As the Independent Chair of the Enfield Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) and the Scrutineer of the Safeguarding Children‘s
Partnership (SCP) I am pleased to introduce the 2019-20 Annual Report of the joint partnership activities which contribute to keeping Enfield’s communities safe.
Safeguarding is ‘everyone’s business’ and if you are worried about a child, family, young person or adult at risk, please speak up using the contact information in this report. We can help. Put simply, my role is to make sure that the safeguarding arrangements for adults and children are working as well as they should. When problems are identified it’s important
that the partners discuss these together and come up with a solution if at all possible. As this report has been prepared, whilst all of the recent activities have been on the COVID-19 pandemic, all bar one week of this report’s focus predated COVID-19 related activities.
Across the Children’s Partnership, this year saw the new arrangements introduced and approved in previous legislation, continue to evolve. The three statutory partners, (Metropolitan Police, Clinical Commissioning Group in Health and
the Local Authority) all now share responsibility for children’s safeguarding. This is a significant cultural change, previously the default position had been children’s social care were the main responsible authority. The wider partnership network involves schools, early years, colleges, hospitals, mental health groups, voluntary groups, the national probation service and
the community rehabilitation company. Communications across all of these groups is vital, and this is an area that we want and need to improve upon. Regular newsletters, and a re-launched website are both important to enable the significant numbers of staff across the partnerships to stay up-to-date with developments and learn from each other.
A new Executive Group has met at two monthly intervals. Various partnership groups led on specific activities (such as exploitation, case learning, child deaths, community awareness, private fostering, and a police-led focus on insights and data analysis). This report outlines the progress made. A new and exciting development has involved ‘safeguarding ambassadors’ who are a group of young people who are acting as critical friends of the safeguarding arrangements. An increasing amount of ‘serious youth violence’ across the Borough is of concern. Poverty and housing pressures, as well as health inequalities
have all been identified as factors that need active partnership focus. Exploitation of children and County Lines activities are regularly looked at with community safety colleagues. Whilst the partnership continues to strengthen its joint work, it has to be acknowledged that the existing resources available are stretched. The Business Unit is constantly examining how the
joint partnership resource can be best used.
The Safeguarding Adults Board meets at three monthly intervals. Between these formal meetings, adult case reviews are being undertaken, as well as case audits. Various themed areas, such as safeguarding and housing providers, working with domestic abuse, addictions and mental health, hoarding and self-neglect, adults with learning disabilities and the newly identified threats of modern slavery all lead to a rich and demanding landscape of concerns. The multi-agency partnership work focuses on reducing these risks and vulnerabilities.
Community Awareness across the adult sector is assisted by two active and involved lay members (Irene Richards and Gill Hawken) who usefully prod the system at regular intervals with challenging questions. Enfield has a large number of care homes and this involves regular dialogue with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and inspection outcomes are frequently
aired and focused on.
Keeping children, young people and adults safe from harm requires highly skilled and well motivated staff. I want to thank all the staff across the variety of partnerships in both children’s and adult’s safeguarding who contribute on a daily basis to what is an extremely challenging area of work. Well done and a huge Thank You. No system is without fault and when improvements are needed there is an appetite for serious reflection and learning. It would be an omission not to mention the recent challenging work that has taken place across Enfield during the COVID period. Next year’s report will cover this in more detail, although an early appreciation is due. Enfield Stands Together an initiative involving community volunteers, health services, the local authority, to name just a few, made sure that residents had a central point of contact and advice and
assistance was available to those in need.
The Safeguarding Business Unit hosted by Enfield Local Authority is the central engine that makes sure all the required activities and meetings, are convened, coordinated, recorded and organised. Maintaining contact and responding across so many organisations definitely brings its challenges. Particular thanks are due to Lisa Tait, Licia Sinnott, Julie Watson and Bharat Ayer.
Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Adults
Board, and Independent Scrutineer of the
Safeguarding Children Arrangements
Covid-19 response (PROTECT)
Across the Partnership all of our agencies have been affected by the pandemic. As part of our Partner updates for this report we have asked partners to provide information about their response to the pandemic. This has included:
• Increased domestic abuse and neglect
related cases into acute hospitals;
• Daily calls to care homes
• Thousands of welfare calls, include 2,000
from the LD service
Modern Slavery (PROTECT)
Enfield is one of the first areas in London to have a dedicated Modern Slavery Team comprising of Local Authority and Police
staff. The multi-agency team has been raising awareness and responding to intelligence. National Referral Mechanism (NRM) training has been carried out by the Salvation Army for all our Modern Slavery Champions (who sit in a number of Local authority teams: children and adult social services, finance, housing, mental health and community safety) and support
to facilitate awareness training amongst partnership members: in NMDX A&E, CCG and GPs. Awareness raising training has been given to council workers, care providers service providers, health clinics and schools. A Modern Slavery conference took place in May 2019. This was funded by the Enfield CCG, and organised by the Enfield Council. This included presentations from the Children’s Society, Police and Salvation Army. Over 100 delegates from across the Partnership attended.
The multi-agency team has been raising awareness and responding to intelligence.
Domestic Abuse (PROTECT)
Over the course of the 2019-20 financial year, we’ve had a strong partnership focus on strengthening our response to domestic abuse, leading to the launch of the hub on Friday 1st May 2020. We sent out information regarding the free-phone helpline (0800 923 9009) and bespoke email address. Information about the multi-agency team was also sent to over
10,000 people, and included in the second Safeguarding Newsletter.
Centre of Excellence (PROTECT)
The Enfield Centre of Excellence (ECOE) works with social workers at all levels, as well as others involved in face to face practice, to identify opportunities to improve the impact of all our work with children, young people and vulnerable adults, as well as those that care for them. Team members have a continued focus on best practice, applying the strength-based model across the partnership, keeping children at the centre of everything we do and making every contact count. Two practice weeks were organised – one on Child Sexual Abuse between 10th and 14th June, and a second on Neglect between 18th and 22nd November, culminating in a Social Work Conference on Neglect on the 22nd November. The ECOE website is being developed and will be launched in 2020-21.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) (PREVENT)
Our ongoing work around FGM relates to both protecting adults who have been affected by FGM (e.g. before migration to the UK) and children living in Enfield at risk of FGM. Our FGM steering group works with the aim of increasing awareness and improving responses across the Partnership.
New Arrangements for Children (IMPROVE)
During the year we agreed and started working on the new arrangements for Safeguarding Children. This was agreed by the partners and launched in June 2019. As required by law, we were working to these arrangements by September 2019, and informed the Department of Education.
Supporting our care providers (IMPROVE)
Our Safeguarding Information Panel ensure that partners effectively share information to identify any risks of harm to those who use services, to prevent any future or additional harm taking place. The Panel can initiate actions such as Provider Concerns, Quality Checker visits, Immigration Enforcement visits and London Fire Brigade visits.
Child Death (LEARN)
Every child death in Enfield is reviewed, to ensure there is appropriate bereavement support, and to help us understand if there are any patterns or issues that need to be addressed. Over 2019-20 there were 21 child deaths (death of a person under 18 years of age).