Agenda Item No. 6
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
LEARNING AND CULTURE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE: 18 JULY 2016
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 20 JUNE 2016
C3218 CORPORATE SAFEGUARDING UPDATE (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES – ALL) -
Cabinet was updated on the work that had been undertaken to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and adults who required specific Council services to ensure that the arrangements were effective.
In 2011, CSSIW and Estyn published a joint report following their investigation into the way Pembrokeshire County Council was managing allegations of professional abuse and its arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children in education services. Significant concerns were expressed in the report about the quality of corporate working to safeguard and protect children by the Local Authority.
Following that report, a Corporate Safeguarding Group chaired by the Director of Social Services was established in the Vale of Glamorgan to ensure that robust arrangements for protecting children, young people and adults were in place.
The group worked to an action plan that addressed findings from experience, inspection and audit. Cabinet received regular reports from the group, agreed by the Corporate Management Team, so that it could exercise effective oversight of safeguarding activity across the Council. The reports were referred to the relevant Scrutiny Committees.
As part of its action plan, the group had implemented a Safer Recruitment Policy for the Council and Schools. The policy had now been adopted and robustly applied by all Vale schools and throughout all Council departments.
Attached at Appendix 1 to the report was a Corporate Safeguarding Update for June 2016 that brought together safeguarding activity undertaken by the Resources, Learning and Skills and Social Services Directorates. This provided a comprehensive account of safeguarding activity across the Council, as requested by Cabinet.
At the meeting, the Director of Social Services commented that this was an exceptionally important piece of work for the Authority and Appendix 1 attached to the report covered all departments and would put the Vale of Glamorgan Council at the vanguard of organisations concerning this matter. He also highlighted that a considerable amount of work was being undertaken on this issue, particularly by the Learning and Skills Directorate.
This was a matter for Executive decision
Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein
(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 work carried out to improve corporate safeguarding arrangements and the effectiveness of relevant policies.
(3) T H A T the report be referred to the following Scrutiny Committees for consideration: Corporate Performance & Resources, Homes & Safe Communities, Learning & Culture, and Healthy Living & Social Care.
(4) T H A T thanks be given to Officers for their work on this important issue.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To note 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.
(4) To thank staff for their hard work.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 20 JUNE 2016