Burnley Borough Council

Burnley Borough Council

The Borough of Burnley is a local government district of Lancashire, England, with the status of a non-metropolitan district and borough. The council provide a number of essential services to the community including:-

  • Housing
  • Street Scene – refuse collections, street cleansing
  • Licensing – taxis, food establishment inspections
  • Green spaces, parks and amenities – park rangers
  • Apprenticeships, volunteers and work experience
  • Grant applications
  • Leisure facilities and play schemes
  • Benefits support advice

Strategic Plan 2019 – 10 Year Vision
“The Council wants to make the borough a place of choice. It will be a place where businesses want to invest, because of its skilled workforce and its competitive, modern economy. It will be a place where people want to live because of its clean and safe neighbourhoods, its reputation as a centre of educational excellence, and it’s beautiful parks and wild countryside”

The Council has set development plans to design services around the needs of citizens and businesses, rather than around the structure of the Council.

The Athena Programme | Burnley Borough Council

The Challenge

Like all other councils Burnley Borough Council have a responsibility for making arrangements to ensure that their functions are discharged with regards to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults at risk. (Section 11 Children Act 2004 and Care Act 2014 Compliance Audit)

The process usually required one responsible individual within the Council (Head of Policy and Engagement) to compile evidence to complete the Audit toolkit, by asking all Heads of Service to send information to the author. The updating of information was slow and drawn out and occasionally it showed there was a need for safeguarding awareness training with Heads of Service. The lack of time in their day jobs was frequently provided as an explanation for not completing the toolkit in time.

Prior to the completion of this audit in 2018 Athena was approached to develop a Safeguarding Development course for its Heads of Services and key managers to help them understand and develop their safeguarding responsibilities.

The Outcome

Athena worked with the Children’s Trust Co-ordinator at Burnley Borough Council to develop a bespoke Safeguarding Development course based over two modules. The course was delivered using Athena’s creative exercises, quizzes and case studies to fully engage delegates in learning prior to the action planning phase.

Athena ensured that the course was designed to help Heads of Service and Managers to:-

  • Understand their service specific responsibilities for safeguarding i.e. SCR’s
  • Identify safeguarding gaps or threats in their specific service
  • Ensure service safeguarding compliance through development plans
  • Identify other safeguarding development opportunities- i.e. share good practice
  • Aid the swift completion of the LSCB/ LSAB Lancashire All-Age Section 11 and Care Act Compliance Audit Tool

Sufficient time between the two modules was allowed in order for Heads of Service and Managers to draw up service specific development plans.

The Conclusion

The two modules were delivered in a timely manner. Creative exercises introduced opportunities for delegates to increase awareness of safeguarding and for them to share best practice with other service areas.

The process identified that Burnley Borough was meeting its regulatory responsibilities for safeguarding but identified a number of areas that are to be taken forward as development for some services areas.

A number of individual Service development plans were generated by Heads of Service / Managers and these fed into the next LSCB/LSAB All-Age Section 11 and Care Act Compliance Audit Tool 2019, making its completion a much more streamlined process.

The Children’s Trust Co-ordinator, Catherine Swift, at Burnley Borough Council had this to say about Athena:

“The training was tailored specifically to our needs and proved an effective and valuable tool in equipping staff with the essential knowledge and skills to work with and help protect vulnerable adults and children”

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