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Agenda Item No. 5

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE: 16 FEBRUARY 2017

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 23 JANUARY 2017

 

C3434         CORPORATE SAFEGUARDING UPDATE (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES - HEALTHY LIVING AND SOCIAL CARE, LEARNING AND CULTURE, CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet was updated on the Council’s corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and adults who required specific Council services.

 

The Corporate Safeguarding Working Group was established in this local authority to act on the recommendations from a joint CSSIW and Estyn report in 2011, which followed an investigation in to the way Pembrokeshire County Council was managing allegations of professional abuse and its arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children in education.  The group's work focused on ensuring effective corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and adults across the council. 

 

The Council's Safer Recruitment Policy for the Council and Schools had been in place since April 2013 and was adopted across all directorates and schools.  As a consequence, there had been sustained and ongoing improvements across the Council were in place.

 

Appendix 1 attached to the report provided an update on safeguarding within the Vale of Glamorgan Council that outlined the wide range of work undertaken collectively by the Council and within each Directorate.  It was designed to help ensure greater transparency and accountability as well as a more holistic picture.

 

The Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 came in to effect in April 2016 and brought about significant changes.  For example, it provided a new duty on relevant partners to report to a local authority if it was suspected that an adult was an adult at risk. 

 

The Act also imposed a duty on a local authority to report to another local authority if an adult suspected of being an adult at risk was living in or moving to another area.  Revisions to the corporate safeguarding policy were being made to ensure that staff were informed about requirements set out in the new statutory framework. 

 

Welsh Government was issuing a compendium of the statutory guidance under the common heading 'Working Together to Safeguard People'.  Some volumes of guidance had been published: Volume I (Introduction and Overview), Volume 2, (Child Practice Reviews), Volume 3 – (Adult Practice Reviews) and Volume 4 (Adult Protection and Support Orders).  Volumes 5/6 (Handling Individual Cases) would replace guidance which was outdated (Working Together to Safeguard Children and In Safe Hands).  This volume would be subject to a formal consultation in January and February.

 

In presenting this report, the Leader commented that this was an important issue for all Members who had corporate responsibility for Safeguarding, and were Corporate Parents and Guardians to those that required the Council’s support.

 

After this item had been presented, the Director of Social Services and the Head of Achievement for All commented that since the Corporate Safeguarding Working Group was established in 2011, much work had been done in this area and progress continued to be made. For example, the new Staff ID badges and lanyards would be updated to display employees who had been checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service.

 

In conclusion, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education commented that the Council took Safeguarding very seriously, and it was very important to ensure staff and school governors were trained in safeguarding procedures.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the work that has been undertaken to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and adults be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet continue to receive six-monthly reports on this area of work and the effectiveness of relevant policies.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committees (Healthy Living and Social Care, Learning and Culture, and Corporate Performance and Resources) for consideration.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To note the recent developments in corporate arrangements for safeguarding.

 

(2)       To allow Cabinet to exercise effective oversight of this key area of corporate working.

 

(3)       To respond to requests that each Scrutiny Committee was provided with update reports.

 

 

Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 23 JANUARY 2017