An easy read is within the ECM paper - every child matters summary of Children's act 2004
A possibly heavy start, but excellent read is this pdf from rcpsych.ac.uk - An overview of the Children's act 1989
The Children Act 2004
1.3 The Children Act 2004 secured Royal Assent on 15 November 2004.
The Act is the legislative spine on which we want to build our reforms of children’s services.
It establishes for England:
1.4 The provisions of the Children Act 2004 are summarised at enclosure E1, with details of requirements flowing from the Act and their timing at enclosures E2 and E3.
- a Children’s Commissioner to champion the views and interests of children and young people;
- a duty on Local Authorities to make arrangements to promote co-operation between agencies and other appropriate bodies (such as voluntary and community organisations) in order to improve children’s well-being (where well-being is defined by reference to the five outcomes), and a duty on key partners to take part in the co-operation arrangements;
- a duty on key agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
- a duty on Local Authorities to set up Local Safeguarding Children Boards and on key partners to take part;
- provision for indexes or databases containing basic information about children and young people to enable better sharing of information;
- a requirement for a single Children and Young People’s Plan to be drawn up by each Local Authority;
- a requirement on Local Authorities to appoint a Director of Children’s Services and designate a Lead Member;
- the creation of an integrated inspection framework and the conduct of Joint Area Reviews to assess local areas’ progress in improving outcomes;
- and provisions relating to foster care, private fostering and the education of children in care.
Putting the focus on local change
1.5 The Children Act 2004 gives a clear focus and a new status to children’s services but, in itself, it is not enough.
Its implementation must be part of a wider process of change, focused on outcomes and taken forward by local change programmes in 150 Local Authority areas set within a national framework.
The National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services (NSF) is integral to this. It sets out a ten-year programme to stimulate long-term and sustained improvement in children’s health and well-being.
As it is implemented by Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), Local Authorities and other partners including other health organisations, it will contribute
to the achievement of the five outcomes.
Children's act 1989
Victoria Climbie's tragic death - the Laming report of 2003 resulting in the children's act 2004
ECM - every child matters