Message from the Independent Chair
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the annual report of the Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP). This report covers the period between April 2019 and August 2020. It reflects the safeguarding commitments of all Board partners, as we work to achieve our intentions as set out in our strategic plan.
Whilst COVID-19 affected us towards the end of the reporting period, the impact the virus has had and continues to have on all partners at the time of writing, must be acknowledged. With that in mind, this year’s report is being published later and was prepared by the Partnership and includes a report on responses to COVID-19. It is logical that details of how safeguarding was managed during the COVID-19 crisis should feature more prominently in the next annual report. However, it is important to me to record that I saw that agencies did respond with a positive ‘can do’ attitude to the challenges faced and were determined to keep vulnerable children as the focus of their thinking. I also wish to remember those who have sadly lost their lives and recognise the extraordinary efforts the people of Leeds and employees of all our partners have made to continue to keep people as safe as possible during this time. This embodies the ‘Spirit of Leeds’, of which we should all be so proud.
This report was prepared by the LSCP Business Support Unit (BSU) on behalf of the Partnership and recognises the progress the LSCP has made throughout the year and the challenges that remain that we will continue to address in 2021/22.
I have reviewed the contents and, as the Independent Chair, I can say that the contents are an accurate report of the activities of the Partnership and its Sub Groups. I would like to thank all Sub Group members for their commitment which, without exception, is provided in addition to their individual roles within their own organisation. The report clearly details areas of best practice and highlights recommendations to improve practice as a Partnership that continues to seek improvements for the most vulnerable children and families in our communities. The Partnership will continue to work within its areas of priority with the addition of considering elected home education, as a priority.
May I take this opportunity to thank you for giving your time to reading my first annual report as Independent Chair. This continues to be a challenging yet rewarding role, and I work alongside partners who in my, view clearly embrace our vision and wish to make a difference. I am encouraged by LSCP Executive meetings and partnership discussions which operate with a high level of honesty and transparent conversations, enabling all to probe and ask questions concerning the performance of partners, appropriate professional challenge and examples of best practice. I have proactively engaged with Chairs across the strategic partnerships to ensure collective partnership working and accountability, to improve the lives of children and families.
Finally, I am confident that the Partnership is functioning well – but there is always more to do in our endeavours to improve safeguarding across our city, to ensure that agencies work together to keep children and young people safe in Leeds.