29th January, 2020 10:22 am
A ‘patchwork’ approach to safeguarding and child protection across the UK puts people at risk, according to a new national body.
Sacpa (Safeguarding and Child Protection Association) claims there are ‘significant differences’ in policies and systems between local authorities and the English, Welsh and Scottish governments.
Director Aileen Kane said: “There are 326 local authorities in England, 22 in Wales, 32 in Scotland and 11 in Northern Ireland and there are literally dozens of different NHS health trusts – each with their own safeguarding and child protection policies and systems.
“In every national region of the UK there are also different rules and regulations, a patchwork situation where varying approaches effectively put people at risk, as well as confusing the public and practitioners.”
The UK needs a ‘Safeguarding and Child Protection Tsar’, claims Sacpa, and someone in each government at cabinet level with specific responsibility for the subject area.
“As a new body representing anyone working in safeguarding and child protection, one of our first actions will be to write to the Prime Minister and the first ministers of Scotland and Wales to outline our concerns and suggestions for improvements.
“Changing the way things work will inevitably be hard and take time but ultimately people will not be safer unless there is a simpler, clearer and more joined up way of working.”
Launched in October 2019, Sacpa is the first UK and international membership association for professionals or volunteers working in safeguarding and child protection.
Sacpa Chair, Dr Steve Bailey said: “Sacpa provides a unique opportunity to represent safeguarding professionals working with children and young adults. The association brings together a unique blend of educational organisations, voluntary bodies and charities, and looks forward to working with government to improve the welfare and safety of children and vulnerable adults.”
Sacpa is based in London and is part of the BSA Group, which also includes the Boarding Schools’ Association. Sacpa services include an online policy hub, guidance, advice, training, forums and an annual conference.
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