Local Safeguarding Children Boards
The Children Act 2004 led to the establishment of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB's) replacing 'Area Child Protection Committees'.
The core duty of an LSCB is to ensure that there are adequate arrangements in place across agencies to protect children from harm. There are also obligations placed upon LSCBs to ensure that the welfare of children is promoted.
Statutory objectives and functions of LSCBs
The core functions of an LSCB are set out within 'The Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations, 2005'. They range from the development of policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children to communication and awareness raising and to monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of safeguarding work within the local authority area. LSCB's also have a responsibility to carry out reviews of serious cases and, from April 2008, to have in place systems for responding to and analysing unexpected deaths of children.
Section 14 of the Children Act 2004 sets out the objectives of LSCBs, which are:
- to coordinate 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; and
- to ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each such person or body for those purposes.
Regulation 5 of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006 sets out that the functions of the LSCB in relation to the above objectives under section 14 of the Children Act 2004, are 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:
- the action to be taken where there are concerns about a child's safety or welfare, including thresholds for intervention;
- training of persons who work with children or in services affecting the safety and welfare of children;
- recruitment and supervision of persons who work with children;
- investigation of allegations concerning persons who work with children;
- safety and welfare of children who are privately fostered;
- cooperation with neighbouring children's services authorities and their Board partners;
- 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;
- 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;
- participating in the planning of services for children in the area of the authority; and
- undertaking reviews of serious cases and advising the authority and their Board partners on lessons to be learned.
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 this 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.
The Bristol Safeguarding Children Board
The Bristol Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) was established in 2006. It is led by an independent Chair, Sally Lewis, consists of local agencies and is supported by a Joint Safeguarding Business Unit. It meets in central Bristol once per quarter - you can find minutes of our most recent meetings here [link to About us / The Board / Board minutes]. Further pieces of specific work are undertaken by a number of sub groups, outlined here. [Link to About us / Board / Sub groups]
The main function of Bristol Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) is to co-ordinate and lead work on child protection within Bristol. In doing so BSCB provides policies and procedures to enable those working with children and young people to actively ensure that they are working to safeguard the welfare of those children and young people. These policies and procedures, once implemented, are also audited to ensure they are improving the quality of services to children and young people in Bristol. Visit the Professionals page [LINK] for more information on policies.
Report a concern
If you have immediate concerns about your own or someone else’s safety, call the Police on 999. If it isn’t an emergency but you need help fast, call the Police on 101.
If you suspect that a child in Bristol is being or at risk of abuse or neglect, contact First Response on 0117 903 6444 or visit the website at https://www.bristol.gov.uk/social-care-health/reporting-concerns-about-a-child-first-response. You will be directed to different forms depending on whether you are a member of the public or a professional.