Child Protection

Topics: Contact, Children Act 1989, Child custody Pages: 7 (2497 words) Published: November 26, 2010
This essay examines the legislation, policy and carepractice relevant to the case study of Sebastian and Belle Yanovsky, and theirparents Ms. Jo Butler and Mr. Zalman Yanovsky. The main issues for discussionare: the legislation relevant to the case study, the role of the family courtsystem, the role of the 'looked after' children review system, child protectioncase conferences, the criminal justice system, and the practical issues whicharise from these. The purpose of the essay is to analyze each of these areas tosee how they are intended to contribute to the protection and welfare ofSebastian and Belle Yanovsky. The essay also examines closely how the variousagencies and services involved in the care of Sebastian and Belle maximizeinter-agency communication so as to reduce the risks and maximize theprotection available to the children. The four principal pieces of legislation relevant to theYanovsky children's case are the Children Act 1989, the Protection ofChildren Act 1999 the Adoption and Children Act 2002 and theChildren Act 2004. The Children Act 1989 sought to carry intolegislation the belief that where possible' children aregenerally best looked after within the family, with both parents playing a fullpart and without resort to legal proceedings. The welfare of the children isthe paramount consideration.' (Children Act, 1989). Thus the ChildrenAct sought where possible to protect children within a family environment.Thus the act introduced a number of provisions designed to protect children byimproving their home and family environment. The report stressed the need forvarious care agencies to increase inter-communication so as to best determinethe risks posed to a particular child or children and so to most effectuallyprovide the protection from abuse that they required. Sections 27 and 47 of theAct - significantly titled 'Co-operation Between Authorities' and 'LocalAuthority's Duty to Investigate' - sets out the governments demands for closeragency communication. Section 27: 4 for instance defines the need for agenciesto co-operate on educational care, stating 'Every local authority shallassist any local education authority with the provision of services for anychild within the local authority's area who had special educational needs'. Therelevance of this act to the Yanovsky case will be shown shortly. The mainthemes of theChildren Act 2004 were an emphasis upon 'integratedplanning', 'delivery of services', 'multi-disciplinary working', 'increasedaccountability' and, especially, more provision for those children with'special needs'. The Protection of Children Act 1999 and the Adoptionand Children Act 2002will be discussed in the forthcoming paragraphs. This legislation provides the following short term and long termsolutions for the Yanovsky children's case. In the short term, the ChildrenAct 1989 states that, where possible, the welfare of the children must beattempted inside the family environment. Thus the Children Act allowsfor various professional carers (social workers, mental health practitioners,police etc.,) to monitor the home situation of the Yanovsky children. The ChildProtection Act 1999 makes provision for Child Protection Conferences (discussedlater in this essay) and a conference for the Yanovsky children would be animportant short term measure to assess the risk to the children and toco-ordinate a Child Protection Plan for them. Earlier legislation also allowssocial workers to put the Yanovsky children on the Child Protection Register ifthey feel it necessary. If these short term measures prove unsuccessful, thenit may be necessary to bring a public law case (family court) against theYanovsky's as set out in the Children Act 1989. If the court thinks itnecessary to remove custody from the Yanovsky's then the Adoption of ChildrenAct 2002 makes provisions for the long term care of the children under thestatus of 'looked after' children. Thus, both long term and short term, thereis a comprehensive...
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