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Safeguarding Law & Guidance

Feb 6, 2023

For an overview of child protection legislation in the UK you can download the NSPCC Child protection in England: Legislation, policy and guidance. 

The Children Act (1989)  click here

This legislation underpins the child protection system in England. Key principles highlighted within the act include:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount
  • Children should be brought up & cared for within their families
  • Child protection agencies should work in partnership with parents/carers

The Children Act (2004)  click here

The Children Act 2004 does not replace or amend The Children Act 1989. Instead, it places a further obligation on all agencies/organisations who provide services to children and families, to communicate and work together in order to better safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Section 11 of this act states that all agencies/organisations, including those within the voluntary, community and faith sector, must have in place arrangements that reflect the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. This includes having policies and procedures in place, which the “Yellow Book” helps groups to do (see below). For more information about Section 11 click here.  

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 click here

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), ratified by the UK in 1991, sets out the civil, economic, social, cultural and political rights of every child. The CRC is the most comprehensive statement of children’s rights and it is the most-widely ratified international human rights convention in history.

The Equality Act (2010)

The Equality Act is now the main source of UK equality law, and legally protects people from discrimination. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. If rights in the Equality Act are violated by groups/organisations, they will be committing an unlawful act and a child or young person will have the right to go to court and claim compensation.

Please visit the Equality Matters for Children guide for more information on the rights that children and young people have under the Equality Act, and the duties that groups must follow when carrying out their functions and providing services.

Ealing Safeguarding Children Guidance (Yellow Book) click on the image

The Yellow Book is the policy and procedures for voluntary, community, faith and private groups who work with children and families in Ealing. It is a local set of guidelines based on wider national policies such as the Working together to safeguard children document, and the London Child Protection Procedures.

The Yellow Book applies to all staff and volunteers, including trustees, committee members, senior management, religious leaders, students on work placements and sessional workers.

It is essential that all groups/organisations working with children and young people have child protection procedures in place. If organisations do not have their own then they can adopt the ‘Yellow Book’. This guidance has been created to ensure that there is a consistent approach to safeguarding children within Ealing. 

Working Together to Safeguard Children Guidance (2015) click here

This guidance sets out how organisations and individuals should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and how practitioners should conduct the assessment of children and their needs.  It includes a new approach to the oversight of serious case reviews, new guidelines for assessing the needs of vulnerable children, as well as a huge reduction in the level of national child protection guidance.

You can also view the significant changes made to existing guidance on the NSPCC website.

Report using insight from NSPCC helpline contacts and Childline counselling sessions to highlight the impact of domestic abuse on children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic.

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