How legislation supports your practice to safeguard children

Purpose of Training /Study:

  • Identify key legislation underpinning your safeguarding children practice and outline its key functions.
  • Describe how legislation ca be applied to practice in Children’s Settings
  • Outline the duty of care practitioners working with Children and young people must follow
  • Explain what is meant by safer working practice.

Do you know how you are expected to behave and conduct yourself when working with children?

The Legislation that supports your practice to safeguard children says that:

  • Prevent and protect children and young people from unnecessary abuse and neglect.
  • Encourage joint, multi-agency working though the establishment of safeguarding partners. These are tasked with overseeing child protection and safeguarding arrangements in their local authority area.
  • Provide a robust response to complex child protection cases to present children and young people being exposed to harm and neglect.
  • Place children at the centre of child protection procedures, ensuring their voice and wishes are included in every decision about them.
  • Provide children with age-appropriate knowledge that empowers them to learn how to keep themselves safe.

Anyone working with children and young people has a legal Duty to act in their best interest.

  • Duty of Care :
    • You need to take reasonable to promote the children’s welfare and treat them with both dignity and respect. You must ensure you do not act or fail to act in a way that may cause harm to the child or young person in your care.
    • Safer working practices describe the way in which practitioners should conduct themselves, reducing the risk of harm to children and themselves. Every setting involved in providing care, education and any form of support to children should have a Code of Conduct outlining the standard of professional conduct expected of practitioners, including guidance on:
      • Professional Conduct
      • Safeguarding rose and Responsibilities
      • Physical Conduct
      • Use of photography, video and other images
    • UN Convention
      • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)1989 is an international treaty and agreement between different governments on a set of rights for children under 18 years of age. It is the foundation for child protection and safeguarding legislation. It includes:   
        • The right to education
        • The right to play
        • The right not to be separated from parents, unless in the child’s best interest
        • The right to be well cared for
        • The right to listened to and rake part in decision about their lives
        • The right to protection and help from the government
        • The UK signed up to this treaty in 1991, indicating all areas of the UK government must do all they can to fulfil children’s rights. However, the treaty is not part of domestic law.  It simply provides guiding principles for child protection and safeguarding work.

Current Legislation in England

  • Health and Safety Act 1974- Act sets out how employer and employees should conduct themselves to create a safe environment for everyone.
  • Children Act 1989-This act is key legislation and central to shaping your professional behaviour when working with children and young people. It highlights that the welfare of children must be of paramount consideration. It defines parental responsibility and encourages partnership working with parents to promote the welfare of children.
  • Human Rights Act 1998: underpins the rights of every person living in the UK.
    • It is developed from the European Convention on Human Rights and was put into force in the UK in October 2020.
    • Consist of 14 articles reflecting those used in the European Convention on Human Rights.
    • Of particular relevance is Article 13. (The freedom from torture and inhuman degrading treatment.
  • Education Act 2002 : This act, key legislation sets out the safeguarding duty for schools and colleges.
    • It led to the publication of keeping Children Safe in Education in 2008, a statutory guidance document, published by the Depart of Education.

Children Act 2004 : This act also considered key legislation when it comes to professions working with children and young people

  • It outlines how agencies working with children and young people have a duty to work together to promote the wellbeing of children. It places this duty to cooperate’ on all services who work to protect children
  • The duty to cooperate involves sharing information were there are concerns a child may be at risk or is reported to be experienced harm.
  • Equality Act 2010 : This act protects children and young people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015: This act aims to reduce terrorism by reducing the spread of extremist ideology. It does this by identifying children and young people at high risk and engaging them in a mentoring programme.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
    • Replaced the Data Protection Act.  It is a European Union Law , which covers the protection of data with the EU and outside of it.  The GDPR outlines how personal data must be store, collected and processed to support the protection of individual’s personal information

Read the legislation and discover some practical guidelines to follow :Child protection legislation into practice ENGLAND Acc V2

Working together to safeguard children inter-agencyguidance