DCSF pledges to safeguard disabled children and young offenders

The Department for Children, Schools and Families is to produce policies on safeguarding disabled children and young people in custody.

The polices are in response to concerns raised in a consultation on keeping children safe, lauched last July by children’s secretary Ed Balls.

The commitments were included in the DCSF’s Staying Safe action plan, published yesterday, alongside proposals to tackle bullying outside school, including in children’s homes, which will also be the subject of new guidance.

Secure estate
The DCSF pledged to publish new practice guidance on safeguarding disabled children, after some consultation respondents said local safeguarding children boards could do more to protect disabled children.

It will also produce a new safeguarding strategy for young people in the secure estate with the Youth Justice Board, after respondents cited the traumatic histories of many young offenders. 

Young offender institutions
The government recently confirmed the future of a scheme to place social workers in all young offender institutions, though there remain concerns over its funding, which will become the responsibility of councils in 2008-9.

The DCSF also plans to establish an awards scheme for safeguarding professionals to recognise their work, and pledged to increase public understanding of child protection work to counter negative perceptions highlighted by consultation respondents.

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