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Local Safeguarding Children Boards

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

Section 13 of the Children Act 2004 requires each local authority to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB). Chapter 3 of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 sets out in detail the arrangements for the work of each Local Safeguarding Children Board. This chapter provides a summary only. The Hull Safeguarding Children Board Constitution also provides more detail on the local arrangements.

Please note: The Children and Social Work Act 2017 replaces Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) with new local safeguarding arrangements, led by three safeguarding partners (local authorities, chief officers of police, and clinical commissioning groups). Until the point at which safeguarding partner arrangements begin to operate in a local area, LSCBs must continue to carry out all of their statutory functions. This chapter of the procedures manual will be reviewed and updated over the coming 12 months as safeguarding partners across the city agree and publish their safeguarding arrangements.


Contents

  1. Statutory Objectives and Functions of LSCBs
  2. Scope of the LSCB Role
  3. Purpose of the Hull Safeguarding Children Board
  4. Accountability
  5. Hull Safeguarding Children Board Membership
  6. LSCB Chair
  7. LSCB Annual Report
  8. Supporting the Effective Working of the LSCB


1. Statutory Objectives and Functions of LSCBs

The statutory objectives of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) are:

  • To coordinate the work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children by local agencies and services; and
  • To ensure the effectiveness of what is done locally by those agencies and services.

The statutory functions of LSCBs in relation to these objectives are to:

  • Develop policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including policies and procedures in relation to:
    • The action to be taken where there are concerns about a child’s safety or welfare, including thresholds for intervention (see Threshold of Need Framework and Guidance);
    • Training of people who work with children or in services affecting the welfare of children;
    • Recruitment and supervision of people who work with children;
    • Investigation of allegations concerning people working with children;
    • The safety and welfare of Privately Fostered children; and
    • Cooperation with neighbouring children’s services authorities and their Board partners.
  • Communicate the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, raising awareness of how this can best be done and encouraging them to do so;
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of what is done locally to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and providing advice on ways this can be improved;
  • Participate in the planning of services for children in the Hull area;
  • Undertake reviews of serious cases and advise member agencies on lessons to be learned; and
  • Collect and analyse information about all child deaths.


2. Scope of the LSCB 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 more detail about how the Hull Safeguarding Children Board fulfils these requirements see Hull Safeguarding Children Board Learning and Improvement Framework and Training Strategy 2012 – 2015.


3. Purpose of the Hull Safeguarding Children Board

In meeting its statutory objectives and fulfilling its statutory functions, the Hull Safeguarding Children Board members have agreed that the main focus of the Board is on ‘learning and improvement’ and that the key purpose of the Board is to help:

  • Agencies to keep children safe and improve their welfare; and
  • People to learn about what keeps children safe.


4. Accountability

Hull Safeguarding Children Board does not directly commission services, but it does have an important role in helping to shape and influence the commissioning decisions of other local bodies and partnerships.

Hull Safeguarding Children Board does not deliver frontline services, though it does provide a comprehensive safeguarding training programme and coordinates the provision of support to children and young people giving evidence as victims or witnesses in court (for more information on the Humberside Young Witness Service, please click here).

Hull Safeguarding Children Board does not have the power to direct other organisations, but does have a role in making clear where improvement is needed. Each Board partner retains their own existing line of accountability for safeguarding. See also Agency Roles and Responsibilities Procedure.


5. Hull Safeguarding Children Board Membership

The Children Act 2004 and related regulations require the following organisations which to be included as members of the LSCB:

  • District Councils in local government areas which have them;
  • The Chief Officer of Police for a police area any part of which falls within the area of the local authority;
  • The National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs);
  • The Youth Offending Team for an area any part of which falls within the area of the Local Authority;
  • NHS England and Clinical Commissioning Groups for an area any part of which falls within the area of the local authority;
  • NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts all or most of whose hospitals or establishments and facilities are situated in the local authority area;
  • CAFCASS (Children and Family Courts Advisory and Support Service);
  • The governor or director of any Secure Training Centre in the area of the local authority; and
  • The governor or director of any prison in the local authority area which ordinarily detains children.

The local authority must also take ”reasonable steps” to ensure that the Board includes:

  • Two lay members representing the local community; and
  • Representatives of all types of local school and of further education institutions.

LSCBs should also draw on appropriate expertise and advice from frontline professionals from all the relevant sectors, including designated health professionals, the Director of Public Health and the voluntary and community sector.

Hull Safeguarding Children Board has elected to broaden its direct representation on the Board in order to engage effectively with all services and sectors which work directly with children and young people and those which provide services which affect the safety and well being of children and young people.

The Lead Member for Children’s Services is also a participating observer of the LSCB.

The full membership of the Hull Safeguarding Children Board can be found here (see Documents Library).

LSCB members are 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.


6. 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.


7. 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.


8. Supporting the Effective Working of the LSCB

All LSCB member organisations have an obligation to provide LSCBs with reliable resources (including finance) that enable the LSCB to be strong and effective. Members should share the financial responsibility in such a way that a disproportionate burden does not fall on a small number of partner agencies. Local authorities and Board partners should also provide the LSCB with data to enable it to fulfil its statutory functions effectively (Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2015).

The LSCB should also work with the Local Family Justice Board, the Health and Wellbeing Board and other key local partnerships. Such joint working will enable the LSCB, drawing upon its knowledge and understanding of the effectiveness of local arrangements, to participate in and influence the planning and commissioning of services for children.

LSCBs all establish their own local wider governance arrangements in order to carry out their functions. This normally includes the establishment of sub-committees (or sub-groups), working groups and themed groups. The local arrangements in Hull are described in the Board’s Constitution.

End.