Safeguarding is a relatively new term which is broader than ‘child protection’ as it significantly includes using early prevention strategies, interventions and programmes to ensure children’s welfare, health and well-being. They are also supported to develop in an environment where they feel secure, safe and are able to achieve their potential.
Child protection is part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. It refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or at risk of suffering ‘Significant Harm’.
All agencies working with children, young people and their families should take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risks of harm to children’s welfare are minimised. Where there are concerns about children and young people’s welfare, all agencies need to take appropriate actions to address those concerns. They are required to work to agreed local policies and procedures in full partnership with local, national and international agencies.
Children and young people can only be safeguarded properly if everyone involved with them effectively ‘Work Together’.
Areas of focus in Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children are:
• Protecting children from maltreatment;
• Preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
• Ensuring children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
• Undertaking that role so to enable the children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.
Safeguarding also covers a wider brief such as Child Safety, Accident Prevention, Protecting Children from Bullying, Recruiting suitable people to work with children and generally providing a nurturing environment for children.