Homeless or Displaced Families
The Board received information and discussed the impact and action being taken about homeless or displaced families being moved into Essex from London Boroughs. It was noted that arrangements are already in hand for information to be exchanged when children are subject to child Protection Plans, but getting appropriate information when children are only ‘in need’ or families are potentially struggling is much more challenging.
This was geared to bringing all partners up to date on the situation but one action from the discussion is that the Children’s Partnership Board has been asked to look at using school data to monitor children moving into, out of and around Essex. This will hopefully give partners the opportunity to see how any trends are impacting on their services.
Early Help Assessments
The meeting discussed early help assessment processes. It was felt that far more assessment processes were taking place than were being recorded and so members agreed to take the information back to their organisations to discuss how assessments were taking place and recorded.
It was agreed that following the re-launch of the Board’s Effective Support document, partners would reinvigorate their efforts to record when they have carried out assessments so that a full picture can be gained. Without this, it is difficult for the Board to assess where needs are greatest and to target its work appropriately.
New Board Structure
This was the final meeting of the Board in its current structure and a discussion took place to finalise the new ways of working. In future, a Strategic Executive, four Stay Safe Groups, sub-groups addressing particular themes and a large Essex-wide ESCB Assembly will carry out the business of the Board.
Over a number of years we have had excellent support for children’s safeguarding and we intend to build on this with the new structure and an even greater focus on supporting operational safeguarding.