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Safeguarding News
May 2016

News  – Events  –  Training  –  Policy Updates  –    

Good Practice   –  Learning  –  Contact Us

A message from Keith Makin, Chair of NSCB

Photo of Keith Makin
Following an Ofsted inspection of Northamptonshire's Children's Services and a review of Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board in February and March, both services have been rated as 'Requires improvement to be good'. This is a significant step up on Ofsted's previous 'Inadequate' rating in 2013. 
Inspectors said of Children's Services "Starting from a very low base, there has been progress in improving services across all areas of the child’s journey since the last Ofsted inspections. Most of the progress, though, has yet to be fully embedded." 

And of the NSCB, inspectors said "Since the last Ofsted inspection, in February 2013, there have been concerted efforts to improve the work of the NSCB....As a result, there have been some substantial improvements...However, other aspects need continued focus."

Children are safer in our county now than they were two years ago as a result of the substantial efforts of professionals across the partnership and those working directly with children.  We'll be focussing on the recommendations from Ofsted and will keep you up to date on any changes that may affect you. See the full Ofsted Report on the NSCB website.


Download the entire PDF Neglect Toolkit - Guidance for Practitioners May 2016.

Neglect Toolkit launched for professionals working with children

A new 'toolkit' to help professionals identify and take action on child neglect was launched on the 26th May at the Safeguarding Conference. The toolkit has been divided up into small sections to make it quick and easy to access, e.g. you could just download section 2 on Identifying Neglect to begin with or download the case studies section. Practitioners that have never used the Neglect Toolkit's Graded Care Profile (GCP) can also book onto the training events scheduled in July.
See the Neglect Toolkit webpage on the NSCB website or
Book a place on the Graded Care Profile training course.

First ever 'Northamptonshire Safeguarding Week' a great success

Every day for a week, a spotlight was shone on a different safeguarding topic, including the launch of the Neglect Toolkit. The daily events were supported by a twitter campaign. The event ran from 23rd to 27th May.
See more about the topics covered during safeguarding week.

Northamptonshire Safeguarding Week 23rd-27th May 2016; #safenorthants2016


County-wide notification to schools about Domestic Abuse incidents

Following a pilot in Daventry, a scheme to notify schools of any domestic abuse incidents involving children has been rolled out across the county.  On average, 275 domestic abuse cases are reported in Northamptonshire every month - many of these will have involved or been witnessed by vulnerable children and young people. 
See more about how and when schools are notified about domestic abuse incidents. 


Female Genital Mutilation awareness campaign to launch in run-up to school summer holidays

Known as 'the cutting season', the school summer holidays' provides a long enough break for girls to be subjected to FGM and returned to school in the autumn. A multi-agency campaign in Northamptonshire will be raising awareness of signs to look out for among professionals and the general public.
See more about this campaign


'Calm Harm App' successfully helping teenagers to resist self-harming

A new app to help young people resist the urge to self-harm has been released and is getting very positive feedback from users: "A brilliant little app. It's helping me battle my depression and self-harm urges..." and "Took away most of my urge to cut, gave me multiple alternatives, very good app". The app currently gets an impressive 4.5 star rating from 183 users on the android Google Play download site. Developed by the UK teenage mental health charity Stem4, the app is free to download.
Download for android
or download for apple devices.

Image shows pages from the Calm Harm App from the charity Stem4 



New free mental health education tool for professionals and families produced by MindEd

A series of online learning sessions that focus on a wide range of mental health problems suffered by children and young people is available from MindEd. The information is aimed at professionals working with children and the families of children suffering with mental health issues. 
See more info on the MindEd website.

Image of topics being covered on the MindEd mental health education website. 


Follow the NSCB on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest child safeguarding news...




Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board Conference - 
Thursday 7th July 2016

All professionals working with children in Northants are invited to join us for the conference. 
See more about the Conference and book your place  



Face-to-face training courses

To book online, check the calendar for the latest availability or see our FAQs about face to face training with Barnardo's.

Upcoming face-to-face training courses:

Thresholds and Pathways: ½  day training session with Barnardo’s
Thurs 16th June  9.30am - 12.30pm (Location tbc)
Thurs 4th Aug  9.30am - 12.30pm (Northampton)

Working Together: ½  day training session with Barnardo’s
Thurs 16th June  1.30pm - 4.30pm (Location tbc)
Thurs 4th Aug  1.30pm - 4.30pm (Northampton)

Neglect Toolkit Graded Care Profile: ½  day training session with Barnardo’s
Thurs 5th July  9.30am - 12.30pm  & 1.30pm - 4.30pm(Northampton Police HQ)
Tues 12th July  9.30am - 12.30pm & 1.30pm - 4.30pm (Northampton Police HQ)

Strengthening Families: 1 day training session with Barnardo’s
Thurs 14th July  9.30am - 4.30pm (Northampton)

Effective Supervision & Management in Safeguarding: 1 day training session with Barnardo’s
Mon 25th July  9.30am - 4.30pm (Northampton)

Female Genital Mutilation: 1 day training session with Barnardo’s
Thurs 28th July  9.30am - 4.30pm (Northampton)

Course cancellations, fines and bookings

How to cancel a course and more about the Cancellation and Charging Policy.

Online learning courses

Online training is always available, so please take a look at the online learning options available now. 

NSCB’s ‘Introduction to Safeguarding’ training is available as an e-learning module. The e-learning course has six modules aimed at specific needs/roles within agencies. Visit the NSCB website for more information about e-learning and the full range of courses available.

2016-17 E-Learning Annual Training Challenge - it's not too late!

Have you signed up to complete the Annual Training Challenge? It's not too late to sign up! Congratulations to those who have already signed up and completed a 'safeguarding refresher' course and the CSE course in April and May. The next two courses in June and July are 'Prevent' and 'Self Harm'.
Find out more about the annual training challenge and how to sign up.



Serious Case Review for Child R and Family R

This Serious Case Review was published by the NSCB in March. If you haven't yet done so, please review this case using the links below. The NSCB want to hear specific examples of how the learning from this review has changed your practice. Please email your examples to  

Download the full Overview Report for Child R and Family R (PDF) or the
Child R Six Step Briefing for Team Discussion (PDF)

Concealed Pregnancies

Concealed Pregnancy was a feature in a recent NSCB Serious Case Review. The SCR found that: 
  • Guidance in relation to concealed pregnancy was not always followed; and
  • The potential significance of concealed pregnancy was not well understood.
See more about concealed pregnancy on the NSCB website or view the
NSCB Concealed Pregnancy Practice Guidance (PDF)


Five cases of self-harming involving local children and young people have been analysed as part of a self-harm multi-agency case audit (MACA). The audit looks at how the agencies involved responded and what lessons could be learned.

Teams working with children should use the Self-Harm 6-Step Briefing to see which lessons learned can be applied to their own ways of working with children and young people.

See the self-harm audit summary on the NSCB website or
Download the NSCB 6-Step Self-Harm Briefing (PDF)

Disabled Children

Six cases involving local children and young people who are disabled have been analysed as part of a multi-agency case audit (MACA). The audit looks at how the agencies involved responded and what lessons could be learned.

Teams working with disabled children should use the Disabled Children 6-Step Briefing to see which lessons learned can be applied to their own ways of working with children and young people.

See the disabled children audit summary on the NSCB website or
Download the NSCB 6-Step Disabled Children Briefing (PDF)


Head Lice and Nits  - guidance for schools

Professionals working in schools should be aware that a “Severe and Persistent Infestation” of head lice or 'nits' (NICE, 2016) could be an indicator of serious welfare concerns for children and young people. This was evidenced in a recent serious case review in Northamptonshire.

Northamptonshire NHS Trust has produced a new guidance document for schools with advice about how to tackle head lice infestations and at what point a school nurse should be involved.

Download the PDF 'Head lice infestation guidance for schools' (PDF)


NSCB Procedures Manual Update 

The NSCB Procedures Manual is currently undergoing a major revamp. The current procedures manual can still be accessed and has all the information you need. A special e-Bulletin will be sent out to notify you when the new Procedures Manual goes live.   


When a child lives with someone other than parents/close family

If you find that a child is living with someone who is not their parent, close family member or authorised foster carer, then they could be in a 'private fostering' arrangement. These situations should be made known to Northamptonshire Children's Services to ensure that help & support can be offered to all those involved.
Find out more about what to do if you become aware of a private fostering arrangement.



'Child Death Review Notification' - contacting the NSCB if a child dies

All professionals are responsible for informing the NSCB's Business Office of any child death within 48 hours. The NSCB records and reviews the death of any child or young person under 18 who:
  • was normally resident in Northamptonshire;
  • died in Northamptonshire; or
  • died subsequent to an unexpected event in Northamptonshire. 
For any such cases please complete the Form A Notification Form and email it to

How to escalate your concerns about lack of progress with a specific case

If you're working with a child and have concerns that the child's case is not making the progress you expect, you should follow the escalation procedures below:

Follow the EHA Escalation Process for cases where you have concerns about:
  • decisions regarding referrals;
  • plans that are not 'SMART' or information is missing;
  • social workers or partner agency staff not attending core groups and review meetings.
These matters should be raised and challenged. Further support on escalating concerns can be provided by the Early Help Coordinators: See contact details for your local EHA Coordinators.

For cases where there are disagreements over the handling of concerns reported to Children's Social Care, please refer to the Procedure for Resolving Professional Disagreements in Individual Cases within the NSCB's Procedures Manual. Note: this procedure is currently under review.  

When to ask for a 'Complex Case Discussion' for a specific case

A Complex Case Discussion is used when an Early Help Assessment or the support being provided to a child or young person is not achieving its intended outcomes. This could be because the family is not engaging, the needs of the child or family have become more complex or there is a lack of resources or services for example. In these cases, a complex case discussion gathers the key professionals involved to review the case and find a way forward.  Find out more about Complex Case Discussions and how to request one.


Lisa Wilkins - New Policy and Performance Officer for CSE, Missing Children, Trafficking, FGM and Radicalisation

Lisa's role will be to develop, promote and implement initiatives to facilitate service improvement and performance management. She will also support the NSCB in improving partnership working with children, young people and their families in these areas of work.

Lisa is a solicitor and has specialised in safeguarding for 17 years. Previously, she was the Safeguarding Case Manager at the Football Association and also has experience of conducting complex investigations and risk assessments into child safeguarding complaints and concerns.

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Contact us:

Phone: 01604 364036
Twitter: @NorthantsSCB
NSCB Business Office:
John Dryden House (ground floor)
8-10 The Lakes
Northampton NN4 7YD


About the NSCB e-Newsletter:

The NSCB e-newsletter provides practitioners with key safeguarding information, important learning from Serious Case Reviews and information about relevant training and events.


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