Family safeguarding continues to reduce child protection needs

Published: 26 Sep 2018

Hertfordshire County Council’s trailblazing approach to safeguarding children is continuing to help vulnerable families throughout the county.

The number of children subject to a Child Protection Plan fell to its lowest recorded level in the first quarter of 2018-19, the latest Performance Monitor figures show. The April-June 2018 figure for children* on a Child Protection Plan was 497, down from 533 between January-March this year.

In June 2015 our Family Safeguarding Team adopted a pioneering approach to providing help for parents. It placed specialist domestic abuse, mental health and substance misuse workers in the child protection and children in need services and trained all staff to a high level of skill in Motivational Interviewing. These two elements enabled teams to give direct help to parents and enabled them to think about what they would like to change in their lives and for their children.

As a result, the number of children on child protection plans has reduced by 55 per cent in just 30 months. Associated benefits include reduced police domestic abuse call outs and A&E visits as well as reduced staff sickness rates and turnover.

Teresa Heritage, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “These sustained reductions reflect the ongoing use of our enlightened approach to working with families.

“I’m pleased to say that these figures include the end of some long running Child Protection Plans, which demonstrates the difference we are making in turning accepted practice on its head and managing safeguarding in a totally different way.

“We are pleased to be working with other councils to implement the family safeguarding approach.”