1.1.4 The Principles Underpinning the Work To Safeguard And Promote The Welfare Of Children

Fundamental to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of each child is having a child centred approach, which includes seeing the child and keeping the child in focus throughout assessments, while working with the child and family, and when reviewing whether the child is safe and his or her needs are being met. Undertaking direct work with the child is key, including:

  • seeing the child alone when appropriate,
  • ascertaining the child’s wishes and feelings and
  • understanding the meaning of their daily life experiences to them.

Individuals should always be enabled to participate fully in the process.  Where a child or parent is disabled, it may be necessary to provide help with communication to enable the child or parent to express him/herself to the best of his or her ability. Where a child or parent speaks a language other than that spoken by the interviewer, an interpreter should be provided. If the child is unable to take part in an interview because of age or understanding, alternative means of understanding the child’s wishes or feelings should be used, including observation where children are very young or where they have communication impairments.

Throughout the child protection process, the child should be kept safe.

Children have varying needs which change over time. Competent professional judgment is required if children are to achieve their full potential. Competent professional judgment is based on sound assessment of a child’s needs, the parents’ capacity to respond to those needs and the wider family circumstances.

All work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children will be planned and:

  • Be child centred;
  • Be rooted in child development;
  • Focus on outcomes for children;
  • Holistic in approach;
  • Ensure equality of opportunity;
  • Involve children and families;
  • Build on strengths as well as identifying difficulties;
  • Integrated in approach;
  • Be a continuing process not an event;
  • Provide and review services;
  • Be informed by evidence.

It is the responsibility of each agency to ensure that staff training and development incorporates the above principles.