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2.2 Agency Roles and Responsibilities

RELATED GUIDANCE

Working Together to Safeguard Children

Keeping Children Safe in Education

Information sharing: Advice for Safeguarding Practitioners

AMENDMENT

In March 2019, this chapter was revised to reflect updated guidance for organisations, agencies and individuals to ensure that their functions, and any services that they contract out to others, are carried out with regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as set out in Chapter 2: Organisational Responsibilities in Working Together to Safeguard Children.


Contents

  1. Scope and Function of the LSCB
  2. Accountability for Operational Work
  3. Agencies Working Under the Auspices of the LSCB


1. Scope and Function of the LSCB

The specific responsibilities of the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board are:

  • To hold agencies to account for the effectiveness of their work in safeguarding children;
  • To develop and agree inter-agency policies, procedures and protocols which focus on safeguarding children, including thresholds for intervention;
  • To monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of what is done by the local authority and Board partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and advise them on ways to improve;
  • To promote the safest possible practices in relation to the recruitment and selection of all those who work with children in a statutory and voluntary capacity;
  • To ensure that allegations concerning persons working with children are dealt with properly and quickly;
  • To develop policies and procedures which focus on the need for adult services to recognise the impact of adult problems on children's welfare and to ensure training programmes enable services that work primarily with adults respond appropriately to the needs of adults as parents;
  • To undertake reviews of cases where a child has died or has been seriously harmed in circumstances where abuse or neglect is known or suspected and advising on lessons which can be learned;
  • To promote the safety of children in Lincolnshire, including collating and analysing information about the deaths of all children in the area;
  • To promote, encourage and sustain a community involvement in safeguarding children, and improving levels of safety for children;
  • To ensure the co-ordination and effective implementation of measures to strengthen private fostering notification arrangements and to receive an annual private fostering report submitted by the local authority;
  • To ensure that single agency and inter-agency training on safeguarding and promoting welfare is provided in order to meet local needs;
  • To ensure the Board is adequately resourced and supported to carry out its function as defined by statutory guidance;
  • To receive reports on matters of local and national relevance relating to the objectives of the Board;
  • To publicise materials which highlight issues relating to the protection and safety of children, ensuring that the views and opinions of young people are taken into account;
  • To participate in the local planning and commissioning of children's services to ensure that they take safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children into account;
  • To ensure appropriate links with the Lincolnshire Secure Unit and report annually to the Youth Justice Board on how effectively the establishment is managing the use of restraint;
  • To publish an Annual Report in line with the requirements of The Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009;
  • To act as the 'responsible' authority for 'matters relating to the protection of children from harm' under the licensing Act 2003;
  • In agreement with the Children's Trust Board to lead on other activity that facilitates, or is conducive to the achievement of the objectives of the LSCB.


2. Accountability for Operational Work

Organisations, agencies and individuals covered by Section 11 duties should have in place arrangements that reflect the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children including:

  • A clear line of accountability for the commissioning and/or provision of services designed to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
  • A senior board level lead with the required knowledge, skills and expertise or sufficiently qualified and experienced to take leadership responsibility for the organisation's safeguarding arrangements;
  • A culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, both in individual decisions and the development of services;
  • Clear whistleblowing procedures, which reflect the principles in Sir Robert Francis's Freedom to Speak Up review and are suitably referenced in staff training and codes of conduct, and a culture that enables issues about safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children to be addressed;
  • Clear escalation policies for staff to follow when their child safeguarding concerns are not being addressed within their organisation or by other agencies;
  • Arrangements which set out clearly the processes for sharing information, with other professionals and with safeguarding partners;
  • A designated professional lead (or, for health commissioning and health provider organisations, designated and named professionals) for child safeguarding. Their role is to support other professionals in their agencies to recognise the needs of children, including protection from possible abuse or neglect. Designated professional roles should always be explicitly defined in job descriptions. Professionals should be given sufficient time, funding, supervision and support to fulfil their child welfare and safeguarding responsibilities effectively;
  • Safe recruitment practices for individuals whom the organisation will permit to work regularly with children, including policies on when to obtain a criminal record check;
  • Appropriate supervision and support for staff, including undertaking safeguarding training;
  • Creating a culture of safety, equality and protection within the services they provide.
  • In addition:
    • Employers, school governors and trustees are responsible for ensuring that their staff are competent to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and creating an environment where staff feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in their safeguarding role;
    • Staff should be given a mandatory induction, which includes familiarisation with child protection responsibilities and procedures to be followed if anyone has any concerns about a child's safety or welfare.

All professionals should have regular reviews of their own practice to ensure their knowledge, skills and expertise that improve over time.

People in Positions of Trust: organisations and agencies working with children and families should have clear policies for dealing with allegations against people who work with children. Such policies should make a clear distinction between an allegation, a concern about the quality of care or practice or a complaint.

Members of the LSCB will be held to account for challenge within their own organisations.


3. Agencies Working Under the Auspices of the LSCB

Section 11(4) of The Children Act 2004 places a duty on:

  • Local authorities and district councils that provide children’s and other types of services, including children’s and adult social care services, public health, housing, sport, culture and leisure services, licensing authorities and youth services;
  • NHS organisations and agencies and the independent sector, including NHS England and clinical commissioning groups, NHS Trusts, NHS Foundation Trusts and General Practitioners;
  • The police, including police and crime commissioners and the chief officer of each police force in England and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in London;
  • The British Transport Police;
  • The National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs);
  • Governors/Directors of Prisons and Young Offender Institutions (YOIs);
  • Directors of Secure Training Centres (STCs);
  • Principals of Secure Colleges;
  • Youth Offending Teams/Services (YOTs).

In addition, where private, community or voluntary organisations are commissioned to provide services on behalf of one of the above agencies, the arrangements under which the arrangements are made should require that the private/voluntary organisation takes this guidance into account in the provision of services.

A list of agencies commissioned to deliver services on behalf of a statutory body will also be collated.

Other private/voluntary/community organisations that come into contact with or offer services to children in Lincolnshire will be asked as a matter of good practice to take account of this guidance.

3.1 Early Years and Childcare

Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS), Section 3, The safeguarding and welfare requirements.

This includes:

  • A practitioner must be designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding children in every setting. Childminders must take the lead responsibility themselves. The lead practitioner is responsible for liaison with local statutory children's services agencies, and with the LSCB. They must provide support, advice and guidance to any other staff on an ongoing basis, and on any specific safeguarding issue as required. The lead practitioner must attend a child protection training course that enables them to identify, understand and respond appropriately to signs of possible abuse and neglect.

Providers must train all staff to understand their safeguarding policy and procedures, and ensure that all staff have up to date knowledge of safeguarding issues.

See also: Ofsted 2016 guidance, Section 5.2, Inspecting how leaders and governors create a safeguarding culture.

This includes:

  • During term time, or when the setting is in operation, the designated safeguarding lead or an appropriately trained deputy should be available during opening hours for staff to discuss safeguarding concerns.

End