Legislation in childcare and social work

Case Study

The function of societal work intercession is an intensely complicated one in which statute law passed in recent old ages has had a important impact. On the one manus this statute law has worked so that societal services have become progressively incorporate with assorted other local authorization sections so that they can work together in effectual unison. At the same clip work has been undertaken to unsure that those on the having terminal of societal attention do non experience stigmatised or discriminated against by the attention they receive, or experience confused about why they have been targeted. Problems of favoritism, every bit good as of import jobs sing poorness, are 1s which need to be taken into due consideration. These issues are particularly of import when it comes to kids and households, as we shall see in the specific instance of Karen.

In the recent history the issue of societal attention has found itself featured progressively conspicuously on the political docket. This is because societal attention is an issue in the United Kingdom which requires particular attention, peculiarly when it comes to potentially vulnerable immature people. It is by and large believed that the public assistance of parents is closely linked to the development of kids ( Kirk, 2003 ) , and hence in countries which are enduring signifier poorness in the UK, and where there is a rhythm of poorness, there are kids who are peculiarly vulnerable, and who in peculiar demand to be draw to the attending of societal services. Stratham identifies the following groups of kids who are likely to set put aside for particular intervention by societal workers, and who are seen as particularly vulnerable. They are as follows:

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  1. Children and immature people populating off from place, including those looked after by local governments or in private fostered.
  2. Asylum-seeking kids and refugees, both with households and unaccompanied.
  3. Children with troubled parents, for illustration those populating with domestic force or whose parents have mental wellness, drug or intoxicant jobs. Some of these will be immature carers.
  4. Children engaged in antisocial or piquing behavior
  5. Children whose households are stateless, and those kids who are non in school.
  6. Teenage parents.
  7. Childs who are abused, including those abused through harlotry and kid trafficking ( Stratham, 2004 ) .

A peculiar job confronting those working in societal attention is the fact that those who are in most need frequently tend in bend to be those who are least likely to make out for household aid, or even help from wellness services. Therefore when covering with parents who have substance maltreatment jobs or mental wellness jobs, it is vitally of import that effectual links be made between the assorted wellness and societal work sections. Families need to experience respected and non stigmatised by the proviso of services ( Stratham, 2004 ) .

Legislation, pattern counsel and policy have had a important impact on the country of societal work intercession in recent old ages. Social Work as a profession began in the late 1800s ( Eliot, 2006 ) ; nevertheless it is in the past 20 old ages or so that we are concerned, as this period has seen a oversupply of statute law and counsel to assist do the bringing of societal attention more effectual and, in bend, more toothsome to those on the receiving terminal.

In the 1980s the imperativeness reported many instances of kid disregard which built in to an increased craze around the issue of child protection. This resulted in an progressively autocratic manner of kid protection, which focused strongly on covering with the culprits of disregard, instead than trying to make a model to observe and forestall warning marks ( Frost, 2000 ) . The first piece of statute law to try to dramatically change the manner that children’s protection was organised came through the Children’s Act of 1989. The 1989 Children’s Act empowered local governments, and made them responsible for societal services proviso ( Penn & A ; Gough, 2002 ) . The purpose of the Act was to intrench the partnership between the province and households, and it applied to the demands to the kid and the proviso of services ( Cleaver & A ; Walker, 2004 ) . Ideally the power in the partnership between the province and the parent will be equally balanced as a consequence of the Act.

When the Labour Government came to power in 1997 they began to present a raft of studies and statute law covering with specific issues refering kid attention. The ‘Supporting Families’ Green Paper of 1998 was concerned with stand foring the spirit of the 1989 Act, and traveling new enterprises frontward. The importance of the function of the voluntary sector in early old ages child attention was noted in this Green Paper, and strategies such as Home Start were encouraged. Home Start offered support to female parents of kids aged under five. The Green Paper stressed the importance of formal and informal support webs in early old ages kid attention. The paper stressed that strategies were needed to run into the physical and emotional demands of kids, the societal and educational demands of kids, to assist assurance in rearing and to supply reprieve to parents under emphasis. Home Start works with referrals from Health professionals, frequently to issues such as emphasis which is an affliction linked strongly to poorness. Schemes such as Home Start were non intended to move as a replacing to traditional societal services ( Frost, Johnson, Stein & A ; Wallis, 2000 ) . As portion of the ‘Supporting Families’ Green Paper, duty for Day Care Centres was shifted by the authorities from the Department of Health to the Department of Education ( Moss, 2006 ) .

In 2000 the Children Needing Care Act was introduced to forestall such phenomena as ‘foster drift’ ( Eliot, 2006 ) . The purpose of this Act was really much to forestall a state of affairs in which vulnerable immature kids fall wholly out of the societal attention system.

In 2003 the Government published a farther Green Paper entitled ‘Every Child Matters’ . This was to go a really of import papers in the government’s societal attention policy. It was introduced mostly as portion of the radioactive dust from the Victoria Climbie instance, which had caused widespread imperativeness outraged at failures which occurred in societal attention proviso. The paper set out five chief purposes for potentially vulnerable kids. These purposes were as follows: to be healthy, to remain safe, to bask and accomplish, to do a positive part, and to accomplish economic wellbeing. These purposes were to underpin future authorities statute law on societal policy ( Stratham, 2004 ) . The Children’s Act of 2004 was a farther measure towards moving upon the Every Child Matters Green Paper. It set up the new function of Children Commissioner – a function independent of cardinal authorities and concerned with the well-being of kids ( Moss, 2006 ) .

The Care Quality Commission for England was launched as portion of the Health and Social Care Act of 2008. This Act abolished several organic structures to do manner for this new Commission which was to be a new attention criterions regulative authorization whose authorization is to incorporate the countries of societal attention and wellness. By this clip the government’s attack of societal attention was going progressively linked to the countries of physical wellness and well-being of immature and vulnerable kids. Harmonizing to Stratham the integrating of children’s societal attention with instruction and wellness was critical, as it helped to put up a proper new support service which was more likely to descry marks of disregard in early old ages ( Stratham, 2004 ) .

It is clear that the authorities has moved in recent old ages to incorporate several governments with societal attention. The Health and Social Care Act of 2007 introduced steps to incorporate societal attention between the services. At the same clip it set up the new National Service Framework, a 10 twelvemonth programme intended to excite long term betterments in children’s wellness. This Act was aimed at everyone who comes into contact with and delivers services to kids. The current focal point of the authorities is really much on early intercession, in the public assistance of kids. The Government now requires all local governments to hold a Children and Young People’s Plan.

When looking at this increased integrating there are several statements both for and against these developments. Whilst on the one manus these moves decidedly make sense as these subjects surely are linked with each other, on the other manus the consequence of this can sometimes be an increased in paperwork, and an progressively baffled megalith in which one manus does non cognize what the other is making. An addition in paperwork has surely been a ailment of other administrations under New Labour, most notably the Police. It is hence besides deserving observing that progressively societal services and the constabulary have been encouraged to work together in recent old ages, peculiarly in the country of children’s well-being. Members of societal work squads are encouraged to reach a local Police Authorities Child Protection Officer. It is frequently hard to organize services in any local authorization, and when societal services are required to collaborate with so many sections it seems inevitable that jobs will happen. There is a farther job which is that any alterations in the societal attention construction or methods to cut down poorness which are introduced tend to be slow to dribble down to the grass roots, and to those sing most poorness where this attention is most needful ( Penn & A ; Gough, 2002 ) .

The tendency in the Government’s attack to societal attention has changed in recent old ages to a displacement towards authorising persons involved in the system as opposed to coercing themselves onto people, as many felt was the instance in the 1880ss. This seems to be backed up by the debut of processs such as the Assessment Framework ( New Statesman, 2007 ) . One of the chief strands of authorities policy has been the debut of anti-poverty steps. This is why Gordon Brown’s debut of the Sure Start enterprise was widely seen as so of import as it made an effort to set an accent on kids born into poorness ( Kirk, 2003 ) .

One debut designed to assist those on the having terminal of societal attention intercession was the Common Assessment Framework. A common parental ailment before the debut of the Assessment Framework was a deficiency of information from societal workers, sing why they were being targeted and what the procedure was etc ( Cleaver & A ; Walker, 2004 ) . The Common Assessment Framework ( CAF ) is a standardized attack to carry oning an appraisal of a child’s single demands. The Assessment Framework encourages parental engagement in the appraisal procedure, and means that societal workers have to compare information. The chief point of the Common Assessment Framework is to promote societal workers to speak through the function of the appraisal model with parents. Cleaver and Walker stated that

‘the Assessment Framework stresses the value of societal workers, when transporting out an appraisal, explicating to household members including, when relevant, the kid:

  • What is go oning
  • Why an appraisal is being undertaken
  • What will be the procedure
  • What is likely to be the outcome’ ( Cleaver & A ; Walker, 20040

Questions have been raised from certain subdivisions of the societal work community about relevancy of the appraisal model, with claims being made that some households find it intrusive. However a study conducted by Cleaver and Walker entitledMeasuring Children’s Needs and Fortunessuggests an betterment in the overall proviso of societal attention since the Assessment Framework was introduced. Core appraisal means there are in detail treatments between parents and societal workers ( Cleaver & A ; Walker, 2004 ) .


The procedure of societal work intercession is one which works on many degrees. There is macro intercession by societal workers which takes topographic point in the community as a whole, nevertheless more relevant in this instance is Micro intercession which is intercession on an single degree to those who are in most demand of intercession. Local governments can originate attention proceedings in the protection of kids. These proceedings are initiated in the instance of fright of ‘significant harm’ . There is confidentiality sing coverage of maltreatments which are by and large encouraged by the constabulary and societal services but which can take to maltreatments of the coverage system. A individual incident will frequently trip a referral if jobs have been brewing for a piece. Suspected physical maltreatment is a prevailing issue, and one which societal workers need to move most fleetly on, frequently in concurrence with the constabulary ( Cleaver & A ; Walker, 2004 ) . Besides if there is suspected intoxicant and drug maltreatment so this is a large job where the elevation of a kid is concerned ( Penn & A ; Gough, 2002 ) .

The importance of service user rights are paramount for many grounds. Service user rights are mostly protected by procedures such as the Assessment Framework, where users gain a greater apprehension of the procedures of the system. Those who report suspected maltreatments have confidentiality rights in the societal work system. As has been mentioned many experience this can take to maltreatments, are non helpful in explicating to those on the having terminal of societal attention intercessions why they are being targeted.

In the instance of Karen it is clear that members of the societal work squad should step carefully. On the one manus the individuality of the neighbor who has reported the maltreatment must be protected. On the other manus Karen needs to be able to understand why she is being targeted, and hence the assorted stairss of the Assessment Framework demand to be talked through with her. If there are jobs sing the children’s safety and hygiene it is vitally of import that you liaise with the relevant wellness services, and work closely in concurrence with them. If your appraisal shows neglect so the following measure that you would hold to taken is a possible tribunal action for attention of the kids. The ASPIRE theoretical account stands for Realizing Social and Personal Identity Resources. The Aspire Model has been designed to tackle the possible associated with of import subgroup societal individualities ( Haslam, 2003 ) . Application of that theoretical account within an administration is specific to certain ends, and in this instance this theoretical account can be utile in properly formalizing integrating between societal work and other services.

Discrimination is a job for all societal work sections, and there are many issues associating to favoritism which societal work squads have to be really much aware of. It is of import that societal work should be non-stigmatising and it is besides important that it should non be prejudiced ( Frost, Johnson, Stein & A ; Wallis, 2000 ) . Issues which need to be taken into consideration include poorness – an issue which is extremely prevailing in Karen’s instance – and besides issues of race and gender.

It needs to be taken into history that most users of societal attention are female. This is foremost because females are frequently the primary carers of kids ( Kirk, 2003 ) , nevertheless there are other nucleus grounds for this fact. Of the 50 parents surveyed in one survey undertaken by Penn and Gough, merely three respondents were work forces. This is because of the fact that work forces tend to be less likely to desire to intercede with societal services, due to an overall intuition of the procedure, and of having this kind of aid in general ( Penn & A ; Gough, 2002 ) .

Other surveies seem to propose racial minorities are less likely to be knowing of the function that societal services can play if they are sing jobs. Some research suggests that Black and Minority Ethnic parents are less likely to be cognizant of the possible function that societal services can play ( Stratham, 2004 ) , and are hence less likely to seek aid ( Penn & A ; Gough, 2002 ) . There are surely jobs is members of cultural minorities are non to the full integrated into the community.

On top of these other discriminatory issues it is besides widely considered that societal attention as it stands discriminates against the aged and handicapped in society ( Guest, 2007 ) . In 2001 the Department of Health published the National Service Framework for Older Peoples in which it was stated that ‘The demand for an NSF for older people was triggered by concerns about widespread violation of self-respect and unjust favoritism in older people’s entree to care, ’ and pledged that NHS services will be provided, irrespective of age, on the footing of clinical demand entirely. Social attention services will non utilize age in their eligibility standards or policies, to curtail entree to available services’ ( Department of Health, 2001 ) . However the Centre for Policy on Ageing stated in 2002 that

‘despite great advancement the hazard of maltreatment remains a really existent 1. This is true for both institutional scenes such as infirmaries, nursing places, residential attention and other signifiers of supported life agreements and, as is progressively understood, there are comparable hazards in domestic scenes, whether from paid carers, professionals or 1s ain relatives’ ( Summer, 2002 ) .

In Conclusion societal work traditionally tends to concentrate on issues such as emotional support. However the issues which are raised by those who are users of societal attention be given to be more likely related to fiscal aid ( Penn & A ; Gough, 2002 ) . Against this background the best that societal attention workers can make is to guarantee that they work together with the relevant governments, peculiarly those in wellness, to seek and guarantee the best start possible for kids, and to root out possible disregard. At the same clip they need to guarantee they have good dealingss with those whom they are seeking to assist, and this is why the Assessment Framework is so of import. In this manner if concluding determinations have to be taken so they will make, and it is critical that the intercession procedure is followed.


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Gilbert, F. , 2006, Finally, Freedom: We ‘ll Learn to Love the Bill,New Statesman, Volume: 135. Issue: 4782,

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Haslam, A. , 2003, Social Identity at Work,Psychology Press

Kirk, R. H. , 2003, Family Support: The Role of Early Years’ Centres,Children and Society, Vol 17

Moss, P. , 2006, Farewell to Childcare? ,National Institute Economic Review, Issue: 195

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Summer, Keith, 2002,The Protection of Vulnerable Adults From Abuse, Legal Codes of Practice, Centre for Policy on Ageing,

Stratham, J. , 2004,Effective services to back up kids in particular fortunes, Thomas Coran Research Unit, UCL,

National Service Framework Documents, Department of Health, cited at: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/NationalServiceFrameworks/Children/DH_4089111

New Statesman, 2007, Round Table: A New Deal on Social Care? Participants Debate the Harsh Realities Confronting Society in Deciding the Kind of Autonomy We Want over Our Care and How We Can Find the Money to Fund It, Volume: 136. Issue: 4864, October 1,

Western Mail, 2005, ‘Discrimination ‘ of Prince ‘s Trust Loans and Grants,

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Department of Health, 2001, National Service Framework for Older Peoples


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