17 February 2015
The Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Partnership Board today (17 February 2015) published the Annual Report 2014 together with the priorities and business plan for the coming year.
The report details the progress that the Safeguarding Children Partnership Board and the Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board and their member agencies have made in implementing the priorities outlined in the business plan for 2014. The report marks the end of Mrs Glenys Johnston OBE’s second term as Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Partnership Boards, which were set up in 2012 to improve and co-ordinate safeguarding procedures and policies in Jersey.
Improvement in safeguarding practice
“We have seen significant progress during the year and the commitment of all agencies and professionals has resulted in the continued improvement of safeguarding practice. This progress is set to continue throughout 2015.
“Among the important advances made during 2014 are the active recognition of child sexual exploitation in Jersey, an increase in the huge amount of training in child and adult safeguarding for professionals and the voluntary and community sectors and the review and improvement of multi-agency safeguarding procedures,” said Mrs Johnston.
Serious case reviews
During 2014 the SPB commissioned a number of serious case reviews (SCR). In the case of each SCR undertaken this year, the learning from the reviews is now being implemented. SCRs are demanding pieces of work and are dependent on the openness and reflection of practitioners, all of whom have made a considerable contribution to identifying what worked well and what could have been better., the findings of which are either already informing changes and improvements in practice or are contained in recommendations for the coming year.
“The role of the Safeguarding Boards is to have oversight of safeguarding arrangements in Jersey not to deliver services. During 2014, a number of single or inter-agency arrangements have either been established by agencies represented on the safeguarding boards or have become increasingly useful safeguarding tools for them,” said Mrs Johnston.
The arrangements put in place by partner agencies include:
- a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) which provides specialist expertise in examining and assessing risks to adults and children who allege sexual abuse.
- a multi-agency review of early help services which aims to co-ordinate services that can provide support at an early stage and prevent more serious concerns about children’s safeguarding developing.
- the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) which provides a single point of contact for all safeguarding children concerns.
Designated doctor for child protection
Mrs Johnston said that as well as outlining the improvements which have been made, the report also indicated the challenges which would need to be addressed over the coming year, including:
- the need to continue improvement of the collection of performance information that enables safeguarding to be monitored and evaluated.
- the requirement for a Designated Doctor for Child Protection to provide expert advice and consultation.
- effective Children’s Social Work Services (the lead agency for child protection) that demonstrate consistently good practice.
- the need to address the lack of sufficient arrangements for vulnerable adults who are thus placed in police stations or the prison. Similarly, a lack of appropriate arrangements for vulnerable young people, specifically teenagers undergoing mental health crises.
- the need to address levels of alcohol and substance misuse which contribute so much harm to children, adults and families.
- the impact of the resource cuts that apply to the SPB, and to all States of Jersey departments.
“Effective safeguarding is not solely the remit of the SPB, it is dependent on the commitment of the professionals who work with some of the Island’s most vulnerable children and adults – and on the wider community. Safeguarding truly is ‘everybody’s business’,” said Mrs Johnston.
Safeguarding Partnership Board Annual Report