To consider the report of the Director of Children and Families presenting the Annual Report of the Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership for 2021/22.
The Director of Children and Families submitted a report introducing the Annual Report of the Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP). The report provided details of the range of activity which had been undertaken by the LSCP over a 24-month period between 2021-2023 in relation to the Partnership’s priorities, leadership, progress and its impact. The report also provided details of the learning from reviews undertaken during this period.
The Board welcomed to the meeting Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, Independent Chair of the LSCP; together with representatives of the LSCP Executive Group: Chief Superintendent Steve Dodds, West Yorkshire Police; Gill Marchant, Designated Nurse, Safeguarding Children, NHS Leeds; and Julie Longworth, Director for Children and Families, Leeds City Council.
By way of introduction, the Executive Member highlighted several key points including the strength of the partnership and the key role played by all partners including the third sector; the ongoing learning processes in place and the complex and challenging circumstances being experienced nationally which formed the backdrop to which all safeguarding work was being undertaken.
Throughout the discussion Board Members and partners extended their thanks to Jasvinder Sanghera, given that she was coming to the end of her term of office as LSCP Independent Chair. Members highlighted the dedication that she has shown throughout her time in the role and welcomed the challenge that she brought as Independent Chair.
Chief Superintendent Dodds, as a member of the LSCP Executive Group, provided a summary of the key issues highlighted within the annual report together with the identified priorities moving forward. This was followed by Jasvinder Sanghera providing a precis of the annual report from her perspective as Independent Scrutineer.
Responding to questions from Members and associated discussion arising from the report, the Board was provided with further detail on the following:-
· how the dissemination and embedding of learning from reviews was being implemented in practice;
· clarification was provided that the intention was for the partnership to continue to have an ‘independent scrutineer’ in place which would follow on from the role of the Independent Chair of the LSCP, with it being noted that the recruitment process for the new ‘scrutineer’ was underway;
· an update regarding the role and ongoing work of the LSCP sub groups;
· the process, associated consultation and timeframe for the review of the partnership’s priorities moving forward;
· the current position regarding children being educated at home in Leeds, and the work being undertaken in this area;
· the ongoing relationship between the LSCP and the Council’s Scrutiny Board;
· the levels of demand and challenging circumstances that continued to be experienced in the delivery of safeguarding services, and the need to ensure that such matters continued to be raised with Government.
In conclusion, Members welcomed the detailed discussion which had taken place and thanked all of the partner organisations for the ongoing role that they played in relation to the provision of safeguarding of children and young people across the city.
(a) That the contents of the submitted report, the contents of the Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership’s Annual Report for 2021/23, as appended, together with the comments made during the discussion, be noted;
(b) That the journey of significant improvements to the safeguarding system within Leeds, as detailed within the submitted report, be noted;
(c) That the areas for further improvements and/or assurance, as detailed within the submitted report, be noted.