Working Together to Protect Children - Press Release
September 24th 2010
Joint Serious Case Review - Working Together to Protect Children
ADSS Cymru welcomes the publication of the Serious Case Review (SCR) in Wales as it raises a number of key issues for social services for all agencies involved in safeguarding children and young people in Wales.
Responding to the publication of today's report Bruce McLernon, President of the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru (ADSS Cymru) said:
"The reviews rightly raise concerns amongst the general public about how all agencies are functioning and can we have confidence in their performance. Our first concern though must be to the children who have been the victims of the abuse and allow them the privacy and space to recover from the trauma and look to rebuild their lives with the proper support.
This review highlights the complexity of the cases that social workers are dealing with on a daily basis. This particular case highlights how abusers are adept at using evasive tactics and manipulating situations. Thus, we must engage with children; talking to them, listening, believing and acting on their concerns.
The numbers of child protection cases continue to increase partly due to greater awareness of child abuse but also reflecting the changing dynamics of our society as we witness the damage created to family life through the harm caused by drug, alcohol and sexual abuse."
Parry Davies, the ADSS Cymru Vice President and Co-Lead on Safeguarding and Prevention said:
"This case extends over a long period of time - 19 years, and considerable progress has been made in improving child protection, a fact confirmed by the recent Annual Report of the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales. Indeed, the creation of Safeguarding Children Boards has strengthened the collective responsibility of agencies to work together to protect children and young people. Information sharing between agencies has improved, and joint training for staff from across agencies has helped in making informed decisions and sound judgements.
ADSS Cymru will continue to fully support the safeguarding agenda in Wales, paying attention to the five key areas identified in the SCR which are:
We are not complacent and cases such as this one can have a damaging impact on the profession and highlights the need to maintain the momentum of improvement."
Bruce McLernon added:
"Children's services deal with an exceptional volume of cases and in the vast majority of cases get it right, but this good work often gets unnoticed. The excellent work undertaken by frontline social workers everyday across the whole of Wales is to be applauded. Staff are supported and mentored in what is very complex and difficult work, and we are continually exploring new ways staff across agencies work together in community settings.
As we enter into a period of severe cuts to public sector spending we are very concerned on the impact this could potentially have on one of the most critical areas of local government activity."
Parry Davies, Vice President pointed out:
"Protecting children, particularly vulnerable children and young people, is everyone's business, not just local authority social services, and collectively we are responsible for their protection."