A week long public awareness campaign to raise the profile of child and adult safeguarding in Northamptonshire starts today.
The first ever Northamptonshire Safeguarding Week (May 23-27, 2016) will shine a spotlight on a wide range of current issues on this complex subject.
It will also see the launch of the new Northamptonshire Neglect Toolkit at a conference in Kettering on May 26 attended by nearly 400 practitioners, including social workers, GPs and police.
Awareness of neglect has increased during the last two decades, but it remains notoriously difficult to define and varies by type and severity. It is the most common reason for child protection plans in the UK and causes huge distress to children with potentially long-lasting effects into adult life.
The toolkit is an extremely comprehensive analysis of neglect and is designed to support professionals in decision making and planning so children are better safeguarded.
The wider Northamptonshire Safeguarding Week campaign is being led by the NHS Nene and NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Groups and has the backing of a number of organisations including Northamptonshire County Council, Northamptonshire Police and Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals.
There will be themed days running throughout the week, starting on Monday, with a focus on looked after children. The days will include learning events and run alongside a social media campaign highlighting issues within specific areas.
The Twitter campaign – #safenorthants16 – will run throughout the week when the various themes take centre stage and partner agencies and the media are urged to support this with RTs.
Tuesday will focus on domestic abuse, Wednesday on child sexual exploitation (CSE), female genital mutilation (FGM) and modern slavery, neglect on the Thursday with the Prevent agenda rounding off the week of activities.
Peter Boylan, director of nursing and quality at Nene CCG, said: We are very excited to be organising the first ever Northamptonshire Safeguarding Week, the aim of which will be to raise the awareness of everyone involved in safeguarding work in Northamptonshire and to highlight what support services are available in the county.
Most of all we hope the events being organised will increase knowledge about safeguarding issues which should in turn impact positively on behaviours and attitudes so the welfare and safety of more children, young people and adults at risk are promoted.
County council leader Councillor Heather Smith said: Northamptonshire County Council has a significant role to play in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and adults across the county and we are pleased to support this Safeguarding Week to increase awareness of our work to protect vulnerable adults and children.
Det Supt Steve Lingley, head of safeguarding at Northamptonshire Police said: We recognise the police have a key role to play in spotting neglect and working with partners to support those at risk.
For all areas of safeguarding the police perform a unique role which affords them a real opportunity to engage with and protect people from harm.
Through training and development we are committed to providing our staff with the tools to safeguard those most at risk and the spotlight on safeguarding next week will further assist that.”