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The every child matters scheme was set due to several past failings in the ability to help children in their time of need and when they are in such vulnerable circumstances.

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the proposal of every child matters sets out in reforming the delivery of services which young children receive and their families. It builds on the existing measures which are already put in place to guarantee that we protect children from harm and neglect, which will give them also the opportunity to live life to the full and live to their potential.

The ‘every child matters’ scheme was set due to several past failings in the ability to help children in their time of need and when they are in such vulnerable circumstances. The first was the death of a young girl named Victoria Climbie who over a period of ten months on twelve occasions opportunities were not taken to save a Childs life. This death caused there to be uproar of dissatisfaction with the failing of the social services, the police and the NHS. Lord Lamings which were to be done were not done to a satisfactory level.

There were also the cases of the deaths of Maria Colwell and Jasmine Beckford, also more recently Lauren wright and ainlee Walker which all appeared to have striking similarities within their cases, and caused a show on long standing problems with the system, which caused a failure to intervene sooner within families. These faults included:

  • A failure to share information
  • The absence of anyone with  strong sense of accountability
  • Poor management
  • A lack of effective training
  • Frontline workers trying to cope with staff vacancies

The tragic storied of these young and vulnerable children who have been failed by the authorities to be protected from harm and neglect is the consequences of the arising problems with organisation. But the problems of children going unseen and falling through the cracks in the system, between the different services. Children may be experiencing issues difficulties when they are within their homes or when they are in school and receive help when it is too late. Therefore children need to be protected via a framework of universal services to support children and reduce and negative outcomes which could occur.

The aim of every child matters has the aim to ensure that every child is able to fulfil their potential, in that they will reduce the amount of:

  • Educational failure
  • Reduce ill health
  • Reduce substance abuse
  • Reduce teenage pregnancy
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Crime and anti-social behaviour among children and young people

The five outcomes of the every child matters include:

  • Being healthy - whereby children are able to enjoy good physical and mental health and also living healthy lifestyles
  • Staying safe - to ensure children are being protected for harm and neglect
  • Enjoying and achieving - the every child matters scheme enables children to get the most out of life and help them to develop the skills for adulthood
  • Making a positive contribution - the organisation will be involved within the community, whereby they will aim to try to distil individuals away from disruptive, anti-social or offending behaviour
  • Economic well being - the organisation will aim to prevent children from not being able to achieve their potential die to economic disadvantage

The government will raise standards through a number of ways, including through sure start, which will raise the standards within schools and make progress with eradication child poverty. This scheme, called sure start,  gives many families the opportunity to receive support in the crucial early years of children’s lives. Which will provide early education also integrated with health and family support services. This service runs from 8:00am to 6:00pm on a daily basis and gives childcare to those who are in need of extra help and support. The combination of services that centres provide for young children and families contributes to the every child matters outcomes by:

  • Improving health outcomes for children and families
  • Reducing crime rates
  • Reducing child poverty
  • Enabling parents to study and work
  • Helping lone parents to access work and training opportunities

The children centre of the sure start scheme is being expanded and there will be up to 3500 across the country by 2010. Centres will be established to service all the most disadvantaged areas with link to local childminder networks and jobcentre plus, which will reduce the stress of all parents related. There is a ten-year strategy put in place which recommends that more co-located and accessible services be et up, and children’s trusts given the ability to develop children’s centres in response to local demand outside of priority government funding.

Effect of national policy and legislation on care practise and provision  

Every child matters legislation has many impacts on their many stake holders and the service users who use the services to improve their lifestyles. This legislation can have both negative and positive impacts, for example, the cost of services and the pressures of individuals to do their jobs correctly, in order to create the best possible opportunity for the children involved.

Effects on service users

As previously mentioned in the background of the every child matters legislation the green paper has identified that the 5 main aims and the hopeful outcomes which are important to both children and young people. Those 5 outcomes include:

  • Be healthy - this outcomes aims to make sure that every child is able to live and work in a healthy environment. Every institute which has the role of being responsible for children has to implement the every child matter legislation. One example of this is schools, with the recent campaign by famous chef Jamie Oliver, schools now by law are not allowed to sell junk foods which are high in additives and saturated fats, this is because many children within the united kingdom were not eating the correct diet and were increasingly becoming obese, which was both effective their fitness and their education due to not being able to concentrate because of the foot they were eating. This scheme which was created by chef Jamie Oliver was a took which educated children about what healthy is, meaning that they did not have to restrict themselves so simple fruit and vegetables but have all round foods, but in different proportions, and before the legislations for school canteens was passed a lot of work was done in classrooms across the county to educate the children about healthy living, diet being a main part of it. Schools now are only able to sell a baked cake to students at the school as a dessert and are required to also sell a main meal or a sandwich swell. This will obviously affect children and in the long run their fitness and their concentration levels at school, which should in turn help those required skills to gain opportunities in further life, and also form good habits which will enable them to stay healthy throughout life which will also reduce the risk of many health issues. This scheme which was initiated by Jamie Oliver will also affect the parents of the children. There was much media attention during the time at which his show was on television, which caused many parents to question their parenting techniques, but is also was an opportunity for the parents to get educated and gain knowledge on what they were doing wrong and also what they were doing right which for many parents would have gives them an extra boost at the thought of knowing that they were doing right by their children. As many of them will choose the give their children pack lunches, die to the recent healthy eating campaign it put strain upon the parents to make their children healthier, therefore it may have also caused them to question their ability to feed and protect their children properly. Another was in which it would have affected the parents of children is that some who are from less socio-economic backgrounds may not financially be able to feed their children with the best nutritious foods and therefore the healthy eating scheme would have loosened the strain to feed their children and instead the schools are able to provide the children with their one hot meal a day which contains the correct requirement necessary for healthy growth.
  • Stay safe - this outcome aims to make clear the institutions that their main priority is to keep to children, to whom they are responsible for, safe. Therefore an example is that in any case where a teacher may suspect that a child is being harmed at school, whether it be poor attendance, unexplained bruises or marks on the skin, falling grades within schools there should be a meeting with the child, whereby they have an opportunity to speak with someone where it will be kept confidential, also the parents should be invited to a meeting whereby  occurring problems should be discussed. This will affect the child in both the long term and the short term in that they will be aware that they have someone professional and reliable to talk to about any issues they have, without the worry of it getting back to carers or parents, which is good as they themselves will not at a young age be left to deal with dangerous situations which could affect their lives in the future. However, there are many times where individuals and social workers are unable to prove that there is any mistreatment occurring within homes and therefore due to the current amount of bureaucracy within the system, it can in some cases be too late to help protect a child, which is why the aim for the every child matters legislation is so important to many individuals today.
  • Enjoy and achieve - children of a young age need to enjoy being a child and enjoy being able to achieve within school, and outside of school, whether it be at a football game or simply behaving well. This sadly is not available to many children, with the stressed of work and deprivation, many parents lack the empathy which is necessary for a child to develop properly, this aim and outcome can be seen to be put in action at ,any different organisations and institutions. One main organisation which clearly implements this is the Sure Start centres, which are available to everyone; parents and children under the age of 5. These sure start centres run many different services including nurseries, pre-schools, health visitors etc. These centres again will help to provide parents with the support which is needed in the early stages of a child’s development. Having young children is a very stressful process especially when one does not have the accessibility to everyday services, which is why sure start centres offers both paid and free services to those who are in needs therefore people in low socio-economic backgrounds are still able to offer their children with the opportunity to play with other children their own age, which will help them to develop socially. The service will also help the relationship between children and their parents in that they run courses educating parents on child development, safety equipment, behaviour management, stop smoking sessions etc. These will all help the opportunities’ for both the children and their parents.
  • Make a positive contribution - This outcome aims to get children and young people to be involved within the community and society and prevent them from engaging in anti-social behaviour or offending behaviour. This aim is implemented in many school and youth centres, especially with the increase awareness of anti-bullying groups, who set out to help those who are being bullied and also the individuals who are doing the criminals and offensive activity. These kinds of workshops can help the child who is in need and help them to  speak out when they are being brought to harm not only physically but mentally as well, as many people who go through the process of bullying do not speak out and further problems have arisen, recent media report can verify this information with the suicide of a young girl, who had been severely bullied for a long duration of time. Members of staff, on some occasions, have not taken the correct action and often see the bullying as children bickering, this thought process will therefore lead children to suffer in silence and cause further problems if the perpetrator is not punished or faced up to what they are capable of doing it their victim.
  • Achieve economic well-being - This is the final outcome of the every child matters legislation, and aims to ensure that children are not prevented by economic disadvantages and are able to achieve their full potential in life. This process can be seen across the board in many different institutions as I have mentioned before, however again it is especially implemented within the education sector, whereby children are all given the same resources to work from, and everyone has the opportunity to eat well, for example within school, enable them to eat healthily, which should help them maintain concentration throughout their schooling day. Another way in which those who are at a disadvantage for financial reasons is that those who wish to attend college or sixth form at the age of 16 will be given the opportunity to apple for EMA which is a government funded service which gives individuals the opportunity to ear £20 a week which will help pay for transport and resources which will be necessary to be able to succeeds at further education and then again move towards university level of education.

Children in general are the service users who have the right and the entitlement of having the every child matters service offered to them and these services are of a wide range. There are universal services which involve schools, social services and childcare which provide information and advice to engaging parents in order for them to support their Childs development. The every child matters legislation offers sure start centres to run to certain programmes which will give children further opportunities which they would otherwise not receive. These services which are offered also give parents and carers further opportunities which will give them the required knowledge to raise their children and to give them the best accessibility they can. These services include childcare training, which will help parents gain knowledge and an understanding into how to engage with their children, and look after them in the correct manner and also to learn how to discipline children in the correct way. There are other services by which the sure start centres run which will help parents with their parenting skills, the safety of children, these include stop smoking sessions, housing advice, safety equipment for the home, antenatal support. These will all affect the users in many different ways, firstly it will help parents physically, due to being able to learn how to interact with their children and play with them in a safe and happy environment. The services of the sure start centres will also help parents especially in the antenatal support classes whereby soon to be parents will have the opportunity to learn about birthing for example breathing exercises and the issues that it could bring. These services could also help  the child socially as they will gain the ability to work at the same level as their peers and also having the extra support will also enable the child to become more confident, which could also reduce embarrassment which could have been holding the child backing terms of friendship groups. Services as music therapy to assist difficulties and behaviour management courses will also have children intellectually if they have difficulties in certain areas of behaviour and understanding, by which they will not be put at disadvantage and will instead will be given the opportunity to succeed and achieve what they want to achieve with their lives.

Effects on the services and/ or practitioners working under the every child matters government scheme

The every child matters government initiative legislation was brought due to previous and unfortunate past failings, whereby children were not given the correct, adequate care and response from the social sector which resulted in the loss of life of several unfortunate children. This therefore led to an immense change within the social sectors, in order to prevent the occurrence of child abuse again. This meant the three needed to be a big change in terms of there being better communication between school, the police and the social services, and also the number of services which are available to families in need of support and help should be increased. For example within the sure start schemes there are numerous new and needed services including who have a new born child ignored to make sure that they are living within adequate circumstances. The sure start team also have play working, which will help families out with childcare when it is necessary for them. The sure start centres need to be of a certain quality in order to make the appropriate changes within families lives’ therefore it would affect those who are providing the services intellectually, in that the workers are often required to gain a degree in the area of work that with to fulfil, which in earlier years would not have been necessary. Which has a positive impacts, not only on the children and parents who are using the services but fro the individual themselves as they are able to widen their horizons and gain confidence, knowledge and understanding of how to do their job better to benefit those who need it. Due to this new programme has been put into place whereby every individual which works with the children, need to have a CRB check to make sure that they do not have ant previous convictions, which could potentially cause conflict within their work, this in previous years is likely to have been over-looked but due to  numerous deaths of children who have suffered neglect and abuse the government needs to be more aware of what effects children and how to ensure they are in the best care and receive the best opportunities which they can. The job which the service providers offer will also affect them emotionally, often within the job of a social worker of within schools, there are cases which are sensitive and cause distress within the work, during these times to ensure that the children who are involved will maintain an adequate standard of life, which suggests that the stress of being an accountable person in terms of who is responsible for.

Due to the changed within the services, the government has made it so that it is compulsory for services to increase the communication, between schools, the police and the social services. This would enable them to work collaboratively and in partnership with each other. This is hopefully to create them to be more responsive to the needs of people who use the services. This would put pressure onto those who provide services, in that they are under the judgement of many other people, who all work in many different ways, therefore they need to be more inter-changeable in terms of the way themselves work.

The sure start children’s centres strive to achieve 7 principles, in order to achieve the out outcomes of protecting children and their families from harm. These principles will affect they way individuals who work there and way in which they work. There are as follows:

  1. Working with parents and children - This principle suggest that every family should be able to be entitled to have access to a wide range of services that will deliver both outcomes for the parents and the children within the family, they will also try to meet the need of both the parents, in that they will try to work in a way which best fit’s the parents lifestyle and their personality. They will also work with the children to increase their aspirations, and their future, whereby they will give them the opportunity to do so. A few examples of the ways in which the service offer these programmes would include child care training and anger management courses. This will affect the service provider in that they will need to be able to work in many different environment and with many different types of people, whereby conflicts may be a common occurrence, therefore the service provider must be able to talk to individuals in a way that would not be perceived as patronising, but in a manner which will simply portray a helpful and caring approach which will best fit the individual in many different ways, depending on what the service user wants and understands, for example when working with a family with a new born child they midwife, for example needs to approach the family so that everyone feel involved and has a apart to play to help around the home but also with the new born child so that strong bonds within the family can be formed.
  2. Service for everyone - This principle explains how there are principles for everyone, however these principles may not entirely be the same for everyone, this is because families have distinctive differences, including the different areas which they live in, and the times by which they feel that they will need the help from different services. Therefore the service providers need to be aware of these differing variables in order to maintain and the high standard of work and attendance to the sure start centres. One way in which the sure start children centres are able to provide services for everyone is through giving support for children who have English as a second language, they also provide much support for children who have English as a second language, they also provide much support for children who suffer from special needs. They also provide services for people who are returning to work after a period of time, which will help them to slip back into the pattern of work more easily, this clearly states that there are many services on offer, this therefore means that those who are working there will need to be fully qualified in many areas of work to be able to offer the best they have on offer in different fields of work. This obviously is a good opportunity for both the service users in that they are receiving good opportunities from qualified professionals which they wouldn’t otherwise receive, but it is also good for the service providers due to themselves being able to get qualifications which will boost their careers for the future and give them the confidence to use their acquired skills in their everyday life.
  3. Flexible at the point of delivery - The principle  indicated that all services within the sure start children centres should not be designed to encourage access, this would include opening hours, the location of the services, there also need to be consideration of the transport issues which may occur, this principle also states that where possible families should be able to get the help and support through a single point of contact. This therefore will affect those who work within the sure start centres, they will have to work doing shits, which may mean that if members of the team are off due to sickness or other reasons then others may have to continue working, to cover them, if another cover is unable to be organised, this therefore may mean that they are unable to give the service users the best support that they are able to offer, due to their services being quite stretched out. However due to the opening hours, and the certain shifts that members of staff will have to undertake it could also be a good style of work for those who have families and young children, as they will be able to work around them in order to have a good world experience and a good home experience. The members of staff at the sure start centres maintain to give families health and family member of staff at the sure start centres maintain to give families health and family support on a one to one basis which enables both parties to gain and create a good professional relationship whereby changes within the family I question can make changes for the better. This kind of work will encourage the member of stand that their work is worthwhile and that they are an essential part of a team, especially if they are able to witness changes actually happening between individuals and family units.
  4. Starting very early - this principle explains the necessity for services to be offered right from the beginning  of new families and new family members emerging. Therefore services are offered for young children and parents start right from the first antenatal visit, whereby individuals will not only be given advice about their health during pregnancy, but they will also be helped with the preparation for parenthood and the lifestyle changes which they will have to make, and also advice for the long term including the decision that families will have to make about returning to work and who will take over the majority of the childcare, whether the child will go to a nursery or a member of the family will look after the child before it is old enough to attend school. The staff will offer families antenatal care as mentionable previously, breast feeding support, stop smoking sessions for those who want to and need to wait smoking, childcare information given advice on safety equipment for the home etc, these kinds of jobs will give many of the workers within the sure start centres the fulfilment that many other jobs lack, in that they will see families grow and become happy and capable in their ability are able to offer many of its workers the opportunity for further training not only in a single area, but in many areas, this will give them the access to many different categories of work, and in the future gain higher professional status.
  5. Respectful and transparent - this principle states that all of the services that are offered by the sure start centres should be customer driven and provided to them in the best way possible, ignoring whether the service is being paid for or not. This rule is vital for the smooth running of the services which are offered, this is also especially helpful for those who are attending services which they will receive for free, whether that be that everyone is entitled to this, or whether it is due to financial reasons, this enables everyone to receive the correct and same standard of treatments as everyone without being stigmatised for it. This principle effects those who work for the sure start centres that they will work in many different setting and for many different reasons, therefore they will gain the experience of different circumstances and in turn heightening their understanding and knowledge of everyday working situations
  6. Community driven and professionally coordinated - this principle states that imposing more community spirit with care setting should be vital, in that all professionals with an interest in children should share their expertise and experience to the local people within the community, while also listening to the suggestions of other to gain information on what kind of priorities individuals to the local area have. This will be done through consultation between the parents and the service provider and listening to what their particular needs and requirements are. This kind of service will benefit those who work within the sure start centre as they are able to chain again as mentionable previously a professional relationship with their clients who will enable them to speak confidently with, in order to help with their personal issues. Having this kind of relationship is good for both the client and the service provider in that the service provider will not feel uncomfortable giving advice on personal issues and with the worry of being a patronising and defining individual works and like to be spoken to and worked with as it will affect the client in that they will know to go to their local sure start community worker with any issues without the worry of it becoming public knowledge and also for the encouraging that the advice given to them will benefit them as an individual rather than as a group of people
  7. Outcome driven- this is the final principle by which the sure start centre aim to achieve in hope to also achieve the most amount of change and help for their clients. This principle states that all services for both the parents and the children have to have the same priority in that the outcome has to benefit the child in question. The principle also see that the government needs to understand and acknowledge that by reducing down the bureaucracy within society, and also simplifying funding will ensure that we have a joined up approach in reducing those vulnerable children coming to harm. This will affect the staff working with the sure start centres in that they will be able to help anyone in need without having to wait until they are clear that they are eligible or have the funding to receive the help, this will again reduce the stress of those who are dealing with the clients, and who are themselves aware that a child may be brought to harm they continue to be living with their parents in their current  living circumstances.

There are many plans for the future for the sure start centres, by which they will aim to achieve more and give more and more children the opportunity to strive for the future, by this year 2010 the sure start centres have aimed to give every community the opportunity to have a sure start centre within a close distance from where they live, which will offer permanent universal provision for everyone across the country. This will therefore help every young child to get the best start out in life, despite what their social- economic status is.

The children's plan is the vision of the government. It was introduce in 2007 and set out to be a 10 year strategy, which had an ambitious aim to make England the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up in, and be educated within. this plan came about though consultation with individuals within the public and also with experts of their field of work, to find out what people and what the heart of societal problems were with young people and children.

The strategy was build on the facts that most children only spend about one fifth of their lives within schools, which could actually reduce the achievement and fulfilment that many children will gain within their lives. The plan had also found that many children lack the support and encouragement which is essential for children to succeed within their educational lives, this positive encouragement should also continue in outside school activities, which will boost children confidence and in extracurricular activities. The plan also set out several ambitions for the future, which will affect children, parents and those who are working in professional jobs including, teachers, the police, social workers, health practitioners etc. They include:

• at age 5, 90 per cent of children will be developing well across all areas of the Early Years

Foundation Stage

• at age 11, 95 per cent of children will have reached expected levels in literacy and numeracy

• at age 19, 90 per cent will have achieved the equivalent of five good GCSEs

• at age 19, the majority of children will be ready for higher education with at least 6 out of 10 children achieving the equivalent of A Levels

• child poverty will be halved by 2010 and eradicated by 2020

• there will be clear improvements in child health, with the proportion of overweight children reduced to 2000 levels

• the number of first-time young offenders will be reduced so that by 2020 the number

receiving a conviction, reprimand or final warning for a recordable offence will have fallen by  a quarter.

These hopeful ambitions will be achieved with the collaboration of many specific policies,

which will have an impact on the every child matters legislation, and also will need the

funding of about £850 million. Therefore this will put pressure on the government, in order

to make these plans happen, which will also mean that they will need to reduce money in

other areas of society which could also potentially harm other sectors within society.

However it will affect those who use the services, as it will and often should give many

children the opportunity a better opportunity to start life.

Bibliography

http://publications.everychiidmatters.gov.uk/eOrderingDownload/ECM-summary.pdf

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/everychildmatters/about!surestart/surestart/

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/everychildmatters/about/aims/outcomes/outcomescyp/

http://www.nationalcollege.org.uk/ecm

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