The Children Act 1989 was produced to ensure that the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children was to be paramount, this also worked in conjunction with parents to protect a child from harm.
December 2000 saw the tragic death of Victoria Climbié whom died of multiple injuries caused by her great aunt, Marie-Thérèse Kouao, and partner, Carl Manning in London, Up to her death the services involved were: the police, social services department from four local authorities, the National Health Service (NHS), the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), as well as local churches all had contact with Victoria Climbié. They noted that there were signs of abuse. However, the judge in the trial following described Victoria Climbié's death as a "blinding incompetence”, all services involved failed to properly investigate the case and little action was taken. Lord Laming was requested to write an inquiry into the Climbié case. He noted many failings from all services involved and impended recommendations to the Government with reference to safeguarding and welfare of children and young people in the United Kingdom.
Due to the “blinding incompetence” infringed upon social services and other establishments associated with children services The Children’s Act 2004, which took effect from April 2006, further improves on its 1989 predecessor which was to help give children equal rights in a legal position with the introduction of the Green Paper legislation (2004), otherwise known as Every Child Matters (ECM). ECM was a result of the Inquiry Report (2003) written by Laming which states that if a child or young person fails to meet two of the criteria: being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, economic wellbeing and making a positive contribution (2003).
The Children’s Act 2004 is not intended to replace much from the Children’s Act 1989, it implies that the 1989 Act is still of great paramount and simply sets out ways of integrating services such as the police, National Health Services (NHS) and the youth justice system working with children and families.
The integration of working professionals surrounding the children’s services helps promote the wellbeing and makes arrangements to safeguarding and welfare of children and young people.
Changes of the Children’s Act to include integrated working, together with the Every Child Matters reinforced the need for an assessment process to establish the need of the child and/or young person. The introduction of the common assessment framework (CAF) (2004) was a response of the ECM which came from the Victoria Climbie Inquiry (2003) with the main aim of bringing all services surrounding a child together through the process of a team around the child (TAC) meeting. Both carried out by the lead professional, whom can be anyone the child chooses and acts as the child’s voice, as well as bringing all the teams, such as: The police, National Health Services (NHS) and the youth justice system together. The aim of the CAF and TAC process was to reduce harm and abuse to children and young people who fail to meet outcomes of the ECM document. It also acts as a platform to improve communication between services offered to children and to reduce information being mislaid. The lead professional chairs the meetings and is responsible for arranging times that all professionals working with the child can come together, expressing views on how to achieve the best results with reference to the welfare and wellbeing of a child.
This brought about multi-agency collaboration. This is when different working professionals from services including and associated with the child come together and discuss their views on the child or young person’s progress after intervention. For example: An advisor from the Behaviour Support