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2.1 Local Safeguarding Children Board - Role and Function

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

The Children Act 2004 required each local authority to establish a Safeguarding Children Board. 

Chapter 3 of Working Together 2015 sets out in detail the arrangements for the work of each Local Safeguarding Children Board. This chapter provides a summary only.

This Consortium Manual covers the Bradford Safeguarding Children Board, Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board, Kirklees Safeguarding Children Board, Leeds Safeguarding Children Board and Wakefield Safeguarding Children Board. Each Board has its own website as follows:

Bradford Safeguarding Children Board Website

Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board Website

Kirklees Safeguarding Children Board Website

Leeds Safeguarding Children Board Website

Wakefield and District Safeguarding Children Board Website

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in November 2015, following the publication of Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015).


Contents

  1. Role and Functions
  2. Scope of the Role
  3. Accountability
  4. LSCB Chair
  5. Membership
  6. Structure
  7. Annual Business Plan
  8. LSCB Annual Report


1. Role and Function

The overall role of the LSCB is to coordinate local work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to ensure the effectiveness of member organisations.

Specific objectives of the LSCB are to:

  • Develop and agree inter-agency policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, consistent with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, including:
    1. The action to be taken where there are concerns about a child’s safety or welfare, including thresholds for intervention;
    2. Training of those working with children or in services affecting the safety and welfare of children;
    3. Recruitment and supervision of persons who work with children;
    4. Investigation of allegations concerning persons working with children;
    5. The safety and welfare of privately fostered children;
    6. Cooperation with neighbouring children’s social care services and their Board partners.
  • Participate in the planning of services for children in the local authority area;
  • Communicate to persons and bodies in the area of the authority the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, raising their awareness of how this can best be done and encouraging them to do so;
  • Develop procedures to ensure a coordinated response to unexpected child deaths;
  • Monitor the effectiveness of what is done to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
  • Undertake reviews of serious cases and ensure lessons are understood and acted upon;
  • Collect and analyse information about child deaths.


2. Scope of the Role

In order to fulfil its statutory functions, an LSCB should use data and, as a minimum, should:

  • Assess the effectiveness of the help being provided to children and families, including Early Help;
  • Assess whether LSCB partners are fulfilling their statutory obligations;
  • Quality assure practice, including through joint audits of case files involving practitioners and identifying lessons to be learned; and
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of training, including multi-agency training, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

For further information see the Children’s Safeguarding Performance Information Framework (Department for Education, 2015) which describes the key nationally collected data that can help those involved in child protection at both the local and national levels understand the health of the child protection system.


3. Accountability

Whilst the LSCB has a role in coordinating and ensuring the effectiveness of local individuals’ and organisations’ work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, it is not accountable for their operational work.

Each Board partner retains its own existing lines of accountability for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children by their services.

Whilst the LSCB does not have the power to direct other organisations it does have a role in making clear where improvement is needed.


4. LSCB Chair

In order to provide effective scrutiny, the LSCB should be independent. It should not be subordinate to, nor subsumed within, other local structures.

Every LSCB should have an independent chair who can hold all agencies to account.

It is the responsibility of the Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) to appoint or remove the LSCB chair with the agreement of a panel including LSCB partners and lay members. The Chief Executive, drawing on other LSCB partners and, where appropriate, the Lead Member will hold the Chair to account for the effective working of the LSCB.

The LSCB Chair should work closely with all LSCB partners and particularly with the Director of Children’s Services. The Director of Children’s Services has the responsibility within the local authority, under section 18 of the Children Act 2004, for improving outcomes for children, local authority children’s social care functions and local cooperation arrangements for children’s services.


5. Membership

The LSCB is made of organisations which will designate particular, named people as their LSCB member so that there is a consistency and continuity in membership.

Members will be those with a strategic role in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children within their organisation. They should be able to:

  • Speak for their organisation with authority;
  • Commit their organisation on policy and practice matters;
  • Hold their organisation to account.

Members of the LSCB must include:

  • Children’s Social Care Services;
  • Adults’ Social Care Services;
  • NHS England and Clinical Commissioning Groups;
  • NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation trusts;
  • Police;
  • National Probation Service / Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC);
  • Youth Offending Team;
  • CAFCASS;
  • Any Secure Training Centre;
  • Any prison which ordinarily detains children;
  • All schools (including independent schools, academies and free schools) have duties in relation to safeguarding children and promoting their welfare. Local authorities should take reasonable steps to ensure that the LSCB includes representatives from all types of school in their area. A system of representation should be identified to enable all schools to receive information and feed back comments to their representatives on the LSCB.

Other members may include:

  • NSPCC;
  • Faith groups;
  • Children’s Centres;
  • GPs;
  • Independent Health care organisations;
  • Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations;
  • Armed Forces;
  • UK Visas and Immigration.

There is an expectation that the local authority will take reasonable steps to ensure that the LSCB will also include two lay members who represent the local community.

The LSCB should either include on its Board, or be able to draw on appropriate expertise and advice from, frontline professionals from all the relevant sectors. This includes a designated doctor and nurse, the Director of Public Health, Principal Child and Family Social Worker and the voluntary and community sector.

In addition, the LSCB will make strategic links with other organisations and individuals, for example Substance Misuse Services, the local MAPPA, dental health services, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Coroner, either through inviting them to join the Board or through some other mechanism.

The LSCB also need to draw on the work of key national organisations and liaise with them where necessary, for example the Child Exploitation and On-Line Protection Centre.

The Lead Member for Children should be a participating observer of the LSCB. In practice this means routinely attending meetings as an observer and receiving all its written reports.


6. Structure

To assist the LSCB with its objectives, each LSCB has a supporting structure. Terms of Reference for each of the Boards sub-groups are available through the LSCB websites.


7. Annual Business Plan

The LSCB produces an annual business plan setting out:

  • A work programme for the following year to include measurable objectives;
  • Relevant management information of child protection activity in the previous year;
  • Progress against objectives established for the year ending.


8. LSCB Annual Report

The Chair must publish an annual report on the effectiveness of child safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the local area (this is a statutory requirement under Section 14A of the Children Act 2004). The annual report should be published in relation to the preceding financial year and should fit with local agencies' planning, commissioning and budget cycles. The report should be submitted to the Chief Executive, Leader of the Council, the local police and crime commissioner and the Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board.

The report should provide a rigorous and transparent assessment of the performance and effectiveness of local services. It should identify areas of weakness, the causes of those weaknesses and the action being taken to address them as well as other proposals for action. The report should include lessons from reviews undertaken within the reporting period.

The report should also list the contributions made to the LSCB by partner agencies and details of what the LSCB has spent, including on Child Death Reviews, Serious Case Reviews and other specific expenditure such as learning events or training.

End