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2.1 Solihull Local Safeguarding Children Partnership


NOTE

The Department for Education has released the updated version of Working Together to Safeguard Children. Following the release of the revised guidance, local authority areas have until the 29th June 2019 to make the transition from LSCPs to safeguarding partner and child death review partner arrangements.

They must have published their arrangements by 29th June 2019, but may do so at any time before the end of that period. Following publication of their arrangements, the safeguarding partners have up to 3 months from the date of publication to implement the arrangements. All new local arrangements must have been implemented by 29th September 2019.

The Safeguarding Partners working with LSCP will keep you informed of any changes and the procedure will be updated to reflect these new arrangements.

Contents

  1. LSCP Objectives
  2. Child Protection - v - Safeguarding
  3. LSCP Values
  4. LSCP Functions
  5. Membership
  6. Chairperson / Vice Chairperson
  7. Structure
  8. LSCP Annual Report


1. LSCP Objectives

1.1 The Children Act 2004 required each local authority to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCP) to ensure effective coordination between agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area.
1.2 Solihull LSCP, therefore, is a statutory strategic multi-agency forum whose core objectives, as set out in Section 14 (1) of the Children Act 2004, are as follows:
  • To co-ordinate what is done by each person or body represented on the LSCP for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in Solihull; and
  • To ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each such person or body for that purpose.


2. Child Protection - v - Safeguarding

2.1 Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare is the process of protecting children from abuse or Neglect, preventing impairment of their health and development, and ensuring they are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care which is undertaken so as to enable children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.
2.2 Child Protection is a subset of safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare. Child Protection refers to the activity which is undertaken to protect specific children and young people who are suffering or are at risk of suffering Significant Harm.


3. LSCP Values

3.1

The following shared values guide the work of the LSCP and are promoted by all Board Members.

  1. All children and young people have a right to be safe from abuse and neglect;
  2. All our work is underpinned by the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  3. Children and young peoples' well-being and safety will be at the heart of all our work;
  4. All children and young people are unique and all our work will consider and address issues of diversity and vulnerability;
  5. Agencies and their staff have a shared responsibility to work together and safeguard children and young people and promote their welfare;
  6. Prevention strategies will be an important aspect of our work to safeguard children and young people;
  7. The active involvement of children, young people and their families will be incorporated in our work.


4. LSCP Functions

4.1

To achieve its objectives, the LSCP performs the following functions as set out in Working Together  2015:

Section 14 of the Children Act 2004 sets out the objectives of LSCPs, which are:

  1. 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
  2. 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 LSCP, in relation to the above objectives under section 14 of the Children Act 2004, are as follows:

1(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.
4.2

The LSCP’s role includes ensuring that local agencies work together to put processes in place for the effective assessment of the needs of individual children who may benefit from early help services.

The LSCP has an important role in monitoring effectiveness and, in order to fulfil its statutory functions, the LSCP will use data and, as a minimum, will:

  • Assess the effectiveness of the help being provided to children and families, including early help;
  • Assess whether LSCP partners are fulfilling their statutory obligations;
  • Quality assure practice, including through joint audits of case files involving practitioners and identifying lessons to be learned; and
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of training, including multi-agency training, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The Children's Safeguarding Performance Information Framework provides a mechanism to help do this by setting out some of the questions a LSCP should consider.


5. Membership

5.1

Membership of the Solihull LSCP is made up of representatives of:

  • Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust;
  • CAFCASS;
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Hospital;
  • Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust;
  • Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group;
  • Solihull Community Housing Limited;
  • Solihull MBC;
  • UK Visas and Immigration;
  • West Midlands Police;
  • NHS England;
  • Youth Offending Service;
  • Two representatives of the local community. (Their role is described in Working Together 2015);
  • Representation from schools, which 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.
5.2

All executive members of the LSCP are required to fulfil the LSCP job description and must also have been determined by their respective agencies to be able to do so.

The LSCP will  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 Lead Member for Children should be a participating observer of the LSCP. In practice this means routinely attending meetings as an observer and receiving all its written reports.


6. Chairperson/Vice Chairperson

6.1

In order to provide effective scrutiny, the LSCP should not be subordinate to, nor subsumed within, other local structures.

The LSCP has 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 LSCP chair with the agreement of a panel including LSCP partners and lay members. The Chief Executive, drawing on other LSCP partners and, where appropriate, the Lead Member will hold the Chair to account for the effective working of the LSCP.


7. Structure

7.1

Solihull LSCP has the following sub-groups to support its work:

  • Learning & Development;
  • Practice & Procedures;
  • Child Death Overview Panel;
  • Chairpersons;
  • Child Exploitation Steering Group.
7.2 All of these sub-groups are;
  • Accountable to the LSCP;
  • Operate within agreed terms of reference
  • Chaired by a member of the LSCP


8. LSCP 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 LSCP by partner agencies and details of what the LSCP has spent, including on Child Death Reviews, Serious Case Reviews and other specific expenditure such as learning events or training.

End