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6 Other key Board activity and achievements

The missing from home, care and school group

This multi-agency group has overseen the development of a data set around missing children from home, care and school and the analysis needed. Further work has been done to link missing events with school attendance and at risk of CSE.

This group has not been a sub group of the Board although it has plans to request this role in early 2015-16. The work and progress of the group’s activity has been reported to the Board.

An independent return interview service has been set up to provide all South Gloucestershire children with a return interview following any missing episode.

Board guidance around missing children is due to be completed early 2015-16.

A multi-agency self-assessment has been undertaken to measure South Gloucestershire’s compliance with recommendations from the DfE statutory guidance and the Ofsted thematic in relation to children missing from home, care and school.

Vinney Green Secure Unit review of the use of restraint

Vinney Green Secure Unit reports annually to the South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board regarding the use of restrictive physical intervention (RPI). The Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 state:

  1. “A measure of restraint may only be used on a child accommodated in a children’s home for the purpose of –
  2. Preventing injury to any young person (including the child who is being restrained)
  3. Preventing serious damage to the property of any person (including the child who is being restrained); and
  4. In the case of a child who is the subject of a court order as set out in sub-paragraph (4) of the regulations, or who is accommodated in a secure children’s home, preventing the child from absconding from the home. “

Where restraint is used on a young person the measure of restraint is proportionate to the situation and no more force than is necessary is used. CCTV covers all of the communal areas within Vinney Green Secure Unit and a safeguarding meeting is held monthly to view all restraints for compliance with the regulations. The Head of Service, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and an RPI instructor are present at these meetings.

The number of restricted physical interventions increased minimally from last year’s figure of 223 to 227; this means that 56.6% of all significant incidents resulted in a restrictive physical intervention compared to 54% the previous year. Interestingly the number of RPI involving female young people significantly dropped, whereas the number of incidents involving male young people increased; this was related to the specific young people accommodated during the year and their individual behaviour issues. All staff are trained in diffusion techniques in an attempt to minimise the use of RPI, they also receive annual RPI training from qualified instructors to ensure that when it is necessary the techniques used are approved as child appropriate.

The development of a Challenge Log

Whilst previously various challenges have been made to partner agencies in relation to their safeguarding practice, these challenges have not been systematically logged and tracked. The development of the challenge log during the last year, which is reviewed at every Executive meeting, has provided greater scrutiny and accountability in relation to the business of the Board.

The production of quarterly Safeguarding Board newsletters

The newsletter aims to keep board members, colleagues and partners working in South Gloucestershire communities aware of Board activity. It seeks to provide information and promote awareness of important developments which may support them in their day to day work in safeguarding the wellbeing of children and young people.

A half day Board development morning in relation to CSE

The purpose of this event was to raise awareness amongst all board members of CSE and the potential risks for young people in South Gloucestershire. It also afforded an opportunity to feedback on the local CSE strategy.