Children Act 1989 – First significant law which put in place most of the child protection structures and principles we use today.
Every Child Matters – Suggestions from Lord Lamings Report following the brutal murder and multiple failings of various child protection agencies in the Victoria Climbe case in 2000.
Children Act 2004 – The act passed following Lord Lamings’ suggestions. Included replacing child protection registers with child protection plans and creating an integrated children’s computer system in an attempt to ensure information is collected more efficiently, and to improve inter-agency communication.
The Protection of Children in England: A Progress Report by Lord Laming – After Baby Peter was brutally murdered in the same borough as Victoria Climbe, Lord Laming completed his second review, and made suggestions in this report.
Working Together to Safeguard Children – Was the response to Lamings report, which strengthened guidelines for protecting children and relaxed the ICS system rules. A Social Work Reform Board has been set up in an attempt to address the problems in training and practice, and a recruitment drive was launched for social workers.
The Munro Review: Part One – the Munro Review was set up to investigate child protection procedures and problems with beurocracy hindering the social work system. It identified key problem areas, including poor IT, high caseloads, not enough supervision and inadequate reflective practice and decision making.
The Government response to the Munro Review – The governments promises to consider radical reduction in the amount of regulation through the revision of statutory framework to place greater emphasis on direct work with children, more flexible approaches to assessment, the importance of the quality of relationships between social workers and children, more emphasis on local boroughs record keeping systems, and more co-operation between agencies.
Note 1: The Munro Review is expected to come in 3 parts (the late 2 have been delayed). We eagerly await the pending installments, and will keep you updated.
Note 2 : The Vetting and Barring Scheme, organised by the Independent Safeguarding Authority was suggested after an inquiry into the abduction and murder or Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman by their school caretaker, Iian Huntly, who had previously been arrested (but never convicted and thus the school was unaware) of sexual offenses and buglery.
The scheme was critisised by some who felt it infringes on privacy rights, is beurocratic, cumbersome and may make it even more difficult to recruit child service workers and volunteers.
The scheme was put on hold by the new coalition government, pending a review that has yet to be completed. We will keep you updated.
Guide to child protection legislation UK