- Key issues and gaps
- Who is at risk and why
- The level of need in the population
- Current services in relation to need
- Service users and carers opinion
- Expert opinion and evidence base
- Projected service use in 3-5 years and 5-10 years
- Unmet needs and service gaps
- Recommendations for consideration by commissioners
- Recommendations for further needs assessments
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Safeguarding children continues to be a high priority in Haringey. Abuse of children can have both short and long term effects on the health of children and their consequent life outcomes. Abuse of children can result in depression, learning problems in school, emotional and behavioural disorders. The long term consequences can have severe adverse impact on children’s development, psychosocial functioning and life chances through into adulthood.
Effective professional, community and voluntary sector partnerships providing good and excellent services that work closely with families are key to supporting children and young people vulnerable to abuse and harm including those in care or on the edge of the public care system.
In January 2011 a two week announced OFSTED inspection of safeguarding and services for looked after children judged the overall effectiveness of both services in Haringey as adequate with ‘good capacity’ for improvement. This represents significant and sustained improvement in safeguarding in the borough since 2009.
In October 2011 a two day unannounced OFSTED inspection of contact, referral and assessment arrangements within Haringey Council children’s services noted the strength of the co-location of staff from the police public protection department, health and education welfare within the First Response Multi-Agency Team and that Haringey effectively commissions services to address the needs of the community that it serves and judged the overall effectiveness of both services in Haringey as adequate with good capacity for improvement. This represents significant and sustained improvement in safeguarding in the borough since 2009.
In February 2012 Haringey launched a full Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub service (MASH) the first of its kind in the UK. Haringey’s MASH brings together the full range of statutory agencies into an integrated team where they can share intelligence on vulnerable children, families and adults. The MASH builds on the existing First Response Multi-Agency Team (FRMAT) which has been operating since May 2010. It co-locates police, health colleagues and social workers, together with support from education and housing. The service has been enhanced through additional police intelligence, and the co-location of other agencies such as adult safeguarding, probation and mental health.
Details on unintentional injuries in children and young people, young carers, children and young people’s mental health, children in care, disability in children and young people and substance misuse in children and young people are discussed in other sections.
Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) has identified a number of priority change and development areas which will be set out in the 2012 – 13 LSCB Business plan.
“Rightly, Haringey LSCB is maintaining a close strategic focus on key child protection processes and outcomes for children and young people whose focuses make them most vulnerable... in the light of the continuing importance of child protection work and the increasing volume and complexity of cases coming to the attention of the partnership, this approach is entirely appropriate”.
- Haringey Inspection of Safeguarding & Looked After Children 2011; Ofsted & Care Quality Commission
In 2010/11 the Board agreed to prioritise a series of objectives within its area of strategic focus, mainly as a result of local learning from serious case reviews but also to ensure compliance with statutory guidance around LSCB functioning. The priorities remain essentially the same in 2011/12 but the objectives have been slightly reframed to reflect desired outcomes more directly:
- Children, young people and their families influence the work of the LSCB – Engagement
- Strong governance and accountability arrangements are in place between the LSCB and other Partnership Boards so that everyone is clear about roles and responsibilities in relation to safeguarding children – Partnership and accountability
- Our practice is underpinned by a common strategic approach to the management of risk at every threshold of intervention - shared thresholds
- A co-ordinated strategic approach to address domestic violence is ensuring that fewer children and young people have to deal with its impact – reducing the impact of harm
- A coordinated approach to practice with young people missing – from care, home and/or school – is helping to keep those young people safer – engaging with young people
- All our partner agencies have integrated safe recruitment processes and allegations of improper professional practice are investigated effectively – a safer workforce
- The LSCB can demonstrate that it makes effective use of the learning that results from serious and other case reviews – a learning partnership
Over 2012/13 we will develop a forward plan for the sub-groups based on these and any additional priorities agreed by the Board.
Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) joined the London pilot of the Local Government Improvement & Development Quality Assurance Framework in February 2011 and through its Quality Assurance and Domestic Violence sub-groups is developing an outcomes-based framework to measure the effectiveness of work around domestic violence. There is a need for a stronger and more integrated response to issues of teenage partner domestic violence. There is a strong evidential link between abuse of women by a male partner and abuse of children. Reporting of incidents of domestic violence in Haringey remains high (see JSNA for Domestic Violence)
Recently we have begun work to understand the scope and scale of sexual abuse and exploitation of children, including in gang and group settings. Significantly we have less than 2% of children subject to Child Protection (CP) plans are for reasons of sexual abuse. This work is being undertaken alongside the 2 year national inquiry into the sexual exploitation of children in gang and group settings being undertaken by the Office for the Children’s Commissioner (external link).
The numbers of children with disabilities subject to a child protection plan is lower than we might expect – only 6 out of 280, this a feature common across comparator authorities and we have convened a working group as part of the Local Children Safeguarding Board to undertake further work to understand this.
There is a need for a strengthened multi-disciplinary approach to meet the needs of very young babies and parents where there are significant concerns regarding safety. This work is being progressed through the development of a new multi-agency pre-birth assessment protocol and a strengthened approach to community based assessment of parenting. Alongside this is the work to ensure that a range of parenting support programmes, good and excellent quality pre-school childcare are available and targeted towards those parents who might have additional vulnerabilities.
Arrival of families from mainland Europe and beyond, some of whom have complex needs and additional vulnerabilities continues to bring challenge to the work of safeguarding and protecting children. Most recently we have seen significant numbers of eastern European Roma families, Polish families and families arriving seeking asylum.
We are only just beginning to understand the impact of criminal gang culture on the lives of children and families in Haringey. The impact of this on the safety and well-being of children can be immense both for victims and perpetrators and a clearer and more determined multi-agency response will be needed if we are to overcome the threat of prevalence of criminal gangs in our community. Haringey has a strong Gangs Action Group (Bronze), which is chaired by the Deputy Borough Commander, meets every six weeks. This group was established on 2009 to deliver a multi-agency response to gangs, adding value to the enforcement tactics used by the police.
The Gang Action Group aims to prevent and minimise violence between gangs by; sharing information about individual gang members and coordinating intervention plans for individual gang members. Interventions include enforcement (ASBOs, Gang Injunctions, fraud investigation etc), support (1:2:1 support from the Youth Offending Service and Youth Community & Participation key workers) and diversion (through the YCP Service and community based projects).
The group also identifies young people at risk, including young women and girls. With funding from Communities Against Gangs, Guns and Knives, the borough also runs a weapons awareness programme for Year 10 pupils, where a paramedic, a police officer and the mother of a victim of knife crime deliver an interactive presentation illustrating the consequences of carrying knives. This programme also includes a follow-up real time, online discussion forum. The Youth Offending Service and Red Cross also work in partnership to deliver a weapons programme for young people convicted of weapons offences, at risk of such offences and some primary school students.
We are currently developing a 4 borough partnership bid for funding for Independent Young People’s Sexual Violence Advisors who will provide support to young victims of sexual violence.
In 2011/12 in Haringey there were 290 children who were subject to a child protection plan. In the same time period, 8.7% of children became the subject of Child Protection Plan for a second or subsequent time.
Demand for Safeguarding and child protection services in Haringey remains high. Numbers of children in need of protection through formal protection plans remains high in comparison to our statistical neighbours; the largest group of children in need of formal plans are aged less than 5 years of age (as seen in figure 1). Significant numbers of those children have parents who are experiencing mental ill health, drug and alcohol misuse, domestic violence issues.
Figure 1: Percentage of Children who are subject to a Children Protection Plan
Figure 2: Percentage of Children who are subject to a Children Protection Plan by Ethnicity
- Haringey has the 8th highest proportion of children living in poverty in the UK with 22,600 (39.2%) in poverty. The highest rates of children eligible for free school meals are in White Hart Lane (897), Northumberland Park (863) and Tottenham Hale (840).
- As seen in figure 4, 28% of children who are on the child protection plan are due to neglect, 18% due to emotional abuse and 48% due to multiple reasons.
Figure 3: Children subject to a CP Plan by category 31 March 2011
Haringey council and Haringey PCT and partner organisations commission and/or support a variety of services; Here are some examples of services working within a safeguarding context:
- Universal services: Midwifery; Health Visiting; Children’s Centres; GPs; Dentists; Accident and Emergency Department, schools, homework and after school clubs
- Targeted services, Community Paediatric Service (Child Protection Medicals); Specialist police teams; Specialist Sexual Assault medical service; social work service, Tavistock-Haringey service; Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services; Family Nurse Partnership; Family Support Workers, the 2 year old Nursery places pilot, Ezer Leyeldos (provides support to vulnerable children and families from the Orthodox Jewish community , Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (all ages) First Response Multi-Agency team, Family Intervention Project, Family Group Conferences, Parent Infant Psychological Service, Open Door; Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, (diversionary activities for young people aged 7-16), Barnardo’s sexual exploitation advocacy service, Barnardo’s Miss U Service,
Young Parents Team at Whittington Hospital; Teenage midwifery at North Middlesex., Gangs Action Group, Safer Choices programme.
As part of the child protection conference pilot evaluation a variety of methods including questionnaires and semi structured interviews are being used to gain the views of families. The feedback will be analysed and used to shape and inform service delivery. In particular providing a conference process based on families’ needs, as articulated by them (the report is due in May 2012).
In addition to the pilot evaluation the safeguarding and support team is undertaking an evaluation of the effectiveness of a range of tools used to do direct work and consultation with children. This will report to the Best Practice sub-group of the LSCB in due course.
Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) programme is a research evidenced work stream see Department of Health website (external link).
The value of early help and intervention for vulnerable families is evidenced in:
- The Munro review of Child protection: Final report – a child-centred system (external link)
- The Marmot Review: Fair Society Health Lives (external link)
- Frank Field’s report: The Foundation Years: Preventing Poor Children Becoming Poor Adults (external link)
- Graham Allen’s report: Early Intervention: The Next Steps (external link)
Work to understand levels of need and service use projection is currently underway.
Work is currently underway to understand and analyse unmet need and service gap and to develop commissioning priorities from this analysis.
Services should be commissioned in 3 areas:
1) Health Promotion/ill-health prevention
- Decrease the numbers of late pregnancy booking – need to work to with known and emerging communities for whom early antenatal care is not the norm.
- Development of a multi-agency pre-birth assessment protocol.
- Increase the number of whole time equivalent HVs – increased establishment has already been agreed but unable to recruit to posts. There is a limited pool of HVs and those available may prefer to work in areas with more focus on health promotion than child protection. A recruitment strategy is being developed.
- Consider need for more Wraparound childcare – breakfast and homework clubs.
2) Early intervention
- CAMHS – behavioural issues for children; family therapy, supporting parenting.
- Speech and Language Therapy.
3) Early effective response
- Gangs: work needs to continue in partnership between the LA, Health, Youth Service and the Police in increasing identification of young people at risk of Gang Involvement and reducing risk of harm, early response to families with children on the edge of care or custody.
- Support for families with children with disabilities.
Ascertain if there are sufficient places available for evidence based parenting programmes, are we able to deliver parenting programmes across sections of our communities.
Ascertain if there are sufficient places available for therapeutic intervention by the Parent Infant Psychological service (PIPS).
Assessment of Foster Carers needs regarding support in caring for challenging children and young people – consider training on importance of attachment and behaviour management to increase placement stability and improved outcomes for children and young people.
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