Agenda Item No. 6
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES): 24TH JUNE 2014
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 7TH APRIL 2014
C2280 CORPORATE SAFEGUARDING (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) –
Members were updated on the work that had been undertaken to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and young people, the effectiveness of the Safer Recruitment Policy and recent changes to the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS).
In 2011, the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) and Estyn published a report following their joint investigation into the handling and management of allegations of professional abuse and the arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children in education services in Pembrokeshire County Council. Concerns were raised about the quality of corporate working to safeguard and protect children by the local authority.
Following that report, a Corporate Safeguarding Working Group was established in the authority to learn lessons from the Pembrokeshire report and to ensure that arrangements for protecting children and young people in the Vale were robust. The group produced an action plan to improve safeguarding across the council and was attached at Appendix A to the report.
The Corporate Safeguarding Group continued to monitor the safeguarding arrangements within the local authority, including recruitment within the council and schools. The Monitoring of the Safer Recruitment Policy in respect of new and existing employees was undertaken by Transact and Human Resources on a scheduled basis and by Internal Audit as part of their ongoing audit programme.
Members recalled that the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 resulted in a number of significant changes to the Disclosure and Barring Service.
· The Update Service had been implemented, which enabled an individual to pay an annual subscription to the DBS so that the prospective employer could undertake an on line check to identify if there had been any changes to the person's disclosure certificate since the date of issue. Where no changes had been identified, the existing disclosure could be accepted for determination. However, if a change was identified or where the DBS check was at a lower level than the check required in the new position, a new DBS application would need to be undertaken.
· From September 2013, the DBS disclosure certificate was now issued to the applicant only.
· There was now a filtering process which excluded lesser criminal convictions from the DBS disclosure certificate.
The Corporate Safeguarding Group had considered the latest changes to the DBS arrangements in detail and these had been incorporated within revised draft policy and supporting guidance. The DBS policy and guidance would be referred to the Cabinet for approval following ongoing consultation with relevant stakeholders.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the work that had been undertaken to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and young people and changes to the administration of the Disclosure & Barring Service be noted.
(2) T H A T Cabinet continue to receive six-monthly reports on work to improve corporate safeguarding arrangements and the effectiveness of relevant policies.
(3) T H A T the report and supporting attachments be referred to the Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources),( Lifelong Learning) and (Social Care & Health) for information.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To ensure that the Council and its schools adopt good practice in their arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and young people, including procedures for carrying out safeguarding checks on workers, volunteers, agency staff and contractors with unsupervised access to children and vulnerable people.
(2) To allow Cabinet to exercise effective oversight of this key area of corporate working.
(3) To respond to the request of the Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources),( Lifelong Learning) and the (Social Care & Health) to be provided with update reports.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 7th Aril, 2014