The Children Act 2004 requires every local authority to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board, more commonly referred to as an LSCB (Stockton-on-Tees Local Safeguarding Children Board SLSCB). It is the statutory mechanism for ensuring co-operation across all agencies working with children and young people in the locality.
Chapter 3 of Working Together 2015 sets out in detail the arrangements for the work of each Local Safeguarding Children Board.
This multi-agency partnership co-ordinates activity and holds its partners to account about the extent to which children and young people are kept safe. Its duties are to:
SLSCB aims to operate transparently and believes it is good practice to make as much information as possible available to the public and its partners. Information and minutes from meetings are therefore available on request unless it would not be in the public interest to do so or would breach confidentiality.
Working Together states that Local Safeguarding Children Boards should agree with the Local Authority and its partners the levels for the different types of assessment and services to be commissioned and delivered. The Local Authority Children's Social Care however has the responsibility for clarifying the process for referrals. SLSCB has endorsed both the Local Assessment Protocol which sits alongside the threshold document Providing the right support to meet a child’s needs in Hartlepool and Stockton. It includes:
The process for the early help assessment and the type and level of early help services to be provided; and
The criteria, including the level of need, for when a case should be referred to local authority children's social care for assessment and for statutory services under:
The work to protect children from abuse and neglect is overseen by the SLSCB however if you have concerns that a child is being abused or neglected, or that they may be at risk of harm, you should contact one of the following services.
First Contact Stockton and Hartlepool Children Services have joined in partnership to host The Children's Hub. The Children's Hub provides information, advice and guidance on services and support for children, young people and families.
Telephone: 01429 284284 (please note the Hartlepool dialling code)
The Emergency Duty Team provides an out-of-hours response to emergency situations involving child protection, child care, mental health and other adult care service matters.
Telephone: 08702 402994 (For outside office hours)
In an emergency contact the Police.