Agenda item

Safeguarding Report



This purpose of this report is:


·         To evaluate the progress of Monmouthshire County Council’s key safeguarding priorities during 2017/18, using identified measures to highlight progress, identify risks and set out clear improvement actions and priorities for further development.

·         To inform Members about the effectiveness of safeguarding in Monmouthshire and the work that is in progress to support the Council’s aims in protecting children and adults at risk from harm and abuse.

·         To inform Members about the progress made towards meeting the standards in the Council’s Corporate Safeguarding Policy approved by Council in July 2017.


Key Issues:


1. This safeguarding evaluation is based on activity and information from October 2017 – March 2018, and where relevant considers the whole year perspective.  It builds upon the previous progress review reported in relation to the period March 2017 – October 2017. The timing of this report reflects a biannual reporting cycle to Select Committees and Council.


2. The report is developed within the context of the approved Monmouthshire

County Council’s Corporate Safeguarding Policy which covers duties for both children and adults at risk in line with the Social Services and Well Being

(Wales) Act (2014). The analysis within the report reflects progress against priority areas set out within the policy and draws on data and information concerning both groups.


3. Embedding and sustaining the highest standards of safeguarding is a continuous endeavour. This Evaluative Report forms an integral part of the improvement of safeguarding practice across the Council. It asks critical questions about what are we trying to achieve, how well we are doing, what is the evidence to support our analysis, do we understand, manage and mitigate risks and how can we improve and develop. This is fundamental to an open and transparent approach to the evaluative task. The report tries, wherever possible, to balance qualitative and quantitative data as well as drawing in other sources of information to support triangulation of the assertions around progress.


4. The provisional self-assessment score has been developed by the Whole

Authority Safeguarding Group (WASG) on the basis of evidence reviewed to date and critical challenge. It uses the corporate scoring framework to provide an overall judgement of effectiveness.


5. The key risks arising from the Evaluative Report have been extracted and incorporated into the Safeguarding Risk Register (Appendix 2). The most significant risks also feature in the Council’s Corporate Risk Register.


6. Priority improvement actions arising from the Evaluative Report form the basis of the Safeguarding Action Plan which is implanted and monitored through the Whole Authority Safeguarding Group.




Members are requested to:

·         Jointly scrutinise the Safeguarding Evaluation Report in its current draft format.

·         Make recommendations in respect of its further development in preparation for presentation at full council.

·         Note the key safeguarding risks and approve the priority improvement actions identified to date.


Member Scrutiny:

The report was introduced by the Head of Children’s Services and the following observations were made and questions asked:


·         Surprise was expressed by a Member that the report of the outcome of the inspection carried out by Wales Audit Office, Estyn and Care Inspectorate Wales was not yet vailable.  It was agreed that a letter should be written to Wales Audit Office to chase progress.

·         Regarding Kerbcraft, it was responded that there will be annual reports to Children and Young People Select Committee in future.

·         A Member referred to the strong criticism that the authority did not have effective and appropriate management systems and asked if the right investment has now been made.  It was explained that there have been significant developments in reporting mechanisms since the opinion was given, the Whole Authority Safeguarding Group is well established, the policy has been revised and the depth and scope of safeguarding is well understood across the council.  In response to a query, it was stated that there was a part time post to fill to cover the corporate aspect rather than the operational role. 


·         The Chair drew attention to a “red” judgement on testing the statutory duty to report across the workforce querying if there was a training need.  It was explained that this is a relatively new duty and it will be necessary to see if there is an impact on adult safeguarding referrals. It will be monitored.


·         It was commented that there were empty boxes in Appendix 3 of the self-assessment marks and no evidence or further actions yet the marks have been moved up.  It was explained that the data supports priority actions going forward and is indicative of the work in progress position in developing the overall report.  It was accepted that further work is needed. Actions will be tracked through the whole authority safeguarding group with a preferred deadline for completion by the next council whilst acknowledging the unavailability of the inspection report.


In response to a question, it was explained that safeguarding has been a feature of internal audit work for at least the last three years.  The question marks referred to the aspect that will be the focus according to risks identified in self-evaluation and the inspection report.  In advising Council of the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements, it has been necessary to make a judgement call in the absence of the inspection report. 



Text Box: Committee Conclusions: It was concluded that it would have been preferred if the draft report was more complete as it was difficult to scrutinise in the format presented. It was noted that the Council had moved a long way from being in special measures and the recommendations were noted The Joint Select Committee was in agreement that a letter should be sent to seek progress in the publication of the Wales Audit Office/Estyn and Care Inspectorate Wales report.

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