Message from Oldham Safeguarding Partnership
Over the last few months there have been daily postings on social media which allege that the council and wider community do not take safeguarding issues seriously and have covered up child sexual exploitation in the past. These allegations have been combined with a series of personal online attacks on councillors, the local MP and various council officers.
We want to reassure Oldham residents that there is no greater duty than keeping our young people and vulnerable adults safe and it is one that we take incredibly seriously. To say that we don’t is just not true and very hurtful to the many people who carry out this work.
Day in day out in Oldham, police officers, social workers, health workers, teachers, community groups, doctors, nurses and youth workers work hard to protect children and vulnerable adults. It is what we do, and we have processes in place where people can report their concerns and they will be investigated.
The Borough was one of the first places nationally to have a co-located, dedicated partnership team to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE). The partnership, learning from failings in other places in the country, has robust methods for preventing and detecting threats to the safety of young people.
However, we fully appreciate that members of our community are concerned about what they are reading on social media. Our job as a partnership is to provide people with the reassurance that everything possible is being done to protect young people from harm.
That is why we have asked our independent safeguarding partnership Chair Henri Giller, to commission an independent review into historic safeguarding processes. This will be led by Dr Mark Peel, who is the former Professor of Social Work at Leicester University and the current independent chair of both Leeds and Lambeth safeguarding children’s partnership. You can find more details here
It will examine the work of all agencies and their response to safeguarding concerns raised in 2012-13 involving shisha bars, taxis and children’s homes in the borough. Dr Peel is expected to report back early next year.
We are not doing this because we think there are major issues to address. We are doing it to provide our community and ourselves with the assurance that everything possible is being done to protect young people from harm.
Sadly, we can’t stop every incident of abuse from occurring and the whole community has a role to play. This review will look at all the processes that are in place to prevent harm to vulnerable people to see if they can be strengthened as part of a desire to continually improve what we do.
If anybody has evidence of offences, recent or historic, or concerns about the safety of an individual or group of individuals then please let contact us on 0161 770 7777 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
You can read more details on the Oldham Council website here
Oldham Safeguarding Partnership
Oldham Local Safeguarding Children Board