Every Child Matters is a government policy that was launched in 2003 in regard to children and children’s care.
It was designed to address flaws in the system that led to some children and young people ‘falling through the gaps’ and to ensure that five outcomes are achieved for every child, no matter what their background and circumstance.
Every child has the right to be kept safe from neglect, violence, and any other treatment that is detrimental to their health and wellbeing. This outcome is designed to ensure that children are protected from discrimination, bullying and crime, both in and out of school. The DBS check undertaken by agencies involved in childcare and education is part of this system.
Children have the need and the right to live a healthy life, including the ability to make good choices so that they refrain from taking illegal drugs. They should have access to care that allows them to stay physically, sexually, emotionally and mentally healthy.
Enjoying and achieving
This outcome is to help children do well at school, enjoying their time in education and having the help needed to maximise their educational achievements and develop both personally and socially.
Children should have help to achieve economic wellbeing, ensuring they are free from households in poverty and low income, they are housed appropriately, and they have access to material necessities. This allows children the freedom to develop and grow to become ready for further education and/or employment.
Children can have an impact on their local community and society as a whole. This outcome focuses on ways in which children and young people can be helped and encouraged to develop community-minded behaviours that benefit both themselves and their community.
Companies such as carecheck.co.uk provide a service to ensure that adults involved the care of children are not precluded from their employment or voluntary positions, meaning that children are surrounded by trusted adults in whom they can confide.
Every Child Matters is fundamental to the desired outcomes of all children within the UK and is rightly recognised as one of the most important policies in recent years to help, protect and support every child as they grow and develop into the adults of the future.