Position Statements from Safeguarding Partners
Firstly we would like to thank staff across Camden Safeguarding Children Partnership (CSCP), for their continued commitment and hard work to deliver critical frontline services during these extraordinary times.
As we deal with the fast moving developments and impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19), ensuring that vulnerable children remain visible and protected continues to be our top priority. We know our safeguarding partners have the key day-to-day responsibility in supporting us to achieve this, and are reconfiguring services to implement robust contingency plans to ensure that quality safeguarding standards are maintained. Camden MASH has been adapted to ensure our front door thresholds are sustained and are responsive to emerging safeguarding risks, but the route for raising concerns about a child remains the same.
Camden Police presence is visible in the borough to support the community to ensure that people are adhering to the new emergency measures. Metropolitan Police Services are also working to combat scams targeted at those most vulnerable and are advising those working with families to be vigilant to a variety of COVID-19 related fraud.
Camden is home to six NHS Foundation Trusts — NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) and Camden CCG have put in place measures to deal with the impact of the Coronavirus and are working with regional and national partners to ensure patients, public and staff remain safe. In the community our GPs, health visitors, sexual health service providers, school and community nurses are adapting their services to ensure the delivery of essential healthcare across the borough to vulnerable children and families.
Our Social Work and Early help colleagues are continuing their vital work but having to develop new approaches to working with children, young people, and their families.
From global trends, we have identified that domestic violence and mental health will be two areas that pose elevated safeguarding risks for children and young people. As the statutory safeguarding partners, we will work with the CSCP to develop plans at a community level to identify and respond to the additional needs. We are also raising this changed risk profile at a Pan-London and national level. This includes thinking about how to support families facing economic hardship as a result of not being able to work, and the accompanied pressures and stresses this brings to children in the household.
The CSCP’s COVID-19 — Coronavirus page will be updated regularly with the latest advice and guidance as well as details of any changes to local safeguarding and support services. As this is a fast-moving situation the information contained may change at short notice. Please keep visiting our website and/or follow us @CamdenSCP to stay up to date on any new announcements.
Once again huge thanks to all our partners and their staff, we are proud to work together with you to continue to safeguard Camden’s children.
DCS and Deputy Chief Executive, Camden Council
Managing Director Camden, NCL CCG
Borough Commander, Central North (Camden & Islington) Basic Command Unit (BCU)
The London Safeguarding Children Partnership have highlighted the following safeguarding areas of concern to Safeguarding Children Partnerships across the capital during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
All members of the Executive shared the concern that child abuse and neglect would increase over the period of lockdown and that it would also be harder to detect. They emphasised the importance of close monitoring and the need to take action if it is felt that children at risk are not being identified and referred.
It was noted that the children are likely to face increased risk as the lockdown continues because of a range of issues, including the following:
- Greater opportunities for abusive parents to harm their children and very limited opportunities for children to alert others to what is happening.
- Increases in domestic abuse.
- Parents and carers experiencing deteriorating mental health.
- Neglect exacerbated by increasing financial and emotional pressures on parents and carers.
- Children experiencing deteriorating mental health.
- Increased time online will make children more vulnerable to online abuse.
- Children who are missing are also likely to be at increased risk.
- Any harmful practice, such as FGM, which the lockdown may enable parents/carers to hide more easily.
The London Safeguarding Children Partnership Executive agreed to remain in close contact and also agreed that the daily London Gold meetings — the Criminal Justice, Health and Care, and Local Government Gold Groups — will be consulted in regards to any planned systemic changes to practice or staffing which will impact on the delivery of core multi-agency safeguarding functions. The outcome of these discussions will in turn be cascaded to the local partnerships.
The Executive Group would like to continue to extend their gratitude at this difficult and unprecedented time, for the all the hard, dedication and considerable sacrifices made by frontline staff to keep children safe.
The London Safeguarding Children Partnership Executive:
- Sean Harriss — Children’s Lead, Chief Executives of London Committee [CELC]
- Martin Pratt — Chair, Association of London Directors of Children’s Services [ALDCS]
- Paul Wylie — Director of Strategy, Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime [MOPAC]
- Nick Ephgrave — Assistant Commissioner MPS
- Sue Williams — Commander for Safeguarding MPS
- Gwen Kennedy — Regional Safeguarding Lead, NHSEI London Region