The P Pod

The P Pod 2023 Roundup Special

December 21, 2023 The Somerset Safeguarding Children Partnership Season 1 Episode 11
The P Pod
The P Pod 2023 Roundup Special
Show Notes Transcript

As we come towards the end of this year here's a roundup of what's been going on at The P Pod, and what's upcoming in 2024.

Before the years out though we'll be bringing you a special bonus episode on the recent updates to Working Together to Safeguard Children which was published on the 15th December.

Thank you to everyone for all of you support since this podcast was launched a few months ago and we look forward to you joining us again next year at The P Pod.

Please note – due to the nature of this podcast, themes relating to the abuse and neglect of children are discussed with the content being designed for an adult audience for educational purposes, in order to protect children from harm.

Therefore listener discretion is advised and the content considered unsuitable for children.

Further details of topics discussed can be found on the SSCP Website:

If you have any comments or questions from this podcast, or would like to be involved in a future episode please get in touch at

To access the transcript for this episode go to
The P Pod ( and click on the episode for details.

00:00:00:00 - 00:00:51:22
Welcome back to this brief episode of The P Pod, where we're really keen this time to bring you a bit of a roundup of what we've covered so far this year, as well as look forward to what we have in store going into 2024. Now we launched the P Pod only a few months ago, at the beginning of September as a way to widen our ability to disseminate learning across the partnership in light of many of the changes we've all seen taking place over the last few years, which includes the rise in more flexible working arrangements for many, as well as an increase in how we access information and communicate with others.

00:00:51:24 - 00:01:30:13
We hoped that this podcast would help respond to some of those changes and I'm pleased to say that we've been absolutely blown away by the response to it with there being nearly 750 episodes downloads to date since we first launched in September and a really, really positive feedback about it as well. We've also had the opportunity to meet and talk with some inspiring people who have taken their time to step out on their day to day work to explain what their role is, how they support children, young people and families, their stories of inspiration, and allow us to understand and reflect on our safeguarding practice.

00:01:30:15 - 00:01:53:00
We have, of course, been privileged as well to speak to young people about their experiences and to learn from them about what they feel really matters and how we can best support them. I wanted to take the opportunity as well to thank those of you who have contacted us to provide your feedback, ideas, questions and suggestions. This has been really genuinely invaluable in helping us to develop the podcast further.

00:01:53:02 - 00:02:13:06
Thank you as well. To those of you who have got in touch to offer to join us here in the studio to tell others about the work you do. Now remember, we really do want to hear from you, so please continue to get in touch with us at, and we will read every email that comes in to us and respond to them.

00:02:13:08 - 00:02:33:09
So if this is the first time you've listened to this podcast and wondering what you've missed, well, we've put together a little round up of some of our episodes so far this year. Any kind of organization who works with children and families in Somerset is part of the partnership and involved in all projects, initiatives and our statutory responsibilities.

00:02:33:11 - 00:02:53:13
Speaking directly to practitioners like through podcasts are learning bulletin training. We want to hear from you. So please keep your eyes out for any surveys we're putting out or focus groups, because every part of the safeguarding system has a really important perspective to bring that we need to kind of collect all together to really understand what's going on.

00:02:53:13 - 00:03:27:06
The foundation of our work is around the serious incident notifications that local authorities and whenever a child has either died or been seriously harmed and abuse or neglect is suspected because that is our data that is our window on the system, that's how we know what goes on. And so I suppose that describes our role in system oversight through the local safeguarding practice reviews, we pick out key themes of what safeguarding partnerships are finding challenging.

00:03:27:08 - 00:03:51:05
We also pick out key themes on what's not working within the system. Across England, we have this whole body of learning and we want to share that and say that it has impact across England. Is Abigail and I am part of a Somerset Youth Parliament advisory group. I'm Joe Fowler. I'm an elected member of this Parliament and I run a campaign on mental health and wellbeing.

00:03:51:08 - 00:04:11:21
Hi, I'm Jess Bullen and I'm a current member of the advisory group. Hi, I'm Jasmine Fowler. I like member of Parliament and I run a campaign on youth crime, safety and empowerment. So I think social media people such as Andrew Tate writing misogynistic views to young, impressionable I mean, people as young as nine and ten on social media who are going to be taking in.

00:04:11:21 - 00:04:34:24
And we're seeing this I mean, strong man, he appears to be taking everything he says and taking it to stop. I mean, I think it's something that adults don't really, particularly in schools, don't really know how to talk to young people about either. You know, at the moment, we're not seeing the training for the teachers in that in not teaching young people about healthy relationships and sex.

00:04:35:01 - 00:04:54:01
And I think that that's really something that we need to push forward. Yet the teachers then get the training that they have necessary to then teach students about healthy relationships. I think it's everywhere. I think you're saying you've not seen some sort of sexual harassment in your life. You're lying. It's everywhere. There is no way you can have seen it.

00:04:54:03 - 00:05:18:09
It's on the streets in our classrooms, which I think is the most worrying overall. I think our main focus is on getting youth voice into places of power to make change. 
 00:05:18:11 - 00:05:48:24
So I'm Team Manager for the kinship team. So we undertake the assessments for special guardians and for connected foster carers. And we also have private fostering seen in that area, which I will say manage.
Private fostering is ultimately a private arrangement that's been made by the parents of a child and another person, DWP funded projects, and they are very much focusing on conflicts that frequent, intense and poorly resolved. And I think that captures what we're trying to do quite well. Basically, it's about ongoing unresolved arguments in families that just cause a great deal of stress, a great deal of tension within the family.

00:05:49:05 - 00:06:18:00
But it isn't domestic abuse, right? This is all conflict up to domestic abuse. So unhealthy parental conflict is very much about having a balance of power. It's not about seeking to control each other and it's not about being afraid of each other. It's very much about you just stuck in this very unhealthy cycle of not being able to move up, bringing up the past frequently regret being in the relationship, and it just becomes exhausting and it grinds people down.

00:06:18:06 - 00:06:57:06
I’m the Somerset Commander, that means I'm in charge of neighbourhood policing across the county, so I have about 300 staff, PCSO’s and PC’s. And another rank. So we look after our communities, our neighbourhoods across the county from east to west, north and south. It's very rewarding. So I see it as a real privilege to be in this position, to be dealing with a family, a victim or an offender, or both at the worst time of their life, and you're there to try and help them come to terms with it, to find the truth, to find a cause of death, to begin to patch up their life.

00:06:57:06 - 00:07:19:09
And if you can do that professionally, you can provide those answers. What a great privilege it is to be there and to then potentially achieve justice on the end of that for the most serious crimes someone sent to prison. You know, that's a great thing. So yeah, I'd recommend people join in, you know, do do that work.

00:07:19:09 - 00:07:42:24
Keep up that work. It's extremely valuable. It's extremely rewarding. But not without challenges, you know, any sensitive or tricky situation where a professional is engaging with someone who's suffering your contact with that person leaves a trace. So every contact leads to trace in as much that because they're in trauma and crisis, they may well not remember what you said to them.

00:07:43:05 - 00:08:10:23
They probably won't remember the instructions. They might not remember that you wanted to meet them tomorrow. Yeah. Or get a signature. Or they need a document or whatever, but they probably remember how you made them feel, you know? And if you're kind of professional, you listen, you're supportive. They'll remember a motivational interview and conversation is a conversation about change where the person on the receiving end may not yet see that they need to change.

00:08:10:23 - 00:08:37:13
They might be feeling quite defensive, potentially quite resistant about making that change. Maybe other people see the need for that person to make change. Or it might be that the person themselves wants to make a change but is stuck. So essentially motivational interviewing is how you engage somebody to have a conversation with changes needed or desired. Responsibility is our role is to ensure the wellbeing of all children.

00:08:37:13 - 00:09:03:10
In some sense, a lot of people leave social services, children, social care services. That is a critical part of the children's services role. But we also are responsible for early help, early as possible and as effectively as possible so that they can go back to their lives and manage on their own independently as a family unit without the need for recourse to statutory services sites best over the world.

00:09:03:12 - 00:09:26:10
But I would say stick with it. There are going to be hard touches. You know, sometimes it's a really tough job. So focus on the goods that you're doing. You know, there are some fantastic outcomes when you think when I think back about things that happen to families that I've worked with, I'm really proud of how to do that. And you’ll carry that with you forever.

00:09:26:12 - 00:09:48:00
We've also been busy in the background recording more episodes for 2024, including speaking with colleagues from Complex Care, Midwifery, the local authority designated officers (or LADO's), the Participation team who work with young people to gain their voices. But we've also been finding out about young carers support, special guardianship orders, family group conferencing, child exploitation.

00:09:48:06 - 00:10:11:04
And we've also got a couple of special episodes coming up shortly. One of those focusing on spiritual and ritualistic abuse, including accusations of witchcraft and another focused on engaging with fathers. We will, of course also be bringing you more of the inspirational Jacquie Webb, who is coming back again to continue to delve into her expertise on motivational interviewing.

00:10:11:09 - 00:10:30:15
So if you've not heard any of Jackie's my episodes yet, do go back and have a listen. I promise you you will not regret it. So coming up shortly on the P Pod we have. Oh wow. I never would have imagined being in this kind of role. When I first start my training as being a midwife, I never really considered safeguarding as part of it, really.

00:10:30:19 - 00:10:50:05
Oh wow. I never would have imagined being in this kind of role. When I first start my training as being a midwife, I never really considered safeguarding as part of it, really. I used to not enjoy safeguarding in slightest. I really didn't enjoy it, and that was a confidence things. I felt it was a bit intimidating, almost of not knowing what to do and how to approach things over time. My confidence really, really grew. And then this role came up for joining Run team, and so the manager really encouraged me.

00:10:50:05 - 00:11:13:19
I thought, Oh, I can imagine that if it were still safeguarding full time. But actually as long as I grew to love it, I thought, you know, I'll give it a go. And I am I'm so pleased. I really love this role. It's absolutely fantastic. Sometimes even the young carers don't know that. The young carers themselves. So the more the schools can get involved and create a whole school ethos of understanding around young carers, the easier it is to identify these young carers.

00:11:13:19 - 00:11:34:03
Statistically, Somerset has very low a low rate of young carers. We don't have that many now. We know that that is untrue. We know that that just unidentified. They haven't come forward, the schools haven't recognized them. What we want to do is just make sure they feel supported, just make sure they feel that they've got someone they can turn to.

00:11:34:03 - 00:12:13:18
The child exploitation team manager and I manage another social worker and our support worker See, support worker, We are really lucky in terms of the exploitation work that we've got really good relationships with the police, the different services, the reduction unit and the charity. So I think you feel very much that you're in a really big team, which is nice because there's lots of really good examples of multi-agency work and sort of our work upon the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Article 12 states that children have a right to have a voice, for that voice to be listened to seriously and acted on local councils.

00:12:13:20 - 00:12:38:21
They should be the role models. So if at the Council we are leading the way in making sure people understand that we do listen to children, young people, and they do make a difference, you know, that should be role models to our partners across the legal system. 
 I’m the manager of the Somerset Maternity Unit or Voices Partnership. My role is to bring a service user voice into the design and implementation of maternity and neonatal services locally.

00:12:38:23 - 00:13:06:02
My name’s James. Really a dad to three. I just think involve the dad more. Yeah, just involved right from the beginning. I just think that's the best you can do. And even if it is just general chitchat or how are you coping, you know what? See, it doesn't necessarily to be a form to fill in or nothing like that, but just, just general ask about the man's wellbeing and just ask how he is and if he's coping Okay. And you know, sometimes there are men out there who don’t.

00:13:06:04 - 00:13:41:04
I believe that if we look at areas where people have the biggest barriers and challenges is we can make it easier and more accessible, that things are more person centred and personalized, that we're going to improve care for everybody. And that, you know, includes the partners in that journey as well, that things need to be relevant and available and it needs to be written to reach them so that they feel that they are able to be involved and included, give them permission that they are and a part of that journey.

00:13:41:04 - 00:14:20:01
So we going to be talking about change, talk versus sustain talk. That's right. Today we're going to start getting stuck in rolling up our sleeves. Absolutely. 
00:14:20:01 - 00:15:01:10
 Over the next couple of months. We've also got a whole load more recordings to do, but we don't want to give away any of those spoilers too far in advance.

We're also planning on bringing you one more bonus episode before the year is out, though, which is in light of the very recently published update to Working together to safeguard children in 2023, which only came out a few days ago now on the 15th of December, where we want to bring you a quick update of everything that's changed and everything you need to be aware of. So before we end today, I just personally wanted to say a huge thank you to everybody that has joined me in the People this year to record episodes, but importantly as well to you and for everyone for listening, I'd also like to thank everyone for all of the hard work that you continue to do in helping to keep the children, young people of Somerset safe, which, as we've heard repeatedly here, can be incredibly tough but also incredibly rewarding as we reach a time in the year when many people were having a break from work, I'd find, like to say, a special thank you to all of our colleagues

00:15:01:10 - 00:15:22:22
from across the partnership who will be continuing to work throughout the period, including our friends from the health services, foster carers and those who work in children's homes. The police out-of-hours and emergency FIS and social workers, as well as those who voluntarily give up their time to help others over the festive period. And many, many more people beyond that as well.

00:15:22:24 - 00:15:40:04
So on behalf of both myself and the Somerset Safeguarding Children Partnership Business Unit, we hope that whatever you're doing, you keep safe and well and we look forward to seeing you again next year at The P Pod.