Working together to keep children safe in Wiltshire
On 4 February 2019 Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group published a new plan designed to ensure they are doing all they can as a partnership to safeguard children and vulnerable adults.
New Government guidance in 2018 set out how local areas should work to replace Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB) with new partnership arrangements. As part of the Department of Education’s Early Adopter’s Programme Wiltshire is one of the first areas in the country to announce how it will respond locally to the new requirements.
“Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018” requires that as local safeguarding partners the Council, the Police and the CCG publish arrangements to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of local children.
Wiltshire’s plan introduces a ‘Safeguarding Vulnerable People’s Partnership’ which will bring together those who lead Wiltshire’s services to safeguard children, young people and adults. The plan is based on a clear and simple recognition that children, young people and adults live in families and local communities that can be both sources of support and safety or of danger and risk.
Our new approach to safeguarding and protecting our communities will ensure that systems are scrutinised not just by professionals but informed by families and that agencies are pooling intelligence to tackle threats like County Lines. The new partnership will work hand in hand with:
- The Family and Children’s Transformation (FACT) Programme
- The Education Transformation Board
- The Adult Transformation programme
- The Community Safety Partnership
- Wiltshire Safeguarding Adults Board
Chaired by Mark Gurrey, formerly the Chair of the LSCB, the partnership will prioritise continuing to involve and engage effectively with schools, hospitals, the voluntary sector and wider partners to have an impact on the lives of children.
County lines is the police term for urban gangs supplying drugs to suburban areas and market and coastal towns. It involves child criminal exploitation (CCE) as gangs use children and vulnerable people to move drugs and money.
Following the publication of County Lines guidance last year, the Home Office is now working with partners to raise awareness of county lines. A range of materials have been developed to help statutory and non-statutory staff identify victims and report concerns to protect those exploited through this criminal activity.