Wiltshire Pathways... helping children & young people get the help they need in Wiltshire.
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This term is used to describe children who are being looked after by the local authority under a voluntary agreement; in other words, children who are not the subject of a care order and for whom parental responsibility remains with the parents or primary carer. This includes cases where parents request that the local authority cares for a child because they are unable to do so themselves, for example because of illness.
The legal basis for such children being looked after by the local authority are set out in section 20 of the Children Act 1989; because these arrangements are voluntary, accommodation agreements can be terminated by parents (or other person with parental responsibility) at any time.
This is a term used within social services to refer to a case (of a child or young person) that has been allocated to a named social worker or other key worker, who then remains accountable for the case until it is closed or transferred.
Anti-Social Behaviour Order
Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) are statutory measures that aim to protect the public from behaviour that causes (or is likely to cause) harassment, alarm or distress. ASBOs are civil orders made in court. They are not criminal penalties and are not intended to punish offenders; in many respects, they operate like an injunction, in that the aim is to deter anti-social behaviour and prevent its escalation without recourse to the criminal courts.
An ASBO can be applied for by a local authority, police force, housing action trust or registered social landlord, but not by members of the public. An order contains conditions prohibiting the offender from specific anti-social acts or entering a defined area, and is effective for a minimum of two years.
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[See: Anti-Social Behaviour Order]
Assessment of a child
Generally, an assessment can be defined as any systematic process of assessing the needs, circumstances or progress of a child (or family) against defined norms, an established scale or standardised benchmarks, with the intention of understanding the child's needs (and the family's needs), circumstances or progress, in order to decide on appropriate further action (or to confirm that no additional help is required).
This can cover a very wide range of situations: for example, a teacher's assessment of a child's educational attainment at key stages of the national curriculum, or a paediatric assessment to ensure that a child has reached the appropriate developmental milestones. Each of these types of assessment has a clearly defined purpose.
Implementation of the Common Assessment Framework establishes a national, common process across agencies for assessing (and deciding how to meet) the additional needs of all children at the earliest signs of their difficulties.
[See also: Common Assessment Framework]
Asset (not an acronym) is a comprehensive and structured assessment tool produced by the Youth Justice Board for use by Youth Offending Teams with all young offenders who come into contact with the criminal justice system. Asset aims to identify a wide range of factors and circumstances that may have contributed to the offending behaviour, such as a lack of educational attainment or mental health problems. The information can then be used to inform court reports so that appropriate intervention programmes can be drawn up. A full assessment using Asset will involve interviewing the young person and their family, collating information from a range of other sources, and making a series of judgements about the factors which affect the young person's offending behaviour.
Since the Children Act 1989 came into force, the term 'at risk' has generally been used to describe a child believed to be at risk of 'significant harm' and therefore in need of protection by the local authority. When a child is described by someone from social services as being 'at risk', this is still likely to be what they mean. However, it can also be used to suggest that a child is at risk of almost anything – social exclusion, exclusion from school, health problems, alcohol dependency, etc. So when the term is used, care should be taken to clarify what a child is considered to be at risk from.
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Brain development is at a peak during the first two years of
life. And one of the most important stimulants for brain
growth is interaction with other humans - the emotional
relationship between the
infant and care-giver. Early
interactions don’t just create
a context; they directly affect
the way the brain is “wired”.
Attachment behaviours learnt
as a baby form the basis
for behaviours that will be
exhibited in later years, both
in intimate relationships
and when faced with threat.
Disordered or weak attachment is likely to have longterm
consequences for a child or young person’s behaviour and
Supporting mental wellbeing found on page 8 of the Children and Young People’s Plan
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