Agenda and minutes

Safe and Strong Communities Select Committee
Tuesday, 26th September, 2017 2.00 pm

Venue: Oak Room, County Buildings, Stafford. View directions

Contact: Helen Phillips  Email: helen.phillips@staffordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were none at this meeting.

2.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 July 2017 pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Safe and Strong Communities Select Committee held on 13 July 2017 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

3.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Staffordshire, to include progress against the CSAF Action Plan and information regarding Revenge Porn & Sexting pdf icon PDF 427 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People

Additional documents:

Minutes:

[Superintendent Tim Martin (Staffordshire Police), Robert Simpson (Regulatory Services Group Manager, Stafford Borough Council) and Dave Anslow (Manager, Children & Young Peoples Voice Project) in attendance for this item.]

 

The Select Committee received regular reports on the work the County Council and its partners undertake to address Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).  CSE remains a priority for both the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB). The Child Sexual Abuse Forum (CSAF) was established jointly by the two LSCBs and their partners as an effective way to share information, coordinate and drive the work to address sexual abuse and to hold agencies to account for promoting effective local working together arrangements.

 

Members watched a DVD entitled “For the Whole World to See”, produced by Burton and South Derbyshire College, which showed the possible consequences of sexting. The Select Committee felt this was an excellent tool to use in schools and more broadly within the community to help raise awareness of the consequences of sexting and specifically the illegal nature of taking, owning and sharing such pictures. They were informed of the breadth of work undertaken to address the current perception that sexting was “normal” and the importance of delivering the message in an age appropriate way and in a format that young people take note of, ie not using posters or leaflets but making good use of social media. In general delivery of awareness raising in schools via a third party worked better than delivery from school staff as pupils tended to find this less awkward.

 

Whilst it was important to ensure young people were aware of the illegal nature of sexting there was no  intention to criminalise them. However once an image was shared on social media it became available world wide and there were examples of blackmail and exploitation resulting from sexted images. It was important for young people to understand the implications of how these images could be used. Members also felt that it was crucial for parents to be educated on this issue.

 

Members were aware that schools had the discretion to determine what issues were raised within their Personal, Social, Health & Economic (PHSE) lessons and the manner of delivery. However they felt strongly that use of the DVD should be encouraged. It was suggested that one way to support the awareness raising and use of the DVD was via the Governing Body, with governor training raising awareness and advising governors to check how their schools were addressing the issues and challenge where this work wasn’t being done.

 

Members also heard that whilst every effort was undertaken to work together to remove on-line images, technology advanced at such a pace it was not always a straight forward process. Operation Safenet continued to work to address this sort of issue, however preventing the images being taken and/or shared was key to reducing the risks involved in sexting.

 

Members noted that there was an identified inconsistency in the delivery of PHSE education across Staffordshire schools. The need to develop  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Cabinet Response: Preventing Low Level Neglect of Children in Staffordshire’ pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Safe and Strong Communities Select Committee formed a working group to consider Low Level Neglect with the focus of their report being around early identification and prevention. The Working Group’s report was endorsed at the Select Committee meeting of 8 June 2016. The report was then submitted to the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People who verbally confirmed he accepted the vast majority of the recommendations at the Select Committee meeting of 8 July 2016, with a formal written response and progress report on implementation of the recommendations at their 6 March 2017 meeting.

 

The Select Committee now received details of the progress made and Members thanked the Cabinet Member for his work in addressing the Working Group’s recommendations.

 

The Select Committee requested an organogram showing the governance model for this area of work and identifying the relationship between the different groups involved.

 

RESOLVED – That:

a)     the Executive Response and progress with any outstanding items on the Action Plan be noted;

b)    the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People be thanked for the progress made in addressing the Working Groups recommendations; and

c)    an organogram of the governance model and relationship between the groups involved in this work be forwarded to Select Committee Members.

5.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Report of the Scrutiny and Support Manager

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Select Committee noted that a request had been made for the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Adult Safeguarding Partnership Board  Annual Report to be moved from the Select Committee’s November meeting to their December meeting to enable the Board to agree their annual report before this was shared with the Select Committee. This would also enable the Adult and Children’s Safeguarding Partnership Board  Annual Reports to be presented at the same meeting.

 

At the Chairman’s request the December meeting had been moved from 11 December, 2.00pm, to Tuesday 12 December, 10.00am to avoid an afternoon meeting.

 

Members also noted that their proposed scrutiny review into Children’s Centres would be postponed as centres were currently undergoing considerable change and the review would be more apt after the changes had taken place.

 

Members raised concerns over a local newspaper report from 14 September that had suggested there had been a significant rise in the number of children suffering neglect in Staffordshire, with an increase of 255 in 2016/17. The article had been based on the NSPCC national report showing the number of cases of neglect reported to them, however whilst the number reported through the NSPCC had risen, the number overall within Staffordshire had stayed the same. It was the method of reporting that had changed in that, following a successful advertising campaign, more people were reporting cases of neglect through the NSPCC rather than routes previously used.

 

Edge of Care - Scoping Report

The Select Committee received a scoping report setting out details of a proposed scrutiny review into why more children were entering care in Staffordshire, the impact this had on the Council and the mechanisms in place to prevent children from coming into care. Members agreed to undertake the scrutiny review.

 

 

RESOLVED – That:

a)     the amendments to the Work Programme be noted; and

b)     and the scoping report and terms of reference for the Edge of Care Scrutiny review be agreed.