Council pleased with re­port into ne­glect

Strengths and weak­nesses high­lighted in ex­ten­sive re­view

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - By Joel Lamy Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

A re­port which as­sesses how Peter­bor­ough tack­les abuse and ne­glect in the city has found a num­ber of strengths, but there are still a lot of im­prove­ments to make.

The re­view jointly car­ried out by Of­sted, the Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion, HMI Con­stab­u­lary and HMI Pro­ba­tion praised the ef­fec­tive­ness of the many or­gan­i­sa­tions in Peter­bor­ough work­ing to­gether, as well as the over­all ef­fec­tive­ness of se­nior lead­er­ship.

How­ever, in­spec­tors noted that older chil­dren are be­ing ne­glected for too long and that more needs to be done at schools to make sure chil­dren have their ne­glect iden­ti­fied.

The re­port, which does not come with an over­all rat­ing, has been wel­comed by se­nior fig­ures at Peter­bor­ough City Council, one of sev­eral au­thor­i­ties to be as­sessed.

Lou Wil­liams, ser­vice director for chil­dren and safe­guard­ing, said: “There are lots of pos­i­tives. What I was pleased about is most of the areas they have iden­ti­fied where we need to im­prove we have al­ready iden­ti­fied. In­spec­tors said they have con­fi­dence in what we are do­ing.

“We do recog­nise we can do bet­ter, but we are quite sim­i­lar to a lot of other areas in the coun­try.”

He added: “It’s re­ally good to see the hard work and ded­i­ca­tion of front­line staff in so­cial work, health ser­vices and schools. They do a tough job in dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances.”

Cllr Sam Smith, cabi­net mem­ber for chil­dren’s ser­vices, said: “There are no sur­prises, which is good news. For Of­sted to come in and say we agree with you is re­as­sur­ing. They said we have strong lead­er­ship which makes me com­fort­able that we have the right peo­ple.”

To make im­prove­ments a multi-agency safe­guard­ing hub (MASH) has been launched, and in­spec­tors also high­lighted the Fam­ily Safe­guard­ing Ser­vice which is be­ing pi­loted in Peter­bor­ough thanks to a suc­cess­ful bid for £2.8 mil­lion from the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion.

The ser­vice brings to­gether into one team staff from a num­ber of agen­cies who work with chil­dren un­der 13 and their fam­i­lies.

The aim is to tackle do­mes­tic abuse, sub­stance mis­use and men­tal health is­sues which place chil­dren at risk of harm and re­duce the num­ber of chil­dren com­ing into care, or need­ing to be sub­ject to child pro­tec­tion plans wher­ever pos­si­ble.

Lou Wil­liams

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