Welcome from Independent Chair Phil Picton - September 2016

Hi, I’m Phil Picton, Independent Chair for the Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) and I’d like to welcome you to the Board website. Whether you are visiting the website for professional reasons, or as a parent or young person we hope you find the information you need.

Before joining the ESCB, I was a Director in both Police and NHS organisations and also chaired safeguarding boards in three local authorities – Hertfordshire, Slough and Central Bedfordshire.  All of these roles have really made me aware of how important it is that organisations and professionals work well together if they are to keep vulnerable adults and children safe.  I see my responsibility as helping the thousands of professionals in Essex to work together and to make sure that they have every opportunity to learn better ways of safeguarding people.

So why is the work of the ESCB so important? The Board has an important strategic role to co-ordinate safeguarding activity across a very wide partnership in Essex and to provide challenge when it is needed. The Board will bring agencies together to work effectively and share information, setting policies and procedures, and organising multi-agency training. The Board does not get involved in specific safeguarding cases – this is for the individual organisations to carry out. However, we are the organisational body that would undertake a review into a case where a child or young person may have died or been seriously harmed and where abuse or neglect are thought to be a contributory factor and where there may be multiple agency implications. These reviews are usually referred to as Serious Case Reviews.

We have a very active Board in Essex and its priorities for the coming 12 months, are:

  • Ensure Essex has effective arrangements for delivering and monitoring strategies for tackling Domestic Abuse, Female Genital Mutilation, impact on children of adult mental health and substance misuse.
  • Develop robust partnership arrangements to support the prevention and management of risk to young people. To include gangs, sexual exploitation, missing children, self-harm, online safety and radicalisation.
  • Develop effective arrangements to respond to early signs of need including neglect.
  • Ensure ESCB is visible and influential through effective engagement with other agencies, partnerships, practitioners, voluntary and community sector, children, young people and their families and the wider community.
  • Ensure Essex has an effective LSCB which meets its statutory responsibilities and promotes a culture of challenge, accountability and shared learning.
  • Ensure Commissioners have effective strategies in place to deliver effective quality assurance with particular emphasis on safeguarding 

As a Board we are committed to safeguarding in all its different forms from abuse and neglect to other causes of injury or death; and that is where the work of the Child Death Overview Panel comes in. As a sub-committee of the Board part of their work has been to produce various Child Safety Resources including Safer Sleep guidance, Water Safety guidance and the like. These resources are available to parents to access and also for professionals to download and use in their organisations.

I do hope that you find the information you are looking for on our website. Please do let us know if you have any difficulties and we will try our hardest to help you and improve the site for any future use.

Phil Picton,

Independent Chair