Agenda Item No. 4
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
LEARNING AND CULTURE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE: 22 JANUARY 2018
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 18 DECEMBER 2017
C176 CORPORATE SAFEGUARDING MID TERM REPORT - APRIL - SEPTEMBER (2017/18) (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES - SOCIAL CARE & HEALTH, LEARNING & CULTURE, AND CORPORATE PERFORMANCE & RESOURCES) –
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 these arrangements were effective.
The Corporate Safeguarding Working Group was established in the Vale of Glamorgan as a result of the 2011 CSSIW and Estyn joint report following their investigation into the way Pembrokeshire County Council managed allegations of professional abuse and its arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children in education. The Group had been working through an action plan to improve safeguarding across the Council. This year it had developed and implemented the Corporate Safeguarding Policy and members had been offered training on this important policy.
Cabinet agreed a Safer Recruitment Policy for the Council and Schools in January 2013 and the Policy had been in place since April 2013. It had been adopted by all Vale of Glamorgan schools and throughout the Council. Attached at Appendix 1 to the report was an outline of the sustained improvements for safer recruitment policies across the Council, including education, which clearly demonstrated that practice continued to improve.
In the past, safeguarding activity by different parts of the Council had been reported separately to Cabinet, relevant Scrutiny Committees and Corporate Management Team. Attached at Appendix 1 to the report was a Mid Term Report for 2017/18 that brought together safeguarding activity undertaken by the Resources and Safeguarding, Learning and Skills, and Social Services Directorates. This provided a more holistic representation of safeguarding activity across the Council.
The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 ("the Act") was implemented in April 2016. This had brought about changes in particular relating to the introduction of a 'duty to report' which meant a revision of the Corporate Safeguarding Policy to bring staff's attention to this duty. The Director of Social Services had to ensure effective safeguarding arrangements were in place, and had to oversee and report to Members on a consistent basis in relation to the operation, monitoring and improvement of child and adult safeguarding systems within this local authority.
The report noted the new 'Working Together to Safeguard People Statutory Guidance: Volume 1-4 issued under Part 7 of the new Act had been published. Guidance on handling individual cases (volumes 5 and 6) to protect children and adults at risk was launched for public consultation by Welsh Government on 31 January, 2017. The consultation closed on 25 April, 2017 and a summary of responses was published in August 2017. This guidance was anticipated to be published before the end of 2017.
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 Social Care and Health, Learning and Culture, and Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committees for consideration.
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 be provided with update reports.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 18 DECEMBER 2017