Next week, on Wednesday 17 November, Cabinet members will consider a report about an independent review of Section 47 (S47) investigations. These investigations are about protecting vulnerable children from significant harm.
An article published by the Sunday Times in June 2021 critiqued parts of child protection practices in Barnsley. The article said that Barnsley does above the national average of S47 investigations and is too interventionist. In response, the Safeguarding Children Partnership commissioned an independent review.
The independent review found that:
- There was no evidence to show that we are too interventionist
- There is evidence of working with families and empowering them throughout the process
- Children’s social work practice in Barnsley is open to reflection and learning
- There’s a culture of placing children within family settings. We also place children with extended family members where possible
- There are strong, trusted relationships between partner organisations in Barnsley
- Key comparative performance data supports all these findings
The review also encouraged local partners and us to maintain a lot of the current work being done.
Cllr Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services at Barnsley Council, said: “As a Local Safeguarding Children Partnership, we are pleased with the outcomes from the independent review. It has reassured us that we correctly follow regulations while supporting families. We are always open and welcome opportunities to learn and improve.
“As corporate parents, we will always act in the best interest of children and families in the borough and safeguard children against harm.”