Understanding of working practices and strategies that can be used to minimise abuse in health and social care.
The discussion within this essay is about some of the sections of the children’s act, it will explain the existing working practices, which are designed to minimise abuse and neglect within health and social care contexts, also evaluating the effectiveness of working practices and strategies used to minimise abuse and neglect within health and social care contexts, also discussing possible improvements to working practices and strategies to minimise abuse in health and social care contexts. Also within this discussion Hamzah Khan will be drawn upon as examples of when the children’s Act did not come into action when their abuse and neglect was at its strongest point. Strengths, weaknesses, positives and negatives will also be drawn upon through the lives of Hamzah Khan. As well, the Munro review and timescales. Within the role of the LADO –Local authority designated officer they are set to safeguard children, a LADO could have helped Hamzah Khan and possibly saved his life, not resulting in death (government, 2013).
The Lado has certain strategies and working practice they have to abide by to ensure a child’s safety. For example if a child is in the hands of suspected abuse or neglect they must consider a police investigation of the possible criminal offence; enquiries and assessment by children’s social care about whether a child is in need of protection or in need of services; and consideration by an employer of disciplinary action in respect of the individual (government, 2013). They are also responsible for letting the child’s voice be heard, providing advice, information and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations around allegations and concerns regarding paid and unpaid workers.
These strategies and working practices are here to help prevent abuse in cases such as Hamzah Khan, However Hamzah did not receive a LADO, but if he had he might not have been abused and he might not of died with the tools that the LADO has, he or she could have took Hamzah away from that home, when suspected abuse was first brought up and could have formed a case, which then could have gone to the courts, leading to Hamzah possibly going into foster care where he could not have been abused anymore.
Improvements could be made in the children’s Act of the LADO. A LADO needs to be contacted more, and needs to be in contact more with other health care professions so they can communicate together with what is happening with the child, but in Hamzah’s case the Lado obviously failed to do so (Wirral, 2015). The LSCB are required to produce policies and procedures for supporting the welfare of children in their local area. The board are required to take immediate action when a child’s welfare is at risk, also to investigate any allegations of people working with children, i.e. teachers, nursery workers, etc. They are to communicate with other health and social care professionals, also promoting the welfare of children and raise awareness to deal with the situation. The board is also responsible for observing and evaluating inefficiency of what’s done by authorities and their bodies to safeguard and promote welfare of children and advice on how to improve things.
Monitor and evaluating the effectiveness of what is done by the authority and their board partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and advising them on ways to improve. In addition to all of the above they are to evaluate serious cases within the local areas and find a better solution to improve the situation at hand. For example finding a foster family for a child that has been previously abused and neglected in their home, in this case blood ideology (blood related) would not been ideal, as placing a child back into an abusive home where the child is more likely to get abused and neglected again, whereas in a foster home the child is safe and not at risk with this non- blood ideology family.
The board use these strategies and working practices to help prevent children from getting abused, the positives to the LSCB are that they are required by law to communicate with people and bodies in areas of authority to safe guard children, so they can get in touch with these authorities and find out of them all different information that can help prove suspected abuse is going on and then get the right authority to remove the child of suspected abuse however a negative is that The LSCB says that blood link ideology is better than non blood link ideology so even if a child has previously been abused at a home they are preferred to go back there as it is blood linked. (Working together online, 2013) In Hamzah’s case one of these officers was not provided, as he was described as ‘the invisible child’ (The Guardian, 2013).
Improvements such as removing the blood link ideology from this section of the act would improve it greatly as this means that there are less chances of this child getting abused by their previous abuser again. The LSCB did not occur in Hamzah’s case, he was not a priority and he wasn’t safeguarded by this board. His case was not evaluated, and the situation he was in which he was being abused and neglected was not being improved by any health care profession, like the LSCB are supposed to do, for example improving his situation by putting him into a foster family so he could not be put at risk any longer. “An emergency protection order is when a person applies to a court for an order to be made under this section with respect to the child” (www.gov.uk, 1989). The court may make the order, but only under these criteria; There is belief that the child is very likely to suffer harm, neglect or abuse if he or she is not moved to accommodation immediately that is provided by the applicant or on behalf of the applicant. He or she does not stay in the place in which he or she is being accommodated.
An emergency protection order could have been issued so many times within this case, however all health care professional failed to see something wrong as quoted he was the “invisible child” to social services especially, during a visit too Amanda Hutton’s house it was found that one of Amanda’s children didn’t have a bed, one child’s sleeping arrangements were made unclear and Amanda herself seem to be under a unknown influence of alcohol or drugs, but none of these professionals thought that any of these would be a reason to issue a EPO, if this EPO was put in place they could have helped Amanda for example make it a court order that she goes to rehabilitation and be sober before Hamzah was back in her care, they could have also got her property in a better state as there was rubbish everywhere, they could have also help find her a job and get a steady income so her family wasn’t neglected and in poverty; all of these things if put in place within the EPO could have resulted in Hamzah being a healthy boy today. (Bradford safeguarding children board, 2013)
These strategies and working practices did not help Hamzah as stated above; the EPO needs many improvements to that for example someone like Hamzah doesn’t die again, for example a negative to this section is that the child in question of abuse can be returned after 8 days if they have failed to find valid evidence and the EPO can apply again for a further 7 more days, but this still not long enough, so even if Hamzah did get an EPO he could have been returned and then further abuse could have carried on and this is going to happen to other children if the time limit is still so short, however this time could be considered quite a long period away from the family as the suspected abuser may not even be abusing the child.
“The Munro review was critical of the current system used for monitoring performance in child protection, Munro explained that by focusing on specific aspects of process within child protection system- as opposed to the quality of practice –performance indicators have skewed and misdirected local priorities, current performance indicators focus on data which is easy to collect and achievements are measured in the form of numbers e.g. number of C.P plans and efficiency targets” (tri.x, 2011) This proves to be a negative aspect, the system is more bothered about quantity rather than quality and this intervention tell us nothing at all about children being safer as a result of the intervention. One improvement on the Munro is that these new indicators place a clear emphasis on the importance of collecting outcome data.
Within the Munro improvements are set to get even better with stronger focus on outcomes and impact, they are set to also get feedback from children, young people, families and the work force. They are also now set to improve the scope of the new data collection measures for example; focusing on timelines, workforce issues and outcomes and experiences. (tri.x, 2011) To summarise if these improvements were made earlier could this review have saved Hamzah? Bibliography 1. The guardian (2013) Hamzah khan: social services missed warning signs, report finds [online]. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/13/hamzah-khan-social-services-warning-signs [accessed on 29/12/14]
2. Government (2013) if your child is taken into care [online] Available from:https://www.gov.uk/if-your-child-is-taken-into-care/care-proceedings [accessed on 2nd December 2014]
3. Government (2013) Local Authority designated officer for allegations
[online]. Available from: https://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/childrens-services/wirral-safeguarding-childrens-board/information-professionals/allegations [accessed on 29/12/14]
4. Government (2013) Local Authority designated officer for allegations [online]. Available from: https://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/childrens-services/wirral-safeguarding-childrens-board/information-professionals/allegations [accessed on 29/12/14]
5. Government (2013) Local Authority designated officer for allegations [online]. Available from: https://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/childrens-services/wirral-safeguarding-childrens-board/information-professionals/allegations [accessed on 29/12/14]
6. Government (2013) working together to safeguard children [online]. Available from:http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/254669/Safeguarding-children,-child-protection-policy-2012.pdf [accessed on 22nd November 2014]
7. Trixonline (2011) The Munro review interim report: ‘the child’s journey’ [online].Available from :(http://www.trixonline.co.uk/website/news/pdf/policy_briefing_No-11.pdf [accessed on 29/12/14
8. Trixonline (2011) The Munro review interim report: ‘the child’s journey’ [online].Available from :(http://www.trixonline.co.uk/website/news/pdf/policy_briefing_No-11.pdf [accessed on 29/12/14]