Agenda item

PROTECTING CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS AT RISK OF EXPLOITATION

The Manager of Bradford Safeguarding Children Board will submit Document “P” which provides an update and builds on the report presented to the  Committee on the 10th October 2018 and subsequently to the District’s Area Committees regarding the issue of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). It now focuses on the Strategic Response to all forms of exploitation in Children and Adults and how partners from the Working Together to Safeguard Children – the Bradford Partnership and the Bradford Safeguarding Adults Board work to drive improvements across the District and to hold agencies to account for their work in their area. The report also outlines the emergence of other complex safeguarding themes and outlines how partners are effectively collaborating and focussing upon the protection of vulnerable Children and Adults.

 

Recommended-

 

(1)       That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider the contents of the report (Document “P”).

 

(2)       That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee receive a further update on the progress of the response to exploitation in 12 months time.

 

(3)       That Partners seek further funding opportunities from Government funding streams to enable the continuation of service provision as outlined in the report.

 

(4)       That the report is a call to action for all partners to recognise exploitation in its widest sense and continue to provide a coordinated safeguarding response to children and vulnerable adults.

 

(5)       That subsequent reports be provided to Area Committees.

 

                                                                        (Mark Griffin – 01274 434361)

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Manager of Bradford Safeguarding Board submitted (Document P), which provided an update and built on the report presented to the Committee on 10 October 2018, regarding the issue of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).   The report now focused on the strategic response to all forms of exploitation in Children and Adults and how partners from the Working Together to Safeguard Children – the Bradford Partnership and the Bradford Safeguarding Adults Board work to drive improvements across the District and to hold agencies to account for their work in their area. 

 

The report also outlined the emergence of other complex safeguarding themes and outlined how partners were effectively collaborating and focusing upon the protection of vulnerable Children and Adults.

 

Members sought clarification from officers about the support that was being received by partnership organisations, toward tackling all exploitation. 

 

In response, officers stated that there was good partnership work taking place with health and the Police to support young people and prevent CSE.  Further work was also being undertaken in reviewing the children who had committed crime at 14/15 years old, to establish if they had actually been victims of exploitation. 

 

Members were also keen to explore the engagement and interaction with the Police, in relation to protecting children and vulnerable adults at risk of exploitation.

 

In response, officers indicated that there was a very good working relationship with the Police, particularly keeping an overview of children who had committed a crime at 14 or 15 years old; to establish if they were also victims of exploitation.  Moreover, officers also informed members that an event had taken place recently with key partner organisations to take forward the work being undertaken by partners in relation to exploitation.  The focus of the event also included sharing knowledge and best practice and raising awareness of exploitation amongst communities.

 

Members highlighted their concerns that as this was a complex area, they wanted assurance that Bradford Council and its partner organisations were actually addressing the right issues.  Members were also seeking confidence from officers that they were working together with key partners around exploitation and protecting children.

 

Officers replied by acknowledging that this was a huge and complex agenda, but they were working with key partners and also communities,  to tackle this complex issue.

 

An area that members were seeking greater clarification on was why there had been such a rapid increase in parents choosing Elective Home Education, (EHE).

 

In response officers indicated that they preferred it if they knew when children were in EHE, so that it would enable them to know where children were and more importantly to be aware of, families that were choosing to register their children.  Furthermore, officers also indicated that this would also allow them to send their staff to visit the children who are in EHE, thus building a relationship and partnership with the family.  Also, any concerns with the child’s education could also be addressed.

 

Members were in agreement that they wanted to explore further the outcomes from the Pilot Projects along with funding opportunities that existed from Government funding streams, to ensure that the correct areas were being addressed and that service provision in this key area was not being adversely affected.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)  That a further update on progress be presented in 12 months, with a focus on the outcomes from the Pilot Projects.

 

(2)  That Officers be requested to further explore funding opportunities from Government funding streams to enable service provision in this area to continue and to report back on progress to the Committee.

 

(3)  That this Committee requests that a report on the long term sustainability of commissioned services by the Local Authority and Clinical Commissioning Groups, for protecting children and vulnerable adults at risk of exploitation, be presented to members in the new Financial Year.

 

 

ACTION: Strategic Director of Children’s Services

Supporting documents: