Lessons learned from Northumberland serious case reviews

Coun Wayne Daley
Coun Wayne Daley

Three serious case reviews, into the sexual abuse of two children and a seriously-injured baby in Northumberland, were all published last year.

Learning from these cases 'has been embedded through the prompt delivery on the action plans and through a series of roadshows across the county to more than 600 front-line staff', a report to councillors explained.

The Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board's annual report for 2017-18 was presented to last Thursday's (November 8) meeting of Northumberland County Council's family and children's services committee.

Members were told that it was the last report they would receive in this guise as the new arrangements set out by the Children and Social Work Act 2017 establish the local authority as one of three safeguarding partners, alongside Northumbria Police and Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group.

Coun Wayne Daley, cabinet member for children's services, thanked the board's chairman, Paula Mead, and business manager, Robin Harper-Coulson, for all their efforts.

Referring to the report, he welcomed the sections on engaging with fathers, male partners or carers and the Through The Eyes of the Child initiative launched by Northumbria Police for officers attending incidents of domestic abuse.

Operation Encompass, which shares information about domestic violence

incidents, was launched across Northumberland schools in 2016-17 and its success has meant it is now being expanded to involve GPs and others in primary care.

Another positive is Onecall, the county's single point of contact for adult social care, children’s services and community health inquiries and referrals, which has been recognised by Sir Tom Windsor, of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, as best practice that should be adopted nationally.

Coun Mark Swinburn said: "It's so sad when you think about the details behind the individual cases and I commend the professionals involved for the work that they do.

"There have been massive advances so that we can protect all children in the future."

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service