The Laws Protecting Children
At the local level Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) co-ordinate, and ensure the effectiveness of, work to protect and promote the welfare of children. Each local board includes: local authorities, health bodies, the police and others, including the voluntary and independent sectors. The LSCBs are responsible for local child protection policy, procedure and guidance.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that all children have the right to be protected from harm, abuse and exploitation at all times.
Section 5 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 states that if you are 16 or over and have children in your care or control, then you must do what is reasonable in all circumstances to safeguard their health, welfare and development.
Children Act 1989 allocates duties to local authorities, courts, parents and other agencies in the UK, to ensure children are safeguarded and their welfare is promoted
Children Act 2004 amended the 1989 Act following the Victoria Climbié inquiry. It was designed to make provision for the establishment of a Children’s Commissioner and make provision about services provided to and for children and young people.
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 was created following the UK Government accepting recommendation 19 of the inquiry headed by Sir Michael Bichard, This was set up in the wake of the Soham Murders.
- Chapters 1 and 2 amend the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and Police Act 1997 with regards to carers and Criminal Records Bureau checks. The Bill also proposed removing the Controlled Activity and Monitoring sections from the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act.
- Chapter 3 creates a new body corporate to be known as the “Disclosure and Barring Service”. This adopted some functions held by the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
Children and Families Act 2014 changed the law to give greater protection to vulnerable children, better support for children whose parents are separating, a new system to help children with special educational needs and disabilities, and help for parents to balance work and family life.
Education Act 2002 made provision about education, training and childcare.
Adoption and Children Act 2002 to overhaul and modernise the legal framework for domestic and inter-country adoption. In particular to replace provisions of the outdated Adoption Act 1976
Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 FGM had been a criminal offence in the UK since 1985 when the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act (“the 1985 Act”) was passed. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act”) replaced the 1985 Act in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Children and Adoption Act 2006 to promote compliance with contact orders made under the Children Act 1989. It was also to permit the secretary of state to suspend adoptions from abroad. This was as a result of concerns about the foreign country’s adoption practices.
Children and Young Persons Act 2008 The purpose of the Act was to extend the statutory framework for children in care in England and Wales. It ensures that such young people receive high quality care and services which are focused on and tailored to their needs
Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 Under the Act, five years of residence leads to “probationary citizenship”. This can lead to full citizenship after earning a certain number of “points”. For example volunteering or “civic activism.
Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 introduced the new concept of “apprenticeship agreements” for apprenticeships in England and Wales
Education Act 2011 made changes to many areas of educational policy, including the power of school staff to discipline students. Supervising trained teachers, the regulation of qualifications and the administration of local authority maintained schools and academies are contained. The provision of post-16 education, including vocational apprenticeships, and student finance for higher education are also included.
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