Regulations under Section 134 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, specify the areas in Wales where there are to be Safeguarding Children Boards and Safeguarding Adults Boards (“Safeguarding Board areas”). These Boards (collectively referred to as “Safeguarding Boards”) will have those partners set out in section 134(2), all of whom have an interest in safeguarding children and adults.
The Regulations also specify who will be the lead partner for a Safeguarding Adults Board and who will be the lead partner for a Safeguarding Children Board. The lead partners are under a duty to establish Safeguarding Boards in the Safeguarding Board area which are to include representatives of its partners.
It is also possible for a Safeguarding Board to include representatives of other persons or bodies that the Board considers should be represented and who are involved in activities or have functions relating to children or adults in the Safeguarding Board area in question.
The objectives of a Safeguarding Children Board are to protect children in its area who are experiencing or are at risk of abuse, neglect or other harm and to prevent children in its area from becoming at risk of abuse, neglect or other harm. “Abuse”, “harm” and “neglect” are defined in section 197(1).
The objectives of a Safeguarding Adults Board are to protect adults in its area who have needs for care and support and who are experiencing, or are at risk of, abuse or neglect, and also to prevent adults with needs for care and support from becoming at risk of abuse or neglect.
A Board must establish child and adult practice reviews where they meet the criteria in regulations, as well as audits, case reviews, thematic reviews and investigations, and ensure that they are effectively managed, supported and resourced. The Board is also required to monitor the extent to which any recommendations made by such reviews, audits and investigations are being met and what has changed as a result.
Criteria for child practice reviews are set out in regulation 4 of the Safeguarding Boards (Functions and Procedures) Wales) Regulations 2015 (S.I. 2015/1466), which replace the Local Safeguarding Children Boards (Wales) Regulations 2006 (as amended in 2012). Regulation 4 also introduces the criteria for adult practice reviews.
A Safeguarding Board must publish an annual plan setting out its programme of work for the year ahead and must, before 31 July each year, publish a report on how it has exercised its functions in the preceding financial year.
Statutory guidance in relation to Safeguarding Boards has been issued under the powers in section 139 of the 2014 Act. See Working together to safeguard people: Volume 1 – Introduction and overview