Safeguarding Level 3. Unit 001 Essay

The context for safeguarding children and young people 1. 1 Identify the changes which have occurred in the UK over the past 100 years in relation to children and health conditions/practices, education and employment, citizenship and rights, equality and diversity. A) Health conditions/practices There is now legislation in place to ensure all children have access to the health services they may need. Agendas such as ‘every child matters’ ensures that children have the opportunities to access services they may need. The introduction of the Children Act 1989 has had a huge effect for children.

It is designed to help keep children safe and well and, if necessary, help a child to live with their family by providing services appropriate to the child’s needs. The Children Act supports children in need and their families to access the following services: -short break services -holiday play schemes -care at home -aids and adaptions -Financial help 100years ago children were more likely to live in poverty causing malnutrition. There were not immunisations like there are today which meant children were more likely to become ill or even die from diseases.

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Children didn’t have access to hospital services like they do now. If someone broke a bone it was left to heal on its own. Homely remedies were used more often rather than specific medication. There was no social services 100years which meant there was no-one to step in to help a child if they were living in poverty or being abused and mistreated. Local authorities now provide support groups aimed at specific needs. In the past this was never recognised so families would struggle on their own without being offered any help/support from the government. B) Education and employment 00years ago children went out to work at a very young age. They worked in places such as mines, factories and mills. There is now a legal age limit where children cannot work below the age of. Working class or poor Children didn’t always have the opportunity to finish school as they needed to work to earn an income. Children from upper class families had more opportunities to get a good education as they could afford private tutors and did not have to go out to work before they finished school. 100years ago working conditions were bad with no legal limit on working hours.

C) Citizenship and right 100 years ago there was no legislation to provide children’s rights. The United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) applies to all children and young people aged 17 and under. The Convention gives children social, economic, cultural or civil and political rights All children and young people up to the age of 18 years have all the rights in the Convention. Some groups of children and young people – for example those living away from home, and young disabled people – have additional rights to make sure they are treated fairly and their needs are met.

Over the past 30years there have been many pieces of legislation that have gradually given disabled children and those with specific requirements more legal rights such as: -the right to be educated alongside others -the right to be treated no less favourably than others -the right to have their needs assessed and met -the right to be involved in decisions that will affect them Children did not have these rights 100years ago meaning they didn’t have the opportunities they have now. In the past children with a disability were labeled as ‘spastics’.

They are now correctly diagnosed and their conditions are given names. D) Equality and diversity There is now many laws and legislation which promotes equality and diversity such as: -Race Relations Act 1976 -Children Act 1989 and 2004 -Care Standards Act 2000 -Education Act 1981 -Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 -Disability Discrimination Acts 1995 and 2005 -Equality Act 2006 In the past people were discriminated against due to race, religion, gender, sexual preference, age etc. this was accepted where now people know better and the above laws are in place to stop discrimination. . 2 Describe the changes in the structure of the family unit over the past 50 years. Fifty years ago the number of people over the age of 30 that were still single was just 25%. Now in 2007 approximately 55% of the population over the age of 30 are single.. Less couples are choosing to start a family due to a greater increase in career opportunities, there is a greater number of lone parents and there are many siblings with different fathers. Complications that arise in unorthodox family situations can often cause serious long term emotional damage to the children involved.

People are increasingly turning away from traditional family patterns. They are adopting new roles for family members and various kinds of family structures. Many of these changes reflect scientific, economic, and social developments and changing attitudes. For example, modern birth control methods enable couples to limit the size of their family and to space their children. Many young people are postponing marriage and childbearing, and many couples want to have fewer children than people had in the past. The number of employed married women has grown dramatically.

This increase has led to many changes in family life. It has contributed to the ideal of the family, in which each member is respected and neither parent tries to be the head of the family. Divorce has become more and more common. The divorce rate more than trebled between 1968 and 1987. But divorced people often remarry. This fact suggests that many divorced people have not given up on family life. Many families now consist of step siblings and step parents, half siblings due to this increasing level of divorce and re-marrying. Step-families have a higher rate of child abuse.

Cohabitation has risen and almost half of children are now born outside wedlock. Lone parent families are now accepted with a quarter of children now living with a single mum. It may be that our expectations of family life have changed, that we are content with arrangements that would have dissatisfied our ancestors. Most people have access to a car or good public transport making increased distance between family members less problematic than it would have been 50 years ago. The ever-present nature of telephones – particularly mobile phones – has made family contact easier.

The role of women in the family and in society has changed a lot over the past 50 years. Women stayed home to be wives, mothers and homemakers, and today women are still mothers, but few of them stay home full time to take care of the house and children. They usually work outside the home but are still also the primary homemakers creating a difficult double duty. 1. 3 Describe new perceptions of abuse of children/young people have changed over the last 100 years. Perceptions of child abuse have altered significantly over the past 100years.

This is due to many factors such as: * Changes in the media such as the internet and 24hour news programmes. People can easily access information and cases of child abuse are broadcast on TV and across the internet so people are more aware of when child abuse happens and how often. In the past people were oblivious to a lot of child abuse unless it happened close by. * In 1986 Esther Rantzen produced and presented Childwatch, which alerted the British Public to the prevalence of child abuse. Childwatch was responsible for the launch of Childline in 1986 which was the first national helpline for children in danger or distress.

Esther Ranxten suggested the idea of Childwatch following the death of a toddler who starved to death whilst locked in a bedroom. The aim of the programme was to find better ways of detecting children at risk of abuse . * In 2004 the law against smacking children was amended. The 2004 Children Act stated that Mild smacking is allowed under a “reasonable chastisement” defence against common assault. Any punishment which causes visible bruising, grazes, scratches, minor swellings or cuts is punishable up to 5years in prison. * The legal age that children have criminal responsibility is 10.

This has changed over the past 20 years. The age in England and Wales was legislated by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. 1. 4 Explain the meaning of the following terms, as used in relevant government legislation and guidance – vulnerable children, children in need and children looked after. Vulnerable children Age – Children from birth to six years old are always vulnerable. Physical Disability – children who are physically disabled and therefore unable to remove themselves from danger are vulnerable. Those who, because of their physical limitations, are highly dependent on others to meet their basic needs are vulnerable.

Mental Disability – children who are cognitively limited are vulnerable because of a number of possible limitations such as: recognizing danger, knowing who can be trusted, meeting their basic needs and seeking protection. Challenging – A child’s emotional, mental health, behavioural problems can be such that they irritate and provoke others to act out toward them or to avoid them totally. Powerless – children who are highly dependent and susceptible to others are vulnerable. These children typically are so influenced by emotional and psychological attachment that they are subject to the notions of those who have power over them.

Children may be subject to intimidation, fear and emotional manipulation. Powerlessness could also be observed in vulnerable children who are exposed to threatening circumstances, which they are unable to manage. Defenceless – a child who is unable to defend him/herself against aggression is vulnerable. This can include those children who are oblivious to danger. Children who are frail or lack mobility are more defenceless and therefore vulnerable. Non-Assertive – a child who is so passive or withdrawn not to be able to make his or her basic needs known is vulnerable.

A child who cannot or will not seek help and protection from others is vulnerable. Illness – some children have continuing or acute medical problems and needs that make them vulnerable. Invisible – Children that no one sees (who are hidden) are vulnerable. A child who is not visible to be noticed and observed should be considered vulnerable regardless of age. The government has introduced the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) which helps prevent unsuitable people working with vulnerable children and adults. They make barring decisions on people who have harmed or presented a risk of harm o vulnerable people – including children Children in need Under Section 17 (10) of the Children Act 1989, a child is a Child in Need if: He/she is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision for him/her of services by a local authority; their health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without the provision of certain services; or if they are a Disabled Child. The following situations may deem a child to be in need:

Significant Harm: Children who have suffered Significant Harm Disabled Children: Children with physical disabilities, sensory disabilities, learning disabilities or emotional and behavioural disabilities Parental Illness/Disability: Alcohol or drug misusing parents, Acutely ill parents (short term), Chronically disabled parents, Chronically mentally ill parents, Children assuming responsibility for chronically ill, addicted, or disabled parents Family in Acute Stress: Homeless family, unsupported single parent, Death of carer Family Dysfunction: Domestic violence, Inconsistent parenting, Family breakdown Socially Unacceptable Behaviour: Disorderly behaviour, Offending, Truancy, Unsafe sexual behaviour Children looked after A looked after child is a child in public care of a local authority in accordance with section 22 of the Children Act 1989.

The term ‘looked after children and young people’ is generally used to mean those looked after by the state, according to relevant national legislation which differs between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This includes those who are subject to a care order or temporarily classed as looked after on a planned basis for short breaks or respite care. The term is also used to describe ‘accommodated’ children and young people who are looked after on a voluntary basis at the request of, or by agreement with, their parents. The National Minimum Standards (NMS) are in place to ensure Children’s Homes focus on delivering achievable outcomes for children. The standards are intended to be qualitative, in that they provide a tool for judging the quality of life experienced by children and young people who are looked after.

The NMS are underpinned by the Children’s Home Regulations 2001 as amended. 1. 5 Identify the types and extent of child abuse in the UK using current published information from A) the relevant UK government department B) NSPCC and Children First. There are four main types of abuse: 1. Physical abuse 2. Emotional abuse 3. Sexual abuse 4. Neglect The NSPCC includes Bullying in its definitions of abuse although bullying is not defined as a form of abuse there is clear evidence that it is abusive and will include at least one, if not two, three or all four, of the defined categories of abuse. Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm.

Abuse commonly occurs within a relationship of trust or responsibility. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly or may be responsible for abuse because they do not prevent someone else from harming that child. There are also two Abuse can take the following forms: Physical This may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning/scalding, drowning suffocating or anything else which can cause physical harm. Sexual abuse Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person into sexual activities. The activities may involve prostitution, physical contact, including penetrative such as rape, buggery, or oral sex. Or non-penetrative acts.

They can also involve not contact activities such as online images, watching porn or encouraging children to behave in inappropriate sexual way. In 2003 the Sexual Offences Act 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 UK citizens whilst abroad. It also updates the Sex Offenders Act 1997 by strengthening the monitoring of sex offenders. Emotional abuse Emotional abuse is the persistence emotional maltreatment of a child causing adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. This could involve demeaning the child, telling them they are worthless and inadequate.

This can also involve preventing a child from participating in normal social activities by overprotecting them or limiting their exploration and learning. Children could be emotionally abused if they can see or hear the mistreatment of someone else. Most emotional abuse is involved with other types of abuse but can happen alone. Neglect Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic needs. It is likely to result in poor health and/or development. Forms of neglect may involve failing to provide: food, clothing, shelter, adequate supervision, access to health/medical care and treatment. It can also mean failing to protect them from the harm or danger from others

Everybody who works or has contact with children, parents and other adults in contact with children should be able to recognise, and know how to act upon, evidence that a child’s health or development is or may be being impaired– especially when they are suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm. Everybody has a duty of care to be mindful always of the safety and welfare of children. In addition to the four main types of abuse above, children with a disability in a residential home may also encounter the following types of abuse: Institutional abuse when staff in the home sacrifice the needs wishes and lifestyle of a child in favour of the homes regime.

Financial abuse – deliberate misuse and exploitation of a child’s money or possessions. 2. 1 Understand how widely publicised cases of abuse, and subsequence injury, has affected current practice in safeguarding. In the past 12 years there have been many cases of child abuse. The following are three which were very well publisised and which changed laws, legislations and acts. In 2000 The case of Victoria Climbie was a well-publicised incident of child abuse which resulted in the death of a young girl. During the abuse, Climbie was burnt with cigarettes, tied up for periods of longer than 24 hours, and hit with bike chains, hammers and wires.

Up to her death, the police, the social services department of four local authorities, the National Health Service, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), and local churches all had contact with her, and noted the signs of abuse. However all failed to properly investigate the case and little action was taken. Kouao and Manning were convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. After Climbie’s death, the parties involved in her case were widely criticised. A public inquiry, headed by Lord Laming, was ordered. It discovered numerous instances where Climbie could have been saved, noted that many of the organisations involved in her care were badly run, and discussed the racial aspects surrounding the case, as many of the participants were black. The subsequent report by Laming made numerous recommendations related to child protection in England.

Climbie’s death was largely responsible for the formation of the Every Child Matters initiative; the introduction of the Children Act 2004; the creation of the ContactPoint project, a government database designed to hold information on all children in England; and the creation of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner chaired by the Children’s Commissioner for England. Structural changes included creating the post of a director of children’s services in each council who would ultimately be accountable for the safety of all children in their area. A common assessment framework was created so practitioners within health, education and the police could instigate better support for families not deemed to reach child protection thresholds. Local safeguarding children boards were also set up taking on the responsibility for multi-agency child protection training and investigating the causes of deaths and incidents of serious harm which may have been preventable in their area.

In 2002 Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells, went missing. Less than two weeks later their bodies were found in a ditch. Ian Huntley, a school caretaker in the village, was found guilty of the murders. After Huntley was convicted, it was revealed that he had been investigated in the past for sexual offences and burglary, but had still been allowed to work in a school as none of these investigations had resulted in a conviction. An independent inquiry into the events was conducted by Sir Michael Birchard which questioned the way employers recruited people to work with vulnerable groups and in particularly the way in which background checks were carried out.

One of his recommendations was for a single agency to vet all individuals who want to work or volunteer to work with children or vulnerable adults. The Vetting and Barring Scheme, run by the Independent Safeguarding Authority was set up and began rolling out voluntary registration in all countries except Scotland in 2009. However, business, community groups and others claimed the scheme was disproportionate, overly burdensome and infringed on civil liberties. Charities were concerned about it affecting recruitment of people to work with children. In May 2010, following the change in government, coalition ministers put the scheme on hold pending a review which has so far yet to report.

In 2008 Peter Connelly (originally and still often referred to as Baby P or Baby Peter), a 17 month old toddler, died after suffering extensive internal and external injuries over a nine month period. Despite having been seen by a range of professionals on numerous times and been the subject of a child protection plan, social services were never aware the mother had a new boyfriend who, along with a friend, were largely responsible for the injuries and the child’s death. Because Connelly died in Haringey, the same borough where Victoria Climbie had also died it prompted a media frenzy, which resulted in major scrutiny of child protection procedures in England. Lord Laming was instructed to conduct a review of child protection procedures.

As a result of his recommendations the government’s official child protection guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children was strengthened and the ICS system guidance was relaxed. However, much of the issues identified lay in failures of practice rather than policy. As part of his review, Laming recommended the recruitment, training and supervision of social workers as a key issue to be tackled. The government set up the Social Work Taskforce and later the Social Work Reform Board to overhaul the profession and make it fit for purpose. The growth of the woman’s movement and the spread of Rape Crisis centres in the 1970’s meant many adult women were able to come forward to report sexual assaults.

Many of those who did so also reported being sexually abused as children. In 1979 a team of paediatricians in Leeds had no cases of suspected child sexual abuse. In 1982 they had 7. In 1984 they had 50. In 1985 – 161 and in 1986 – 900. Similarly in 1984/5 the NSPCC nationally had a 90% increase in reported incidents of child sexual abuse and a further 90% increase in 1985/6. In 1994 more than 6,000 children were placed on Child Protection registers as a result of sexual abuse. It is recognized that this is only a small percentage of children who are sexually abused, because many don’t tell about the abuse, and many are abused but not placed on a register.

Research has shown that the increase in reported incidents of child abuse is related to a better understanding of the signs and symptoms of abuse and better inter-agency working – not because there has been an increase in the incidence rate. The media coverage of “worse scenario” cases not only sells newspapers but also influences public opinion. People who abuse children are usually portrayed as “monsters” – “sick” – “wicked”, and far removed from our friends, relatives and acquaintances. 3. 1 Describe recent developments which have raised public awareness of children/young people’s right to be safeguarded. Childline- following the death of a toddler due to neglect Childline was created.

This is a 24hour counselling service for children and young people in the UK. It deals with all issues that cause distress for children and also addressed concerns like child abuse, bullying and sexual abuse. Later, ChildLine merged with NSPCC, a UK-based charity that campaigns and works for child protection. Public awareness of child abuse was raised for this due to the success of a TV programme name Childwatch. NSPCC Full Stop Initiative Just prior to the launch of the NSPCC’s FULL STOP campaign in March 1999, the annual Comic Relief Appeal took place. This was heavily televised for a two-week period and intensified the competition between charities to raise public awareness and gain support for their cause.

Despite this, the NSPCC’s campaign excelled its target figure for new supporters by 70%. ‘Together we can end cruelty to children’ was the unique selling point of the three-week FULL STOP campaign launched by the NSPCC in early spring 1999. The charity believes that it was the biggest integrated campaign ever launched by the voluntary sector – and probably bigger than any commercial organisation had ever undertaken in such a concentrated time scale. The campaign’s objectives were: * to raise awareness of the problem of cruelty to children * to communicate that the NSPCC had launched a campaign to end the problem * to generate support, and involvement in, the campaign to create huge PR and media coverage. The launch of FULL STOP was held in London, hosted by Cilla Black, and attended by Tony Blair, HRH Duke of York (Chairman of the appeal), Baby Spice and a number of key business leaders. Throughout the campaign, on-going support from celebrities, such as Madonna and Ewan McGregor, played a key part in raising public awareness of the cause. Children Act 1989 The last 21 years have seen a gradual improvement in the services for children who may need out-of-home care, an improvement that started with a post-war political consensus that led to the Children Act 1989, with its driving principle that the child’s best interests must be paramount.

The children’s act was passed in order to allow the state to intervene in parent-children relations, mainly in the case of abuse and violence. Parents or guardians could hereby be arrested if they were found mistreating a child. The children act of 1989 was a major step in empowering children with rights. The last 21 years have seen a gradual improvement in the services for children who may need out-of-home care, an improvement that started with a post-war political consensus that led to the Children Act 1989, with its driving principle that the child’s best interests must be paramount. Children Act 2004 (England) Following the death of eight-year old Victoria Climbie in 2000, the Government asked Lord Laming to conduct an inquiry to help decide whether it eeded to introduce new legislation and guidance to improve the child protection system in England. The Government’s response to the Victoria Climbie Inquiry report (Laming, 2003) was the Keeping children safe report (DfES, 2003) and the Every child matters green paper (DfES, 2003), which in turn led to the Children Act 2004. Every Child Matters: Change for Children sets out the national framework for local change programmes to build services around the needs of children and young people so that we maximise opportunity and minimise risk. It aims are that every child and young person is able to fulfil their full potential and those facing particular obstacles are supported to overcome them.

It ensures that agencies work together to achieve the 5 outcomes: Be Healthy Stay Safe Enjoy & Achieve Make a Positive Contribution Achieve Economic Wellbeing The Children Act 2004 gives a clear focus and a new status to children’s services but, in itself, it is not enough. Its implementation must be part of a wider process of change, focused on outcomes and taken forward by local change programmes in 150 Local Authority areas set within a national framework. The National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services (NSF) is integral to this. It sets out a ten-year programme to stimulate long-term and sustained improvement in children’s health and well-being.

As it is implemented by Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), Local Authorities and other partners including other health organisations, it will contribute to the achievement of the five outcomes. 3. 2 Explain the links between Human Rights legislation and the protection of children/young people from abuse. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 (UN, 1989) was backed by the UK on 16 December 1991. It includes the right to protection from abuse, the right to express their views and have them listened to and the right to care and services for disabled children or children living away from home. The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law.

Whilst it does not specifically mention children’s rights, children are covered by this legislation as they are persons in the eyes of the law, just as adults are. The Act makes it unlawful for public authorities to act in a manner which is incompatible with the rights and freedoms contained in the Act. It also requires the Government and the courts to ensure that court rulings and new Bills are compatible with the Act wherever possible. These rights include the right to respect for private and family life. The Children Act 1989 legislates for children in England and Wales. The intention of the legislation is that children’s welfare and developmental needs are met, including the need to be protected from harm.

Key principles of the Act do reflect certain aspects of the UNCRC; protection from harm, respect for a child’s race, culture and ethnicity, parents’ responsibility for bringing up children and for the first time the duty to take account of a child’s wishes and feelings in decisions taken that affect them. The fundamental premise however that decisions are taken on the welfare principle i. e. that the court/adult’s determination of best interests are paramount can actively restrict children’s autonomy and ability to exercise their rights independently. The courts under the current welfare checklist are expected to achieve a result which most accords with adult ideals of children’s best interests, whether or not it accords with the child’s wishes.

A children’s rights based approach recognizes that although consulting with children is very different from delegating decision-making to them entirely on each occasion, there must be a delicate balancing act between article 3 right (best interests) of the UNCRC and giving full consideration to a child’s article 12 right (right to participate in matters that affect him/her) of the UNCRC. There should be increasing recognition given both in practice and law to the child’s status as a human being in his own right. It is inadequate for courts to make judicial decisions which give no consideration to a child’s views or choose to ignore them completely. Information found via the following: