Monday 23rd November 2020 – Friday 27th November will see the virtual launch of the newly developed Adolescent Strategy. In addition, during that week our safeguarding partners will be holding a series of workshops/briefings for professionals working with teenagers.The CYSCP Campaign page contains further information including how you can sign up for the workshops.
Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector, presented at the National Children and Adult Services (NCAS) Conference earlier this month. In her address, she highlighted the concerning rise in serious notifications made to Ofsted during the pandemic for non-accidental injuries in babies.
In York there has been a reflection of this national picture, with an unprecedented number of cases of injuries to young infants and a number of unexpected child deaths where wider concerns were present. In response to this, a ‘Safeguarding briefing’ is now available.
Following an Independent Review of Partnership Working across York and North Yorkshire to address Domestic Abuse commissioned, a recommendation was made to streamline the MARAC process across North Yorkshire. This was based on the successful pilot of virtual twice weekly MARACs in York. The multi-agency Domestic Abuse Operational Group took this opportunity to review the whole MARAC process including the referral and research forms, the protocol and process by which decisions are made to refer a case to MARAC.
The number of referrals to MARAC has steadily increased over and above any seasonal trend, leading to a decision that twice weekly MARAC would not be practical to implement in North Yorkshire as it would be too resource intensive. However, the work undertaken to review the referral process and protocol has enabled some changes to be made which should streamline the process and make it more effective.
New referral forms are being introduced which should assist in ensuring agencies capture better quality information from which decisions can be made on whether a case needs to be heard at MARAC. Any which are contentious will be considered virtually by a panel consisting of representation from North Yorkshire Police, IDAS and relevant agencies involved in the case. New research forms will improve the way in which information is presented for discussion in MARACs. The Protocol is currently being re-drafted to reflect these changes and will be disseminated for consultation to the Community Safety Partnerships and relevant Safeguarding Partnerships for comment.
North Yorkshire Police is calling on community partners, parents and carers to help raise awareness about the very real danger of young people being drawn into extremist ideology and terrorism.
Counter Terrorism Policing research, covering the first Coronavirus lockdown, confirmed that extremists have been actively using the pandemic to spread misleading and inflammatory information on social media and messaging applications.
It is believed this has been a concerted effort in a bid to recruit young people who were away from positive influences such as school and spending even more time than usual online.
While the second lockdown in England has seen schools and universities remain open, the stark warning is that the risk of young people being groomed by extremists has not been removed.
Detective Superintendent Allan Harder, North Yorkshire Police’s Head of Safeguarding, said: “In recent years there has been a very worrying and increasing trend of extremist material being spread online. There is no doubt whatsoever that the dangerous people behind such activity have used the Coronavirus pandemic to gain sympathy and support from vulnerable people who are spending a great deal of time on their own while online.
“Collectively, we need to be able to spot the signs in behaviour of our young people to ensure such extremists ideology does not take hold with tragic consequences.
“Not only do the police, education, local authorities and community safety partnerships have an important role to play, it also requires parents, friends and family to help us by acting early. They must talk to their children about what they view online and have the confidence to seek support if they fear someone they love and care about is in grave danger of being radicalised.
“We know that asking for help in such situations is a very difficult and emotional step to take, but it is absolutely necessary and could, ultimately, save their loved ones’ lives and prevent harm to many others.”
For help and advice please visit www.actearly.uk or call the national Police Prevent Advice Line on 0800 011 3764 in confidence.
Families and friends who are worried their loved ones may be at risk from extremist ideology are being encouraged to ‘act early’ and share their concerns in confidence with the police.
Launched on Wednesday 18 November 2020, the new Act Early safeguarding website urges anyone with concerns to seek help as soon as possible so that police and partners can help protect the person they care about from being groomed and exploited.
It is supported by a new national Police Prevent Advice Line where families and friends can seek help and support in confidence from specialist Counter Terrorism officers.
The website includes signs to spot, case studies, other partner organisations who can offer support, and how to share concerns with the police.
Working alongside partner agencies, North Yorkshire Police has helped many people who may be at risk from extremist ideology through the Home Office’s Prevent programme, part of the Government’s national counter-terrorism strategy.
The website and helpline actively supports the work of the force’s dedicated Prevent officers.
As we return to a national lockdown the Prevention programme from The Children’s Society is concerned regarding it’s potential impact on the exploitation and abuse of children and young people.
During phase one of Covid-19 there was an increase in online grooming into both Child Sexual Abuse and Child Criminal Exploitation and an increase in domestic abuse. The Children's Socierty are also concerned that children experiencing abuse at home may have been shut in with their abusers and unable to access support.
These concerns have not gone away and as England returns to lockdown, The Children's Society have collated a range of resources and support contacts for professionals, parents, key workers and others both working with children or entering the family home at this time. Please circulate these as widely as possible through your networks.
The Prevention programme will continue to support partners in responding to child exploitation and abuse across England and Wales at this time. If you think you might benefit from the programme’s support please get in touch.
The key Commissioning Partners: North Yorkshire Police, Office of the Police Fire & Crime Commissioner, Safer York Partnership and North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership convened a weekly Tactical meeting to discuss the potential issues and both monitor and manage services. Initially, we did not see large increases in referrals during lockdown but as restrictions began to lift, referrals and demands on services increased significantly with both IDAS and Foundation working to capacity to manage their caseload in respect of both victims and perpetrators.
The tactical meetings have continued and are now taking place fortnightly. The group has managed to ensure that information on local services has been widely disseminated both through existing communication channels and also through COVID testing centres, GP surgeries and pharmacies. The group has also run a series of information sessions via social media which have been widely accessed. By rigorous monitoring of the data and drilling into any peaks, the group has ensured that services have been able to cope with demand and that additional funding has been made available to support the increase in referrals.
These tactical meetings are set to continue until a more normal situation is reached both in terms of the pandemic and also in numbers of cases of domestic abuse. These meetings are in addition to the normal governance meetings which take place across York and North Yorkshire.
If anyone would like any further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
As we go into a second period of lockdown, North Yorkshire Police are actively promoting the partnership video that was compiled back in June 2020 as part of Safeguarding Week This highlights the support available around Domestic Abuse.
Next week sees the launch of Systemic Practice 'Every Conversation Starts with the Child'. Please visit our campaign webpage for further details.
6 November 2020 10am-12pm via Zoom
This multi-agency workshop run by Children’s Social Care staff will provide a basic understanding of Systemic Practice and how this will be used in York to work with children and families. This session is available to those who couldn’t attend earlier sessions which ran in September.
To book go to https://york.learningpool.com and search for the course title. Click "sign up" next to the session you require. If you don't already have a MyLO account please register following the instructions on the right hand side of the login screen.
In 2018 Show Me That I Matter (York’s Children in Care Council and Care Leavers Forum ) took part in a national campaign by TACT Fostering and Adoption to challenge the way professionals talk about Children In Care.
Language That Cares was a collaborative effort led by TACT with Children in Care Council from across the UK. The aim of the campaign was to change the language of the care system. In the foreword the CEO of TACT states “Language is a powerful tool for communication but sometimes the way that it is used in social care creates stigma and barriers for understanding.”
The TACT Language That Cares resource is not an absolute list of all words used in the care system, however, it starts a much necessary discussion about the way we communicate and engage with our children and young people.
Being involved in this campaign led to further discussions with care experienced young people who explained they were often unhappy about the language used by professionals and wanted to do something to challenge this in York.
They created a series of cards with the words that are encouraging professionals to use. The cards identify the four words they have chosen and why, these are:
The electronic cards are available for any services who work with Children and young people by contacting email@example.com
Do you know what services are delivered in York for children and young people and mums to be? Please see the attached leaflet with further information.
Early Help and FEHA training – Upcoming courses are available for booking now
Using the FEHA Tool – How to be an effective lead practitioner
4th November 2020, 10am – 12.30pm OR 2.30 – 5pm
Building relationships with families and preparing for difficult conversations
10th November 2020, 10am – 12.30pm OR 2.30-5pm
The Whole Family – listening to everyone
11th November 2020, 10am – 12.30pm OR 2.30 – 5pm
Recognising Vulnerability and your role in supporting children, young people and families
13th November 2020, 10am – 12pm OR 1.30 – 3.30pm
All sessions will take place on Zoom. Please see the course pages on Mylo for more information including course outlines, Zoom guidance and pre-course reading and requirements.
How do I book on?
Go to https://york.learningpool.com and search for the course title. Click ‘sign up’ next to the session you require.
The Marie Collins Foundation in partnership with the National Working Group have developed two new resources to support parents/carers and professionals with regards to how to respond when it is discovered that a child has been harmed online. Both tools have been created to be shared as widely as possible, please can you therefore share widely within your teams/schools and across parents and carers who you work with. Both resources can be promoted on social media/websites and are available on our website.
Please also see attached a poster created by Tees Esk Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) for professionals which is a useful reminder about the impact of parental mental health and the PAMIC Tool.
The Non Recent, Organised and Complex Abuse Procedure has been updated. Please visit the updated Child Protection Procedures page for the new procedure.
The Harmful Sexual Behaviour procedure has now been rewritten and updated. A launch of this procedure if currently being planned but please visit our updated HSB web page for the new procedure.
CYSCP are pleased to announce the appointment of Maggie Atkinson as The CYSCP Independent Scrutineer.
Former Children’s Commissioner appointed to support work of City of York Safeguarding Children Partnership
A former national Children’s Commissioner has been appointed to scrutinise the work of City of York Safeguarding Partnership (CYSCP).
Maggie Atkinson will take on the new post as Independent Scrutineer to the citywide partnership. Led jointly by City of York Council, North Yorkshire Police and the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group, the partnership’s role is to ensure that services across the city work together to protect children and young people from harm or abuse.
Dr Atkinson’s role will be to challenge the partnership in all areas of its work, highlighting areas needing improvement, as well as good practice. The aim is to help make services across the city safer for children and young people.
Maggie brings a wealth of experience to the new role, having served as the Children’s Commissioner for England between 2010-2015, after jobs in teaching and local government. Most recently, she has worked with organisations to develop their practice, leadership and management.
Maggie Atkinson, Independent Scrutineer, said: “I am delighted to become the Independent Scrutineer of the many organisations across York whose work contributes to children and young people’s health, safety, wellbeing, education and citizenship. Keeping them all as safe as possible, and recognising that in York as elsewhere they are a quarter of the population with ambitions, needs, views and opinions we must heed, are central concerns.
“At the heart of all that activity are services working directly with all children and young people, and those that work particularly with the most vulnerable who need help, enhanced support or protection. But children and young people also spend in the city’s economy, use its transport, are housed in accommodation that must be safe and secure, care about the environment and much else besides.
“The adults who bring them up, and those who work with them act together to meet their needs, as well as nurturing them so they can do the best they can, growing up to be adults who in turn will work in, further develop, and perhaps even lead the city in the future.
“My work as Independent Scrutineer will highlight where there is already great work being done for York’s children and young people; and will challenge services, and the city’s wider community, when things should be better joined up, more ambitious, or more sharply focused on what needs to improve for children and young people. I look forward immensely to playing my part in this vital role.”
Assistant Chief Constable Annette Anderson, North Yorkshire Police, Chair of City of York Safeguarding Children Partnership, said: “In York we see safeguarding children as everyone’s responsibility and at the heart of this is having strong partnership arrangements that hold us all to account and drive forward service improvement. Maggie’s appointment is fantastic news for our partnership. She is highly regarded and experienced and will provide us with an independent view of how well we are meeting the needs of the children and families we work for.”
Councillor Ian Cuthbertson, City of York Council’s Executive member for Children, Young People and Education, said:
“I’m delighted that Maggie has been appointed Independent Scrutineer for the partnership. Maggie brings years of experience and knowledge to the role of scrutineer and it’s clear that she shares with all three CYSCP partners the firm belief that safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. I know that she will give an independent and impartial view of the partnership’s effectiveness in addressing the safeguarding needs of our city’s children and families.
For more information about the City of York Safeguarding Children Partnership visit https://www.saferchildrenyork.org.uk/
Government information for parents and carers about going back to schools, nurseries and colleges in the autumn term.
CYC know that parents, carers and pupils will have lots of questions about the new term, so they’ve prepared some advice which will help to answer some of them. Find it here or check with your school’s website:
PC Nathan Clifton is the newest member of North Yorkshire Police’s Prevent Team.
Here, in the first of a series of blogs, he talks about his journey towards becoming a Prevent Officer and explains this key local role as part of the national counter-terrorism programme…
“I joined North Yorkshire Police in August 2019 after transferring from the Metropolitan Police. I don’t need to explain that it’s a completely different world moving from the relatively small, compact patch of Wandsworth borough compared to the vast, rural district of Selby.
I’ve always held a keen interest in counter-terrorism since I became a police officer. From the initial training we received it was always a career path I wanted to explore. Before any of that, though, the plan was to get my head down and get my grounding on the streets before putting in any applications.
Having been working down south when PC Keith Palmer was killed and at the time of the Borough Market attack, these events really firmed-up that I wanted to be playing my part in the prevention of terrorism.
I arrived in Selby and a short while later the vacancy for the Prevent Officer appeared and, with that ambition I’d carried with me from the Met, I now find myself where I am today.
In the Met I knew we had a Prevent Officer who covered the borough. We had our CT (counter- terrorism) input during training and a brief section on Prevent…and that was it!
My understanding at the time was the literal prevention of terrorism - recognise the signs and submit intel and the powers that be might do something with it.
This low-level of understanding continued through to my transfer to North Yorkshire. I was not fully aware of the scope of work that Prevent actually covers, particularly the multi-agency side of things and liaising with our partners.
I can already see that this is a significant part of the role and it’s the information we receive from them that forms an important part of our ongoing assessment.
In the role in North Yorkshire I also naively assumed that there would be a Prevent Officer covering each district. Having myself and my colleague Ben for the entire force was a bit of a shock to the system, as most things were from changing forces!
Prevent plays a vital role in the identification of people who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, for example, be it through their age, their mental health or their views and beliefs. The introduction of the Counter Terrorism Security Act in 2015 places a duty on specified authorities, including the police, to show due regard to preventing people from being drawn in to terrorism.
Referrals can come in from anyone, be it a teacher at school who has recognised a change in a pupil’s behaviour, a colleague within the police who has attended a job and has their own worries for an individual, or a parent who is concerned that their child is spending a lot of time at home online and there has been a noticeable change in their mannerisms.
It’s our job then to assess these referrals and in some cases see if they are happy to take part in the Channel process which I’ll touch on in another blog.
Initially I have focussed on introducing myself to our various partners and agencies who I will be working with, as well as familiarising myself with the process of receiving a referral and the different paths it takes, such as from assessment to Channel to closure.
It’s already so interesting and different from anything I’ve done before. There’s lot of different terminology and acronyms to get to grips with but I’m really looking forward to the additional training and developing the skills that come with the role.”
For more information about Prevent, please go to the “Let’s Talk About It” website www.ltai.info and follow @NypPrevent on Twitter.
It has recently been highlighted that there has been an increase in the use of 'Nitrous Oxide' and also 'Cannabis oil disguised as confectionery'. Please raise awareness and share amongst your colleagues and other professionals. The attached leaflets show more information regarding these.
New dates are available for this training which will now take place virtually. Further details including how to book can be found here.
Podcasts produced by York Anti-Trafficking Society on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking: