Southwark Safeguarding board

Southwark safeguarding children boardSSCB logo

If you are concerned about a child who may be suffering harm, please contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) to make a referral on 020 7525 1921 or, out of hours social worker: 020 7525 5000. For immediate help ring the police on 999.

For further guidance and information please click onto this link

The Children Act 2004 requires each Local Authority to have a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).

Annual Report

The Board publishes an annual report which provides an outline of the main areas of activity and achievements of the Southwark Safeguarding Children Board. The report also reflects on the work plan and provides the public, practitioners and stakeholders with an overview of how well children and young people in Southwark are protected and maps the challenges ahead in order that the multi agency partnerships can prepare to manage them.


The aim of the Board

The aim of the board is to make sure that children and young people in Southwark are kept safe from harm and abuse. Its job is to co-ordinate the work of everyone working with children and their families so they can protect children effectively. For more information please see the Department for Education website.

The work of the Board

  • To develop policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children see the London Safeguarding Children Board. Safeguarding is the responsibility of each agency and professional. This joint responsibility to work together with children and families is found  in the statutory guidance "Working Together to Safeguard Children" and to help with this process there is a Southwark multi-agency Threshold Framework.
  • To raise awareness with the local community and professionals in the area of Southwark of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
  • Carrying out monitoring and regular audits to check services are effective
  • Working to prevent abuse by learning lessons where abuse has taken place and putting changes into place
  • To undertake Serious Case Reviews (SCR) and advise on lessons to be learned and ensure the lessons are implemented by agencies
  • The revised working together to safeguard children requires a change in emphasis in learning from serious case reviews and other reviews to broader learning and improvement. The SSCB has developed a learning and improvement framework to give guidance for this and links to different methods to cascade learning
  • To ensure a coordinated response to unexpected child death, including the collection and analysis of this information
  • Involving the whole community, including faith groups in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children through publicity and public consultation
  • Making links to other aspects of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. For example: developing policy such as the Child Sexual Exploitation strategy, informing monitoring the arrangements for private fostering, developing the policy for missing children, supporting child protection process through 'signs of safety' and offering guidance on information sharing across the multi-agencies
  • Joint Service Protocols are important for the safeguarding of everyone in Southwark. They should be read and implemented by staff that deliver services to children, young people and their families.
  • Monitoring the development of new initiatives for example Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs (MASH)
  • To intervene and assist in resolving any multiagency professional disagreements. If  you require a matter to be escalated see escalation policy

Who are we?

Southwark Safeguarding Board has an Independent Chair, Mr Michael O'Connor and a Board Manager, Hannah Edwards.

 Members of the Board include:

  • Councillor with lead responsibility for Children's Services
  • Strategic Director of Children's and Adults Services 
  • Children's Social Care Southwark Council
  • Children's Specialist Services and Safeguarding
  • Early Years Southwark Council
  • Housing and Modernisation Southwark Council
  • Chief Officer NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group  
  • Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Hospital
  • King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Public Health
  • Education Southwark Council
  • Secondary School Head Teacher Representative
  • Primary School Head Teacher Representative
  • School Governors Association
  • Borough Commander Southwark Police
  • Probation
  • Youth Offending Service
  • Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service
  • Community Southwark
  • Lay members

The structure of the board

The Southwark Safeguarding Children Board meets six times a year and a further three times with partners. The work programme is distinct and ensures it utilises the skills, experience and responsibilities of its members. It also enables it to exercise accountability for quality, decision making, governance and compliance of the safeguarding system whilst allowing members to take a leadership and system shaping role and steering expert capacity to drive change. With its extensive practitioner and multi agency reach, the board seeks how to test effectiveness of multi agency arrangements and find ways of improving the child’s journey in key local priority areas.

The safeguarding children board takes a strategic overview of the performance data informing the work plan. For example, s11 audit report, agency activity report and other exception reports as and when they arise.

The board has a number of subgroups who do more of the detailed work in specialist areas. There are eight sub-groups concentrating on Human Resources and Safeguarding, Health, Education, Child sexual exploitation, Community Awareness and Engagement, Practice development & training, Serious Case Reviews and the Child Death Overview Panel. There is also a child engagement group called 'Change Makers'.

Please refer to the current annual report (setting out a review of the year) to find out more.

If you would like to contact the Board please email SSCB@southwark.gov.uk

Local Links

Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service
Community Action Southwark
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Metropolitan Police
My Learning Source
NHS Southwark
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
United Kingdom Border Agency

Future developments

  • Developing safeguarding service for children experiencing neglect
  • Progressing a Families Matter approach to early help and neglect
  • Progressing the strategy for child sexual exploitation and building on the Metropolitan Police child sexual exploitation protocol
  • The Southwark Safeguarding Children Board is participating, alongside the key boards of Health and Well Being, Safeguarding Adults, Safer Southwark Partnerships in a strategic approach to Safeguarding in Southwark