The impact of one national policy Every Child Matters and one piece of legislation Children Act 2004 on care practice and provision

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The impact of one national policy – Every Child Matters and one piece of legislation – Children Act 2004 on care practice and provision

Social Workers

Social workers are there to help children and to implement the current legislation in order to make sure that children aren’t at risk. Social workers help disadvantaged children or children who have been flagged up as at risk, they help deal with families that are struggling to cope. The current legislation is ECM (Every Child Matters); they learn all about this and make sure they implement it into their work in order to see that the child gets the best outcome. The legislation is meant to set out clear cut concise rules in which they have to stick by, it allows them to know what their rights are and what they should be doing at what point. However that is just a piece of legislation, it wouldn’t be anything without the social workers being there and implementing it. Everyone has different views on how successful the current legislation is at the moment, as a lot of things the legislation has failed a few children where the problems weren’t recognised and sorted out soon enough leading to the eventual death of two children which were highlighted in the press a lot. After the death of Victoria Climbié they looked at the legislation and at the social worker who was dealing with her at the time in order to diagnose any problems there were to stop it from happening again. Sadly these problems occurred again in the case of Baby Peter; social workers were interviewed in order to get their view on the legislation. Ruth in Winchester from The Guardian said  ‘only 40% felt the Every Child Matters framework had made their jobs easier. But 72% acknowledged it had improved the quality of care for children and 74% said it had improved joint working with other professionals.’ The low percentage of people saying that the legislation has made their job easier is bad as if their job is made easier then it allows them more time and to be able to focus more on the children and getting to know the families before the situation escalates.

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“We've strived for joined-up working for the whole of my career, so it's not new. But I think Every Child Matters has made it easier to put into practice. We've seen preventive services start-up and other agencies are looking quite creatively at what they can do for families before social services get involved. It has been a significant shift and there is a real willingness for everyone to own things together. It makes it easier for people to hold risk when they feel it is being properly shared.”

1. Lucy Titheridge.

In the guardian's survey it ...

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This essay aimed to examine the impact of the policy Every Child Matters (ECM) & the Children Act 2004. The writer appears to have some knowledge of the former – there is some relevant information regarding the case that led to its creation, but there is no evidence of knowledge regarding the Children Act 2004 as the essay does not mention this Act at all. The essay does not adequately explain the impact of ECM. The writer states that there have been changes, but does not describe what these changes are. How exactly have organisation’s policies and procedures changed? How have Social Workers' roles changed? I would also add that it should be clear that ECM is a policy document and not legislation. There is use of ‘they say’ which is not helpful as the reader will want to know who exactly is being referred to and so this type of language should be avoided. Make it clear who ‘they’ is/are. Use supporting references where possible. 2/5