Develop and implement policies and procedures to support the safeguarding of children and young people.
Understand the impact of current legislation that underpins the safeguarding of children and young people.
Outline the current legislation that underpins the safeguarding of children and young people within own UK Home Nations.
There is no one piece of legislation that underpins the safeguarding of children and young people in the United Kingdom but there are countless that are constantly being reviewed, changed or updated. From these many legislations, child care settings develop policies, according to the Oxford online dictionary a policy is ‘A course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organisation or individual’. Policies are a guide for all those involved in the setting, to ensure and endorse the well-being of all families, children and staff and provide a common understanding of how these things should be done within the setting. Understanding the legislation involving children is vital to creating policies that are up to date, relevant, understandable and useable. In this essay I will be outlining some of the most up to date and important legislation that underpins the safeguarding of children.
The United Nations (UN) convention on the rights of children in 1989 is a hugely essential piece of legislation which has influenced all child protection/safeguarding legislations. This is a treaty of nations which aims for all children to be treated equally, fairly and with dignity throughout their childhood and lifetime. All kinds of children’s rights were discussed and agreed upon; the right to life, liberty, freedom, justice, health treatment, education, equality and much more. Article 19 is most relevant to safeguarding children, “Government must take all appropriate measures to protect a child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse; while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child”. The first legislation to come from our government after the convention was the ‘Children’s Act 1989’.
The act proceeds to outline key principles and duties for main and local authorities to follow and fulfil. One key principle that affects childcare settings is that local authorities have a duty to provide services for all families, children and young people without discrimination. A way in which local authorities provide services is through funding/grants. For example, I have completed and returned a grant form to my local authority for my setting. Once approved, my setting will receive funding for each individual child.
After the tragic case of Victoria Climbie the government brought out the policy ‘Every child matters’ in 2004 which was legally underpinned in the ‘Children’s Act 2004’, bringing up to date the 1989 children’s act. There are six principles and aims within the acts and policies for children to be healthy, to stay safe, to enjoy life, to achieve, to make positive contributions and to achieve economic wellbeing. In other words, the aim is for children to be well balanced and all round healthy individuals who strive to achieve and make positive contributions to the world. This is done in an environment which inspires the children to succeed. A vital service that was not there for Victoria Climbie. If a setting has a concern about a child’s health and wellbeing it is vital that this concern is communicated to the local authorities, social services or police and written records of any concerns are to be made and kept securely.
Every individual that works with children, young people or vulnerable people has to have a CRB. This was brought in through the ‘Police Act of 1997’. A CRB is a Criminal Records Bureau check. Employees have a CRB form to fill in, providing proof of identity and qualifications as well...
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