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The Childrens Act 1989: Assessment and Intervention

Why are so many of our children failed by the system, and whom or what should be held accountable?

The Childrens Act 1989 and subsequent amendments and official documents are intended to safeguard our children from harm and protect their rights. In practice though, some children fall through the net and are failed by the local authority, leading to continuing neglect and abuse of these children,. in some high profile cases recently, the end result has been death, such as in the Victoria Climbie and Lauren Wright cases.

This document will explore the reasons behind this. Its possible the Childrens Act 1989 is simply inadequate, implemented incorrectly or poorly. On the other hand it could be the fault of badly trained and motivated Social Workers, underfunded local authorities or badly managed social services departments. Before analysing why this phenomenon occurs, it is important to understand what is meant by the terms neglect and abuse. According to "Working Together To Safeguard Children" a document published by the department of health in 1999, somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. However under

s.31(10) of the Childrens Act 1989, it details that in order for intervention to occur, the harm suffered must be "significantaE...

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The Childrens Act 1989: Assessment and Intervention. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:34, August 03, 2015, from