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Page 200, paragraph 74
The Children Act 2004 places named statutory bodies in England and in Wales under a duty to ensure that their functions are discharged “having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children”. These statutory bodies include local authorities, NHS organisations, the police, prisons and young offender institutions, the probation service and youth offending teams. They must follow statutory guidance, published by the Department for Education (Working Together to Safeguard Children in England and Working Together to Safeguard People in Wales).
This statutory duty is considered part of “public law”. There is no criminal sanction if the individuals running the bodies fail to comply with the duty. Nor is the duty actionable in a civil claim for damages, though a breach of this duty might be used in support of a civil claim such as a claim for negligence. It is a broad statement of principle to which regard must be had, rather than a hard-edged obligation. (more…)