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Cognus Education Safeguarding Manager visits the KMTV Studios at The University of Kent (Medway)

On May 28th, Hayley Cameron, Education Safeguarding Manager, was invited along to the KMTV Studio in Medway, to record a visual podcast on the topic of learning from serious case reviews, with a focus on multi-agency working.

With poor multi-agency working being referenced time and time again within child protection cases and serious case reviews, it is important to look deeper into the causes and consequences for this issue, to ensure children are better protected in the future.  A great deal of research has been carried out into multi-agency working but still the same problems persist, so there needs to be a different approach to future practice. When we look back to the Public enquiry following the death of Maria Colwell in 1974, the learning that arises is no different than what we are identifying today, the same themes and issues continue to arise – failure to listen to the voice of the child, lack of information sharing and poor multi-agency working.

“I felt the need to question why this is still the case after all these years and consider more importantly what else needs to be done to change this” (Hayley Cameron, Education Safeguarding Manager).

During the recording, Hayley was able to emphasise the importance of multi-agency working and highlight some of the fantastic work that has been taking place in Sutton since the start of the pandemic.

“Multi-agency working is when professionals from all different sectors, including Children’s Social Care, Education, Police and Health, come together to ensure a joined-up stance and vision is adopted to reduce the risk of harm to children and young people. Professionals should work holistically and use an ecological systems approach within their practice to enable them to build a more informed understanding of what life is really like for a child on a daily basis” (Hayley Cameron, Education Safeguarding Manager)

This was also a great opportunity to promote the Child Safeguarding Toolkit which launched both locally and nationally in March 2021.  The Child Safeguarding Toolkit is a unique and comprehensive learning resource for everyone who comes into contact with children and has been designed to help prevent further serious injury or child deaths.  All of the Toolkit’s training and resource materials are free and can be accessed here:  www.childsafeguardingtoolkit.org.uk.

“This is an outstanding resource which can be used by professionals worldwide.  It will support them in ‘thinking outside of the box’ and subsequently help them to ensure that our young people are better protected” (Dr. Tracee Green, Head of the Centre for Child Protection)

It is important that when issues arise, professionals can come together to reflect on what has happened and then share those reflections with a wider audience to get the biggest possible impact and to encourage changes to be implemented for the benefit of the child.

Instead of focusing on individuals to blame, wider systems need to be reviewed and this is something which may take years to get right.  The important thing to realise is that there is no quick fix, learning can take place even years after the event once feelings and emotions have been processed.

The visual podcast will be ready to view by the end of July and will be promoted internally by Cognus and externally by The University of Kent.

Safeguarding – Cognus