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Comparative child protection: Seeing ourselves as others see us. Patrick Ayre Department of Applied Social Studies University of Luton Park Square, Luton email: [email protected] web: http://patrickayre.co.uk. THE LAW: MESSAGES FROM THE CHILDREN ACT 1989.

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Comparative child protection seeing ourselves as others see us l.jpg

Comparative child protection:Seeing ourselves as others see us

Patrick Ayre

Department of Applied Social Studies

University of Luton

Park Square, Luton

email: [email protected]

web: http://patrickayre.co.uk


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THE LAW: MESSAGES FROM THE CHILDREN ACT 1989

  • The welfare of the child is the paramount consideration.

  • Wherever possible, children should be brought up and cared for within their own families; local authorities cannot acquire parental responsibility without a court order.

  • Children should be safe and protected by intervention if they are in danger; such intervention must be open to challenge.

  • Children should be consulted and kept informed about what happens to them, and participate in the decisions made about them

  • Local authority has a duty under s47 to investigate where it seems a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm


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THE LAW: MESSAGES FROM THE CHILDREN ACT 1989

Help for parents with children " in need" should be offered as a service to the child and the family, and should:

  • be provided in partnership with the parents

  • meet each child's identified needs

  • be appropriate in terms of the child's race, culture, religion and linguistic background

  • be open to effective, independent representations and complaints procedures

  • draw upon effective collaboration between agencies, including those in the voluntary sector


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WORKING TOGETHER

Child protection work in Britain characterised by

  • emphasis on inter-agency co-operation

  • fairly complex structural arrangements to facilitate it

    Pattern influenced by :

  • public enquiries

  • centralised pattern of provision of key services


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MAJOR FEATURES OF THE SYSTEM

  • Child protection belongs to everyone

  • Emphasis on collaboration :

    • Informal consultation and discussion

    • Investigation planning

    • Case conferences

    • Core group working

    • Local Safeguarding Children Board and its sub-groups

    • ease of working together is also fostered by joint training.


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Inter-agency Work and Risk

Problems arise from

  • Closed professional systems

  • Polarisation

  • Exaggeration of hierarchy

  • Role confusion


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Inter-agency Work and Risk

Interagency system is unable to deal effectively with:

  •  agencies not fully integrated into centralised system

  •  dysfunctional inter-agency relationships

  •  shortage of resources

  •  individual ignorance and error


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Information handling problems

  • Inadequate knowledge

  • Picking out the important from a mass of data

  • Interpretation

  • Distinguishing fact/opinion

  • Too trusting/insufficiently critical

  • Mistrusted source


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Information handling problems

  • Decoyed by another problem

  • False certainty; undue faith in a ‘known fact’

  • Competing tasks in one visit/worker

  • Scattered information

  • Discarding information which does not fit

  • First impressions/assumptions


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