Safeguarding means protecting someone's right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It involves people and organisations working together to prevent and stop that abuse or neglect. All safeguarding will honour the feelings, beliefs and decisions of the person in question.
What is child safeguarding
The six safeguarding principles
All safeguarding work is supported by six key principles:
- Empowerment - we will support and encourage people to make their own decisions and give informed consent
- Prevention - we will strive to take action before harm occurs
- Proportionality - we will give the least intrusive response to the risk presented
- Protection - we will give support and representation for those in the greatest need
- Partnership - we will provide local solutions through local community services – communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse
- Accountability - we insist upon accountability and transparency in all safeguarding practices
Who might need child safeguarding services
Children who fall under the below categories may need safeguarding. This list, however, is not exhaustive.
They may, for example:
- have care needs and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs)
- are at risk of, or who have a history with, abuse or neglect
- be unable to protect themselves from abuse or neglect due to their care needs
They may, for example, also:
- be frail due to ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment, or a combination of these
- have a learning disability
- have a physical disability and/or a sensory impairment
- have mental health needs
- have a long-term illness/condition
Disabled children may be especially vulnerable to abuse, because they may have an impaired capacity to resist or avoid dangerous situations. They may have speech, language and communication needs which may make it difficult to tell others what is happening.