A report from the Executive Director – People is attached. (Non key)
Councillor Alev Cazimoglu (Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care) introduced the report of the Executive Director – People presenting the Safeguarding Enfield Annual Report 2019-20.
1. The positive actions that had been taken to prevent neglect, abuse and exploitation against adults at risk, and children and families. The report included data to demonstrate the impact of these actions; and, stated the priorities of the partnership for the 2020/21 period.
2. The statutory requirements for producing an annual report as detailed. The Council and its partners were continuing to work effectively together in order to safeguard children, young people and adults at risk.
3. The key issues of the year as highlighted in the report, including the areas of modern slavery, female genital mutilation, domestic abuse, supporting care providers and responding to the ongoing pandemic. The impact of Covid-19 would be reflected in the 2020/21 Annual report.
4. The arrangements in place had been shown to be resilient, collaborative and flexible in responding to changing circumstances and continuing the vital role of safeguarding the most vulnerable. Whilst the progress that had been made was recognised and praised, it was emphasised that continuous improvement would continue to be sought; safeguarding was everyone’s responsibility.
Councillor Rick Jewell (Cabinet Member for Children’s Services) highlighted the aspects of the annual report for children and families.
5. The annual report outlined the excellent work that continued to safeguard vulnerable children and their families. The proactive responses of the Partnership to responding to safeguarding risks were noted, for example in the establishment of the Domestic Abuse Hub in May 2020.
6. Members were advised of the positive work being undertaken to reduce permanent school exclusions with positive alternative solutions being sought wherever possible. There had been no permanent exclusions from Enfield primary schools during 2019/20.
7. That there had been an increase in referrals to the Early Help Hub and an increased awareness of the support services available.
8. The impact of Covid-19 and how the services had responded in a flexible and innovative way to offer services, for example, online and through increased use of social media.
9. Members expressed their appreciation of the valuable work of the Partnership and all involved.
Geraldine Gavin (Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Adults Board and Independent Scrutineer of the Safeguarding Children Arrangements) was invited to present the Annual Report to the Cabinet. The following points were highlighted in the presentation.
10. That the key to the continuing success of safeguarding in the Borough was the open dialogue and effective communication across all the partner agencies involved. The wide range of organisations working to keep children, young people and adults at risk safe in Enfield was highlighted in the annual report.
11. Members were advised of the statutory regulation changes that had taken place in 2019/20 and its impact on previous arrangements. The three statutory partners (Metropolitan Police, Clinical Commissioning Group in Health and the Local Authority) now all shared responsibility for children’s safeguarding, as detailed in the annual report.
12. The arrangements in practice were outlined to Members. Enfield would continue to seek continuous improvement; and consider ways in which the services provided to adults, and children and families could work more closely together.
13. That examples of good practice and progress made were set out in the annual report and highlighted to Members, including the introduction of young “safeguarding ambassadors” and the work of the Practice Improvement Group. There continued to be an appetite for learning, reflection and continual improvement; the work of the Partnership in Enfield was praised.
14. That in looking ahead the importance of continuing to focus on the basics of safeguarding the most vulnerable was explained particularly at times of change and transition.
15. In conclusion, thanks were expressed to Geraldine Gavin, all members of the partnership and officers involved in looking after the most vulnerable residents in the borough and in reducing the risk of harm through effective safeguarding.
Alternative Options Considered: NOTED, that the option of producing two reports, one for the Safeguarding Adults Board and another for the Safeguarding Children Partnership, had been considered. As Enfield had a joint Chair, a shared business unit, and numerous Activity Groups which were shared, there would be significant duplication. Feedback also suggested that residents were more likely to engage with one report and one conversation about abuse and risk, rather than two.
DECISION: The Cabinet agreed to note the Safeguarding Enfield Annual Report 2019/20. The report was being presented to Cabinet in order to draw attention to the key safeguarding risks facing vulnerable residents and to raise the profile of the initiatives being carried out to prevent and combat these issues. Cabinet noted the successes and challenges that had arisen from safeguarding activity in the period 2019-20, to help inform future priorities and take effective action in the 2020-21 period.
Reason: To note the Safeguarding Partnership’s activity to protect adults and children in 2019-20. To comply with statutory duties for publishing an annual report.