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Welcome - Annie Hudson

As incoming Chair of the independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, I wanted to introduce this newsletter to reflect on my first few months in post. Since taking up the position in December 2020, I have been impressed by the breadth of work undertaken by the Panel and by the quality of its insights.  I hope that you and your colleagues have also found this useful to you in the vital and very demanding work that you are doing.
As we move into the new financial year, I want to build on this work to ensure that the learning from Rapid Reviews and Local Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews is shared across the safeguarding ‘system’ in a timely manner and has evidenced impact on practice. The past year of living in a pandemic has demonstrated the vital importance of agencies being agile and flexible in how they support vulnerable children. This involves using all the resources and intelligence we have to assess and respond to changing risk, making the best decisions that we can in the interests of children.  
The Panel is looking enhancing and extending how we engage with safeguarding partners and other stakeholders; we hope that regular quarterly briefings will help foster two way dialogue. We welcome your ideas about how to enhance how we all learn from what is happening in practice across the country. 
In this edition of the newsletter, we have provided updates on our ongoing work as well as looking forward to our priorities for FY21/22. I hope you find this useful for your local safeguarding practice.
Yours sincerely,

In This Issue

  • COVID-19 Analysis Follow-Up
  • Review into Non-Accidental Injury in Under 1s
  • Annual Report 2020
  • Panel Updates
    • Panel Member Recruitment
    • Working with What Works Centres
  • Stakeholder News
  • Have Your Say
COVID-19 Analysis Follow-Up

Our last newsletter contained a thematic analysis of Rapid Reviews relating to serious child safeguarding incidents reported to the Panel during the period of March and September 2020. This included the period of the first lockdown. The response to this first Practice Briefing was positive and we welcomed over 100 participants to a webinar on 28 January to discuss the findings.

Webinar participants shared and reflected on their experiences of safeguarding children during the pandemic. Below we summarise some of the contributions, based on the four key themes developed in the Practice Briefing.

Impact on parents / carers
  • The widespread impact of parental mental health on children’s lives, including increased drug and alcohol use
  • Reported increases in non-accidental injury to children under 2 years old
  • Increase in number and severity of domestic abuse cases
  • The importance of adults presenting with acute mental health problems being recognised as parents
Exacerbating factors 
  • Loss of usual support networks for children and families, with some children reporting feeling ‘abandoned’ by services
  • Levels of referrals, which are increasing in some areas while other areas are experiencing decreases but higher complexity of issues
  • Increases in eating disorders and teenage pregnancies
School closures
  • The important role schools play in keeping in touch with vulnerable children
  • Challenges of identifying and responding to concerns that are heard or seen in the virtual classroom
  • Impact of lack of routine –particularly for children with additional needs
  • Social isolation, with children increasingly reliant on social media
Adaptations to practice
  • The pros and cons of virtual working, with some concerns that it will be used in future as a cost-saving method and some examples of services being brought closer together due to the pandemic
  • Examples of good practice, such as rapid rollouts of ICON and DadPad, virtual training which have been positively evaluated
  • Sustaining practitioner wellbeing and staff resilience

The Panel greatly appreciated the richness of multi agency contributions at the Webinar. We are now commissioning a further thematic analysis on cases we have seen from October 2020 to end of March 2021. We aim to issue another practice briefing in April.
If you would like to view the recording of the webinar, please click [here].

Non-Accidental Injury in Under 1's 

Work continues on our third National Review about non-accidental injury (NAI) in children under one. A particular feature of the review is its focus on the role of men since they are often the perpetrators of such harm and too often are ‘invisible’ to services.
In November, we brought together a range of stakeholders for a series of virtual roundtables to discuss the emerging findings from the fieldwork. Since then, we have focussed on conducting interviews with men found guilty of such abuse to enrich the review through a deeper understanding of some of the dynamics behind this form of abuse.  We expect to publish this review in July 2021.
Annual Report 2020

Our second annual report, to be published in April, will set out our priorities for 2021-2022, along with analysis of themes from work in 2020.
In preparation for this report, we have commissioned the University of East Anglia and Birmingham University to analyse published LCSPRs and a 25% sample of Rapid Reviews.  Additionally a Panel member, Dr Peter Sidebotham, is providing quantitative analysis on serious incident notifications and rapid reviews.
In addition to our COVID-19 thematic analysis, the Panel is also undertaking work in relation to a number of other practice themes, including elective home education, domestic abuse, and risk assessment and decision making.  We will provide you with further information about this as the work progresses.

Panel Updates
Panel Member Recruitment 

The Department for Education is advertising for new independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel members.

This recruitment is looking for individuals to join the panel (when the current member terms come to an end), as well as increasing the total number of panel members from six to eight.
They are looking for individuals with experience working strategically and on the frontline in child protection from the three safeguarding partners (local authority, police and health), as well as probation, education and other relevant sectors. 
If you are interested in applying, please see the details HERE.
Working with What Works Centres

On 10th February, the Panel met with representatives from all six What Works Centres (WWCs). We discussed ways of working between WWCs and the Panel, as well as sharing their priorities for the rest of the year. We plan to meet twice yearly to discuss our shared priorities as well as maintaining effective sharing of publications and evidence. We also discussed shared understandings of risk assessment and decision making – an area of significant interest for the Panel. 

Stakeholder News
Have Your Say
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Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel · Sanctuary Buildings · Great Smith Street · London, London SW1P 3BT · United Kingdom

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