The Sunderland Safeguarding Children Partnership (SSCP) is a multi-agency partnership which brings together agencies who work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people across Sunderland. The aim of the partnership is to coordinate what is done by each body represented on the board, and ensuring the effectiveness of that work. Ultimately in doing our job at the SSCP we want to make a positive difference to children, young people, their families and their communities through our work in partnership.
Within the Partnership there are three statutory safeguarding partners:
• Sunderland City Council
• Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group
• Northumbria Police.
These three agencies are responsible for developing the multi-agency safeguarding arrangements (MASA) that will guide how they will work together, and with other relevant agencies, to safeguard children and young people. An interim MASA Plan was put in place for 2019-20 as the partnership transitioned from the previous LSCB; arrangements for 2020-21 are being developed.
Some agreements around what those arrangements will include have already been made.
A North and South of Tyne Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) has been established. This Panel will oversee the statutory responsibilities of the child death review partners across Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland. The CDOP will typically review 60 deaths per year to enable thematic learning and identify potential safeguarding or local health issues that could be modified in order to protect children from harm and, ultimately, save lives.
Locally, a streamlined infrastructure for partnership meetings has been developed which is designed to reduce duplication in the system. It also introduces the Practitioner Forum which will have a robust focus on developing the skills of front-line practitioners in all agencies to tackle, at an early point, the most concerning issues for our children and young people and on developing the skills of managers to support those front-line practitioners.
The SSCP must also publish its annual report, looking back at its achievements and setting out where improvements are still required. The annual report for 2019/20 is included here.
The SSCP is supported by a Business Unit comprising:
• Nicola Appleby, Business Manager who works with the three partners of the SSCP and relevant agencies to develop the strategic direction of the partnership ensuring they deliver against the objectives set out in strategic business plans;
• Pam Finn, Practitioner Forum Co-ordinator and Training Lead who supports the Practitioner Forum and develops the training offer for the SSCP
• Catherine Gilroy, Admin Assistant who provides comprehensive business support to the Business Unit and the SSCP.