AThe Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, yesterday announced that a legal loophole which has allowed hundreds of child abusers to escape prosecution will be closed.
Effective from Monday, anyone who deliberately causes or allows serious physical harm to a child or vulnerable adult could face up to 10 years in prison.
Taking effect in England and Wales, it also enables prosecutions of people who stay silent or blame someone else.
The justice secretary said the move was a boost to child protection.
Posted by Sharon.Foster
on June 28, 2012
Child Protection News
CEOP stands for Child Exploitation and Online Protection. One of the initiatives run by CEOP is one called Thinkuknow. It provides information and guidance to parents on the subject of child access to online activities. The guidance is split into two age groups – Primary and Secondary school ages and shows what risks a child might face in being online, what tools can be provided to protect and child and what parental controls a parent can put into place to be more assured of protection of their child. It also provides a Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to the Internet for those who aren’t as to au fait with the internet as our youngsters seem to be.
Posted by Sharon.Foster
on June 27, 2012
Michael Gove, the Education Secretary has appointed a new member to the Cafcass board of directors. Honor Rhodes OBE was appointed on 15th June to sit alongside Professor Ian Butley who will be serving a second term. Four other new appointments have also been made recently: John Lakin, Francis Plowden, Fay Selvan and Stuart Smith.
Prof Cathy Nutbrown was asked by the Government to look at ways of strengthening the current childcare workforce. Her report concludes that the current system of qualifications for early years teaching is “not equipping practitioners with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need” to be able to give their charges a good start and goes on to call for all nursery staff to have professional qualifications equivalent to two A-levels by 2022.
The situation at the moment is that at least 50% of staff have to be trained to GCSE level although it was recognised that this level is often higher. Specific training requirements are already in place for all those working with children. These require all staff to have Level 1 Child Protection Training and the Senior Designated Person and their nominated deputy to have Level 2 Child Protection Training.
Professor Nutbrown said “Early education and care needs to support babies’ and young children’s all-round well-being and development. That is why I want the workforce to really understand child development, the importance of play and have good English and maths skills. There is no doubt that high quality education is important. We need to make sure the early years workforce has the necessary skills, qualifications and experience to provide the very best for our young children”.
Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said that the Government will now consider the report very carefully and will respond in detail later this year.
The Child Protection Company offers Level 1 and Level 2 Child Protection Courses for nursery practitioners.
Posted by Sharon.Foster
on June 25, 2012
A BBC Panorama programme uncovered vulnerable adults suffering physical and verbal abuse in a Bristol hospital after which the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out 145 unannounced inspections of hospitals and care homes. Of that number, it was found that nearly half didn’t actually meet welfare standards.
48% of the premises inspected failed to meet required standards in terms of care, welfare and whether people were safe from abuse. The report also found that independently-run services were twice as likely to fail as those which are run by the NHS.
69 of the 145 inspected locations failed to meet one or both standards and 35 failed to meet both.
The report went on to suggest that there are lessons to be learned by care providers with regards to the use of restraint and an urgent need to reduce its use. It said that staff should be trained to use more appropriate ways of restraining patinets.
The subject of photographing children during school plays and sports days has become quite an emotive one. Schools are having their hands tied supposedly by regulations and procedures. At one nursery school, a blanket ban on photographing any event was put into place although written requests could be made to the headteacher. However, in almost all cases, the written requests were refused. The headteacher cited the reason as being “due to the safeguarding of all children”.
Schools often invoke the Data Protection Act 1988 and the Children Act 2004 as the reason for banning photography. However, as Eleanor Coner, Information Officer at the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, says “There is nothing in the Children Act that says ‘Thou shalt not photograph children’.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has also become involved and now puts out regular statements refuting the myth that the Data Protection Act prohibits photography. David Smith, Director of Data Protection at the ICO says “If there is something that people don’t want to do, but they can’t explain it easily, they say it’s because of the Data Protection Act”.
Unfortunately, due to all the restrictions, it’s the loving parent who is unable to record the milestones in a child’s life who suffers.
Posted by admin
on June 23, 2012
Our online e-safety training course is now available. It is designed to provide you with the e-safety knowledge to help keep the children you are responsible for, and yourself, safe when using modern technology. In today’s high tech world e-safety awareness and management is a vital part of an organisation’s safeguarding practice.
Written by a leading e-Safety expert, the course is designed for anyone who comes into contact with children and young people during work, voluntary or leisure activities.
The course will provide you with information on:
- The different types of technology children are using today and the associated risks
- The importance of educating and empowering children
- How to identify and reduce safety risks to you
- How to deal with e-safety incidents
At the end of the course there is a short assessment to test understanding and on successful completion of this assessment you will be awarded a certificate valid for two years.
To learn more or to purchase the e-safety training course please follow this link.
Last week, the Government announced a drastic overhaul on the child protection system. Questions are now being asked about how the new system will work with so many different departments involved in protecting vulnerable children amongst them police, GPs, midwives, health visitors, teachers and social workers.
Information gathering on each case is crucial and the first step is social services who must respond to a concern over the welfare of a child within one working day. Unfortunately though, departments are under so much strain as they struggle to cope with huge caseloads and high levels of stress.
The government’s agenda is refreshing in that it sees the needs of the children so high and social work teams will be delighted to embrace a system of improved assessment regulations. However, in order to implement this improved system, they will require sufficient resources to do so effectively and consistently.
One way of ensuring more success would be to encourage all the various departments involved working together and speaking to each other. One way of developing relationships between the departments would be to bring it down to a more local level of professionals working together with the children, their families and each other.
This week is Carers’ Week, the main focus of which is adult carers. However, as Allison Hicks, Project Manager for Family Action in County Durham points out, as many as 700,000 under 18 year olds have roles supporting parents or siblings at home. These children often provide between 20 and 50 hours a week caring for their loved ones and are often supported by social care professionals who play a vital role in helping them at school and at home in order to make sure that they aren’t being disadvantaged by their responsibilities.
Family Action works alongside vulnerable families nationwide where one of its core efforts is to work alongside home-based family support to provide young carer services. An important area of the work carried out by Family Action in County Durham is to encourage schools to raise awareness and improve support for young carers.
Statistics show that 27% of young carers of secondary school age experience educational difficulties or miss school. This figure rises to 40% where they are caring for someone with drugs or alcohol misuse issues.
When asked what issue young carers wanted Family Action to campaign on, they overwhelmingly requested support from schools and so, during Carers’ Week, Family Action is launching a survey to gather information and views of teachers and parents.
Following recommendations for comprehensive reform of the social work system to allow social workers to be able to practice their profession with more support and confidence and in a safer way, the Social Work Reform Board (SWRB) was formed. The SWRB has been working to make the task force’s recommendations a reality and has, as a result, regularly produced reports giving updates on the progress of the reforms taking place.
The latest and final report was published only a couple of days ago by the Chair of the SWRB, Moira Gibbs. In the report, she stated:
“We have set out a vision for the future in which the social work profession has the support and confidence it needs to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable in our society. Today marks a staging post in the journey of social work reform and a foundation for delivering a better future for social work.
“I believe our reports will support and guide employers, those involved in educating and training social workers and the profession itself to achieve this. We hope this report will be used as a working tool assisting the sector and employers as they undertake this challenging task.
“This is likely to be our last significant report as we hand the baton of reform to others in the social work sector.”
The SWRB is made up of representatives from all across the social work sector, including those in higher education, carers and social workers themselves.
The full report ‘Building a safe and confidential future: Maintaining Momentum – A progress report from the Social Work Reform Board’ is available on the Department for Education’s website.