Councillors & Local Authority Members – useful resources
The local authority (the Council) has statutory responsibilities to safeguard children (Children Act 1989) and vulnerable adults (Care Act 2014).
Safeguarding is about keeping people safe and protecting them from harm, neglect, abuse and injury. It is about creating safe places, being vigilant and doing something about any concerns you might have.
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and it is essential that all elected Members understand their role in this.
For children in care, the Council has a statutory responsibility as corporate parent. Members have an important role in making sure that the Council acts as a good corporate parent for all children in its care, to seek the outcomes that any good parent would want for their own children, to enable each child to reach its full potential. This includes education, health and welfare and cultural needs.
As corporate parent, the Council needs to ensure that there are appropriate steps in place to ensure it listen to the voice of looked after children, prioritise their needs and have high aspirations for them.
Duty to Report Safeguarding Concerns
If you become aware of any individual case of safeguarding concerns, relating either to children or vulnerable adults, arising through your work with constituents, you must report this to the relevant services.
All contact details can be found on our concerned page.
Executive Member roles
- The Executive Member for Adult Health & Wellbeing sits as a participating observer on the Manchester Safeguarding Adults Board.
- The Executive Member for Children’s Services sits as a participating observer on the Manchester Safeguarding Children Board.
Because of the importance of safeguarding for all Members, it is essential that members fully understand the duties and issues involved. Safeguarding training is available to all councillors through our multi-agency training offer.
Local Government Association (LGA)
The LGA is an excellent source of information for councillors on safeguarding issues for children and young people and adults. Find out more on their website www.local.gov.uk
- Safeguarding adults: the LGA and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) Safeguarding Network have worked with key partners to bring together a consolidated list of key safeguarding resources for council, care provider and wider partners’ staff
- Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP): a sector led initiative which aims to develop an outcomes focus to safeguarding work, and a range of responses to support people to improve or resolve their circumstances
- Mental Capacity Act including DoLS: the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 promotes a person centred approach which promotes autonomy and for those who may lack mental capacity ensures that decisions made on their behalf are made in their best interests and with the least possible restriction of freedoms
- Safeguarding children: issues relating to safeguarding children
- Children’s services improvement: a network of contacts with senior managers in partner organisations, central and local government, and in the voluntary and community sector
- Must knows children: Safeguarding children: the lead member for children’s services (LMCS) has a statutory role in ensuring the council fulfils its duty for safeguarding children; in partnership with education, childcare and health services, the police and communities.
Training and consultancy services and free resources to help safeguarding boards, care providers, housing providers, local authorities, the NHS or police to safeguard adults at risk of abuse or neglect includes a Safeguarding Adults Boards checklist and resources
Training and access to experts to support case reviews and audits for local children safeguarding boards or equivalent, local authorities, care and health providers, police and case reviewers to safeguard children and young people
An invaluable source of safeguarding information for all www.nspcc.org.uk/safeguarding
Centre for Public Scrutiny (CPS)
Safeguarding Children: A Practical Guide for Overview and Scrutiny Councillors: Safeguarding ensures that children are kept as safe as possible by identifying their needs, views and any risks they face. Services, information and support can then be provided as required. Where children are likely to suffer harm, local authorities have clear duties to intervene through child protection processes.
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