This week our 0-25 Together Service organised their safeguarding conference "More than Protection" focusing on children and young adults with disabilities. The messages we all went away with were really inspiring! Dez Holmes from RiP/RiPFA spoke passionately about transitional safeguarding not just referring to our standard definition of transition at 18 or 19 years of age but recognising that transitions happen throughout life and it's personal to the individual. So we then considered the approach to safeguarding in the adults arena in terms of making safeguarding personal; risk enablement, choice and control and rights based practice where if the individual has the capacity to make their own decisions they must be involved in the solutions to keeping them safe and building their resilience. The complexity of keeping someone safe is still fully acknowledged but it's also about recognising their choices even if and especially if they are a teenager or young adult and have highly complex needs.
For the last few years different areas of safeguarding have been challenging the children's and adult's workforce, young people and families. CSE, gangs and an increase in violent crime including domestic violence and abuse, modern slavery and trafficking are challenging us to look at our models of safeguarding: rescue versus reform and recovery, risk enablement versus risk aversion.
Research is growing to help different thinking and encourage a new approach. So what a great opportunity with the new "freedoms" for reformed Local Safeguarding Children Boards and Partnerships to review what they are doing! Local authorities, police and CCGs with their partners and the voluntary sector can promote safeguarding messages in young people and families that support resilience and share and build on best practice on what works rather than compliance, scrutiny and learning from what has gone wrong. Making safeguarding personal doesn't mean not protecting, it encourages a tailored approach to individual needs. So my Lead Member said at the conference coffee break - ‘I'm up for that!'…and an update on the next steps will be expected for our meeting on Monday no doubt.
And finally…following on from Stuart's piece in the MJ this week on the enormous impact of domestic abuse on families don't miss the chance to respond to the consultation on the Domestic Abuse Bill, a really significant piece of legislation.
Jenny Coles is DCS in Hertfordshire. This blog first appeared on the ADCS website