South Wales Police and CSSIW issue joint report on child sexual exploitation and multi-agency working

The  Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) and South Wales Police have today [16 August 2017] issued a report into child sexual exploitation and multi-agency working.

It results from feedback and discussion from a joint summit in May, which found there is often a lack of detailed and relevant information on children placed out of area made available to the host local authority, children’s homes, police and other agencies by the placing authority. This is particularly relevant if children go missing.

A lack of appropriate placements for children with complex needs is resulting in a lack of genuine choice. This impacts the suitability of some placements made.

Placements that cannot adequately respond to children’s needs will most likely result in poor outcomes for children.

There was a clear message that children’s homes need to provide a caring and stable environment, with considerable focus on value based management and excellent trained staff.

All bodies involved still need to do more to involve children and young people meaningfully in their care planning.

The joint summit was attended by 120 professionals, including residential care providers, representatives of police forces in Wales, local authorities, Welsh Government, the office of the Children’s Commissioner, CSSIW and the third sector.

In the lead-up to the summit, South Wales Police voiced increasing concern at the frequency with which they are attending residential homes to deal with children going missing and incidents of aggression and criminal damage.

Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) has become increasingly concerned at the high levels of notifications about the behaviour of children and their vulnerability when away from the children’s home.

Inspections of children’s homes often highlight the impact on children of high rates of staff turnover and the difficulties of achieving the required level of qualified staff.

Inspectors are also aware of children being placed without statutory and therapeutic services agreed.

You can read the full report here.