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Update on progress following the Child Safeguarding Practice Review for Jacob

Date: Friday, 17th Dec 2021 | Category: General

Following the publication of the safeguarding review for Jacob, we undertook to keep you informed about progress. We are pleased to provide our latest update below building on the initial communication on the 5th of October.

Workstream activity since January

Education

As you will know, from Jacob and other learning and reviews, there is clear evidence about the critical role of education in safeguarding our children and young people. In particular, we know that our children and young people are at a higher risk of exploitation when out-of-school or not on a school roll.

With this in mind, we thought it would be helpful to share a few points on how the education system is working locally to safeguard children and young peopled to mitigate these risks:

  • There is a clear system in place to identify and track those not on a school roll, with robust monitoring of actions to address and resolve the issue
  • Young people, aged 16+, with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) are made known to the Employment, Education and Training Team to ensure that an offer of employment, education or training is made and monitored
  • The Children Missing Education (CME) Panel meets formally 3x per annum, with weekly officer meetings to identify, track and take appropriate action
  • There is a planned handover process in place for the children we care for, with a particular focus on those occasions where children might move into or out of the Local Authority area.

Child Exploitation

We know that working with child exploitation is challenging for everyone involved, not least for the parents/carers and families of those children and young people affected. With this in mind, we are planning a practitioner learning event on the 27th of January that will include a focus on ‘working well with families’.

The event will hear testimonials from parents whose children have experienced exploitation, and who wanted to share their thoughts, experiences and the impact child exploitation has had on their families with practitioners.

This event can now be booked via the OSCB Training system.

Working Together

There are emerging examples of good practice that show how working together across agencies has improved the situation for children at risk of exploitation. We have developed a simple Case Study Template to gather further examples of good practice and share the learning and knowledge gained. We are inviting all practitioners to use the form to highlight examples of partnership work undertaken with children and young people at risk of or involved in any form of exploitation, to where you have made a difference.

By sharing these stories and experiences we can begin to see how the system in Oxfordshire is working to effectively safeguard our children and young people where there is a risk, or experience of, exploitation.

Completed forms should be sent to: OSCB@Oxfordshire.gov.uk

Looking ahead

Safeguarding Adolescents

Senior multi-agency representatives have taken part in two workshops, to develop a shared vision and approach for our work to safeguard adolescents from exploitation and ensure that they feel safe in their communities. The group has now begun to consider what could help equip multi-agency practitioners, managers, and strategic leaders across the partnership to work in this way, and importantly, how we might capture progress and the impact of what we do. We will begin to share this work more widely across the system in the New Year – so do watch out for the next update.

We plan to provide another update in February. In the meantime, if you or a colleague have any concerns around exploitation of a child or young person, please continue to use the existing screening tool and pathway, see below:

We welcome your feedback and any ideas you might have on how we can, collectively, better protect our children from exploitation. Please contact us at: OSCB@Oxfordshire.gov.uk