Child protection role outlined for children’s centres

The government has recommended that children’s centres
take on a key role in child protection arrangements when the new
Local Safeguarding Children Boards are rolled out next April.

In a major consultation on safeguarding children, the Department
for Education and Skills has called on local authorities to involve
children’s centres in the work of the boards, which will
replace Area Child Protection Committees.

The draft guidelines also make clear that schools, further
education colleges and care providers for children with complex
needs will be expected to work with the boards, and that all
educational institutions will need to appoint a senior member of
staff to take the lead in dealing with child protection

Unlike their predecessors, the boards will have statutory powers,
and various agencies, including the Children and Family Court
Advisory and Support Service, will be legally required to

As well as focusing on multi-agency training around child
protection, the consultation states boards should consider taking a
policy lead on bullying and domestic violence.

The draft guidelines also reveal the government’s intention
to forge ahead with plans to scrap the child protection register
once the deadline for ensuring all children’s social care
records are electronically held passes at the end of this

Although concern has been expressed over potential risks to
children on the register during the transition period, a DfES
spokesperson confirmed that local authorities would be expected to
phase the registers out by January 2007, subject to the outcome of
the consultation.

Safeguarding consultation guidance from

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