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Publication of the Report of the Commission to Consider Families’ Experience of Children’s Services in Herefordshire

Date: Tuesday, 06th Jun 2023 | Category: HSCP

Logo of Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership

This statement is on behalf of the Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSCP).

We have received the Report of the Commission to Consider Families' Experience of Children's Services in Herefordshire .  As Chair of the HSCP and Independent Scrutineer; and, on behalf of the HSCP, I would like to thank all the families who met the commission panel as we know it will not have been easy for them to recount their experiences.  On behalf of the HSCP I also want to thank the panel members for their work and their report which we will give our fullest consideration.

As stated in the report those presenting to the panel were honest about their experiences and the impact on them and their children.  It was clear that the way these families were treated by some professionals was below the standard they were entitled to expect.  Those who make safeguarding decisions have to make difficult judgements but they can do so whilst treating people with respect and understanding.  Sadly, this was not the experience with the families who gave evidence to the commission.  To these families the partnership extends our apologies that they have felt let down.

All partners are committed to the improvement journey set out in the Herefordshire Children’s Service Improvement Plan.  There is much to do, but if we are successful, we hope that this will address the heartfelt view of those who presented to the panel that nobody should go through what they experienced.  In particular there is a need to invest time in staff development and training to introduce the more restorative approach that we believe will serve families better.  Alongside this partners are working together to develop more early intervention services that many of the families wanted but were not given.

There is no doubt also that a ‘Think Family’ approach would have provided better support for many of the families involved.  The HSCP will consider what such an approach would look like in the Herefordshire context.

The report is sober reading for anyone who has sought to promote caring but robust safeguarding services during their career.  The HSCP will now set aside some time to reflect on, and then, respond to the questions asked of us by the Independent Panel.

The Report of the Commission to Consider Families’ Experience of Children’s Services in Herefordshire can be read here .


Kevin Crompton

Chair and Independent Scrutineer HSCP


All media enquiries about the HSCP response to the report should be directed in the first instance to