Care Certificate

250 videos, 11 hours and 6 minutes

Course Content

The Acts and Safeguarding Children

Video 131 of 250
3 min 39 sec
Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

Child Protection Laws in the UK: History and Principles

History of Child Protection Laws

The protection of children and young people has been a longstanding priority in the UK. The first child protection legislation was introduced in 1933, with some provisions still in effect today.

Current Legal Framework

The current child protection system is primarily based on the Children Act 1989, which applies to England and Wales. Similar principles are reflected in the Children Order 1995 (Northern Ireland) and the Children Act 1995 (Scotland), each with its own specific guidance.

These acts established a unified system for identifying individuals deemed unsuitable to work with children, consolidating previous lists maintained by the Department of Health and the Department of Education. The Children Act 2004 mandated employers to conduct checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service for individuals working in child care roles, making it an offence to employ individuals listed.

Principles and Objectives

The main principle underlying child protection laws is the paramount importance of the child's welfare in all decisions regarding their upbringing. The legislation introduced the concept of parental responsibility, defining the rights, duties, and powers of parents or carers.

The integration of services for children aims to achieve the five outcomes outlined in the Every Child Matters green paper:

  • Be Healthy: Physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy, with a healthy lifestyle and avoidance of illegal drugs.
  • Stay Safe: Protection from maltreatment, neglect, violence, and exploitation, both in and out of school.
  • Enjoy and Achieve: Readiness for school, academic achievement, and personal development.
  • Make a Positive Contribution: Engagement in decision-making, community support, and positive relationships.
  • Achieve Economic Wellbeing: Pursuit of further education, employment, and access to material goods.

The act defines 'harm' broadly, encompassing ill-treatment, including sexual abuse, and the impairment of health or development in various dimensions.

Additionally, several other Acts contribute to the safeguarding of children, which will be explored further in subsequent videos.