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iowsafeguardingchildrenThe Isle of Wight Safeguarding Children’s Board (IOWSCB) has launched a neglect strategy to tackle the cause and effects of neglect on children and young people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Called ‘Hampshire and Isle of Wight Neglect Strategy 2016’, the strategy has been developed by safeguarding professionals in partnership from across the region. It was revealed at this year’s annual conference, which took place on the 19th October 2016 at Cowes Yacht Haven. Over 200 Conference delegates from the Isle of Wight came together with a focus of safeguarding adolescents at risk.

The IOWSCB Annual conference was opened by the assistant director of children’s services Stuart Ashley. It explored how professionals can work together to tackle some of the complexities involved in safeguarding teenagers. The conference also took the opportunity to see a performance of ‘Tough Love’ about coercive control and domestic abuse in adolescent relationships from theatre company Alter Ego. Debbie Masson, chief inspector from Hampshire Constabulary and Vathani Navasothy, an eating disorder specialist and trainer, were among the guest speakers.

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The Isle of Wight youth offending team, children’s services, the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CCAMHS) all played an active role in presenting on local and national perspectives on a range of topics, including adolescents and the criminal justice system; missing, exploited and trafficked adolescents; eating disorders and self-harming; and attitudes to underage sexual activity and consent.

The Isle of Wight children’s services presented the new ‘Hampshire and Isle of Wight Neglect Strategy 2016’ to delegates.

Isle of Wight Council Executive member for children’s services, Councillor Jonathan Bacon, said:

“Nationally neglect is the predominant reason for contact with our children’s social care teams and comes in different forms from emotional neglect to severe deprivation. I welcome the launch of the neglect strategy to tackle the causes and effects of neglect in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, in order to keep our vulnerable children and young people protected and safe.

“The strategy will put in place a framework to continue to raise awareness and improve the safeguarding duty of all relevant agencies with regards to neglect and encourage a whole family approach to tackling root causes.”

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Kathy Marriott, area director for children’s services, said:

“Neglect creates lasting damage and has long term consequences for the adolescents and families involved. The strategy aims to encourage a whole family approach and to underline the importance of recognizing the impact neglect can have on adolescents, from anti-social behaviour, to poor educational achievements and longer-term mental health problems.

“The annual IOWSCB conference also provided an opportunity for safeguarding professionals to learn more about best practice and strengthen already close ties with fellow partnership agencies.

The take home message was to encourage organisations to continue to action plan ways to build upon better safeguarding young people in the region and to adopt the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Neglect Strategy 2016 into their working partnerships.

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