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Children Act 2004
Children Act 2004 identifies and places a
responsibility on child practitioners to work together to help a
child meet the following five priority outcomes:
- be healthy;
- stay safe;
- enjoy and achieve;
- make a positive contribution;
- achieve economic wellbeing.
To achieve this aim, emphasis is placed on identifying and
addressing a child’s needs at an early stage, before they become
problematic and intractable. This will require some change to the
way that child practitioners have worked up to now.
Emphasis will be on adopting a holistic approach to identifying
a child’s needs at an early stage and of working with the family
and other agencies to identify ways of meeting these needs.
Practitioners will be expected to agree between them who is the
best person to lead the support being given to an individual child
at any one point in time. This "lead professional" may change as
the child’s needs change and develop.
The government has asked all parties working with children to
use a common format to assess the needs of individual children who
are at risk or vulnerable in some way.
It has asked that all professionals use the same form to record
their concerns and knowledge about a child to avoid duplication and
the loss of vital information about a child that may help make an
effective assessment of their needs.
This is particularly important in terms of avoiding the outcome
in the case of Victoria Climbié, who tragically died partly because
the information sharing between agencies was not effective. This
common approach is known as the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) process.
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