency conference organised by the Child Protection Committee for managers of local statutory agencies and bodies, was held in Dumfries on 17th March 2003. The Chief Executive introduced this conference and the Head of the Child Protection Review Team, from the Scottish Executive, presented the findings of the national review. The conference was well attended and very positive feedback has been received from attendees. A programme of briefing sessions for front line staff will be delivered in -June 2003 and, thereafter, a series of local interagency meetings, involving public, voluntary and independent sector representation, will be delivered.

    3. RECOMMENDATION

    Members are asked to note and comment upon:

    The initial revision of the role, responsibilities and membership of the Dumfries and Galloway Child Protection Committee;

    The earlier report to the Social Services Committee, containing a summary of the findings and recommendations of the national review of child protection in Scotland;

    The progress that is being made in responding to the review report and;

    The Action Plan, constructed to implement the recommendations of the national review .

    3.1

    3.2

    3.3

    3.4

    Mr Peter David Service Manager-Performance & Quality Childrens Services Grierson House Crichton Dumfries

    Stuart H Beck Group Manager - Childrens Services Education & Community Services Woodban k 30 Edinburgh Road DUMFRIES DGI 1NW

    Tel: 01 387 260946 Tel : 01 387 260404 Fax : 01 387 260453

    Date of Report: 20th May 2003 E-mail - stuartb8dumgal.gov.uk

    File Ref: S H B/KP/Re po rt/CSSC/C h i Id Protection Comm -May03

    Backaround Paners:

  • Appendix 1 2

    Dumfries and Galloway Child Protection Committee

    Role and Responsibilities

    The Dumfries and Galloway Child Protection Committee is the interagency forum that brings together all the main agencies and professionals responsible for preventing and protecting children from abuse and neglect.

    It will agree how different services and professional groups will cooperate to safeguard children, making sure that arrangements are effective and bring about good outcomes for children.

    The responsibilities of the Child Protection Committee are:

    To develop and communicate local policies, procedures and protocols for interagency work to protect children. We will achieve effective working relationships between different services and professionals, based on trust and mutual understanding, and clear agreements over thresholds and processes for intervention and treatment.

    To identify interagency training and development needs and ensure that training is delivered. We will build a skilled and confident group of professionals who understand the shared responsibility for protecting children and who are individually competent and capable of working together.

    0 To audit and evaluate how well local services work together to protect chi Id ren. We will establish standards, objectives, targets and performance indicators that allow us to monitor, continually improve and publicly report on our progress. We will include service users and other stakeholders in this. In addition, we will undertake case reviews where a child has died or been seriously harmed, to make sure any lessons learned are understood and acted upon.

    To contribute to the development of services for children and families. We will protect individual children from harm and, indirectly, protect all children by contributing to improving local services by engaging with the wider debate on improving the overall well being of children. Specifically, we will focus on developing preventative approaches to help vulnerable families and children at an early stage.

    To raise awareness within the wider community of the need to safeguard children and promote their welfare We will explain our role and responsibilities to the community and involve them in providing safer communities for children.

    1

    PAD - Role, Responsibilities and Membership of CPC

  • 2 Appendix 1

    Scope of Responsibilities

    The responsibilities of the Child Protection Committee extend to:

    0 Children abused and neglected within families, including those harmed through domestic violence and substance misuse;

    0 Children abused outside of families by adults known to them;

    Children abused and neglected by professional carers, within an institutional setting, or by foster carers, or anywhere else where children are cared for away from home;

    0 Children abused by strangers;

    0 Children abused by other young people;

    Young perpetrators of abuse;

    0 Children involved in prostitution; and

    0 Children who misuse drugs and alcohol.

    Activities of the Child Protection Committee will include:

    Raising awareness within the community, including faith and minority ethnic communities, among statutory, voluntary and independent agencies, about how everybody can contribute to safeguarding children and promoting their welfare:

    Working together across agencies to identify and act upon concerns about a childs safety and welfare;

    Working together across agencies to help those children who have suffered, or who are at continuing risk of significant harm in order to safeguard such children and promote their welfare; and

    Advising and informing the overall development of services for children and families.

    Accountability

    The Dumfries and Galloway Child Protection Committee is a co-ordinating body accountable to the main organisations that constitute it. As it is accountable to its constituent agencies, their agreement is required for all work that has implications for policy, planning and the allocation of resources. Programmes of work will be agreed and endorsed at a senior level within each of the main agencies and a report on progress of the previous year will be set out in an annual business plan.

    The Child Protection Committee will report regularly to the Childrens Committee to keep the Council and Health appraised of issues and progress. It will also maintain close working links with the Childrens Services Executive Group.

    2

    PAD - Role, Responsibilities and Membership of CPC

  • Appendix 1 2 Child Protection Committee and Childrens Services Planning

    Dumfries and Galloway Council, through Childrens Services, has lead responsibility for the effective working of the Child Protection Committee. All the main constituent agencies are responsible for contributing fully and effectively to its work.

    The Child Protection Committee works within a wider planning environment. The Council has published a Childrens Services Plan bringing together all aspects of services for children. This plan looks widely at the needs of children and the way local services work together to meet those needs. It includes specific priorities and proposals for improving childrens services and details of who will take what action and how outcomes will be monitored.

    The Dumfries and Galloway Childrens Services Executive Group monitors the progress of this plan and develops further proposals. Through this body, and in partnership with other agencies, Dumfries and Galloway Council as a whole considers how all services can be improved to promote the overall welfare of children. The intended outcome is a plan to which all local services are signed up and committed to putting into effect. Within this wider childrens services planning framework, different services work together in different forums to plan coordinated action in areas relevant to children and to child protection activities.

    The Child Protection Committee will contribute to and work within this framework.

    Membership

    To meet its responsibilities the Child Protection Committee should have members from each of the main agencies responsible for working together to safeguard children. The roles, seniority and expertise of members should enable them to contribute to developing and maintaining strong inter-agency child protection procedures and protocols, and ensure that child protection services are properly resourced.

    Core membership will include:

    0

    0

    Education and Social Services Health services - covering both managerial and professional expertise and responsibilities Police Criminal Justice Services Reporter to the Childrens Panel Procurator Fiscal Care Standards Commission Domestic Violence Forum representation Drug and Alcohol Action Team representation The Child Protection Committees Senior Advisor - as a non-voting member

    If Child Protection Committees are to work well, those appointed to serve on them should be officials with relevant specialist knowledge and experience in their respective fields and they should be able to commit their agency to implementing the recommendations and decisions of the Committee. Service on the Child Protection Committee and on sub-groups is a specific responsibility that should be recognised in the members job description and workload.

    3

    PAD - Role, Responsibilities and Membership of CPC

  • 2 Appendix 1 In addition to its core membership, arrangements are needed to include others with a relevant interest and expertise, for example:

    Adult mental health services Child and adolescent mental health services Educational psychologists Childrens Panel members Independent education and care establishments - Housing, Cultural and Leisure services representatives Sheriffs Council Legal Services Safeg uarders Service User representatives Representatives of foster carers Voluntary and Independent agencies providing help to parents and children Youth Offending Teams I Sexual Health services

    Eight standing sub-groups will support the Dumfries and Galloway Child Protection Committee in its work:

    A Health sub-group

    A Training sub-group

    Four District sub-groups: Nithsdale, Annandale and Eskdale, Stewartry and Wig t own

    A Practise, Policy, Procedures and Performance sub-group

    It will be necessary for the Committee to appoint short-life groups, from time to time, to provide specialist advice (e.g. working with specific ethnic or cultural groups, or with disabled children and their carers).

    These groups will work under the auspices of the Child Protection Committee to agreed terms of reference within the framework of an Annual Business Plan, with explicit lines of reporting, communication and accountability. A member of the full Child Protection Committee will chair these. Appropriate support to these groups will be provided.

    Ways of Working

    Somebody of sufficient standing and expertise to command the respect of all member agencies will chair the Committee. This person should have a grasp of local operational issues. The Chair may come from any member agency, or may be independent of member agencies.

    As a multi-agency forum, expenditure on administration, policy support and training will be shared between constituent agencies and reflect the investment each agency has in activities which are of benefit to all.

    In addition to running expenses, member agencies will contribute to an annual CPC development budget that can be used collectively by the CPC to commission direct pieces of work and/or consultancy in line with the agreed annual business plan or to cover unexpected need.

    4

    PAD - Role, Responsibilities and Membership of CPC

  • 2 Appendix 1 Procedures and Protocols

    The Child Protection Committee will, as a minimum, have in place procedures and protocols including:

    How referrals and associated inquiries and investigations should be conducted and criteria for convening Child Protection Conferences;

    Quick and straightforward means of resolving professional differences of view in a specific case;

    Attendance at Child Protection Conferences, the role of advocates as well as including criteria for excluding parents in exceptional circumstances;

    A decision-making process for registration; and

    Handling complaints from families about the functioning of child protection conferences,

    Annual Report

    The Child Protection Committee will produce an Annual Business Plan, setting out a work programme for the forthcoming year, including measurable objectives, relevant management information on child protection activity in the previous year, and progress against objectives the previous year. The plans should both contribute to and derive from the framework of the Childrens Services Plan and should be endorsed by senior managers in each of the constituent agencies.

    February 2003

    5

    PAD - Role, Responsibilities and Membership of CPC

  • Appendix 2 2 Dumfiies 45gallo,yn)?

    1 C O U N C I L

    REPORT OF THE CHILD PROTECTION AUDlT AND REVIEW ITS EVERYONES JOB TO MAKE SURE IM ALRIGHT

    1 INTRODUCTION

    1.1

    1.2

    1.3

    Following Dr Hammonds report into the circumstances surrounding the death of Kennedy McFarlane the Scottish Executive ordered a national review of child protection - the widest inquiry ever undertaken in Scotland. Commissioned in March 2001, a team drawn from education, health, social work, police and childrens hearings audited current systems and practices, undertook widespread consultation, examined approaches used in other countries and reviewed the research literature.

    Published in November 2002, the report of the review, Its everyonesjob to make sure Im alright, makes 17 recommendations for change to childrens services and to the child protection system. The Executive Summary is attached as Appendix 1 to this report.

    This report introduces the main findings and messages of the review and advises members of the steps being taken to implement the recommendations.

    2 THE FINDINGS

    2.1 The report notes real progress has been achieved in Scotland over the last 20 years to protect and promote the welfare of children. Improvements to practice mean many children are protected from harm or neglect, with their welfare improving because of the support and assistance given by agencies. It recognises that many well-motivated, committed professionals, working in difficult and stressful circumstances, are capably managing high levels of risk. It expresses confidence in existing legislative frameworks and working structures but identifies a number of persistent and serious problems that need to be tackled.

    2.2 In summary, the main findings are:

    - Children in Scotland experience serious hurt and harm and live in intolerable conditions, experiencing serious physical abuse and sexual assault; some suffering chronic neglect for years. Children and families do not get the help they need when they need it. Behind most abuse and neglect is poor parenting. Serious personal and social problems experienced by adults, such as poverty, drug and alcohol misuse, domestic violence and mental health difficulties, cause harm to children. The effects of abuse and neglect are considerable and long-term, including children getting into trouble, running away from home, becoming pregnant, self harming and attempting suicide.

    - -

    -

    Report Social Services Report

  • 2 2

    Many children suffering significant maltreatment are well known to agencies, with histories of repeat referrals and involvement. Some children who need help are never referred. The public, parents and children have little confidence in the child protection system. Good outcomes for children depend on the performance of social work. Successful practice is due to the approaches, determination and work of professionals and help from extended family members. Good practice is not necessarily more expensive. Poor management is a feature of cases where childrens needs are not met, with poor assessments, incomplete investigations and a lack of thoroughness in inquiries. Criminal prosecutions to protect children are not always successful and the justice system can have a damaging effect on children. Children are left unprotected and have unmet needs in urban and rural areas and in areas of deprivation and relative affluence.

    2.3 The review highlights barriers to good practice, including:

    Services for children are unresponsive, difficult to access and do not work well for children and adults. Agencies do not always focus on meeting need but are preoccupied with boundaries between themselves and with categorising referrals. The views of children and their parents are not fully considered and other family members feel excluded and unsupported. The public has little understanding or trust in the child protection system and has difficulty making referrals. Joint working between agencies is not always effective. There are misunderstandings over roles, responsibilities and referral processes. There is a perception across agencies that it is social works responsibility to protect children. There is a focus on single incidents, on establishing if a case is child protection or not and if an offence has been committed. The narrow emphasis on evidence gathering deflects attention from assessing the needs of children and parents. Negotiating the interface between children in need, child protection and compulsory care is cumbersome and causes delay and confusion. There is a shortage of child care social workers in local authorities, attributed to the hostile climate within which they work, growing bureaucracy and a lack of opportunities to work with children and families. Practice lacks management oversight and there is an absence of monitoring and accountability. Supervision is variable with a focus on inputs and processes, not results. There is an absence of audits of practice, assessments of quality and effectiveness. Agencies do not always work well together at the most senior levels. Child Protection Committees do not exercise a quality assurance role or ensure that interagency policies and procedures are consistent.

    Report Social Services Report

  • 3 2 3 THE PATHS TO CHANGE

    3.1

    3.2

    3.3

    3.4

    In summary, the review found that every day practice in the child protection system is hindering effective action and frustrating good outcomes for children. Currently, most resources focus on children with acute needs. Help is not offered early enough because time and energy is absorbed in meeting system needs, and professionals are using the child protection and hearing systems inappropriately. This increases the pressure on an over-stretched system and is counter- productive. The hostile climate facing staff, with the resulting burden of regulation, procedure and guidance, further compromise effectiveness.

    The audit found that good individual practice occurred when there is timely responses, early thought and preparation, with the sources of risk properly assessed and addressed. A skilled social worker always assessed the child and familys needs and actively worked with the parents and others to change the circumstances for the child. Resources and the involvement of other professionals in the work plan, whilst high, were no higher than in poorly managed cases. In successful cases all practitioners spent time communicating with other agencies but this was not unduly time consuming. It was noticeable that social workers spent time consulting with other professionals and their line managers and in thinking and planning. Better practice was noted with newborn babies when planning started before birth and was multi-agency.

    From the audit and wider research, the review identified the features of an effective child protection service network. These:

    - incorporate preventative strategies; - - - - - - - act quickly and reliably; - -

    be part of wider provision of family and child support; build on community and family strengths; be trusted by children and young people to act in their best interests; be easy to access and simple to understand; offer help as and when it is needed; treat children and parents with respect;

    continuously improve its inter-agency work and assessment processes; and match resources to childrens needs.

    Based on these findings, the recommendations of the report aim to shift the child care system towards prevention and integrating child protection activities with support services for vulnerable children and families. Services need to be more responsive, offering earlier help and be easier to access. The investigative approach, based on incidents and evidence gathering, needs to shift to a more child-centered and needs led approach. It needs to respond in more holistic ways, listen to children and work with families and the public. Improved assessments tools are required to identify the help parents and children need and to identify the small minority of parents who will notlcannot change and those who willfully harm children. Support and training for staff needs to improve too, with oversight and control put in place at all levels without increasing bureaucracy or cost. Protecting children will no longer be separated from supporting vulnerable families, will be a responsibility of all agencies and will be an integral part of their responses to childrens needs.

    Report Social Services Report

  • 2 4

    3.5 The First Minister for Scotland has accepted the reports recommendations in full.

    Immediate action: - All agencies are to review their procedures and processes to ensure

    practitioners have prompt and full access to information on children and parents . All agencies, through their Child Protection Committee, are to provide clear and simple public advice and information to improve understanding and access to services.

    -

    Action over the next 3 years: -

    -

    Local authority Chief Executives are to lead a review of the structure, membership and scope of Child Protection Committees. Local Authority Childrens Services Plans are to be aligned with national priorities and focus on outcomes, having childrens rights and not a service perspective. Local authority Chief Executives are to lead the development of over-arching interagency strategies. Introduce interagency needs assessments of all newborn babies where a parent misuses drugs or alcohol, or there is a history of neglect, abuse or unexplained deaths in infancy. Standards of care are to be set with services provided to help achieve these and progress is to be monitored. Routine referrals to the Reporter are to end. Referring agencies are to indicate what has been attempted to achieve change through consent and why compulsory measures of supervision may now be necessary.

    -

    -

    -

    Action by the Scottish Executive over the next 3 years: -

    -

    -

    Setting national standards for protecting and helping children and creating a system of auditing and public reporting. Revision and strengthening of Child Protection Committees, including public reporting on performance. Introducing child fatality reviews, developing and disseminating knowledge about abuse and neglect and commissioning a long-term study on the effectiveness of current approaches to abuse and neglect. Advising agencies on ways to pool resources and the joint commissioning of services. Undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the child protection system and cost a Itern at ive opt ions. Review the grounds for referral to the childrens Hearings system to more closely align these with the definitions of children in need. Developing computer-based information systems across agencies, with a common assessment, planning and review report framework for use at all case conferences and childrens hearings. Establish standards of professional knowledge and competence for work with children and their families. Set up an implementation team to take forward the recommendations of the review. Undertake a follow-up national review of child protection in three years to assess progress.

    -

    -

    -

    -

    -

    -

    -

    Report Social Services Report

  • 5 2 3.6 Following the publication of the Hammond Report in February 2001 , the Dumfries and

    Galloway Child Protection Committee has overseen a programme of change. Within Social Services progress has been achieved in the following areas:

    - Training: All social workers and managers have received multi-agency training in Child Protection procedures, risk assessment and decision-making. Additionally, staff undertook training on legal responsibilities and on a new framework for comprehensive assessments of need that is about to be piloted in the Region.

    - Management and Support: Children's Social Services was reviewed and management strengthened. A Head of Service position was created to provide professional leadership and expertise and to hold direct accountability for the service. An additional Operations Manager was appointed to enhance the supervision and support of Team Managers' decision-making. Two new Senior Social Workers were appointed to provide advice and practice guidance to front-line social workers undertaking assessments of needhsk. A new post of Service Manager, Quality and Performance, was created to develop auditing systems to enhance the quality of work, the scrutiny of decision- making and to improve and monitor compliance with procedures. Within Nithsdale/Annandale and Eskdale a Referral and Assessment Team has been created to develop specific skills in the assessment of need and risk. It is planned to implement this model across the Region. This will necessitate the appointment of three more Senior Social Workers. The Paediatric Social Worker duties were reassigned to local Area Teams.

    - Relationships and Communication: Detailed protocols on information sharing are being developed between agencies to underpin existing interagency guidance. Staff will be trained in the use of these protocols. Inter-agency child protection training is increasing understanding between the staff of the Child Protection Committee agencies. A need to rewrite the interagency child protection procedures has been identified.

    These changes offer a sounder foundation for enhancing professional confidence and competence, providing improved support and direction to front-line practitioners and ensuring a better understanding of procedures. The new Group Manager for Children's Services, within the restructured Council, is committed to reviewing these arrangements to preserve these features.

    In addition to the above, a number of CPC initiatives have started. Most notably:

    - Review of the Dumfries and Galloway Child Protection Committee A consultation on the structure, membership and scope of the Dumfries and Galloway CPC is underway. An initial draft paper was issued to key statutory organisations for comment in September 2002 (including the Council, Health, Police, Procurator Fiscal and Reporter to the Children's' Panel) and was discussed by the Child Protection Committee on 17 December 2002. This will now need to be reconsidered in the light of the findings of the national review. The Chief Executive, in recognition of his responsibilities in this area, has instructed the Director for Social Services to provide detailed proposals for the review of the CPC (Le. timescale, remit and review team) to ensure that elected member and professional involvement is secured and that effective links are made with the full Council's management and decision-making structures.

    Report Social Services Report

  • 2 6 The Chief Executive is also actively involved through the Chief Executives professional organization, SOLACE, and the Association of Directors of Social Work, ADSW, to develop a common way forward throughout Scotland in responding to the findings and recommendations of the national review.

    4 MANAGING AND FINANCING THE CHANGE

    4.1 The report found evidence of pressure on resources and advised that the deficiencies and gaps in resources for vulnerable, abused and neglected children are: a matter of great public concern. It noted recruitment and retention problems across all professions and agencies in childrens services. The report also found inefficiency in resource use. Serving the system is becoming an end in itself, is ineffective and results in duplication and wasted effort.

    4.2 No extra resources have been promised for core local authority services to implement the recommendations. Services are to be reshaped by monies already available through: Sure Start, Social Inclusion Partnerships, New Community Schools, the Modernising Government Fund and the, Changing Childrens Services Fund.

    4.3 The Scottish Executive has announced an extension and increase to Changing Childrens Services Fund to promote and continue the change programme. This fund is intended to support local authorities, health services and the voluntary sector to reshape services to achieve more effective and integrated service delivery methods. COSLA estimates that Councils currently invest over f 1 10 million more per year on core childrens services than is funded by the Scottish Executive. They see the increase to the Childrens Services Fund as helpful but as failing to address the urgent need to invest more in the core services needed for successful joint working.

    4.4 The Changing Childrens Services Fund was launched in November 2000 and was to run until 2004.

    Original monies amounted to f81.5 million over 3 years: - -

    -

    2001-2002 - f4 million (for drugs strand only) 2002-2003 - f33 million (f6 million for services to children affected by their own or parental drugs misuse) 2003-2004 - f49.5 million (f8 million for drugs programme)

    The fund has now been increased and is to run for a further 2 years: - 2004-2005 - f60.5 million - 2005-2006 - f65.5 million

    5 RECOMMENDATION

    5.1 The national review of child protection in Scotland was a direct result of the independent report by Dr Hammond into the death of Kennedy McFarland in Dumfries and Galloway. This places a special responsibility on this Council to respond promptly to its recommendations. The findings do enhance our understanding of the system problems behind the individual errors that led to the collective failure of key agencies to protect her. The comprehensive changes recommended in this review amount to a call for a step change in childrens services and to child protection services. They are in tune with the findings of the recent Scottish Executive report For Scotlands Children JJ.

    Report Social Services Report

  • 7

    5.2 The Dumfries and Galloway Child Protection Committee discussed the review report in December 2002 and an action plan to implement the recommendations is now being drawn-up. The Childrens Services Executive Group, who oversees the Childrens Services Plan and Changing Childrens Services Fund applications, will play a central role in this. The Director of Social Services, who chairs the Child Protection Committee, has written to the Scottish Executive seeking clarification about funding for the changes.

    5.3 Members are asked to note:

    - This summary of the findings and recommendations of the national review of child protection in Scotland

    - A report on the progress achieved in implementing the Hammond Report recommendations will be presented to the next Social Services Committee and to the Childrens sub-committee

    - An action plan on implementing the recommendations of the national review is being prepared and progress on this will be reported to next Social Services Committee and to the Childrens Services sub-committee

    Community Planning Links - Inclusion Safety & Health

    Life Long Learning

    Financial Implications - Immediate Long Term

    Staffing - Immediate Long Term

    Consultation - Service Users Finance

    Personnel Chief Executive

    Secretariat Other Council Departments

    Key Partners

    Peter David Keith Makin Service Manager - Performance & Quality Grierson House, The Crichton

    Director for Social Services Grierson House, The Crichton, Bankend Road, Dumfries, DGI 4ZH

    APPENDIX /-

    Appendix I

    Ref: C-CR-NatCPCRvw-Jan03 Date: 30 December 2002 Committee Date: 14 January 2003

    ~~

    Report Social Services Report

  • Appendix 3

    General

    All agencies to ensure all staff are familiar with the findings of this review and the areas for change.

    Opportunities to be provided for staff to consider individually and collectively how practice can be improved.

    Recommendation 1

    Review procedures and processes to ensure that practitioners have access to the right information at the right time.

    Local Action Plan

    Immediate Action

    Round of workshops for all practitioners, staff groups, managers, elected members and health board members

    Briefings for local groups, voluntary, independent and public

    Detailed review of procedures and processes and put in place measures to ensure that practitioners have access to the right information at the right time.

    All agencies CPC

    All agencies

    C

    Immediate

    Immediate

    K. Makin (on behalf of CPC)

    S. Beck

    Conference held 17/03/03

    Team briefings organised June 2003

    Further briefings in July/August

    Consultant rewriting interagency procedures

    CPC development day in May to review progress

    I

  • Where children present to medical practitioners with an injury or complaint, practitioners must consider what further information is available from their own or other agencies, before they rule out the possibility of continued risk.

    Where children present to any hospital, there should be in place mechanisms for checking other health records to ensure a pattern of injuries is not being missed.

    Where there have been concerns about possible abuse or neglect, files should contain a succinct, readily accessible chronology of events or concerns, which can be easily, referred to should a further incident or concern arise.

    The chronology should contain information relation to the child and where known information relating to other people in the childs life.

    Courts should ensure bail address suitability checks are undertaken in cases where the alleged offence is against children, or in the case of domestic abuse, where children may

    Health

    Health

    Health Police

    Education Social Work

    P.F. Police C.J.

    Immediate

    Immediate

    Immediate

    Immediate

    Health sub-group (J. Milligan)

    Health sub-group (J. Milligan)

    P. David -for E&CS

    Leads for other agencies to be

    identified

    K. Thompson

    Initial discussion at sub-group.

    CPC development day in May to review progress

    Initial discussion at sub-group

    CPC development day in May to review progress

    CPC development day in May to review progress

    Draft chronology being developed and consulted upon

    Protocol circulated to CPC

    2

  • Appendix 3

    Recommendation 2

    Provide for service users and referrers, information about how to access help for children about whom they are worried.

    be at risk.

    Caldicott Guardians should ensure that health professionals are aware of their responsibilities towards the care and protection of children.

    In particular they should ensure that where children are at risk of abuse and neglect information is shared promptly with other relevant professionals in line with the GMC and the Scottish Executive guidance on when medical confidentiality can be breached.

    Provide a single page contact information for telephone directories, public telephones and the web, which identifies local contact points in health services, local authorities, police services, SCRA and the voluntary sector

    Include information about how and when children and young people will be consulted, what will happen after a referral is made and what, and how, feedback to people who refer concerns will be provided.

    Health

    CPC

    CPC

    July

    Immediate

    Immediate

    Health sub-group (J. Milligan)

    S.Beck

    S. Beck

    Caldicott Guardian - D. Cox member of CPC.

    Professional confidence Group to be convened, then meeting of partner agencies.

    CPC development day in May to review progress

    As (1) above

    CPC development day in May to review progress

    As (1) above

    CPC development day in May to review progress

    3

  • Appendix 3

    N

    Recommendation 5

    Review the Child Protection Committee

    Recommendation 9

    Develop Childrens Services Plans

    Local Action Plan

    Action Over the Next 3 Years

    Review the structure, membership and scope of the Child Protection Committee and report to the Council and partner agencies on whether it is best constituted to take on the responsibilities for assuring the quality of agency and inter-agency services and the recommendations about their role contained in this report.

    Develop a Childrens Services Plan that includes plans for the implementation of national priorities and demonstrates the application of resources to the outcome targets set out in Building a Better Scotland.

    Chief Executive

    ACPC

    Chief Executive

    CPC All Agencies

    CSEG

    Initial changes in 3/6 months

    Continual review in line SE changes

    September 2003

    Ongoing

    Chair of CPC and Chief Exec

    CSEG

    Jim Kane

    Proposals from CPC prepared

    Discussed with CE

    Meeting of senior managers to progress

    Revised C.S. Plan to be consulted upon

    4

  • Appendix 3 ~ ~ ~~

    Recommendation 10

    Develop Local Authorities plans for integrated childrens services based on positive childhood initiatives.

    Recommendation 12

    -

    Develop a new approach to tackling the risks and the needs of the most vulnerable

    Local Authorities plans for integrated childrens services should develop positive childhood initiatives.

    These should be lead by childrens rights rather than a public service perspective and should promote every childs rights to life, health, decency and development.

    Undertake assessments of the needs of all babies born to parents who misuse drugs or alcohol, parents who have a history of neglecting or abusing children and parents where there have been concerns about previous unexplained deaths in infancy.

    Put in place inter-agency assessment and action plan in respect of each child that clearly state:

    The standards of child care and developmental milestones the child is expected to experience or achieve. The resources to be provided for the child or to assist the parents in their parenting role; and The monitoring that will be put into place along with contingency plans should the childs needs fail to be met.

    9

    Social Work Health

    Education CPC

    CSEG CE

    Health Social Work

    Health Social Work

    September 2003

    12 months

    CSEG CE

    Defer - pending advice from national group.

    PAD to convene cross agency working group needed to take forward.

    CSEG submitted updated CSDF bid

    Membership of group still to be agreed.

    Arrangements in place for social work involved in pre-natal and post- natal meetings with health

    6

  • Recommendation 13

    End the practice of routine referrals to the Reporter.

    Recommendation 15 Develop linked computer based information systems for children in need

    Agencies referring to the Reporter should indicate what action they or their agency has undertaken to achieve change through consent and why compulsory measures of supervision may now be necessary.

    Develop linked computer based information systems to include a single integrated assessment, planning and review report framework for children in need.

    For those in need of protection the framework should include reason for concern, needs of the child, plans to meet them and protect them when necessary, and progress since any previous meetings.

    Common core assessment, planning and review framework should be accessible to all partner agencies, multi-agency case conferences and the childrens hearing.

    Arrangements should be made for appropriate access to information by agencies in other areas should children or their families move.

    Health Police

    Education Social Work

    CPC Social Work Education

    Health Police CSEG

    3 Years

    Defer pending advice from national group

    CSEG E&CS

    Appendix 3

    Awaiting guidance

    Assessment Framework agreed in principle by CSEG, CPC

    Social work members of MGF2 consortium

    Briefing on Glasgow framework to be organised for CPC

    8

  • Appendix 3

    Scottish Executive

    Recommendation 3

    Establish standards of practice and an auditing framework

    Recommendation 4

    Revise remit of CPCs.

    Action over next 3 Years

    Draw up standards of practice that reflect childrens rights to be protected and to receive appropriate help.

    All local authorities, health boards, police services and SCRA to undertake regular audits of practice against these standards and report on them annually to the Scottish Executive and to local Child Protection Committees.

    Revise the remit of the Child Protection Committees to include: - Annual auditing and reporting, to

    constituent agencies and to the Scottish Executive, on the quality of agency and inter-agency work. The provision of information to members of the public, volunteers and other professionals. Assisting a wider range of organisations to help prevent abuse and neglect through training for staff and volunteers. The develoDment of safe recruitment

    -

    -

    -

    Scottish Executive

    Scottish Executive

    9

  • Recommendation 6

    Introduce child fatality reviews.

    Recommendation 7

    Develop and disseminate knowledge about abuse and neglect.

    Recommendation 8

    Study effectiveness of practice.

    practices for agencies working with young people.

    Child fatality reviews to be introduced in Scotland. Consultation on: - how they should be conducted; - how review teams should be constitul - to whom they would report; and - what legislative framework is requirec

    ensure their effectiveness.

    Strengthen the current arrangements for the development and dissemination of knowledge about abuse and neglect.

    In particular it identify: - the most effective arrangements for

    recording and collating examples of effective practice; the delivery of staff training across all disciplines or agencies; the best means of disseminating research findings and best practice; i the links between research and knowledge and staff education and training and how this can be consolidated.

    -

    -

    -

    Initiate a long-term study of the effectiven of current methods of responding to abusl and neglect. The study should follow chilc

    10

    Scottish Executive

    Scottish Executive

    Scott ish Executive

    Appendix 3

  • Recommendation 11

    Revise/improve current approaches.

    Recommendation 14

    Review grounds of referral to Hearing system.

    Recommendation 16

    Introduce qualification, knowledge and competency standards

    from infancy to adulthood.

    Provide advice on how agency resources can be pooled and what systems may best be deployed to ensure the most effective joint commissioning of services on behalf of children.

    Commission a study of the costs and benefits of the current child protection system in Scotland and identify costed alternative options for improving outcomes for children.

    Review the grounds for referral to the Childrens Hearings system. Specifically, explore the feasibility of grounds being framed to reflect more clearly the needs of the child and to be more closely aligned with definitions of need outlined in the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

    Establish minimum standards of professional knowledge and competence required of practitioners who undertake investigations, assessments and clinical diagnosis when working with children and their families. In particular establish the minimum necessarv aualifications and exDerience

    Scottish Executive

    Scottish Executive

    Scottish Executive

    Appendix 3

    11

  • Recommendation 17

    National implementation team, annual revi of progress and national review in 3 years time.

    required of those making decisions that fundamentally affect the future well being of children.

    National implementation team to take forward the recommendations in the review, in particular the development of standards and local auditing processes.

    Establish a review process for annual reporting on progress and improvements.

    Implement a further national review of child protection in three years time to be undertaken by a multi-disciplinary inspection team using this present report as a baseline against which progress can be assessed.

    Scottish Executive

    Appendix 3

    12