Safeguarding Children

Unit 202 Safeguarding the welfare of children and young people

Worksheet 3 Roles and Responsibilities

Describe the roles of different agencies involved in safeguarding the welfare of children and young people

Local Authority

The welfare of children is a corporate responsibility of the entire local authority, working in partnership with other public agencies, voluntary sector and services users and carers.   All local authority services have an impact on the lives of children and families, and local authorities have particular responsibility towards those children and families most at risk.   Local Authorities have a duty to plan services for children in need, in consultation with a wide range of other agencies.   The local authority should also take the lead responsibility for the establishment and effective functioning of Area Child Protection Committees (ACPCs) – the inter agency forum which acts as a focal point for local co-operation to safeguard children.

Local Authorities, acting in order to fulfil their soclal services functions, have specific legal duties in respect of children under the Children Act 1989.   They have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area who are in need and provided that this is consistent with the child’s safety and welfare to promote the upbringing of such children by their families, by providing services appropriate to the child’s needs in partnership with parents in a way which is sensitive to the child’s race, religion and culture.   Some of these services might be day care for young children, after school care for children, counselling and respite care family centres or practical help at home.  

The LA’s social services departments also have a duty to make enquiries if they suspect a child in their area is being harmed.   Their social care staff   have responsibility for undertaking an assessment. They should respond to allegations swiftly and in accordance with local inter-agency...