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London Safeguarding Children Board: Child Protection Procedures 5th Edition London SCB Powered by tri.x Powered by tri.x
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10. Local Safeguarding Children Boards

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Contents

10.1

Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs)  

 

10.1.4

Objectives

 

10.1.8

LSCB role

 

10.1.12

Scope of the role

10.2

LSCB functions

 

10.2.2

Thresholds, Policies and procedures function

 

10.2.15

Communication and raising awareness function

 

10.2.16

Monitoring and evaluation function

 

10.2.25

Planning and commissioning function

 

10.2.28

Function relating to child deaths

 

10.2.30

Serious case review function

 

10.2.32

Other activities

 

10.2.34

Accountability for operational work

10.3

LSCB governance and operational arrangements

 

10.3.2

Independence

 

10.3.4

Chair

 

10.3.15

Membership of an LSCB

 

10.3.21

Role of LA Chief executive and Council Leaders

 

10.3.22

Statutory members

 

10.3.26

Lay members

 

10.3.29

Representation from schools

 

10.3.31

Other members

 

10.3.34

Involvement of other agencies and groups

 

10.3.37

The role of individual members

 

10.3.39

Ways of working

 

10.3.46

Participation of children and their families

 

10.3.47

Information sharing for the purposes of LSCB functions

 

10.3.49

Financing and staffing

 

10.3.56

Planning


10.1

Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs)

 

10.1.1

The Local Safeguarding Board (LSCB) is the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how the relevant agencies in each local area will co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in that locality, and for ensuring the effectiveness of what they do. The Children Act 2004 requires each local Children Board authority to establish a Safeguarding Board.

Working Together to Safeguard Children: March 2015, Local Safeguarding Children Boards, Statutory objectives and functions of LSCBs sets out in detail the arrangements for the work of each Local Safeguarding Children Board.

10.1.2

Local authorities and statutory LSCB partners have a statutory obligation to establish and support the operation of the LSCB.

10.1.3

LSCBs will not usually be operational bodies or ones that deliver services to children and their families. However, an LSCB may take on an operational and delivery role within its functions as set out below.


Objectives

10.1.4

Section 14 of the Children Act 2004 sets out the objectives of LSCBs, which are:

  1. 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; and
  2. To ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each such person or body for those purposes.

10.1.5

Regulation 5 of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006 sets out that the functions of the LSCB, in relation to the above objectives under section 14 of the Children Act 2004, are as follows:

1(a)

Developing policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area of the authority, including policies and procedures in relation to:

 

(i)

The action to be taken where there are concerns about a child's safety or welfare, including thresholds for intervention;

 

(ii)

Training of persons who work with children or in services affecting the safety and welfare of children;

 

(iii)

Recruitment and supervision of persons who work with children;

 

(iv)

Investigation of allegations concerning persons who work with children;

 

(v)

Safety and welfare of children who are privately fostered;

 

(vi)

Cooperation with neighbouring children's services authorities and their Board partners;

(b)

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;

(c)

Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of what is done by the authority and their Board partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and advising them on ways to improve;

(d)

Participating in the planning of services for children in the area of the authority; and

(e)

Undertaking reviews of serious cases and advising the authority and their Board partners on lessons to be learned.  

10.1.6

Regulation 5 (2) relates to the Serious Case Reviews function (see Learning and development - currently under review by the London SCB training subgroup).

Regulation 5 (3) provides that an LSCB may also engage in any other activity that facilitates, or is conducive to, the achievement of its objectives.

Regulation 6 relates to the LSCB Child Death functions. Refer to chapters in Part A Section 9, Unexpected Death of a Child of this manual.

10.1.7

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children includes protecting children from harm. Ensuring that work to protect children is properly co-ordinated and effective is a key goal of LSCBs and they should not focus on their wider role if the standard of this core business is inadequate. However, when the core business is secure, LSCBs should go beyond it to work to the wider remit, which includes preventative work to avoid harm being suffered in the first place.

10.1.8

LSCBs do not commission or deliver direct frontline services though they may provide training. While LSCBs do not have the power to direct other organisations they do have a role in making clear where improvement is needed. Each Board partner retains its own existing line of accountability for safeguarding.


LSCB role

10.1.9

LSCBs should work with the Local Family Justice Board. They should also work with the Health and Well-being board, informing and drawing on the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.

10.1.10

In exceptional circumstances an LSCB can cover more than one local authority. Where boundaries between LSCBs and their partner organisations are not coterminous, such as with health organisations and police authorities, LSCBs should collaborate as necessary on establishing common policies and procedures and joint ways of working.

10.1.11

Members of an LSCB should be people 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; and
  • hold their own organisation to account and hold others to account.

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, and any to whom the  local authority has delegated children's social care functions. Where applicable, LSCBs should also be able to draw on advice from those appointed to support local authorities to move out of intervention.

Lay members will operate as full members of the LSCB, participating as appropriate on the Board itself and on relevant committees. Lay members should help to make links between the LSCB and community groups, support stronger public engagement in local child safety issues and an improved public understanding of the LSCB's child protection work. A local authority may pay lay members.

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


Scope of the role

10.1.12

The LSCB should focus on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in three broad areas of activity.

10.1.13

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, e.g:

  • 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 agencies 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 agencies' implementation of their duties under s11 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 injures and, where possible, deaths; and
  • Work to prevent and respond effectively to bullying.

10.1.14

Second, proactive work that aims to target particular groups, e.g:

  • 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 likely to suffer, 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.

10.1.15

Thirdly, responsive work to protect children who have suffered, or are likely to suffer, significant harm, including:

10.1.16

Where particular children are the subject of interventions, that safeguarding work should aim to help them to achieve good outcomes to have optimum life chances. The LSCB should check the extent to which this has been achieved as part of its monitoring and evaluation work.


10.2

LSCB functions

 

10.2.1

The core functions of an LSCB are set out in the Local Safeguarding Board Regulations 2006, statutory instrument no. 2006/90. In all their activities, LSCBs should take account of the need to promote equality of opportunity and to meet the diverse needs of children.

In order to fulfil its statutory function under Regulation 5 (of the above) an LSCB should use data and, as a minimum, should:

  • Asses the effectiveness of the help being provided to children and families, including early help;
  • Assess whether LSCB partners are fulfilling their statutory obligations (set out in Chapter 2: Organisational Responsibilities of Working Together 2015);
  • 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. The Children's Safeguarding Performance Information Framework provides a mechanism to help do this by setting out some of the questions a LSCB should consider. (Download the framework from DfE).


Thresholds, policies and procedures function

10.2.2

LSCBs should develop policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area of the authority, including policies and procedures in relation to:


(i)


The action to be taken where there are concerns about a child's safety or welfare, including thresholds for intervention

10.2.3

This includes concerns under both s17 and s47 of the Children Act 1989, and includes:

  • Setting out thresholds for referrals to children's social care of children who may be in need, and processes for robust multi-agency assessment of children in need;
  • Agreeing inter-agency procedures for s47 enquiries and developing local protocols on key issues of concern such as children abused through prostitution; children living with domestic violence, substance abuse, or parental mental illness; female genital mutilation; forced marriage; children missing from school; children who may have been trafficked and safeguarding looked after children who are away from home;
  • Setting out how s47 enquiries and associated police investigations should be conducted, and in particular, in what circumstances joint enquiries are necessary and/or appropriate.

10.2.4

LSCBs should clarify thresholds and processes and promote a common understanding of them across local agencies to help ensure that appropriate referrals are made and improve the effectiveness of joint work, leading to a more efficient use of resources.

10.2.5

LSCBs should ensure that the local arrangements for undertaking an early help assessment or a common assessment are clear about when it is appropriate to use the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) and when it is appropriate to refer a possible child in need to children's social services.


(ii)


Training of persons who work with children or in services affecting the safety and welfare of children

10.2.6

LSCBs should ensure that single agency and inter-agency training on safeguarding and promoting welfare is provided in order to meet local needs. This covers both the training provided by single agencies to their own staff, and multi-agency training where staff from more than one agency train together.

10.2.7

LSCBs may wish to carry out their function by taking a view as to the priorities for inter-agency and single-agency child protection training in the local area and feeding those priorities into the local workforce strategy. LSCBs should evaluate the quality of this training, ensuring that relevant training is provided by individual agencies, and checking that the training is reaching the relevant staff within agencies.

10.2.8

LSCBs can organise or deliver inter-agency training and should, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of training, including multi-agency training, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.


(iii)


Recruitment and supervision of persons who work with children

10.2.9

LSCBs should establish effective policies and procedures, in line with national guidance, for checking the suitability of people applying for work with children and ensuring that the children's workforce is properly supervised, with any concerns acted on appropriately. See Safer Recruitment Procedure.

10.2.10

LSCBs should ensure that robust quality assurance processes are in place to monitor compliance by relevant agencies within their area with requirements to support safe practices. These processes should include audits of vetting practice and sampling of compliance with checks and referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service.


(iv)


Investigation of allegations concerning persons working with children

10.2.11

LSCBs should establish effective policies and procedures, in line with national guidance, to ensure that allegations are dealt with properly and quickly. See Allegations against staff or volunteers, who work with children Procedure.


(v)


Safety and welfare of children who are privately fostered

10.2.12

LSCBs should ensure the co-ordination and effective implementation of measures designed to strengthen local private fostering notification arrangements including:

  • Raising awareness of private fostering across partner agencies, third sector organisations and commissioned services;
  • Ensuring that relevant training practices are developed and followed up at multi-agency level;
  • Reviewing and responding to the findings of the annual private fostering report submitted by the local authority to the chair of the LSCB;
  • Acting upon the findings of Ofsted inspections and research evidence on effective practice;
  • Providing effective leadership and challenge in this area; and
  • Reporting on private fostering in their own annual report as appropriate.

LSCBs may also want to consider how they raise awareness in the community of the requirements and issues around private fostering. See Children Living Away from Home Procedure, Private fostering.


(vi)


Co-operation with neighbouring local authorities and their board partners

10.2.13

LSCBs should establish procedures to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who move between local authority areas, including harmonising procedures, where appropriate, to bring coherence to liaison with an agency (such as a police force) which spans more than one LSCB area. This could be relevant to geographically mobile families, such as asylum seeking children, traveller children, children in immigrant families and children of families in temporary accommodation.


(vii)


Other policies and procedures

10.2.14

LSCBs should ensure that single agency and inter-agency safeguarding children protocols and procedures additional to these London Child Protection Procedures are developed only where it is necessary to go beyond these procedures. Also that any such protocols and procedures comply with these procedures. LSCBs should consider the need for a procedure for handling complaints regarding requests to share information.


Communicating and raising awareness function

10.2.15

LSCBs should communicate to persons, agencies and groups 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, e.g. by:

  • Contributing to a public awareness raising campaign about how everybody can contribute to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children;
  • Listening to and consulting children and young people and ensuring that their views are taken into account in planning and delivering safeguarding and promoting welfare services.


Monitoring and evaluation function

(i)

Monitoring, evaluation and improvement

10.2.16

LSCBs should monitor and evaluate 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, e.g. by:

  • Requiring agencies to self-evaluate under an agreed framework of benchmarks or indicators and share the results with the board. It might also involve leading multi-agency arrangements to contribute to self evaluation reports;
  • Undertaking joint-audits of case files to evaluate multi-agency working, looking at the involvement of the different agencies, and identifying the quality of practice and lessons to be learned in terms of both multi-agency and multi-disciplinary practice.

10.2.17

The LSCB should ensure that key people and agencies with a duty under s11 of the Children Act 2004 or s175 or s157 of the Education Act 2002 are fulfilling their statutory obligations to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

10.2.18

LSCBs should ensure appropriate links with any secure setting in its area and be able to scrutinise restraint techniques, the policies and protocols which surround the use of restraint, and incidences and injuries. LSCBs with a secure establishment in its areas should report annually to the Youth Justice Board on how effectively the establishment is managing use of restraint. LSCBs should report more frequently if there are concerns on the use of restraint. Consideration should be given to sharing the information with relevant inspectorates (HMIP and Ofsted). Where appropriate, members of LSCBs (with secure establishments in its area) should be given demonstrations in the techniques accredited for use to assist their consideration of any child protection or safeguarding issue that might arise in relation to restraint.

10.2.19

All incidents when restraint is used in custodial settings and which results in an injury to a young person should be notified to, and subsequent action monitored by, the LSCB.

10.2.20

LSCBs should advise the local authority and board partners on ways to improve, e.g. by:

  • Making recommendations (such as the need for further resources);
  • Helping agencies to develop new procedures;
  • Disseminating best practice;
  • Bringing together expertise in different agencies and groups;
  • Supporting capacity building and training.


(ii)


Annual report on the effectiveness of safeguarding in the local area

10.2.21

LSCBs should publish an annual report on the effectiveness of safeguarding in the local area. The report should challenge the work of its partners to ensure that necessary overarching structures, processes, practices and culture are put in place to ensure that children are fully safeguarded.

10.2.22

The report should:

  • Provide an assessment of the effectiveness of local arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
  • Set the assessment against a comprehensive analysis of the local area safeguarding context;
  • Recognise achievements and the progress that has been made in the local authority area;
  • Provide a realistic assessment of the challenges that still remain;
  • Demonstrate the extent to which the functions of the LSCB are being effectively discharged; including assessments of procedures and practice to keep children safe, including:
    • the policies and procedures for the safe recruitment of frontline staff;
    • an assessment of single and inter-agency training on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children to meet the local needs;
    • lessons learnt about the prevention of future child deaths which have been identified by the child death overview panel; and
    • progress on priority issues e.g. child trafficking, child sexual exploitation and domestic violence.
  • Provide a clear account of progress that has been in relation to individual Serious Case Reviews (SCRs):
    • implementing action plans from SCRs completed during the year in question, plans to evaluate the impact of these actions and to monitor how these improvements are being sustained over time;
    • implementing action plans from SCRs commissioned in previous years where any actions remained outstanding at the start of the reporting year;
    • learning lessons arising from SCRs which have been commissioned but not completed.
  • Common themes and recurring recommendations may be addressed together but the report must be clear on action taken in response to individual SCRs.

10.2.23

The LSCB must send a copy of the annual report to the Health and Wellbeing Board or equivalent. In preparing a strategy for children's services, they will be expected to draw upon the advice from and the findings in the LSCB annual report, and show how they intend to respond to the issues raised.

10.2.24

The LSCB and the Health and Wellbeing board should work together to ensure that the LSCB annual report is developed in time so that it can be properly considered and effectively utilised in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and the Children and Young People's Plan.


Planning and commissioning function

10.2.25

LSCBs should participate in the local planning and commissioning of children's services to ensure that local children's services planners and commissioners take safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children into account. As part of this LSCBs should contribute to the local children and young people's plan.

10.2.26

Where it is agreed locally that the LSCB is the 'responsible authority' for 'matters relating to the protection of children from harm' under the Licensing Act 2003, the LSCB must be notified of all licence variations and new applications for the sale and supply of alcohol and public entertainment.

10.2.27

LSCB's may have local arrangements and duties under the Gambling Act 2005 regarding vulnerable children and adults.


Function relating to child deaths

10.2.28

In relation to child deaths, LSCBs should:

10.2.29

Under these functions LSCBS have responsibility for reviewing the deaths of all children. In order to fulfil this responsibility the LSCB must be informed of all deaths of children, normally resident in the LSCB's geographical area.


Serious case review function

10.2.30

LSCBs should undertake 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.

10.2.31

LSCBs should develop procedures and agency and professional roles to ensure that serious case reviews are undertaken when required and that the process and outcome are efficient and effective. See Serious Case Reviews Procedure.


Other activities

10.2.32

The regulations make clear that in addition to the functions set out above LSCBs may also engage in any other activity that facilitates, or is conducive to, the achievement of its objective.

10.2.33

These further activities should be discussed and agreed as part of wider planning e.g. the LSCB could agree to take the lead within an area on work to tackle bullying, domestic violence, joint work with adult's services or community engagement to improve children's safety.


Accountability for operational work

10.2.34

Whilst the LSCB has a role in co-ordinating 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 their own existing lines of accountability for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children by their services. The LSCB does not have a power to direct other organisations.

10.2.35

Where there are concerns about the work of partners and these cannot be addressed locally, the LSCB should raise these concerns with others in line with Quality Assurance Procedure.


10.3

LSCB governance and operational arrangements

 

10.3.1

An LSCB can cover more than one local authority area. Local authorities and their partners will wish to consider whether this is desirable, perhaps to ensure a better fit with the areas covered by other bodies, or because issues are common to different areas.


Independence

10.3.2

LSCBs should use their strong working relationship with wider strategic partners within a local authority area to:

  • Form a view of the quality and effectiveness of local children activity in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children;
  • Challenge agencies as necessary; and to
  • Speak with an independent voice.

10.3.3

To ensure that this is possible LSCBs must have a clear and distinct identity. In order to provide effective scrutiny, the LSCB should be independent. It should not be subordinate to, nor subsumed within, other local structures.


Chair

10.3.4

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.

10.3.5

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.

10.3.6

The Chair must publish an annual report on the effectiveness of child safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the local area.[47] 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 well-being board.

10.3.7

LSCBs should conduct regular assessments on the effectiveness of Board partners' responses to child sexual exploitation and include in the report information on the outcome of these assessments. This should include an analysis of how the LSCB partners have used their data to promote service improvement for vulnerable children and families, including in respect of sexual abuse. The report should also include appropriate data on children missing from care, and how the LSCB is addressing the issue. Where the LSCB has a secure establishment within its area, the report should include a review of the use of restraint within that establishment and the findings of the review should be reported to the Youth Justice Board.

10.3.8

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. 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 for the LSCB in such a way that a disproportionate burden does not fall on a small number of partner agencies.

10.3.9

The LSCB annual report should inform the children's services strategy and the LSCB must be formally consulted during the development of the strategy. Guidance for LSCBs on producing an annual report is available at www.londonscb.gov.uk.


Membership of an LSCB

10.3.10

As far as possible, agencies should designate particular, named people as their LSCB member, so that there is consistency and continuity in the membership of the LSCB.

10.3.11

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

  • Speak for their agency with authority;
  • Commit their agency on policy and practice matters; and
  • Hold their own agency to account and hold others to account.

10.3.12

Local authority Elected Members and non-executive directors of other board partners should through their membership of governance agencies and groups such as the cabinet of the local authority or a scrutiny committee or a governance board, hold their agency and its officers to account for their contribution to the effective functioning of the LSCB.

10.3.13

Directors of Children's Services and Lead Members for Children's Services have central and complementary roles. Directors of Children's Services have responsibility for improving outcomes for all children and young people in their area. Lead Members for Children's Services have delegated responsibility from the Council for children, local young people and families and are politically accountable for ensuring that the local authority fulfils its legal responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. The Lead Member should provide the political leadership needed for the effective co-ordination of work with other relevant agencies with safeguarding responsibilities (such as the police and the health service). Lead Members should also take steps to assure themselves that effective quality assurance systems for safeguarding are in place and functioning effectively.

10.3.14

The Lead Member should be a 'participating observer' of the LSCB. In practice this means routinely attending meetings as an observer and receiving all its written reports. Lead Members should engage in discussions, ask questions and seek clarity, but not be part of the decision making process. This will enable the Lead Member to challenge, when necessary, from a well informed position.

10.3.15

Directors of Children's Services should ensure that all appropriate local authority services engage effectively with the LSCB. The Directors of Children's Services will be held to account for the effective working of the LSCB by their Chief Executive and challenged where appropriate by their Lead Member.


Role of local authority Chief Executives and Council Leaders

10.3.16

Local authority Chief Executives and Council Leaders also have critical roles to play. Chief Executives are responsible for satisfying themselves that the Directors of Children's Services are fulfilling their managerial responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, including in particular by ensuring that  relationships with the LSCB and other agencies are working effectively; that clear responsibility has been assigned within the local authority and equivalent partners for improving services and outcomes; and that targets for improving safeguarding and progress against them are reported to the Local Health and Wellbeing board.


Statutory members

10.3.17

The LSCB should include representatives of the local authority and its board partners, the statutory agencies which are required to co-operate with the local authority in the establishment and operation of the board and have shared responsibility for the effective discharge of its functions. - [Section 13(3) Children Act 2004] - These are:

  • The Metropolitan Police Borough Commander and DI/DCI representing the CAIT working in the borough;
  • The National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies;
  • The Youth offending team within the borough;
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) for an area any part of which falls within the borough (advice on how to engage with LSCBs is set out in Annex D of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards: A Review of Progress report);
  • NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts all or most of whose hospitals or establishments and facilities are situated in the borough;
  • CAFCASS (Children and Family Courts Advisory and Support Service);
  • The Governor or Director of any Secure training centre within the borough;
  • The Governor or Director of any prison within the borough which ordinarily detains children.

10.3.18

The local authority should ensure that those responsible for adult social services functions are represented on the LSCB, because of the importance of adult social care in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Similarly health agencies should ensure that adult health services and in particular adult mental health, adult drug and alcohol services and adult disability services are represented on the LSCB.

10.3.19

The LSCB must have access to appropriate expertise and advice from all the relevant sectors, including a designated doctor and nurse.

10.3.20

The local authority and its partners are under obligation (Children Act 2004) to co-operate in the establishment and operation of an LSCB.


Lay members

10.3.21

The local authority must take reasonable steps to ensure that the LSCB includes two lay members from the local community - [Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 amends sections 13 and 14 of the Children Act 2004 (c.31)]. The role for lay members should in particular relate to:

  • Supporting stronger public engagement in local child safety issues and contributing to an improved understanding of the LSCB's child protection work in the wider community;
  • Challenging the LSCB on the accessibility by the public and children and young people of its plans and procedures; and
  • Helping to make links between the LSCB and community groups.

10.3.22

Lay members should operate as full members of the LSCB, participating on the Board itself and on relevant committees. LSCBs must provide appropriate training for lay members to ensure they are able to bring the most value to its work.

10.3.23

The local authority should set out its expectations of the role of the lay member within the LSCB, the length of appointment, the expected code of conduct of any lay member and the amount they will recompense them as appropriate for their time and contribution. See the London LSCB Lay members recruitment pack.


Representation from schools

10.3.24

Local authorities must take all reasonable steps to ensure schools are represented on the LSCB. This 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;
  • All academies and free schools;;
  • The governing body of a further education institution the main site of which is situated in the authority's area - [The Local Safeguarding Children Boards (Amendment) Regulations 2010, S.I. 2010/622, made under section 13(4) of the Children Act 2004 (c. 31)] - and;
  • Independent schools.

10.3.25

Local authorities should put in place a robust and fair system to enable all schools (including independent schools, academies and free schools) to be represented and for each school representative to speak for, and on behalf of, the body of schools they represent. This will require an efficient and effective means to communicate with all schools both to seek their views on issues and to feed information back.


Other members

10.3.26

The local authority should also secure the involvement of other relevant local agencies where a representative is made available:

  • NSPCC;
  • Faith groups;
  • State, independent and extended schools;
  • Further education colleges, including 6th form colleges;
  • Children's centres;
  • GPs;
  • Independent healthcare agencies; and
  • Third sector agencies (including bodies providing specialist care for children with disabilities and complex health needs).

10.3.27

Other representation should include:

  • The armed forces (in relation both to the families of service men and women and those personnel that are under the age of 18) - in areas where they have significant local activity; and
  • UK Visas and Immigration agency - in areas where there is an airport or seaport, an asylum screening unit or a number of asylum seeking families or unaccompanied asylum seeking children or a number of migrants with children. The issues should be dealt within a strategic way as well as at the level of individual cases.

10.3.28

Where the number or size of similar agencies precludes individual representation on the LSCB e.g. third sector youth bodies, the local authority should seek to involve them via existing networks or forums, or by encouraging and developing suitable networks or forums to facilitate communication between agencies and with the LSCB.


Involvement of other agencies and groups

10.3.29

There will be other agencies and partnerships which the LSCB needs to link to, either through inviting them to join the LSCB, or through some other mechanism, e.g:

  • The Coronial service;
  • Dental health services;
  • Domestic violence forums;
  • Drug and alcohol misuse services;
  • Drug action teams;
  • Housing, culture and leisure services;
  • Housing providers;
  • Local authority legal services;
  • Local multi-agency public protection arrangements;
  • Local sports agencies and groups and services;
  • Local family justice council;
  • Local Criminal justice board;
  • Other health providers such as pharmacists;
  • Representatives of service users;
  • Sexual health services;
  • The Crown prosecution service;
  • Witness support services;
  • Family Intervention Projects;
  • Multi-agency risk assessment conferences;
  • Multi-agency public protection arrangements; and
  • The London Safeguarding Children Board.

10.3.30

LSCBs should establish and maintain direct communication and co-operation at a strategic level with the London Safeguarding Children Board.

10.3.31

This should include nominating regional representatives to membership of the London Safeguarding Children Board and engaging in the planning and implementation of strategic and operational initiatives led by the London Board, aimed at improving London LSCBs ability to support the safeguarding of children and the promotion of their welfare locally.


The role of individual members

10.3.32

The individual members of LSCBs have a duty as members to contribute to the effective work of the LSCB, e.g. in making the LSCBs' assessment of performance as objective as possible, and in recommending or deciding upon the necessary steps to put right any problems. This should take precedence, if necessary, over their role as a representative of their agency.

10.3.33

Members of each LSCB should have a clear written statement of their roles and responsibilities.


Ways of working

10.3.34

LSCBs must negotiate local arrangements for agency membership, professional representation and attendance, to secure effective operation of LSCB functions member agency engaged.

10.3.35

Agencies of a particular kind in the local authority area, e.g. NHS Trusts, may share attendance at meetings. Agencies pooling representation in this way should provide the board with a written protocol setting out how they will be consulted and their views fed in to Board discussions.

10.3.36

LSCBs should set up working groups, sub-groups or panels, on a short-term or a standing basis to:

  • Carry out specific tasks (e.g. maintaining and updating procedures and protocols, reviewing serious cases and identifying inter-agency training needs);
  • Provide specialist advice (e.g. in respect of working with specific ethnic and cultural groups or with disabled children and / or parents);
  • Bring together representatives of a sector (e.g. schools, the third sector, faith groups or from a geographical area within the LSCB's boundaries) to discuss relevant issues and to provide a contribution to LSCB work.

10.3.37

An LSCB may form an 'executive group' of members to carry out some of the day-to-day business by local agreement.

10.3.38

Each LSCB is responsible for ensuring that a review of each death of a child normally resident in the LSCB's area is undertaken by a Child Death Overview Panel( CDOP). The CDOP will have a fixed core membership drawn from organisations represented on the LSCB with flexibility to co-opt other relevant professionals to discuss certain types of death as and when appropriate. The CDOP should include a professional from public health as well as child health. It should be chaired by the LSCB Chair's representative. That individual should not be involved directly in providing services to children and families in the area. One or more LSCBs can choose to share a CDOP. CDOPs responsible for reviewing deaths from larger populations are better able to identify significant recurrent contributory factors. See Unexpected Death of a Child Procedure and Serious Case Reviews Procedure.

10.3.39

All groups working under the LSCB should be established by the LSCB, and should work to agreed terms of reference, with explicit lines of reporting, communication and accountability to the LSCB. This may take the form of a written constitution detailing a job description for all members and service level agreements between the LSCB, agencies and other partnerships. Chairs of working groups, panels and sub-groups should be LSCB members.

10.3.40

Where boundaries between LSCBs and their partner agencies such as the health service and the police are not co-terminus, adjoining LSCBs should collaborate as far as possible on establishing common policies and procedures, and joint ways of working, under the function set out in Co-operation with neighbouring local authorities and their Board partners.


Participation of children and their families

10.3.41

LSCBs should put in place arrangements to ascertain views of children and their families (including children and their families who might not ordinarily be heard) about the priorities and the effectiveness of local safeguarding work, including issues of access to services to safeguard children and promote their welfare and contact points for children. The views of children and their families should be represented in the LSCB's annual report (see Annual report on the effectiveness of safeguarding in the local area). LSCBs should also ensure that children and their families can participate in the development of services (see Planning and commissioning).


Information sharing for the purpose of LSCB functions

10.3.42

Chapter 1 in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 sets out how effective sharing of information between professionals and local agencies is essential for effective service provision. Each LSCB should play a strong role in supporting information sharing between and within organisations and addressing any barriers to information sharing. This should include ensuring that a culture of information sharing is developed and supported as necessary by multi-agency training.

In addition, the LSCB can require a person or body to comply with a request for information as set out in Section 14 B of the Children Act 2004. This can only take place where the information is essential to carrying out LSCB statutory functions. Any request for information about individuals must be 'necessary' and 'proportionate' to the reasons for the request. LSCBs should be mindful of the burden of requests and should explain why the information is needed.

10.3.43

The LSCB should be able to explain that purpose to record holders, and why the information sought is appropriate, relevant and proportionate should the record holder require any justification of the need for the information or of the overriding public interest served by the disclosure of personal information in each case. No request should require a record holder to breach data protection principles, or other protections of confidential or personal information (for example, under the Human Rights Act) in a manner which cannot be justified; the 'golden rules' set out in Information Sharing: Guidance for practitioners and managers will help record holders observe these protections and principles.


Financing and staffing

10.3.44

The budget for each LSCB and the contribution made by each member agency should be agreed locally. The member agencies' shared responsibility for the discharge of the LSCB's functions includes shared responsibility for determining how the necessary resources are to be provided to support it.

10.3.45

The core contributions should be provided by:

  • The responsible local authority;
  • The Clinical Commissioning Groups - CCGs;
  • The police.

10.3.46

Other agencies' contributions should reflect their resources and local circumstances. For some, participating in LSCB work may be the appropriate extent of their contribution. Other agencies may contribute by committing resources in kind, rather than funds, as provided for in the legislation.

10.3.47

Where an LSCB member agency provides funding, this should be committed in advance, usually into a pooled budget.

10.3.48

The board may choose to use some of its funding to support the participation of some agencies, such as local third sector groups, for example, if they cannot otherwise afford to take part.

10.3.49

The funding requirement of the LSCB will depend on its circumstances and the work which it plans to undertake (which will in turn depend on the division of responsibilities between the LSCB and other parts of the wider children's trust or equivalent). However, each LSCB will have a core minimum of work.

10.3.50

Staffing for each LSCB should be agreed locally by the board partners. An effective LSCB needs to be staffed so that it has the capacity to:

  • Drive forward the LSCB's day-to-day business in achieving its objectives, including its co-ordination and monitoring / evaluating work;
  • Take forward any training and staff development work carried out by the LSCB, in the context of the local workforce strategy;
  • Provide administrative and organisational support for the Board and its sub-committees, and those involved in policy and training.


Planning

10.3.51

Health and Wellbeing Boards are responsible for a joint strategy which sets out how children's services partners will co-operate to improve children's wellbeing in the local area.

10.3.52

In preparing a strategy for children's services, such as a Children and Young People's Plan, the comprehensive Joint Strategic Needs Assessment will set out how the partners will work together and align or pool their budgets to address identified priorities. the LSCBs should contribute to, and work within, the framework established by the local strategy for children's services, such as a Children and Young People's Plan.

10.3.53

It is expected that all local areas should investigate the possibilities of integrating frontline delivery of services such that staff from children's social care services work in active partnership with the police, paediatric and relevant health services to maximise effectiveness. This, however, is a matter for local determination.

10.3.54

The LSCB's own activities should fit clearly within the framework of a strategy for children's services, such as a Children and Young People's Plan. The voices and experiences of children and young people should strongly inform the LSCB's work programme - which should have clear objectives, timescales, measurable objectives and a budget.