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12.1 Local Safeguarding Board – Role and Function

AMENDMENT

In October 2013 this chapter was updated with regards to Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013.


Contents

Introduction

Objectives

Scope of the LSCB Role

LSCB Functions

LSCB Chair

LSCB Membership

Integration with Other Forums

LSCB Annual Report

Specific Arrangements in each LSCB


Introduction

12.1.1 The Children Act 2004 requires each Local Authority to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB). The LSCB is the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how the relevant organisations in each area will co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children within the Authority, and for ensuring the effectiveness of what they do.
12.1.2 For further more detailed information, please refer to Chapter 3 of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013 and the Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006.
12.1.3

For specific arrangements in each LSCB, please see the following websites, which will include the Annual Reports:


Objectives

12.1.4

The core objectives of the LSCB are set out in section 14(1) of the Children Act 2004 as follows:

  • To coordinate what is done by each person or body represented on the Board for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area of the authority: and
  • To ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each person or body for that purpose.


Scope of the LSCB Role

12.1.5 The scope of LSCB role includes safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in three broad areas of activity.
12.1.6

First, activity that affects all children and aims to identify and prevent maltreatment, or impairment of health or development, and ensure children are growing up in circumstances consistent with safe and effective care. For example:

  • Mechanisms to identify abuse and neglect wherever they may occur;
  • Work to increase understanding of safeguarding children issues in the professional and wider community, promoting the message that safeguarding is everybody's responsibility;
  • Work to ensure that organisations working or in contact with children, operate recruitment and human resources practices that take account of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of organisations' implementation of their duties under section 11 of the Children Act 2004;
  • Ensuring children know who they can contact when they have concerns about their own or others' safety and welfare;
  • Ensuring that adults (including those who are harming children) know who they can contact if they have a concern about a child or young person.
  • Work to prevent accidents and other injuries and, where possible, deaths; and
  • Work to prevent and respond effectively to bullying
12.1.7

Second, proactive work that aims to target particular groups. For example:

  • Developing / evaluating thresholds and procedures for work with children and families where a child has been identified as In Need under the Children Act 1989, but where the child is not suffering or at risk of suffering Significant Harm;
  • Work to safeguard and promote the welfare of groups of children who are potentially more vulnerable than the general population, for example children living away from home, children who have run away from home, children missing from school or childcare, children in the youth justice system, including custody,  disabled children and children and young people affected by gangs.
12.1.8

Thirdly, responsive work to protect children who are suffering, or at risk of suffering harm, including:

  • Children abused and neglected within families, including those harmed;
  • In the context of domestic violence and abuse;
  • As a consequence of the impact of substance misuse or of parental mental ill health;
  • Children abused outside families by adults known to them;
  • Children abused and neglected by professional carers, within institutional settings, or anywhere else where children are cared for away from home;
  • Children abused by strangers;
  • Children abused by other young people;
  • Young perpetrators of abuse; and
  • Children abused through sexual exploitation; and
  • Young victims of crime.


LSCB Functions

12.1.9

The core functions of the LSCBs are set out in primary legislation and regulations (Note: The Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006. Further detail is given in Chapter 3 of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010 archived 2013, which outlines that the functions of the LSCB include:

  • Developing policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area of the authority;
  • Communicating 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;
  • Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of what is done by the Local Authority and board partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and advise them on ways to improve. This will include the LSCB ensuring appropriate links with any secure setting in its area and being able to scrutinise restraint techniques, the policies and protocols which surround the use of restraint, and incidents and injuries;
  • Producing and publishing an annual report - see Annual Report;
  • Participating in the local planning and commissioning of children's services to ensure that they take safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children into account;
  • Collecting and analysing information about the deaths of all children in their area with a view to identifying:
    • Any matter of concern affecting the safety and welfare of the children in the area of the authority, including any case giving rise to the need for a serious case review;
    • Any general public health or safety concern arising from the deaths of children. See Section 11, Child Death in relation to this LSCB function.
  • Putting in place procedures for ensuring that there is a coordinated response by the authority, their Board partners and other relevant persons to an unexpected death of a child;
  • Undertaking reviews of cases where abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected and either a child has died; or a child has been seriously harmed and there is cause for concern as to the way in which the authority, their Board partners or other relevant persons have worked together to safeguard the child. See Serious Case Review Procedure.
12.1.10 An LSCB may also engage in any other activity that facilitates, or is conducive to, the achievement of its objective.


LSCB Chair

12.1.11 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.


LSCB Membership

12.1.12 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.
12.1.13

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.
12.1.14

Members of the LSCB must include:

  • Children's Social Care Services;
  • Adults' Social Care Services;
  • NHS England and Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts;
  • Police;
  • Probation;
  • Youth Offending Team;
  • CAFCASS;
  • Any Secure Training Centre;
  • Any prison which ordinarily detains children;
  • Two representatives of the local community. (Their role is described in paragraph 3.10 of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013);
  • Representation from schools, which means taking steps to ensure that the following are represented: the governing body of a maintained school; the proprietor of a non-maintained special school; the proprietor of a city technology college, a city college for the technology of the arts or an Academy; and the governing body of a further education institution the main site of which is situated in the authority's area. Independent schools should also be included as appropriate.
12.1.15

Other members may include:

  • NSPCC;
  • Faith groups;
  • Children's Centres;
  • GPs;
  • Independent health care organisations;
  • Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations;
  • Armed Forces;
  • Immigration Service.

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.

12.1.16 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.
12.1.17

The LSCB also need to draw on the work key national organisations and liaise with them where necessary, for example the Child Exploitation and Online 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.


Integration with Other Forums

12.1.18 It is important that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is seen as part of the wider context of the Children's Trust and that the LSCB's policies, guidance and procedures such as these, reflect and contribute to the wider goals of improving the wellbeing of all children. The LSCB complements the role of the Children's Trust Board and the LSCB should be represented on the Children's Trust Board although the two bodies should be chaired by different people.
12.1.19 The Children's Trust Board - drawing on support and challenge from the LSCB - will ensure that the Children and Young People's Plan reflects the strengths and weaknesses of safeguarding arrangements and practices in the area and what more needs to be done by each partner to improve safeguarding and promotion of welfare. The LSCB is a formal consultee during the development of the Children and Young People's Plan.


LSCB Annual Report

12.1.20

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.


Specific Arrangements in each LSCB

12.1.21

There are specific arrangements for each LSCB in East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove with regard to

  • Accountability, Integration with other Forums, Membership and Structure;
  • Annual Business Plan and Annual Report;
  • Finance and Staffing;
  • Media interest in Child Abuse.
12.1.22

These are determined locally by each board and are covered in their terms of reference. These are available on each Board's website:

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