VoiCeS Weekly Update 28th May 2015


'Eve’ Serious Case Review - Messages for the VCS
A Serious Case Review (SCR) was started after the death of Baby ‘Eve’ in Northumberland in March 2013 when a 3 week old baby died at home.  Eve was subject to a child protection plan from birth.

Eve had two older siblings who were also subject to Child Protection plans. The older siblings had been involved with Children’s Social Care and other agencies for some time and had previously been subject to child protection plans under the category of neglect.

Eve’s mother misused substances and was co sleeping with the baby at the time of her death.
The review, commissioned by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) found there were a number of lessons for agencies which had duties relating to supporting the welfare of Baby Eve and her family.

Independent chairperson of the LSCB, Paula Mead said: “Baby Eve’s death was tragic and collectively, we regret that there were several areas where agencies could, and should have done better".   “With hindsight, there were a number of occasions in the months immediately before Baby Eve’s birth, and earlier during her mother’s pregnancy when professionals in a number of agencies could have acted differently and worked more effectively together".  “While we cannot say that if they had done so, Baby Eve’s death would have been avoided, we can say that many of our agencies could and should have responded more proficiently and had much better processes in place.”

In this tragic case, there were significant safeguarding failures in frontline practice across agencies and in the management systems intended to check that practice was appropriate.  As a result Eve was not afforded the protection that she deserved.

Read more here about the issues that have arisen from the SCR.


E-Safety Live


As part of the UK tour of on-line safety briefings, E-Safety Live will be visiting the North and North East of England.

These are FREE 2-hour long events delivering all the latest online safety advice, resources and information to all professionals working with children and young people. These events are part of our main outreach programme of 80 briefings in total to run until end of March 2016. Here are all the dates and locations in the North and North East:

9 June am - Bradford
9 June pm - Castleford
10 June am - Gateshead 
10 June pm - Sunderland
11 June am - Middlesborough
11 June pm - Stanley
12 June am - Durham
12  June am - Choppington, Northumberland
Do register quickly to avoid disappointment!

To find out more and to register, go to or follow the links for the venues, above.

Trusted Partners

Many of you are already Trusted Partners linked to NETs in Northumberland but they are always on the lookout for more. Any types of organisation; statutory, not for profit, charity, social enterprise or voluntary can become Trusted Partners. Your size and location really don’t matter.

A Trusted Partner supports people they work with to make an application to NETs for either Emergency Support, for example; food, help with fuel costs and other emergency goods, or  Transition Support to help people re-settle within Northumberland.

There is very little paper work and training will be given. Once you are trained as a Trusted Partner you will receive ongoing support from Nets at the level you want to receive it.

Whilst we are happy to hear from any organisation that is interested in becoming a Trusted Partner we would be particularly happy to hear from organisations who help those with needs around financial management, IT skills and supporting families. The west of the county is under- represented and we are keen to hear from any organisations in this part of the county.

If you are interested in becoming a Trusted Partner please contact Lisa Leggatt on  Lisa works on Fridays so she may not get back to you immediately, but she will get back to you.


Youth Mental Health in the Spotlight - Developing Youth-Friendly Mental Health Services

The ‘Developing youth friendly mental health services’ conference recently took place at the Institute. The event was organised by young people, researchers and clinicians within the Youth Mental Health and Well-being Managed Innovation Network (MIN), one of the Institute’s 16 funded networks.

The network is a multi-disciplinary group of leading experts in youth mental health from the University of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Healthcare who work collaboratively to explore and understand barriers of access to services by young people.

The aim of the network is to raise awareness about challenges to the current mental health system and inform the development of youth-friendly mental health services. Dr Maria Michail, Network Lead at the Institute and Senior Research Fellow in Youth Mental Health at the University of Nottingham commented: “The conference raised awareness and highlighted the need for bridging the gap between child and adult mental health services while promoting the development of innovative, youth-oriented, stigma-free mental health services.”

The Youth Mental Health and Well-being MIN engages with an advisory group consisting of young people called ‘New Youth’. Young people from New Youth attended the conference to talk about the experiences and impact of mental illness and how, in their opinion, mental health services can be improved for youth. Emily, a member of ‘New Youth’, has been an inpatient on a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) inpatient unit. She commented: "The current transition process between child and adult mental health services can be challenging for young people. The age group of 16 to 25 is a difficult one as young people find themselves between childhood and adulthood. It is at this vulnerable time that young people need and deserve very specific help. Let's work together to help them get it."

The importance of early intervention and prevention of mental illness in youth has been consistently highlighted along with the need for an integrated pathway from child to adult healthcare. There are serious concerns about whether existing mental health systems across the Country are equipped and structured to offer continuity in care and address the needs of young people. To find out more about the Youth Mental Health and Well-being MIN or if you would like to get involved, visit the MIN section of the Institute’s website.  

Source: Institute of Mental Health Newsletter April / May 2015.


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