1.1 Domestic Violence and ChildAbuseDomestic violence is likely to have adamaging effect on the health and development of children and it constitutechild abuse. When a child or young person has been abused or neglected, theremay often be a range of co-existing family-based difficulties such as domestic violence,parental mental illness, substance misuse and learning disability, which poseadditional challenges for effective intervention. The context within which the abuseor neglect takes place can aggravate or protect harm on the child. In addition, experience has shown that the wayin which professionals respond to concerns about children’s welfare has asignificant bearing on subsequent outcomes for children.
5 Children living in families where they areexposed to domestic violence have been shown to be at risk of behavioural,emotional, physical, cognitive-functioning, attitude and long-termdevelopmental problems. The UK government guidance, requires that everyoneworking with women and children should be alert to the frequentinter-relationship between domestic violence and the abuse and neglect ofchildren (National Service Framework for Children, Young People and MaternityServices, 2004). 1.2 Trafficking and ModernSlavery of Children 1.3 Child Protection andChild Abuse 1.
4 Framework for theAssessment of Children in NeedThe Framework for the Assessment ofChildren in Need and their Familiesprovides a systematic basis for collectingand analysing information to support professional judgements about how to helpchildren and families in the best interests of the child. Practitioners arerequired to use the framework to gain an understanding of:61) achild’s developmental needs; 2) thecapacity of parents or caregivers to respond appropriately to those needs,including their capacity to keep the child safefrom harm; and 3) theimpact of wider family and environmental factors on the parents and child. Theframework is to be used for the assessment of all children in need, includingcases where there are concerns that a child may be suffering significant harm. The framework shouldprovide evidence to help, guide and inform judgements about children’s welfareand safety, from the first point of contact, through the processes of initialand more detailed core assessments, according to the nature and extent of thechild’s needs. The provision of appropriate services need not, and should not,wait until the end of the assessment process, but should be determinedaccording to what is required, and when, to promote the welfare and safety ofthe child.7 1 Judith Masson et al., (p74, 2007) ProtectingPowers: Emergency Intervention for Children’s Protection, John Wiley & SonsLtd, London. 2Adcock, M.
and White, R. (1998). Significant Harm: its management and outcome.Surrey: Significant Publications3 s31(9) of the Children Act 1989 4 Jean Graham Hall and Douglas Martin ‘CrimesAgainst Children’ (1992), Barry Rose Law Publishers Ltd5Department of Health (04 Oct 2004), ‘Core Document, National Service Frameworkfor Children, Young People and Maternity Services”, London SE1 8UG. Cited in https://www.
gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/199952/National_Service_Framework_for_Children_Young_People_and_Maternity_Services_-_Core_Standards.pdf6HM Government (2006, p201), “Working Together toSafeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promotethe welfare of children”, TSO (The Stationery Office), London. 7Ibid.