The Children Act (1989):
Defined child protection (S47) and a child in need (S17). The child protection process is instigated when concerns are raised of significant harm, or the risk of significant harm. Harm is defined as ill treatment or impairment of health and development.
The assessment framework (Dept of Health et al 2000), used in the assessment of needs, is based on the Act and includes 'the wider family and environmental factors', The assessment of climate risks and harms is based within this area, and includes:
1) Housing: Does the accommodation have basic amenities and facilities appropriate to the age and development of the child and other resident members? Is the housing accessible and suitable to the needs of disabled family members? Includes the interior and exterior of the accommodation and immediate surroundings. Basic amenities include water, heating, sanitation, cooking facilities, sleeping arrangements, access to appropriate and safe play and cleanliness, hygiene and safety and their impact on the child’s upbringing.
2) Community resources: Describes all facilities and services in a neighbourhood, including universal services of primary health care, day care and schools, places of worship, transport, shops and leisure activities. Includes availability, accessibility and standard of resources and impact on the family, including disabled members.
Where a child is deemed as in need of protection, a child protection conference is organised that brings relevant professionals and responsible adults in the child's life together. The aim is to develop a plan of action that protects the child which is reviewed regularly to ensure progress is made.
The Children Act (1989) first established the paramountcy principle in court proceedings- 'the welfare of the child is paramount in all decisions'.
The Children Act (2004):
Extends the Children Act (1989) and reinforces that all people and organisations working with children have a duty to help safeguard children and promote their welfare. This includes the Local Authority, schools, health services and police.
Safeguarding is defined as:
Private sector businesses who discharge the functions of the local authority also have safeguarding responsibilities. This may be a water or energy company, construction, agriculture or transport company. In addition, private sector businesses have a duty not to carry out their activities in a way that would pose a risk to the health and safety of individuals affected by their business. This is primarily sourced in the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974).
Government Guidance (2018):
'Working Together to Safeguard Children' reinforces the importance of environmental factors in safeguarding children, referred to as 'contextual safeguarding'.
This is an emergent framework which looks at the wider determinants for child safety, and brought into law via Government guidance (2018). It is based on the premise that once the child leaves the front door they are subject to many risks of significant harm that are extra familial, and may not be influenced by actions taken by the child's caregivers. More information and resources can be obtained from The Contextual Safeguarding Network. https://www.contextualsafeguarding.org.uk/media/vvdf2fma/what-is-contextual-safeguarding.png
You can find the video links here