Law Assignment for Child Protection

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Law Essay Case Study of Stephanie and Stephen.

This essay shall be based on the assumption that I am a Local authority social worker given the case referral of Stephanie and Stephen. The essay shall be focusing on the laws, policy and procedures that will guide through the assessment process of this case and how these can be used to meet the needs of all concerned. The assignment includes discussions on some of the key aspects of framework for the assessment of children in need and their families and The Children’s Act 1989, in particular section 17, duty to safeguard and I will incorporate anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice.

Stephanie and Stephen are under the age of 18, this therefore puts them into the category of both of them being classed as children. Under the Children Act 1989 it clearly states that any person under the age of 18 and 16 if married is seen as a child. This consequently places a statutory duty on any local authority child social care worker to protect them from any harm and promote their well-being. Section 17 (1.1) of the Children Act 1989 says that “Local Authorities, have a general duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area are in need”

Subsequent to receiving this referral and acting in agreement to the primary aims of the Government Policy, my role and responsibility is to make sure that both Stephanie and Stephen are protected from any harm and that their development needs are met accordingly and appropriately. In the course of this, if I believed that a crime had been committed, I would have a duty to report this immediately to the police. Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 states that “ Children's Social Care Services must inform the police whenever they receive a referral, which may constitute a criminal offence against a child, even when they have decided that they are dealing with the referral as a Section 17” (www. Proceduresonline.com)

It is my duty to establish if any, the level of risk to Stephanie and Stephen and to use legislation where necessary. The identification of a high-risk individual provides the mechanism for ensuring that children are protected while avoiding unneeded intervention. (Parton et al. 1997) To try and establish the course of action, I will be guided by the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families and Working Together to Safeguard Children to help me in my decision making, planning and if any the intervention that may be required. These are two acts that were issued under Section 7 of the Local Authority Act 1970 which required Social Services to act under there general guidance. This Framework of Assessment will take into account the development needs of the child, unlike the Children Act 1989 that until the mid 1990’s mostly focused on the incidents of abuse rather than the development needs of the child. (Department of Health et al. 2000) By use of taking a holistic view to the ‘Assessment Framework’, information will be gathered and analysed within three domains of the Assessment Framework namely: the child’s developmental needs, the parent’s capacity to respond appropriately to those needs and the wider family and environmental factors. The Framework is also linked closely to Every Child Matters which aims to ensure the well-being of children and young people from birth to 19. This means that the Government aim is for every child whatever their background or circumstances have the relevant support they need in order to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being (Every Child Matters and Outcomes) It is important that all agencies collaborate and work together to share information. Working Together to Safeguard Children document sets out how all agencies and professionals in the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors should work together to promote children's welfare and protect them from abuse and...
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