Slough's Local Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB) was established at the same time as the Children's Trust, whose work it checks and contributes to from a safeguarding perspective. Its primary aim is to ensure that statutory and voluntary agencies in Slough work together with children, young people, their families and communities to protect children and young people from harm and promote welfare. This will support them in achieving their potential and enable them to grow up healthy and well cared for.
Safeguarding is accepted to be everybody's business. Effective protection of children and the promotion of their welfare is achieved through greater awareness amongst professionals and the public of the potential risks to children.
Risks can be identified at an early stage and action taken to prevent or minmise the impact on children and young people
Slough's LSCB and its member organisations are required to:
- Coordinate the safeguarding activities of all key partners (including local communities and children, young people and families
- Ensure the effectiveness of that activity in safeguarding and promoting welfare
- Monitor the effectiveness of agencies' actions and collaboration to safeguard and promote children and young people's welfare
- Establish new systems for reviewing all child deaths, ensuring greater independence and accountability
- Oversee inter-agency arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are privately fostered
- Ensure that partner agencies work together strategically via the LSCB to address the wider safeguarding agenda.
The board's current priorities for work in 2008 include:
- Reviewing and adjusting the work programme
- Establishing and embedding the new Child Death Review processes locally
- Ensuring the effective implementation of safe recruitment and of the new vetting and barring arrangements for all adults working with children and young people in Slough
- Focusing on the safeguarding needs of particular groups of vulnerable children, with particular reference to the strengths and needs of Slough's diverse local communities
- Implementing forthcoming new government guidance to safeguard children and young people who may have been 'trafficked'
- Reviewing, and if necessary improving, the board's governance arrangements, including clarifying and agreeing the board's links into Slough Focus (Slough's Local Strategic Partnership)
- Reviewing the implementation of the Berkshire child protection procedures and work across the Thames Valley to develop consistent procedures across the wider area
- Agreeing the resources required for the board to deliver its work plan and agreeing how these are to be provided across partner agencies to ensure effective future compliance with the board's statutory responsibilities to oversee safeguarding arrangements for children and young people in Slough.
Child Protection Procedures
Abuse can happen to any child or young person irrespective of age, social background or ethnic group. This abuse could be carried out by anyone but commonly may involve a family member, a friend of the family or a carer.
All children deserve the opportunity to achieve their full potential and have the right to be safeguarded from harm and exploitation without regard to:
- Race, Religion, preferred language or ethnicity
- Age, gender, health, sexuality or disability
- Location or placement
- Criminal behaviour or
- Political or immigration status
If you believe that a child may be suffering or at risk of significant harm do not ignore it. If you suspect that a child is being abused you must contact us or the police.
Children's welfare can only be safeguarded and promoted and individuals at risk protected when all relevant agencies and individuals accept their share of responsibility and cooperate with one another.
The Agencies in Slough that agree to follow child protection protocols include:
- Children and Adults Social Care
- Children's services
- Thames Valley Police
- All health services
- Housing, libraries, youth and leisure services
- Youth Offending Teams and Probation Service
- Early Years development Child Care Partnerships
- Sure Start, Children's Fund
- Fire and Rescue Authority
- Ambulance Service
- Children and Families Courts Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS)
These agencies have an obligation to register statements about or allegations of abuse or neglect made by children and take them seriously.
The wishes and feelings of children are vital elements in assessing risk and formulating protection plans, and must always be sought and given due consideration according to their level of understanding.
If enquiries take place the involvement and support of those who have parental responsibility for or regular care of a child, should be encouraged and facilitated, unless doing so compromises that enquiry or the child's immediate or long term welfare.
Those planning, delivering, monitoring and providing training must, in recognition of diversity and to facilitate social inclusion and equality of potential outcome, take all reasonable steps to support parents and children who have experienced racism and other forms of prejudice.
On 7th September 2009 practitioners will need to destroy or recycle the 2006 Berkshire Child Protection Procedures – both the small and large versions of the "Pink Book". It will no longer contain up-to-date guidance on child protection.
From the same date, the Berkshire Child Protection Procedures will be live and available online. Scroll down to the more information box for more documentation on these changes.
It is the intention of all partner agencies to ensure:
- Best use of agency resources so as to reduce the frequency and extent to which any child in the relevant areas suffer significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect
- A prompt and effective 'needs-led' response when it appears that a child may be at risk of abuse or neglect
- Agency policies and practices reflect the fact that all children in need of safeguarding or protection are 'children in need' and are consequently entitled to family support services
- Staff are adequately trained, managed and supervised so as to operate efficiently to agreed procedures
- All services are provided in a manner which does not discriminate in any unlawful or unprofessional way and which at organisational and individual levels respects cultural diversity, the right to family life of all individuals involved and confidentiality of information generated
- Steadily improving effectiveness of inter-agency protection by building into case and service planning the views and experiences of child and adult service users
Partner agencies will:
- Develop and maintain effective quality assurance systems for monitoring the results of inter-authority child protection coordination
- Develop formal processes for consultation with and feedback from service users so as to improve the sensitivity and effectiveness of inter-agency work
- Provide for aggrieved service users, effective complaints procedures that are objective, reliable and credible
- Develop country wide forums for the discussion of the most effective ways of tackling the challenges of safeguarding
- Develop, maintain and promote information for service users about protection policies and procedures
- Develop and implement child protection policies facilitating equality of opportunity in outcomes for individual children
- Provide and promote multi agency training
- Recruitment processes highlight inappropriate staff
- Enable staff to recognise factors associated with child abuse
- Share information effectively across agencies
- Ensure that help and support is provided in accordance with need
- Aim to prevent abuse or neglect through multi-agency public protection arrangements
- Regular audit to assess practice of staff in agencies