Tags: Child protection | Child Protection & Safeguarding | SEN – Special Educational Needs | SENCO

A new report* has queried whether there is sufficient capacity and effective management in the system to deliver the new arrangements for Every Child Matters successfully in all council areas.

As SENCOs are aware, the Every Child Matters programme, underpinned by the Children Act 2004, aims to improve outcomes for children in five key areas: being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic wellbeing.

This latest report finds that the priority given to safeguarding children across local government, health services and the justice system has increased since 2002, but some areas still give rise to significant concern. Insufficient priority is given to safeguarding needs of some groups of children, including children with disabilities, and insufficient account is taken of the complexities of communicating with children with language and communication difficulties.

Among its recommendations, the report says that the DfES should ensure that staff working with or in contact with children with disabilities, in private fostering situations and with asylum-seeking children, know how to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect and which procedures to follow in such cases. The DfES should also review arrangements in currently unregulated settings such as sports, music or language centres.

All agencies should review existing safeguarding policies to ensure that they take full account of the needs of children with disabilities and assess the professional development needs of staff who work with children with disabilities to equip them to:

  • communicate effectively with children
  • identify potential child protection concerns
  • track and monitor behaviour patterns
  • follow appropriate child protection procedures.

* Safeguarding Children: the Second Joint Chief Inspectors’ Report on Arrangements to Safeguard Children is available at: www.safeguardingchildren.org.uk.

This article first appeared in SENCO Update – Nov 2005

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