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Posted on 2016-04-14 15:55:49

Hello it has been just over a year since I became the Independent Chair of the HSCB.  I felt it was important to bring you up to date with how the Board is progressing and where we want to make even more of an impact.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the last year and have met and worked with some highly motivated and professional people.  The most re-assuring thing is, despite all the challenges we face no matter who we work for or represent, the desire to do the best for the children and young people of Hartlepool shines through.

I have been pleased with how the Board has developed over the last year.  At a recent development day we identified a number of strengths:

  • Clear vision and a strong commitment from Board members to deliver it
  • Honest and appropriate challenge
  • Dynamic partnerships
  • Shared ownership and priorities
  • Strong and safe operational child protection
  • Comprehensive training

Where we want to get even better include:

  • More involvement from children and young people, families, carers and front line practitioners
  • Improving the effectiveness of early help and reducing incidents of neglect
  • A strategic plan to achieve our vision by effective co-ordination of work against our priorities
  • Develop enhanced performance management and scrutiny across all partners

We have agreed that our priorities for 2015-16 will remain the need to effectively address the issues of:

  • Neglect led on behalf of the Board by Lindsey Robertson of NTHFT
  • Domestic Abuse led of behalf of the Board by Claire Clark of HBC
  • VEMT (vulnerable, exploited, missing, trafficked children and young people) led on behalf of the Board by Danielle Swainston of HBC and across the Tees Valley by Alastair Simpson of Cleveland Police

I am delighted to welcome Paige Thomason to the team as the new HSCB Business Manager. Paige will be co-ordinating the new strategic plan to deliver the required improvements.  Work on going for the Board includes leading on a new Performance Management Framework across all four LSCB’s of the Tees Valley, developing a new website and communications/involvement strategy, monitoring the effectiveness of Operation Encompass and the plans for the new MACH shared with Stockton.

The Board meetings are now six weekly and every other Board meeting is set aside for a thematic review of delivery against our priorities.  In November this will be Early Help and Neglect where I hope to explore what we are doing well and where we can do better.  If you have any views on this or any other matter please let me know via HSCBChair@hartlepool.gov.uk