The Children's Act of 1989: Objectives

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The UNCRC happened in 1989 and out of this came the children’s act 1989. The act was formally adopted in England and Wales in 1991. The most important aim of the act was to ensure that children’s views were of paramount importance and that the children thoughts and views about their future were taken into consideration. After this, the children’s act 2004 was formed. In this act the framework for the every child matters programme was set out. Every child matters was formed after the tragic death of Victoria Climbie. Victoria Climbie was failed by the very people who were supposedly looking after her. “It led to recommendations for a radical reform of services”. The aim of the act is to make sure that services work together a lot better and more efficiently than previously. C

Children’s should be listened to and their opinions valued. We need to listen to children carefully to understand what a child is trying to say. If they cannot be understood or do not feel listened to they may get upset, frustrated, angry or become withdrawn. They could show their upset by hitting, biting, shouting etc., and it will lower their self-esteem. A child may have something important to say that needs our attention for example safe guarding . “every child can be hurt, put at risk of harm or abused, regardless of their age, gender, religion or ethnicity.” (http://www.safenetwork.org.uk/getting_started/Pages/Why_does_safeguarding_matter.aspx) A change in behaviour, something a child says or how they act can also alert the practitioner to safe guarding issues or perhaps something else that is happening outside the child care setting. Therefore it is essential that we listen to children and build up the child’s trust in adults and “enable those children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.” (http://www.safenetwork.org.uk/getting_started/Pages/Why_does_safeguarding_matter.aspx) If you cannot understand the child by listening ask them to draw what they want to tell you, act out what they want to tell you or if they use sign language get them to sign what they want to tell you as this may also help you . It is important for children to be given different options of what they want to tell us either through, verbal communication, acting, drawing or pointing. This will show them we do value them and we want to listen and reach out to them. In contrast if a child is listened to and feels understood they are more likely to be happy and confident. We can also find out if the child has understood a lesson or what you have said by using questions and listening carefully e.g. after a story you might ask a question to see if they have understood. The children’s opinions should be valued so that they are encouraged to express themselves and have got a sense of individuality. It will also help them to build confidence and trusting people and also encourage their communication skills. Children will come from a variety of different cultural backgrounds and have been brought up by parents with many and varied opinions on everything from religion/non religion to food, clothing and what are deemed to be acceptable behaviour. We need to be aware of all these influences and respect the diversity of our society in a non - judgemental way .By doing so children will feel that we comfortable in their thoughts and feelings to you without fear of being misunderstood. Children who have disabilities should be given the opportunity to express themselves in a way that they are comfortable or able to. A child who does not have speech may make different noises which can be interpreted as happy or sad. This form of communication should be valued and we should respond to it as we would to a child who has speech. A child who has physical disabilities should be given choices about how they complete tasks and their opinions respected. B

It is important that practitioners understand the limits and boundaries of their job roles when they...
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