Keeping Devon’s children safe – October 2015 update

Approval from Ofsted, adulthood strategy, restricting access on CareFirst and TRIM, and much more.

Back copies of staff bulletins:


Key management messages

Dear colleague,

We have now received formal approval from Ofsted for our Children’s Improvement plan. Bradley Simmons HMI Regional Director for Ofsted for the South West wrote:

“I can confirm that the plan satisfactorily reflects the recommendations and priorities of the inspection report…The plan is written in a clear and accessible style and sets ambitious targets for your local authority and partners over the coming months.”

Bradley also suggested that going forward, we should consider including “greater emphasis on the quality of planning for children; and a clearer definition of how you intend to improve performance”.

We are continuing to make good progress against the actions in our plan. Read the achievements in the last month.

Head of Service for Children’s Social Work

As you may have already heard,  following a thorough recruitment process, we have unfortunately been unsuccessful in recruiting to the appointment of Head of Service for Children’s Social Work.

Fiona Fitzpatrick’s contract continues until the 31 March 2016, and we are taking stock and considering how best to go forward so that we have someone in post before Fiona leaves us.

In the meantime, we would like to thank those of you who participated in this process for your time and support.

We will be in touch shortly to update on next steps.

Have you had your free flu jab yet?

Once again we are encouraging all front line health and social care staff and people who are essential to business continuity* to get the free flu jab. (*Ask your manager if you are eligible).

It is important to let your manager know you have had it, so that our Emergency Planning team can capture data on the numbers of staff vaccinated.

Take a look at our updated flu vaccination programme information on the Source including how to claim back expenses using Your Self Service

Good news for Atkinson Secure Children’s Home

On a recent visit to the Atkinson Secure Children’s Home to carry out a full inspection, Ofsted inspectors have praised the progress made by the staff team in developing both the care and education aspects of the home. Find out more.

Children in care Council meetings

Something is bubbling up amongst young people in care… they really do want to tell us what they are thinking about the services they receive from Devon County Council and it’s not all complaints either!

They have some really good suggestions

Preparing for Adulthood Strategy

Please read this draft Preparing for Adulthood Strategy and give us your views by 18 December.

Enhanced Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire for children in care

The short behavioural screening tool used to gage the emotional health and wellbeing of children in care is the ‘Goodman Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire’ (SDQ).

In Devon, we have previously used one version of the SDQ, sent to the main carer for them to complete about children and young people aged four years to 16 years that they look after. The process has now been enhanced, with the introduction of two additional SDQ formats:

  • for the young person between ages of 11 – 17 years inclusive; and
  • for the designated teacher.

Also, SDQ will now be used for children up to the age of 17.

The SWTRO will continue to administer the process, but please read the key actions for the allocated social worker.

Virtual School working closely with our care leavers

The insights work experience students and care leavers have given us have proven very beneficial in helping us better understand how we can better support our children in care, in schools.

Find out the progress and also the date for our next Children in Care Celebration of Achievement Event.

Where are you? Help us find you – the success of the staff directory depends on you…

Please ensure that your Staff Directory entry is up-to-date. If you need any assistance, please liaise with your local Business Support staff.

The control is yours, the responsibility is yours

Am I in the right group?

It is your responsibility and that of your line manager to check and make sure you are in the correct email distribution group.

To ensure that you do not miss any important email notifications, and to ensure that sensitive information only goes to the people with a need to know, it is vital that you make sure you are included in all the right email distribution groups.

October 2015

Important updates

Restricting access to records in CareFirst and TRIM

With immediate effect new practice guidance should be followed when restricting access to a person’s record in CareFirst and TRIM.

The guidance includes information on:

  • when you should consider restricting a record
  • the process for requesting a restriction
  • the process for removing a restriction
  • the process for changing the list of people who have access to a restricted record
  • the process for dealing with urgent requests for record restriction

Please note failure to follow the new guidance may result in a delay to the processing of your requests.

It will be saved on TRi.X in due course.

Changes to the D5 Child Plan and D6 Record of Meeting on CareFirst

Earlier in the year changes were introduced as part of the Lean Review to improve the way Children and Young People’s Plans are recorded on CareFirst. The number of forms used for planning were reduced to a single form for the Child’s Plan (D5) and a separate form for meeting records (D6).

Find out the changes scheduled to ‘go live’ on CareFirst on the 13 November.

Keeping information – do you know the rules?

Legal and Placement Codes for Children in Care – the Quick Reference Card has recently been updated to make some of the code definitions clearer.

Resources and Publications

Launching the New Domestic Violence and Abuse Courses

The Devon Children’s Safeguarding Board and Devon Adult’s Safeguarding Board jointly manage Devon’s commissioned Domestic Violence and Abuse safeguarding training as part of their overall safeguarding training programmes across Devon. Courses start now.

Do you use CareKnowledge and/or RiP?

Have you ever wanted to give Community Care Inform a trial? Inform your future provision.

Missed an issue?

Keeping Devon’s Children Safe public website

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