Alan Coe, Independent Chair of Wolverhampton
Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB), presented the annual
report. The Independent Chair commented
that the report represents a summary of partnership work activity
between a range of local organisations involved in safeguarding
children. The Independent Chair explained that he is responsible to
the Chief Executive, City of Wolverhampton Council and meets with
him to review progress.
The Independent Chair works 30 days a year and
is supported by Gillian Ming, Children Safeguarding Board Manager.
It is a statutory requirement for the Board to publish an annual
report. The Independent Chair highlighted the key achievements of
Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children Board and specifically the
improved website which provides a range of information and
resources. The Independent Chair commented that there has better
engagement by schools in the safeguarding agenda. All local schools
were invited to attend an annual conference to discuss safeguarding
issues. The attendance by schools at safeguarding events has
improved. The panel were advised while there is no obligation on
schools to send a representative to the event, they are encouraged
to do so and non-attendance is monitored.
The Independent Chair commented on the work
done to improve regional working arrangements. The Independent
Chair praised the safeguarding work of the Council to improve the
regulation of licensed premises and regulated services to meet its
The panel were invited to attend the MASH
offices to see the work being done and commented that the service
was an example of good partnership working in practice.
The panel queried the involvement of children
and young people in the work of WSCB. The Independent Chair
responded that young people with direct experience of the care
system were working with members of the B-Safe Team. The WSCB
partly fund the work of the B-Safe Team. The team have met with
Councillor Gibson, Cabinet Member for Children. Cllr Gibson
commented that concerns about the issue of bullying raised by young
people led to the development of the anti-bullying campaign. In
addition, work is being done to get a small group of young people
together to act as ambassadors.
The panel discussed the definition of neglect
and the number of cases reported to the WSCB. The Independent Chair commented that the issue of
neglect is a major concern among members of WSCB. The Board has
recently produced guidance to get greater consistency in how
professionals recognise signs of neglect, which has led to a
greater consistency in approach by partners.
The Independent Chair commented on the role of
other agencies such as west midlands fire service in reporting any
concerns about the welfare of children in a property they have
visited. Gillian Ming, Safeguarding Manager, commented on the
training provided to agencies to strengthen safeguarding
arrangements to deliver more effective services.
The panel queried how the WSCB has considered
the issue of mental health and the work done to identify and
support children. The Independent Chair commented on the support
given to victims of CSE.
The panel expressed concern about
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