This Extended Child Practice Review was commissioned by the Chair of the North Wales Safeguarding Children’s Board in June 2014. The review was undertaken following the sexual abuse of a 6 year old boy who was a looked after child to Isle of Anglesey County Council. This happened in January 2013. The abuse took place in his foster placement by another young male aged 14 years old. The older child was also a looked after child . Within the report the independent reviewers confirmed that the local authority did not have any information to suggest that the older child 2 was a risk to younger children.
The Extended Child Practice Review Report was sent to Welsh Government in June 2016 and, under the regulations, the Welsh Government Safeguarding Team can draw in other parts of the Welsh Government and the Inspectorates Group as appropriate if any further action is needed. No further action was needed.
The independent reviewers identified areas of good practice of sharing information with the family in a timely and appropriate manner and a good relationship was noted between the family and the school.
The review highlighted the need for robust information sharing between agencies and that this is the collective responsibility across agencies. The review identified that professionals from across agencies lacked understanding of the Sharing of Information Protocol.
Managing professional difference was also identified and the reviewers noted at the time of the incident there were limited processes in place within the Local Authority for professionals to challenge a manager’s decision. Since then the Local Authority has developed an internal Supporting Professional Challenge protocol in addition to the regional protocol on Professional Challenge.
The training needs of foster carers were identified as an issue, together with the relationship between foster carers and social workers. Foster Carers should be able to give professional challenge to social workers and to care plans. However this is only possible with the right training, and experience.
The review identified a lack of professional curiosity by some individuals across all agencies. This was in relation to the legal status of the child. Disguised compliance by the family underpinned the professionals’ relationship with the child’s family. The review urges professionals to be more curious when presented with information. Additionally the review highlights the importance of gathering historical information, and that all attempts should be made to obtain this, including out of area visits to read historical records.
An action plan has been formulated and is being monitored by the North Wales Safeguarding Children’s Board to ensure that reflection and learning has taken place across all the agencies that worked with this family
You will find the report in the CPR section of the website.
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