Keeping Devon’s children safe – September 2015 update

Covering: progress update on the Devon Children Improvement Plan, Managing allegations against adults who work with children, Early Help privacy notice and update, care leavers in the Academy of Social Care, parking permits for social care staff and much more.

Back copies of staff bulletins:


Key management messages

Dear colleague,

In March 2105, Ofsted completed an inspection of services for children in need of help and protection; children who are looked after; and care leavers in Devon. The report was published on 12 May 2015 with an overall judgement that children’s services now ‘require improvement’.

The inspection report said that the quality of work with children and families and outcomes for children and young people have improved, particularly over the last six months, and that the welfare of looked after children is safeguarded and promoted. But significant areas remain where practice is not yet good enough and overall we are not yet delivering the “good” protection, help and care for children, young people and families that we wish and are expected to achieve. The key areas for improvement were identified, and in response to this we developed the Devon Children’s Improvement Plan.

Here, we update you with progress against the expected outcomes for September 2015.


Managing allegations against adults who work with children

The procedures for ‘Managing Allegations Against Adults Who Work With Children’, which is overseen by our Local Authority Designated Officers (LADOs) has been updated and is now available on Tri.X. Find out what the procedures cover.

Early Help privacy notice

As part of the expanded troubled families programmewe have a legal requirement to inform people about how their information might be shared.

Early Help poster
Click to expand and download poster

Young carers and early help

Early Help support for young carers can help to reduce the impact of their caring responsibilities on their social, emotional and mental welfare. Questions that workers could consider asking around young carers are included here.

Reminder to book on Newsletter Live

This training offers colleagues the opportunity to keep up to date on developments across the service, and non-attendance should be the exception rather than the rule. The topics to be covered this Autumn are:

  • Special Guardianship: this will be the main focus of the 3 hour session, examining principles, policy, and to update on the new SG team.
  • The Modern Slavery Act 2015: an update on this new legislation for staff, which encompasses previous Human Trafficking legislation, and therefore essential knowledge regarding Child Sexual Exploitation.

Dates with significant availability are:

Tuesday 20 October – Westbank Healthy Living Centre, Exminster
Thursday 5 November – Westbank HLC, Exminster
Thursday 12 November – Cullompton Community Centre
Tuesday 17 November – Newton Abbot Racecourse

To book your place please follow this link


New work experience programme for care leavers in the Academy of Social Care

Issac Davies (pictured) and Marley Hall, two care leavers, started a work experience programme with our Academy of Social Care. This is a brand new programme, which provides an opportunity for young people to gain skills and knowledge in the social care sector. The aim is to provide real work activities for up to 12 months. Read their first impressions.

How our young people and children in care are participating

And read how the Participation Team are involving young people (including Marley and Issac) in the latest news from the Team. The update covers the interview for the Head of Children’s Social Care panel, Stand Up Speak Up Youth Clubs; Children in Care Council Meetings; and activity days for young people.

Devon’s Youth Parliament is making it’s mark

Devon’s Youth Parliament hasbeen working very hard over the last few months on both their local campaigns and the national Make Your Mark campaign. Members of Youth Parliament and its deputies surveyed over 560 young people in their communities in order to discover their views on transport, disabilities and extra curricular activities to inform their local campaigns. Results were striking.

Rachel Gillott

New Senior Manager – Fostering and Adoption

Rachel Gillott has been successful in gaining a permanent appointment to the Senior Manager Fostering and Adoption post – and this will ensure that all senior managers are permanent. This will assist with continuing improvement plan and ensure permanence and stability of leadership of the services.

Rachel has led the adoption service to achieve ‘good with outstanding features’ in our recent inspection. Rachel looks forward to taking up her new role and will start soon. Rachel will be responsible for fostering, adoption and corporate parenting.

CYPN award finalist

Cream of the adoption crop!

Adopt South West has been shortlisted as a finalist for the partnership category award of the Children’s and Young People Now awards 2015. Good luck!

Pictured: (left) Alison Barker – Service Manager (Permanency & Placement Service) Children, Young People and Families Services Plymouth City Council, (middle) Anne Osborne – Head of Service for (CYPIC) Children, Young People and Families Services Plymouth City Council, and (right) Caroline Davis – Chief Executive Officer Families for Children (Rachel Gillott pictured in above bulletin article, not present for this photo)

September 2015

Important updates


Parking permits for social care staff

Updated permit template now online!

Good news for social care staff, care workers and health staff who use on-street parking while delivering essential services to residents (where DCC parking limitations apply)

A special permit allows parking without time limit, or requirement to pay, in:

  • areas of limited waiting
  • residents’ parking
  • and Pay & Display.

Read all the information, and find out how to to get a permit (PDF version)


Business Systems Quick Reference Guides

There is now a new page on The Source containing Quick Reference Guides on the following:

  • CareFirst (includes general guidance; Child Care Visits; Child Plan; Child Single Assessment; Children in Care Legal and Placement Codes; Keyboard Navigation)
  • Egress
  • Network Drives and Folders
  • TRIM

The incorrect link was included in last month’s issue, apologies for any confusion.

Reminder on how to print assessment forms in CareFirst

If you can’t find the assessment form you want to print, it may be that you have gone via the wrong route on CareFirst.

Note: always ensure the correct location address is showing on the assessment to prevent data breaches.

See guidance for details.

Keeping information – do you know the rules?

Keep up-to-date on rules defining how long you should keep information for and why. Please refer to the Record Retention Schedules for more information

To discuss your procedures, please contact  the Information Governance Team – keepdevonsdatasafe-mailbox

Resources and Publications

People structure chart update

Our People structure chart – Jennie Stephens’ direct reports – has been updated.

It will be live on The Source shortly.


The South West child protection procedures have changed

Please ensure you use the new link and that you familiarise yourself with the new procedures.

The old procedures are now obsolete; find out what to do.

Early Help – Holistix Video User Guides


Check out the useful series of eight guides to Holistix on YouTube.

DSCB Training Newsletter

The DSCB Training Newsletter for September/October is now out detailing child protection courses running across Devon.   Find more information on any of the courses, and book a place.

Latest availability here!


Sexual Development in Children and Young People

Developing a Best Practice Approach – new booklet.



Do you need to speak with a service user who does not speak English?

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Keeping Devon’s Children Safe public website

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