BF Safeguarding Board Bulletin No. 7

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Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board

Bulletin No. 7    26 November 2020

Safeguarding Board annual report

Message from the Independent Chair and Scrutineer - Brian Boxall

The Safeguarding Board has published its first all-age Annual Report for 2019-20. It describes the implementation of the new multi-agency safeguarding arrangements, progress to date and the contribution of the wide range of partners who are members of the Safeguarding Partnership that supports the work of the Board.

The Safeguarding Board and Partnership have been responsive to the changing circumstances throughout the pandemic with the Board now meeting every three months and Partnership every six weeks.

The Board continues to undertake adult and children case reviews; Child J being the most recent. This review is especially impactive as it has been informed by Child J whose insight is very thought provoking. These reviews are good opportunities to review how the safeguarding system works and is producing important lessons. It is important that the learning is shared and to that end there will be a webinar with the author of Child J review on 2nd December 2020. Details of this and other learning and training events are set out in this bulletin.

The Partnership continues to look at how we can hear the voices of the child and adult.  The Partnership heard from the Young Health Champions across East Berkshire who are an inspirational group of young people who work with and support young people and provide them with a voice.  A video highlighting this group’s work can be viewed here.

COVID 19 continues to have a significant impact on the lives of everyone, including the work of partners and their staff. At the recent Safeguarding Partnership meeting, Healthwatch highlighted the concerns they have around unpaid carers being very isolated with little respite and the potential this has for adversely impacting on their mental and physical health. The Community Response hub continues to deal with residents’ concerns and where necessary signpost to other organisations with volunteers also identifying and reporting safeguarding issues.

The Communications, Engagement and Prevention (CEP) subgroup are supporting the roll out the Making Every Contact Counts (MECC) approach and are asking partners to implement MECC and promote the training resources within their organisations. This approach is intended to provide staff with tools that will encourage them to talk to the public about their health and wellbeing to help individuals and communities significantly reduce their risk of disease (and factors relating to safeguarding such as use of alcohol and mental ill-health). Public health staff will contact each organisation, on behalf of the CEP group, to carry out a short evaluation of the use of MECC during late spring / early summer.

I hope that the information in this newsletter continues to help support you in your work.  Please ensure that you circulate it as widely as possible.

Thank you for your work in these difficult times.

Key Workers Can Help Spot Abuse During Coronavirus Pandemic

Thames Valley Police (TVP) are encouraging key workers to look out for signs of abuse while carrying out other essential services during this pandemic.

TVP have further information on adult elder abuse and child abuse

TVP Safeguarding Poster

Isolated senior

‘Wednesday Wave’ for people who are lonely

Thames Valley Police are warning of a potential exploitation risk with a new national initiative running until 16 December called the Wednesday Wave. The idea is to tackle loneliness and isolation by encouraging vulnerable and lonely people to print a poster and put it on their window, visible from the street. This tells everyone walking past that they are lonely and people are encouraged (given permission by the poster) to wave at them. A lovely idea but perhaps not well thought through in terms of highlighting to potential offenders that this person is vulnerable and may therefore have negative consequences.

Hurt teddy

Ofsted head warns of rise in harm to babies during lockdown

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman has said that there was a 20% rise in the number of babies killed or harmed between April and October, as social workers faced difficulties making home visits due to coronavirus restrictions. Ms Spielman has urged local authorities to be “alive to this hidden danger,” and to ensure that all vulnerable young children are protected as issues like financial hardship, loss of employment, isolation and close family proximity put “extra pressure on families that were already struggling.” Cllr Judith Blake, chair of the Local Government Association’s children and young people board, says councils have “worked tirelessly” to keep children safe during recent months, and that it is “absolutely critical that professionals are able to keep engaging with families throughout any restrictions, whether local or national.”

Working closely with the Berkshire Child Death Overview Panel we’d like to remind colleagues of some important messages based on our local learning.  The Safeguarding Board have webpages designed to highlight risks and provide support in respect of babies and toddlers

Sad girl

Ofsted: Children hardest hit by COVID

Ofsted published its second report on the effect of Covid-19 across its sectors. It continues to be worried about the children who were out of sight during the closure of schools. Referrals to social care teams have fallen and have not returned to more typical levels since schools have reopened. This raises concerns that domestic neglect, exploitation or abuse is going undetected. Their October briefing notes (which include education, SEND & social care) are available here.

BFSB logo

BF Safeguarding Board - Learning Opportunities

There are a number of training, review and learning events coming up. If you would like an invitation to attend one of them please email the Business Unit.

Child J Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review (LCSPR): the online learning event following our recent review for Child J will take place on 2 December 2020 (14:00 -15:00)

Supporting Safeguarding training' Forum: The launch of the Safeguarding Board's 'Supporting Safeguarding training' Forum and Training Strategy will take place on 3 December 2020 (10:00 - 12:30)

Rapid Reviews and multi-agency learning reviews: Two learning events clarifying the requirements of partners contributing information to our Rapid Review process and multi-agency learning reviews (including SARs and LCSPRs) via Individual Management Reviews (IMRs) will be held on: 16 December 2020 (13:30 - 16:30) & 9 March 2021 (10:00-13:00)

Mental health course

Mental Health aware course

This FREE course is funded by Health Education England and is aimed at staff and volunteers supporting people through financial difficulty across Berkshire (West Berks, Bracknell, Reading, Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham). Places are limited so early booking is advised.  Deadline to book a place is Friday 27/11/2020 by 3pm.

For more information and to book please contact Shaheen Kausar on 07923 138 730 or email

The course will be delivered online via zoom on Wed 9 Dec and Thu 10 Dec from 10:30am-1:00pm. Attendance on both days is compulsory for the certificate.

Police abuse of position

Thames Valley Police professionals’ standards training event – abuse of position of sexual purposes

The aim of this session is to raise awareness around the issue of the minority who seek to misuse their position whilst serving the public. It will look at relevant case studies to identify learning and there will be opportunities to ask questions. It will be held on 28th January, via Microsoft Teams. To book a Team’s invite, contact:

Further messages and information can be found on our website and social media. We would urge agencies and individuals to further promote these via their personal and corporate networks.




 Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board • Time Square • Market Street • Bracknell • RG12 1JD

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