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WSAB minutes

Knowing the warning signs of grooming and child sexual exploitation (CSE) is the focus of the latest phase of the regional See Me, Hear Me, awareness campaign launched  (Monday 17 September).

Children and young people, parents, carers and professionals are being urged to make themselves aware of how grooming can develop and the key warning signs to help safeguard youngsters from this hidden crime.

A hard-hitting short animation has been produced focusing on an abuser describing how he grooms a girl with gifts, alcohol and affection before exploiting her. The perpetrator ends by saying 'the warning signs were there'.

The 30-second clip will target young people directly via Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter as well as through popular gaming, entertainment and mobile messaging apps. An advert will also go out via Spotify.

The message will also be targeted at adults, while posters will also appear on buses across the region and at West Midlands Metro stations, signposting people to the campaign website, www.seeme-hearme.org.uk.

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WSAB Priorities

The Children's Commissioner's Office has published 'Are they shouting because of me?' - children's own descriptions of what it's like to grow up in  a 'toxic trio' household. It includes reflections on how they felt towards the adult and how it affected their life.

Click here for 'Are they shouting because of me?' report 

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Learning and Development

 Statutory guidance for schools about employing staff who have been disqualified from providing childcare.

Click here to view guidance

The guidance is for :

  • local authorities
  • governing bodies of all schools, including:
    • maintained schools
    • academies
    • free schools
    • independent schools
    • boarding and residential schools
    • faith schools
    • special schools
    • nursery schools (maintained and non-maintained)
  • proprietors of non-maintained and independent schools (including academies, free schools and alternative provision academies)
  • management committees of pupil referral units (PRUs)
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Quality & Performance

Fixers are young people using their past to fix the future. They are motivated by personal experience to make positive change for themselves and those around them. Real people, real stories, real change

 Fixers are tackling a huge range of issues by creating an enormous variety of resources, including short films and documentaries, animations, music videos, viral ads, websites, apps, books, promotional literature, teaching packs, school workshops, and more.

Click here to visit Fixers for information and resources   
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WSAB Board members area

Action for Prisoners' and Offenders' Families merged with Family Lives in 2014 and works for the benefit of prisoners' and offenders' families by supporting families who are affected by imprisonment. You can find information here about resources for families and professionals, and  training for professionals working with families.

Click here to visit Family Lives 

Advice lines for people who know someone in prison

The Offenders' Families Helpline
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Telephone: 0808 808 2003

Helpline for Prisoners' Families
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Telephone: 0808 808 3444

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I work with children / young people / families

​The Children and Young People Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB) Practice Guidance is now live.

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Safeguarding Adults

The new version of Working Together and the DfE Information sharing for safeguarding children guidance were published on 4th July 2018..

Both publications state that consent should always be used to share information, except in certain circumstances in CP cases.

Working Together page 20: (myth-busting guide to information sharing)

Consent is always needed to share personal information?

No – you do not necessarily need consent to share personal information. Wherever possible, you should seek consent and be open and honest with the individual from the outset as to why, what, how and with whom, their information will be shared. You should seek consent where an individual may not expect their information to be passed on. When you gain consent to share information, it must be explicit, and freely given. There may be some circumstances where it is not appropriate to seek consent, because the individual cannot give consent, or it is not reasonable to obtain consent, or because to gain consent would put a child's or young person's safety at risk.

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I am an adult with care and support needs

 Get involved to raise awareness of dementia; become a volunteer Dementia Champion

A Dementia Friends Champion is a volunteer who encourages others to become "Dementia Friends" and make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community. They do this by giving them information about the personal impact of dementia, and simple actions that participants can do to help.

Can you spare a couple of hours a month to lead information sessions to raise awareness about dementia?

Join other local people to create a diverse group of volunteer dementia friend champions in Wolverhampton.

 Click here to register for Free training from the Alzheimer's society on 6th August

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I am a family member / friend / concerned neighbour

The 14th July would have been the birthday of Shafilea Ahmed a 17 year old student killed by her parents 14 years ago for rejecting a forced marriage and being 'too westernised'. Her birthday is now a national day of memory for all victims of so-called 'honour killings'.

Wolverhampton Safeguarding Boards support this national Day of Memory.

To find out more about the support available to anyone who is at risk from, or a victim of, honour-based abuse or forced marriage, click here or on the image to the right.

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Chairpersons Blog Title Here 3

 This HM Government advice is non-statutory, and has been produced to support practitioners in the decisions they take to share information, which reduces the risk of harm to children and young people and promotes their well-being. This guidance does not deal in detail with arrangements for bulk or pre-agreed sharing of personal information between IT systems or organisations other than to explain their role in effective information governance. This guidance has been updated to reflect the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018, and it supersedes the HM Government Information sharing: guidance for practitioners and managers published in March 2015. Who is this advice for? 

This advice is for all frontline practitioners and senior managers working with children, young people, parents and carers who have to make decisions about sharing personal information on a case-by-case basis. It might also be helpful for practitioners working with adults who are responsible for children who may be in need.

Click here for Information Sharing Guidance 2018

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 introduce new elements to the data protection regime, superseding the Data Protection Act 1998. Practitioners must have due regard to the relevant data protection principles which allow them to share personal information, The GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 place greater significance on organisations being transparent and accountable in relation to their use of data. All organisations handling personal data need to have comprehensive and proportionate arrangements for collecting, storing, and sharing information.

The GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 do not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children and young people safe (Information Sharing (2018) page 5).

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Contact Us form

In line with national law enforcement activity planned for 2nd- 6th July 2018, Barnardo's West Midlands Panel for the Protection of Trafficked Children (PPTC) and our partners, want YOU to increase your understanding and awareness of Child Trafficking.

Children are being trafficked into, within and out of the West Midlands and we need your eyes and ears to stop it. At least 74 children within West Midlands were identified as potential victims of child trafficking between January and March 2018.

Child Trafficking is defined as the movement of a child for the purpose of exploitation. This movement could be across country borders, across the UK or even within the same local area or street. Children from any country, culture or religion, and both boys and girls, can be victims of trafficking and exploitation. Victims of Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Criminal Exploitation through County Lines, and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children should always be considered as potentially trafficked children.

Take ACTION to spot the indicators of Child Trafficking: 


  • Are they dishevelled?
  • Are they wearing clothes/ attire which they could not afford to buy?
  • Are they wearing clothes/ attire which suggests gang allegiance?
  • Are they wearing clothing which concerns you – inappropriate for weather/age?
  • Signs of abuse?
  • Lack of eye contact?
  • Context
    • Do they seem out of context?
    • Is there evidence that they have been moved around –within UK and/or abroad?
    • Are they in an area or circumstances where you would not expect to find a child?
    • Do they have missing episodes/ are they a missing child?
    • Are there signs of gang allegiance/ belonging to a gang or group?
    • Talking
      • Is someone controlling what they say or speaking for them?
      • Are they refusing or reluctant to talk?
      • Are they fearful of authority? Or aggressive toward authority?
      • What is their body language saying?
      • Identity
        • Can they prove their identity?
        • Is there something suspicious about their identity?
        • Who are they travelling with and are they credible?
        • Are they alone?
        • Are they from a different country?
        • Oppressed
          • Do they act sub-servient to someone/ you?
          • Is their behaviour unusual for their age?
          • Are they being controlled/ groomed/ acting under duress or force?
          • Narrative
            • Is their story credible?
            • Does their story seem rehearsed/ familiar?
            • Are they referencing people/ places/ situations which may indicate exploitation?

            • If you are concerned that a child may be the victim of child trafficking:
            • Where possible, ensure they are in a safe place
            • Follow your organisation's safeguarding procedures
            • Refer to MASH (detail of how can be found on Local Safeguarding Children's Board websites)
            • Contact West Midlands Police by calling 101 and clearly state that you are concerned about a potential victim of child trafficking/ modern slavery. Always call Police on 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.
            • Contact Barnardo's National Counter Trafficking Support Line to make a referral to the Panel for the Protection of Trafficked Children for a specialist worker be assigned within 72 hours to give advice / support with safety planning/ help with NRM completion  -0800 043 4303

            • National Referral Mechanism (NRM)
    • NRM is a framework for identification and supporting potential victims of trafficking. Anyone suspected to be a victim of trafficking (within the UK or to/from another country) should be referred through NRM for a formal decision to be made by a Competent Authority, about whether they are deemed to be a victim of human trafficking. Adults need to give consent for this referral, however consent is not required for children. Only certain organisations can refer into NRM, these are referred to as First Responders and include Local Authority Children's Services, Police and Barnardo's. 
    • More information about NRM, and the NRM form can be found here:http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/about-us/what-we-do/specialist-capabilities/uk-human-trafficking-centre/national-referral-mechanism
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Report Abuse

Click here for Working Together July 2018

Children at risk of abuse or neglect will now be protected through improved partnerships between local police, councils and health services.

Strengthened guidance published  (4 July) sets new legal requirements for the three safeguarding partners, who will be required to make joint safeguarding decisions to meet the needs of local children and families.

Senior police, council and health leaders will jointly be responsible for setting out local plans to keep children safe and will be accountable for how well agencies work together to protect children from abuse and neglect.

The new advice is aimed at all professionals who come in to contact with children and families and includes guidance on current threats to child protection, such as sexual and criminal exploitation, gangs and radicalisation.

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Policy and procedures

An online safety story for 3 to 7 year olds.

Join in with Mummy Penguin's song and follow the adventures of Smartie the Penguin as he learns how to be safe on the internet.

The story covers the following 3 themes;

  1. Pop ups and in app purchasing
  2. Inappropriate websites for older children
  3. Cyberbullying 

Click here for ChildNet website - Smartie the penguin


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Child Trafficking

This year's report sets out what the available data tells us about the current child protection landscape, and takes a closer look at how safe children are online.

Our annual report compiles and analyses the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across the 4 nations in the UK. 

Click here for - How safe are our children ? 2018 NSPCC

The report sets out different indicators. Each indicator looks at the question of 'how safe are our children?' from a different perspective. They also include historic data, to help track progress over time.

Following the Government's commitment to bring in laws to protect children online in 2018, the NSPCC is calling for the legislation to:
commit social media firms to follow a consistent set of minimum safeguarding standards
make platforms report on how they keep children safe

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Babysitting and Child Minding

 County lines is a national issue, which involves the use of dedicated phone 'lines', usually mobile phones to facilitate drug dealing to locations outside of the group or gangs home town, usually to smaller towns and rural locations.

In almost all cases the enterprise will involve and rely on the exploitation of vulnerable people, to move drugs and/or money around the country. This can involve both children and adults who may require safeguarding.

In some circumstances these groups or gangs may establish a base to sell or manufacture drugs from. They may befriend a vulnerable person and take over their home by using coercion or force. This practice is referred to as 'cuckooing'. It is common that the person whom they are exploiting is offered drugs in exchange for the use of their home.

County lines involves drugs, violence, gangs, safeguarding, criminal and sexual exploitation, modern slavery, and can also be linked to missing persons.

To successfully tackle this issue there is a need for a multi-agency approach at a national, regional and local level, involving both statutory and third sector partners as well as law enforcement agencies.

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Understanding child protection processes

As part of Wolverhampton Safeguarding Week (11th -17th June) Loudmouth Theatre Company will be doing two evening performances at The Way Youth Zone, School Street Wolverhampton, WV3 0NR as follows:

Tues 12th June - 'Helping Hands'
Helping Hands is a sensitive theatre in education performance aimed at children and young people aged 9-12 year olds that helps protect children through an understanding of positive relationships. The performance uses drama, discussion and appropriate humour to support safeguarding education and help children to stay safe in their interactions with others. Issues covered include child sexual exploitation & abuse, online safety, domestic abuse. For more details see http://loudmouth.co.uk/programmes/programme/helping-hands

Arrive: by 6:15pm for a 6:30pm start
Finish: 7:30pm
Book places at https://safegaurding-week-helpinghands-tues-12-06-18.eventbrite.co.uk
For more details about the performance see - http://loudmouth.co.uk/programmes/programme/helping-hands

Friday 15th June - 'Working for Marcus'
Arrive: by 6:45pm for a 7:00pm start
Finish: 8:00pm
Book places at https://safeguarding-week-working-for-marcus-15-06-18.eventbrite.co.uk
For more details about the performance see -http://loudmouth.co.uk/programmes/programme/working-for-marcus

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Domestic Abuse

All resources for Wolverhampton Safeguarding Week are now available from our Safeguarding Week campaign page.

There are lots of ways for you to be involved:

​* Complete our short survey to order your resources and tell us what you will be doing to raise awareness

* Use the email signature, screensavers and facebook / Twitter banner throughout the week

* Create a display in a public area using our Safeguarding Week poster and speech bubble resources to badge it as a Safeguarding Week activity, and informing people about what safeguarding is and the work you do to keep adults with care and support needs and children / young people safe from abuse and neglect

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Sexual abuse and sexual exploitation

The new guidance is for information only  



Click here to view - Revised guidance 

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Ofsted Inspection - March 2017

Following a 4 week visit to Wolverhampton, Ofsted Inspectors found the Council's Children's Services to be 'Good' and that Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children Board 'Requires Improvement to be Good'.  

CLICK HERE for a copy of the full Inspection report of Children's Services and the Effectiveness of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

For some of the highlights of the inspection of Children's Services see http://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/article/10695/Childrens-Services-in-Wolverhampton-Good-says-Ofsted.

Whilst the overall grade for Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children Board was ' Requires Improvement to be Good', the Inspectors identified many 'Good' features including:

  • The board is well chaired and well led
  • Governance arrangements are robust
  • As well as strengthening the engagement of schools and health partners, the chair has successfully promoted a more joined-up approach across children and adult services.
  • Partner agencies are well represented on the board at a suitably senior level.
  • Attendance at board meetings is good and a well-developed sub-group structure ensures that the board is able to deliver on its work programme, especially now that additional funding has been provided to increase the board's capacity to get things done.
  • The board's website, which is attractive and easy to navigate, provides a wealth of useful information
  • The serious case review sub-group and the child death overview panel are well developed and effective.
  • Learning from serious case and child death reviews are systematically shared with professionals and partner agencies.
  • Robust strategic and operational arrangements are in place to safeguard and protect children and young people who go missing and/or are at risk of sexual exploitation.
  • Links with local faith groups have been strengthened.
  • Through the activities of the 'B-safe' group, children and young people are able to shape and influence the work and thinking of the board. 
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In addition to self-assessment, peer review, monitoring our performance, case file audit and other quality assurance processes, inspections are an important way in which Safeguarding Boards can find out about their strengths and about what still needs to be done to improve how we work together.

Details of past inspections as well as frameworks for inspections we are anticipating in Wolverhampton can be found in this section.

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