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Keeping children safe is everyone's responsibility
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A note from Ian Ansell, TSCB Independent Chair
I am very grateful for the warm welcome I have received following my appointment as the Independent Chair on 1 March 2016, and extend my thanks to David Taylor for all his hard work and the contribution made to safeguarding children in Torbay. I have been impressed by the passion and commitment shown by all the staff I have spoken to and look forward to working closely with you all as we tackle the challenges ahead. To make progress it is essential that the Board provides scrutiny and challenge to the vital work of keeping children safe and that we can evidence the way in which we influence the delivery of services by practitioners to demonstrate the impact made. Meeting the needs of children, parents and carers is often complex and demanding, requiring skilled and knowledgeable staff, who all too often do not get the public recognition that they deserve. A key element of our relentless search for improvement must also be to recognise, celebrate and share good practice within Torbay and from elsewhere. 

I am delighted that Karen Elliott has joined the team as the TSCB manager covering for Alex Stuckey whilst she is away on maternity leave (congratulations to Alex on the recent birth of her daughter). In terms of immediate work for the TSCB, we have consulted upon and agreed an improvement plan, in response to the recommendations specifically relating to the work of the Board from the Ofsted Inspection Report. This plan will form an integral part to a wider Business Plan for 2016/17 and will set out the objectives and outcomes we will aim for over the next twelve months. In my early conversations with members of the TSCB, the number of meetings has been consistently raised and I will be preparing proposals to streamline the meeting arrangements, whilst protecting the governance and scrutiny remit of the Board. Partnership activity in relation to safeguarding cannot be reliant upon a meeting structure and I am keen that we have a clear and focussed approach that frees time to be used productively.

Please get in touch if there are any matters relating to children’s safeguarding that you would like to raise or discuss.

Embedding neglect in practice:

Practitioner feedback needed!
The TSCB is working to further embed the neglect agenda within practice across all agencies, in addition to developing and launching a multi-agency strategy. To help inform this work, we would like to gain a deeper insight into the effectiveness of the Graded Care Profile since its launch in March 2013.

Please can you disseminate this bulletin to all the staff in your organisation, and encourage those who have used the Graded Care Profile in practice to answer some very simple questions via this link… Closing date is 29th April
National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day
18th March 2016
The second National Child Sexual Exploitation awareness day took place on Friday 18th March 2016 with Partner agencies united to try and reduce Child Sexual  Exploitation related incidents in Torbay. 

Representatives from Police, Children’s Services, Health, Checkpoint, Council, Schools and YMCA worked together to ensure that key messages were delivered throughout the Bay.

In support of National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness day, manned stands were set up in town centres of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. Members of staff from the above agencies engaged with over 600 members of the public offering advice and raising awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation.

Awareness was also raised through social media throughout the day and leaflets, posters and stickers were distributed to schools, shops, cafes, churches and community and sports groups throughout the bay throughout the week leading up to the day.

Feedback from the public regarding the day was very positive, with some comments being:

•    “It’s nice to see this”
•    “I was abused as a child, thank you for speaking up, I couldn’t”
•     “This is really good, raising awareness. It’s not like it was in my day”
•    “I never realised this was going on, hopefully we can make a difference”
•     “It’s good to raise awareness. What a good idea!”
•     “This is the most brilliant thing I’ve seen in a long time. Thank you”.
•    Guidance was given to multiple elderly members of the public who wanted advice around internet use

Helping Hands

As part of the National Working Group campaign, people are encouraged to write pledges onto their own hand or paper hands. Over the course of the day 115 hand pledges were completed in Torbay, some of the pledges were:

•    It’s an awful thing it needs to stop
•    We need to look after our little ones
•    There are too many vulnerable people
•    I will look out for my loved 
•    I will pass on information to other parents, knowledge is power
•    My little sister is 14. She set up a fake facebook account saying she is 16. I’m going to tell her to stop now
•    I want to be heard and kept safe
•    I will look for signs and offer support where I can
•    If I thought a child was being abused I’d pick up my phone to report it
•    Keep our ears and eyes open
•    Observe. Not be afraid to get involved

DI Gaynor Bell from Torbay Public Protection Unit said "I feel privileged to be the Torbay MACSE chair and wanted to thank everyone who gave up their time today to help raise awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation. I am aware that a number of those involved have cancelled their annual leave or changed their rest days to assist with this initiative. The momentum and support for this agenda over 2015-2016 shows that agencies are committed to working together to tackle Child Sexual Exploitation in Torbay."
The Autism Alert Card
 
 
What is the Autism Alert Card?

The Autism Alert Card is a small credit card sized plastic card that may be carried by an autistic individual to identify that they are on the autistic spectrum.

Individuals on the autistic spectrum are not readily identifiable although there may be some common behavioural or visual clues. There is no one size fits all for individuals on the spectrum and so the alert card is a visual way to provide this information.

The aim of showing the card is to defuse the potentially difficult situation and allow the autistic individual to feel safe and secure so they may become less agitated and anxious and the situation dealt with in the best way for all involved.

Read more ....
The Child's Journey Threshold Document
 
In case you missed it ... The Child's Journey threshold document was updated in October 2015. The updated document is available on the website here ...
TSCB Training 2016/17

Dates for the Safeguarding Children Foundation and Safeguarding Children Refresher courses have been released and are available to book via i-learn.

Please see our website for further details or contact us at TSCBtraining@torbay.gov.uk 
What does digital Grandparenting look like?  

Grandparents have wisdom they can bring to the technical expertise of children. The Vodaphone website has a useful checklist to guide grandparents in supporting parents and schools in keeping children safe and helping them to enjoy their use of technology.

http://www.vodafone.com/content/parents/advice/digital_grandparenting.html
Announcements:
Congratulations ... to Alex Stuckey, TSCB Practice Manager and her husband Jeff on the birth of their daughter, Edith Lailah on 18th March 2016.
Welcome to ... Ian Ansell, TSCB Independent Chair and to Karen Elliott, Interim TSCB Practice Manager.

Also, welcome back to ... Clare Farquhar, TSCB Coordinator, who has returned from maternity leave.
Please do get in touch with us if you have any items that you would like included in future issues of this newsletter by emailing us at TSCB@torbay.gov.uk 
Copyright © 2016 Torbay Safeguarding Children Board, All rights reserved.


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