Children: Protection

Home Office written question – answered on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of child protection procedures on families affected by myalgic encephalomyelitis.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

The Department for Education has made no recent assessments of the impact of child protection procedures on families affected by myalgic encephalomyelitis.

Local authorities must undertake enquiries if they believe a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm and decide if any action must be taken under section 47 of the Children Act 1989. Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) sets out the parameters and principles of high quality child protection assessments and procedures. The local authority is under a duty to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare and child protection decisions are based on the professional judgement of social workers and the circumstances of the individual child. The Equality Act 2010 is clear that all institutions, including local authorities, cannot discriminate on the basis of protected characteristics, including disability.

The Government is undertaking wide-ranging reforms to improve the quality of social work practice and decision-making, including through assessment and accreditation against Knowledge and Skills Statements, which are also the post qualifying standards for child and family social work.

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