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Child protection

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Making recommendations on strengthening safeguarding arrangements for children in Wales.
This Guidance is aimed at Chief Officers and all managers and practitioners in those bodies named in section 28 and 31 of the Children Act 2004.
The UK government has announced that the vetting and barring scheme is to be scaled back, while ensuring vulnerable groups are appropriately protected.
Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Social Services

Safeguarding children is a key priority for the Welsh Government and for local agencies. We want to ensure that policies and practices across Wales, both at national and local level, deliver the best outcomes for children in terms of protecting them and safeguarding their welfare.

Following Lord Laming’s report into the death of Victoria Climbié a revised framework for tackling child abuse through legislation, guidance and new structures was established.

Responding to the death of baby Peter Connelly

In November 2008 the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas AM, made a written statement in response to the death of baby Peter Connelly in Haringey which can be accessed in full via the Related Link on the right.

The statement set out a programme of work and additional action to be taken in Wales in the light of the case. This included:

Audit local arrangements

Welsh Government officials wrote to:

  • Directors of Social Services
  • Directors of Education
  • Lead Directors of Children and Young People’s Partnerships
  • Chairs of Local Safeguarding Children Boards and
  • lead officers for children and young people’s services of NHS bodies.

We asked them to undertake an audit and confirm that robust arrangements are in place locally to ensure that the welfare of vulnerable children is properly safeguarded.

Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) review

A review by CSSIW of local authorities and Local Safeguarding Children Boards. Visit the CSSIW website for a copy of the report.

Review of the Serious Case Review process

A review into the Serious Case Review process and possible changes to that process in the future. Access the report on the report into Serious Case Reviews on the CSSIW website.

Following the findings of that work an Advisory Group has been established to draft a new framework for undertaking reviews when a child dies or sustains a life threatening injury or serious impairment to their health or development and abuse or neglect is known or suspected. The Group will report to the Deputy Minister in the summer of 2010 with a view to consult later in the year.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) review

A review by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) of safeguarding arrangements in place across the Welsh National Health Service. Visit the HIW website to read the report.

Welsh Safeguarding Children Forum

Following the publication of the three reviews carried out in 2009, the Deputy Minister made a further statement to plenary in October 2009. She announced the establishment of a Welsh Safeguarding Children Forum to ensure that safeguarding was achieved at a national, regional, and local level.

The Forum, which completed its work in August 2011, was independently chaired by Phil Hodgson a former Director of Social Services in Wales. Other members of the group consisted of senior representatives from:

  • Welsh Local Government Association;
  • Local Health Boards;
  • Association of Directors for Social Services;
  • Association of Directors of Education in Wales;
  • Police;
  • Youth Justice Board;
  • Children In Wales;
  • Estyn;
  • Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW);
  • Health inspectorate Wales (HIW); and
  • the Children’s Commissioner for Wales as well as relevant senior Assembly Government officials.

The Forum submitted a final report which contained advice and recommendations on strengthening safeguarding arrangements for children in Wales. The report will contribute to the Social Services (Wales) Bill.

Co-ordination of adult services and children's services

CSSIW and HIW conducted a review of the co-ordination of adult services and children's services where adults with mental health and/or substance misuse problems also have children. The review explored the arrangements for the provision of services to children within these families, to ensure the children's welfare is being safeguarded and promoted.

Integrated Family Support Teams

This has resulted in proposals to introduce support for vulnerable children and families through a new approach to Integrated Family Support Teams. The teams will reform the way in which services are organised and delivered to vulnerable children and families who have complex needs and require intense integrated support from highly skilled professionals.

A programme of work to consolidate and develop further supplementary guidance to support the guidance document ‘Safeguarding Children: Working Together under the Children Act 2004’ .