Calderdale praised for work to keep kids safe from child sex exploitation

Councillor Megan Swift
Councillor Megan Swift

Calderdale Council’s Children’s Social Care team has been recognised for its work on identifying and supporting children who regularly miss school.

Ofsted’s National Director of Social Care, Eleanor Schooling CBE, publishes a monthly commentary in which she discusses the major issues facing children’s services across the country and shares what has been learned during recent inspections.

Councillor Megan Swift, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “We’re very proud to be included in this publication, which recognises and shares good practice amongst social care professionals.

“We work really hard to keep our children safe in Calderdale, and that means we’ve developed systems which will help us quickly identify if a child is vulnerable.

“The central record means that all of our partners who are in contact with a child, whether it is a social worker, school, the Police or a health worker can share information daily and raise any concerns they may have about a child. This means that we can intervene quickly, if necessary, to keep a child safe.”

January’s commentary, which is published on the Ofsted website, focuses on the theme of CSE and includes Calderdale Council’s use of a central record.

The Council created the central record in response to an Ofsted report on ‘Pupils missing out on Education’, which was published in 2013.

Ofsted had found that local authorities were not adequately monitoring how often some pupils, for example excluded children or those with mental and physical health needs, missed school.

The report recommended that Councils should set up a central point of information on all children in their area who were missing education.

Calderdale Council’s Children and Young People’s service adopted this approach but widened it to include any child who is reported to the Council as missing by the Police or who is believed to be at risk of sexual exploitation.

The central record is updated every day and support is given directly to the young people who are included. The team monitors for trends and hotspots. as well as reviewing the needs of each individual child.