What is the child protection act?



The Children Act 1989 was introduced in order to protect the welfare of children; the legislation has been put in place and must be adhered to by all. The courts are in the position to place questions in the respect of the upbringing of children and the administration of a childs property or the application of income that has arisen from it. In all cases the welfare of children is of paramount importance to the courts.

As the importance of this act is protect the welfare of children the guidelines have been created to ensure this. Due to this there are numerous circumstances which mean that questions will be asked to assess the welfare of a child. This includes assessing the wishes and feeling of a child that is involved. The physical, emotional and educational needs will be assessed in order to ensure they satisfy their needs. Any changes in circumstances for a child will be considered; this may mean the change in parenting or the moving of homes. Parents will be assessed in order consider whether they are capable of raising a child; if the courts decide they are not then appropriate action may be taken.

Parents of children will be assessed under to rules of this legislation in different ways and depending on the circumstances of the case.

In the majority of cases it is the responsibility of individual local government authorities to ensure the welfare of children within their local domains. This is often the responsibility of the social services department who put in place policies within their local areas to regulate the treatment of children. Some children are placed at risk which means that social services are actively reviewing the care situation. How this is happens is often local government specific but schools are asked to identify children who they feel may be at risk.

Numerous high profile stories have been in the media relating to cases where social services have failed to identify children who have been mistreated. In such cases the services have found to be breaching the child protection act. High profile cases are leading to a review of the act and the current government are assessing whether there is a need for a major overhaul of the act which was put in place in 1989.

As well as parents being open to scrutiny in relation to the act, child minders and carers are also responsible. These people must also meet certain targets and be checked by social services on a regular basis. Criminal records checks are now also required in many cases and these fit closely with the child protection act.

http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/research/questions/child_protection_legislation_in_the_uk_pdf_wdf48953.pdf