What is safeguarding?
We all have a duty of care for those with whom who we share part of our lives. In an organisation there are additional responsibilities to protect children and vulnerable adults whilst taking part in activities of the organisation.
There has been much news in the press recently and publicity which raises the profile and means that people are more concerned that their children and those who are vulnerable are well protected.
It is an essential aspect of being an organisation to have safeguarding at the core of policy and procedures, and for all taking part in the organisation to understand and receive regular training to ensure that safeguarding is fundamental to the eliery of services.
Safeguarding legislation and government guidance says that safeguarding means:
- protecting children and vulnerable adults from maltreatment
- preventing impairment of children’s health or development
- ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
- taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcome.
“the action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm – is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.”
Working together to safeguard children (HM Government 2013)
Why should you have safeguards in place?
Making sure your organisation has policies and procedures in place for safeguarding and child protection:
- protects children and young people from harm and abuse
- enables staff and volunteers to know what to do if they are worried
- shows that your group is responsible and has pride in its work.
You may also want to develop safeguards because you:
- have been told that you need a child protection policy and procedures in order to get funding or public liability insurance
- are applying for charitable status, and the Charity Commission has asked if you have a child protection policy
- suspect, or have experienced, an incident of abuse, and want to make sure it doesn’t happen again
- have read or seen news about a case of child abuse
- simply want to ensure your group is as safe as possible for children and vulnerable adults.
Is there safeguarding legislation?
In England the law states that people who work with children have to keep them safe. This safeguarding legislation is set out in The Children Act (1989) and (2004).
It also features in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (to which the UK is a signatory) and sets out the rights of children to be free from abuse. The Government also provides guidance in their document Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013.
Jobs that involve caring for, supervising or being in sole charge of children or adults require an enhanced DBS check (previously called an enhanced CRB check).
This includes checking whether someone is included in the two DBS ‘barred lists’ (previously called ISA barred lists) of individuals who are unsuitable for working with children and adults.
Information can be found from a number of places including;
Remember – you can always use our ‘Ask the Partners’ contact service if you have a question or concern. We are happy to signpost you to appropriate solutions for your worries, or to provide templates for policy documents based upon the latest legislation.