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Safeguarding boards

Regulations, made under Section 134 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (the SSWA 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”) have partners set out in section 134(2), all of whom have an interest in safeguarding children and adults, and who are specified in section 134(2) of the SSWA 2014.

See the Safeguarding Boards (General) Regulations 2015( ) (the section 134 Regulations). The section 134 Regulations specify who  is the lead partner for a Safeguarding Adults Board and who is the lead partner for a Safeguarding Children Board. The lead partners are under a duty to establish Safeguarding Boards in their respective Safeguarding Board areas which are to include representatives of its partners.

Section 134(9) of the SSWA 2014 provides that a Safeguarding Board may 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.

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.
Section 135(1) of the SSWA 2014 specifies the objectives of a Safeguarding Children Board, which 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( ).

Section 135(2) of the SSWA 2014 specifies the objectives of a Safeguarding Adults Board, which 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

The Safeguarding Boards (Functions and Procedures) Wales) Regulations 2015( ) (the section 135 Regulations) are made under section 135 of the SSWA 2014. Regulations 3 and 4 of the section 135 Regulations make further provision about the functions of Safeguarding Boards and regulation 5 makes provision about the procedures that Safeguarding Boards must adopt.

Regulation 6 of the section 135 Regulations requires that at least once a  year each Safeguarding Board must give children or adults (as relevant) the opportunity to participate in an event at which they will have an opportunity to participate in the Board’s work.

A Safeguarding Board must undertake a practice review in any case where the circumstances satisfy the criteria in set out in the  section 135 Regulations. The Board is also required to undertake 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 section 135 Regulations (which replace the Local Safeguarding Children Boards (Wales) Regulations 2006). Regulation 4 also introduces the criteria for adult practice reviews.

Statutory guidance in relation to Safeguarding Boards has been issued under the powers in Part 7 of the SSWA.( )

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