Safeguarding the welfare of children and young people involves more than just protecting their rights. Young children are extremely vulnerable and rely on adults to meet their basic needs including providing food, warmth and shelter, as well as protecting their security and keeping them safe from neglect or harm.
The main points of legislation that support the safeguarding of children are: Children’s Act 1989 – The main concepts of this act is parental responsibility, the welfare of the child and partnership and cooperation from all associated services. In summary the act states that the mental and physical well-being of the child is above all else and appropriate steps need to be taken to ensure this. The children’s Act 1989 has two very import sections which focus’s entirely on child protection. It is also the act that identifies the parents and professionals responsibilities to work together to help to ensure the safety of the children. Section 17 states that the local authorities must put in place the services to safeguard and also the services must promote the welfare of children and young people within their area who are in need. The other section is section 47 and this states that the local authorities have the duty to look further into situation, when they have reasonable cause or suspect that a child or young person who is either living or found in their area has suffered from or is suffering from significant harm. Children’s Act 2004- this identifies the requirements for earlier support to parents and families who are experiencing problems or difficulties, which also links up with the common assessment framework. This is used to help the early of earlier identification of need. The act also requires the local authorities and services to work more closely with each other, and have a database which is shared together, to hold the required information that is relevant fore the welfare and safety of children and young people. Therefore this forms as integrated service. This is all incorporated in the legal framework of Every Child Matters.
Education Act 2002 – This sets out the responsibilities of all those who are working in schools or with children and young people, the governing bodies, the head teachers and local education authorities (LEAs.), to all work with one another to help ensure that all the children are safe and free from harm. Data Protection Act 1998 – this gives the significant rights to the individuals that have had a personal data collected from them and held by the data controllers. This act applies to anything that has been done to personal data including the following: processing, including and collection, use and disclosure, destruction and simply just holding of the personal data. Schools have the responsibilities and duties to develop policies that are used to help ensure the safety, welfare and well-bring of the children and young people within their schools. The policies must set out the procedures that all the staff must follow whether they are paid of volunteers. It will also provide some information on the responsibilities of all the staff. Some of policies and procedures that the school may follow are: Working together to safeguard children 2010, this policy gives the guidance to help set out the responsibilities and duties of organisations and authorities and how they must work together to help safeguard children and young people.
Every school should have its own E-safety policy. In 2008 the UK council for child internet safety (UKCCIS) was launched due to concerns about internet safety. The role of the UKCCIS is to safeguard children and young people in relation to the above issue. E-safety encompasses internet technologies and electronically communications such as mobile phones and wireless technology. The E-safety policy covers a range of topics such as why is internet use important? how does internet use benefit education? and authorised Internet access, filtering assessing risks and E-safety rules and many more. It also has a section on how the school deals with e-safety complaints. E-safety policies in school are also used to help protect children and young people whilst using the internet to ensure that they do not view inappropriate material or sites by a having restriction on what can be viewed in school. The internet is a very useful tool but can be used as a vehicle for child pornography. Children and young people can also be exploited through social networking sites and need to be aware of e-safety measures. Professionals have a duty to protect children by making them aware of the dangers and supporting them to deal with situations they are not comfortable with. Parents and careers may also need advice about to supervise children’s internet use of how to control access to certain material