In February 2016 the focus of the LSCB Quality Assurance Groups (QAGs) audit activity was neglect. Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development (Working Together 2015).
The audit considered how well we protect children who are experiencing neglect. A total of 9 cases were audited by the QAGs. Each QAG looked at one Child Protection, one Child in Need and one Early Help case (9 cases in total), with the ages of children ranging from 2 months to 17 years, 5 were girls and 4 were boys.
Some cases evidenced good use of Graded Care Profile which had underpinned ongoing assessment. It was identified in some cases that the use of relevant tools such as the Graded Care Profile and Risk & Resilience Matrix would have been appropriate and improved case working.
You can find the Neglect practice guidance and Graded Care Profile on our Policy and Procedures Manual
The LSCB will soon be providing multi-agency workshops on using the tools keep checking the training pages on our website
Identified in the QAG audits was the need to have a meaningful chronology in place, particularly in cases of long term neglect. There were a number of families with a long history of involvement with statutory services, and the use of chronologies and an understanding of previous history should have been used to inform assessments and plans.
Assessments were not always outcome focussed and were not focussed on the child with the emphasis being on the needs of parents, in particular vulnerable parents.
A number of cases identified issues around SMART planning.
Do you use historical information when you are making an assessment of risk?
Have you read the LSCB’s Top Tips for SMART Planning?
In a number of cases the voice of the child was not evident and too much focus was given to the parents or the child’s siblings.
Have you read the LSCB’s Guidance to ensure the voice of the child is heard?
It was evident that the step down of cases could have been improved in a number of cases. It was not clear from the records that plans were in place for step down.
Did you know we have a step up and step down process in place? You can find it here
For more information on neglect including the multi-agency neglect strategy please visit the LSCB website