Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play in safeguarding; identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.
5 R’s of safeguarding children
- Recognise - Signs and symptoms of abuse.
- Respond - An allegation from a child against a member of staff/volunteer, a disclosure from a child, suspicions regarding the conduct of other staff members or concerns from a staff member regarding a child.
- Report - To designated safeguarding lead, it is their responsibility to make further decisions.
- Record - Exactly what has happened using the words said by the child. This information should be signed, dated and kept in a secure place as agreed within your safeguarding policy.
- Refer - This will be the role of the designated safeguarding lead who will make all further decisions. The only agencies that can investigate child protection cases are the Police and MASH (Multi-agency safeguarding hub).
What is Safeguarding and Child protection?
Working Together to safeguard children defines Safeguarding and promoting the Welfare of children as:
- Protecting children from mistreatment
- Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
- Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
Child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are at risk of suffering significant harm. Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 places a duty on Local Authorities to make enquiries into the circumstances of children considered to be at risk of ‘significant harm’. Where these enquiries show there is a need for further action, they are to undertake a full investigation into the child’s circumstances.