Supervision of designated safeguarding leads

What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) has published a report exploring the impact of a trial providing monthly supervision sessions delivered by a senior social worker to designated safeguarding leads (DSLs) in primary schools in Bolton. The aim of the programme, developed by Bolton Council, was to improve the appropriateness and quality of contacts to children’s social care, and to better support DSLs in their role. The study found that the support was welcomed by DSLs with some reporting increased confidence and improvements in mental wellbeing.

Read the news story: Supervising designated safeguarding leads in Bolton
Read the report:Supervision of designated safeguarding leads in primary schools in Bolton (PDF)

Source: What Works for Children’s Social Care
Date: 15 February 2021

Eating disorders

The Guardian reports that analysis of referrals of young people with eating disorders for NHS treatment in England shows that there were 19,562 new referrals of under-18s with eating disorders to NHS-funded secondary mental health services in 2020, a rise of 46% from 13,421 new referrals in 2019.

Read the news story: NHS sees surge in referrals for eating disorders among under-18s during Covid

Source: Guardian
Date: 20 February 2021

Young people’s mental health

Belfast Youth Forum in partnership with the Northern Ireland Youth Forum and the Northern Ireland Children’s Commissioner’s Youth Panel have produced a mental health advocacy toolkit for young people designed to give young people a step by step guide to organising a mental health campaign project in their community and support them to campaign on local mental health issues.

Read the news story: Young people give ‘heads up’ on mental health campaigningS

Source: Northern Ireland Children’s Commissioner for Young People
Date: 18 February 2021

Female genital mutilation

Sky News reports that referrals relating to female genital mutilation (FGM) have dropped in England during the pandemic. NHS Digital recorded 685 new cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in England in the period October to December 2020 compared with 900 new cases recorded in the same period in 2019. It is not known if the drop in numbers is because FGM is happening under the radar or because less FGM is taking place due to flights being banned.

Read the news story: FGM: Survivors tell their stories as female circumcision referrals drop during pandemic

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Source: Sky News
Date: 25 February 2021

Keeping children safe in education

Source: Department for Education
Date: 18 January 2020

The Department for Education (DfE) has updated Keeping children safe in education, the statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment, and the Staffing and employment guidance for schools in England to reflect legal changes following exit from the EU, including guidance on checking the past conduct of individuals who have lived or worked overseas.

Read the guidance:Keeping children safe in education
Staffing and employment: advice for schools​​​​​​

Sexual abuse of children outside the UK

Source: Home Office
Date: 21 January 2021

The Home Office has published the government’s response to the recommendations set out in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) report into institutional responses to the sexual abuse of children outside the UK. The response includes recommendations for: the development of a national plan of action addressing child sexual abuse and exploitation overseas by UK nationals; bringing forward legislation for the establishment of a list of countries where children are considered to be at high risk of sexual abuse and exploitation from overseas offenders; and extending the geographical reach and mandatory nature of the Disclosure and Barring Service scheme.

Read the policy paper:Response to an IICSA report on the sexual abuse of children outside the UK

Child sexual abuse strategy

Source: Home Office
Date: 22 January 2021

The Home Office has published the Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy setting out the government’s vision for preventing, tackling and responding to child sexual abuse whether it is committed in person or online, in families or communities, in the UK or overseas. The strategy is based on three objectives: tackling all forms of child sexual abuse and bringing offenders to justice; preventing offending and re-offending; and protecting and safeguarding children and young people, and supporting all victims and survivors.

Read the news story:Priti Patel publishes new strategy to protect children from sexual abuse
Read the strategy:Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy

Coronavirus: impact on babies

Source: Parent-Infant Foundation
Date: 19 January 2021

The Parent-Infant Foundation has published a report looking at the impact of the Spring 2020 national lockdown on babies, and how local systems responded to the challenges of the coronavirus crisis. Findings from a survey of 235 senior leaders of pregnancy and 0-2 services across the UK include: 98% of respondents said that babies that their organisation works with had been impacted by parental anxiety, stress or depression which was affecting bonding and responsive care; 80% said that some babies they work with had experienced increased exposure to domestic conflict, child abuse or neglect, with 29% saying many babies they work with had been impacted.

Read the news story: Working for babies: lockdown lessons from local systems
Read the report: Working for babies: lockdown lessons from local systems (PDF)