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Safeguarding the wellbeing of children and young people.
1 Policies and procedures for safeguarding and child protection in England and Wales are the result of the Children Act 1989. The Children Act 2004 introduced further changes to the way the child protection system is structured and organised. The Children Act 1989 makes it clear to anyone who works with children or young people what their duties and responsibilities are in a childcare setting and how they must work together with other practitioners in the event of allegations of child abuse. The Children Act 2004 came into place as it was proved that services were not working together or communicating, therefore lots of vulnerable children were victims of child abuse which could have been avoided if services communicated and worked together. The Vetting and Barring Scheme, introduced in October 2009, was introduced to stop unsuitable people being able to work with children. Anyone who works with children must have a CRB check, to keep track on a person’s criminal record, so if anything comes up, they will not be allowed to work with children. Safeguarding is not just protecting children and young people from neglect or any kind of direct abuse, it is also about doing anything to avoid dangers or hazards which could cause accidents, protecting children against crime and bullying and promoting a healthy lifestyle. National and local policies state that it is vital that someone working in a childcare setting can recognise if a child is at risk of harm due to vulnerability. This is important as the sooner a practitioner can recognise any signs or indicators of abuse, the sooner this can be dealt with. If somebody who is working in a childcare setting, suspects a child is being abused, they must follow their safeguarding policy for their setting. Every childcare setting’s policy must include information about health and safety, outings, child protection, performing personal care and when visitors come to the setting. To also safeguard children, regular risk assessments must be carried out, to make sure there are no potential hazards or threats which could potentially harm a child. When there is a serious case review, where if a child dies or is seriously injured, caused by abuse or neglect, the local authority children’s service and also the police will be informed. Other agencies may also be called out such as health or education services if needed. It is important to share information between practitioners and communicate with each other to inform each other of any vital or new information, especially about situations like this. All personal information about children in the setting is strictly kept confidential. The information is used only as needed, kept secure and up to date. This follows the Data Protection Act 1998, which states that any information must be kept in a safe way that ensures no other people can get hold of it.

2 Safeguarding children is important as child abuse and neglect by a child’s own parents or carers happens very regularly, and some children may even be seriously harmed or could even die as a result of this. Thousands of children are being put on child protection registers from this happening regularly. A child-centred approach is very important, as Every Child Matters states, their aim is to give all children all of the support they need. Every child deserves to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being. Partnership working in safeguarding is important as organisations must communicate to share information and take appropriate actions to protect children. Vulnerable children may need support from various agencies or professionals, such as health, education, social care or other agencies. These must all cooperate and communicate to guarantee the best possible outcome for a child. Each different organisation which work together to safeguard children all have different...
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