Our Safeguarding Children Partnership (OSCP) for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly recently conducted a Quality Assurance and Scrutiny Panel as part of its regular programme to scrutinise, challenge and support partner agencies to improve the effectiveness of services in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
The OSCP is comprised of partners from a range of sectors, including the local authority, police and health services. It is led by an Independent Chair, John Clements.
The OSCP Panel focused on key areas of practice and performance including efforts to address child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, child sexual abuse, neglect and emotional wellbeing.
It met with a variety of professionals and service users on the islands, including young people, and it has been positive in its findings.
The panel’s report finds that the partnership staff working on the Isles of Scilly continue to provide a high quality service to support children in need of safeguarding. Many of the aspects reported as good or outstanding in previous years have been maintained and a number of others have improved. The panel members were ‘impressed by the level of service provided’.
Furthermore, it found that multi-agency working is actively practised on the islands with close, effective relationships enabling good communication, efficient information sharing and good outcomes for children and their families. These close working arrangements enable improvements to be achieved quickly and with minimal effort. There is a focus on early intervention, with all agencies recognising the value of being involved as early as possible.
And, importantly, the report finds that children remain a precious part of the community and that efforts to safeguard them are focused on them, stating ‘children have a strong voice on the islands and it is apparent that what they say is listened to’.
Cllr Joel Williams, the Council’s Lead Member for Children, commented: ‘we are delighted to see this endorsement of the hard work and dedication of partner agencies in keeping children safe. We do not rest on our laurels on Scilly, and while we may live in one of the most beautiful places in the country we are far from complacent in ensuring that robust services are in place to ensure that children are safe and protected. I would like to praise not only the staff in the Council’s Children and Family Services team, but also all those who work so effectively with them in education, health, police, the voluntary sector and childcare.’
The Independent Chair of the OSCP, John Clements, commented: ‘‘over the past three years our partnership has found the child safeguarding on the Isles of Scilly to be consistently of the highest quality. There is a strong commitment and high levels of energy from everyone involved. This has led to a positive environment where new ideas are sought and children are actively involved. I am proud to be associated with those working for the future of all the children and young people.’