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In order to provide effective scrutiny, the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) should be independent. It should not be subordinate to, nor subsumed within, other local structures.

Every LSCP should have an independent chair who can hold all agencies to account.

It is the responsibility of the Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) to appoint or remove the LSCP chair with the agreement of a panel including LSCP partners and lay members. The Chief Executive, drawing on other LSCP partners and, where appropriate, the Lead Member will hold the Chair to account for the effective working of the LSCP.

The LSCP Chair should work closely with all LSCP partners and particularly with the Director of Children’s Services. The Director of Children’s Services has the responsibility within the local authority, under section 18 of the Children Act 2004, for improving outcomes for children, local authority children’s social care functions and local cooperation arrangements for children’s services.

The Chair must publish an annual report on the effectiveness of child safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the local area. The annual report should be published in relation to the preceding financial year and should fit with local agencies’ planning, commissioning and budget cycles. The report should be submitted to the Chief Executive, Leader of the Council, the local Police and crime commissioner and the Chair of the health and wellbeing board.

The report should provide a rigorous and transparent assessment of the performance and effectiveness of local services. It should identify areas of weakness, the causes of those weaknesses and the action being taken to address them as well as other proposals for action. The report should include lessons from reviews undertaken within the reporting period.

The report should also list the contributions made to the LSCP by partner agencies and details of what the LSCP has spent, including on Child Death Reviews, Serious Case Reviews and other specific expenditure such as learning events or training. All LSCP member organisations have an obligation to provide LSCPs with reliable resources (including finance) that enable the LSCP to be strong and effective. Members should share the financial responsibility for the LSCP in such a way that a disproportionate burden does not fall on a small number of partner agencies.

Last Updated: December 7, 2023