Keeping Devon’s children safe – October 2014 update

Children’s social work and child protection: Peer Review, TriX, Baby P, Early Help, CWWW updates

Back copies of staff bulletins:

Keeping Devon's Children Safe

Key management messages

Dear colleague

Thank you for your participation in the recent LGA Peer Review. We have now received the formal feedback from Peer Review Team who were with us in the week of 13-17 October 2014 looking at our child protection arrangements in the council and across our partnerships.

The Peer Review team was really impressed by the commitment, energy and enthusiasm of staff and managers. They also heard people say that we are now all thinking about the child and should be confident that by working together we can make a real difference to those we serve.

Please refer to the summary of their findings and the next steps we plan to take against each of the five themes of the Peer Review.

  1. Vision, strategy and leadership
  2. Effective practice, service delivery and the voice of the child
  3. Outcomes, impact and performance management
  4. Working Together (including LSCB and Health and Wellbeing Board)
  5. Capacity and Managing Resources

Here is the final letter from the LGA team about what they found in Devon and a plan of actions we have developed to address the areas they identified for improvement. These actions will be incorporated in our refreshed improvement plan – which is being updated to reflect feedback from the Peer Review team.

We will share this with you when it is finalised.

It has been an important stage in our improvement journey, giving us the opportunity to reflect on progress made, and work still to do to sustain and accelerate improvements so that we consistently achieve our aspirations for children, young people and families in Devon.


Ofsted Delivery Improvement Group (DIG) October update

At the recent Delivery Improvement Group (DIG), we were pleased to note the excellent progress being made by David Smith with regard to the Annex A information requirements.

There was also a performance update where Initial Child Protection Conferences were discussed.The proportion of children with a child protection plan recorded as having been visited within 42 days continued to improve during August to 87% and we look to continue to drive improvements in this area. Summarised in the October DIG update.

Ray Jones

Baby P: The Untold Story

Last week, a BBC documentary offered an insightful look at the aftermath of the Baby P case when, very notoriously, social workers and their managers were condemed in the media.

Professor Ray Jones, (who you know as our Independent Chair on our Children’s Safeguarding and Improvement Board) acted as an advisor on the programme.

Maria Ward, Baby Peter’s social worker, spoke publicly for the first time about the anxiety and fear she experienced. The programme illuminated how disproportionate ‘blame’ was deflected onto social workers by the police, despite significant practice failures by both police and health.

The programme is available on BBC iPlayer.

If you have registered to The College of Social Work, you can read the interview by Professor Ray Jones, author of ‘The Story of Baby P: Setting the Record Straight’, in Social Work Matters, available now via your membership dashboard.

The College of Social Work

Register on The College of Social Work

Reminder for social workers

If you are a permanent employed qualified social worker, or an ASYE, please register on The College of Social Work website. Follow these instructions.

HR recruitment

HR update – Manager Briefing: Recruitment

Providing a monthly update on performance, workforce development and recruitment activity to share with social work teams. In this issue we include:

  • Transition into children’s social work
  • Reminder: HCPC registration is still open and the deadline is approaching. Social Workers must re-register no later than 30 Nov to continue practicing
  • ‘Think the Unthinkable – Raising awareness and knowledge about Child Sexual Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation’ coming soon.

Staff flu jab

Phil, Nick, Jill and Mike from Devon County Council are helping to raise awareness of the campaign, pictured above

Have you had your flu jab yet?

We recognise the serious impact that flu can have on staff, so we are encouraging those who work in frontline social care to get the flu jab.

Tell your manager if you have had it so that they can record and update their spreadsheet. (PDF version of Source pages)

Finding local information and advice about care and support services

**Please promote this survey through your community and networks**

Care and support is something that nearly everyone will need at some point in their lives. Even if you don’t need it yourself, you will probably know a family member or friend who does.

To help us to improve the information and advice available about care and support services in our local area please take a few minutes to complete the following survey:

Closing date is Friday 5 December 2014.

Healthwatch Devon can provide the survey in alternative formats.

October 2014

Important updates

Way We Work Group

G1 strategy form amendments

From 6 October, strategy meetings will begin taking place at the MASH.  In support of this change, minor amendments have been made to the G1 Strategy Meeting form in CareFirst.

Lean Review update – Care Mobile Pilot

As you may be aware an extended pilot of Care Mobile is about to start.

Upgrading laptops

We’re upgrading the children’s social worker laptops to thick client devices which support the full functionality of Lync including video and audio conferencing and the ability to work offline and print.

The rollout will start with Fiona Fitzpatrick and her management team followed by operational managers and then the social care teams.

FInd out more here

Tri X

Social workers…
Social care practitioners…

Where do you go if you want to know what the county policy is on a particular topic?

Where do you go if you want to back up your practice with research and good practice?

Where do you go for regular updates of national policy changes and legislation amendments?

Find out where!


Do you use DAF or CAFs?

Early Help need to know

The team would like all completed DAFs and associated ‘Information Sharing Consent Form’. Also if you have any active CAFs, where the family is currently being supported by Early Help, please send them for logging.

Resources and Publications

DSCB Early Help update

Early Help awareness sessions

To develop your knowledge and awareness of  the implementation of Early Help and the Devon Assessment Framework, the Devon Safeguarding Children Board is offering Early Help Awareness sessions across the county.

Book onto a session by typing Early Help in the search box, or follow these instructions.

Safeguarding in the 21st Century

The Devon and Torbay Safeguarding Children Boards recently hosted Safeguarding in the 21st Century, a conference for safeguarding children leads, interested in the issues around safeguarding children.

david taylor

More from news and updates from the Devon Safeguarding Children Board in their newsletter.


The Children’s Commissioner for England needs our help

Help make a difference for children in care and care leavers by taking part in the annual Care Monitor survey. We are asking staff to encourage young people they know, and are working with, to complete the survey.

It can be undertaken by children and young people in care who are over 8 years old, and care leavers.

The results of the survey will tell the Government and other decision-makers what life in care is like. Visit

When asked please enter our unique code: MEE008

More information about the Children’s Commissioner for England:



This public health briefing is to inform you of the current risk of Ebola to the UK, and of the work currently underway to mitigate any potential risks resulting from a case being identified in the UK, or in Devon.

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Keeping Devon’s Children Safe public website