Fortnightly Safeguarding Briefing

9th March 2020

Safeguarding Network - Confidence in safeguarding

Welcome to your latest briefing

You will have all received our email from the end of February 2020 letting you know that a draft updated version of Keeping Children Safe in Education has been released with an associated consultation about the proposed changes.  This is therefore just a reminder that if you haven't seen it, then have a look at our Safeguarding Insight on the proposed changes and take part in the consultation.

For those of you not in schools, this doesn't only apply to schools as it also sets out the government's expectations around safer recruitment and safe working practices in organisations in general. An example of a change that affects all organisations working with children and young people is in relation to managing allegations.

Read our Safeguarding Insight to find out more.

In this briefing:

  • Triennial analysis of serious case reviews
  • Child sexual abuse - offender typology
  • Domestic abuse
Triennial SCR analysis

Complexity and challenge: a triennial analysis of serious case reviews 2014 to 2017

The Department for Education have released their latest analysis of serious case reviews (the 8th such report).  Covering 278 Serious Case Reviews over the three year period, the main themes were:

  • Complexity - the review noted that the complexity of families and the resultant lives of those in the family, this then presenting practitioners working with those families with significant challenges (which at times were found to be overwhelming).
  • Poverty - the review found that alongside the complexity, the impact of poverty on families was a significant factor not seen before creating additional problems including stress and anxiety for the families.
  • Neglect - this was a key feature in around 3/4 of all the cases examined, with parental mental ill health being a feature in over half of the neglect cases.
  • Substance misuse and domestic abuse remained key factors within the case that were subject to reviews.

The analysis also reinforces the importance of professionals outside of social care recognising and acting on concerns, with only 15% of the cases reviewed involving the child concerned being on a child protection plan.

Safeguarding Network can help keep your staff up to date with update packages available and more being added on a regular basis.  Want to know more? Click here.

Child sexual abuse - offender typology

Safeguarding Network's resource update this month was in relation to child sexual abuse, and therefore it is timely that that the Centre of Expertise on child sexual abuse has published this report.  As the Centre point out "In order to be successful in preventing child sexual abuse from happening, and protecting children who experience abuse, we must develop a better understanding of offending."

The report is clear that a lot of the traditional understandings around sex offenders have developed in a piecemeal fashion as professionals attempt to make sense of what they are seeing.  The research and subsequent report identifies 9 child sexual abuse typologies, with the provisions that the online interaction is likely to feature in all cases of child sexual abuse whilst the complexity of child sexual abuse means that cases may not always fit neatly into one typology.

The executive summary can be found as part of the wider report, here.  Safeguarding Network has resources available here.

Hand grabbing a wrist

Domestic abuse

With the Domestic Abuse Bill receiving its first reading in parliament last week (the bill being described by the government as "the most comprehensive package ever to tackle this horrendous crime"), and the triennial analysis referred to above identifying that domestic abuse is still a significant theme in cases that go on to become a serious case review, the NSPCC have identified that calls to them about children witnessing domestic abuse have increased 25% in the last year.

The impact of domestic abuse on victims and families is significant, and, as identified by the triennial analysis, the sharing of information and recognising the impact of domestic abuse is key.  The triennial analysis gives an example of incidents being recorded as "verbal arguments" thus belying the true nature of what was happening in the home.  The triennial analysis also identifies that in many of the cases, although domestic abuse was not necessarily an immediate issue at the point of the serious injury or death of the child, many children and families had a history of being in domestically abusive situations and these experiences influenced their future decision making.

Safeguarding Network have a resource package to support staff updates in relation to domestic abuse - this is free on our website. We also have an online learning package which is available at just 99p per user for subscribing schools.  For more information, see our domestic abuse elearning page.

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 for more information.

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