Impact on policy
The initial findings in phase 1 of the research have contributed directly to the development of child protection policies and procedures in Bournemouth and Poole. These developments include the separation of ‘welfare’ and ‘safeguarding’ tasks within the child protection processes, which in turn, are facilitating a clearer focus for social work practitioners upon working to reduce the ‘significant risk of harm’ to the child. Additionally, assessment processes which have been developed are underpinned by the three key elements: ‘Strengths’, ‘Risks’ and ‘What needs to change?’.
The research has also contributed to the direct work with children and young people concerning enhancing the ‘voice of the child’ subject to child protection procedures. Practitioners are developing and utilising skills to ascertain children and young people’s experience of their sense of safety, they are establishing this as central to assessment and planning.
Currently, the procedures including the assessment processes are being rolled out to all agencies working with children, for example; educational institutions and children’s centres to ensure a consistent approach is adopted.