Understanding How Duty of Care

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Understanding How Duty of Care
Contributes to Safe Practise

What duty of care means in children and young people settings

Duty of care – it’s required we have to give the right amount of attention and caution to avoid negligence which would lead to harm to other people. Duty of care is the legal term for safeguarding yourself and others. Children (especially young children) are vulnerable because they have not yet developed the physical and cognitive skills to care for themselves, so they need care from the adults around them. As a practitioner we have a duty of care towards them, the younger and more vulnerable the child, the greater the duty of care needed. Duty of Care includes the following concepts:

• to keep individuals safe
• to keep individuals free from harm
• to give choice

As a practitioner, vigilance and attention keeps young children safe as they develop, these areas help when the child has a good role model to teach them:

• The ability to foresee and cope with potential dangers
• More robust immune systems
• Empathy – understand that their actions may hurt or upset others • Communication skills to be able to talk about the harm others may be doing them

How this contributes to the safeguarding or protection of individuals

Duty of care contributes to the safeguarding/protection of children/young people by keeping them safe and protecting them from abuse, whether this is in a sexual, physical, neglect or emotional harm. Children have a right to be safe and to be treated with respect and dignity, as a practitioner we have to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety and well-being of all children in our care. If we don’t follow all necessary steps it could be regarded as professional neglect, we must always act and be seen to act in the child’s best interests. Babies and under 3’s are in need of an adults care for protection because they are unable to do this for themselves.

Duty of care safeguards children in my setting...
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