We want to make sure that children and young people feel safe and cared for in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire. We hope that the following information is useful to those who want to know more about the work of the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).
LSCBs have been established by the government to ensure that organisations work together effectively to safeguard children and promote their welfare.
In Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire this includes
In fact, any organisation providing services for children.
Laura Eades Chair of Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board
Phil Picton Chair of Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Board
The Children Act 2004 places a duty on children’s services to establish local boards and sets out the agencies that will be ‘Board partners’ on the LSCB. The Act also places a duty for the authority and Board partners to cooperate with each other.
Further guidance for the LSCB is set out in "Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working." This defines the LSCB as, "the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how the relevant organisations…will cooperate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children…and ensuring the effectiveness of what they do."
The LSCB also has a role to contribute to the planning and delivery of children’s services through the Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP).
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children means:
Protecting children from maltreatment
Preventing the impairment of children’s heath or development
Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
Undertaking that role so as to enable those children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.
The scope of this role falls into three broad areas of activity:
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:
Proactive work that aims to target particular groups, for example:
Developing and evaluating thresholds and procedures for work with children and families where a child; has been identified as ‘in need’ under the Children Act 1989, but where the child is not suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm
Work to safeguard and promote the welfare of groups of children who are potentially more vulnerable than the general population, for example, children living away from home, children who have run away from home, children in custody, or disabled children
Responsive work to protect children who are suffering, or at risk of suffering harm, including:
Children abused and neglected within families, including those harmed in the context of domestic violence or as a consequence of substance misuse
Children abused outside families by adults known to them
Children abused and neglected by professional carers, within institutional settings, or anywhere else where children are cared for away from home
Children abused by strangers
Children abused by other young people
Young perpetrators of abuse; and
Children abused through prostitution
Although the LSCB’s role includes coordinating and ensuring the effectiveness of work done by member organisations to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people, it is not accountable for the operational work. This remains with the individual organisations and services. The LSCB does not have the power to direct other organisations.
Following disaggregation of Bedfordshire County Council into Bedford Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council the then Bedfordshire LSCB split into Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board and Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Board and each have their own Strategic Boards.
The Bedford Borough Strategic Board is chaired by Laura Eades and Phil Picton is the Independent Chair for Central Bedfordshire Strategic Board, both are Independent Chairs
The structure of both Safeguarding Children Boards under the Strategic Boards comprise of a Joint Steering Group that oversees the work of joint subgroups. The chairs of the sub-groups sit on the Joint Steering Group.
The subgroups are:
Policy and Procedures - responsible for developing policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and ensuring they are compliant with national requirements.
Performance Management & Audit - responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of work done to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
Training Commissioning - will sit above the Training, Development and Implementation Group (TDIG) to commission, monitor and scrutinise the training on behalf of the LSCB. Representatives of agencies sitting on this group will be at a senior level, able to release resources and speak on behalf of their agency
Training & Development Implementation - responsible for undertaking an annual training and development needs analysis and delivering a programme of multi-agency training to meet the identified needs
Communications - responsible for developing and implementing the Communications strategy for the LSCB, including improving interagency communication, raising public awareness and working with local media
Serious Case Review Panel - responsible for reviewing cases where a child has died or has been seriously harmed in circumstances where abuse or neglect is know or suspected, and advising on the lessons that can be learned;
Child Death Overview Panel - (this becomes statutorily operational in April 2008), responsible for reviewing all deaths of children aged 0-18 years resident in Bedfordshire at the time of their death, to identify patterns or trends and consider how such deaths might be prevented in the future.