UPDATE NO 389 07 February 2020

Newsletters If you would like to know more about these workstreams or the others in the Programme, click on the main section icons shown above. At SESLIP we are always on the look-out for good ideas that might be better implemented regionally rather than locally. If you have any suggestions, please contact Richard Tyndall, SESLI […]

Three children playing happily together


If you would like to know more about these workstreams or the others in the Programme, click on the main section icons shown above.

At SESLIP we are always on the look-out for good ideas that might be better implemented regionally rather than locally. If you have any suggestions, please contact Richard Tyndall, SESLI Programme Manager (details below). 

Our Regional Improvement Plan for 2019-20 can be found here.

UPDATE NO 389 07 February 2020


Developing Quality Assurance Capacity – 11 February


The next meeting of the QA leads will be held on 11 February at the LGA offices in London.  By the end of the meeting the group plans to have a proposal for the agreed common components of a Quality Assurance Framework to be shared with the DCS group.  The group will also start work on developing a shared understanding of “good practice” and what good quality assurance looks like.

Action Required:

A restricted area is being set up on the SESLIP website so that authorities can share Quality Assurance Frameworks, practice standards and audit processes and tools.

For more details of the Developing Quality Assurance Capacity project please contact Diane Williamson (details below)


AD Safeguarding Network – next meeting 6 March 2020


The next meeting of the AD Safeguarding Network will be held on 6 March 2020 – 9.30 for a 10.00 start at The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, Westminster SW1P 3BU. Please let Mark Evans (details below) have any items you would like to add to the agenda for this meeting. To date we have:   

  • Memorandum of Cooperation
  • Complex LAC Project Update
  • SESLIP Models of Social Work Conference 

Action Required:

The dates for next 4 meetings have also been identified:

  • Friday 5 June 2020
  • Friday 11 September 2020
  • Friday 11 December 2020
  • Friday 5 March 2021


Multi-agency response to child sexual abuse in the family environment: joint targeted area inspections (JTAIs)


The DfE has published a report that describes findings from six JTAIs carried out between September 2018 and May 2019. This included a deep dive into the experiences of children and young people who are at risk of, or subject to, child sexual abuse in the family environment.

The findings in this report consider the extent to which, in the local authorities inspected, children’s social care, health professionals, youth offending services, the police and probation officers were effective in safeguarding these children.

The six local authorities visited were Bracknell Forest, Cornwall, Derby City, Islington, Shropshire and York.


Action Required:

Key finding from the report are:

  • Sexual abuse within the family environment needs to be talked about.
  • Child sexual abuse in the family environment is not a high enough priority.
  • Professionals find this area of practice very difficult. Local area leaders across all agencies must provide better training and support for frontline professionals on the issue of sexual abuse in the family environment.
  • Preventative work is absent or focused on known offenders.
  • Professionals rely too heavily on children to verbally disclose abuse.
  • When children have displayed harmful sexual behaviour, often it is solely their behaviour, not the cause, that professionals respond to.
  • Practice in this area is too police-led and not sufficiently child-centred. Too often, health agencies are not involved at all.
  • The quality of criminal investigations of child sexual abuse in the family environment is sometimes poor.
  • Children and non-perpetrating parents and family members are not supported well enough.


Building resilience: how local partnerships are supporting children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing


LGA has published Building resilience: how local partnerships are supporting children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing

Too many children and young people nationally do not receive the support they need to improve their mental health and wellbeing. There is ample evidence that, despite increased investment in, and policy focus on, mental health services for children and young people, the numbers of children and young people requiring support are going up. Thresholds for accessing support remain high, waiting times are long and there is significant inequity in provision between different local areas.

Action Required:

The purpose of this research is, firstly, to explore some of the factors which are contributing to this nationally challenging context and, secondly, to develop an evidence base for how local government and its partners can work most effectively together to deliver a coherent and joined-up offer of support for children and young people’s mental health. The research is based on a review of the existing evidence base, workshops with around 80 participants from councils and their partners in health and in-depth engagements with eight fieldwork areas.

The full report is here


SESLIP Complex LAC Project Film


As part of the Complex LAC project we commissioned Luke Rogers of the Care Leaders Social Enterprise to make a short film about the lived experience of children in care in the South East. The mission for the film was:

To develop a film to highlight young people’s views and ideas about how services can be improved & raise awareness to senior leaders to invite the voice of young people into strategic decisions, especially those which directly impact children in care.

Luke worked with 17 young people from 5 local authorities (Oxfordshire, Southampton, Portsmouth, Milton Keynes and East Sussex) to make a compelling and interesting film. The project produced a film that is both challenging and uplifting, it contains the authentic voice of young people talking about their experience of the care we provide.

Action Required:

The film can be used with social workers, carers and others involved in work that aims to improve the lives of looked after children, but should not be posted on websites or used for other reasons (if you are unsure please check with Mark Evans – details below)

Please take a moment (14 minutes) to watch the film, which can be accessed on request to Mark Evans. It would also be great to get your feedback.


AD Education Network – next meeting Friday 1 May – Joint with SEND19


The next meeting of the AD Education Group will be a joint event with the SESLIP SEND Network on Friday 1 May, is planned to run from 10.30am to 3.30pm, more details are available from Chris Owen (Education) or Tracey Maytas (SEND) contact details for both below

Action Required:

The next meeting of the Children Missing Out on Education sub-group takes place February 14, Shaw House, Newbury, 10.00 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. More details from Chris Owen (details below)


Family Justice Observatory


Lisa Harker, Director of the Family Justice Observatory, attended an ADCS policy committee meeting to share an overview of the early work of the Observatory and its workplan for 2020.  Its role is to bring together data and research in a bid to improve practice for children (pre-court work as well as judicial decision making).

Last year the FJO did some work on SGOs and on newborns in care proceedings, this year they’ll be looking at adolescents, contact and the mental health outcomes of children and young people involved with the family courts.

A range of resources, including evidence reviews and reports, can be found on the FJO website and interested parties can now register for email updates too via the website (form here).

Action Required:

Lisa’s slides are here.  The presentation was really interesting and Lisa was keen to raise awareness of their work, begin to create a feedback loop on what the sector would like to see prioritised and to hear from local areas interested in getting involved in FJO projects or discussions. 

On a similar theme, ADCS has a virtual working group where they consider family justice matters.  This includes reviewing research proposals for government departments and draft guidance, for example.  There are several longstanding protocols with Cafcass that are well past review date plus several pieces of draft guidance are in development as a result of the President of the Family Division’s public law review plus they committed to undertaking a refresh of the social work evidence template (SWET) as part of the President’s review.  If anyone is interested in family justice matters and would be interested in getting involved in this work, please contact Katy Block, Policy Officer, ADCS

Reminders from previous weeks


Child abuse in England and Wales: data to March 2019

Action Required:

For the first time ONS has compiled a range of indicators from different data sources – including the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) – to enable better understanding of the extent and circumstances of child abuse. 

Some key findings include:

  • The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimated that one in five adults experienced at least one form of child abuse (8.5 million people).
  • An estimated 3.1 million adults were victims of sexual abuse before the age of 16 years; this includes abuse by both adult and child perpetrators. 
  • It is possible to identify 227,530 child abuse offences recorded by the police in the year ending March 2019.
  • At 31 March 2019, 49,570 children in England and 4,810 children in Wales were looked after by their local authority because of experience or risk of abuse or neglect.
  • Around half of adults (52%) who experienced abuse before the age of 16 years also experienced domestic abuse later in life, compared with 13% of those who did not experience abuse before the age of 16 years.


Workforce census: Focus on vulnerable children and families paediatric workforce (2020)


The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has published a detailed report focusing on lead roles concerning safeguarding, the child death service, looked after children (LAC) and special educational needs and disability (SEND).

The press release is herethe report’s home page is hereyou can download the full report here

Action Required:

RCPCH says,

Rising demand and workforce shortages are leading to vacancies in vulnerable children and families lead roles across the UK, according to research published today by RCPCH. The findings also reveal that many Trusts, Health Boards, and CCGs have yet to create roles for child deaths, Looked After Children and children with special educational needs, disability or additional learning needs.

You can download the full report here


Special educational needs and disability support: Rescuing the reforms


The House of Commons Library has published an insight briefing on special educational needs and disability support (SEND) looking at: reform following The Children and Families Act 2014; pressure on ‘high needs’ funding; and findings from two recent Education Committee reports which identified widespread problems in support for children and young people with SEND.

This has been prepared for new MPs, and is an excellent introduction to SEND.

Action Required:

The introduction says,

It is more than five years since the Coalition Government’s reforms of support for children and young people in England with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) came into effect. There is growing evidence of major strain on the system, both in funding shortfalls and ineffective implementation.

For more information about SESLIP support for SEND, please contact Tracey Maytas (details below)


Developing Models of Social Work Project – Hold the Date Monday 8 June 2020


The Developing Models of Social Work Summer Conference will be held on Monday 8 June at the Arora Hotel Gatwick.

Action Required:

More details of this project can be found here, or from Diane Williamson (contact details below)


ASGLB Making Better Use of Data Workshop – 14 February


The ASGLB is undertaking a review of whether we are making good use of all the data that is already collected in relation to children in care, and in particular with respect to special guardianship and adoption.

To provide a framework for the review, they have drafted a Data Model to provide a structure for their thinking. This is intended to address both adoption and special guardianship with respect to children who are taken into care. 

Action Required:

  1. Permanency Planning – are appropriate permanence plans for children in place in a timely manner?
  2. Securing Permanency – is permanency achieved for a child without unnecessary delay?
  3. Maintaining Permanency – once permanency is achieved, are we maintaining it so that children are able to thrive?

As part of this review ASGLB are running three workshops which will be held at Coram Campus, London WC1N 1AZ on:

  • 18 December 2019 (Permanency Planning) – (already held)
  • 31 January 2020 (Securing Permanency) – (already held)
  • 14 February 2020 (Maintaining Permanency) – book here

The ASGLB want these workshops to be attended by people who can help them define the Data Model as well as those who are familiar with the data currently. For more information follow the links provided above.

Tools & Templates

We have produced a Regional Improvement Plan which will underpin activities in 2019-20

Multi-agency response to child sexual abuse in the family environment: joint targeted area inspections (JTAIs) published by DfE 4 February 2020

Building resilience: how local partnerships are supporting children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing published by LGA 3 February 2020

Focus on: Vulnerable children and families paediatric workforce published by RCPCH 20 January 2020

Special educational needs and disability support: Rescuing the reforms published by the House of Commons Library 14 January 2020

Child Abuse in Engalnd and Wales – Data to March 2019 published by ONS 14 January 2020

Annual Report on access to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) published by EPI 10 January 2020

Pass the parcel: children posted around the care system published by the Children’s Commissioner 24 December 2019

Improving Behaviour in Schools an evidence review published 21 December 2019 by EEF

Improving data on child sexual abuse – practical guide published by the Centre for Expertise on CSA 21 December 2019

Local Authority Interactive Tool (LAIT) version 20 updated 20 December 2019

Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) 2020-21 published 19 December 2019

Widening Participation in Higher Education, England, 2017/18 age cohort – Official Statistics published 17 December 2019

Expenditure by Local Authorities and Schools on Education, Children’s and Young People’s Services in England, 2018-19 published 13 December 2019

Looked After Children Statistics 2018/19 published 5 December 2019

Estimating the size of disadvantage gap, taking into account KS4 off-rolling published by FFT 5 December 2019

England’s PISA 2018 results, with an international comparison of reading, maths and science performance of 15-year-old pupils published 3 December 2019

Initial teacher training: trainee number census 2019 to 2020 published 28 November 2019

Further Education, Apprenticeships and Skills 2018-19 published 28 November 2019

ADCS 2019 Elective Home Education Survey published 19 November 2019

Practice Guidance: Placements in unregistered children’s homes in England published by the President of the Family Division 13 November 2019

SEND Inspection Preparation: Self Evaluation Framework Peer Review Guidance

The MoC area of the Seslip website now includes the latest versions of key documents, including the:

Contact Details

Data Benchmarking: Luke Ede (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07925 148597

LGA Children’s Improvement Adviser: Helen Watson (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07810 011892

Education Network: Chris Owen (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07825 862330

SESLIP Education Data Group Lead: Daryl Perilli (Brighton and Hove)


South East Grid for Learning – Consortium Manager: Krista Pickering (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07872 014083

SESLIP Consultant: Isabelle Gregory (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07931 586784

CSC Workforce, PSW and AD Safeguarding Network Lead: Mark Evans (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07803 147072

Adoption; Fostering; Kinship and Early Help Regional Networks: Rebecca Eligon (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07944 996219

SESLI Programme Manager: Richard Tyndall (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07880 787007

S.E. Region SEND Network Programme Co-ordinator: Sheelagh Sullivan (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)