Practitioners contribute to children’s care learning and development and safeguarding is reflected in every aspect if practice
Children Act 1989 – Determines the duty of early year’s practitioners to identify and meet the separate and distinctive needs of children and to keep them safe. It initiated the belief that the child ought to be at the centre of planning and that a child’s well-being and safety are vital when judgements are made concerning them. This act also recognises the accountabilities of parents in keeping their offspring safe. In this act there are two particular segments that relate to the duty of local authority with concern to child protection, these are-
The report made 108 ‘sweeping recommendations’ (Laming, 2003) about modifications that were needed in the child protection system as a response to the errors made by professionals who had accountability for Victoria’s care. These involved the creation of a children and families board, a children’s commissioner, new local authorities management boards and the creation of a national children’s database. The thrust of the report was to address the integration of children’s services, bringing the relevant sections of the professional sector together to improve co-ordination and communication as that would directly lead to effective collaboration.
It is everybody’s responsibility to safeguard children – This means every single staff member within a setting; irrelevant of what role they may have there. This also includes non-staff members, such as volunteers, student’s third-party companies (visitors, service providers etc). Each setting should therefore adopt their own safeguarding policy, of which has to be kept up to date and followed at all times.
The children act 1989 has influenced some settings by bringing together several sets of guidance and provided the foundation for many of the standards practitioners sustain and maintain when working with children. The act requires that settings work together in the best interests of the child and form partnerships with parents or carers. It requires settings to have appropriate adult to child ratios and policies and procedures on child protection. This act has had an influence in all areas of practice from planning a curriculum and record keeping. The every child matters framework has
* Babies and young children are vulnerable and very dependent on their parents and carers. Therefore as well as provide and children’s learning and development it is also essential that we support the physical care, keep them safe and meet their nutritional needs.
Risk assessments should be carried out regularly to make sure that there are no safe guard threats towards the children in the setting. Childcare settings need risk assessing for example is there entrances and exits to the building that an unauthorised person could use? Could a child leave the setting without anyone noticing? Could a child get seriously hurt due to a broken piece of equipment?
* Analysing the child’s and families need’s and the level of risk or harm the child may be suffering
The responsibility of the practitioner is to work as part of a team with other professionals and staff members effectively to bring children and parents the best possible service i.e. working with social workers, speech and language therapists, and family support workers. Practitioners must also have a working partnership with parents, to work effectively with the child as the parents are the primary carers and they will know what the child is like at home and what the child’s interests are. For example they would have a policy called ”parents as partners”.
Working together to safeguard children 2006 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’s Act 1989 and the Children’s Act 2004. It is important that all practitioners within settings and environments looking and caring after children and young people must know their responsibilities and duties in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people, following their legislations, policies and procedures.
The rationale for this choice was that the authors clinical background is health visiting and therefore has prior knowledge of good practice in child and family settings, an understanding of child development stages and experience of supporting children with complex needs and their families. Additionally, the author has previously been involved in shadowing opportunities within their own organisation and knows service areas well. By choosing an area unfamiliar to the author, a fresh eyes approach could be pursued and limited the potential for bias.
Nurses and other healthcare professionals have a significant impact on children and young people in Oldham,
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: