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Children in Need : context and agendas

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Craig Diver

on 15 October 2018

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Transcript of Children in Need : context and agendas

areas of transformation
s.17 CA 89
legal definition
Children in Need :
context & agendas

Today's objectives :
This session will :
Create legal & policy context
Consolidate awareness of application of law & policy
Refer to collaborative practice
Clarify to process & outcomes of social work assessment

Continuum of Need
In pairs, identify tensions
that may exist in the
CON design ?

S.17 Children Act 1989 defines the duties of a local authority in safeguarding & promoting the general welfare of a child in need & her/his family within their area.

Assistance given to families under S17 may include financial assistance.

Practice Guidance :
Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2015
Places strong emphasis on procedures, decision making & stages of actions within the wider context of responding to need / risk

Lets spend some time looking at the child in need ‘flowchart’…..

Initial Consideration :
In England, the Children Act 2004, initially heralded by Every Child Matters (ECM), reflected the Labour Gov’s
‘transformational reform agenda’.

ECM became a trigger for various policy initiatives & a response to Laming Report (following death of Victoria Climbié)

what kind of need ?
staying safe
enjoy & achieve
Gov. policy also trying to improve poor agency
co-ordination, information sharing & accountability

Despite obvious political rhetoric, there were positive aspirations such as a desire to reduce stigma associated with child & family support (Garrett, 2009).

change for children
Electronic data base (ContactPoint) : national data base about all children
included other
controversial initiatives :
Political ideology seeking ‘commonality’ in ‘transformed childrens services'
Emergence of new structures & professions
Managerialism: fixation on targets, ‘star ratings’ & ‘performance management’
Modernisation / restructuring in statutory Childrens Services

Emphasis on ‘practical social work’ eg. Sure Start, Family Centre, Parenting workers, Webster Stratton courses.

Managerialism is premised on the idea that central government can & should control local government.

Net result: devaluing of professionalism / increasing emphasis on bureaucracy
(Thompson 2010 : 48)

Framed for social worker as: ‘developmental challenges’ ‘specialisms’ ‘streamlining’ ‘cost effective’ ‘targets’ ‘core business’

(Harris & White, 2009)

managerialism & social work
Legal duties referring to Children in Need is located in
Part III
The Children Act 1989

s.17 CA 1989
It shall be the general duty of every local authority (in addition to the other duties imposed on them by this Part)—

(a) to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need;


(b) so far as is consistent with that duty, to promote the upbringing of such children by their families, by providing a range & level of services appropriate to those children’s needs.

Continuum of Need was initially introduced in 2004.

‘a more standardised approach to assessing childrens needs for services’ (DfES, 2005)

of need

Support early intervention
three aims
s. 17 financial support
Difficult to establish effective partnerships
You will have encountered challenges of collaboration on placement
Partnership characterised by:
Strong user & carer involvement
Family & community engagement
Access to hard-to-reach parents & carers
Innovative practice
Close co-operation
(Hatton, 2008: 103)

collaborative practice
WTSC (DfE, 2015)
Legal duty : LA promotes cooperation between each of the relevant agencies

Arrangements are to be made with a view to improving the well-being of all children in the authority’s area, which includes protection from harm and neglect.

s.10 Children Act 2004
assessing need is difficult

In reality there will be a range of case referral details that need a response:

How you approach the assessment can effect the information that is shared and subsequently the decisions that are made
Vulnerability / chronology / functioning / capacity

(see Adams et al. 2009)

practice wisdom......
Ferguson (2010) argues that any understanding of a case referral needs :
1) to be grounded much more in the lived experience of social worker & what social workers actually do

2) where they do it &

3) How they must use themselves & senses in doing so
Identify three important points of learning for you from this session

3 learning points
Continuum of Need

Full transcript