Today we use the term safeguarding instead of child protection, it has a much broader range. Safeguarding a child or young person is ensuring that they have the opportunity to achieve their true potential and have the right to be protected from abuse (physical, emotional or sexual), neglect or exploitation from anyone including professionals working with them. This is a much more holistic approach and is centred around the child’s needs, it is designed to prevent harm rather than just react once it has occurred.
The safeguarding of children and young people is an integral part of our everyday activities: wearing ID badges to identify ourselves; not putting ourselves at risk to possible complaints when dealing with children, i.e., getting them to change out of their wet clothes themselves or by having other adults around if you must assist them; signing in/out at the work premises; anyone in contact with children are enhanced CRB checked; to ensuring we comply with current legislation - Every Child Matters, Human Rights, H&S at work, Data Protection etc.
Every organisation that deals with children and young people must have a safeguarding policy which is regularly reviewed and updated. Any person that has contact with children/young people must know the unit’s policy and what to do in the event of any cause for concern. Protecting children and promoting their welfare is often a shared responsibility as there can be many different agencies involved in each case - social services, school, police, health professionals etc.
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