BF Safeguarding Board Bulletin No. 8

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Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board

Bulletin No. 8    02 February 2021

Brian Boxall

Message from the Independent Chair and Scrutineer - Brian Boxall

This is the first Safeguarding Board Bulletin of 2021.  We all know how difficult 2020 was and hoped that by this time we would be looking at the end of the COVID restrictions, but as you are aware, we are still in a lockdown. That means that many of the safeguarding risks identified during the first lockdown remain and there is a continued need for us all to be vigilant.

The Safeguarding Board and the Partnership have continued to respond to the changing environment and staff from all agencies are working hard in difficult and challenging circumstances, to ensure that the safeguarding of adults and children remains a high priority.

The Safeguarding Board have recently approved their Strategic Plan 2020-2022. This is an all age plan and will help focus the Board activity over the coming years.

Partners continue to identify areas of high risk, the main one being the mental health of young people, carers and staff.  Whilst this is a safeguarding issue, it is important to recognise that there are a number of partnership groups working to improve the lives of adults and children to which mental health will also be a priority. To be effective, partnerships need to share information and work together. To that end we are looking to renew a protocol for joint working that ensures that any approach to issues such as mental health is collaborative and more effective.

It is important that given the situation, agencies have a good understanding of the process in place to report concerns of people in positions of trust working with both children or adults. Working Together has published an update on the LADO process for children and this along with the allegations management framework for adult services has recently been emphasised with partners.  The adult framework details responsibilities and strongly encourages all partner organisations to establish a nominated safeguarding lead or Safeguarding Allegations Manager Advisor (SAMA) (see 3.2 for further details).

The Communications, Engagement and Prevention Sub Group want to help the Board understand the needs of local people and are asking partners to share any information they gather on people’s experiences of safeguarding and prevention services.  The group also wants to work with communication leads within partner agencies in order to ensure that the safeguarding partnership can share and receive information with local contacts effectively.

The Board continues to undertake both children and adult serious case reviews. It is essential that learning from these are widely circulated to all staff and to that end the safeguarding team have produced a number of briefing summaries. These are very user friendly and I would encourage you to use them to enhance staff learning.

Finally, I was pleased to welcome new Healthwatch and The ARK Trust members to the recent Partnership meeting.  The work they are doing to support service users and run the local Community Hub is invaluable, and we will be working closely with these organisations to ensure that the work of the Safeguarding Board is informed by the voice of the adult and child.

I hope you find this latest bulletin informative. Please circulate widely within your organisation, and contact the Business Unit if you have information that you would like included in future bulletins.

people talking

Video resources for safeguarding professionals

Real Safeguarding Stories is a video resource for safeguarding professionals and the wider community where survivors’ stories are central to tackling abuse in society developed by Bradford Council and Collingwood Learning.

The Local Government Association has put together national audio-visual resources on safeguarding adults following a recommendation from the Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) Temperature Check. These resources raise awareness of abuse and neglect of adults with care and support needs, and others tackled particular issues such as mate crime or hoarding. People with lived experience and their family carers were asked to review the resources, and their comments are provided. Some further examples have been added subsequently.

CDOP annual report 2019/20

The pan Berkshire CDOP was established in 2008 with statutory responsibility to review child deaths in the resident population.  The Government updated the guidance in 2018 and the group published new arrangements in June 2019. Their annual report sets out the activity undertaken, key findings, reflections from 2019-20 and priorities for 2020/21.

Covid vaccine

Covid-19 vaccination

The COVID-19 vaccine programme continues and has been shown to reduce the chance of suffering from the disease. No vaccine is completely effective, so everyone should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.  It is not known if the vaccine will prevent someone from passing on the virus so it is important to continue to:

  • practice social distancing
  • wear a face mask
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • follow the current guidance

Talk about radicalisation

Safeguarding from Radicalisation

The recent publication of new Channel Guidance is designed to help strengthen the government’s Prevent strategy and offers a detailed framework for multi-agency working to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.

Further information in respect of efforts to prevent terrorism and to tackle violent extremism can be found within the pages of the ACT website and is complimented by the wide range of materials contained within the ‘Let’s Talk About’ online resources.

To ensure a robust response to the early signs of radicalisation, a new national referral form and pathway has recently been tested within pilot areas and once evaluated will be rolled out for use across the country. This approach is already operating within our borough, but partners who are unsure whether they should share information are encouraged to consider the information provided by the Community Safety Partnership. Where necessary concerns can discussed directly with members of the local Community Safety Team

Forlorn teddy bear

Children's Mental Health Week

It’s Children’s Mental Health Week and this year’s theme is ‘Express Yourself’  and is focused on getting children and adults to find creative ways to share their thoughts, feelings and emotions through activities like music, art, dance or photography.  The importance of children and young people's mental health has never been more critical, particularly with what we're all currently going through with the pandemic.  1 in 6 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health problem and 50% of those with lifetime mental health problems first experienced symptoms by the age of 14.  Action for Children has early intervention programmes and a parent hub which provides advice and articles.

Sexual abuse and sexual violence awareness week

This week (1-7 February) is sexual abuse and sexual violence awareness week.  Thames Valley Police want to reassure anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offence during the pandemic to come forward and seek support.

Some Rape Crisis centres across the Thames Valley have reported that they have seen a decrease in people seeking support following sexual offences for fear of repercussions around not complying with Covid-19 restrictions.  For anyone needing support following a rape or sexual assault, please contact Victims First on 0300 1234 148 or online at

TVP Victims First

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

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