Keeping Devon’s children safe – March-April 2016 update

Key management messages

Dear colleague,

Jo Olsson, our new Interim Head of Children’s Social Work Service and Child Protection is now six weeks in and the handover is completed, following Fiona’s departure on Friday 15 April. And, as Councillor McInnes says, “we are at the end of the beginning” with a lot more to do.

Jo has been getting out and about meeting some inspirational staff and seeing some encouraging practice in the statutory service and in early help. She is also seeing some things that need to change. Read Jo’s introductory message.

Kind regards,


Newsletter Live – CSE and future sessions

During February and March many of you will have attended these sessions with a focus on CSE.  We hope you found them of use to your practice.  The materials from the session, along with all previous Newsletter Lives, are now available on The Academy’s SharePoint site.

The next round of Newsletter Live will focus on: chronologies; care plans; and the social work evidence template.  Dates will be running in late June and July and will be advertised in the coming weeks by email.


News from our care leavers:

At the last two forums care leavers have worked with Members on what makes a good Corporate Parent. These is just some of the highlights of what we have achieved in the last month, see information to the Corporate Parenting Board, which is now co-chaired by one of our Care Leavers, May-Anne Hodd.

Beth Wakefield and Sam Heaton, Participation Apprentices also explain about PEPs and POPPs:

“As care leavers we were talking with our Virtual Head about PEPs and we all agreed that we would like something more fitting for older young people.  We also thought it was really important to have a plan that would work for everyone, not just those in college or school. The Virtual Head gave us the power to design a new plan that would be right for us.

“We worked with our work experience colleagues Marley Hall and Issac Davies and young people who come to our Care Leaver Forums to come up with the POPP (Personal Occupation Progression Plan).  The POPP is designed to make sure that young people’s views are heard and to help them realise their career ambitions as they move to adulthood.”

Research in Practice

Last month, three of our Devon Care Leavers travelled to Birmingham to take key roles in the Research in Practice Conference about Responding to Adolescent Risk. The Conference brought together leaders and decision makers to understand what puts them at risk and to share a range of approaches for working with, and delivering services to, young people.

Marley Hall, on our work experience programme with the Academy of Social Care, co-chaired the day with the Director Dez Holmes and sparked much interesting debate with his perceptive questioning.

Our participation apprentices also co-designed and delivered a workshop with peers from Gloucester County Council about meaningful engagement with young people.

Young People’s Benchmarking Forum

Beth Wakefield, from the Participation Team, travelled to York to join other care leavers working on their aspirations for the refresh of the national Care Leaver Strategy.

Young people worked on ideas to improve the services offered to young people leaving care and what support they would like to see from local authorities and then shared them with leaving care managers from over eighty authorities and representatives from Department for Education and Ofsted.

Beth said: “What was really interesting was how different the views were between young people and it was good to challenge each other.”

The forum is looking for more young people to get involved so if you are working with a young person who you think would like to take part please contact Beth for more information.

Keeping Devon’s Data Safe – secure disposal

The Information Governance team has produced an updated Disposal Policy – now called the Information, Media and Equipment Disposal Policy to more accurately reflect the scope, and for the first time, created a disposal procedure – with specific details about how to securely dispose of particular items, including static and mobile devices and paper.

Any queries about the policy or any updates needed to the procedures can be sent to the Information Governance Team.

Please note:  the Information Governance team are not responsible for the operation of individual processes; local arrangements for your team or office may vary.

Staff Directory example

Staff Directory and auto-signatures – have you updated yours?

Please check your Outlook inbox for the email to all staff email with instructions about how to complete your Staff Directory entry and auto-signatures. Both only take a few minutes to complete and update. Please ensure that you read and act on these requirements by the end of April 2016.

Outlook calendar appointments

In order to manage your time and calendar as effectively as possible, you may wish to adopt the following approach:


Keep the appointment in your calendar on a tentative basis, serving as a reminder should your circumstances change. Find out how.

Come and visit the teams at the MASH

The teams at the MASH offer new and existing staff within Children’s Social Work a chance to find out more about what happens within the MASH. The agency visits happen once a month on a Wednesday afternoon at County Hall and are open to DCC and non-DCC staff.

Visits aim to clarify the MASH process, find out more about what they do and to meet the team… Book a time and come and visit!

Child abuse campaign

Together, we can tackle child abuse

We all have a role to play in protecting children and young people from child abuse and neglect, however often people find the decision to report abuse a difficult one.

The advice to anyone in Devon who may have suspicions of child abuse or neglect is to report them to Devon’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0345 155 1071. Alternatively email and give as much information as you can.

We are encouraging anyone worried about a child or suspecting child abuse or neglect, to visit

The OU

Social Work Traineeship opportunity for Children’s Services employees

We are offering ten bursaries for the Traineeship Scheme to gain a BA Degree in Social Work linked to the Open University. We are looking for enthusiastic and highly motivated social care staff already employed within Children’s Services who would like to apply. Find out more

Staff using parking exemption permits provide a more responsive service with fewer delays

Denise, Family Practitioner – Initial Response Team, Children’s Social Care Wendy, Care Worker – Purple Balm Care Agency, and J

We are seeing great benefits since promoting the parking exemptions for social care, care workers and health staff to our teams.

Denise – Family Practitioner, Wendy – Care Worker and Jamie – Parking Operations Team Leader explain how they are able to spend more time with the people they support, and not worry about the parking when carrying out home visits.

And view their short video clip


Lynne Kent

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the sudden death of our much loved friend and colleague, Lynne Kent.

Lynne will be remembered as a force of nature, a larger than life, huge personality. This funny, vivacious, zany individual who, with a distinctive personal style, affected all those around her. She was a brave, vibrant, energy-filled Bristolian with a boundless passion for everything she believed in.

Details about Lynne’s funeral and memorial on 6 May can be found by following the Facbook the link:

March-April 2016

Important updates

Make sure your CareFirst records are up-to-date by Thursday 28 April

Devon’s Statutory Returns for 2015/16 for submission to DfE and Ofsted are due.

So we can ensure the data we submit is accurate, please ensure that all CareFirst records are up-to-date by Thursday 28 April 2016. The Team may contact you between now and end of July with queries in recording. Find out more.

FDocs chronology name change to Social Care History

FDocs chronology been altered to Social Care History to make it very clear that it is not a ‘chronology’, but a tool to draw together the history from CareFirst. Find out more.


HP Records Manager (HPRM) document filing

New guidance for completing a request to change the way a document is filed in HPRM (formerly known as TRIM) in the event of an error.

K1 Placement Request Form

The Brokerage Review and Improvement project has been working with colleagues from across Children’s Social Work teams to improve the format of the K1 Placement Request Form.

The revised form is intended to improve the quality of placement options identified for the child/young person by giving providers a clearer picture of their needs and personality. The new form will be implemented in April, and further details in the article below.

Children’s Placement Team launch

Following a recent consultation the Children’s Brokerage Team and Fostering Placements Team have merged to form the Children’s Placements Team. The newly established team, which identifies both in house and external placement options for Children in Care, will be available from  Monday 25 April 2016. The team sits within the Fostering and Adoption service and is managed by Lance Feldman.

Please note new contact details.

Intervention Contact Team changes – how to refer, and contact forms

It is a time of change in the intervention/contact service as we move towards an area-based model.

As part of the changes, the previous forms for a referral and a risk assessment will be combined and the form will be on CareFirst (Q8). Secondly, the contact supervisor’s write up of contact (Q9) will also be a form on CareFirst. Find out more.

Upcoming changes to the Connected Persons Team (Special Guardianship Orders and Family and Friends)

Special Guardianship Orders (SGO) and Family and Friends teams have recently merged to form the Connected Person’s Team and changes to the teams processes will be implemented mid May. Please refer to the changes.

Social Worker of the Year awards

Social Worker of the Year Awards

Please start thinking about who you would want to nominate for the Social Worker of the Year awards.

Entries are now open and nomination forms are on the website and will close on Friday 22 July.

There are twelve different categories which would be open to nominations for teams and individuals working in adult social care.

More information online:

CYPN awards 2016

The Children & Young People Now Awards 2016

The search is on for the best work with children, young people and families

Entires now open! Now in their eleventh year, these awards provide a great source of pride and recognition for professionals who strive to improve the lives of others.

  • Entry Deadline: 1st July 2016
  • Judging: July and August 2016
  • Shortlist Announced: Beginning of September 2016
  • Awards Ceremony: November 2016.

Resources and Publications


Mental Capacity Act (MCA)

e-Learning course – free to use.


Attachment and neglect

This month’s Research and Policy update from RiP focuses on attachment and neglect.


Do you know about Early Help for Mental Health (EH4MH)?

The EH4MH initiative was introduced in Devon – read more in the latest schools newsletter.


Child protection and training events

Here is a list of all training courses running from now until the end of July 2016.

Safeguarding Supervision sessions on the following dates:

17.05.16 – Filleigh Village Hall

24.05.16 – Newton Abbot

07.06.16 – Filleigh Village Hall

14.06.16 – Newton Abbot

12.07.16 – Exeter

We strongly recommend that all frontline managers and ATMs book onto and attend this training.

More events found on the DSCB training web page.

And here’s the latest DSCB newsletter .

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