Agenda item

Hillingdon Safeguarding Partnership Annual Report 2020-2021


The Chair of the Children Safeguarding Partnership Board and the Director of Service Delivery – Adult Social Work introduced the report on the Hillingdon Safeguarding Partnership Annual Report 2020 – 21. An outline was provided on the work and activities undertaken by the Hillingdon Safeguarding Partnership (HSP) to support and safeguard adults with support and care needs and vulnerable children and their families.


The Committee was informed that effective safeguarding arrangements had ensured that residents remained safe during the pandemic. All the HSP partners had worked collaboratively to ensure that the changing needs of residents had been met. All agencies had seen increased levels of mental health issues, domestic abuse and the impacts of isolation. The Executive Leadership Group commissioned an independent scrutiny of the safeguarding arrangements in place for adults and children. The scrutiny found that partnership was strong, had strong leadership and continued to promote good practice enabling learning and progressing the safeguarding priorities.


Although the report was commendable and the positive actions being taken were clear, the Committee discussed the impacts of targets being met and whether this had improved the lives of residents that needed safeguarding. It was explained that work had been done around ensuring good practices, ensuring appropriate and relevant training was available and focussing on partnership work. The Committee was provided with an example of the ‘neglect’ priority where multi agencies case audits had been undertaken and this led to commissioning of training and practice developments across the partnership. Members requested that case examples and information be included in future reporting to enable proper scrutiny.


In response to a question on how the pandemic had impacted the number of services users, schools and parenting, it was highlighted that a new task and finish subgroup was being established by the HSP to specifically address education related concerns and how support could be provided to parents, children and schools..


Members discussed the HSP’s role in overseeing children that had been excluded from school. It was noted that children at home would have other professionals working with them and home visits would take place.. 


It was confirmed that the HSP had information in relation to areas of deprivation in the Borough and this was taken into account in various activities like for instance the implementation of stronger families.


It was noted that nationally there had been an increase in mental health issues for younger people during the pandemic. There had been changes in demand across the country and Hillingdon had experienced similar issues. Unaccompanied asylum seeking children were a big factor in Hillingdon and a sub group, chaired by UK Border Agency continued to meet during the year to address issues around exploitation and trafficking. The subgroup reviewed initiatives in place and how well different agencies worked with trafficked children. A  guide is being created for airlines to raise awareness on how to identify potentially trafficked children and how to escalate these concerns.


It was reported that the whole sector had seen an increase in the number of referrals in relation to neglect and physical abuse. Resources had been deployed to ensure that demand was met.  Concerns were raised regarding missing children becoming invisible during the pandemic and Members were informed of the processes in place for children returning from being missing.


Additional data was requested on the suicide rates and the suicide prevention strategy in future reporting.


Questions were raised on how lessons learnt from the incidents in Rotherham 2014, involving young vulnerable girls, had been applied to Hillingdon’s approach to child safeguarding. It was confirmed that learning was captured from both a national and local level and various areas of practice were reviewed through the development forum. A national panel had also been introduced that considered areas of concern across the country, capturing information and publishing national reports and ongoing feedback.  


The Committee welcomed the report and endorsed the prevention services and the work with multiagency teams. The Committee was keen to ensure that learning was shared and applied in the HSP’s approach. Notwithstanding the work that had been undertaken during the pandemic, Members agreed that the report recommendations should be amended to read ‘to the extent possible, the Committee is reassured that residents coming into contact with safeguarding remained safe during the year’.




That the Committee:


  1. to the extent possible is reassured that Hillingdon residents coming into contact with safeguarding service remained safe during the year.
  2. is updated regarding the way in which the partnership has responded to the challenges posed to Safeguarding by the Covid 19 Pandemic.
  3. is informed of the strategic priorities for safeguarding for 2021-22.  


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