Agenda item

Corporate Safeguarding Annual Report 2020/2021


The Leader presented the report to Cabinet.


The Annual Safeguarding report 2020/21 provided assurance to the Council that all departments across the Council had clear standards in place to address safeguarding. The introduction of the safeguarding self- assessment audit in 2020 was completed by all departments and evidenced an understanding of safeguarding involves us all with regard to policy and practice, environment and the culture of the council.


The safeguarding team continued to work with each department across the council to further develop key actions identified within the audit.


Throughout the very difficult year of the pandemic and its impact on service delivery and on the workforce, Cabinet were assured that the immediate safeguarding practice for children and adults continued to be delivered across all social services statutory functions. Face to face assessments with families and citizens for immediate safeguarding practice was delivered using PPE where required and adherence to all restrictions. The pressure on front line services required resourceful management to ensure the Council continued to protect and safeguard our most vulnerable citizens and ensured early intervention was available to prevent escalation within families and communities.


The council recognised the impact of the pandemic on the workforce resources and the continued pressure within front-line services to deliver safe and accessible services. It was therefore crucial that the whole Council was an informed workforce that recognised safeguarding issues in the community and act accordingly.


The assurance evidenced within the safe-guarding audit provided a base-line for the Council on how it discharged its ‘safeguarding involves us all’ commitment across the Council. This therefore reduced the level of risk for the Council, but it was proposed not to reduce the level of risk on the risk register currently due to the impacts of the pandemic on the workforce and the possible impacts across council services.


Preparations for change in legislation on target as the Council continued to prepare for the change in legislation and practice from Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards to Liberty Protection Safeguards (Mental Capacity Act amendments).  This would now occur in 2022, as part of the on-going identified training strategy, both in-house and as part of the wider regional consortium.  More training on the new legislation/ practice to increase knowledge and skill would be on-going and was clearly identified both within the Annual Corporate Work plan (2021/2022) and in the specific adult and children’s social services priority plans regarding training on new regulations/ legislation.


Skill scanning: safeguarding training appropriate for every role within the Council as Member/employee or volunteer meant that every post would be reviewed by safeguarding and the training department to ensure that the correct level of safeguarding training and checks required for that role is “assigned” and would be reviewed by the responsible line manager at the correct intervals.  This work was identified on the Work Plan (2021/ 2022).


As highlighted to Members, there was an area of risk to the Council in relation to the performance for mandatory training where fines/ regulatory action may be taken regarding safeguarding training in particular the Violence against Women Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV Act 2015), although there was mitigating factors affecting performance during 2020/21


It was therefore a recommendation to Members that Cabinet endorsed the Corporate Safeguarding work plan with specific reference to:


1.      People and Business Change who continued to adopt new ways of working into their priority planning for both new starters to the authority and current employees (including volunteers) in completing mandatory safeguarding training in order to improve compliance rates.

2.      The Welsh Government mandatory training requirement was the Violence against Women Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV Act 2015) which required the Council’s completion of the National Framework for Training for all Council officers, Members and volunteers.

3.      Improvement in completion of these mandatory courses would ensure fines or regulatory action are not taken by governing bodies against Newport City Council.


The Leader thanked Mary Ryan for her hard work towards the report.


Comments of Cabinet Members:


Councillor Cockeram echoed comments and also thanked Mary Ryan and her stewardship this report.  There was good practice displayed in safe guarding hub, police and health. The Partnership working was also going well.  There was a Mind counsellor in place to support children regarding Covid.  Finally, we had a duty to the public to report any abuse that was being witnessed.


Councillor Rahman agreed that the council had a duty to ensure community was kept safe.  As a school governor, Councillor Rahman thanked Newport City Council for their safeguarding training.  Councillor Rahman also highlighted the comments from the Scrutiny Committee, which thanked the safeguarding team. Cabinet would support the safeguarding team in their work and were listening and willing to support them.




Cabinet accepted the Council’s corporate safeguarding work plan for 2021/22 and comments of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee.


Supporting documents: