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Local Safeguarding Children Boards: Hearing Impaired

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many local children's safeguarding boards have undertaken a review of their local procedures, policies and training programmes to ensure that the needs of deaf children are recognised and met, as recommended by the Department of Health's 2005 report Mental Health and Deafness: Towards Equity and Access. (232163)

Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) coordinate local work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and ensure the effectiveness of that work. This includes ensuring that deaf children are effectively safeguarded and supported. Government have encouraged LSCBs to engage widely within their communities to build a full picture of safeguarding priorities to inform the activity of their member organisations and partners.

In February 2006 the DCSF issued practice guidance for LSCBs on Safeguarding Disabled Children which specifically addressed the needs of deaf children. The practice guidance is being updated and will be published in spring next year. We have also encouraged those with specific expertise in this area to work with the LSCBs, including the National Deaf Children's Society, the NSPCC, the British Society for Mental Health and Deafness and the UK Council on Deafness.

In close collaboration with local authority and other partners, the DCSF is also undertaking a stocktake of LSCBs to develop recommendations that will help all LSCBs perform at the level of the best. The stocktake will report in spring 2009.