FDHS/FDLD The Children Act 1989/2004
Lesson Outcomes To discuss the background to the Children Act 1989. To identify the key principles of the Children Act 1989 To discuss the findings for the Laming inquiry and The Green Paper, Every Child Matters. To identify the key principles of the Children Act 2004
Prior to the children act 1889 – Children’s charter 1908 – Children’s Act 1932 – Children and young person’s act 1948 – Children’s Act 1968 – Social Work (Scotland) Act 1974 – Inquiry into the death of Maria Caldwell 1989 – Children Act
The Children Act 1989 and overview The Children Act 1989 places a duty on local authorities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area and to provide a range and level of services appropriate to those children’s needs. Local authorities must also make child protection enquiries if they have reasonable cause to suspect a child in their area is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm
The Children Act 1989 an overview The 1989 act introduced changes in the language we use to refer to children Parental rights became parental responsibility Emphasis on people’s responsibilities to the child. Made the entry route into care one single route and orders made have to satisfy the criteria for S.31 The concept of Wardship became extremely limited. To name but a few ………………………………….
The Aims of the Act Bringing together private and public law in one framework. Balance child protection while enabling parents to challenge state intervention. To work in partnership with parents. To promote the use of voluntary arrangements. To restructure the courts to facilitate the management of family proceedings.
Principles of the Act Children’s welfare is paramount in the decision making process. The wishes and preferences of the child is paramount. Parental responsibility has replaced parental rights. Children have the ability to be parties separate to their parents.
Principles of the Act cont’d Local authorities are charged with duties to identify children in need and promote and safeguard their welfare. Duties and powers placed on Local Authorities to provide services for children and families. A checklist of factors must be considered by the courts before reaching decisions. Orders under the act are not made unless it can be shown that this is better for the child than not making an order. The concept of no delay.
Key Concepts Parental Responsibility Welfare of the Child Partnership and co-operation Powers and duties of Local Authority Services Children in need Accommodated children Case reviews and complaints procedures Protection of children including orders to provide immediate protection for children and the concept of significant harm.
128 injuries on her body The Laming report found that Victoria had suffered extreme abuse and neglect.
“The extent of the failure to protect Victoria was lamentable” “Not one of the agencies empowered by parliament to protect children in positions similar to Victoria’s – funded from the public purse – emerge from this enquiry with much credit. The suffering and death of Victoria was a gross failure of the system and was inexcusable” The Laming Report
The Background to the Children Act 2004 In 2003 the Government asked children, young people and adults in England for their views on how children and young people should be treated and helped. They wanted to improve health, education, social care and justice. The document asking these questions was a green paper called ‘Every Child Matters’. The information from this exercise was used to develop the Children’s Bill and this in turn became the Children Act 2004, replacing the Children Act 1989.
Every Child Matters Be healthy Stay Safe Enjoy and achieve Make a positive contribution Achieve economic wellbeing
Every Child Matters Increasing the focus on supporting families and carers - the most critical influence on children's lives Ensuring necessary intervention takes place before children reach crisis point and Protecting children from falling through the net Addressing the underlying problems identified in the report into the death of Victoria Climbié Ensuring that the people working with children are valued, rewarded and trained
The Children Act 2004 A Director of Children’s Services covering Children’s social services and education. Integrated services to be provided through a Children’s Trust. Local Safeguarding Boards In central Government responsibility for children’s services moved to the DfES and a Minister for Children, Young People and Families was created.
The Children Act 2004 key points Co-operation of funds from different agencies to facilitate best outcomes for children. Well being – incorporates the 5 outcomes from ECM and S.11 outlines the duty to make arrangements to promote and safeguard welfare from an interagency standpoint. The Children’s Commissioner. An integrated inspection process for children’s services Enables the government to create an electronic record of every child in England, Scotland and Wales to make it easier to trace children across local authorities and government services.
What do you think? How effective do you think these two acts have been? Lord Laming recommendations