Children today face numerous safety risks. In recent years, the issue of safeguarding children has received more and more media attention. Multiple high-profile cases have shed a greater light on protecting society's children. This has contributed to a large increase in demand on already-strained resources. Threats to children's safety include social care, domestic abuse, social and mainstream media, radicalisation, funding cuts for children's services, trafficking and concerns for migrant and refugee children. The answers to many of these issues emphasise the importance of early intervention. Solutions need the kind of complex thinking required to tackle often very complex problems to ensure better protection of children. Open Forum Events invites you to our Safeguarding Children: Finding Solutions for Better Protection conference to analyse and discuss these pressing issues.
In the last year, there have been initiatives to safeguard children in different ways. Ofsted launched the Social Care Common Inspection Framework which came into full effect in April 2017. The policy introduces a new inspection for all organisations involved in the protection of children, focusing on children's experiences and progress. The Children and Social Care Act was also passed in May 2017 which gave more clarity on the role of councils as 'corporate parents' including better mental health services and compulsory sex and relationships education in schools. It also set up Social Work England (SWE) to replace the work done by the Health & Care Profession Councils (HCPC). The Digital Economy Act also passed last Spring further protected children from online pornography. At a lower level the pioneering Operation Encompass, founded by two ordinary people in Plymouth, is designed to improve communication between police and schools to provide better support to children affected by domestic abuse.
Comprehensive reports published throughout 2017 have scrutinized government policy towards services affecting children's safety and well-being. These include the NSPCC's 'How safe are our children', Respublica's 'Making Young Minds Matter' and Ofsted's annual report, which all contribute to the discussion around child safety. To make more long-term improvements to services affecting children's well-being, there needs to be a more pro-active effort at every level. All bodies who come into contact with children need policies to ensure the safeguarding of children.