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What is Safeguarding Children?

I still sometimes get asked about this. When speaking with people who don’t work in the area, they are often really interested in learning a little more. That’s what we want isn’t it? I want to try and spread the importance of safeguarding to anyone who will listen. I work closely with the NSPCC and they have always led the way in sharing the importance of protecting children. We need to all have a responsibility for safeguarding. Let’s take a look at ‘What is Safeguarding?’.

What does Safeguarding Mean?

Safeguarding means the action taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

Safeguarding means:

  • protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
  • preventing harm to children’s health or development
  • ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.

Part of the safeguarding process is Child Protection. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child.

The more people that understand there are sources of support and places to go to share their concerns, the better. I get lots of questions about situations where children have told their families about a safeguarding issue with a friend and the family member doesn’t know what to do next. They are conflicted with breaking their own child’s confidence and going against their pleading not to take any action. In these circumstances I fully understand how hard is it for children to confide and seek support for a concern about a friend but then how scary it is for them that people will know they are have told an adult. I always advise that the first and most important thing to remember is that we need to protect children and take action to keep them safe. There are ways around doing this whilst protecting your own child. Here are some possibilities….

Seek advice and support from the NSPCC 0808 800 5000 

Make an anonymous referral to Children’s Services (Social Workers)

Contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead at the child’s school (every school has one) 

Contact Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

Anyone can search for the contact telephone number in any local authority by typing into a search engine ‘I am worried about a child living in…….’ 

It is so important that we all work together as a whole community to raise concerns about children who are at risk. Never think, what if I’m wrong? Think, What if I’m right? Your actions could help to protect a child. 

Working together 2018 document makes the following statement. 

‘Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play’

This confirms that we all have a part to play in supporting children and protecting them.

Also, within this document, children have their say on what they want from adults working with them and supporting them. 

  • Vigilance
  • Understanding and Action 
  • Stability 
  • Respect 
  • Information and engagement 
  • Explanation 
  • Support 
  • Advocacy 
  • Protection 

What is Safeguarding – Conclusion

We can all work together and strive to achieve this and give children and young people what they are asking for from us all. If in any doubt, do something! See something, do something. Don’t delay or just hope that someone else will take action. It is much better that something is reported 10 times than not at all.