South West September Update 2015

1. The Sector-Led Improvement Group (SLIG): Sara Tough, DCS, Dorset took over chairing this group from 1.9.15. It comprises a mix of Director and Assistant Directors representing the four sub-regional ‘clusters’ of LAs, as well as colleagues from the LGA and a representative of the region’s independent LSCB Chairs. The group’s work is co-ordinated by Fran Havard an Independent Consultant whose work is managed by the SLIG Chair.

2. Infrastructure of regional groups which can contribute to SLI: This is being updated with consideration given to ensuring that key groups are sponsored by AD or DCSs and that their remitsare linked to regional priorities.

3. Peer Challenge programme for 2015: 13 of the region’s 16 LAs are participating in the programme and the three remaining LAs intending to participate before the end of the financial year. The challenges are on topics of particular relevance to the region: Child Sexual Exploitation, Children who go missing, Supervision Practice and Neglect. The process builds on the case-review methodology developed in 2014, modified to reflect the evaluation of last year’s reviews. The findings will feed into a regional performance summit in November to which all LAs in the region will contribute. The summit will include analysis of data to consider alongside the practice-focussed reviews, and will use the Outcomes Based Accountability techniques to help identify what improvements can be implemented at a regional level.

4. Case tracking using the Ofsted methodology: The regional Senior HMI for Social Care together with the regional SLI coordinator and senior colleagues has devised and delivered training using Ofsted case tracking methodology. This entails HMIs helping to develop skills and knowledge for anyone involved in quality assuring or supervision, up to and including DCSs. The training takes place in an IT suite where participants practice the approach hands-on, interrogating a live online dummy case. By mid-October, over 50 people will have participated in half day pilot sessions to test out the feasibility of this technically challenging training, and to evaluate it with a view to rolling it out regionally subject to HMI availability. Feedback on the first two sessions has been very positive: all participants rated them as Excellent or Very good, and giving useful suggestions for further development.

5. Children’s Social Care Workforce – use of agency staff: The South West is looking at agreeing a similar protocol regarding use of agency staff as other regions and now has an established regional workforce sub group.

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