Policies and procedures for safeguarding the welfare of children and young people are - The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 - which ensure that children are safe and looked after, children have the right to be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect, negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation including sexual abuse by those looking after them.
Children Act 1989 - Parents and professionals must work to ensure the safety of the child. Local Authority has ‘a duty to investigate when there is a reasonable cause to suspect that a child suspect that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.
The Education Act 2002 - This 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.
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006 - This sets out the duties of organisations and how they must work together to safeguard children and young people.
The Childrens Act 2004 this provides:
- A children's commissioner for England
- A director for children's services within each local authority - A duty on local authorites and their partners, including the police, health service providers, youth justice teams to cooperate in promoting the well-being of children and young people and have arrangements that safeguard and promote their welfare. - Local Safe Guarding Boards
- Revised legislation for physical punishment, it is now an offence to hit a child if it causes mental harm or leaves a lasting mark. - CAF common assessment framework - helping to identify individual needs. - revised arrangements for sharing information - data protection act 1998 the eight principles - The outcomes for ECM - every child matters, a green paper that emerged from the report of Lord Laming, made in response to Victoria Climbie's terribly tragic death. (1.2)
Child protection is part of the wider work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. It refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering from any form of abuse or neglect. It also involves protecting children and young people from maltreatment and preventing impairment of a child’s health and development by ensuring children are raised in positive circumstances by providing safe and caring environments. Parents or carers who fail to protect or care for their children could then be taken to court and the child be then removed from the home and placed into care. Wider forms of safeguarding also include; risk assessments such as providing a safe environment inside and outside a school setting. Adhering to school policies, procedures and legislation i.e. health and safety, fire drills and missing children. Keeping up to date with training in safeguarding issues. Encouraging learning and development of children and young people. Assessing observations to identify additional support needs a child or young person will need (CAF) which is a common assessment framework,this system enables multi agencies to access and add information about children. The staying safe action plan covers aspects including, Crime and Bullying, Forced Marriages, Missing Children etc..
As well as every school having a safeguarding policy of their own, every Borough should also have their own policies and procedures for safeguarding children. The Every Child Matters programme states that each child has a right to : * Be healthy
* Stay safe
* Enjoy and achieve
* Make a positive contribution
* Achieve economic well being
Within the childcare practice we must be aware that we have a clear and defined role in relation to child protection. Professionals working with children/young people i.e. teaching assistants, volunteers, outside agencies are CRB checked (criminal records bureau). Adults working with children should also be fully trained in safeguarding children by a nominated safeguarding adviser and have the opportunity to receive training in order to develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse or neglect, this training is offered every 3 years. In order for child protection to work effectively we must ensure we have good inter relationships with other agencies and good cooperation from professionals that are competent in responding to child protection situations. A procedure for recording concerns and incidents if a child discloses information that concerns his/her welfare should be in place. We must make a record of exactly what the child has said in their words and report it to the safeguarding officer, ensuring that these records are kept confidentially and separated from other records. It is important that the safeguarding officer will only disclose personal information concerning a child to other members of staff on a need to know basis, however all staff must be aware that they have a responsibility to share information with other agencies. If a child or young person does disclose information to a member of staff and ask that that information remains ‘a secret’, it is vital that the member of staff tells the child/young person sensitively that they have a duty to transfer information to the appropriate agencies in order for other children to be safeguarded.
Children and young people attend school/ nursery expecting to be nurtured and taught by people who are both paid and unpaid, these adults will provide children and young adults with opportunities to learn and gain knowledge of a range of subjects. All adults have a special responsibility to the children we work with. A code of conduct provides us with a clear guideline on the types of practice that will meet these responsibilities. Good conduct not only prevents incidents and allegations that we find ourselves being an element of, but will also help to highlight any conduct (by other people) that is unsafe and unprofessional. All settings working with young children must have the following: * Arrangements to liase with local Sfaeguarding board.
* A duty to inform the Safeguarding athoriy of any individual who poses a threat to children. * Appropriate Safeguarding training for all staff.
* A named member of staff in charge of Safeguarding who is trained to the correct level. * A policy for the protection of children that is reveiewd annualy. Any childcare practice should have policies and procedures in place to cover all aspects of Safeguarding including, Health and Safety, Child protection, Outings, Visitors to the setting etc. Risk assessments shoukd also be carried out in the setting to make sure there are no safeguarding threats to the children. (1.4)
According to the local safeguarding childrens board regulations 2006, serious case reviews will be required in situations where a child has died due to known or suspected abuse or neglect. Sometimes reviews may be carried out where a child has been seriously harmed or suffered life threatening injuries. Serious case reviews are used for agencies to discuss the case together and to determine the lessons which are to be learned about the way in which professionals have worked and which can work together in the future. A report will then be written which will be made public so that recommendations are known when undertaking a serious case review. The process to follow is in the DCSF publication working together to safeguard children 2010.
Serious case reviews are crucial as they examine all agencies involved to ensure that they are actively involved and working together as they should be. When professionals are found to be negligent in their involvement or procedures, the review is able to highlight where the mistakes were made. Lessons learned from serious case reviews usually include the importance of: * Sharing information and communication
* Keeping an accurate timeline of events
* Clear planning and roles
* Overcoming the problems of hard to reach families
* Good assessment of the childs situation
* Partnership working with agencies parents may be receiving services from. Apublic enquiry is sometimes held after a serious incident. Apublic inquiry is an official review of events or actions ordered by the government. The report that is produced makes recoomendations for improving practice.