2.3 Local Safeguarding Children Boards

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1. Duty to Establish LSCB

1.1 Each Local Authority in England must establish a LSCB for its area and the Board must include such representative or representatives of the authority by which it is established, and each 'Board partner' of that authority as the Secretary of State may by regulations, prescribe.

Board Partners are as follows:

  • Where the authority is a county council for an area for which there is also a district council, the district council;
  • The chief officer of police for a police area any part of which falls within the area of the authority;
  • Probation Providers for the  area which falls within the area of the authority;
  • A YOT for an area any part of which falls within the area of the authority;
  • The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for an area any part of which falls within the area of the authority;
  • An NHS Trust and an NHS foundation Trust all or most of whose hospitals, establishments and facilities are situated in the area of the authority;
  • A person providing services under s.114 Learning and Skills Act 2000 in any part of the area of the authority;
  • The governor of any secure training centre in the area of the authority (or, in the case of a contracted out secure training centre, its director);
  • The governor of any prison in the area of the authority which ordinarily detains children (or, in the case of a contracted out prison, its director);
  • Representatives from Local Schools; and

  • Two Lay members.

2. Composition

2.1 The Local Authority must take reasonable steps to ensure that the LSCB established by it includes representatives of relevant persons and bodies of such descriptions as prescribed by the Secretary of State in regulations (see below).

The LSCB Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 no. 90) indicate that a LSCB must include at least 1 representative of:

  • The authority by which it is established; and
  • Each 'Board partner' of that authority.
2.3 Each Board partner is required to appoint its own LSCB representative except in the case of the person/s to represent those providing services under s.114 of the Learning and Skills Act 2004 where the Board itself may (after consultation) determine the representative.

A LSCB may also include representatives of such other 'relevant persons or bodies' the authority by which it is established consider, after consulting its Board partners, should be represented on it. 'Relevant persons and bodies' are persons and bodies of any nature exercising functions or engaged in activities relating to children in the area of the authority in question, e.g.:

  • Children's Centres;
  • Voluntary sector groups;
  • NSPCC;
  • Providers of specialist care to children with severe disabilities and complex health needs.

Guidance suggests there may be some other organisations / individuals where (in spite of theoretical representation by Board partners) additional effort is needed to engage them, e.g.:

  • G.Ps;
  • Domestic abuse forums;
  • Dental health services;
  • Drug and alcohol misuse services;
  • Housing, culture and leisure services;
  • Local authority legal services;
  • Local Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA);
  • Sports bodies and services;
  • Sexual health services;
  • Coroner;
  • Crown Prosecution Service;
  • Local Family Justice Council;
  • Local Criminal Justice Board;
  • Registered Social Landlords;
  • Representatives of service users;
  • Witness support services.

3. Chairing

3.1 It is the responsibility of the authority which establishes an LSCB (in agreement with the Board), to appoint a chair. There is a presumption that the LSCB Chair will be independent of local agencies.
3.2 The chair of the LSCB should be clearly accountable to the DCS for the effectiveness of her/his work.
3.3 The chair has a crucial role in making certain that the Board operates effectively and in securing an independent voice for the LSCB.
3.4 S/he should be of sufficient standing and expertise to command the respect and support of all partners, have a firm grasp of local operational issues, and must ensure the LSCB retains its objectivity, arbitrating when necessary any conflicts of interest that might arise.


4. Duty of Cooperation

4.1 In the establishment of an LSCB the authority establishing it must co-operate with each of its Board partners and each Board partner must co-operate with the authority.
4.2 The effectiveness with which Board partners approach and discharge their shared responsibilities will be evaluated through the new integrated inspection arrangements.
4.3 2 or more Local Authorities in England may discharge their respective duties by establishing a LSCB for their combined area.

5. Functions


The overall objectives of LSCBs are to:

  • Oversee and co-ordinate 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;
  • Ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each such person or body for those purposes.

In order to achieve these objectives, the LSCB needs to:

  • Develop policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area e.g. enquiries and other action concerning children who may be at risk of harm, thresholds for intervention; provision of training; recruitment of persons to work with children; investigation of allegations concerning persons working with children; safety and welfare of children who are privately fostered; cooperation with neighbouring authorities and their Board partners;
  • Raise awareness of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and encouraging participation of persons and bodies in the area in raising awareness;
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of what is done by the authority and its Board partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and advise them on ways to improve;
  • Participate in the planning of local services for children;
  • Undertake reviews of cases where a child has died or been seriously harmed in circumstances where abuse or neglect is known or suspected and advising the authority and its Board partners on lessons to be learned.
5.3 As part of the Monitoring and Evaluation Function of the LSCB, there is a requirement for the LSCB to ensure appropriate links exist with any secure settings in its area and to be able to scrutinise the use of restraint, and incidences and injuries.
5.4 An LSCB may also engage in any other activity that facilitates, or is conducive to, the achievement of its main objectives.

6. Funding


Any of the following persons or bodies may make payments towards expenditure incurred by, or for purposes connected with an LSCB:

  • The Local Authority in England by which the Board is established;
  • Any other Board member except governors of secure training centres and prisons which detain children;
  • In a case where the governor of a secure training centre or prison is a Board partner, the Secretary of State; and
  • In a case where the director of a contracted out secure training centre or prison is a Board partner of the authority, the contractor.

Those payments may be;

  • Direct;
  • Contributed to a fund out of which the payments may be made;
  • By means of provision of staff, goods, services, accommodation or other resources for purposes connected with an LSCB.

7. Supplementary Provisions

7.1 Each Local Authority in England and each of its Board partners must, in exercising its functions relating to a LSCB, have regard to any guidance given to it for the purpose by the Secretary of State.
7.2 Such regulations and guidance may cover, respectively, such matters as administrative and support services and how contributions are to be made in cash or kind and how (as well as the more general management of LSCBs) investigations of unexpected child deaths are to be arranged.
7.3 Whilst the work of LSCBs contributes to the wider goals of improving the wellbeing of all children, it has a particular focus on aspects of the 'staying safe' outcome.

LSCBs are not front-line delivery organisations. Their objectives are to co-ordinate and ensure the effectiveness of what member organisations do, and to contribute to broader delivery / commissioning arrangements through the Children and Young People's Plan (CYPP).

Please click here to view LSCB Chart

7.5 Guidance suggests the LSCBs' role includes safeguarding and promoting welfare of children in the following 3 broad areas.

Promotional / preventive work


Activity that affects all children and aims to 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 occur;
  • Work to increase understanding of safeguarding children issues in the professional and wider community;
  • Work to ensure that organisations working or in contact with children operate recruitment and HR practices that take account of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of organisation's implementation of their duties under s.11 Children Act 2004.

Proactive / targeted work


Work that aims to prevent maltreatment, or impairment of health or development, and ensure children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care, e.g.:

  • Procedures for work with families whose child has been identified as 'In Need', 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, e.g. children living away from home (including privately fostered children) or children with disabilities.

Responsive / individual work


Practice based work to protect children from maltreatment or abuse of all kinds and in all settings including:

  • Children abused and neglected within families, including those harmed in the context of domestic abuse;
  • Children abused outside families by adults known to them;
  • Children abused and neglected by professional carers, within an 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;
  • Children involved in sexual exploitation;
  • Children who misuse drugs and alcohol; and
  • Young victims of crime.

8. Accountability/Seniority

8.1 Individual members of LSCBs have a duty as members to contribute to the effective work of the Board e.g. in making its assessment of performance as objective as possible, and taking the necessary steps to put right any problems.
8.2 Guidance indicates that this should take precedence, if necessary, over their role as a representative of their own organisation.
8.3 Members should be able to speak for their organisations with authority on policy and practice matters and will need to be people with a strategic role in relation to safeguarding and promoting welfare of children within their organisation who have the power / authority to hold their organisation or agency to account and precipitate / influence change where appropriate.
8.4 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.
8.5 Each Board partner retains its own existing lines of accountability for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children by its services.

9. Monitoring and Inspection


Guidance suggests LSCBs ensure the effectiveness of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children by member organisations by means of a peer review process based on:

  • Self evaluation;
  • Performance indicators; and
  • Joint audit.
9.2 Where it is found a Board partner is not performing effectively in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and the LSCB is not convinced any planned action to improve performance will be adequate, the LSCB chair or a member or employee designated by the chair should explain these concerns to those individuals and organisations that need be aware of the failing and may be able to take action, e.g. the most senior individual/s in the organisation, to the relevant inspectorate, and, if necessary, to the relevant government department.
9.3 The local inspection framework will play an important role in reinforcing the on-going monitoring work of the LSCB.
9.4 Individual services will be assessed through their own quality regimes.
9.5 There will be an independent assessment into the effectiveness of the LSCB by OFSTED.
9.6 The LSCB will also be able to feed its views about the quality of work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children into these processes.

10. Independence

10.1 Whilst developing a strong working relationship with the wider strategic partnerships within a local authority area, LSCBs should exercise their statutory role to co-ordinate and ensure the effectiveness of the arrangements made by organisations to safeguard and promote the welfare of children independently and objectively.
10.2 Boards must also be able to form a view of the quality of local activity, and challenge organisations as necessary speaking with an independent voice. To ensure that this is possible, LSCBs must have a clear and distinct identity within local governance arrangements.
10.3 There is a requirement that the LSCB Chair is different from the Children's Trust Board. (See also paragraph 12.4).

11. Financing and Staffing

11.1 To function effectively, LSCBs need to be supported by their member organisations with adequate and reliable resource.
11.2 The budget for each LSCB and the contribution made by each member organisation should be agreed locally and member organisations' shared responsibility for the discharge of the LSCB's functions entails shared responsibility for determining how the necessary resources are to be provided to support it.
11.3 Core contributions should be provided by the responsible local authority, health organisations and the police.
11.4 Other organisations' contributions will vary to reflect their resources and local circumstance.
11.5 Where an LSCB member organisation provides funding, this should be committed in advance, usually into a pooled budget.
11.6 The Board may choose to provide funding to support engagement of some organisations, particularly local voluntary or community groups.
11.7 Funding requirement of the LSCB will depend on its circumstances and the work it plans to undertake (which in turn depends on the division of responsibilities between the LSCB and other parts of the wider children's Trust arrangements).
11.8 Each LSCB will have a core minimum of work and all LSCBs will need adequate funding to carry out those tasks well.
11.9 Each LSCB's resources will need to enable it to have staff to take forward its business, e.g. organising its work to co-ordinate local policies and procedures.

An effective LSCB needs to be staffed so that it has the capacity to:

  • Drive forward day to day business in achieving its objectives;
  • 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 any sub groups.

12. Ways of Working



It may be appropriate for the LSCB to set up working groups or sub-groups, on a short-term or a standing basis to:

  • Carry out specific tasks, e.g. maintaining and updating procedures and protocols, reviewing serious cases, identifying inter-agency training needs and arranging appropriate training;
  • Provide specialist advice e.g. in respect of working with specific ethnic / cultural groups, or with disabled children and/or parents;
  • Co-ordinate involvement of a sector where it is difficult for 1 person to act as an overall representative, e.g. schools, voluntary and community sector; and
  • Represent a defined area within the LSCB boundary.
12.2 All groups working under the LSCB should be established by the LSCB, and should work to agreed terms of reference within the framework of the annual plan, with explicit lines of reporting, communication and accountability to the LSCB.
12.3 Where boundaries between local authorities, the health service and the police are not co-terminous, it may be helpful for an LSCB to cover an area which includes more than 1 local authority area or for adjoining Boards to collaborate as far as possible on establishing common procedures and protocols and on multi agency training.

Relationship between the LSCB and the Children's Trust Board


The responsibilities of the LSCB are complementary to those of the Children's Trust to promote cooperation to improve the wellbeing of children in the local area across all five Every Child Matters outcomes. A LSCB is not an operational sub-committee of the Children's trust Board. Whilst the work of the LSCB contributes to the wider goals of improving the wellbeing of all children, it has a narrower focus on safeguarding and promoting welfare. 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.

12.5 The LSCB should produce an annual plan that sets out a work programme for the forthcoming year, including measurable objectives; a detailed budget; relevant management information on activity in the course of the previous year; and progress against objectives the previous year.
12.6 The LSCB plan could be part of the overall CYPP, but in any case should both contribute to and derive from the framework of the CYPP, and should be endorsed by all the Board members.
12.7 There is also a requirement for the LSCB to produce and publish an annual report with a copy to be sent to the Children's Trust Board to influence and contribute to the Children and Young Person's Plan.
12.8 LSCB outputs should be open to scrutiny perhaps by the local authority scrutiny committee, and/or by other local partners as well as by the inspectorates.
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