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Polices and Procedures

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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 which introduced further changes to the way the protection system was structured. The Children Act 1989 aimed to simplify the laws that protected children and young people. They were thought of as a serious shake up and made it clear to those who worked with children what their duties were and how they should work together in cases of child abuse in Working Together to Safeguard Children 1999. The tragic death of Victoria Climbie at the hands of her carers in 2000 highlighted the dysfunctional way in which services for children were happening. The Laming report of 2003 examined this and produced the green paper/policy Every child matters which in turn instigated extensions to the Children Act 1989 creating the Children Act 2004, all of which support the UNCRC's articles e.g. 19, 32, that give children the right to be protected from harm and to have protection procedures in place that enable care for a child that safeguards their well-being. The Children Act 2004 focuses on:
• The integration of children’s services and the introduction of children’s directors with responsibility for local authority education and children’s social services.
• Lead councillors for children’s services with political responsibility for local welfare.
• The establishment of Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCB) with statutory powers to ensure that all services work together to protect vulnerable children.
• A new Common Assessment Framework to assist agencies in identifying welfare needs.
• Revised arrangements for sharing information.

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006 added an update on safeguarding following the Laming and Bichard Inquires and a national framework to help agencies work together. There are many other acts designed to protect children: Protection of Children Act 1999, Data protection Act 1998, Safeguarding vulnerable group Act 2006, Sexual offences Act 2003, Criminal justice and court services Act 2000, Equalities Act 2010, Data protection Act 1998 non-statutory guidance and United Nations Convention on the rights of the child.

Local Safeguarding Children Board’s (LSCBs) have been established by the government because The Children Act 2004 places a duty on children’s services to establish local boards and sets out the agencies that will be ‘Board partners’ on the LSCB. The Act also places a duty for the authority and Board partners to cooperate with each other. This is to ensure that organisations work together effectively to safeguard children and promote their welfare. In Bedfordshire this includes social care services, education, health, the police, probation, the voluntary sector, youth offending team, Connexions, early years services as well as District councils and Yarlswood.
In October 2009 a vetting and barring scheme was introduced designed to prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults. From July 2010, by 2015, anyone working with children or vulnerable adults will need to be registered with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Using a range of resources the ISA will prevent unsuitable adults working with children and vulnerable people. One resource they will use is the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) which processes applications and continuously monitors individuals against any new information. This means an individual’s full criminal record and other information is available to employers so they can make informed decisions before hiring someone.…...

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