Agenda item


The Annual Report of the Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership (SSCP) is part of the safeguarding partners accountability to members of the full Partnership, the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, relevant agencies and, most importantly, Surrey’s children and families who are the principal beneficiaries of the activity of the Partnership.


The Annual Report covering January 2021 - March 2022 has been approved by the Executive and the full Partnership and was published in December 2022 after being quality assured by Partners. This is in line with the usual publication timelines.






Alison Cutler - Partnership Development Manager, Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership

Simon Hart - Independent Chair, Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership 


Key points raised in the discussion:


1.    The Partnership Development Manager (SSCP) noted that:

·         In 2018 the Working Together guidance was published by the Government whereby the responsibility for safeguarding arrangements shifted primarily from the Safeguarding Children Board to the Safeguarding Children Partnership and more substantially, the responsibility shifted to three partners: health, police and the local authority.

·         As part of those new arrangements, the requirement was that those statutory partners produce an Annual Report outlining the activity and impact of the SSCP and that report is then scrutinised by the Independent Chair (SSCP).

·         Some of the activity from last year focused on learning and improvement, examples highlighted how the learning from reviews was used to move forward practice across the partnership; mental health was a focus area.

·         The SSCP undertook audits for partners to look at how they were managing safeguarding practices within their organisations and over the past year there had been some large improvements there.

·         The SSCP continued to focus on early help and thresholds, that was progressing well but was an area to be looked at in the coming year.

·         Adolescent resilience and support, including emotional health and wellbeing continued to be a focus and one of the highlights in the report was the formation of the Mental Health Alliance and the impact that had in providing better support to schools through their primary health workers.

·         Neglect remained a big issue and that came up in Serious Case Reviews and national child safeguarding practice reviews, the SSCP was continuing its work around Graded Care Profile roll out across Surrey.

·         Three of the challenges that the SSCP was looking at in the months ahead were: a greater consistency in the quality and effectiveness of multi-agency safeguarding practice and involvement in child protection processes, learning lessons from the reviews and identifying areas where it could improve, and the issues of recruitment and retention which were issues nationally but needed to be monitored in Surrey.

2.    The Independent Chair (SSCP) noted that:

·         His role was to make an objective and independent comment on the Annual Report, which he strongly supported explaining that the governance arrangements that were in place had become well established.

·         The SSCP was well supported by the partners both from the point of view of maintaining the stability of the funding arrangements, but also the amount of time that agencies were committing to the SSCP.

·         The newly added section on the inspectorates’ findings was an additional strength.

·         The section dealing with recruitment and retention was highly appropriate and it would continue to be one of the major challenges to safeguarding in Surrey, as it was nationally.

·         Other challenges to safeguarding were: the growing gap between levels of need and capacity which was a significant potential risk, emotional wellbeing and mental health particularly concerning adolescents and the SSCP had undertaken important work in relation to adolescent suicide and it had been influential in helping to drive some of the transformational change that was taking place in Surrey; the consistency in practice whilst developing, remained an element of risk alongside pace and consolidation.

·         Not mentioned in his report, was that the SSCP had looked carefully at the implications of Covid-19 over the course of the last eighteen months. Just as the SSCP had reached the point where it seemed as though all the local arrangements were in place and functioning, a potential risk to safeguarding was the challenges associated with cost of living and families being able to sustain themselves financially in very difficult circumstances.

·         Supported the conclusions reached by the statutory partners about progress being made, whilst being cautious about the sustainability.

3.    The Chairman read out a comment in the Teams meeting chat by a Board member which he endorsed: that he had joined the children's safeguarding team several times this year and he noted that he was impressed with the working relationships, the lack of hierarchy and the empathy and care that was shown by all partners when carrying out reviews.  

4.    The Chairman thanked the Partnership Development Manager (SSCP) and Independent Chair (SSCP) for all the work undertaken over the past year.




1.    Noted the report.

2.    Noted the SSCP’s priorities for 2022 to 2023.

3.    Noted the need to focus on the impact of activity, of improving the quality of SSCP’s work with children and families and being able to evidence improvements in the lived experience for children.


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