The Healthy Child Programme states that the safety of a child ultimately depends on staff having the time, knowledge and skill to understand the child or young person and their family circumstances, and this responsibility lies with everyone working with children and young people. 5 The 2009 Laming Report, commissioned following the case of ‘Baby P’, emphasised the importance of translating policy, legislation and guidance into day-to-day practice and the importance of social workers having the necessary specialist knowledge and skills to identify high-risk situations. 6

‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ outlines how local agencies should work together to effectively identify children and families who would benefit from early help. 7 This guide states that:

‘Whilst local authorities play a lead role, safeguarding children and protecting them from harm is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.’

This guide also emphasises that safeguarding children should not be something that only occurs in the most extreme cases, but that it should be more far-reaching and include ‘taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes’.

It is also important to raise the awareness of the causes of vulnerability and ensure that all those working with children understand what action to take should they be concerned. For example, the 2012 Hackney Children and Young People Scrutiny Commission report highlighted the need to raise awareness of young carers: 8

‘Schools need to work to raise awareness amongst pupils […] to promote better understanding amongst their peers, as well as helping young carers to self-identify themselves and realise there is support available for them and they are not alone in their situation.’

References

  1. “Healthy Child Programme: from 5-19 years old,” Department of Health, 2009
  2. The Lord Laming, “The Protection of Children in England: A Progress Report,” Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2009.
  3. “Working together to safeguard children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children,” Department for Education, 2015.
  4. “Report of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Commission: Support for Young Carers,” London Borough of Hackney, 2012.
  5. “Healthy Child Programme: from 5-19 years old,” Department of Health, 2009
  6. The Lord Laming, “The Protection of Children in England: A Progress Report,” Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2009.
  7. “Working together to safeguard children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children,” Department for Education, 2015.
  8. “Report of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Commission: Support for Young Carers,” London Borough of Hackney, 2012.