Role of the Board
Enfield Safeguarding Children Board is as a statutory body and has a range of roles including developing policies and procedures and scrutinising and challenging local safeguarding practice.
Section 14 of the Children Act 2004 sets out the Objectives for the local safeguarding children board (LSCB) as:
- 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;
- To ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each such person or body for these purposes
While the ESCB does not have the power to direct partner agencies, it has a role in making clear where improvement is needed.
The role of the Board, therefore, is to have an independent coordinating and challenge role around safeguarding practice across its partner agencies. Within Enfield this is carried out via each of the sub-groups.
All sub-groups of the Board are supported by the different agencies, with each having multi-agency membership.
Enfield Safeguarding Board Sub-Groups
Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)
The Child Death Overview Panel meets to review the deaths of Enfield infants and children. Cases are reviewed and assessed as to whether there are any modifiable factors i.e. could anything have been done or be done in the future to prevent such deaths. As a result of this, annual professional update sessions are held to remind practitioners of for example the evidence around sudden unexplained deaths in infancy (SUDI) and safer sleeping. Such cases continue to be monitored and any arising themes will form the basis of future awareness raising sessions. Learning is also coordinated with information from other CDOP’s nationally so that any lessons can be identified and included in training programmes and the work of the Board.
This group focuses on the area of child sexual exploitation and trafficking and also considers the issue of missing children.
The group produces protocols and guidance and works to update agencies’ understanding of the key issues via training and learning. A further area of work for this group has been the completion of a risk assessment form to enable better coordination across the different agencies when dealing with missing children and young people so that improved support can be put in place. Key to the success of this has been a close partnership with St Christopher’s Fellowship and multi-agency Single Point of Entry Service within the Council which deals with initial safeguarding concerns before cases are referred to the appropriate agencies for action.
The group produces an annual training plan to enable all practitioners from different agencies to attend training and learning events around all aspects of safeguarding practice. Such training includes: Internet and online safety, child protection, domestic violence, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation as well as substance misuse.
Work is also currently being undertaken to ensure that all agencies have access to safeguarding training – this applies especially to agencies where safeguarding is not their only focus, such as housing services. An analysis of possible gaps in training provision and actions for addressing this, via for example e-learning, is being considered.
The training sub-group also ensures that any new messages for learning arising from serious cases, independent management reviews and audits is embedded in local agency training programmes. This ensures that all staff have access to the latest information and can thus keep their practice up to date.
The Quality Assurance sub-group of the Board monitors, produces and analyses data on behalf of the board. The group has successfully produced a comprehensive database of child-centred organisations’ activity and key performance data within Enfield. The sub-group analyses the data and provides quality assurance and challenge to agencies of where practice could be improved.
This group continues to review any cases which meet the criteria as set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015
A serious case is one where:
(a) abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected; and
(b) either — (i) the child has died; or (ii) the child has been seriously harmed and there is cause for concern as to the way in which the authority, their Board partners or other relevant persons have worked together to safeguard the child.
The group also addresses and follows through actions from previous Serious Case and Independent Management Reviews. This ensures that any lessons learned are implemented. Learning events are also being planned around lessons arising from serious case reviews and independent management reviews both locally and nationally. These include Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse and Safer Sleeping.