Government guidelines on dealing with child abuse and neglect are too long and unlikely to be effective, senior social workers have claimed.
The draft guidelines were produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), a independent advisory body within the Department of Health, following a project launched in 2014.
Both the Department of Health and the Department for Education have endorsed the guidelines and want them to made mandatory for all professionals working with vulnerable children from Septmember this year.
The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) represents the heads of child protection departments at councils around the country. They say the guidelines, in their current form, are simply too wordy to be practical, at 581 pages with supplementary annexes. In addition, despite its length the guidance lacks nuance insists the ADCS, and does not properly consider environmental influences.
“Some of the behavioural indicators of neglect seem overly simplistic and leave little room for the consideration of factors outside of the parent/carer’s immediate control, for example poor-quality housing, insecure employment and benefit sanctions.”
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