Scroll Down

Pre 1600s

Orphans were the responsibility of the church, many orphans were sent to become apprentices in a process called 'binding out'.

1601

The Poor Law introduced a basic social security system. It also formalised the system of "putting out of children to be apprentices".

1739

Thomas Coram established the Foundling Hospital for the "Education and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children".

1802

The Factory Acts sought to limit the number of hours and improve the conditions in which children worked.

1834

The workhouse system was introduced to combat destitution.

1839

The Custody of Infants Act assigned custody of under 7s to their mothers.

1870

The age of compulsory school attendance was introduced for the ages of 5 to 12 year olds.

The first Barnardo's home for destitute children was founded.

1885

The age of consent was raised from 12 to 16 years old.

1889

The Prevention of Cruelty to and Protection of Children Act or 'Children's Charter' was passed by parliament.

Police could now arrest anyone mistreating a child and enter homes to prevent danger to children.

1894

The Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act allowed children to give evidence in court.

It also made it an offence to deny medical treatment to a sick child whilst recognising mental cruelty as abuse for the first time.

1904

The Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act was amended again to give the NSPCC a statutory right to intervene in child protection cases and the power to remove children from abusive or neglectful homes.

1908

Juvenille courts introduced.

Sexual abuse by a family member became a legal rather than church matter.

1932

Supervision orders for at risk children introduced by the Children and Young People Act.

1933

The Children and Young People Act was amended to combine all child protection law into a single piece of legislation.

As well as raising the age of criminal responsibility to 8 and abolishing hanging for any one aged under 18, it raised the school leaving age to 14.

1948

The Children Act 1948 abolished the ad hoc arrangements for looked after children that had existed since the Poor Law was introduced in 1601.

Local authorities were required to establish a Children's Committee and appoint a Children's Officer.

1970

The Local Authority Social Services Act consolidated local authorities' social work services and social care provisions into social services departments.

1974

Maria Colwell's killing by her stepfather and subsequent inquiry led to the development of Area Child Protection Committees (ACPCs) in England and Wales.

These committees were designed to coordinate efforts locally to safeguard children at risk.

1989

Children were given the right to protection from abuse and exploitation by the Children Act.

It also introduced the concept of parental responsibility and enshrined in law the right to inquiries to safeguard their welfare.

1991

ACPCs required to investigate whether child protection procedures were correctly followed when a child is suspected to have died from abuse.

1999

The Protection of Children Act aimed to stop paedophiles from gaining employment which gave them access to children.

Organisations that work with children are required to tell the Department of Health about anyone suspected of putting children at risk or harming them.

2004

After the 2003 Laming Report into the death of Victoria Climbié, the Children's Act was passed. The Laming Report found that health, police and social services missed 12 opportunities to prevent her death.

The Act mandated that each local authority appointed a Children's Director and that statutory Local Safeguarding Children Boards replaced ACPCs.

The same year, the Bichard Inquiry into the Soham murders recommended a registration scheme for those working with children and vulnerable adults.

This resulted in the Independent Safeguarding Authority, responsible for the Vetting and Barring Scheme. (The ISA has since merged with the Criminal Records Bureau to form a new body, the Disclosure & Barring Service).

2010

The statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children was released.

This outlined the ways in which organisations and individuals should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in accordance with the Children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004.

2011

Professor Eileen Munro's review of child protection practice in England, 'A child-centred system', was published.

Professor Munro's report made 15 recommendations that all concentrated on reducing the amount of 'box ticking' and central government prescription in social work practice whilst increasing focus on the needs of the child.

2014

The Children and Families Act 2014 obtained royal assent and became law.

The Act gives greater protection to vulnerable children. It also brings change to the adoption system, meaning children who need loving homes can be placed faster. Reforms for children in care include the choice for a child to stay with their foster family until their 21st birthday.

2015

An updated version of Working Together to Safeguard Children was released in March 2015 by the Department for Education. This piece of legislation included changes regarding allegations of abuse against those who work with children, requirements on local authorities to notify serious incidents and the definition of serious harm during serious case reviews.

Safeguarding and child protection law and practice are constantly evolving. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to keep up-to-date with the latest Safeguarding news.

Click here to visit the Safeguarding Children e-Academy website!

Loading...Won't be a min

Scroll Downbanner

Pre 1600s

Orphans were the responsibility of the church, many orphans were sent to become apprentices in a process called 'binding out'.

1601

The Poor Law introduced a basic social security system. It also formalised the system of "putting out of children to be apprentices".

1739

Thomas Coram established the Foundling Hospital for the "Education and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children".

1802

The Factory Acts sought to limit the number of hours and improve the conditions in which children worked.

1834

The workhouse system was introduced to combat destitution.

1839

The Custody of Infants Act assigned custody of under 7s to their mothers.

1870

The age of compulsory school attendance was introduced for the ages of 5 to 12 year olds.

The first Barnardo's home for destitute children was founded.

1885

The age of consent was raised from 12 to 16 years old.

1889

The Prevention of Cruelty to and Protection of Children Act or 'Children's Charter' was passed by parliament.

Police could now arrest anyone mistreating a child and enter homes to prevent danger to children.

1894

The Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act allowed children to give evidence in court.

It also made it an offence to deny medical treatment to a sick child whilst recognising mental cruelty as abuse for the first time.

1904

The Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act was amended again to give the NSPCC a statutory right to intervene in child protection cases and the power to remove children from abusive or neglectful homes.

1908

Juvenille courts introduced.

Sexual abuse by a family member became a legal rather than church matter.

1932

Supervision orders for at risk children introduced by the Children and Young People Act.

1933

The Children and Young People Act was amended to combine all child protection law into a single piece of legislation.

As well as raising the age of criminal responsibility to 8 and abolishing hanging for any one aged under 18, it raised the school leaving age to 14.

1948

The Children Act 1948 abolished the ad hoc arrangements for looked after children that had existed since the Poor Law was introduced in 1601.

Local authorities were required to establish a Children's Committee and appoint a Children's Officer.

1970

The Local Authority Social Services Act consolidated local authorities' social work services and social care provisions into social services departments.

1974

Maria Colwell's killing by her stepfather and subsequent inquiry led to the development of Area Child Protection Committees (ACPCs) in England and Wales.

These committees were designed to coordinate efforts locally to safeguard children at risk.

1989

Children were given the right to protection from abuse and exploitation by the Children Act.

It also introduced the concept of parental responsibility and enshrined in law the right to inquiries to safeguard their welfare.

1991

ACPCs required to investigate whether child protection procedures were correctly followed when a child is suspected to have died from abuse.

1999

The Protection of Children Act aimed to stop paedophiles from gaining employment which gave them access to children.

Organisations that work with children are required to tell the Department of Health about anyone suspected of putting children at risk or harming them.

2004

After the 2003 Laming Report into the death of Victoria Climbié, the Children's Act was passed. The Laming Report found that health, police and social services missed 12 opportunities to prevent her death.

The Act mandated that each local authority appointed a Children's Director and that statutory Local Safeguarding Children Boards replaced ACPCs.

The same year, the Bichard Inquiry into the Soham murders recommended a registration scheme for those working with children and vulnerable adults.

This resulted in the Independent Safeguarding Authority, since merged with the Criminal Records Bureau to form a new body, the Disclosure & Barring Service, responsible for the Vetting and Barring Scheme.

2010

The statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children was released.

This outlined the ways in which organisations and individuals should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in accordance with the Children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004.

2011

Professor Eileen Munro's review of child protection practice in England, 'A child-centred system', was published.

Professor Munro's report made 15 recommendations that all concentrated on reducing the amount of 'box ticking' and central government prescription in social work practice whilst increasing focus on the needs of the child.

2014

The Children and Families Act 2014 obtained royal assent and became law.

The Act gives greater protection to vulnerable children. It also brings change to the adoption system, meaning children who need loving homes can be placed faster. Reforms for children in care include the choice for a child to stay with their foster family until their 21st birthday.

2015

An updated version of Working Together to Safeguard Children was released in March 2015 by the Department for Education. This piece of legislation included changes regarding allegations of abuse against those who work with children, requirements on local authorities to notify serious incidents and the definition of serious harm during serious case reviews.

Safeguarding and child protection law and practice are constantly evolving. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to keep up-to-date with the latest Safeguarding news.

Click here to visit the Safeguarding Children e-Academy website!

Share this Page!