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Safeguarding Adult Boards – Funding and staff

Schedule 2.2 of the Care Act provides a power for the members of a SAB to:

  • make payments towards expenditure incurred by, or for purposes connected with, the SAB or to
  • provide staff, goods, services, accommodation or other resources for purposes connected with the SAB.

A SAB will require resources to fulfil its legal responsibilities to:

  • consult on, publish and implement a strategic plan for each financial year
  • commission safeguarding adults reviews and act on their findings
  • produce, publish and disseminate an annual report

A SAB will also require resources to meet and function as a local partnership, including:

  • funding for any independent chair
  • administrative support for its meetings
  • administrative support for its infrastructure
  • funding to enable full, meaningful involvement of people with care and support needs and carers
  • funding to ensure people have access to independent advocacy.

Members of a SAB are expected to support the board in its work but no formula has been established for the total budget a SAB might need, nor the contributions to be expected from each member. SABs will need to determine their own local arrangements.

The Care Act 2014 and the Statutory Guidance for SABs do not specify any posts which should be established except the board chair. Some SABs and many local safeguarding children boards have a business manager and/or a business team.

Issues to consider include:

  • Should only statutory SAB members contribute to its budget/resource base?
  • For how many years ahead will agencies be able to make financial commitments to the SAB? How will this be managed?
  • Can the SAB cost contributions in kind?
  • How and by whom will the SAB budget be managed?
  • Who will be able to authorise any expenditure against the budget?
  • What will the SAB’s budget cover – for example, will it cover training of partner agencies’ staff and public information on safeguarding?
  • Is it appropriate for SAB responsibilities to be added to the job descriptions of member agencies’ staff (e.g. chairing subgroups)?
  • If the SAB establishes posts, how will they be recruited and managed to prevent their being subsumed into their host agency during periods of financial and other pressures?
  • Are there opportunities for joint staffing and resourcing between local partnerships such as SABs, local safeguarding children boards and community safety partnerships or across neighbouring SABs?
  • If the SAB does establish support posts, who will be their employer and how will they be supervised and line managed? Who will cover in that person’s absence?
  • Should legal advice be sought as to the independence of the employment arrangements for any support posts?