Safeguard-Me Blog

What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding General Information

Building the Safety Net: Understanding Safeguarding

We all want our communities to be places where children and vulnerable adults can flourish. Safeguarding is the shield protecting them, the foundation for a happy and healthy life. But what exactly is safeguarding, and how can we all play a part?
Safeguarding: More Than Just Schools and Children
Think of safeguarding as a giant safety net woven from vigilance, support, and open communication. It's not just a school responsibility for example; it's a community effort. Families, organisations, clubs, carers – we all have a role to play in creating a safe environment.

It's the proactive approach to protecting anyone from abuse, neglect, and harm and can be considered through the lens of:
  • Empowering
  • Prevention
  • Proportionality
  • Protection
  • Partnership
  • Accountability
The real priority is preventing harm before it happens. This means creating a culture of awareness and open communication where people at risk feel safe to speak up if they're worried.
Empowering: Every Voice Matters
Imagine someone at risk who feels something isn't right. Maybe they're being bullied, neglected or perhaps they witness something unsettling. Safeguarding is about empowerment to find their voice. This means creating safe spaces for them to talk to a trusted adult or friend, whether it's a family member, teacher, carer, or any other caring individual.
Prevention: Spotting the Signs
Sometimes, someone at risk might not be able to articulate their concerns directly. This is where knowing the signs of abuse or neglect becomes crucial. These can be physical signs like unexplained bruises or changes in behaviour. It could also involve emotional withdrawal, difficulty sleeping, or a drop in communication.
By being aware of these signs, we can act as watchful eyes within our communities. This doesn't mean jumping to conclusions; it means noticing and being ready to offer support or point someone in the right direction.
Proportionality: A Scaled Response
The response to any potential risk should be appropriate and proportionate.

This means that intervention, support or even just investigation should be done with the least amount of intrusion as possible. This is important when planning preventative safeguarding measures and having the most appropriate processes and policies in place ahead of any intervention.

If you're interested in reviewing your policies then we are able to help support you evolve those in your organisation.
Protection: Everyone Plays a Part
So, how can you contribute to this safety net? Here are some ways to get involved:
  • Families: Talk openly with your children about personal safety and body boundaries. Encourage them to tell you if anything makes them feel uncomfortable. Talk to your vulnerable family members, encourage them to talk about their experiences and what they see.
  • Organisations: Implement robust safeguarding policies and procedures. Train staff to recognise potential signs of abuse and neglect, and ensure there are clear reporting channels.
  • Community Members: Be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect. If you have concerns about someone's well-being, don't hesitate to report it to the appropriate authorities.
Partnership: Collaboration and Open, Transparent Cooperation
Whilst we all hold a responsibility for Safeguarding it's also incredibly important we have the right level of regulation and support from local services such as Local Authorities.

Whilst we support what is in place today, we strongly believe a lot more is required, particularly in the Out of School Settings (OOSS) environment.

We want to work with local authorities to help them create registers of organisations working with children and vulnerable adults and keep records of their credentials. Something that is not in place today or required, monitored or recorded by any regulator.
Accountability: Taking Action
Clear lines of roles and responsibilities help ensure there are not gaps. Using the example of OOSS above, there's a generally assumed thought that the standards are the same as those of Schools and Healthcare.

This is why regulation, policy and processes need to be clear in every organisation that has people in positions of trust looking after children and vulnerable adults. The RACI model is one such tool, which outlines roles on the basis of those that are:
  • Responsible
  • Accountable
  • Consulted
  • Informed
Useful contacts
Safeguarding isn't a passive concept. Here are some resources to take action:
Remember: It might be a small action but it can make a big difference. By working together, we can create a world where everyone feels secure to reach their full potential.
Let's keep the conversation going! Together, we can build a brighter future for our children.