Agencies in Pembrokeshire must improve to safeguard and protect children
The report, Joint inspectorates’ review of inter-agency arrangements and practice to safeguard and protect children in Pembrokeshire reveals a lack of strategic leadership, which contributed to a collective culture in which it was difficult for any of the individual agencies involved to discharge their responsibilities for safeguarding and protecting children, where they are at risk from professionals.
The joint review was carried out by five inspectorates - Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW), Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW), Estyn (Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales), and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP).
Following the publication of a CSSIW and Estyn joint investigation in August, which raised questions about the quality of joint working to safeguard and protect children in education services, Gwenda Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, instigated a joint review of the contribution of all statutory agencies in Pembrokeshire to protecting children. The review focused on allegations of abuse or cause of concern about persons who work with children, also known as professional abuse.
The joint review, published today, found that every agency delivering services to children and young people needs to improve their management arrangements in response to all allegations of professional abuse.
The inspectors consider the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB), working in a more improved and effective way, has a crucial role in providing the leadership, vision, plans and oversight to achieve this.
Speaking on behalf of the five inspectorates, Imelda Richardson, Chief Inspector, CSSIW said:
The inspection found that generally, the multi-agency response to allegations of professional abuse was not sufficiently child focused, and we have identified several key improvements that are necessary. This confirms the findings in the earlier joint investigation report by CSSIW and Estyn in relation to handling allegations of abuse against staff in education. Inspectors did note some positive factors - most notably a willingness to work together between some experienced and committed individual practitioners and professionals. They need the support and commitment of the leadership of their organisations, and the Pembrokeshire LSCB, if safeguarding arrangements for children in Pembrokeshire is to improve.