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The Waltham Forest Safeguarding Partnership acknowledges the severity of what Child Q suffered at the hands of those who were supposed to nurture and protect her, in a place that was meant to be a physically and emotionally safe space. It’s evident that she was not seen nor treated as a child.
Hearing about the horrific experience of Child Q has undoubtedly affected us all in some way and will have understandably generated feelings of anger, shock, mistrust and sadness for the trauma that this 15 year old child was put through and the impact it has had on her and her family’s life. This harrowing injustice has again highlighted discriminatory approaches and systemic racism that black people and minoritised communities have endured and continue to suffer day in day out.
In Waltham Forest, we continue to work to ensure that our child first approach is firmly embedded in all that we do across the partnership. We have also committed to tackling racism, with a focus on racial disparity underpinning everything we do. Whilst we consider our partnership and our safeguarding frameworks to be strong, we know there is no room for complacency and will continue to seek assurances from all partners, with a particular focus on keeping schools safe, ensuring they discharge their primary safeguarding responsibility so that our children and young people are kept safe and well.
It is extremely heartening to see the community gather together to demand action and call for justice which we fully support and stand by. We are working to better connect with our communities and to ensure that everyone knows that they have a role to play in our systems, that they will be heard and that their voices will influence change. Particularly key to this is our children themselves with their voices and experiences already coming through the range of young people’s participation groups we are connected to within the Safeguarding Partnership.
We want to assure you all, whether you live, work or visit Waltham Forest that we are reviewing and reflecting on our processes and practice across the partnership to be assured that the indignity that Child Q suffered never happens to any child in Waltham Forest.
Dave Peplow, Independent Scrutineer / Chair for Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children's Board and Interim Chair for SafetyNet
Deborah Cohen, Independent Chair for Waltham Forest Safeguarding Adults Board
Diane Jones, Chief Nurse and Caldicott Guardian, NHS North East London CCG/ICS, North East London Health and Care Partnership
Heather Flinders, Strategic Director for Families, DCS / DASS, London Borough of Waltham Forest
Richard Tucker, Borough Commander, Metropolitan Police – North East Borough Command Unit