2005 report

What’s new

14 July 2006
Reminder on safeguarding recommendations

7 March 2006

Inspectorates welcome Government’s response to their Safeguarding children report

Download press release here29.00 kB

You can browse edited extracts of the report throughout the site or download PDFs of the report to the left.

  • Introduction
  • The focus of the review
  • Summary of key findings



Over the last three years, there have been major developments in policy on children’s services, influenced significantly by the first Safeguarding Children (2002) report and the Victoria ClimbiĆ© Inquiry report (2003). The Every Child


Matters programme, underpinned by the Children Act 2004 aims to improve outcomes for children in five key areas: being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being. In children’s healthcare, the National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services sets out a 10-year change programme across health and social care services and their interface with education, based on child-centred practice. Important changes in the youth justice system and the management of young people who commit offences have also helped to focus greater attention on children’s safeguards.

The 2002 review found that whilst all agencies accepted their responsibility to ensure that children were safeguarded, this was not always reflected in practice. Agencies were not always sufficiently committed to, or willing to fund, the work of Area Child Protection Committees (ACPC). Severe difficulties in recruiting and retaining professionals working in child protection and child welfare were also reducing the effectiveness of measures to safeguard children.

The 2005 review has been led by the Commission for Social Care Inspection and draws upon the individual and joint inspection activity of:

Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI)
The Healthcare Commission (CHAI)
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)
HM Inspectorate of Probation (HMiP)
HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP)
HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI)
HM Magistrates Inspectorate of Courts Administration (HMICA)
The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED)

The review was presented to Government and published on 14 July 2005.

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The focus of the review

The review identified and analysed evidence relating to how well all children are safeguarded. Particular attention was paid to the safeguarding of specific groups of children identified in the first review including:

  • Children with disabilities
  • Children living away from home outside of their local area
  • Children who spend a long time in health settings
  • Children in secure or custodial settings
  • Children going through the justice system and
  • Children seeking asylum

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Summary of key findings

At a local level, the priority given to safeguarding children across local government, health services and the justice system has increased in the three years since the last review and the status of work in child protection and child welfare has improved. There are many examples of good practice and agencies are working together better to safeguard children.

Nonetheless, some recurring themes over the past three years across sectors and agencies cause significant concern:

  • Some agencies still give insufficient priority to safeguarding and children’s interests and there are some groups of children, including those with disabilities and those living away from home, whose needs are not always given sufficient recognition or priority;
  • There are still considerable concerns about the differing thresholds applied by social services in their child protection and family support work and about the lack of understanding of the role of social workers by other agencies; and
  • Continuing difficulties in recruitment and retention in some services affect their ability to safeguard children effectively and may restrict their capacity to deliver the new Every Child Matters arrangements.

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