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The role of communities in safeguarding children and young people

Jack, Gordon; Gill, Owen


Gordon Jack

Owen Gill


Historically, children's safeguarding policy and practice in the UK have focused on individual and family-level explanations of abuse and neglect, with relatively little attention given to children's overall well-being or the role played by neighbourhood conditions in shaping it. As a result, community-oriented practice, designed to improve the neighbourhood conditions in which many of the families who come to the attention of child welfare agencies live, has largely remained on the margins of mainstream provision for safeguarding children and young people. However, more recent policy developments, including Every Child Matters and the Children's Plan, do highlight the influence of children's wider circumstances on their well-being, providing the foundations for more holistic approaches to service provision. Nevertheless, it is argued that these policy developments are unlikely to be successful unless they are accompanied by fundamental changes within the culture of many agencies and professions. Using a combination of ecological theory and practice examples, some of the main strands of the changes required (developing a culture of listening to children and adults; recognising and supporting the safeguarding activities of local people; and promoting partnership approaches to extending local provision) are critically examined.


Jack, G., & Gill, O. (2010). The role of communities in safeguarding children and young people. Child Abuse Review, 19(2), 82-96.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2010
Deposit Date Nov 2, 2010
Journal Child Abuse Review
Print ISSN 0952-9136
Electronic ISSN 1099-0852
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 2
Pages 82-96
Keywords Community, Safeguarding, Ecological.