Report of the Director of Children and Adults Services
The Director of Children and Adults Services submitted a report (previously circulated) for Scrutiny Members to comment on the Annual Report of the Darlington Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB) for the period 2018/19.
Ann Baxter, Independent Chair of the Darlington Safeguarding Children Board attended the meeting to outline the Annual Report which was a statutory requirement to produce to account for the Board’s activities and make an assessment of the effectiveness of multi-agency safeguarding arrangements within the local area.
The Annual report for 2018/19 was based on the DSCB’s three strategic priorities to ensure effective arrangements are in place that enable children, young people and their families to access appropriate Early Help support when first identified and this support is well coordinated; to ensure effective arrangements are in place to protect children from neglect, abuse and child sexual abuse; and to ensure partners work together to protect children from harm and ensure the voice of the child is evident in all multi-agency work.
The Independent Chair also the new arrangements following national review on how Local Safeguarding Children Boards operate in future and to include all partners working together to look at new ways of working for both children and adults as one multi-agency partnerships.
Members discussed the national increase in children coming into care and the role of Scrutiny in monitoring performance of the Board and to receive audits and reviews and provide challenge; the increase in home schooling and how this is monitored from a safeguarding perspective; and how the Home Education Service work with the Gypsy Roma Travellers to assist families to place their children in education.
Members noted in particular that the breastfeeding rates at 6-8 weeks after birth for Darlington which was lower than the England average; the rate of emergency hospital admissions for children under 4 in Darlington which was higher than the England average; and the rate of inpatient admissions because of self-harm which was again statistically higher than the England average. Members agreed that these were areas of particular concern and that this Scrutiny should continue to monitor closely.
RESOLVED – That the Darlington Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report for 2018/19 be noted.