Safeguarding of Children and Adults Level 3 (VTQ)

102 videos, 4 hours and 39 minutes

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Safeguarding Children

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3 min 18 sec
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Historical Context of Child Safeguarding in the UK

Child and young people's safeguarding has always been a priority in the UK. As early as 1933, the first child protection legislation was introduced, and some elements of this law remain in effect today.

Existing Child Protection Framework

The current child protection framework is anchored around the Children's Act 1989, which is applicable in England and Wales. The Children Order 1995 (Northern Ireland) and the Children Act 1995 (Scotland) uphold similar principles, each with respective guidance in place.

Role of Different Acts in Child Protection

These Acts established a unified system for identifying individuals unsuitable for working with children by consolidating the Department of Health consultancy index list, the Department of Education's List 99, and the criminal records database. The Children Act 2004 made it mandatory for employers to conduct checks managed by the Disclosure and Barring Service (replacing the Criminal Records Bureau) when recruiting for roles involving children. Furthermore, it was declared an offence to employ anyone included on this list.

Principles and Implications of Child Protection Legislations

The overarching principle of these legislations is to prioritise child welfare, which takes precedence in any decision-making regarding a child's upbringing. The concept of parental responsibility was introduced, outlining the rights, duties, powers, and responsibilities of a child's parent or guardian. The legislation also lays out the process for integrating children's services to ensure that all children can achieve the five outcomes outlined in the Every Child Matters initiative.

The Five Outcomes of the Every Child Matters Initiative

  • Be healthy: This involves being physically, mentally, sexually, and emotionally healthy and leading a healthy lifestyle, including abstaining from illegal drugs.
  • Stay safe: This includes protection from maltreatment, neglect, violence, sexual exploitation, accidental injuries, bullying, discrimination, crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • Enjoy and achieve: This entails being ready for school, enjoying school, meeting national educational standards at primary and secondary levels, achieving personal and social development, and enjoying recreation.
  • Make a positive contribution: This involves participating in decision-making, supporting the community and environment, engaging in law-abiding positive behaviour, developing positive relationships, and building self-confidence and resilience.
  • Achieve economic well-being: This includes participation in further education, training or employment after school, living in decent and sustainable homes, having access to transport and material goods, and living in a household free from low income.

Definition of Harm in the Context of Child Safeguarding

The Act characterised harm as ill-treatment, including sexual abuse and non-physical forms of ill-treatment, or impaired health, be it physical, mental, or developmental - physical, intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural.

There are other Acts relevant to child safeguarding, which we will explore in subsequent articles.