These policy and procedures acknowledge that child protection services must be part of a continuum of services available to children in need and their families. They also reflect the increasing recognition of the social context in which the protection of children takes place.
The vulnerability of children with disabilities, children who sexually abuse others, bullying, violence at home, substance misuse, commercial sexual exploitation of children and the risks posed by developments in communications technology are recognised as having significant implications for the well-being and protection of children.
The Area Child Protection Committees believe that children are best cared for by their family within their local community provided it is safe to do so. In the great majority of cases it will be up to parents to decide when to seek help and advice concerning their children’s care and upbringing. Exceptionally, however, it will be necessary for statutory agencies to intervene in family life without invitation when it is necessary to safeguard a child from harm.