The report presented provided an update to the Children's Services Scrutiny Committee on the implementation of the Neglect Strategy and the partnership working.
A refreshed Multi Agency Neglect Strategy was launched by the Lancashire Safeguarding Children's Board in April 2019. Consultation was undertaken in preparation for this review with key partner agencies and children and young people. The strategy set out what neglect was and the current picture in Lancashire. There were workshops taking place regarding the strategy and more work needed to be done. The strategy was ongoing constantly.
Four key priorities evolved through a partnership working group. These were:
1. Strategic commitment across all partner agencies
2. Improved awareness, understanding and recognition
3. Prevent neglect through early help
4. Improved effectiveness of interventions and reduced impact of neglect
Members felt positive that children were being educated in what neglect was and that children's views were being taken into account.
The committee was informed all front line health professionals that met with children and young people and families on a daily basis were fully trained in the Neglect Strategy Toolkit. However, there was a need to measure how many of these toolkits were being undertaken by these front line health professionals.
It was felt by members that the toolkit should be shared with school teachers as they met children and young people on a daily basis. They were informed that all education teachers had been involved in creating the toolkit and that education had been a part of the whole process. Schools were reported to be really receptive of the toolkit.
The committee enquired how Lancashire County Council worked across the borders with other CCGs. It was noted that there was a lot of joint working with other CCGs and the Children's Services Team was adept and confident about working across borders. Members were informed that county lines (complex safeguarding) remains a priority.
In terms of the Family Safeguarding Model, the Children's Services Team was working to make sure that an infrastructure was in place and awaiting for the Department for Education to confirm. The team was hoping to launch the model in October 2020.
A question was raised in relation to home schooling (Elective Home Education) numbers and how the Neglect Strategy feeds in. It was reported that the Education Scrutiny Committee has this on their work programme and will include Neglect Strategy.
It was highlighted that the voice of the child was really important in Lancashire and social workers were working very hard to make sure children and young people were getting the right services at the right time. There were many forums held in Lancashire where children and young people's voice could be heard.
A question was raised in relation to the reduction of members of the Youth Parliament in Youth Council and how this impacts on 'the voice of the child'. Further information was requested to clarify.
i. The progress so far be reviewed.
ii. Further work to be undertaken across all partners to ensure the Neglect Strategy is well embedded and making a difference be noted.
iii. A request be made to Education Scrutiny Committee to include the Neglect Strategy as part of any discussions around Elective Home Education.