The Children Act 1989 – Local authorities, courts and parents, together with other agencies in the UK were allocated duties to ensure children and young people are safeguarded, and to promote their welfare. The idea is that children and young people are best cared for within their own families, but provisions are made for those parents and families that are unable to co-operate with statutory bodies.
Any examples in the system when a child’s welfare is at risk will have detrimental impact on their wellbeing. The child’s welfare is paramount.
The child is listened to and their wishes are taken into account alongside physical and emotional needs, age, sex, background circumstances, the likely effect of the child and the harm suffered or likely to suffer. The parent’s ability to provide these needs to the child or young person and the powers available to the court are also a consideration, with the help of Social workers and other organisation such as Birtenshaw.
Family links should be maintained, either through visits or other forms of contact. Both parents are important, and attachments should be respected, sustained and developed. The law does not distinguish between married and unmarried as long as both parents have a parental responsibility.
Young people under the age of 18 are classed as a child.
For those dealing with children and young people on a daily basis, the children’ activities must be planned to ensure learning and play is enjoyable whilst in a safe and secure environment, working at Birtenshaw we does this by weekly young person’s meetings which all young people can choose their own activities and also choose their own food menus for the week ahead. The ratio between staff and children must be adhered to under the act guidelines which are issued by the Department of Education and Employment, this is detailed in a young person’s care plan. The welfare of the child is the priority, together with their rights and wishes, therefore good communication with the child, together with all those involved in their welfare must be carried out on a daily basis. Staff must be aware of how to report any concerns and follow the correct procedures. Social Workers are allowed under the Act to make enquires, and Police can take a child in to Police Protection if significant harm is evident.
The Education Act 2002 – Regulation came into force 1st August 2003. It was enforced to have safeguard standards in the classroom and to preserve the role, status and responsibility of qualified teachers in schools. It clarifies the respective roles of qualified teachers and staff in schools, and other staff that are unqualified (support staff) carrying out specific work relating to teaching and learning. School governing bodies, local education authorities and further education institutions were required to have arrangements in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people.
For those working with children and young people, CRB or DBS checks must be passed, to ensure that all adults are suitable to be in the classroom environment. It indicates who can do what in the classroom and how much supervision they require. Children are not left on a one to one basis with a teacher or support worker in case of allegations of abuse. Any suspected abuse is reported to a designated teacher, where investigating agencies may become involved. This involves training and ensuring teachers and support staff is aware of their duties and in recognising the signs of child abuse.
1.1 and 1.2 Continued:
The Children Act 2004 – This act was enforced after the response to the 2002 Victoria Climbie inquiry report. Every Child Matters (ECM).
This act placed the duty on every local authority to appoint a lead director and member for children and young people services.
The principles for the care and support if children are
• Allow children to remain