The Local Safeguarding Children Board is the statutory body within an area, responsible for protecting children and young people from significant harm and for promoting their welfare.
A requirement of the Children Act 2004, was that each Children’s Service authority in England establishes a Local Safeguarding Children Board by the 1st April 2006. Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCB) are the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how organisations working with and providing services for children in each local area will co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to ensure the effectiveness of the work done for that purpose.
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, including:
- The action to be taken where there are concerns about a child’s safety or welfare, including thresholds for intervention
- Training of those working with children or in services affecting the safety and welfare of children
- Recruitment and supervision of persons who work with children
- Investigation of allegations concerning persons working with children
- The safety and welfare of privately fostered children
- Cooperation with neighbouring children’s social care services authorities and their Board partners
- Participate in the planning of services for children in the local authority area
- Communicate the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child
- 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 appropriate Serious Case Reviews and ensure lessons are understood and acted upon
- Collect and analyse information about child deaths
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010) states that the LSCB’s role includes the safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in three broad areas of activity:
Firstly, activity that affects all children and aims to identify and prevent maltreatment or impairment of health and development, and ensure that children grow up in circumstances consistent with safe and effective care.
Secondly, pro-active work that aims to target particular groups, including developing thresholds for working with children and families where the child comes within the definition of Children in Need but is not suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm and work to safeguard and promote the welfare of groups of children potentially more vulnerable than the general population, for example because they may be disabled or living away from home or in custody
Thirdly, responsive work to protect children who are suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm, including children
- Abused and neglected within families including those affected as a result of domestic violence or parental substance misuse or parental mental ill health
- Abused outside of the family by adults known to them or by strangers
- Abused or neglected by professional carers whilst in an institution or anywhere else where children are cared for away from home
- Abused by other children
- Abused through sexual exploitation
- Who perpetrate abuse
- Who are young victims of crime
Where particular children are the subject of intervention, then that safeguarding work should aim to help them to achieve all five Department for Education outcomes to have optimum life chances. It is within the remit of the LSCB to check the extent to which this has been achieved as part of their monitoring and evaluation work.