The newly established Torbay Safeguarding Children Partnership is delighted to announce that Keith Perkin has been appointed as its Independent Scrutineer.

Keith is a familiar face in Torbay, and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience after a 30-year career with Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, which saw him chair the Torbay Community Safety Partnership and the Torbay Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Partnership.

The appointment of Keith as the Independent Scrutineer and formation of the new Partnership follows on from the decision to establish a stand-alone Safeguarding Partnership for Torbay, after adopting a multi-agency safeguarding arrangement with Plymouth City Council back in September 2019.

Whilst forming a stand-alone safeguarding partnership for Torbay was a significant decision, it does not affect the delivery of front line services in the area, but it does enable the partnership to ensure a proactive and responsive approach to the needs of children, young people and families across Torbay. It also drives opportunities to shape and influence policy development leading to improved practice and outcomes.

There are now three safeguarding partners in Torbay who are responsible for the multi-agency arrangements for keeping children safe, Torbay as the Local Authority, Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, and the NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The new Safeguarding Partnership arrangements will reduce duplication and ultimately enable a more consistent response to meet the needs of children across Torbay.

All sub-groups of the partnership will have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, which will be overseen by the Independent Scrutineer. In addition, the Independent Scrutineer will have primary responsibility for; ensuring children have a real voice and are the heart of all that we do; providing oversight on all audit and review activity; determining the effectiveness of arrangements to identify and review serious child safeguarding cases; and ensuring a direct line of sight to frontline practice.

Keith Perkin, Independent Scrutineer, Torbay Safeguarding Partnership Board, said; “Having worked in Torbay in various policing roles over the last 30 years, I am very much looking forward to working with local partners in a joined up way in order to protect the safety and wellbeing of Torbay’s most vulnerable children. Torbay, like many areas, has a number of challenges, but there are also lots of opportunities where agencies can work together to safeguard those who are the future of the area. As an Independent Scrutineer, I will both support and challenge partners in their efforts to protect, nurture and develop children and young people in Torbay”.

The Safeguarding Children Partnership has identified neglect, domestic abuse and child exploitation as its key priority areas.

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