The Somerset Safeguarding Children Board

The Somerset Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) is the statutory, multi-agency partnership with responsibility for coordinating, monitoring and challenging all activity relating to safeguarding children and young people living in Somerset. Safeguarding Children Boards were set up as a result of the 2004 Children Act and are regulated by that law.

Somerset Safeguarding Children Arrangements

Arrangements for safeguarding children in England are changing, and the Somerset Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) will be replaced by new safeguarding arrangements later this year.

These new arrangements, which will be implemented from October 2019, outline how more emphasis will be placed on considering outcomes for children and young people, and the impact of work that organisations in Somerset do to keep children safe, well and achieving their aspirations.

Safeguarding activity will scrutinise work with children and families, hear their voices, and share learning so that we can improve together.

The process to report concerns about a child remains the same, and the operational activity within organisations does not change.

Further information about the new safeguarding arrangements is available in the following document:

The SSCB is made up of a number of statutory partner agencies as follows:

  • Somerset County Council
  • Avon and Somerset Constabulary
  • Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHS England
  • Community (lay) members
  • Community Rehabilitation Company
  • National Probation Service
  • District and Borough Councils
  • Somerset Youth Offending Service

Who chairs the SSCB?

Following national guidance, Somerset has an independent chairperson who has been chairing the Board since 2012.


How is the SSCB funded?

The SSCB is a partnership funded through financial contributions from the main partner agencies. Some agencies support the SSCB by other means such as hosting and financially contributing to posts, supporting the delivery of inter-agency training, and becoming engaged in the work of the SSCB subgroups. Further funding is achieved through the commissioning of SSCB child protection training by agencies.


SSCB Constitution updated December 2016

This constitution sets out the standards through which SSCB board members (including lay members), agencies, professionals and volunteers will understand their vital role in supporting children and young people to be safe, participate, enjoy and achieve a healthy lifestyle.

LSCBs have a statutory role: to ensure the effectiveness of the arrangements made by agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. To do this they need to be able to form a view of the quality of local activity and challenge as required, speaking where necessary with an independent voice. Their place in local governance arrangements needs to provide them with a clear and distinct identity. (Taken from DfES guidance – 4/405)

Working Together 2015 and 2018 underpins the safeguarding work of all agencies across the partnership. Working Together: Transitional Guidance 2018 details how to plan and manage multi-agency work to safeguard children in the transitional period while the new system of local safeguarding arrangements is put in place.

The work of the SSCB is broad and varied but includes:

  • Developing multi-agency policies and procedures for safeguarding
  • Participating in the strategic planning of children’s services
  • Communicating the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children to professionals and the public
  • Conducting Serious Case Reviews when a child dies or is seriously harmed and abuse or neglect is suspected
  • Ensuring procedures to ensure a coordinated response to unexpected child deaths
  • Collecting and analysing information about all child deaths that occur in the area to identify issues of concern
  • Providing multi-agency training and development to staff on safeguarding children
Caroline DowsonBusiness Manager
Kate GreenwoodTraining Manager
Nicky AllenAudit Officer
Gemma VidakQuality Assurance Officer
Jennie RossSenior Business Unit Officer
Zoe HiettSenior Business Support Assistant
Stephanie Gonzalez QuintansBusiness Support Assistant

There are a number of important subgroups that carry out and monitor specific areas of the work of the SSCB. These include:

  • Quality and Performance Subgroup
  • Learning and Improvement Subgroup
  • Child Exploitation Subgroup
  • Training and Development Subgroup
  • Child Death Overview Panel
  • Health Safeguarding Partnership
  • Education Safeguarding Partnership

Membership of these groups is multi-agency. For further information see:

Annual Reports

The following annual reports have been published under Independent Chair, Sally Halls. Each annual report provides an assessment of the performance and effectiveness of local services in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in Somerset during the year, as well as giving an account of the activities, development and impact of the Board in meeting its statutory responsibilities and playing its part in ensuring that Somerset children are safe, healthy and cared for and have integrated support to meet their needs.

pdf Annual Report 2017 – 2018

pdf Annual Report 2016 – 2017 

pdf Annual Report 2015 – 2016

pdf Annual Report 2014 – 2015

pdf Annual Report 2013 – 2014

pdf Annual Report 2012 – 2013

Neglect Strategy

 pdf  Somerset Neglect Strategy June 2017-June 2018

Somerset Safeguarding Children Board Strategy for tackling neglect. Published September 2017

Communication Strategy

Team Charter

Business Plan 

Quality Assurance Framework