As we approach the end of the Financial Year, we also see the end of the current NSCB Business Plan (2015 – 2017) cycle, and while a great deal of work has been undertaken and completed over the last two years, it is fair to say that there is still a lot to do to ensure that children and young people are kept safe from harm in this county.
The end of this cycle has given us the opportunity to look critically at the structure of the Board and, in these straightened times, ensure we are providing value for money to all our partners. The forthcoming changes will allow us to operate a smaller more manageable Board with more focussed Sub Groups delivering its objectives. The review has also enabled us to strengthen our relationship with the Safeguarding Adults Board (NSAB), Health & Wellbeing Board and Public Health with the Business Office now supporting both the Children’s and Adults Safeguarding Boards. The revised structure of the Boards can be found here.
The restructure and the revised Business Plan has enabled us to step back and take a look at the functions the LSCB should be undertaking in light of its statutory role, defined in Working Together 2015:
In order to fulfil its statutory function a LSCB should use data and, as a minimum, should:
- assess the effectiveness of the help being provided to children and families, including early help;
- assess whether LSCB partners are fulfilling their statutory obligations;
- quality assure practice, including through joint audits of case files involving practitioners and identifying lessons to be learned; and
- monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of training, including multi-agency training, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
LSCBs do not commission or deliver direct frontline services though they may provide training. While LSCBs do not have the power to direct other organisations they do have a role in making clear where improvement is needed. Each Board partner retains their own existing line of accountability for safeguarding.
Over the next 2 months, members of the Business Office, Board and Executive Support Group will be developing both the Business Plan for the next cycle and an associated Action Plan to support its work. We would be very interested to hear what you as practitioners, feel the Board priorities should be going forward, any suggestions and ideas would be welcomed, and should be sent to the Business Office at NSCB@northamptonshire.gcsx.gov.uk I look forward to being able to share our new Business Plan with you in future newsletters.