Agenda item

Annual Safeguarding Report


The Leader presented the next item which was the interim Annual Report for Safeguarding. This report was the Head of Corporate Safeguarding’s evaluation of 2021/22 performance for the Local Authority.


This was an interim report because of changes in Welsh Government guidance. A full report would be presented to Cabinet early next year in line with the new guidance.


Safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults was absolutely of the highest priority for Newport City Council.  The Corporate Safeguarding Policy set out the Council’s duty and commitment to safeguard and promote the health, wellbeing and human rights of adults and children at risk.


This report assessed the Council’s proactive actions and responses to safeguarding.

The report was presented to Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee on 30 of September 2022, there was a constructive and helpful discussion of the content of the report.


The report noted the challenges across the Council in respect of safeguarding because of the pressures brought about by Covid and the restrictions of the pandemic.


The Safeguarding Hub for Children’s Services saw a 13.9% increase in referrals during 2021/22. This reflected the issues arising in schools, early years and youth settings and partner agencies. For the children and their families, an effective and robust safeguarding approach was vital and could be life changing.


Despite the pressures, the outcome of the safeguarding self-assessment for all areas of the Council demonstrated a very high level of compliance with statutory requirements and a determination to continue to place the highest priority on safeguarding for all citizens.


It was pleasing to note that the new Welsh Government Guidance for Corporate Safeguarding (March 2022) includes Newport’s Safeguarding Self-Assessment tool as a model of good practice. The guidance was published out of similar themes coming from external audit and encouraged standardising some of the performance data to enable measuring distance travelled to benchmark with other Local Authorities.


The challenges of ensuring all staff, volunteers and Members were accessing and engaged with training for all areas of safeguarding were noted in the report. This was an area which would continue to require a focus and keen prioritisation over the coming year.


The Council was working to ensure safeguarding was maintained in all areas of service and would in the coming year work with the revised Guidance for Corporate Safeguarding to ensure continued compliance.


Comments of Cabinet Members:


§  Councillor Hughes mentioned that the most significant change was definition of adults at risk and it reminded us that safeguarding was everyone’s business and that we were seen to be proactive.  The Cabinet Member for Social Services also thanked the safeguarding team for working during incredibly challenging periods to maintain a safeguarding culture and high level of support. 


§  Councillor Davies supported Councillor Hughes comments and added that as corporate parents it was important that we take our responsibility in safeguarding seriously, this also extended to schools.  Training was a statutory requirement and we all had a duty to the children in Newport.



Cabinet received the Annual Safeguarding Report (interim) by the Head of Corporate Safeguarding.

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