In a consultation document on the future of children and young people's services, the DoH called this an 'important new role' for consortia.
But it admitted it will be 'beyond the experience' of most GP commissioning groups.
The document, Achieving Equity and Excellence for Children, said: 'PCTs and SHAs have responsibility for safeguarding set out in statute.
'We propose this should pass to GP consortia and the NHS Commissioning Board.'
GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said the plans were unlikely to change the way safeguarding operates.
'Individual GPs won't be doing it,' he said. 'The consortium has to be responsible and make sure it happens properly, but it probably won't mean any change in the way safeguarding operates.' The consultation closes on 11 October.