Safeguarding was introduced over the last 50 years. The term Safeguarding has replaced the term Child protection. The most recent legislation was updated March 2013. There have been a number of high profile cases which has caused shock and highlighted weaknesses in the system, such as agencies not sharing the information they have. In the new legislation it is stated that safeguarding children – 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. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as – Protect the child from maltreatment.
Preventing impairment of children’s health or development. Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care. Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. The department for education sets out guidance for agencies including schools to set up policies to safeguard. Once set up they must be adhered to by all staff and visitors within the setting. There are 5 main areas that children need Safeguarding from
* ABUSE – A form of maltreatment of a child. This can also happen via the internet. Cyber Bullying. * PHYSICAL ABUSE – A form of abuse that involves Hitting, Shaking, Throwing, Poisoning, Burning and Scalding. Causing physical harm to the child. * EMOTIONAL ABUSE – The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child to cause server and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. * SEXUAL ABUSE – Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence. * NEGLACT – The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs.
Due to the increase of technology it is now more important than ever to safeguard the children with E-safety. It is important to have filters on your home computers, so children cant access sites deemed inappropriate. Schools and other agencies where children can access the internet will have policies in place to safeguard against inappropriate sites. We have to be vigilant with young people who use social sites like Facebook or Twitter, cyber bullying or grooming can often happen on these sites. Always talk to you child and explain the importance of keeping their information private by keeping your privacy settings to the highest level and only adding people they know in real life. The agencies involved in safeguarding children are
* CHILDRENS SOCIAL CARE – Children’s social care work closely with parents and other agencies. If a concern is raised about a child it is up to the children’s social care to decide the course of action taken. * THE POLICE – The police work closely with the children’s social care to protect the child from harm. They will gather evidence from children’s social care and decide if a crime has been committed. * HEALTH PROFESSIONALS – Health professionals especially GP’S work closely with families and may often examine children and see injuries which they suspect non accidental, they have a duty to inform the Children’s social care. * NSPCC – The NSPCC is the only third party organisation that can take action if they suspect a child to be in danger.
They provide a helpline for adults with concerns about a child or children who are in danger or distress. These agencies must work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Guidance in the new legislation aims to help professionals understand this and understand what they can expect from one another to safeguard children. Safeguarding of children can only be achieved by putting the children at the centre of the system, and by every individual and agency playing their full part, working together to meet the needs of the children and sharing information with the relevant agency and acting on it. If you are worried about a colleague failing to comply with the safeguarding procedures or harming, abusing or bullying a child or young person you should report this colleague to the Safeguarding team leader. In my setting, I would speak to the class teacher about my concerns; she in turn would speak to the Head teacher who is Child protection co-ordinator. If a child chooses to disclose, you
* Must listen carefully and patiently, do not rush the child.
* Take what they say seriously.
* Reassure the child they have done the right thing in telling.
* Tell the child you must pass this information on.
* Make a careful record of what was said, in their words, Dating and signing it. You must then share this information with the relevant person in your setting. I would share this with my class teacher or the Head teacher as she is the child protection co-ordinator. She would then have to make the decision whether the information should be shared with a third party. Normally personal information should only be disclosed to third parties with the consent of the subject of that information. In some circumstances, though, consent may not be possible or desirable but the safety of the child will dictate that the information should be shared.