1.1 Outline current legislation, guidelines, policies and procedures within own Home Nation affecting the safeguarding of children and young people.
Polices and procedures for safeguarding and child protection in England and Wales are the result of the Children Act 1989 and in Northern Ireland of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995. The Children Act 2004 introduced further changes to the way the child protection system is structured and organised in England and Wales.
Children Act 1989 (England and Wales)/Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995
These Acts aimed to simplify the laws that protected children and young people in the respective UK countries. They were seen as a serious shake up of children's rights and protection and made it clear to all who worked with children what their duties were and how they should work together in the event of allegations of child abuse. England and Wales produced separate documents – Working Together to Safeguard Children (1999) – which emphasised the responsibilities of professionals towards children who are at risk of harm.
Children Act 2004
By 2003 it was clear that services for children were still not working together to identify and protect vulnerable children in our society. This was highlighted by the death of Victoria Climbie at the hands of her carers, resulting in an independent inquiry into her death. The Laming report in 2003, in common with other inquires into child deaths over the years, criticised the approach to protecting children in are society. The Laming Report resulted in a green paper, Every Child Matters, which in turn led to the Children Act 2004 in England and similar bills and Acts in all four countries in the UK.
The main features of the Act included:
the integration of children's services and the introduction of children's directors with responsibility for local authority education and...