Safeguarding is the umbrella that fits over the top of everything that we do when we are working with children. It is the preventative actions we take for all the children. When we safeguard, we are protecting children from being mistreated, we are preventing harm to children’s physical and mental health and development, we are making sure that children grow up in environments that offer safe and effective care, and we are making sure that we allow all children in our care, to have the best possible outcomes. We do this for every child that we work with.
The way in which we achieve this is by making sure that our policies and procedures are up to date and that they are fit for purpose. We make sure that all the activities we offer are accessible to all children, no matter what their age or stage of ability. We regularly assess the risks both in regard to the activities and to the building itself, and we make sure that we are trained frequently in safeguarding and child protection.
Child protection is part of the safeguarding arena. Child protection is what we do to protect children who we believe are at risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation or have otherwise been harmed. It is the response we take, when we suspect that the child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm.
Significant harm is laid out under Section 47 of The Children’s Act 1989 where it states that:
Serious harm includes, but is not limited to, cases, where the child has sustained, as a result of abuse or neglect, (a) potentially life-threatening injury or (b) serious or likely long-term impairment of physical/mental health or physical, intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural development
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and every organisation that works or has contact with children and young people, have a duty to keep them as safe as they possibly can.