Within health and social care setting there are many different policies and procedures that have to be followed in certain situations. There are a number of policies and procedures that are put into place to help children, young people and their families whilst they are being looked after. A policy is a set of guidelines and rules that are agreed and put into place by the organisation and procedures are the steps and methods that are followed from the policy.
They help to guide the professionals and organisation on what to do in certain situations to achieve a best possible outcome. Health and social care workers will be trained so that if they suspect or can confirm a child or young person is being abused then they can follow the correct policy and procedure on how to deal with the situation. There are a number of different child protection agencies whose aim is to keep all children and young individuals free from any form of abuse, harm or danger.
The department for children, schools and families, otherwise known as DCSF, have the responsibility for children in England and Wales and aim to make a suitable and safe place for children to grow up in. “The purpose of the Department for Children, Schools and Families is to make this the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up. ” (1). The department for children, schools and families work towards making all sure all children and young people are happy, healthy and safe.
They also work towards providing individuals with the best possible education whilst helping them to stay on track to achieve their highest potential. Many local authorities and organisations will use DCSF strategies and guidelines to create their own guiding principles and procedures to ensure that all children are kept safe. Members of staff within the organisation who are working with children young people and their families must abide by the policies and procedures that are put into place. Another child protection agency is the local safeguarding children’s boards, otherwise known as LSCBs.
The specific aim of this agency is to ensure that all agencies who are involved with child protection work together to make sure that children are looked after properly and kept safe by the agencies working successfully and effectively together to ensure the welfare of children. The purpose of the establishment and the partnership is to hold child protection agencies to account and to ensure safeguarding of children remains high on the agenda across their region. Professionals within the local safeguarding children’s boards nclude are at a variety including the police and many health bodies. Confidentiality is a big factor that ensures children are kept safe/the safeguarding of children. Information regarding children and young people within any health and social care settings should only be shared on a need-to-know basis and otherwise documented in a locked, safe cabinet so that individuals who do not need to know the information are not able to read it to find out factors that could be placing the child or young adult at a further risk of harm.
Information can be shared with the child or young adult themselves and their families however it again must only be one a need-to-know basis including any important information that they will need to know about. The confidentiality section of safeguarding children and young people is essential and originates and refers back to the Date protection Act of 1998. There are a number of laws that were put into place under the safeguarding of children including the children Act (1989), the children Act (2004) and the Every Child Matters Act (2004).
The first Children Act (1989) aimed to make sure that the welfare of children and young adults is paramount, working in partnership with the individual’s parents or carers to protect them from any type of harm/abuse. The Act was put into place to strengthen the child’s rights and legal position ensuring that the child had equal rights, feelings; wishes. It also ensured that children and young people were consulted and kept informed of any vital information that they needed to know.
The Children’s Act (2004) was then brought in to improve children’s lives to a further extent and introduced the legal act of ‘Every Child Matters (2004). Every Child Matters (2004) was created and introduced after some of the safeguarding organisations realised that in some areas the systems needing improvement due to the lack of communication and information sharing resulting in the death of a child.
The Every Child Matters (2004) aims to improve five outcomes for children and young adults consisting of them being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, to make a positive contribution and to achieve economic wellbeing (2). If an individual has any concerns that a child it suffering from any form of abuse there are a number of agencies that they can report it to. This is known as reposting arrangements and their concerns can be reported to the local protection agency, there are also helplines such as NSPCC where any concerns can be reported and if the individual believes the child or oung adult is suffering extreme harm (emergency) the concerns can be reported to the local authorities such as the police. All health and social care settings will have a safeguarding policy and if a member of staff suspects that a child is being maltreated they will have to follow the procedure which would include making a document depending if the concerns were a result of a direct or indirect disclosure or if the individual noticed a number of signs that the child is suffering from abuse.
The correct child protection teams would then have to be notified and the vital concerns and information passed on. Within a school setting there would be a designated child protection member of staff who would need to be made aware of any concerns. If abuse is then confirmed after a series of investigations then legal steps would be taken which would result in the child being placed on the child protection register and taken out of the family unit (if applicable).
Whistleblowing is when an individual from an organisation or the public reports their concerns of suspected abuse or inappropriate care and actions within the work place. This allows an individual to report any abuse or discrimination that they are aware of. For example, if there is any form of abuse or discrimination, if someone is breaking the law and committing a criminal offence can all be reported through whistleblowing. The information and case that is reported will then be investigated further and legal action taken if necessary.