Safeguarding is a term which is broader than ‘child protection’ and relates to the action taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
Safeguarding is defined in working together to safeguard children as:
- protecting children from maltreatment
- preventing impairment of children’s health and development
- ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and
- taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
Trustees of charities which work with vulnerable groups, including children, must always act in their best interests and ensure they take all reasonable steps to prevent harm to them. Having safeguards in place within an organisation not only protects and promotes the welfare of children but also it enhances the confidence of trustees, staff, volunteers, parents/carers and the general public.
The necessity to safeguard children applies both to charities working in the UK and other countries where children may face different or additional risks of abuse or exploitation. These safeguards should include a child protection policy and procedures for dealing with issues of concern or abuse. For the purposes of child protection legislation the term ‘child’ refers to anyone up to the age of 18 years.
The navigation on the left provides advice to children as well as adults but the information is very relevant to both.