There has been certain legislation in the United Kingdom along with home policies and procedures that affect the safeguarding of children and young people. Policies and procedures for safeguarding and child protection in England and Wales are the result of the Children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004 brought more changes that affected the way the child protection system works here in the United Kingdom and so affecting the safeguarding of children and young people.
Through the protection policies and procedures for safeguarding children and young people, settings which work with children and young people have an important role in the detection and prevention of abuse and neglect. All personnel working to safeguard children and young people must understand their responsibilities and duties fully as set out in current government legislation, regulations and guidance. The Children Act 1989 made laws about the protection of children and young people more clear and simple to follow in the United Kingdom.
This Act was a serious shake up of children’s rights and protection, and outlined the duties and responsibilities of those who worked with children, especially of those in events of allegations of child abuse. The Children Act 2004 came into force for many reasons starting with the unfortunate case of Victoria Climbie, where she died at the hands of her carers. This death bought about the Laming report in 2003, which criticised the approach of protecting children in our society.
The Act forced services for children to start working together along with other things like revised arrangements for sharing information and also creating the local safeguarding children’s boards (LSBC) which they use to review all child deaths in their area as required by the working together to safeguard children statutory guidance. The Children Act 2004 also revised the legislation on physical punishment by making it an offence to hit a child if it causes mental harm or leaves a lasting mark on the skin.
Working together to safeguard children 2006 was a revised document which provided an update on safeguarding and the national framework to help services for children and agencies to work individually and also together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. It was also further revised in 2010 and also applies to those working in education, health and social services as well as the police and the probation service. It is relevant to those working with children and their families in the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors.
It is not necessary for all practitioners to read every part of Working Together to Safeguard Children in order to understand the principles and to perform their roles effectively. However, those who work regularly with children and young people and who may be asked to contribute to assessments of children and young people in need and should know the relevant sections of this document. The vetting and barring scheme was introduced in October 2009 with the aim of preventing unsuitable people from working with children and young people.
It assured anybody working or volunteering with children would have to register with the independent safeguarding authority (ISA). The ISA will make the decision whether someone is suitable or not to work with children and young people, they base their decisions on information sources like a criminal record bureau checks which gives full record of the individual’s criminal record, this information could also be used as a recruitment tool for services for children.
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