Welcome to the Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board & Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Boards website.
We want to make sure that children and young people feel safe and cared for in Bedford Borough & Central Bedfordshire.
Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) have been established by the government to ensure that organisations work together effectively to safeguard children and promote their welfare. In Bedford Borough & Central Bedfordshire this includes social care services, education, health, the police, probation, the voluntary sector, youth offending services, early years services - in fact, any organisation providing services for children.
We hope that children and young people, families and communities will use the website as well as professionals working with children.
Jenny Myers - Independent Chair of Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board
Phil Picton - Independent Chair of Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Board
What does the LSCB do?
Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board & Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Boards are an inter-agency forum for:
- Coordinating the work done by the various agencies to safeguard children and promote their welfare, and
- Ensuring that this work is carried out effectively
The LSCB's objectives and purpose.
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 Strategic Plan (CYPSP).
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.
- Mechanisms to identify abuse and neglect wherever they occur
- Work to increase understanding of safeguarding children issues in the professional and wider community, promoting the message that safeguarding is everybody's responsibility
- Work to ensure that organisations working, or in contact with children, operate recruitment and human resource practices that take account of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
- Monitoring the effectiveness of organisations' implementation of their duties under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 (arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children)
- Ensuring children know who they can contact when they have concerns about their own or other's safety and welfare
- Ensuring that adults know who they can contact if they have a concern about a child or young person
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
Accountability and governance
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.
The Strategic Boards of the LSCBs are chaired by the Independent Chairs.
The work of the Bedford Borough & Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Boards is led by the Joint Steering Group. Work is delegated to either one of the following subgroups or time limited task and finish groups;
The subgroups are:
- Joint Performance Mnaagemnet & Audit - responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of work done to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
- Joint Executive 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
I hope that this gives you some idea as to how the LSCB functions if you have any queries or questions please do not hesitate to contact us, for contact details see the contacts page.
Safeguarding Children Boards Business Manager