Keeping Devon’s children safe – January 2015 update

January child protection and social work Ofsted updates,  Peer Review, Newsletter Live, Way We Work group updates, Lean Review, CareFirst, and much more

Back copies of staff bulletins:

Key management messages

Dear colleague

As a follow-up exercise to the LGA Peer Review of children’s safeguarding, which took place in October last year, a further focused Peer Review will take place between 18-20 February 2015. This will be led by Andrew Ireland, Director of Children’s Services, Kent County Council.

Please be aware that some of you may be contacted to be interviewed or attend a meeting. If you are requested to meet with the team, please do everything you can to attend as this is an important part of our improvement journey.

Also, many thanks to all of you that have completed both the Social Work Workforce Staff Survey and the Section 11 Survey.  It would be very much appreciated if all social work team members would complete both surveys to ensure the feedback we receive reflects the views of the social work population:

Social Work Workforce Survey 2015  –

Section 11 Survey



Newsletter Live – have you booked your place?

Our programme of mandatory quarterly updates for children’s social care staff has begun, called Newsletter Live. Are you booked to attend?  Sessions are running across the county during January and February – Find out how more and book a place.

Ofsted Delivery Improvement Group (DIG)

At our last DIG meeting, the Group discussed

  • Workforce development
  • Self Service roll-out
  • Quality Assurance Framework
  • Working together

Sue Clarke

Update from Children’s Safeguarding Improvement Board (CIB)

At January’s CIB, Sue Clarke, Head of Education and Learning for Devon County Council, presented an item on children missing from education and it was noted that Devon is in a good position regarding tracking children. There is also an improving picture around supporting children in care with their continued education and training.

A discussion was had around the work taking place to address the issue of child sexual exploitation, and the good work taking place across the safeguarding system was acknowledged.

Ray Jones

Independent Chair  Professor Ray Jones, commented that it was reassuring to see good progress being made across children’s social care with workflows feeling more manageable. He also stressed the on-going importance of continuing to build relationships at local levels.

It was also recognised that with new staff joining the Council’s children’s services over recent months, teams are still building and consolidating, with variations between teams in terms of capacity and stability.

Locality meetings for social workers

Got a burning question for Fiona or Debs? Locality meetings give people in the children’s social work team a chance to ask Fiona Fitzpatrick (interim Head of Children’s Social Work Service and Child Protection) and Debs Barlow (Principle Social Worker) any questions. The schedules below outline the 2015 dates of the meetings in each locality:

and you can go to any of the meetings.


HR update – Manager Briefing: Recruitment

An update on performance, workforce development and recruitment. This month’s briefing includes the social work health check survey, recruitment, supervision, social media, Oracle Self Service pilot.

Devon Safeguarding Children Board

Your views on safeguarding in Devon needed

David Taylor, Independent Chair, Devon Safeguarding Children Board, invites you to complete the 2015 Staff Safeguarding Children Survey.

It is a confidential online survey, to give your views on safeguarding children practice, and to gather feedback from front line staff and their immediate managers in order to understand safeguarding children practice in Devon.

Read the latest DSCB newsletter.

January 2015

Way We Work Group

Important Children’s Way We Work updates

Lean Review progress- updated CareFirst visit forms

The Task and Finish Group reviewing the CareFirst Visit forms have concluded their work and the forms go live on 30 January. The new format places greater emphasis on the worker’s summary and analysis of the visit, as well as greater focus on the child’s views and experience.

View the changes.

Legal status and placement codes for Children in Care including those with respite care packages – CareFirst recording

The quick reference guide and guidance on legal and placement recording  have been updated to reflect  the latest changes (to distinguish Section 20 placement sub-types of Reg 24 and Reg 48).

Update on Advocacy referrals to NYAS

Find out changes have been agreed with NYAS.

Secure email

Further to the article last month, secure email is currently being rolled out to all children’s social workers.

Family friendly version of the single assessment

The “parent” version of the Single Assessment is now fit for purpose, and the letters (including reference step down to early help) have been loaded to Fdocs.

Risk 1 Supervision tool

The Risk1 form now available as a Fibonacci document, see link to guidance here.

Child Sexual Exploitation  referrals

The REACH Team (Reducing Exploitation and Absence from Care or Home) provide specialist child sexual exploitation interventions, and support for young people who have been reported missing or absent.

Find out how to reach the REACH Team – and what form to use.



ADAM Project – FAQs

We are very excited to be launching the Assessment of Disorganised Attachment and Maltreatment (ADAM) workforce development programme for Children’s Social Care in Devon.

Missed an issue?

Keeping Devon’s Children Safe public website