Charity calls for communities to work with child protection staff

Just days before the publication of the Victoria Climbie inquiry
report, a leading children’s charity has called for recruitment of
unqualified people from local communities to work alongside child
protection professionals, writes Amy

The idea, included in the NCH’s 10-point plan for radical
reform of the current child protection system, is intended to free
up skilled child professionals, empower local communities, and
“open up” child protection so that it becomes everyone’s
business and responsibility.

Comparing the unqualified helpers to classroom assistants in
schools, the report says they would be of particular help in
providing practical support to families under pressure where
children are at risk, and would raise public awareness and
understanding of child protection services.

Jane Held, co-chairperson of the Association of Directors of
Social Services children and families committee, said the proposed
roles were similar to those carried out by family support workers,
and would welcome them providing the correct systems were in

“It’s about ensuring the support workers have the right
information, knowledge and support themselves to ensure they can
pass on knowledge to the professionals,” she said. She denied that
social workers would feel undermined, so long as there was a clear
line of responsibility.

‘Protecting children from risk: NCH’s view’ available

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