Policies and procedures for safeguarding and child protection in England and Wales are guided by the Children’s Act 1989, and in Northern Ireland by the Children’s (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, further guidelines were put into place, and changes to how the child protection system is structured and organised in England and Wales in the Children’s act 2004.
Children’s act 1989 (England and Wales) Children’s (Northern Ireland) order 1995, was an attempt to simplify the law protecting children, clarifying duties of care, and how areas should work together in the event of allegations of child abuse. It defined the term ‘significant harm’ and a child ‘in need’ of intervention.
Working together to Safeguard children (1999) emphasised the responsibilities of professionals towards children who are at risk of harm.
Due to the tragic death of Victoria Climbie who died at the hands of her carers in the year 2000, there was a public inquiry resulting in the Laming Report 2003, Victoria died of malnutrition and hypothermia, after suffering horrific abuse at the hands of her great aunt and her aunts boyfriend.
Lord Lamings public enquiry found missed chances and the lack of communication between health services, and care services, led to Victoria Climbie’s death.
A number of recommendations made in the Laming report led to a green paper….Every Child Matters, and this in turn led to the Children’s Act 2004 and similar bills throughout the UK.
Main features include…..
Lead councillors for children’s services with political responsibility for local child welfare.
The integration of children’s services and the introduction of children’s directors with responsibility for local authority, education, and children’s social services.
The establishment of Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards with statutory powers to ensure that social services, the NHS, schools, the police, probation services, psychology services, NSPCC, and Health visitors all work together to protect vulnerable children.
Revised arrangements for sharing information It also provides a legal basis for children’s services in Every Child Matters: Change for Children document .
A new Common Assesment Framework to assist agencies in identifying welfare needs.
Working Together To Safeguard Children 2006, provides an update on safeguarding and the working together framework. The childcare act 2006 is the first primarily concerned with Early Years Childcare, and introduces the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and every childcare setting must use this statutory framework, by law.
In 2009 another inquiry - The Protection of Children In England: a progress report (Lord Laming) following the death of ’Baby P’, and the Bichard enquiry, stated child protection was not being given the attention it deserved, making 58 recommendations for steps to protect children from harm.
In 2009 The Vetting and Barring scheme was introduced, in order to prevent unsuitable people working with children or vulnerable adults.
From July 2010 phasing over a five year period, anyone working or volunteering with children or vulnerable adults will be required to register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). The ISA use many sources to continuously monitor individuals against new information, in order to assist in informed recruitment decisions.
It is our duty to ensure all children are safe whilst in our care. The Data Protection Act 1998 covers personal information about individuals held by organisations. Information held is accurate and up to date, is kept secure and is used only when needed.
Our information about children in our care, is kept in a locked filing cabinet. Only the Parent/carer of each child is able to see their information (learning journey etc) Information passed to us by parents cannot be passed to a third party without consent. EYFS GUIDELINES.
The Data Protection Act is not a barrier for sharing