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					                         London Board subgroup for safeguarding children
                                    across culture and faith

                                        MEETING NOTES

Meeting Title:        London Board subgroup for safeguarding children across culture and faith

Details:              21 June 2012, 14:00 – 16:00, London Councils

Chaired by:           Andrew Fraser (Enfield)


Vivienne White (Lewisham)           Emma Aiyere (Bexley)              Michael MacKay (Newham)

Marcia da Costa (Islington)         Tina Pearce (Met Police)          Ian Dean (London SCB)

Justin Bahunga (AFRUCA)             Romain Matondo (Congolese         Aqualma Murray (Haringey)
                                    Family Centre)

Claudia Bell (CCPAS)


Simon Deakin (Merton)               Helen Elliott (Barnet)            Melissa Friedburg (Islington)

Leethen Bartholomew (Hackney) Sue Matthews (Brent)                    Pennie Constantine (African
                                                                      Caribbean Evangelical Alliance)

Howard Baines (Sutton)              DC Collette Goward (Met           Shirley Maginley (NSPCC)

David Pearson (CCPAS)

  1.       Notes of last meeting
  1.1      The notes from 20 April 2012 were agreed, with actions to be picked up during the meeting.

  2.       Terms of reference and membership
  2.1      ID presented revised terms of reference to the group. These began with the overall
           objective of the group, which was to:
           “act on behalf of the London Safeguarding Children Board to support LSCBs in their local
           work to improve the safety and protection of children living in circumstances which appear
           to be complex because their faith, culture, nationality and possibly recent history differs
           significantly from that of host nation children and families”.
  2.2      The group agreed that this was an accurate reflection of the group’s purpose, and agreed
           that the terms of reference should then list the work undertaken over the previous 18
           months for context.

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                    London Board subgroup for safeguarding children
                               across culture and faith

                                   MEETING NOTES

2.3   ID then outlined the specific aims of the group, which were listed in the terms of reference
      as follows:
           a) Providing a strategic policy lead for London on faith or culture based child abuse;
           b) Oversee the work of the London Safeguarding Children Board subgroup for
              safeguarding trafficked children;
           c) Supporting local implementation of the London C&F Practice Guidance, Training
              Toolkit and LSCB Strategy;
           d) Providing expert input on provisions concerning faith and culture during the revision
              of the London Child Protection Procedures,
           e) Assessing and monitoring the effectiveness of local responses to faith or culture
              based child abuse, and supporting LSCBs to improve these responses;
           f) Facilitating the dissemination of best practice, including the development of a pan-
              London knowledge and evidence base on faith or culture based child abuse;
           g) Promoting strategic collaboration on faith or culture based child abuse between all
              relevant agencies and communities in London;
           h) Contributing to national policy on faith or culture based child abuse.
2.4   AF asked whether it might now be prudent to merge the trafficking subgroup with the full
      culture and faith subgroup, with its primary work on the child trafficking toolkit complete.
      ID agreed to discuss this with the new chair of the trafficking group, Paul Hewitt
      (Hillingdon), and consider whether there are particular benefits to it keeping a separate
      ACTION: ID to consider whether the trafficking subgroup should now be merged
      with the full culture and faith subgroup
2.5   ID suggested that, under point f), the group would support the creation of an online best
      practice repository at, for members of the subgroup and
      interested LSCBs to share some of their work more widely. This was broadly welcomed,
      and AM highlighted a recent series of lunchtime seminars in Haringey which had
      generated a lot of interest amongst health practitioners.
      ACTION: ID to create an online best practice repository, and subgroup members to
      forward any information that they would like to share more widely.
2.6   The terms of reference concluded with the membership of the group, and AF welcomed
      RM to his first meeting and thanked him for accepting the invitation to join the subgroup.
      AM suggested that Julie Christie-Webb of Forward would be a valuable addition to the
      group, and agreed to invite her on behalf of the subgroup. VW asked if she could be
      added as a permanent member of the group, attending on behalf of Lewisham LSCB, and
      the group were happy to accept this request.
      ACTION: AM to invite Julie Christie-Webb to join the subgroup
      ACTION: ID to add VW to the membership list
2.7   The terms of reference were approved, subject to these amendments

3.    Workplan for 2012/13
3.1   ID presented a number of projects to form part of a programme for 2012/13, and the
      group considered each of these in turn:

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                     London Board subgroup for safeguarding children
                                across culture and faith

                                    MEETING NOTES

      Revision of the London Child Protection Procedures
3.2   ID highlighted that, following the recent publication of substantially reduced national child
      protection guidance (Working Together to Safeguard Children), the London Child
      Protection Procedures would shortly be redrafted. This will be led by a multi-agency
      editorial board, but the expertise within the culture and faith subgroup would have a
      valuable role to play when considering the specific guidance around issues such as FGM,
      trafficking and spirit possession, amongst others.
3.3   The group agreed that this would be a useful task for the subgroup to perform, but asked
      for clarity on the form that these revised procedures would take. Will they be significantly
      reduced in line with the new Working Together and, if so, what would be the status of
      specific guidance on issues such as FGM? ID replied that this would be decided by the
      main editorial group, and the group agreed that even non statutory practice guidance
      would be useful to retain if possible.
      Supporting implementation of national action plan in London
3.4   The group agreed that supporting London wide implementation of the forthcoming
      national action plan on child abuse linked to faith and belief would be an important task
      for the subgroup to perform. ID highlighted that this could be helpfully linked to the
      upcoming revision of the London Child Protection Procedures, and particularly the section
      of witchcraft and spirit possession.
3.5   The group spent some time discussing the focus and status of the national action plan,
      with some feeling that it was too narrowly focussed on spirit possession to the detriment
      of other issues. However, it was agreed that the provisions outlined within the plan were
      broadly helpful and should be supported, alongside work to ensure that broader issues
      are still addressed in London.
      Input to London Board annual conference
3.6   ID highlighted that the tools developed through the Pan-London Culture and Faith Project
      were launched at the London Board’s 2011 conference, and suggested holding a specific
      seminar to look at some of the issues in more depth at the 2012 conference. ID would be
      planning the programme for the conference over the summer, and asked for any
      suggestions on what a helpful seminar might look like.
      ACTION: Subgroup members to contact ID with ideas for a culture and faith based
      seminar at the London Board’s 2012 conference.
      Work with LSCBs
3.7   The group considered the ongoing issues around recording abuse linked to faith or belief,
      and discussed how the subgroup could have an impact in this area.
3.8   TP highlighted that the Met Police do record these incidents in a consistent way, flagging
      any “belief related” notifications. AF asked if the police could share this information,
      broken down by borough, and TP agreed to action this in time for the group’s September
      ACTION: TP to collate and circulate information of belief related abuse
      notifications, broken down by borough.
3.9   The group also suggested that the new multi-agency safeguarding hubs could play a role
      in identifying these types of notification, and ID agreed to raise this with the MASH
      Operational Delivery Group.
      ACTION: ID to discuss information recording with the MASH operational group.

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                    London Board subgroup for safeguarding children
                               across culture and faith

                                  MEETING NOTES

4.    Police Protection Orders due to physical chastisement
4.1   ID highlighted that this had been raised for discussion by Greenwich LSCB, who were
      unable to attend.
      ACTION: Item to be carried over to September meeting

5.    Future meeting dates (all at London Councils, 59½ Southwark Street, SE1 0AL,
      unless otherwise stated)
            12 September         3.00 – 5.00 (Professional Development Centre, English
                                  Street, Mile End, London E3 4TA)
            5 December           3.00 – 5.00

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