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Islington Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report 2016/17


Alan Caton, Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Children Board, presented the report which summarised the work of the Safeguarding Children Board in 2016/17.


The following main points were noted in the discussion:


·         The Independent Chair welcomed the positive Ofsted report into the work of the Board. Ofsted had made a number of recommendation which the Independent Chair agreed with.

·         It was emphasised that, although the local authority had a lead role in safeguarding children, safeguarding was everybody’s responsibility.

·         The Independent Chair commented on the difficulty of increased financial constraint at a time of increasing demand for services.

·         The Safeguarding Children Board was continuing to focus on its priorities, which included neglect and building resilience; domestic violence, parental mental health and substance abuse; and child sexual exploitation and holding perpetrators to account.

·         The Independent Chair commented that he had previously been concerned by the lack of a strategic multi-agency response to Prevent, however Councillor Watts had attended a Safeguarding Children Board meeting in May to discuss the matter and the Independent Chair was pleased with the progress made.

·         The Independent Chair commented on the risks associated with private fostering arrangements and highlighted that the local authority was only aware of 12 such instances in Islington. It was suggested that all professionals should be encouraged to report such arrangements.

·         The Independent Chair highlighted the importance of the child’s voice and understanding the lived experience of children. The Safeguarding Children Board had held a meeting in a local school and listened to young people’s concerns about serious youth violence.

·         It was recognised that knife crime was still an ongoing issue in the borough and this was being addressed by the Safer Islington Partnership and the Youth Justice Board.

·         The Safeguarding Children Board had raised concerns about service delays and the number of young people under emergency police protection, which were being reviewed further.

·         The Independent Chair highlighted two serious case reviews carried out during the year and summarised the learning from these cases. It was noted that learning was shared London-wide and nationwide.

·         The Board noted that the Children and Social Work Act 2017 would abolish the Safeguarding Children Board, and mandate local authorities, the Police, and CCGs to design their own local arrangements. It was expected that a transition process would take place in 2018/19. The Corporate Director of Children’s Services commented that there was no appetite to significantly alter local safeguarding arrangements in the borough. It was known that some areas were reconfiguring their local safeguarding arrangements to cover their Sustainability and Transformation Partnership footprint, however this was not thought to be appropriate in North Central London. The Board expressed concern that this change would result in inconsistent safeguarding arrangements across the country.

·         Following a question, it was advised that the Board had not considered the impact of problem gambling on children. It was commented that 3,500 adults in the borough were affected by problem gambling and there was bound to be an impact on young people.

·         The Board queried the funding of the Safeguarding Children Board. In response, it was advised that the Metropolitan Police contributed a relatively small amount of funding compared to Police forces in other areas, and as a result local authorities contributed a disproportionate amount of funding to Safeguarding Boards in London. It was commented that the forthcoming revision to safeguarding governance would present an opportunity to review funding matters.


The Board thanked Alan Caton for his attendance.




i)              That the findings of the Islington Safeguarding Children Board report be noted;

ii)             That the Ofsted Inspection Report be noted.

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