Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel 2019

Dear Damian,

1 February 2019


I am writing to you as Chair of the independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel to advise you that we have decided to announce our first national child safeguarding practice review.

We have received notification of a significant number of serious child safeguarding cases which raise issues which are complex and of national importance in relation to adolescents in need of State protection from criminal exploitation. This will be the theme of the review I wish to announce later next week. The review will commence in March 2019, and complete within six months.

The draft terms of reference are annexed to this letter.

Dale Simon, CBE is the Panel Member who will lead the Review, working to me. She is a qualified barrister with over 20 years experience of child abuse prosecutions and policy development. Dale was previously the Director of Public Accountability and Inclusion at the Crown Prosecution Service. Dale will be supported by Panel Members, Mark Gurrey and Karen Manners. Mark is Chair of the South Gloucestershire Improvement Board, Chair of Wiltshire Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and was previously Chair of the LSCB for Devon. He is a qualified social worker and for the last 10 years has worked as a leader in a number of authorities in intervention. Karen Manners was formerly Deputy Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police with over 32 years of experience in policing. She was the national lead for policing on the Vulnerability Action Plan.

An expert team will be recruited from our pool of national reviewers to assist them and Isabelle Trowler, the Government’s Chief Social Worker, will work closely with them offering advice and support as required. I will have oversight across the review and will sign-off progress on a monthly basis.

I am also letting you know that in the coming month we intend to publish non-statutory practice guidance to local safeguarding partners on how we will work together and in collaboration with others to improve safeguarding practice locally. We are discussing this with key partners and your officials.

I am circulating this letter to your Cabinet colleagues with an interest in this issue, including the Home Secretary, the Justice Secretary and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. I would also like to meet you to discuss progress and will ask your Office to find a suitable date.

Chair, Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel

Terms of Reference

Draft Terms of Reference

Review Question: Do adolescents in need of State protection from criminal exploitation get the help they need, when they need it? How can the services designed to keep adolescents safe from criminal exploitation, and the way those services work together, be improved to prevent further harm?

Lines of Enquiry:

  • –  Who are we talking about?
  • –  How do we best identify and engage the young people of concern?
  • –  Why are they more at risk?
  • –  What is the current approach to managing that risk?
  • –  Is that approach effective?
  • –  What are the examples of best practice?
  • –  How could practice be more effective?How can we best measure effectiveness?

    What is in scope and what is not?

    We will continue to refine our methodology and scope between now and March. The Review will draw learning from the serious cases which have been to Panel since July 2018, involving the death or serious harm of adolescents who have been subject to criminal exploitation, or suspected of being so.