UNDERSTAND HOW TO SAFEGUARD THE WELLBEING OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE TASK A
BREIFING NOTES FOR NEW WORKERS
HOW TO SAFEGUARD THE WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN
Every child or young person has the undeniable right to grow and develop in a safe environment that safeguards them from abuse and maltreatment, to enable them to have the best available life chances to develop into young adults. There is no single piece of legislation for safeguarding children in the UK but lots of laws and guidelines which are changing all the time with new legislation. This is passed by Westminster, the Welsh Assembly Government, Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish Parliament this is Statutory Law. The way courts interpret laws is known as Case Law which can have an effect on changing Statutory Law. Child Protection legislation is in 2 categories Civil law and Criminal law. 16.
Civil Law is in 2 areas Public Law which puts systems and processes to reduce the risk of children coming to harm and says what action should happen if they are at risk. Private Law sorts out family contact and divorce. Criminal Law deals with people who have offended or are at risk of offending against children. The Children and young Persons Act 1933 is the oldest piece of legislation with only parts of it still in force today, it gives a list of offences against children known as Schedule One Offences. These include sexual assault, different forms of abuse and maltreatment ranging from murder to neglect. Anyone found guilty of one or more of these offences becomes a Schedule One Offender regardless of their age or sentence and this status will stay with them for life. They will be monitored by the local authorities who keep a record of where they live and who with, they need to go to the police station to sign a register on very regular bases to prove that they are and still living where logged Sex offenders Act 1997. Children Act 1989 is the bases of the current child protection system. It has a number of principles The Paramountcy Principle that means a child’s welfare is paramount when making decisions about their upbringing, a court needs to know the child’s feelings and what they want and only make an order if it’s better for the child than not making one, where possible retaining family links and the child’s home. Parental Responsibility was introduced which is “the rights, responsibilities and duties by law a parent of a child has regarding the child and their property”. It also states the local authority has a duty to investigate 17.
and protect if they have reasonable cause to think a child is suffering or likely to suffer any sort of harm. Likewise has a duty to provide “services for children in need and their families”. England and Wales have a separate document working together to Safe guard Children 2006 which emphasises the responsibilities of Professionals towards children at risk and to work together with other agency’s/authorities. The Welsh Assembly Government 2006 working together under the Children Act 2004, The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 and the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 all share the same principles but have their own guidance, as Children Act 1989. The death of Victoria Climbie by her carers, led to an inquiry into how she and others over the years died, the Lambing Report made by Lord Laming criticised the approach to protecting children in society thus led to EVERY CHILD MATTERS GREEN PAPER which in turn led to the Children Act 2004 as services for children were still not working together to protect and identify vulnerable children. This brought in children’s directors who have the responsibility for education, Local authority and children’s social services. Lead Councillors who have political responsibility for child welfare. A Common Assessment Framework to help notice welfare needs for agencies. 18.
Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards who have...