Fortnightly Safeguarding Briefing

13th May 2019

Safeguarding Network - Confidence in safeguarding

Welcome to your latest safeguarding briefing

The late Easter has meant that for many of us there has been a few weeks were it has been Bank Holidays galore. Still another to go this month and then summer is beckoning!

This week's update looks at:

  • Off-rolling
  • Vulnerable Adolescents Thematic Review
  • Missing Children
  • The impact of inequality in Britain

Exploring the issue of off-rolling

Last Friday (10th May) the Department for Education released the results of a YouGov survey exploring the issues of off-rolling with teachers. This demonstrated ambiguities and a general lack of understanding about what off-rolling is, but there was consensus that the pupils most like to be off-rolled were those with behavioural issues. Many also reported that they felt that off-rolling was linked with a school's position in league tables and that parents were often pressured into agreeing to their child being taken off roll.

For more information see the full report here.

Vulnerable Adolescents Review Cover

Vulnerable Adolescents

Croydon SCB have undertaken a review of 60 cases where it was considered that the children (all older teenagers) were vulnerable and particularly at risk from violence and exploitation. The review found that there were multiple life experiences that impacted on the children, all of whom were known to services from a young age. Lack of understanding of the bigger picture by professionals, along with poor school experiences (inlcluding exclusion and being off rolled) and significant issues at home all over the lifetime of the child all contribute to the children being vulnerable.

Safeguarding Network have published a summary of the findings of the review and what this means for organisations that work with children and young people of all ages.

Empty Swing

Missing children

It is International Missing Children's Day on the 25th May. Children can go missing for a variety or reasons, whether they are running away from something (push factors such as domestic abuse, arguments in the home, etc.) or running to something (pull factors such as being groomed into believing that they are going to something better). Looked after children are 20 times more likely to run away than their peers, with there being additional issues present such as disrupted early childhoods and feelings of loss of control.

When a child goes missing from home or care, there is a statutory requirement on local authorities to offer a return home interview (RHI) from an independent person. The aim of these interviews is to find out what happened whilst they were missing and what risks they may have been exposed to. Recent research by The Children's Society suggests that on average a RHI is offered 50% of the time.

It is important that all agencies work together in order to make sure that children who are missing get the help and support that they need, and that we advocate on their behalf. Safeguarding Network members can access our Missing Children update package including a PowerPoint, handout, scenario and quiz here.

State of the Nation Front Cover

The impact of inequality

A report by the Social Mobility Commission has found that inequality is still "deeply entrenched in Britain", and that there are half a million more children living in poverty now than in 2012. The report identifies:

  • Children entitiled to free school meals are often significantly behind their peers academically, with the gap widening as they progress through school.
  • Gaps between advantaged and those less advantaged appear pre-birth and persist through a person's lifetime.
  • Curriculum reforms have meant that disadvantaged children have been affected disproportionately.

As we saw above in the Croydon review, poverty and disadvantage have a significant effect on a child's life chances and there are therefore significant safeguarding implications with increasing disadvantage in society. See our resource page on poverty for more information.

Who are we?

Safeguarding Network recognise that the demands on organisations are increasing from every aspect. Safeguarding is no exception. Using our front-line safeguarding experience and knowledge we develop resources to help organisations meet their safeguarding requirements with the aim of helping lighten the load.

Visit https://safeguarding.network/subscribe for more information.

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