Councillor Susan Southworth will report at the meeting.
Councillor Susan Southworth, Chair of the Children’s Safeguarding Overview Project Group attended the meeting to update the Committee on the work of the project group.
Councillor Southworth thanked Julie Gallagher, Democratic Services for the quick turnaround in producing the report following the last meeting of the Sub Group which had been held on 2 April 2019.
It was explained that the group had been established to review services available to Bury residents to ensure that those services were meeting the needs and requirements of their users and future users.
The group was made up of a number of Councillors who each had their own knowledge in relation to safeguarding from being ex police, teacher or school governors and working first had in children’s services.
During the 2018/2019 Municipal Year the focus of the group included the following:-
· Child Sexual Exploitation – Receive briefing on the work of the team across Greater Manchester with focus on the awareness raising work undertaken and areas of concern within the Borough.
· Ofsted – Overview of the inspection findings as well as plans in place to address the issues raised.
· Healthy Young Minds and SEND update – Karen Whitehead attended the meeting to provide an update on the Healthy Young Minds safeguarding process.
· Performance Monitoring – the group continued to receive quarterly monitoring reports in relation to safeguarding children.
· Troubled Families - Examination of the support and early intervention provided by the team.
· Care Leavers – Sue Harris attended the meeting to provide an update on the work being undertaken to address those children reported as Missing from Home.
It was explained that the group had met on four occasions, interviewed 18 different Council Officers and had visited the Multi Agency hub as part of its ongoing work.
It had been recognised by Ofsted that the expertise and knowledge of the group was one of its strengths but that attendance at every meeting was a basic requirement.
Councillor Southworth explained that Member attendance at the meetings had been an issue and she hoped that for the next municipal year the Membership would be more available to attend the 5.30pm meetings.
Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee were given the opportunity to make comments and ask questions and the following points were raised:-
· Councillor Caserta thanked Councillor Southworth for the excellent job she had done in chairing the meetings of the group.
· Councillor Caserta referred to the Oasis Team and asked Councillor Southworth whether the Sub Group would be revisiting the work of the team in the future.
Councillor Southworth stated that the Oasis Group would be included on the next years’ work programme.
· Councillor James referred to the growing issue of knife crime amongst young people and asked whether the group would be able to have role in this issue.
Councillor Southworth explained that over the past few years’ emphasis had changed in relation to what happened at home and children who were living in and amongst domestic violence and abuse. It had led to the fact that further support and provision was required as these children were more likely to go missing from home and become involved in violence, drugs and CSE.
· Councillor Leach asked if there was any known timescale on when 16 – 18 year olds would transfer back into Healthy Young Minds from Health Minds – Adults.
Councillor Southworth stated that she was aware of this but didn’t have any information on a timeframe. Councillor Southworth reported that unless in crisis, it could not take up to 8 weeks for a young person to be seen by Healthy Young Minds.
Councillor Southworth explained that she had asked that the meetings be included within the Council’s Municipal Diary so that Members had as much notice of the meetings as possible.
It was agreed:
That Councillor Southworth be thanked for the update