Understand how to safeguard the well-being of children and young people.
Task A, section 1.
The main current legislation, guidelines, policies and procedures within UK for safeguarding children and young people are as follows;
* The Children’s Act 1989. This act gave every child the right to protection from abuse and exploitation and the right to inquiries to safeguard their welfare. The act came into force in 1991 in England & Wales and a slightly different version in Northern Ireland in 1996.
* In January 2003, Lord Laming published a report into the death of a child called Victoria Climbie who died as a result of abuse from her relative and her partner. The report found that health, police and social services failed to save Victoria’s life on 12 occasions. Later that year the government green paper ‘Every Child Matters’ was produced. The Every Child Matters green paper proposed an electronic tracking system aimed to amalgamate all services involved with children in order to safeguard them and prevent another tragedy like Victoria Climbie. As a result of this government green paper the Children’s Act 2004 was passed and set out the legal underpinning for Every Child Matters.
* Working together to safeguard children 2006 (updated 2010). This outlines the importance of individuals and organisations working together to promote the welfare of children and safeguard them. The 2010 version has details of developments and changes to the legislation, policies and procedures. It also reiterates the importance of sharing necessary information between agencies. (Consent must be gained unless there are safety issues or concerns.)
* Section 17 outlines the general duty of every local authority in UK to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need, and to promote the upbringing of these children by their families with the support of appropriate services and agencies. A child in need is defined as any child that may struggle to develop to their full potential without the support of additional services.
* Section 47 states that “where a local authority... have reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, the authority shall make, or cause to be made, such enquiries as they consider necessary to enable them to decide whether they should take any action to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare. This means that the local authority has a duty to investigate and a duty to protect children and young people.
* Under section 31(9) of The Children’s Act 1989 as amended by the Adoption and Children Act 2002: ‘Harm’ means ill treatment or the impairment of health or development, including impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another. ‘Development’ means physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural. ‘Health’ means physical and mental health. ‘Ill treatment’ includes sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment which are not physical.
* A CAF or Common Assessment Framework is set out to help practitioners assess a child’s needs and effectively develop a common understanding with necessary agencies to provide support to meet these needs. For example, A CAF may be put into place if a Health Visitor noticed that a child has delayed speech development. They would fill in a CAF to identify what support could be put into place such as attending Speech and Language Therapy sessions. The CAF includes 4 key steps; identification of need, preparation, discussion and delivery.
Wider concepts of safeguarding children include;
* Accidents can occur anywhere but it is important to define what an accident is and what is not. If a child is attends the A&E department with injuries caused by an accident at home which can be reasonably explained then a parent would not be suspected of wrong doing. However if a child is attending...
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