12.1 Local Safeguarding Board – Role and Function
In September 2015, this chapter was updated to reflect Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.
- Scope of the LSCB Role
- LSCB Functions
- LSCB Chair
- LSCB Membership
- Integration with Other Forums
- LSCB Annual Report
- Specific Arrangements in each LSCB
The Children Act 2004 requires each Local Authority to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB). The LSCB is the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how the relevant organisations in each area will co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children within the Authority, and for ensuring the effectiveness of what they do.
For further more detailed information, please refer to Chapter 3 of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 and the Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006.
For specific arrangements in each LSCB, please see the following websites, which will include the Annual Reports:
The core objectives of the LSCB are set out in section 14(1) of the Children Act 2004 as follows:
Scope of the LSCB Role
The scope of LSCB role includes safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in three broad areas of activity.
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. For example:
Second, proactive work that aims to target particular groups. For example:
Thirdly, responsive work to protect children who are suffering, or likely to suffer harm, including:
The core functions of the LSCBs are set out in primary legislation and regulations (Note: The Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006. Further detail is given in Chapter 3 of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, which outlines that the functions of the LSCB include:
Regulation 5 (2) which relates to the LSCB Serious Case Reviews function and regulation 6 which relates to the LSCB Child Death functions are covered in chapter 4 of the guidance.
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.
An LSCB may also engage in any other activity that facilitates, or is conducive to, the achievement of its objective.
In order to provide effective scrutiny, the LSCB should be independent. It should not be subordinate to, nor subsumed within, other local structures.
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.
The LSCB is made of organisations which will designate particular, named people as their LSCB member so that there is a consistency and continuity in membership.
Members will be those with a strategic role in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children within their organisation. They should be able to:
Statutory Members of the LSCB must include:
The Local Authority should ensure that those responsible for adult social services functions are represented on the SCB, because of the importance of adult social care in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Similarly health organisations should ensure that adult health services and in particular adult mental health and adult disability services are represented on the SCB.
The Local Authority should also secure the involvement of other relevant local organisations and the NSPCC where a representative is made available.
In addition, two representatives of the local community should be appointed as full LSCB members (their role is described in Working Together 2015) and the LSCB must also appoint representation from schools. 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 or an Academy; and the governing body of a further education institution the main site of which is situated in the authority's area. Independent schools should also be included as appropriate.
LSCBs should engage with faith groups, children's centres, GPs, independent healthcare organisations, and voluntary and community sector organisations including bodies providing specialist care to children with severe disabilities and complex health needs.
In areas where they have significant local activity, the armed forces (in relation both to the families of Service men and women and those personnel that are under the age of 18), UK Visas and Immigration (formerly UK Border Agency) should also be included.
Where the number or size of similar organisations precludes individual representation on the LSCB, for example in the case of schools or voluntary youth bodies, the Local Authority should seek to involve then through existing networks or forums, or by encouraging and developing suitable networks or forums to facilitate communication between organisations and with the LSCB.
Involvement of other agencies and groups
Each LSCB should make appropriate arrangements at a strategic management level to involve others in its work as needed. For example, there may be some organisations or individuals which are in theory represented by the statutory Board partners but which need to be engaged because of their particular role in service provision to children and families or role in public protection. There will be other organisations which the LSCB needs to link to, either through inviting them to join the LSCB or through some other mechanism. For example:
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.
The LSCB also need to draw on the work key national organisations and liaise with them where necessary, for example the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.
Integration with Other Forums
It is important that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is seen as part of the wider context of the Children's Trust and that the LSCB's policies, guidance and procedures such as these, reflect and contribute to the wider goals of improving the wellbeing of all children. The LSCB complements the role of the Children's Trust Board and the LSCB should be represented on the Children's Trust Board although the two bodies should be chaired by different people.
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.
LSCB Annual Report
The Chair must publish an annual report on the effectiveness of child safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the local area (this is a statutory requirement under Section 14A of the Children Act 2004). 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 Wellbeing Board.
The report should provide a rigorous and transparent assessment of the performance and effectiveness of local services. It should identify areas of weakness, the causes of those weaknesses and the action being taken to address them as well as other proposals for action. The report should include lessons from reviews undertaken within the reporting period.
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.
Specific Arrangements in each LSCB
There are specific arrangements for each LSCB in East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove with regard to
These are determined locally by each board and are covered in their terms of reference. These are available on each Board's website: