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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Some key elements of good child protection

Those of us who have worked in the field for a while, talk about the need for good prevention programming and building a good relationship with the client. We are too frequently in a responsive position where we must try and pick up the pieces long after the damage is done. Intervention comes too late.

In the United Kingdom, Ofsted has looked at what makes for good child protection. They have identified some key conclusions:

"The main characteristics of the best performing authorities show:
  1. consistency in practice that is driving real improvement of local services;
  2. a clear focus on the children and young people who need support most and on their progress and development
  3. a deep understanding of local children, families and communities" (p.5)

They identified some other key elements:
  1. a broad view of what children's services are that is shared amongst various agencies with a mandate to help children and their families;
  2. they paid attention to outcomes to see what was working
  3. there was a focus on closing the gap between vulnerable children and those things that allow children to be successful
  4. stability was sought for the children who were in out of home care
  5. there was close familiarity with programs and what was happening in them by those responsible for them - strong management and strong leadership
  6. they looked at what was going well as what was not and responded to that which was not going well - and responded in a timely manner
  7. helped staff to see where strengths and deficiencies existed within the system and afforded opportunities for addressing the deficiencies

The report gives some good case examples so that you can see how these ideals exist in action. You can find the full report at 


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