Safeguarding children in Barnsley

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Find general COVID-19 (coronavirus) help and advice, take a look at the health and support services available (including help with domestic abuse) or read more about our advice for keeping children safe during isolation.

Barnsley Safeguarding Children Partnership

Barnsley Safeguarding Children Partnership is the organisation responsible for agreeing how services and agencies work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in the borough and ensuring that they do so effectively.  The Children and Social Work Act 2017 and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 places the responsibility on the three ‘Safeguarding Partners’, the Police, the Local Authority and Health to formulate the local arrangements for partnership arrangements for Safeguarding Children in their respective geographical areas.

The Partnership, which replaces the Barnsley Safeguarding Children Board from 1st April 2019, has an Independent Chair and brings together senior representatives from the key statutory, voluntary, and community sectors with a responsibility for delivering services to children and young people.

The Chair of the partnership is accountable to the three Safeguarding Partners, the Police, Health and the Local Authority (through the Chief Executive and Director of Children's Services). Each agency representative involved in the work of the Partnership is accountable to the governing body of their own agency.

The role of the Partnership

Members of the Partnership work to keep children and young people in Barnsley safe from harm, particularly those who are most vulnerable, and to make sure that they feel secure, well cared for, and able to reach their full potential.  They also provide support and training for those who work with children and young people, in whatever capacity, to make sure that they are fully aware of their roles and responsibilities in relation to safeguarding, and that they are appropriately qualified.

The work of the Partnership falls into the wider context of our Children's Trust arrangements, which focus on improving the overall wellbeing of all Barnsley children and young people through the five outcomes - be healthy; stay safe; enjoy and achieve; make a positive contribution; secure economic wellbeing.  However, the Partnership focuses primarily on the aspect of 'staying safe', which ensures that children and young people are cared for, have security and stability and are kept safe from:

  • maltreatment, neglect, violence and sexual exploitation
  • accidental injury and death
  • bullying and discrimination
  • crime and anti-social behaviour in and out of school

Partnership member agencies

Barnsley Safeguarding Children Partnership is made up of members from a range of agencies:

The independent chair

The three safeguarding partners:

The following organisations are partnership members with a duty to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children:

Sub-committees to the partnership

The partnership structure has a number of sub-committees that bring extra focus to particular issues and priorities. This structure is reviewed regularly and amended if necessary to ensure multi-agency contribution to priority areas.

BSCP meetings

The Barnsley Safeguarding Children Partnership meet six times a year. Dates are as follows:

  • 20 November 2020
  • 29 January 2021
  • 16 April 2021
  • 28 May 2021
  • 16 July 2021
  • 24 September 2021
  • 26 November 2021

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 update

On 9 December 2020, the government made changes with regards to information sharing, homelessness duty and references to domestic abuse.  You can take a look at the latest Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 update.  

New arrangements for the Barnsley Safeguarding Children Partnership

Read about our new arrangements implementing the requirements of Working Together 2018.

Find out more about Working Together 2018 on GOV.UK.

New South Yorkshire Child Death Review Arrangements

Read about our new arrangements implementing the requirements of working together.

Children and Young People's Plan 2019-2022

The Barnsley Children and Young People's Trust has published their Children and Young People's Plan for 2019 to 2022.

This is a joint three year plan setting out what partners of the Children and Young People's Trust intend to do to improve outcomes for children and young people in Barnsley. It reflects our strong ambition and the strategy and steps being taken to support children, young people and families to achieve their potential.

Barnsley Thresholds for intervention

Read Barnsley thresholds for intervention guide for early help and beyond

Children’s Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (CISVA)

The role of the CISVA is to provide immediate emotional and practical support to the child/young person following disclosure of sexual harm and/or abuse. (The CISVA will provide support via a parent/carer if the child is unable to engage.) The CISVA is an independent worker who acts as a direct point of contact for the child/family and liaises with police/social care/other agencies about the ongoing investigation whilst advocating for the client’s needs. This can also include talking to the client about the pros/cons of making a formal complaint and providing an ABE interview to the police. The CISVA continues to provide support throughout the criminal justice process, including arranging any special measures and/or pre-recorded evidence via s28 and attending Court with the client. (The level of support offered is dependent on each client’s assessed needs.) The CISVA remains independent of all other agencies and does not discuss any details of the abuse with the client.

How to make a referral

Make a CISVA referral online

Referral criteria

When a child or young person makes a disclosure of sexual abuse and/or harm which has just been reported and is being investigated by police/social care. The referrer needs to ensure they have gained consent as we are a voluntary service that can be declined by the client/parent/carer. There isn’t a waiting list for CISVA and contact will be made within 48 hours of the referral being received.

The majority of CISVA referrals are made by the police and children’s social care. However, any agency can make a referral for CISVA support. It doesn’t matter how many referrals we receive for the child, as long as we receive it. An ideal opportunity would be for CISVA referral to be added as an agenda item at strategy meetings held in response to a disclosure of sexual harm/abuse. It can then be clearly agreed who will make the referral and by when.

Accessing therapeutic wellbeing or formal therapy

Referral criteria

A young person is eligible if they are aged 0 to 17 years, live in Barnsley and have experienced sexual abuse, where the abuse has been reported or investigated by the police or social care and where any criminal proceedings have concluded. We also accept referrals for young people who have been impacted by sexual abuse. (For example, a child whose father has abused a half-sibling.)

We accept referrals from professionals, parents, carers and self-referrals as long as the above criteria have been met. We are in the process of changing our referral process but for now, professionals need to contact our office on (01226) 320140 and BSO’s will talk them through how to complete the referral form and return it through a secure link.

The returned referral is then screened to see which support is most suitable for the client to access. Parents, carers or self-referrals can also be made by contacting us and we call you back. We do have an 8 week waiting list for therapy and emotional wellbeing support. We are a systemic, trauma-informed service that undertakes work with parents and carers of clients, including joint sessions where required, liaising with schools and other key professionals in order to help the client recover from the trauma of sexual harm. We also offer a trauma-informed parenting group to parents/carers of clients in our service. We will offer group sessions to clients once we are in a position to be able to do this safely in the Covid climate.

In relation to pre-trial therapy, the CPS are in the process of issuing new guidance in relation to services being able to offer this to clients prior to them providing their s28 evidence. As an agency, we will give this full consideration and hope to be in a position where we’re able to offer this, especially as matters are taking in excess of 2.5 years to reach trial.

Follow up and contact point

The referrer is responsible for contacting BSARCS 72 hours after submitting the above referrals to confirm receipt.

BSARCS will contact the JIT and Assessment Team Service Manager if we become aware of any clients who have not been referred for CISVA support when they were eligible for this service.

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