12.2 Agency Roles and Responsibilities

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Following the publication of Working Together 2018 Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) will be disbanded over the next year. The Safeguarding Partners (local authorities, chief officers of police, and clinical commissioning groups) must make arrangements to work together with relevant agencies (as they consider appropriate) to safeguard and protect the welfare of children in the area. This page will be updated with these new arrangements when they are published later this year.




An awareness and appreciation of the role of others is essential for effective collaboration between organisations and their practitioners.


This chapter outlines the main responsibilities in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children of all statutory organisations, voluntary agencies and professionals who work with children.


It should be read in conjunction with the details set out in Chapter 2 of Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2018.

Statutory Duties


All organisations that work with children share a commitment to safeguard and promote their welfare. For many organisations, this is underpinned by statutory duties.


Children's Services Authorities have a number of specific duties to organise and plan services for children; these are set out in more detail in the Statutory Framework for Child Protection Procedure.


As well as the local authority, NHS organisations, Police, British Transport Police, Probation and Prison Services, Youth Offending Teams and Training Centres, all have duties under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 to ensure that their functions are discharged with regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.


Guidance for these organisations about their duty under section 11 is contained in "Making Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children",  which was published by the DfES in August 2005.


Local authorities also have duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in relation to its functions under section 175 of the Education Act 2002.


As well as the education service provided by the local authority, schools (both maintained and independent) and Further Education institutions, including 6th form colleges, have duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of their pupils who are under 18. Guidance about these education duties is contained in Keeping Children Safe in Education: for schools and colleges (updated September 2018).


In addition, boarding schools, residential special schools and FE Institutions that provide accommodation for pupils under 18 must have regard to the relevant National Minimum Standards for their establishment, which can be found at GOV.UK.


CAFCASS  also has a duty under section 12(1) of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children involved in family proceedings in which their welfare is, or may be, in question.

Common Features


Under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004, local authorities, NHS organisations, Police, British Transport Police, Probation Service, Prisons and Young Offender Institutions, Secure Training Centres and Youth Offending Teams/Services should have in place arrangements that reflect the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including:

  • A clear line of accountability for the commissioning and/or provision of services designed to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
  • A senior board level lead to take leadership responsibility for the organisation's safeguarding arrangements;
  • A culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, both in individual decisions and the development of services;
  • Arrangements which set out clearly the processes for sharing information, with other professionals and with the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB);
  • A designated professional lead (or, for health provider organisations, named professionals) for safeguarding. Their role is to support other professionals in their agencies to recognise the needs of children, including rescue from possible abuse or neglect. Designated professional roles should always be explicitly defined in job descriptions. Professionals should be given sufficient time, funding, supervision and support to fulfil their child welfare and safeguarding responsibilities effectively;
  • Safe recruitment practices for individuals whom the organisation will permit to work regularly with children, including policies on when to obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service check;
  • Appropriate supervision and support for staff, including undertaking safeguarding training:
    • Employers are responsible for ensuring that their staff are competent to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and creating an environment where staff feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in their safeguarding role;
    • Staff should be given a mandatory induction, which includes familiarisation with child protection responsibilities and procedures to be followed if anyone has any concerns about a child's safety or welfare; and
    • All professionals should have regular reviews of their own practice to ensure they improve over time.
  • Clear policies in line with those from the LSCB for dealing with allegations against people who work with children. An allegation may relate to a person who works with children who has:
    • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
    • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
    • Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.
  • In addition:
    • County level and unitary local authorities should have a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases. The LADO should provide advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations, liaising with the police and other agencies and monitoring the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process;
    • Any allegation should be reported immediately to a senior manager within the organisation. The LADO should also be informed within one working day of all allegations that come to an employer's attention or that are made directly to the police; and
    • If an organisation removes an individual (paid worker or unpaid volunteer) from work such as looking after children (or would have, had the person not left first) because the person poses a risk of harm to children, the organisation must make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service. It is an offence to fail to make a referral without good reason.

Specific Roles and Responsibilities of Agencies


Chapter 2 of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 sets out the specific roles and responsibilities of the following:

  • Local authorities and district councils that provide children's and other types of services, including children's and adult social care services, public health, housing, sport, culture and leisure services, licensing authorities and youth services;
  • NHS organisations, including the NHS England and clinical commissioning groups, NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts;
  • The police, including police and crime commissioners and the chief officer of each police force in England and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime in London;
  • The British Transport Police;
  • The National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies;
  • Governors/Directors of Prisons and Young Offender Institutions;
  • Directors of Secure Training Centres;
  • Principals of Secure Colleges; and
  • Youth Offending Teams/Services.

Sussex Police


The police have a primary responsibility to protect life, prevent crime and bring offenders to justice. All police officers and staff have a duty to safeguard children from abuse and neglect.


The role of the police when dealing with incidents of alleged abuse is to:

  • Ensure the immediate safety of any child;
  • Ascertain if a crime has been committed;
  • Identify any person responsible for committing any crime;
  • Seek to obtain all available evidence in relation to any identified crime;
  • Where appropriate protect children through the prosecution and conviction of offenders.

This will assist in complying with the objectives of the Sussex Police Child Protection Policy, which are:

  • Identify any children who have suffered, or are likely to suffer significant harm through abuse;
  • Prevent abuse occurring where there is an identified risk;
  • Investigate any criminal offences that may have been committed against a child as a result of abuse;
  • Prevent further abuse occurring where identified.

During the course of any police intervention the welfare of the child will remain paramount, and the police will work in co-operation with all other LSCB agencies.

General Response


Wherever possible, all referrals of alleged abuse will be investigated by officers from a Safeguarding Investigations Unit, who have received specialist training in joint working and the interviewing of children.


There will always be occasions when officers from other disciplines become involved in child protection investigations, and on such occasions they should ensure close liaison at the earliest practical opportunity with a Safeguarding Investigations Unit.


In most cases officers from the Safeguarding Investigations Unit will then assume responsibility for any investigation

Emergency Response


Whenever there is the need for emergency action to protect a child, contact should be made with the police via the 999 system. In such cases the attendance of uniformed response officers will normally occur.


All police officers have a power under Section 46 of the Children Act 1989 to remove a child from their parents or carers and place them in police protection. This power can be exercised when an officer believes a child would be likely to suffer significant harm. Wherever possible any decision to remove a child should be made by a court, rather than by the use of police protection.


The use of this power can involve removing a child from their home or a public place to suitable accommodation, or ensuring their removal from a place like a hospital is prevented. When the police use this power they must inform Children's Social Care, who are responsible for accommodating the child, and commencing a Section 47 Enquiry.

Investigative Response


The investigation of child abuse allegations will be undertaken by officers from a Safeguarding Investigations Unit. Routine referrals and information about children can be passed to the police by use of the non-emergency number 0845 60 70 999.


Safeguarding Investigations Units will be responsible for the following investigations:

  • All intra-familial allegations of abuse;
  • All other allegations of child abuse where a suspect has a family connection with a child;
  • Allegations involving persons who work with children;
  • Extra familial allegations of rape or serious sexual abuse where the victim is aged under 14 and there is an identified suspect under 14;
  • Sudden unexpected deaths of children;
  • Historical allegations of abuse where there are current child protection issues, or cases which are complex, contentious, or sensitive.

Safeguarding Investigations Units work closely with other police officers responsible for the investigation domestic abuse, adult protection, race and hate crime, and the monitoring of registered sex offenders.


In most cases officers from a Safeguarding Investigations Unit will jointly investigate allegations of abuse with social workers.


The police will actively share all relevant information with Children's Social Care


Any decision to prosecute will be taken in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, and will where possible take account of the views of other agencies. In all cases the wishes and feelings of any child will be considered, and their welfare will remain paramount.

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This page is correct as printed on Monday 16th of September 2019 09:29:58 AM please refer back to this website ( for updates.