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Safeguarding and social care


Information and Guidance for Members of the Public Concerned about Safeguarding and Child Protection

The Every Child Matters: Change for Children programme aims to put in place a national framework to support the joining up of services so that every child can achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes.

The ten key elements of the national framework are:

  1. The duty to cooperate to promote the well-being of children and young people
  2. The duty to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people
  3. The development of statutory local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) to replace non-statutory area child protection committees (ACPCs)
  4. The appointment of local directors of children services
  5. The National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services
  6. The Outcomes Framework
  7. The development of an integrated inspection framework
  8. The appointment of a Children's Commissioner
  9. The development of a Common Assessment Framework
  10. Workforce reform to help develop skills and ensure staffing levels

Social services play a central role in trying to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable and a key measure of success will be achieving change through closing the gap between their outcomes and those of the majority of children and young people.

The Children Act 1989 functions of social services remain unchanged, but how they are delivered at local level is set to change radically. The Children Act 2004 requires local authorities to lead on integrated delivery through multi-agency children's trusts, to develop a children and young people's plan, and to set up a shared database of children, containing information relevant to their welfare.