“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child. Everyone in the U.K, including children and young people, have rights that are recognised and protected. These rights are granted by legislation, for example, Human right legislation, The Children Act, etc, which have evolved from a variety of sources. One of these sources is The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child. Before this was adopted any laws relating to the care and protection of children and young people gave all rights to the child’s parents to do as they felt fit. The Convention on the Rights of the child is an international treaty which has been adopted by the U.K. It was approved by the general assembly of the United Nations on 20 November 1989 and it set out principles relating to children (this includes all children and young people under 18). The U.K government agreed to be bound by the convention in 1991 and it underpins all childcare practice. The convention is made up of a series of articles on Rights. The wording of these articles is at times dated and so the terminology, in some cases, is now not appropriate. However, the principles are still important. The articles are divided into 3 groups – *basic principles which apply to all rights: these cover non-discrimination on grounds of gender, religion, disability, language, other opinion, ethnic or social origin. The best interests of the child are always to be considered by adults and organisations when making decisions about children. The child’s view is to be heard and taken seriously. *Civil and political rights: these include rights to a name and nationality, access to information and protection from abuse, neglect, torture or the deprivation of liberty. *Economic, social, cultural and protective rights: these include rights to life and opportunities, a decent standard of living, day to day care, health care and a healthy environment, education and protection from exploitation. The declaration of the ‘rights of the child’ (article 31) from the UN Convention states that children are especially vulnerable and need protection, and also that their human rights should be respected. Play workers need to work in a manner which protects these rights and empowers children and young people to assert them. Within this comprehensive set of rights it was identified that a child has a right to play, rest and have leisure. It was internationally agreed that these were of vital importance and even essential to the development and well-being of a child.
The requirements of national legislation on the Rights of children and young people. The legal aspects of your role as a play worker are important. To be an efficient and effective play worker you need to be aware of relevant legislation, ensure implantation and understand that legislation is constantly being updated to reflect current issues. You need to keep abreast of the changes and adapt as necessary to include these in your practice.
The Children Act.
The Children Act (1989) covered a wide range of topics and set out the duties of Local Authorities. It was established to form a balance between the rights and responsibilities of the parents and the rights and well being of the child. The Act covered all aspects relating to the well-being and protection of the child. The Children Act 2004 provides a framework for the wider strategy for improving children’s lives. It covers the services which every child accesses as well as those services which children and young people with additional needs access.
Every child Matters (2003) called for radical improvements in opportunities and outcomes for children. The 5 outcomes identified are 1) Be Healthy
2) Stay safe
3) Enjoy and achieve
4) Make a positive contribution
5) Achieve economic well-being”
(Level 3 Play work Book pages 4,5 and 6)
Good practice suggests that the need for clear policies and procedures...