The new coalition government in the United Kingdom is serious about safeguarding children in relation to the Every Child Matters (ECM) initiative. It has issued new rules and guidelines which are now statutory for childcare professionals. …
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These new statutory rules had taken effect last October 1, 2010 and pertain to the gathering of sensitive information and also the handling of confidential correspondence and communications related to child protection and other serious child care incidents.#2 These are all part of social work reforms that are being implemented. However, it must be emphasized that safeguarding is a bit different from child protection in the sense that the former pertains to protecting children from mistreatment, the prevention of impairment in a child’s development and ensuring children grow up in the right environment consistent with their safe and effective care. Child protection is just a part of the overall safeguarding and undertaken to protect vulnerable children who might be suffering.#1 It requires special skill to deal with family situations in which professionals have no other choice but to intervene, or intrude into the family life of a young child. Discussion Parents today are very protective of their children and this is understandable. There are some instances, however, when the children have to be separated from their parents and other adults who might be causing them harm. This is why the English government has taken a right to take care of these vulnerable children as the protector of society....
Although this reaction might be normal for any other person, it must not cloud my judgement on the proper actions to take, such as hesitating to report the matter immediately. For example, I would naturally feel pity for the young Steve and might get into the wrong conclusions about the conditions in the home of Steve and what his parents are doing to him. The appropriate professional response would be to observe Steve objectively, such as how he acts in the classroom or what his reactions are when his stepfather arrives to pick him up. My personal reactions can interfere with my own judgment about what needs to be done in this situation. I need to be quietly inquisitive into the circumstances of Steve’s family life without being obnoxiously intrusive. I have to protect the family’s privacy but not to the extent of possibly neglecting Steve or leaving him at the mercy of his parents. The idea is to correctly identify, understand and deal with possible child abuse. My personal reactions can lead to an over-reaction, such as reporting Steve’s parents to the authorities when in fact no child abuse has taken place. Steve might just be suffering from some physical ailment. 2. Immediate Concerns – there are some tell-tale signs that all is not well with Steve. The first is his reaction when told about his misbehaviour such as intentionally bumping into other people and his classmates. He was not upset when school staff had told him it is bad for him to keep knocking other people down and even seemed to relish the seemingly violent actions. He is quite aggressive and seems tired just coming into the school in the mornings. It is also noticeable that he is restless and seems always very hungry (which means
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