Children in need of help and protection (health and wellbeing needs in South Tyneside)
Any child may be in need of help and protection at any time. There is no single factor which is a necessary or sufficient condition for a safeguarding concern to arise, and children may be in need due to an organic condition, a single occurrence, or a persistent set of circumstances.
All those who work with children on a professional or voluntary basis, have a legal obligation to safeguard children in need. This is set out in statute and described in Working together to Safeguard Children. Professionals are trained to be alert to signs that a child's safety and wellbeing are at risk, and take safeguarding action. The practice of safeguarding is embedded in universal services such as nurseries, schools and health care.
Safeguarding is underpinned by 2 key principles:
- Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility : for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part; and
- A child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children
The South Tyneside Safeguarding Children Board offers advice and local protocols for safeguarding and ensuring that agencies work together.
For a proportion of children, direct statutory intervention is needed to protect them from harm. In this JSNAA topic, "children in need of help and protection" means those children for whom a referral has been made to Children & Families Social Care, which is South Tyneside Council's statutory child protection service.
Over the past 10 years, the demand for statutory child protection protection has risen steadily. A National Audit Office Report published in October 2016 noted that over the previous 10 years:
- The rate of enquiries made by local authorities when they believe that a child may be suffering or is likely to suffer, significant harm increased by 124%, and
- The rate of children starting on child protection plans rose by 94%
Related JSNAA topics:
- Poverty & child poverty
- Early Help
- Mental Health
- Domestic Abuse
- Substance misuse
- Teenage pregnancy
- Sexual health
- Pregnancy and teenage pregnancy