The Director of Children’s Services, under section 18 of the Children Act 2004 has responsibility for ensuring that a local authority meets their specific duties to organise and plan services and to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Each local authority is responsible for establishing a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) in their area and ensuring it is run effectively. An LSCB can cover more than one local authority area.

Social workers take a lead role in:

  • responding to children and families in need of support and help
  • undertaking enquiries following allegations or suspicion of abuse
  • undertaking initial assessments and core assessments as part of the Assessment Framework
  • convening strategy meetings and initial and subsequent child-protection conferences
  • court action to safeguard and protect children
  • coordinating the implementation of the child protection plan for children on the child protection register
  • looking after and planning for children in the care of the council
  • ensuring that looked-after children are safeguarded in a foster family, children's home or other placement.