Hounslow Safeguarding Children Board (HSCB) is a statutory board, which requires all organisations that work with children and young people to cooperate and work together to keep children safe from harm. Local Safeguarding Children Boards became a legal requirement for all local authorities in April 2006.
The legislation underpinning the work of the HSCB is set out in Section 14 of the Children Act 2004, which provides a comprehensive framework for the care and protection of children. The objectives are:
(a) 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
(b) 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:
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.
Detailed statutory guidance for all LSCBs is contained in the document Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.
The HSCB is a multi-agency board that scrutinises the work of all agencies to ensure the protection of children remains a priority for everyone. This is done partly through regular meetings of senior representatives from all agencies but also through the work of the HSCB sub-groups and through learning and development events organised by the board.
The statutory members of Hounslow Safeguarding Children Board includes:
It is the responsibility of these organisations to ensure that they are working effectively as a multi-agency body of professionals to safeguard and protect children and young people in Hounslow.
The HSCB must ensure that clear local procedures are in place to support any person working with to address any concerns they have about a child and to safeguard them from harm.