Report of the Head of Service, Children’s Frot Door and Early Intervention
The Head of Service, Children’s Front Door and Early Intervention submitted a report (previously circulated) to provide an update on operational changes, improvements and developments in relation to the Missing and Exploited Service.
The submitted reported outlined the changes to the service since the remodeling of the Children’s Front Door in March 2020 to ensure that the right service is provided swiftly to children and their families. The remodeling at the Front Door also transformed the Children’s Access Point (CAP) into the Children’s Initial Advice Team (CIAT) and is now at the forefront of an ever growing Front Door Service.
It was reported that one area in particular had seen much improvement and change being children who go missing and who are at risk of exploitation and in October 2020 the Missing and Exploitation Team was formed and is a multi-agency group that sits within the Front Door Service.
The submitted report also outlined a further review that had taken place at the end of 2020 which focused on the impact of operational processes and how they supported improvement of practice; outlined the operational processes currently in place including the Child Exploitation Vulnerability Tracker Meeting and the Children Exploitation Operational Group; and outlined how the revised processes will aim to support those children and young people at the most significant risk of harm and how involvement from Children’s Services and internal and external partners can bring about a positive impact on children and their families.
Members questioned if training was being offered to the Bus Network; and how the Service intended to measure its success going forward.
The Assistant Chief Constable, Tonya Antonis attended the meeting and advised Members of her many years’ experience in safeguarding and that she was encouraged by the work of the team linking missing and exploited and the various multi-agency meetings that were taking place to address a national issue.
She advised Members that the British Transport Police undertake training to spot signs and signals of those at risk; advocated the Crimestoppers Charity as a valuable source of intelligence for the police and that the use of this charity be encouraged as it was anonymous; and also highlighted the St Giles Trust Charity and the services specifically aimed at children experiencing adverse circumstances.
John Armitage, the Primary Schools Forum representative advised Members of the various forums held within schools and confirmed that access to the Front Door was more accessible and more schools were receiving advice and also confirmed that schools were part of the training roll out; and Tony Murphy, the Assistant Director of Education and Inclusion referred to the Vulnerable Pupil Panel as a key tool for more specific discussions on vulnerable children who may be experiencing social, emotional and mental health difficulties within mainstream school settings.
RESOLVED – That the report be noted.