Integrated Services

Topics: Children's rights in the United Kingdom, Children Act 1989, Agency Pages: 9 (2786 words) Published: January 14, 2013
Laura Kilday
Foundation Degree in Children's and Young People's Service's Integrated Services 4FD031
Learning Outcome 1

This report will show an understanding of current legislation, policy and practice within an integrated Children’s and Young People’s Service. Considering the history leading to current legislation and how these have informed practices and policies that are used by the Children’s workforce and also how the Common Assessment Framework and lead professional role supports practice and improves outcomes for children and their families.

Integrated working is where professionals from more than one agency or service work together to share common aims, information and responsibilities in order to provide early intervention in situations which could impact on children’s learning and achievement. Gasper (2010:14) describes the process ‘through listening, talking and exchanging ideas, new understanding develops’. Over the decades there have been a number of initiatives with the intention of encouraging services to work together.

Multi agency and integrated services are not a modern approach to the health and educational services of our society. Historically parents will have drawn on links within their close communities to support them with the care of children. Modern day life prevents this with families often not part of a support network and having to find childcare whilst they are working.

Since the mid nineteenth century the government have been implementing policies and laws to protect children from a life of poverty and to improve their outcomes in life by advising on a minimum standard of education and health care. The Prevention of Cruelty to, and Protection of, Children Act 1889 was the first of many to enforce criminal charges for the mistreating of children. This law was encompassed in the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 of which some sections are still applicable today particularly regarding the employment of children. This act brought together all existing child protection law into one single piece of legislation.

Following the brutal death of Dennis O’Neill at the hands of his foster parents in 1945, Sir Walter Monckton was commissioned to conduct an inquiry. The findings led to the setting up of The Committee on the Care of Children which inspired The Children Act 1948 and gave local authorities an increased role in professional services for children. Previously the church had mainly provided the services under the ‘poor laws’ that were available to disadvantaged children. The new lead professionals that were created aimed to keep children within their families, and the Children and Young Persons Act of 1963 introduced the powers and duties to 'make available such advice, assistance and guidance as may promote the welfare of children by diminishing the need to receive children into or keep them in care' which in theory were preventative measures.

The Children and Young Persons Act 1969 made it compulsory that local authorities take over the legal parental responsibility for a child. Concern during the following decade for children who were in care and the existing knowledge of children’s needs being met more effectively within a family environment led to Children Act 1975 and the Adoption Act 1976. This period of time also saw an increase in the amount of community run pre-school provision’s being available to children.

The Children Act 1989 gave every child the right to protection from abuse and exploitation and the right to inquiries to safeguard their welfare. Its central theme was still that children are usually best looked after within their family. The act came into force in England and Wales in 1991. It aimed to simplify previous pieces of legislation and began to make it clear to people working with children what their duties were and how they should work together by information sharing. The act also highlighted concerns with professional services that...
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