Torbay turns the spotlight on children’s safety

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As part of Child Safety Week Torbay Council is reiterating its commitment to keeping children, young people and their families a top priority. 

Child Safety Week is an annual campaign delivered by the Child Accident Prevention Trust.  The theme this year is ‘Safety in mind’ and aims to help parents build the confidence and skills children need to manage risks to their own safety.  

As a corporate parent, child safety is a high on the Council’s agenda. It’s seen measurable improvements, as recognised by Ofsted which recently judged Torbay Children’s Services as being ‘Good’ in all four areas of the inspection. This followed years of underperforming and being graded as ‘Inadequate’ – an achievement highlighted as a “remarkable transformation” by inspectors. 

Councillor Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said “It is everyone’s responsibility to keep children and young people safe and we have taken a whole council approach to ensure that we have the financial resources to support this vision. 

“In Children’s Services the percentage of costly front-line agency staff we use has fallen sharply because we have attracted more people to come and work with us. We have also taken a proactive approach to recruiting local foster carers and working alongside them to provide safe and loving permanent homes for vulnerable children which means we are not reliant of costly residential care. 

“We have also invested in Early Help Services which help reduce harm and promote children’s welfare by providing support before problems escalate.  By becoming involved at an earlier stage we can help families to stay together safely where possible and reduce the need for long-term care costs.” 

Part of Child Safety Week is raising the awareness of road safety amongst children and young people. Nationally 2,300 children under 16 are killed or injured on our roads every year and children living in the most deprived areas are 3 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured as a pedestrian and 6 times more likely as a cyclist.  

Councillor Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council, said “This Partnership Administration has taken a proactive approach to improving child safety. Children’s Services accounts for around a third of Torbay Council’s overall budget and by taking a tighter grip on our finances, we have been able to reduce costs and improve services at the same time.  

“We have also been able to invest in other areas of child safety, including £30,000 in this year’s budget to raise awareness around road safety, especially around our schools. 

“With more control over the heavy expenditure in Children’s Service’s we are also investing in other place based services which benefit our communities and help create a child and family friendly Torbay.”  

To find out more information on how to discuss safety with your children visit the Child Accident Prevent Trust website at www.capt.org.uk There are helpful guides and advice on how to prevent choking, falls, poisoning, and burns, alongside promoting water and road safety.

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