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Identify the Current Legislation, Guidelines, Policies and Procedures Argumentative

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Safeguarding is the term that has replaced the term Child Protection. It includes promoting children’s safety and welfare as well as protecting children when abuse happens. It has only been developed in the past 50 years, and the need for improved legislation has been highlighted by cases such as Maria Colwell (1973) and Victoria Climbie (2000) as these cases showed weaknesses in procedures. The United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (1989) is an international human rights treaty that grants all children a comprehensive set of rights. The convention has 54 articles and it sets out in detail what every child needs to have for a safe, happy and fulfilled childhood. Article 19 states children’s rights to be ‘protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse’. The UK signed up to the treaty in 1990 and all UN states apart from the United States and Somalia have now formally approved the convention and are legally bound to implement legislation which supports each of the articles. The Children’s Act 1989 identifies the responsibilities of parents and professionals who must work to ensure the safety of the child; it refers to safeguarding in sections 47 and 17.

Section 47 states that the local authority has a duty to investigate when ‘they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm’. Section 147 states that services must be put into place by local authorities and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need’. The Education Act 2002 requires school governing bodies, local education authorities and further education institutions to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The Children Act 2004 provides the legal framework for Every Child Matters which was the government’s response to Victoria Climbie inquiry report and in turn led to the Children Act 2004. It includes the requirement for * services to work more closely, forming an integrated service * a common assessment framework to help the early identification of need * a shared database of information which is relevant to the safety and welfare of children * earlier support for parents who are experiencing problems

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 was introduced to update the legislation relating to offences against children. It includes the offences of grooming, abuse of position of trust, trafficking, and covers offences committed by British citizens whilst abroad. It also updated the Sex Offenders Act 1997 to strengthen the monitoring of offenders on the sex offenders’ register.

The Department for Education (DfE) offers policy guidance for local authorities and schools. The two main guidance policies are Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010) and What to do if you are worried a child is being abused (2006). Working together to Safeguard Children (2010) sets out how organisations and individuals should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in accordance with the Children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004. Working Together is addressed to practitioners and frontline managers who have particular responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and to senior and operational managers in: ● organisations that are responsible for commissioning or providing services to children, young people, and adults who are parents/carers; and ● organisations that have a particular responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. The Guidance was revised after Lord Lamings report, The Protection of Children in England: A Progress Report, in March 2009, and published in 2010.

What to do if you are worried a child is being abused (2006) provides best practice guidance for those who work with children in order to safeguard their welfare. It also contains an appendix to help practitioners with the legal issues affecting the sharing of information. The guidance provides general information for anyone whose work brings them into contact with children and families, focusing particularly on those who work in social care, health, education and criminal justice services. Addressing issues affecting each of these target audiences, the document outlines: * what you should do if you have concerns about a child’s welfare * what will happen once you have informed someone about those concerns * what further contribution you may be asked or expected to make to the processes of assessment, planning, working with children, and reviewing that work. The guidance is accompanied with flowcharts following the procedure from referral, initial assessment, emergency action that might need to be taken, through to what happens after a strategy discussion and child protection review conference.

Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education (2007) sets out the responsibilities of all local authorities, schools and Further Education (FE) colleges in England to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. It sets out recruitment best practice, some underpinned by legislation, for the school, local authority, and FE education sectors. This includes vetting procedures and Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks. After the Soham murders, the rules were changed. “Enhanced” checks also reveal where an individual has been investigated by police but there has been no conviction. Anyone working in a school would also be checked against the Independent Safeguarding Authority’s (ISA) barred list, a database of people deemed unsuitable to work with children.

“Under no circumstances must a volunteer who has not obtained a CRB Disclosure be left unsupervised with children,” the Department for Education guidelines state. Anyone working in a school would also be checked against the Independent Safeguarding Authority’s (ISA) barred list, a database of people deemed unsuitable to work with children and “Under no circumstances must a volunteer who has not obtained a CRB Disclosure be left unsupervised with children”. Schools must develop policies using these and other guidelines that ensure the safety, security and wellbeing of their pupils. These will set out the responsibilities of staff and the procedures that they must follow. These policies can be separate i.e. Safeguarding Policy, Bullying Policy or one policy i.e. Health and Safety Policy. These must include sections which cover * safeguarding and protecting and procedures on reporting * e- safety

* bullying, including cyber bullying
Schools have a responsibility to:
• know, support and protect children who are identified as being at greater risk – that is, on the ‘at risk register’ • monitor, keep records and share appropriate information with other agencies. • observe for signs that abuse may be happening, changes in children’s behaviour or failure to thrive, and refer any concerns • provide opportunities for professional training of all staff relating to Safeguarding • put into place policies and security systems for e-learning activities, for example, provide training for children and use filtering software • develop children’s awareness and their knowledge of what is acceptable and not acceptable behaviour, including when using the Internet The Byron Review (2008) reported on the risks to children from exposure to potentially harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games, and issued guidance on how they should be protected. There must also be a named member of staff with particular responsibilities for safeguarding children and for e-safety. Safeguarding is a very important issue when working with Children and Young People. It is important that all people working with children and young people are aware of the legislation, guidelines and policies on safeguarding including e-safety.

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