The Serious Crime Act 2015
This Act clarified the offence of child cruelty, as detailed in the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. In particular, it makes it explicit that the offence covers cruelty which causes psychological suffering or injury, as well as physical harm. It also introduced a new criminal offence of sexual communication with a child for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification and makes it illegal to possess paedophile manuals. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 The Modern Slavery Act introduced a requirement for victims of child trafficking to be given personal advocates to stop gangs reintroducing them to prostitution and crime. It has also established an Anti-Slavery Commissioner to ensure law enforcement is doing all it can to tackle the crime.
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015
Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on certain bodies, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. Being drawn into terrorism includes not just violent extremism but also non-violent extremism, which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorists exploit. The mandatory reporting duty, called the Prevent Duty, covers health bodies as well as schools, local authorities, prisons and the police.
Children and Social Work Act 2017
- The Act introduced:
Corporate parenting principles which require every English local authority to consider the impact of their work on children and young people. It also offers support for young people where they are under the care of a corporate parent, as well as care-leavers under the age of 25 years.
- A national Child Safeguarding Practice Review panel which identifies serious child safeguarding cases and raises any improvements that should be considered for national learning. It introduced local Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews designed to identify serious safeguarding cases which raise issues of importance in the local area.
- Replacement of LSCBs for local safeguarding partners. A safeguarding partner in England is defined as: The local authority, The Chief Officer of Police, The Clinical Commissioning Group. The three safeguarding partners must set out how they will work together, and with any relevant agencies whose involvement they consider may be required to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
- Child death review partners to review child deaths in every local authority area.
- In terms of schools, it introduced compulsory relationships education for primary school pupils in England, as well as sex and relationships education for secondary school children.
- There are also a series of changes to the regulation and training of social workers in England
Digital Economy Act 2017
This Act addresses the issue of young people below the age of 18 accessing online pornography. Websites and “apps” that contain pornographic material must verify a user is over the age of 18 years. Data Protection Act 2018 The Data Protection Act 2018 is the UK’s implementation of the European General Data Protection Regulations. It takes digital technology into consideration and gives individuals more control over the use of their data.
Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019
The Act strengthens the powers of the police to help prevent and investigate terrorist offences. It also makes provision for enabling persons at ports and borders to be questioned for national security.
Statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
Working Together covers the legislative requirements and expectations on individual services to safeguard and promote children’s welfare. The statutory guidance covers a clear framework for the three local safeguarding partners (the local authority, a clinical commissioning group and the chief officer of police within a local authority area) to make arrangements to work together to identify and respond to the needs of local children. It lists the individual responsibilities of a wide range of organisations, including health, schools and colleges, the police, the youth justice system, faith organisations and the voluntary and private sectors.
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019
This statutory guidance from the Department for Education contains information on what nursery schools, schools, pupil referral units and further education colleges must do to safeguard children and young people. It recognises that school and college staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children, to prevent concerns from escalating. The guidance is in five parts and all staff must read at least Part One, and if they work directly with children, Annex A, which contains information on specific forms of abuse and safeguarding issues. Child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment has increased and part five of the guidance focuses on sexual violence and sexual harassment between children at school and college. It offers guidance on how to minimise the risk of it occurring and what to do when an incident occurs or is alleged to have occurred. Mandatory reporting of female genital mutilation (FGM) 2015 FGM is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act 2003. Section 5B of the Act introduced a mandatory reporting duty which requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to report to the police ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18s which they identify in the course of their professional work
Children missing education 2016 This statutory guidance sets out key principles to enable local authorities in England to identify children missing education. Other information Contextual safeguarding Contextual safeguarding is an approach to understanding and responding to young people’s experiences of significant harm beyond their families. It recognises the wider environmental factors that are present in young people’s lives; for example, the different relationships that young people form in their neighbourhoods, schools and online. These may act as protective factors but may also present a risk of harm.
Unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children 2017
Child trafficking is a very serious issue which can have a devastating and lasting impact on its victims. Children can be trafficked into, within and out of the UK. The strategy sets out actions the government will take to safeguard and promote the welfare of these children.
Serious violence strategy 2018
The serious violence strategy introduced in April 2018 sets out the UK Government’s response to the increase in serious violence, including knife and gun crime. The strategy focuses on:
- tackling county lines
- early intervention and prevention
- supporting communities and local partnerships
- effective law enforcement and the criminal justice response.