As most of you will be aware I am in the process of retirement and currently engaged in handing over to Derek Benson and Liz Murphy who have now taken on the separate roles of Independent Chair and Scrutineer, respectively. We are currently engaged in a short series of meetings to ensure a smooth handover and I wish Derek and Liz well in taking the Partnership forward.
However, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you all for your commitment and support over the course of the last 4 years since taking on the role of Independent Chair. It will not be lost on anyone that these have been 4 challenging years with unprecedented pressure on public services in relation to both resources and capacity. Nevertheless, the Partnership has continued to strengthen over that period with strong attendances throughout enabling a far greater influence over our safeguarding arrangements in Surrey.
I am especially proud of the way in which we have been able to achieve a consistent commitment from statutory services with the added inclusion of Schools, District and Borough Councils and the perspectives of Surreys vibrant Third Sector –all of which adds depth to our developing safeguarding arrangements. As a result, the SSCP has become strategically more influential as it should, particularly illustrated by the excellent work undertaken in areas such as Adolescent Suicide and working with GRT Communities for example.
However, perhaps more importantly, many have commented to me that the Partnership has played its part in creating a greater sense of collaboration.
Of course, there remains much to do, and my attitude remains that safeguarding work is never complete. Practice is clearly improving but is not yet consistent, so I wish the Partnership well in its continued endeavours to support front line practice and help encourage the responses that children, young people and their families in Surrey are entitled.
I am very confident that both Derek and Liz will enjoy the support that you have all given me over the last 4 years.
With thanks and very best wishes
Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership