Every Child Matters
The government’s proposals for reforming social services for children, young people, and families build on existing measures to protect children at risk of harm and neglect, from negative outcomes. The Five Outcomes Framework of the policy supports all children irrespective of background or circumstances, to develop to their full potential.
The government’s green paper focused on four key themes, which are: increasing the focus on supporting families and carers who are the most critical influence on children’s lives. ensuring necessary intervention takes place before children reach crisis point and protecting children from falling through the net. addressing the underlying problems identified in the report into the death of Victoria Climbie, which are weak accountability and poor integration. and ensuring that the people working with children are valued, rewarded and trained (ECM: Background, 2005).
The main reason for establishing the policy is based on the identified failings in the Victoria Climbie case. The eight-year-old girl who had been brought to Europe from West Africa by her great-aunt was subjected to severe abuse for several months, which culminated in her death in the year 2000. There were several occasions when healthcare staff, social workers and several others had the opportunity to see and speak to her. If any of them had pursued the case with the concern and urgency it had deserved, the continued ill-treatment and death of the child could have been prevented. Several other similar cases have been recorded (Mudaly, 2006: 24).
The Lord Laming Report (2003: 1.57) clearly identifies the failings in the Victoria Lambie case: factors like the links between hospital and social services being weak. and failure of clear written communications or open exchanges within organizations, which are attributed for the continued abuse of Victoria Climbie. Other reasons are the absence of anyone person in possession of the full range of critical information that had been obtained in parts by different individuals and agencies who were responsible for Victoria’s care (Meads &. Ashcroft, 2005: 72-75).