Spotlight on Learning and Improving Practice

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Spotlight on Learning and Improving Practice

This newsletter is for everyone working with children and adults in Waltham Forest.

Please share with your colleagues and encourage them to sign up to get it regularly

Why is learning and improving practice so important?

Learning is central to improving practice generally, and also for our safeguarding systems. In Waltham Forest, learning is carried out through a range of sources which includes training, briefings, bitesize videos, reviews (statutory and local), audits and data.  

We know that attending learning events can sometimes be challenging, so we have also developed a range of multi-media resources that can be accessed and used in your own time.

Strategic Partnership Board resources

This Spotlight aims to provide you with an overview of recent learning obtained through the boards and also details of FREE training available locally and within our wider networks.  

Safeguarding Adults Review for Harry

SAR Harry

Harry, a 68-year-old white British man, died in a house fire at his home on 25 January 2021. His death was due to inhalation of smoke and combustion products and burns sustained during an accidental fire, the cause of which was the ignition of a towel which had fallen on a fan heater.

A Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) was carried out and sought to understand why things happened in the way they did, and what Harry’s experiences tell us about how systems work.

Full SAR Harry report


Board response to the report


7 minute briefing for SAR Harry 

If you’re interested in hearing more about how we learn from practice, we have an upcoming awareness session on Wednesday 22 February led by our Safeguarding Boards’ Independent Chair and Scrutineer.

Sign up to Learning from Practice session

Safer Sleeping: emerging learning theme

safer sleeping

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) is in the top four causes of death after children that are born extremely prematurely or born with serious complex medical conditions or congenital anomalies.

Sadly, through reviewing the deaths of infants and children under the age of two years, the Child Death Overview Panel has identified some common factors that might have changed the outcome, had they had been different.

A resource has been put together containing safe sleep messages and tools which you can use to continue to raise awareness with families that you or your services are working with, in particular around unsafe sleeping practices and risk factors such as use of alcohol, drugs, strong medication, and other social factors.

Safer sleeping resources

Training related to fire risks, hoarding and self-neglect

Training and awareness around fire risks related to hoarding is being delivered across the Strategic Boards Partnership to help with reducing fire deaths related to self-neglect. The next session is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 21 February.

Please email to request a dedicated session for your service area.

Sign up for fire risks training 

Awareness around intra-familial child sexual abuse

This FREE one-day training course is being delivered by colleagues from the Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse on Monday 6 February. This valuable session will equip professionals across health, education, social care and policing with an understanding of:

• The scale and nature of child sexual abuse

• The challenges, myths and obstacles which can limit identification and response

• Who commits intra-familial child sexual abuse

• How sexual abuse takes place in families

• Understanding the child’s experience – the impact of abuse, signs and indicators of abuse and the barriers to disclosing it

• Children’s disclosures and your role as a professional.

Note that spaces for this session are limited.

Sign up for training 

Safeguarding Adolescents Awareness training

This training session taking place on Friday 3 February will equip you with knowledge about our trauma-informed approach to working with children and young people and give you tips and tools for sharing within your school, agency or service.

Sign up to training 

Other training on offer from Strategic Partnerships Board

Our training offer centres around areas of practice that are pertinent to the priorities of the Strategic Partnership Boards. See below upcoming sessions. All training and learning events can be found on Eventbrite.

There are a range of awareness sessions available for parents and carers in regards to safeguarding adolescents. For more information, please contact Richard Graham.

Email Richard

FREE training on offer from the London Safeguarding Children Partnership

The London Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) supports London Safeguarding Children Partnerships, agencies and communities to improve the way they work together to protect children and promote their wellbeing. The LSCP has been working to develop a free regional training programme which includes topics like mental health and parenting, fabricated illness, gaming and gambling harm prevention, working with children and young people who self-harm and more. There are limited spaces, which are FREE to professionals working in the public and voluntary sector.

LSCP training programme 

Findings from a recent multi-agency audit

In October 2022, a range of partners came together to take part in a multi-agency audit on the partnership response to the initial identification of need and risk of children.

This audit aimed to assess the effectiveness of the Waltham Forest multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH). It comprised a deep dive into six children’s files, from a multi-agency perspective, providing opportunities to reflect on quality of practice, learn from and build on existing good practice and identify lessons to learn.

Good practice examples were found around voice of the child being heard, wider family needs being well considered, and professional curiosity. It was also found that support was being provided to practitioners via safeguarding supervision, discussion with members of safeguarding teams, and case discussions in multi-agency and single agency forums. It was felt that much of this good practice enables the MASH team to make accurate decisions.

There was clear evidence of multi-agency working throughout the files looked at, although in some areas, issues were present including evidence of drift, poor communication and decisions made in isolation.

Overall, MASH decisionmaking was rated as good, with voices of children coming through referrals which allowed for swift responses and actions moving forward. Strategy meetings were held as required and cases progressed either to section 17 or 47.

The findings from this audit will lead to the review and update of training, systems and policies, as required to ensure the lessons learned are taken forward.

Contact Strategic Partnerships for more information 

Do you need help this winter? Cost of living support available at

This newsletter is brought to you by the Strategic Partnership Boards, which is made up of Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children’s Board, Safeguarding Adults Board, Health & Wellbeing Board and SafetyNet (our Community Safety Partnership).

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