University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Caring for children and young people
Children’s Act 1989, 2004
Section 3 (1) in this act parental responsibility means all rights, duties, power, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent or a child has in relation to the child and their property. Children’s Act 1989, describes how local authorities should carry out their responsibilities in relation to care planning, placement and case review for looked after children. These responsibilities are designed to support the local authority in its primary duty set out in section 22(3) of the 1989 Act to safeguard and promote the welfare of the looked after child and to act as good corporate parents to enable each looked after child to achieve his/her full potential in life.
A key principle of the 1989 Act is that children are best looked after within their families, with their parents playing a full part in their lives, unless compulsory intervention in family life is necessary.
Children in Care
This is where the local authority has gone to court for a care order, usually against a parents’ wishes. The local authority may place the child with relatives, with foster carers or in a community (or residential) home until he/she’s 18 years old or the court end the order. Under the Children Act 1989 a council can apply for a care order if it believes a child is suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm. If you agree to your child becoming ‘looked after’ and there is no care order, you’ll continue to have parental responsibility for your child. Children are put into care because their parents lack to show responsibility for them, or they are under the influence of drugs/alcohol and can appear abusive and a threat to the child’s life. Legal duties under the children act 1989
Child assessment order (sec 43) under which the child can be seen and assessed, It must only be requested if the applicant has reason to believe that the child is likely to suffer significant harm or that an assessment is required to determine if the child is likely to suffer significant harm. Emergency protection order (sec 44) under which the child can be kept in, or removed to, a particular place (hospital or home). The court will only take the order further if it’s believed a child is likely in danger and harm, and that the order is both necessary and proportionate to the level of risk posed to the child. A care or supervision order (sec 31) the LA can decide where the child is to live until he/she is 18 years old. The LA has 3 duties towards the child under the SO; to advise, befriend and assist the child, to take steps that are necessary to give the order full effect and if the order is not followed then to consider whether to vary the order, attach requirements to it or even substitute it for a care order. Sometimes the children may not be taken into care, but you may have to be supervised by Social Services for a while to make sure the children are well cared for, this is called a “Supervision Order The foster placement regulations 1991
The child must be visited regularly in the foster home officer by a local authority. Foster parents must give information about their health, accommodation, religion and cultural background and capacity to care for a child of a particular racial/ethnic origin, culture or linguistic background. Children in foster care deserve to be treated as a good parent would treat their own children and to have the opportunity for as full an experience of family life and childhood as possible, without unnecessary restrictions.
Parental reasons can lead a child to be put in foster care; the reasons are as followed; Family related reasons
The main factor and reason children normally go into foster care is based on their family. Their family may experience financial problems, where they can’t take responsibility for their child nor provide food and support for them. In some cases, a parent may be very ill and unable to work or care for a child. The death of a parent may also make it difficult for the other parent to provide the care a child needs. Parents who are in incarcerated may lose custody of their children until they have served their sentences. Suspected abuse
Suspected abuse can include physical and sexual abuse. Physical abuse usually means to the extreme, where bruising is left on a child and numerous attempts to help a family learn alternative means of disciple have failed, and sexual abuse can include persuading or forcing a child to take part in sexual activities, or encouraging a child to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. Any forms of this in household, social services will get involved and remove the child from the house and put them into care.
Though rare, as there is usually family available to care for a child after the death of a parent, there have been cases when children do enter foster care after the death of a parent.
Child maltreatment, sometimes referred to as child abuse and neglect, includes all forms of physical and emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation that results in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, development or dignity, this will lead the child to going into care.
Loss of parent
A loss of parent to a child, leaves a child with no adult responsibility, if under the age of 18, therefore this child will be taking into care to be properly looked after. Child or young person related e.g. health problems, learning difficulties, as a result of committing an offence Parental illness
A parent being physically and mentally ill, will result to them not raising their child with full responsibility, from having lack of responsibility and full control over themselves, if this is noticed by social services they will make the decision to place the child in a better place.
The child can have behaviour problems to an extent (anger management) where their parents aren’t able to handle them properly and they are out of hand, the parents can seek help elsewhere too, but care can also be an option.
Jamie Bulger case
Robert Thompson and Jon Venables became Britain’s most notorious child killers in 1993 after murdering the two year old James Bulger. Outrage turned to shock when photographs of the two 10 year olds were released, showing a pair of frightened children. The two friends were both from broken homes. Robert Thompson who was described as quiet yet friendly, came from a dysfunctional family in which both parents were heavy drinkers and his six brothers fought constantly even threatening to knife each other. His father, who beat and sexually abused his wife and children, left the family when the Thompson was five. Pass Two- outline the arrangements for providing quality care for looked after children and young people The convention on the rights of the child 1989
The United Nations office of the high commissioner for human rights (UNCHR) based in Geneva, Switzerland. Under the term of the convention, a child under the age of 18. The section 54 articles in the convention explain the rights given to children in countries that have signed the convention. Governments have a responsibility to take all available measures to make sure children’s rights are respected, protected and fulfilled.
Peter Connelly was a 17 month year old British boy who died n London after suffering more than fifty injuries over an eight month period, during which he was repeatedly seen by Haringey children’s services and NHS health professionals In November, Connelly’s new boyfriend, Steven Barker, moved in with her. In December, a GP noticed bruises on Peter’s face and chest. His mother was arrested and Peter was put into the care of a family friend, but returned home to his mother’s care in January 2007. Injuries to Baby Peter’s face and hands are missed by a social worker after the boy is deliberately smeared with chocolate to hide them. On the 3rd of august 2007, Baby Peter was found dead in his cot, Dr Jerome Ikwueke, a GP who saw Baby Peter 14 times before his death, is suspended by the General Medical Council. Two social workers, who dealt with Baby Peter, Gillie Christou and Maria Ward, lose their claim for unfair dismissal. They had argued they were sacked unfairly by Haringey Council following his death, but a tribunal found the authority acted reasonably because of failings in the care they provided. Baby P was neglected, social workers and doctors failed to take authorities when clear evidence, showed he was in danger. The common assessment framework
The common assessment framework is a key part of delivering frontline services that are integrated and focused around the needs of children and young people. It is a standardised approach used by practitioners to assess children’s additional needs and decide how these should be met. The CAF should be offered to children who have additional needs to those being met by universal services. Unless a child is presenting a need, it is unlikely the CAF will be offered. The CAF is a four-step process hereby practitioners can identify a child’s or young person’s needs early, assess those needs holistically, deliver coordinated services and review progress; a practitioner is worried about how well a child or young person is progressing (e.g. concerns about their health, development, welfare, behaviour, progress in learning or any other aspect of their wellbeing) a child or young person, or their parent/carer, raises a concern with a practitioner a child’s or young person’s needs are unclear, or broader than the practitioner’s service can address
Hamza Khan was a 4 year old child who was starved to death by his alcoholic mother over a period of years. During his life, Hamzah missed a series of appointments at hospital, with health visitors and GPs, and he did not receive routine immunisations. His mother Amanda Hutton, 43, was jailed for 15 years last month after being found guilty of manslaughter. The framework for the assessment of children in need
The framework for the assessment of children in need and their families provides a systematic basis for collecting and analysing information to support professional judgements about how to help children and families in the best interest of the child. In addition, it takes account of relevant legislation at the time of publication, but is particularly informed by the requirements of the Children Act 1989, which provides a comprehensive framework for the care and protection of children.
The Assessment Framework involves gathering and analyzing information in three domains; Children’s developmental needs;
Parents’ or caregivers’ capacity to respond appropriately; Impact of the wider family and environmental factors on parenting capacity and children.
Pass Three- Explain the factors that would lead to suspicion of child maltreatment or abuse Risk of maltreatment
Child maltreatment, sometimes referred to as child abuse and neglect, includes all forms of physical and emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation that results in actual or potential harm to the child’s health. When a child is being maltreated a child’s rights are compromised and they are not cared for. A risk of maltreatment cause also be from within the family, and this could potential effect the growth of the child. Hamzah Khan
Hamzah Khan’s case was showed to portray neglection, he was starved to death and his needs were not recognised Neglect
Neglect is a form of abuse. It is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. When a child does not have what they need to function effectively. They may be deprived of security safely, shelter, warmth, food or love.
This term is used when someone uses their power or position to intimidate another individual Bullying can be classed as abuse. Bullying can be demonstrated through the physical actions as well as through verbal or written actions that lead to mental health and distress issues. Behaviours used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets.
The word ‘abuse’ covers a wide range of behaviour. Abuse can be criminal acts of violence or acts of neglect. There are different forms of abuse: Physical; Sexual; Emotional; Psychological; Financial; Neglect; Institutional Physical;
Physical abuse is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body. Physical abuse can include, pushing, slapping, expose to cold and striking with an object. Sexual;
Also referred to as molestation, is forcing undesired sexual behaviour by one person upon another. This includes being touched in a way you don’t like, or you’re made to watch someone do something sexual. Psychological;
Psychological abuse, also referred to as emotional abuse or mental abuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behaviour that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Institutional;
Institutional abuse is the maltreatment of a person from a system of power, this can typically occur in a care home, nursing home or in-patient setting. Financial; Financial abuse is one form of control used by domestic violence perpetrators in order to gain power over their partner, and is the most direct way in which domestic violence and financial issues relate to each other.
Hygiene is a set of practices performed for the preservation of health. Poor hygiene and lack of self-care can show that a person thinks little of themselves, and can cause skin complaints, unpleasant smells and bacterial or parasitic infections.
Malnutrition is present in the form of under-nutrition, which is caused by a diet lacking adequate calories and protein. Indicators of malnutrition include the person looking thinner than average for their age and height. Extreme undernourishment is starvation, and its symptoms and effects are inanition. Emotional withdrawal
A change in child’s normal behaviour is often a sign that they are being abused or have been abused. Emotional withdrawal is classified as a lack of emotional connection to others and the inability to communicate; this can affect a child’s self worth and self esteem, leaving them feeling devalued, and withdrawing themselves from others. Bruising
Bruising on infants, unexplained bruises, bruises in unusual places (upper arms, hands, ears, neck, buttocks, etc.), and bruises in specific shapes, like a large bite mark, cigarette burn, or belt mark, can be signs of child abuse. Victoria Climbe and Baby P were covered with bruising due to their abusing, which lead them both to death. Pass Four- Explain appropriate responses when child maltreatment or abuse is suspected: Behaviour indicator:
Withdrawal – A child that is being maltreated, will withdraw or isolate themselves from others, even close friends and other family, this is a response from them because they don’t want to communicate with anyone. Aggression – Aggression is a common response from a chid that is being abused or maltreated. They will become very frustrated and take their anger out on other people. Distress- Children get distressed from abuse; they will experience negative self identity, which also brings a feeling of worthlessness. Rocking/head banging – This is a response from abuse, children will do this as they see it as easing the pain and them being scared will lead them to self harming themselves. Hunger- Starvation could be done by a person to a child, or they could starve themselves. Reluctance to go home – A child will be scared to go home, fearing they will end up getting the same treatment, which affects their self esteem. Low self esteem – Children with low self esteem have been linked to abuse/bullying. They will experience negative self identity and they will feel highly depressed. Development delay – Children may have development delays as a result to abuse/maltreatment. They can lack in communication and being active as a young child, due to abuse not allowing them to be themselves.
Consequences of maltreatment
Emotion and physiological dysfunction – Psychological problems often manifest as high-risk behaviours, Maltreatment, for example, may make a child more likely to smoke, abuse alcohol or drugs, or overeat. Physical consequences, such as damage to a child’s growing brain, can have psychological implications, such as emotional difficulties.
Illness – Consequences of maltreatment can affect a child’s diet, where they are not malnourished enough because they are under eating. This will also eventually lead a child to being anorexic. Social Inadequacy – Children who experience neglect are more likely to develop antisocial traits as they grow up. Mental health- Health and physical effects can include the immediate effects of bruises, broken bones etc, and also long term effects of the brain damage and permanent disabilities. Cognitive abilities (intellectual) – Some studies find evidence of lowered intellectual and cognitive functioning in abused children as compared to children who have not been abused. They will have troubles bonding with others. Lack of attachment – A child will be more anti, and have lack of trust in others, causing them not to social and get close to anyone. Substance abuse – children who have experienced abuse or neglect will smoke cigarettes, abuse alcohol, or take illicit drugs during their lifetime.
Is the process of providing protection.
There must be someone in your organisation that will take action if there is a concern or allegations made with regards to a child young person. Once you have contacted children’s social care. From this point your concerns are known as a ‘Referral’. Social workers then have a duty by law to investigate the situation or circumstances that have led to the referral. They will; complete an assessment/ child protection investigation in partnership with police and talk to the child/ family and visit home. Child protection conferences
If the assessment indicates that the child is at risk of harm a child protection conference may be called. Its purpose is to: Bring together and analyse, in an inter-agency setting, the information that has been obtained about the child’s developmental needs, and the parents’ or carers’ capacity to respond to these needs; Ensure the child’s safety and promote the child’s health and development within the context of their wider family and environment; Decide what future action is required to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child, including the child becoming the subject of a Child Protection Plan.
Disclosure and barring service
The disclosure and barring service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the criminal records bureau (CRB) and independent safeguarding authority (ISA). The checking service allows employers to access the criminal record history of people working, or seeking to work, in certain positions, especially those that involve working with children or adults in specific situations. Criminal records bureau
CRB disclosures are made under the police act 1997.
Child protection policy
Children and young people are victims of different kind of abuse and that they can be subjected to social factors that have an adverse impact upon their lives. Including domestic violence, substance misuse, bullying, child prostitution and ritualistic abuse. Recognise its responsibility to safeguarding and promote the welfare of children under 18 within the legal framework of the children act 1989, 2004. Its purpose is to help us to develop a common understanding of child protection issues, develop good practice across the diverse and complex areas in which we operate and thereby increase accountability in this crucial aspect of our work.
Pass five- Explain the strategies and methods that can be used to support children, young people and their families where abuse is suspected or confirmed Strategies with children
Being respectful must be earned; it cannot be ordered or demanded, and it can easily be destroyed. Child- centred approach Remember that the child is at the centre and that they are the people who need to be empowered and supported so they can take control of their lives. Providing active support. Support needs to be readily available and practical when people are in need.
Policies of the setting
It is important that everyone working with children in a care and education setting is aware of, and has read, the policies of the setting. Doing ensures that staff members are at less risk of being accused of abuse or other neglectful things. Procedures needs to be followed to ensure that best practice is put in place and to ensure that setting is running smoothly and that everyone is acting in a consistent manner.
Children need to understand that they have rights of their own. Empowering children is about giving them information that is reliable, respecting their views, recognising each child and young person is an individual, that they might be exposed to damaging ideas and negative experiences and that this might influence their behaviour and own ideas. This can be achieved by;
• Helping them to understand the boundaries they might come across. Reinforcing issues when they arise in a positive manner such as turn taking, no pushing, being patient, understanding some children take more time than others to complete tasks, everyone has their own individual ways of completing tasks. Letting them resolve their own conflicts whenever possible. Supporting assertiveness, self-confidence, self-esteem and resilience Children need to be assertive at times and should be encouraged to do so. Supporting assertiveness is essential So that they can stick up for themselves and express their thoughts, feelings and desires with other people. These thoughts feelings and desires are their ‘personal boundaries. As well as supporting self- confidence to help them feel good about themselves and the way they see themselves. If a child has confidence then I believe he/she will be more relaxed and happy and not end up in situations they don’t want to be in. Children with good self esteem tend to do better and handle situations better than ones with poor self esteem. Sharing information, and not keeping secrets
Encourage children to have open relationships with people so that they can share, this will allow them to trust other and realise that people can be there for them as much as they didn’t think so, opening up is a key to having a better life. Development
Those things children need to reach their full potential from education and play to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Good development support will help a child be successful in the future, leading them on the right path. Improving self-image
Children who have been abused will inevitably have a poor self-image and may need help in developing a more positive view of them, this can be done by going over what they dislike about themselves, and reassuring them, they are the complete opposite. Parenting skills
Parenting skills do not always come naturally to people, especially if they were raised in a family situation where those skills were lacking, good parenting skills can include being a positive role model, not telling your child to not do one thing, when you do it yourself, things like reasonable discipline is good enough to being an effective parent. Whistle blowing
Many settings have now also adopted a whistle blowing policy so that if any inappropriate behaviour is observed among the staff it can be reported in a appropriate way. Reporting arrangements
The policy of settings will specify the lines of reporting in cases where abuse is suspected or confirmed. This can support young children as reporting will lead to the situation being solved and the child no longer has to go through that anymore. Security of records
All records must be safely and securely stored, and only accessible to those who need to see them in a professional capacity Having an effective access and security program in place will help to ensure that records: are available, when appropriate, for use are not subject to unauthorised use cannot be altered, and cannot be inappropriately destroyed.