Wiltshire Pathways... helping children & young people get the help they need in Wiltshire.
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Section 3 of the Children Act 1989 defines parental responsibility as all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property. Parental responsibility was a new concept introduced for the first time in the Children Act 1989.
Under the Act, parents married to each other at the time of a child's birth both have parental responsibility for that child. If parents are unmarried when the child is born, the mother has parental responsibility but the father does not have it automatically. Unmarried fathers can acquire parental responsibility by marrying the mother of their child, by registering a parental responsibility agreement made with the mother, or by seeking a parental responsibility order from the court.
Parenting orders were introduced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. An order can consist of two elements: a requirement on the parent or guardian to attend counselling or guidance sessions, for up to three months; and requirements encouraging the parent to exercise a measure of control over the child (eg to ensure that a child attends school, or avoids certain people). Parenting orders can last for up to 12 months, and will be overseen by a probation officer, a social worker or a member of the Youth Offending Team.
Pastoral Support Meetings
Pastoral Support Meetings are school-based meetings used to identify, assess and construct an appropriate Pastoral Support Plan (PSP) for a student.
Pastoral Support Meetings
Pastoral support programme
A pastoral support programme (PSP), sometimes also referred to as a pastoral support plan, is an intervention determined by a school to help individual pupils to manage their behaviour. A pastoral support programme should be set up automatically for any pupil at risk of permanent exclusion, although a PSP can also be set up for any pupil who the school has identified as being at risk of failure because of disaffection.
The PSP should be short, practical and agreed with the pupil's parents; it should identify precise and realistic targets for the pupil to work towards. A nominated member of staff must oversee the PSP.
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Connexions personal advisers provide information, advice and guidance, support for young people aged 13 to 19, including vulnerable young people requiring more substantial one-to-one support. Their key objective is to support young people to remain in learning and to fulfil their potential.
Personal education plan
A Personal education plan is an individual plan for looked-after-children developed in partnership with the child's school and which focuses on their educational needs, and is reviewed alongside the child's care plan.
In social care, placement is an everyday term used by those working with looked after children. It refers to the physical living situation in which a looked after child is 'placed' by the local authority. This reflects the wording used in the Children Act 1989. A placement may be with foster carers or in a residential children's home, for example.
In education, the term placement is also used when referring to the educational provision in which a child is 'placed' when the local authority makes a statement of special educational needs. When a statement is made under of the Education Act 1996, the local authority has to specify the school at which the child's needs are to be met. (In practice, for many pupils this is often the mainstream school which they were already attending, but some children will have their needs met in a day or residential special school.)
Planning & Action Meetings
Planning & Action Meetings are organised by Children & Families Social Care Teams and are intended for children & young people with needs at level 3 and above or on the cusp of level 3 (see Levels of need).
Parents and child/young person are always present. Attendance by professionals varies by case but includes key agencies. Sessions sometimes operate as a process of discussion, challenge and negotiation with the family rather than a traditional case meeting and are sometimes effective in de-escalating situations.
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Under section 46 of the Children Act 1989, any police constable who has reasonable cause to believe that a child is at risk of significant harm can remove the child to a place of safety, or prevent the child being removed from somewhere where the child is safe (eg a hospital). This is known as police protection; it is the most immediate form of protection available for any child or young person who has experienced, or is likely to experience, abuse or exploitation, in that it can be put into effect straightaway without reference to a court.
Police protection can remain in force for up to 72 hours. Any police officer can make the order (sometimes referred to as a police protection order), but it must be confirmed by an officer of at least the rank of inspector as soon as possible and it must be reported to the local authority, whose social services department will take action to ensure the child's safety, often by applying for an emergency protection order in the first instance.
Across children's services, this is a generic term used to refer to anyone who works directly with children, young people or families and whose primary role is to use a particular expertise or professional skill to help promote children's and young people's wellbeing.
The term encompasses equally social workers, play workers, teachers and teaching assistants, for example, as well as paediatricians, speech and language therapists, child psychotherapists, and Connexions personal advisers. However, the term excludes people whose work brings them into contact with children and young people for administrative reasons only.
Prevention can be seen as having three overlapping strands:
A. Preventing obstacles arising (for example, reducing the incidence of domestic abuse) – This is clearly the most desirable approach but will not eliminate all obstacles.
B. Equipping children (& their families) to overcome obstacles (for example, enabling children to experience adversity without suffering longterm emotional and behavioural difficulties) – This is concerned with promoting the capacity of children and their families to cope with problems rather than providing services in response to the effects. The core of this strand is the promotion of resilience in its widest sense, including the strengthening of families and communities to the indirect benefit of children.
C. Providing services to help overcome/reduce the negative effects of obstacles (for example, providing “treatment” and support to enable children to overcome communication difficulties) – This is about responding to problems that have developed and preventing negative outcomes.
This is a health service term used to refer to community-based services provided by general practitioners, nurses, therapists and others. These services are usually the first place that people go to for health advice and treatment.
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Good universal services – of health and education – are
central to all children & young people achieving the
five “Every Child Matters” outcomes. But these universal services also need to incorporate additional help for children & young people who have additional needs.
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