Suffolk Safeguarding Briefing December 2018
December is always a busy time in schools with so much excitement and changes to regular routines that safeguarding can become more difficult, yet it is also even more important.
With that in mind we have a couple of dates for your diary and a reminder about the new MARF portal.
From Monday 12 November 2018, you will need to complete and submit a Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF) using the new secure Suffolk Children and Young People's Portal if you have a concern about a child or a young person. There is a support guide available here to help you.
Dates for your diary:
Suffolk Neglect Conference - Thursday 17th January 2019
Safer Internet Day - Tuesday 5th February 2019
We also have some good news for you in the shape of new expertise - Suffolk County Council have brought on board Tony Saggers, a former drugs lead at the National Crime Agency. Tony has become the leading expert in the field of gangs and county lines and is supporting local agencies and the Police in formatting a strategic action plan for Suffolk. Speaking about the issue recently Tony said “County lines has become the expansion of London, in terms of the violence and knife crime and the young people involved. If you deal drugs somewhere else, you cause agitation and potential violence. Because you are expanding a workforce and the geography of your operation, you need more people involved. That’s where the children come in”.
It is expected that police will announce that the number of known county lines have increased by a third to 2,000 nationally. This issue has exploded in the last five years and is now a problem in every single police force in the country.
But what can we do in schools?
The advice is simple - we need to look out for people and activities ‘hiding in plain sight’.
Be aware of:
- who is at the school gates;
- unexplained negative conduct;
- rapid change in performance;
- students being collected from school by non-family members; and
- truancy and short term missing/absence 2/3 hours per day regularly
We have compiled some resources to help you including the link for a Gangs and County Lines presentation from the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, this may be useful for you to update staff on at the start of the new term:
- Gangs and County Lines presentation
- Safeguarding Children and Young People at Risk of County Lines or Gang Involvement - Resource Pack: This provides guidance for agencies in Suffolk working with children and young people at risk of becoming, or already involved, in County Lines and/or gang activity.
- Criminal Exploitation Stages of Recruitment: Information about the four main recruitment stages for exploitation.
- Appropriate Language Toolkit: Advice for professionals discussing the exploitation of children and young people.
- Children and Young People Trafficked for the Purpose of Criminal Exploitation in Relation to County Lines - A Toolkit for Professionals
- CSE Police and Prevention - Resources for professionals working with children and young people, their families and communities around child criminal and/or sexual exploitation.
We wish you all a Happy Christmas and a safe and peaceful New Year.