Good practice at local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) is not dependent on having plentiful resources, according to a report published by Ofsted today (15 September).
John Goldup, Ofsted’s director of social care, said inexpensive cultural changes can have a significant impact on child protection provision.
“Things like councils selecting board members in a certain way or engaging with children and young people, gathering their opinions about the way things are run – these are not expensive things to put in place,” Goldup told Community Care. “Good practice is not automatically correlated with loads and loads of funding.”
The report said one way councils demonstrate good practice is by recruiting chairs with relevant skills and who are not afraid to challenge or be challenged. The report also stressed the importance of chairs remaining independent for these purposes.
Ofsted also highlighted strong multi-agency arrangements as good practice, though Goldup said authorities would have to be aware of potential changes in this area with the government’s removal of statutory children’s trusts.
“Seeing where LSCBs sit with the advent of the health and wellbeing boards is something for everyone to consider,” Goldup said.
“There are a lot of issues that need to be worked on and clarified about the working relationship between LSCBs and health and wellbeing boards, but the important thing is that safeguarding children boards need to continue their multi-agency focus.”
Another finding was that LSCBs can accomplish more by concentrating on a limited number of priorities determined by national research and local circumstance. Narrowing the scope, the report said, focused LSCBs on the most important tasks for their area.
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