This section will tell you about Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) and what role they play in keeping children and young people safe.
Children can only be kept safe properly if the key agencies work together.
Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) help make sure that this happens.
What is a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)?
Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) were established by the Children Act 2004 which gives a statutory responsibility to each locality to have this mechanism in place. LSCBs are now the key system in every locality of the country for organisations to come together to agree on how they will cooperate with one another to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The purpose of this partnership working is to hold each other to account and to ensure safeguarding children remains high on the agenda across their region.
Importance of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs)
In May 2011, the final report from the Munro Review of Child Protection, A child-centered system, was published. Within this report, Professor Munro set out the important role that Local Safeguarding Children Boards have in monitoring the effectiveness of partner agencies and recognised that they are key to improving multi-agency working, to support and enable partner organisations to adapt their practice and become more effective in safeguarding children.
Munro states that Local Safeguarding Children Boards are:
‘…well placed to identify emerging problems through learning from practice and to oversee efforts to improve services in response.’
What are the responsibilities of a Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs)?
The main responsibilities of the LSCB as set out in section 14 of the Children Act 2004 are to co-ordinate and quality assure the safeguarding children activities of member agencies.
Responsibility of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) to the Voluntary and Community Sector
LSCBs will likely have self assessment audit tools in place to ascertain compliance in meeting safeguarding standards for the organisations listed under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004. For voluntary and community sector organisations commissioned to undertake pieces of work for partner organisations of the LSCB, section 11 audits are also required.
For commissioning purposes, the future of funding commitments is likely to become dependent on a number of essential components including appropriate safeguarding arrangements. For this reason, it would be in the best interests of any voluntary and community sector to complete your LSCB Section 11 self assessment tool using Safe Network resources.
LSCBs map out local organisations including voluntary and community services in order to ensure the necessary delivery of help and support to children, young people and families. The Government is committed to supporting voluntray and community sector organisations to have a much greater involvement in the running of public services and recognises the significant role the voluntary and community sector plays in improving and reforming services.
The Safe Network self assessment tool is available for organisations to assess their organisation's child protection and safeguarding arrangements. See the Safe Network briefing paper, ‘To compare the Safe Network Standards and a Section 11 Assessment’ for how to use of Safe Network resources including the Safe Network Standards and the ‘Are they Safe’ pack can facilitate this process, support LSCBs and voluntary groups in their responsibilities.
How does the work of a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) impact upon voluntary and community groups?
Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government, 2010) :
“Organisations in the voluntary sector and private sectors that work with children need to have the arrangements…in place in the same way as organisations in the public sector, and need to work effectively with local safeguarding children's boards.”
The key aspects from the document are:
Which organisations make up a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)
Under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 the key organisations that are covered by the duty include:
However, the most effective LSCBs work closely with a wide variety of partnership organisations in addition to those listed above including the voluntary and community services, particularly at an operational level.
How does a voluntary or community service link with a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and how will LSCBs support with safeguarding children and promoting welfare in voluntary organisations?
All organisations working with children and young people must ensure that they have safe practices and child protection procedures in place. Therefore, your local LSCB can support you in two ways:
- firstly in providing advice and guidance in relation to your safeguarding policies and procedures and,
- secondly in providing your organisation with the opportunity to attend training courses for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
LSCBs provide inter-agency training for colleagues working with children, young people, adults and families. Most LSCBs have their own websites which have downloadable brochures listing the training courses available in their area including information on how to apply for a place on the training.
LSCBs have their own local priorities, targets and so the benefits of linking with your LSCB would be to have more local knowledge of what is important to focus on in regards to specific areas of safeguarding.