Many local safeguarding children’s boards (LSCBs) are at risk due to a serious funding shortfall, new research suggests.
LSCBs are formed by local authorities under the Children Act 2004, and consist of representatives from different organisations which work with children. Funding is provided by the different members and meetings are held to encourage cooperation between the different agencies in order to protect the welfare of children in their area.
But according to new research by the Local Government Association, a significant number of LSCB members, principally from schools, health trusts and police forces, are failing to provide their boards with sufficient funding or attend meetings regularly.
In a survey of 89 LSCB boards, one third of the chairs said funding had become an issue, despite an obligation on all member agencies to contribute to running costs.
The Local Government Association issued a joint statement on the findings, with the Association of Directors of Children’s Services and Solace, which represents council chief executives.
“With councils often paying the vast majority of LSCB costs despite clear government guidance that partners should contribute fairly, it is clear that society and the government’s expectations of LSCBs will remain hard to fulfil.”
The report is entitled A review of current arrangements for the operation of Local Safeguarding Children Boards.