Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children Board (WFSCB)
The Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children Board (WFSCB) ensures that all local children's agencies within Waltham Forest work together for the safety and well being of children and young people.
Local safeguarding children boards are a statutory requirement for ensuring and monitoring the effectiveness of local agencies that provide services for children up to the age of eighteen. The board works with partner agencies to promote the safety and well being of children and young people within the borough.
The WFSCB follows guidance from Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, and in accordance with the children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004.
The WFSCB is not accountable for the operational work of partner agencies; this remains with the individual organisations and services.
If you feel that a child or young person is at immediate risk of harm please call the police on 999 who can provide an immediate response.
Alternatively, you can contact your local police on 101 at any time.
If you don’t believe the risk requires immediate action, contact the Waltham Forest Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) team to discuss your concerns:
Telephone: 020 8496 2310 (Monday - Thursday 9am - 5.15pm, Friday 9am - 5pm) or 020 8496 3000 (out of hours).
A social worker from the MASH team will speak to you. They will need to get as much information as possible about the child and the family.
For advice and guidance about concerns and allegations against adults working or volunteering with children, contact the Waltham Forest Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO):
Telephone: 0208 496 3646 or 07791 559 789
Please note that professionals working with children should follow the MASH guidelines.
Guide to threshold and practice: information for professionals
Should you have concerns regarding the lack of response to professional opinions and judgements expressed by your staff about safeguarding matters including concerns that social care is not taking appropriate actions regarding the well-being of a child, or are not responding in a timely fashion to your concerns you can escalate this using the Escalation letter.pdf (108 KB).
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is where a young person under the age of 18 is encouraged, trapped, forced or coerced into a sexual relationship or situation by an adult.
It often involves the young person being offered something in return for performing sexual acts, such as alcohol, cigarettes, gifts, money, drugs and affection.
If you think you or someone close to you is being exploited there is help out there. Get more information by downloading the CSE resources.pdf (370.9KB).
MASE is the multi agency sexual exploitation meeting, which is held on a monthly and co chaired by children's social care and the Metropolitan Police.
MASE has two purposes:
- For professionals to refer young people who are at risk of or are experiencing sexual exploitation who are subject to a plan. If the risks are not decreasing for the young person, as referral will be made for advice or support
- To refer information or intelligence about possible venues and people involved in sexual exploitation.
This information will then contribute to developing a strategic overview and understanding of sexual exploitation in Waltham Forest.
The WFSCB consists of six subgroups. The child death overview panel is statutory as is the requirement for serious case reviews that are assessed through the One Panel. To find out more about One Panel visit the main Strategic Partnerships Board page.
The other subgroups support and drive the work in our strategic priorities. All are accountable to the Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children Board. The board is run and overseen by the WFSCB Independent Chair who reports to the Waltham Forest Chief Executive.
The board and each subgroup are governed by their individual terms of reference.”
Child death overview panel (CDOP)
Under the Children Act 2004 all local safeguarding children boards (LSCB) in England are required to have a child death overview panel (CDOP) which looks into the circumstances around the death of any child who is resident within the borough. These responsibilities are laid out in Chapter 5 of the government’s statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Chair: Director of Public Health Waltham Forest, LBWF
London child protection procedures: death of a child (external website)
Bella Lowen, Health and Wellbeing Project Officer
Telephone: 020 8496 3691
Adolescents and risk
Following the previous significant progress made by the partnership in regard to practice around child sexual exploitation (CSE), harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) and children missing (CM) this group aims to develop a more sophisticated approach to young people that does not use a binary approach of victim and perpetrator and ensures a trauma informed approach alongside enforcement where appropriate. This approach is one that understands and responds to the multi-faceted areas of risk rather than separate processes for CSE, HSB, CM, gangs etc. so all needs are addressed together rather than in silo.
- Pan-London Child Sexual Exploitation Operating Protocol (2 MB)
- London Safeguarding trafficked children toolkit 2011 (903KB pdf)
- CSE resources (370.9KB pdf)
- E-safety resources (353.8 KB pdf)
This group sits under the adolescents and risk group and works to ensure that all adolescents who experience risk receive a trauma informed contextualised safeguarding approach that meets their needs and reduces harms.
The overarching aim of this group is to improve the identification of neglect and to offer support as early as possible through a Think Family approach. Through joined up multi-agency partnership working, we can provide comprehensive parenting and family support strategies to meet identified need, which builds community resilience and ensures sustainability to enable families to remain independent.
The group works towards:
- ensuring the voices of young people and the sharing of learning influence practice
- ensuring a strategic commitment to tackling child neglect across all agencies
- improving awareness, understanding and recognition of neglect.
Safeguarding in settings***
This group exists to secure a multi-agency approach to working with schools in the safeguarding areas that cause most concern for schools. It also seeks to benchmark safeguarding practice in the community, voluntary and faith settings and to understand the quality of safeguarding practice. It aims to support parents to understand what to expect when using community groups and or educational support for their children. It will establish clear processes and communication systems whereby information can be shared regarding safeguarding issues and good practice.
***Settings includes any educational setting; schools that are maintained, academies, multi -, independent, free etc. all nursery settings delivering the early years criteria and all community, voluntary and faith settings, including sports and leisure groups, which provide services for children, this includes private tutors and elected home educated.
Early help partnership group
This is a multi-agency group that acts as the strategic governing board in relation to both the Troubled Families Programme and Early Help for families * in Waltham Forest. It will ensure that Early Help is focused on delivering measurable outcomes and will influence and oversee the spend of payment by results achieved through Phase 2 of the Troubled Families programme. The group will oversee developments on a wide range of strategies, policies and projects to support Families with multiple and complex needs within Waltham Forest.
*Each service user will have their own understanding and definition of “family” this should be acknowledged at the outset and respected. This may include close friends and extended family members in addition service users may have a defined support network of people with whom they have a relationship of trust, who they may want included in their assessment.
For all published statutory reviews including Safeguarding Adult Reviews, Serious Case Reviews and Domestic Homicide Reviews please visit the main Strategic Partnership Board page.
To find out more about One Panel and referrals visit the main please visit the main Strategic Partnership Board page.
This forum oversees a multi-agency audit programme. Multi-agency means everyone who worked with the family, such as health, adult social care, education or police.
Visit the main Learning and Improving Practice page for more information including video guides and documents.
If you require access to previous annual reports you can make a request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.