The Welsh Assembly had a debate on safeguarding children in Pembrokeshire following the Dylan Seabridge case.
Assembly Members said there should be a truly independent review (not just the council reviewing itself) and also that opportunities were missed by professionals.
The following points were made:
The Minister said that the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 would strengthen and reform safeguarding services, although it was noted in the debate that the Act has not yet come into force, implementation is due in April 2016
It is more than a year since the Crown Prosecution dropped its case against the parents and a year has passed since the inquest. Why have we still not heard anything? Child practice reviews should be completed within 6 months.
Are councils hiding behind “artificial county boundaries”?
[“The council [Ceredigion?] denies those claims and says they are [were?] not responsible for safeguarding Dylan, who lived in Pembrokeshire.” https://edyourself.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/taking-home-education-out-of-the-equation-in-dylan-seabridge-case/ ]
The new independent national safeguarding board will make things better
Pembrokeshire council has had a bad reputation for child safeguarding at the time when Dylan died. There should be a truly independent review, not the council reviewing itself.
[Pembrokeshire at the time was being blasted for failure to safeguard children in its area, this was widely publicised , the Welsh Government put in an Ministerial Board to oversee improvements, and the Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children Board who was also Head of Child Care Commissioning, resigned. Problems continued . https://edyourself.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/taking-home-education-out-of-the-equation-in-dylan-seabridge-case/]
Minister: we did send an improvement board into Pembrokeshire in 2011 which worked hard on improvements right through to 2013. A new inspection in 2014 found things were better. We must wait to see what they come up with.
“Safeguarding boards are independent by their nature and they are not simply focused on social services. They include health, they include the police and they include third sector members around that table as well, and they are able to range far more widely than social services where they feel that there are other aspects of a child’s care that need to be investigated and reported upon.”