Safeguarding the Welfare of Children and Young People

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TDA 2.2 Safeguarding the welfare of children and young people

Legislation, guidelines and policies place a duty on all those working in schools to ensure the health, safety and security of children in their care. You need to have the necessary knowledge and confidence to take the correct action if children are taken ill or have an accident. Burnham, L. Baker, B. (2011) Supporting teaching and Learning in Schools. TDA 2.2 Safeguarding the welfare of children & young people, Harlow, Heinemann. Task 1

The current legislation, guidelines, policies and procedures for safeguarding the welfare of children and young people including e-safety are as follows: Children Act 1989

Identifies the responsibilities of parents and professionals who must work to ensure the safety of the child.

The Act includes two important sections which focus specifically on child protection-

Section 47 states that the local authority has a duty to investigate when ‘they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm’.

Section 17 states that services must be put into place by local authorities to ‘safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need’.

Education Act 2002

Sets out the responsibilities of local education authorities (LEAs), governing bodies, head teachers and all those working in schools to ensure that children are safe and free from harm.

Children Act 2004

Provides the legal framework for Every Child Matters. It includes the requirements for:

* Services to work more closely, forming an integrated service * A ‘common’ assessment framework to help the early identification of need * A shared database of information which is relevant to the safety and welfare of children * Earlier support for parents who are experiencing problems.

Policies which safeguard

Schools must develop a range of policies which ensure the safety, security and well-being of their pupils. These will set out the responsibilities of staff and the procedures that they must follow. Polies may be separate or incorporated into one health and safety policy, but they must include sections which cover the following issues of:

* Safeguarding and protecting, and procedures for reporting * E-safety
* Bullying, including cyber bullying.

The Department for Education (DfE) provides guidance for local authorities including schools. Schools use this guidance to develop their own policy and procedures which must be followed. Two of these are listed below.

Working together to Safeguard Children (2010)

This is guidance which sets out the duties of organisations and how they must work together to safeguard children and young people.

What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused (2006)

This is guidance to help those working with children safeguard and promote their welfare. It also looks at the actions which all adults working with children should take if they are concerned.

Child welfare and safety depends upon agencies working together. These agencies include:

Health professionals

May examine children with injuries they suspect were not accidental. They have a duty to inform children’s social care if abuse is suspected. They may also have to carry out medical examinations or observations of a child thought to be at risk of abuse, help with children’s social care reports and give evidence in court if a crime has been committed.

Children’s Social Care

Children’s social care work in partnership with parents and other agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in need. If the child is found to be at risk of harm or abuse social workers will carry out initial assessments to find out about the child’s needs. They will conduct interviews with the child and family members and collect relevant information from other agencies. The social worker...
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