Cumbria LSCB Newsletter - September 2016 (Policy & Procedures)

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Welcome to September’s edition of the Cumbria LSCB Newsletter. This month’s newsletter is brought to you by the LSCB Policies & Procedures Sub Group.

The Policies & Procedures Sub Group meet on a bi-monthly basis and are responsible for identifying amendments and additions to the procedures manual and recommending these for approval by the LSCB. Policies and procedures are reviewed in light of any local and national serious case reviews, changes in legislation and statutory guidance and/or national and local learning. The group membership is made up of colleagues from Children’s Services, Health, Police, Education and the Third Sector.


Online Procedures Manual

Procedures

Did you know that the LSCB has an online procedures manual? You can access it here

The manual is devised to provide you with a set of chapters which comply with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015. The content has been written in a succinct style which is intended to be accessible to a wide range of users from all the agencies that are partners in the LSCB and the third sector.

The manual is updated on a twice yearly basis, in February and August.


Policy & Procedures visits to the Practitoner Forums

forums

In May and June 2016 members of the Policy & Procedures Sub Group attended the Practitioner Forums and undertook a workshop based on our Underage Sexual Activity procedure. The group visited the forums to try and raise awareness of the online procedures manual and to also take the opportunity to meet with practitioners to help get a better understanding of any difficulties which may arise in translating policy into everyday practice.

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who attended the forums and took part in the workshops and following feedback received at the forums we have:

  • Made some changes to the wording of the Underage Sexual Activity Procedure
  • Included a ‘top tips’ document on our website which can be found here
  • The single contact form is being updated following feedback from practitioners.

The Policy and Procedures Sub Group will be attending the November Practitioner Forums and this time we will be looking at the Working with Uncooperative Families – Disguised Compliance Procedure. Dates the group will be attending are below and more information on the practitioner forums can be found here.

Carlisle Practitioner Forum, 3 November 2016, Petteril Bank Community Centre, Carlisle, 12-2pm

Eden Practitioner Forum, November 2016, North Eden Children’s Centre, 9.30-11.30am

Copeland Practitioner Forum, 22 November 2016, Howgill Children’s Centre, 10am-12pm

Allerdale Practitioner Forum, 23 November 2016, The Oval Centre, Salterbeck, 10am-12pm

Kendal/South Lakes Practitioner Forum, 16 November 2016, County Hall, Kendal, 2pm-4pm

Barrow Practitioner Forum, 8 November 2016, Vickerstown School, Walney, 9.30-11.30am


What procedures are people viewing?

analytics

The Policy & Procedures Sub Group regularly review the analytics for the online procedures manual to help us understand which procedures are being viewed by practitioners and which are not accessed as frequently. The group use this information to inform our work. Prior to attending the Practitioner Forums the Underage Sexual Activity procedure was one of our least accessed procedures.

Our most viewed procedures

Our least viewed procedures


Procedure Manual August 2016 Update

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A number of policies and procedures in our online manual have been updated. These updates went live on 25 August 2016.

13 policies have been updated, the list includes; Guidance for Safe Recruitment, Selection and Retention for Staff and Volunteers, Bruising in Babies and Children who are Not Independently Mobile, Underage Sexual Activity, Domestic Abuse and Responding to Abuse and Neglect. The LSCB also have a new policy on Whistleblowing.

Did you know you can register for alerts for when our procedures, policies and guidance are updated? Register Now.   


Escalation Policy

LSCB

The LSCB is the umbrella organisation that promotes the multi-agency approach to meeting the needs of children and young people. All organisations are trying to achieve the same outcomes. All the same, it shouldn’t come as any great surprise if, from time to time, misunderstandings arise and organisations find themselves in disagreement.

The LSCBs Escalation Policy provides the process for the resolution of disputes between agencies. The document sets out the parameters for both informal and formal conflict resolution. See Procedures (and save in your favourites).

Within the Policy and Procedures framework there is a useful mechanism that can help to resolve things. The revamped Escalation Policy (previously Conflict Resolution Policy) provides a way in which organisations can reach the point where matters are resolved in such a way that the focus of people’s energies can return to what really matters, making things better for children and families.

Patrick Leonard, of Howgill Family centre, explained how his organisation has used the Escalation Policy. “As a small, local charity we can sometime feel quite powerless when working alongside much larger agencies that have the backing of statutory powers. At the same time Howgill’s practitioners are often closest to the families and may have more up to date information than larger bodies.

We have used the Policy on two or three occasions over the last year or so and every time found it to be an effective way to clarify a situation which was causing concern. Typically the problem stems from a breakdown in communication – people assuming that information has been passed on when, in fact, only some partners have received it.

I would strongly encourage others to use it in the interests of moving forward together – don’t get mad, use the Escalation Policy!”


Step Up Step Down Pathway

step up step down

The Step Up Step Down Pathway has recently been reviewed and can be found here.

This is what Joyce Hawthorn, Early Help Strategic Manager told us about the revised flow chart,

“On a regular basis we update the paperwork relating to Early Help in response to feedback from families and frontline staff using the materials. We have reviewed the Step Up Step Down process and the pathway has been refreshed to highlight other opportunities for the Step Down process to be applied – in particular where there has been a CP/CIN assessment that has not gone on to a plan or where family have not consented to a CIN assessment. This will now be embedded into the Thresholds Document and will be added to the Early Help pages of the LSCB website where other documents have also been updated including the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).”