If you’re interested in working in a career with children, there are a range of different opportunities available to you. However, if you have a keen interest in ensuring the safety of children and protecting their wellbeing at all times, you may be interested in pursuing a career as a Safeguarding Officer.
Every organisation which regularly works with children needs to have a designated Safeguarding Officer in place to ensure that there is someone whose main responsibility is the safeguarding of children and child protection. While everyone who works in an organisation has the responsibility to ensure that the children in their care are safe and cared for at all times, the Safeguarding Officer has additional duties in overseeing the safety and wellbeing of any children involved in the organisation, as well as ensuring that legal responsibilities are met.
If you’re interested in becoming a Safeguarding Officer, let’s take a look at some of the common roles and responsibilities expected of a Safeguarding Officer on a daily basis.
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Extended Training and Development
In order to become a Safeguarding Officer, you will need to complete training in a number of specific areas to ensure that you have the level of safeguarding knowledge required to keep children safe and well.
Here are just some of the topics you should be adequately trained in order to be a first-class Safeguarding Officer:
- The current law and guidance of safeguarding practise for children and young people.
- The common types of abuse you may come across and the signs you should look for to recognise abuse.
- How to build a safe space for children and young people so that they feel safe, looked after, and willing to share any concerns they may have with you.
- How to recruit new staff members in a safe way and prevent future safeguarding issues.
- Excellent listening and empathy skills so you can properly listen to and support anyone who comes to you with a concern.
- Exploring the barriers to disclosure and the recognition of any safeguarding concerns.
It’s important to recognise that the role of a Safeguarding Officer is constantly changing, and it’s vital to keep up to date with the latest developments in safeguarding rules and regulations. Your employer should provide constant support to you and allow you to attend training sessions wherever possible to stay up to date.
What Do You Need to Become a Safeguarding Officer?
If you’re exploring the possibility of becoming a Safeguarding Officer, there are a number of requirements you will need to hit before you will be considered for a Safeguarding Officer position.
Experience Working With Vulnerable Children
You’ll need experience of working with vulnerable children before you are able to become a Safeguarding Officer. You can secure this experience through volunteering, so have a look if there are any children’s groups or charities in your area that are looking for volunteers. You may also already have gained this experience in your current role. For example, if you are a teacher who is looking to move into a more safeguarding-focused role, you will already have gained a lot of experience working with children in the classroom.
Who Can Work as a Safeguarding Officer
While lots of organisations may have dedicated Safeguarding Officers, safeguarding can also be the responsibility of someone already employed by the organisation. This could be true of places like schools, where a teacher can take on the role of a Safeguarding Officer, or in the police force, where a police officer may choose to specialise in safeguarding while still carrying out their previous duties.
Here are the usual requirements of someone who works as a designated Safeguarding Officer in an organisation alongside their other job:
- Be someone in a position of authority such as a manager or a team leader.
- Be a fully paid member of staff is possible.
- Have a DBS check.
- Have at least two references which your employer will follow up on.
Completing Safeguarding Officer Training
The best way to build on the skill set you need to become a Safeguarding Officer is to complete a Safeguarding Officer training course. You can do this online, or attend in-person training, but either way there are plenty of options out there for you to choose from.
Not only will Safeguarding Officer training gives you a certified qualification which you can show off to potential employers, but it will also allow you to fully explore the role of a Safeguarding Officer to see if it’s a career you would like to pursue.
Completing a Safeguarding Officer training course will add an amazing set of skills to your CV and make you stand out from the competition when it comes to applying for jobs.
Kickstart Your Career as a Safeguarding Officer
We hope this post has given you all the information you need to pursue a successful career as a Safeguarding Officer. Becoming a safeguarding professional is an incredibly worthwhile and rewarding career and will ensure that any children that you work with have their safety and wellbeing protected at all times.
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