Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children requires effective co-ordination in every local area. For this reason, the Children Act 2004 required each Local Authority (LA) to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB). Previously every LA had an Area Child Protection Committee (ACPC). Trafford’s Safeguarding Children Board was established in April 2006.
Trafford Safeguarding Children Board (TSCB) is the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how the relevant organisations in Trafford will co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in that locality, and for ensuring the effectiveness of what they do.
The Role of TSCB
The work of TSCB is part of the wider context of Children’s Trust arrangements that aim to improve the overall wellbeing (across the five Every Child Matters outcomes) of all children in the local area.
The scope of TSCB role falls into three broad areas of activity:
- Firstly it engages in activities that safeguard 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.
- Secondly it leads and co-ordinates pro-active work that aims to target particular groups.
- Thirdly it leads and co-ordinates arrangements for responsive work to protect children who are suffering, or at risk of suffering, maltreatment.
Statutory functions of TSCB
Regulation 5 of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006 sets out that the functions of the TSCB as follows:
(a) developing policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area of the authority, including policies and procedures in relation to:
(i) the action to be taken where there are concerns about a child’s safety or welfare, including thresholds for intervention;
(ii) training of persons who work with children or in services affecting the safety and welfare of children;
(iii) recruitment and supervision of persons who work with children;
(iv) investigation of allegations concerning persons who work with children;
(v) safety and welfare of children who are privately fostered;
(vi) cooperation with neighbouring children’s services authorities and their Board partners;
(b) communicating to persons and bodies in the area of the authority the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, raising their awareness of how this can best be done and encouraging them to do so;
(c) monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of what is done by the authority and their Board partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and advising them on ways to improve;
(d) participating in the planning of services for children in the area of the authority; and
(e) undertaking reviews of serious cases and advising the authority and their Board partners on lessons to be learned.
The membership of TSCB comprises of statutory and non-statutory members from different services and agencies in Trafford. In addition the Board receives input from professional advisors, they are:
- Designated Doctor Safeguarding.
- Designated Nurse Safeguarding.
- Professional Advisor Social Care.
- Professional Advisor Legal Services.
Members hold a strategic role in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children within their organisation and should be able to:
- speak for their organisation with authority.
- commit their organisation on policy and practice matters.
- hold their organisation to account.
The Role of the Elected Members
Local Authority Elected Members and non-executive directors of other Board partners are not members of TSCB. Their role through their membership of governance bodies such as the cabinet of the Local Authority or a scrutiny committee or a governance board, is to hold their organisation and its officers to account for their contribution to the effective functioning of the TSCB.
The lead member of Children’s Services within the Local Authority has a particular focus on how the Local Authority is fulfilling its responsibilities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and will hold the Director of Children’s Services to account for the work of TSCB.
TSCB includes representatives of the Local Authority and its Board partners (as set out in the Children Act (2004), statutory organisations which are required to co-operate with the Local Authority in the establishment and operation of the Board and have shared responsibility for the effective discharge of its functions.
- Chief Superintendent, Greater Manchester Police.
- Greater Manchester Probation Service.
- Youth Offending Service.
- Primary Care Trust.
- Greater Manchester West Mental Health Foundation Trust.
- Connexions Service.
- CAFCASS (Children and Family Courts Advisory and Support Services).
- Children & Young Peoples Service.
- Trafford Healthcare NHS Trusts.
The Local Authority will ensure that those responsible for Adult Social Service functions are represented on TSCB because of the importance of Adult Social Care in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Similarly, health organisations will ensure that Adult Health Services and in particular, Mental Health and Adult Disability Services are represented on TSCB.
The Children Act 2004 says that the Local Authority and its partners must co-operate in the establishment and operation of an LSCB (Local Safeguarding Children Board). This places an obligation on the Local Authority and statutory partners to support the operation of TSCB.
Other members of TSCB include representatives from the Voluntary and Community Sector including the NSPCC and representatives from both Primary and Secondary schools, Special schools and Further Education Colleges.
Involvement of Other Agencies and Groups
There may be some organisations or individuals who are in theory represented by the statutory board partners but who need to be engaged because of their particular role in service provision to children and families or their role in public protection. Furthermore, there will be other organisations which TSCB need to link to, either through inviting them to join TSCB, or through some other mechanism.
- Greater Manchester Fire Service.
- The coronial service.
- Dental health services.
- Domestic abuse forums.
- Drug and alcohol misuse services.
- Housing providers.
- Local Authority Legal Services.
- Local MAPPA.
- Local sports bodies and services.
- Local Family Justice Council.
- Local Criminal Justice Board.
- Other health providers such as pharmacists.
- Representatives of service users.
- Sexual health services.
- The Crown Prosecution Service.
- Witness Support Services.
TSCB will also draw on the work of key national organisations and liaise with them when necessary.
Ways of Working
TSCB has a Constitution which outlines:
- Objectives and functions.
- Committees which will carry out specific tasks.
TSCB Committees are:
TSCB Committees and working groups meet to undertake the detailed work of the Board. The current committees are as follows:
Learning and improvement committee – chaired by the designated safeguarding nurse
Performance and management audit committee – chaired by Divisional Head of Nursing
Policy and practice committee – chaired by senior social care manager
Child sexual exploitation strategy group – chaired by Area Head of Service
TSCB has an annual budget which resources inter-agency training and serious case reviews. Member organisations also contribute to the work of TSCB committees.
The funding requirement of the TSCB will depend on its circumstances and the work which it plans to undertake (which will in turn depend on the division of responsibilities between the TSCB and other parts of the wider Children’s Trust partnership). However, each LSCB will have a core minimum of work.
The TSCB’s resources will need to enable it to have staff to take forward its business, whether those are paid for from a common fund, or seconded as part of a contribution in kind. The particular staffing of each LSCB should be agreed locally by the Board partners. An effective LSCB needs to be staffed so that it has the capacity to:
- drive forward the TSCB’s day to day business in achieving its objectives, including its co-ordination and monitoring/evaluating work.
- take forward any training and staff development work carried out by the TSCB, in the context of the local workforce strategy.
- provide administrative and organisational support for the Board and its sub-committees, and those involved in policy and training.
Monitoring and Inspection
The TSCB work to ensure the effectiveness of work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children by member organisations will be a peer review process, based on self evaluation, performance indicators and joint audit. Its aim is to promote high standards of safeguarding work and to foster a culture of continuous improvement. It will also act on the identified weaknesses in services.
The local inspection framework will play an important role in reinforcing the ongoing monitoring work of TSCB, and all LA’s will be subjected to a Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) to assess the quality of provision of Council services, including those provided to children. In addition there will be an annual inspection by OFSTED of local authority safeguarding services.
The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 introduces a requirement for TSCB to produce and publish an annual report on the effectiveness of safeguarding in the local area. This report should provide an assessment of the effectiveness of local arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, set against a comprehensive analysis of the local area safeguarding context. It should recognise achievements and the progress that has been made in the local authority area as well as providing a realistic assessment of the challenges that still remain.
The TSCB must send a copy of the annual report to the Children’s Trust Board. The Children’s Trust Board will in turn be expected to respond to reports through the local Children and Young People’s Plan. In preparing the Children and Young People’s Plan, Children’s Trust Boards will be expected to draw upon the advice from and the findings in the TSCB annual report, and show how they intend to respond to the issues raised.