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Real prospect of safeguarding Southampton’s children
IT is likely to be one of the most farreaching reviews of its kind that will bring about real change in safeguarding children in Southampton.
That is the view of Donald McPhail, pictured, the chairman of the Southampton Safeguarding Children Board, who said the inquiry’s findings should be taken to heart by every organisation involved.
He said there would now be a greater focus on learning from past mistakes and simply ticking a box to say changes have been made would not be enough.
Agencies deemed culpable in this case will now be made to show, through qualitative feedback, that the lessons are being learned at every tier of their organisation.
He told the Daily Echo: “Once we know something, we cannot undo it. While I am confident that the recommendations are now in place, I would have no hesitation if we were not satisfied, of contacting the relevant Government agency.”
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He described how things “could have gone very differently” if only a pre-birth plan had been put in place around the little girl and said it was “a missed opportunity”.
Commenting on the review, he added: “This demonstrates the need for all agencies, whether their main service is for children or for adults, to be clear about their role in identifying safeguarding risk factors for children and to actively engage in assessment and planning with other involved agencies.
“The Safeguarding Children Board’s Review of the implementation of the action plans has already demonstrated commitment from each agency to create a more robust integrated safeguarding system, but it will remain the task of those agencies and the board to ensure these policy and training initiatives make an enduring difference to the quality of integrated practice to better safeguard children in Southampton.”