Current Legislation

Current legislation made for safeguarding children and young people are; Children act 1989. The main aims of the Act are: • To bring together private and public law in one framework; • To achieve a better balance between protecting children and enabling parents to challenge state intervention; • To encourage greater partnership between statutory authorities and parents; • To promote the use of voluntary arrangements; • To restructure the framework of the courts to facilitate management of family proceedings.

The main principles and provisions embodied in this legislation are that: • The welfare of children must be the paramount consideration when the courts are making decisions about them; • The concept of parental responsibility has replaced that of parental rights. • Children have the ability to be parties, separate from their parents, In legal proceedings. • Local authorities are charged with duties to identify children in need and to safeguard and promote their welfare. • Certain duties and powers are conferred upon local authorities to provide services for children and families. • A checklist of factors must be considered by the courts before reaching decisions. • Orders under this Act should not be made unless it can be shown that this is better for the child than not making an order. • Delay in deciding questions concerning children is likely to prejudice their welfare.

The scope of the Children Act 1989 is extremely wide. Consequently, it has major implications for the practice of all who work with or for children. It changed the standing of children and young people in law, introduced new concepts relating to the responsibilities of adults, changed the structure and functioning of the courts, and provided an entirely new range of orders in both private and public law relating to the care of children. The Children Act 2004 amended the Children Act 1989, largely in consequence of the Victoria Climbie inquiry. The Act is now the basis for most official administration considered helpful to children, notably bringing all local government functions of children’s welfare and education under the statutory authority of local Directors of Children’s Services.

The Childrens Act 2004 was created with a certain set of goals. Its primary purpose was to give boundaries and help for local authorities and/or other entities to better regulate official intervention in the interests of children. The Act also made changes to laws that pertain to children, notably on foster homes, adoption agencies, babysitting services, and the handling of child-related crimes and crimes against children.

This Act’s ultimate purpose is to make the UK better and safer for children of all ages. The idea behind the Act is to promote co-ordination between multiple official services ’Multi-agency working’ to improve the overall well-being of children. The 2004 Act also specifically provided for including and affecting disabled children. All early years establishments have a responsibility to make provision’s for children, young people and vulnerable adults and must ensure that:

• The welfare of the child, young person or vulnerable adult is paramount. • All children and vulnerable adults, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse. • The rights, wishes and feelings of children, young people and vulnerable adults, and their families are respected and listened to. • All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately. This is because of the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (Northern Ireland) policy. Which promotes a safe environment for all service users in care settings. The United Nations Convention on the rights of a child 1989 was approved by the UK on the 16th December 1991, this includes: Children’s rights to protection from abuse.

The rights to express their views and to be listened too. The right to care Services for disabled children Services for children living away from home This convention is used as guidelines and is not a part of UK law. There is no one set legislation that covers safeguarding children and young people in the UK. There are different laws and guidelines that cover different parts of the UK, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.