The evaluation of arrangements for effective operation of the new local safeguarding children boards in England: final report
The report presents findings from the national evaluation of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs), commissioned by the then Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and Department of Health, to examine the extent to which LSCBs have overcome the weaknesses of Area Child Protection Committees, and the effectiveness of the Boards in meeting their objectives.
Both the statutory inquiry into the tragic death of Victoria Climbie, 2003, and the first joint Chief Inspectors’ Report on Safeguarding emphasise the importance of effective joint working between agencies and professionals to safeguard children from harm and to promote their welfare. Subsequent policy developments, underpinned by the Children Act 2004, are intended to ensure an integrated approach to service provision and that children achieve their potential in terms of being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, and making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being.
Working Together to Safeguard Children identifies one of the most important developments in this context as the establishment of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs). The Boards put former Area Child Protection Committees (ACPCs) on a statutory footing. Research had found that ACPCs lack of statutory power had limited their effectiveness. A series of other weaknesses were also identified including: variations in levels of representation and membership, structure and practice, poor leadership and insufficient resources.