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What is Safeguarding? A Complete Guide to Protecting Individuals

There is one thing common about people in the early and late stage of their life. They both need to be taken good care of and kept under some supervision to face any unwanted harm. Safeguarding children is necessary to ensure proper childhood and proper development. On the other hand, the elderly need guarding to protect their rights and provide abuse and neglect free life. This article will discuss what is safeguarding and its relevant applications for both children and the elderly. 

Table of Contents

What is safeguarding

In an everyday sense, the term safeguarding means to protect people from harm. The general law is to save people from being abused, harassed and neglected. The term safeguarding is referring to protective measures taken to protect the right of challenged and vulnerable people. 

Every person in this world deserves to live through their life with respect. But the world is a cruel place, and aggressive people are always looking to take advantage of the weak. As a result, the safeguarding legislation has evolved to ensure the rights, freedom and healthy living of people in need of support. 

Safeguarding children

The action of promoting the safety of children and protecting them from harm is known as safeguarding. By child safeguarding, it generally means to:

  • Defend children from exploitation and neglect
  • Ensuring that children grow up with the availability of appropriate and reliable services  
  • Making sure of their health or wellbeing
  • Take steps to ensure the outcomes for both children and young people

The safeguarding mechanism includes child safety. It focuses on safeguarding specific children who have been reported as suffering or at risk of suffering severe damage. Safeguarding also includes child protection protocols, which specify how to respond to child safety issues.

All organisations working with or in contact with children are obliged to maintain the safeguarding policies and procedures. The people in charge of the premises has to ensure that all children are safe from harm. 

So setting up the safeguarding procedures in organisations such as schools, hospitals, sports clubs, faith groups, community organisations, and private sector providers need to set up safeguarding policies and procedures. 

Child protection system in the UK

All four nations in the UK have their child protection system and laws to protect their children from any abuse and neglect that may traumatise their life. 

Each country has a set of laws, guidelines, and practices to recognise children at risk. The authority protects those children by always supervising them to avoid further violence.

Each UK nation is responsible for its education, health, and social security policies and regulations. The regulations concern the majority of child care and safeguarding related facets.

Laws, as well as ethics, prohibit or mandate action to shield children from harmful conduct. The guidance outlines what organisations should do to help keep children healthy. While each country’s child protection scheme is unique, they all follow the same standards.

Child safeguarding in schools

Schools play a pivotal role to ensure proper child safeguarding methods are underway. Outside the home, school is where children spend most of their time. So schools have regular contact with children and young people. As a result, schools are in a strong position to identify and intervene with abuse signs where necessary. Schools can safeguard children by:

  • Providing a healthy climate for children and young people by implementing strong safeguarding procedures
  • Ensuring that adults working in the classroom, including volunteers, may not endanger students
  • Ensuring that employees are well-educated, understand how to respond to complaints, and are up to date on policy and procedure
  • Educating children and teenagers on how to stay healthy
  • Maintaining an atmosphere in which children are comfortable approaching any member of staff with a concern or challenge.

5 Rs of safeguarding children

Its everyone’s duty to keep children healthy. So learning the basic steps of child safeguarding will give people direction to protect children. The 5 Rs of safeguarding children is a collection of guidelines that directs to recognize, respond, record, report, and refer child abuse cases. They are briefed below: 

1. Recognising

First, you must recognize the symptoms of violence before you can continue implementing the other 4Rs. Physical violence, mental abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect are both are all possibilities a child may encounter.

2. Respond

The response after you see any kind of child misconduct is to give them a safe place and try to give them the tools to talk. 

3. Recording

Recording the incident is one of the most important steps for safeguarding. Ask them the following questions: 

  • Why did it happen?
  • When did it take place? 
  • What went wrong? 
  • Who was it that said that? 
  • What really was going on? 
  • But, what was going on at the time? 
  • Who was there? 
  • What was the significance of the moment?

4. Reporting

This step involves assessing the situation by understanding the particular protocols and practices in terms of escalating safeguarding issues might be the best way to find out. You need to find out: 

  • Is it necessary for you to share this information? 
  • Should authorities know it right away?

5. Refer

After assessing the situation you need to decide if the child is in any imminent danger?

If this is the case, contact the police and the municipal government immediately. If the situation is not immediate, make the referral as you need to, in a timely way, and the local government will take over or the police will take action as they see fit.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

An adult is anyone aged over 18. An adult may get classified as vulnerable if he has any of the following characteristics: 

  • An older person who is weak
  • A person with learning disabilities 
  • Anyone with alcohol or drug addiction 
  • A person with long term illness
  • A childcarer
  • A person with learning disabilities
  • People having mental health problems such as dementia and schizophrenia 
  • People who have lost the ability to make their own decisions.

When it comes to protecting vulnerable people, it’s also vital that you give them as much control and autonomy over their lives as possible. The Mental Capacity Act follows a particular procedure to determine if an adult can make their own decisions. Only when this process has been completed, and it has been determined that they cannot make their own decisions or will the decisions about their treatment be taken without their permission.

  • Making sure a vulnerable adult’s life is free of neglect and violence, 
  • Supporting or assisting them in making choices about their own lives and treatment
  • Maintaining a risk-free atmosphere are all part of safeguarding them.

What is the government policy to safeguard the vulnerable

Certain policies need to be put into practice if you are working with vulnerable children and adults who need special support. Employers are required to ensure special training for their employees to carry out safeguarding duties accordingly. The safeguarding policies are: 

  • Demonstrate that you are in charge of the safeguarding agenda.
  • Keep a list of your complaints and check it regularly.
  • Follow healthy hiring practices, such as DBS checks
  • Maintain a clean working environment and facilities, both inside and out.
  • Ascertain that all employees are mindful of their roles and obligations.
  • Any type of concerning issues need recording right away.
  • Be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of violence.
  • Make provisions for reporting of wrongdoing.
  • Inform your employees that you have an open-door policy.
  • Participate in Adult Social Care investigations
  • Support safety scheme put in place

6 principles of safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

The department of health first introduced the six principles of safeguarding which later got embedded with the care act of 2014. The six principles of safeguarding are in place to safeguard older people and adults needing special support. But the same law is applied for protecting children as well. 

The main objective of safeguarding for both adults and children is to prevent them from harm like abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Safeguarding works by raising awareness and by supporting people to make sensible decisions. The six principles of safeguarding are here as follows: 

Empowerment 

It’s essential to support people and encourage them to make their own decisions. Ensuring them the support they need will make them feel more confident and gove informed consent. 

Empowering individuals give them a better feeling of freedom of choice. As a result, they can gradually improve their decision making and become self-sufficient. 

Protection 

Supporting the ones who are in greatest need is also one of the main objectives of safeguarding. It’s essential to give people proper representation support for people who have suffered from abuse and neglect or who are at the risk of suffering. Giving them the support and intervention they need at the right time will protect them from harm. 

Protection of any potential victim is the central purpose of safeguarding in the first place. Let it be home, school, work, a care home, or anywhere else, its everyone’s responsibility to look out for others’ wellbeing. 

Prevention 

Organisations that aim to prevent violence are said to be practising prevention. They will illustrate preventive strategies and inspire people to seek assistance by raising awareness, educating personnel, and making available knowledge.

If you are aware of the signs of abuse and neglect, you will understand when something is not right. Recognising the early signs of concern will enable you to put them off in the nick of time, even before any unpleasant situation arises. 

Having the right kind of training will keep you updated on the indicators that need attention. So spreading the right kind of self-awareness is instrumental in safeguarding vulnerable adults, children and young people. 

Partnerships 

Forming partnerships among organisation and communities allow the organisation to work together. The mutual connection between organisation working on safeguarding the needs and the communities will create common platforms for sharing incidents. As a result, more and more adventures will get reported that previously would have gone on to be undetected. 

This is why working partnerships are very efficient to make sure the safeguarding laws rightfully in place. This way, both communities and organisations can perform their role very effectively. 

Accountability

In providing safeguarding practice, being accountable and transparent is essential. When it comes to protecting disadvantaged individuals, everyone has a role to play, and responsibility ensures that everyone is doing their part. As people, programs, and organisations, we are all responsible for our decisions. 

Serious case studies and investigations have shown the importance of ensuring that safeguarding is a priority avoiding a lot of treatment. We’re all aware of how safeguarding deficiencies can hurt programs, resulting in prosecutions and high costs.

The six safeguarding principles must apply for teams to ensure that workers and the community know their responsibilities.

Importance of protecting vulnerability in adults

Everyone has the right to live a peaceful and happy life without abuse and neglect. Regardless of age, gender, faith or ethnicity, It’s essential to ensure human rights and protect older people past their heydays of life. 

So it’s necessary to train staff members in care homes and hospitals so that elderly individuals and children may get exposed to neglect and violence. Not providing the elderly with adequate may lead to the following consequences: 

  • Abuse being missed or overlooked.
  • Deprivation of liberty
  • Abuse and neglect escalating to extreme outcomes, e.g. severe injury or death
  • Loss of dignity, and
  • Distress for those suffering and not knowing who to talk to – impacting behaviour.

So safeguarding vulnerable adults is essential to ensure them a happy and healthy life in their older days. 

Roles and responsibilities in safeguarding

Safeguarding is an essential responsibility for many individuals engaged in different professions but can carry out safeguarding responsibilities. It’s necessary to consider that many people need to collaborate to protect children and elderly individuals. So it is not just a specific person responsible for safeguarding children, young and older people. 

For example, as we think about helping seniors who already live in their homes, the city governments would have to collaborate with healthcare professionals to ensure they receive the support they need. However, if some sort of violence or negligence is alleged, they can require help from relatives, family and even neighbours.

But, of course, many people mainly safeguard their position. People like caring for home nurses, kindergarten workers, and teachers would remember they are on the job of protecting every day. 

All workplaces legally obligated to care about safeguarding have a dedicated policy that addresses the theory and includes everything, from acknowledging signs of violence, injury, or negligence, to directions on what to do and how to solve the situation.

It is important to remember that so much protection on the ground is about the signals that violence might occur, and everybody knows how to find it.

Safeguarding training

It is crucial for those working with children or disabled people to undergo adequate Safeguarding Training. Safeguarding preparation is essential because:

  • Demonstrates the symptoms to watch out whether someone is facing abuse, ignorance or harm.
  • It helps you detect who is at risk of harm or vulnerable.
  • Allows employers to believe that their workers know what they are doing and what to do in cases of hurt or negligence.
  • Teach you how to deal with vulnerable individuals,
  • Shows the proper protocol for reporting issues and when to notify the authorities

Different types of safeguarding training

Safeguarding is a very important issue everywhere these days. A huge percentage of people in our society fall under the radar of people who need safeguarding. As a result training in safeguarding has experienced massive interests in a variety of workplaces.

So training is compulsory for people working with or in close proximity to children and elderly people. Based on involvement in safeguarding operation there are 3 levels of child safeguarding courses: 

Level 1 safeguarding

At this level, a learner figures out how to recognise the common signs of neglect and respond to certain situations.  

Level 2 safeguarding

At level 2 participants learn to conduct safeguarding enquiries and record point of concerns as well as assist vulnerable people. 

Designated Safeguarding Lead Level 1 & 2

The Designated Safeguarding Lead Level 1 & 2 is designed to introduce fundamental child safeguarding practices, ideal for teachers, childminders, and child care professionals.

Designated Safeguarding Lead Level 1 & 2

The Designated Safeguarding Lead Level 1 & 2 is designed to introduce fundamental child safeguarding practices, ideal for teachers, childminders, and child care professionals.

Level 3 safeguarding

Learners from this level play an extremely active role in safeguarding. They can respond to any arising situations and shape workplace strategies for safeguarding. 

Different types of safeguarding courses are also available based on the necessity of learners. The safeguarding approach for children and adults are completely different. 

Safeguarding Lead Level 3

The Safeguarding Lead Level 3 course is designed to give an introductory idea about safeguarding children to anyone who works or has contact with children, young people and/or their families.

Safeguarding Lead Level 3

The Safeguarding Lead Level 3 course is designed to give an introductory idea about safeguarding children to anyone who works or has contact with children, young people and/or their families.

Safeguarding of vulnerable adults training

From Safeguarding vulnerable adult training, you can learn why protecting vulnerable adults is important, particularly in health and social care. You will find some of the best ways to protect elderly individuals from violence or neglect, and ensure that residents are encouraged to get a lot of access to health services and remain in good health. You’ll also discuss what steps can be taken to ensure that disabled individuals are not handled carelessly.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

By taking this Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults course, you’ll understand why safeguarding vulnerable adults are crucial especially in health and social care.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

By taking this Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults course, you’ll understand why safeguarding vulnerable adults are crucial especially in health and social care.

Safeguarding of children training

Safeguarding children is completely different from elderly people. They are spontaneous and always learning and growing. So every stage of development for children needs a different approach to safeguard them. For this training is absolutely essential. 

Safeguarding Children Level 1, 2 and 3

This comprehensive course is best suited to Teaching Staff, Nursery staff, Childminders, Carers, Playworkers, Sports staff, Police officers, Safeguarding officers including those requiring an absolute and professional training in safeguarding children.

Safeguarding Children Level 1, 2 and 3

This comprehensive course is best suited to Teaching Staff, Nursery staff, Childminders, Carers, Playworkers, Sports staff, Police officers, Safeguarding officers including those requiring an absolute and professional training in safeguarding children.

Why you need safeguarding training

Participants will learn the following after completing the safeguarding training:

  • Understand the needs and motivations for protecting young adults and youth, and why everyone is responsible for this.
  • Have a broader knowledge and a clearer understanding of the value of safeguarding, particularly within the framework of your business
  • Know the various patterns of violence, how to identify risk factors and how to report complaints.
  • Understand your part in protecting young people and how much you can make a difference.
  • Understand how the policies and procedures of your business will serve to protect the organization

Benefits of safeguarding training

It can be enriching to work with children and young people. Yet a lot of accountability comes with it, too. Your duty to protect the caregivers from harm is one of the main facets of this responsibility.

The safeguarding in preparation is the best way to guarantee that your workforce can provide a service that safeguards young people and families. So look at the top 5 advantages that protecting the workplace will offer!

Figure out the vulnerable ones 

Without proper safeguarding training, it may be complicated for someone to detect young people in your care who might need some extra attention or anybody suffering from emotional or physical neglect. The same rules apply to the elderly as well. Often it’s hard to find when they are vulnerable. Safeguarding preparation provides a detailed description of the various methods to support vulnerable people and deal with their needs. 

Recognise the signs of abuse 

You can directly learn about the telltale signs of abuse, bullying and negligence. This will enable you to track down help out when needed actively.  

Improve your social skills with children

It is central to safeguarding the right to engage with children and youth who care for their requirements and wellbeing. The protection of formation thus focuses seriously on the many ways that employees can speak about violence and exploitation of children and young adults.

Excellent communication skills with children are one thing you need to improve to Improving your social skills while communicating with children is a 

Develop trust in your surroundings

Enforcing all team members’ instruction shows all parents and partners that best practice is taken very seriously by the organisation. It can help promote more significant contact with employees, volunteers, and parents, as parents are willing to raise questions about protecting their employees, ensuring that the subject has been certified at the professional level.

Respond to situations the perfect way

It can be quite distressing as an educator, club or care worker to learn that the children or the young people who care are involved have had an event or violence and/or neglect. Safer preparation breaks down relevant action to encourage the employees to investigate bullying and neglect acceptably, providing them with the skills and knowledge they need.

Safeguarding legislation

Safeguarding is an essential issue for anyone working around or any vulnerable groups. To carry out the responsibilities of the job, having a good idea of these rules is paramount. The government regularly revisits these statutory policies and updates them the strengthen the safeguarding procedure. 

So here is an updated outline of all the laws have to say about the safeguarding policy: 

The Children Act 1989 

The children act introduced in 1989 to clarify and suggest reforms to all the different laws that previously affected children. This Act is a single piece of legislation covering all aspects of child welfare and makes child protection a fundamental priority for proper upbringing. 

The law directs the local authorities to make the highest effort to protect the child’s family links. The law sets out in detail for authority to investigate whether there is any chance of the child suffering from any significant harm inflicted from his surroundings.   

The Children Act 2004

The 2004 version of the children act is not a replacement of the previous one. Instead, it is an updated amendment aiming to achieve positive outcomes for children. The law makes a child-centred approach to child services, provides strong leadership qualities, and promotes early interventions in the pupil. The children act 2004 provides a better base for integrated planning, commissioned and delivery of children service. 

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

The law was passed by legislation to barre unsuitable people from gaining access to work with children and vulnerable adults. The ensures:

  • Proper disclosure of police information to the hiring authorities
  • Consistent decision making of employers based on the info
  • Ensuring the prevention of harmful behaviour.

The Act’s purpose was to minimise the risk of any harm by providing appropriate people suitable to work with and around children. 

The Children and Social Work Act of 2017

Promoting the welfare and proper safeguarding of looked after children is the purpose behind the formulation of the Children and Social Work Act of 2017. The acts as a guide for regulating the selection of social workers. The primary purpose of this statutory Act is: 

  • Improve decision-making and care for children in the custody of care homes or who previously we in the custody of care homes
  • Allow for the creation of a new regulatory regime tailored to the field of social work
  • Improve local collaboration to protect children and allow for improved learning at the local and national levels to improve child protection practices
  • Improve children’s safety by conducting relationship and sex education classes in schools

These rules aid in developing a set of values that return attention to the looked after child. So behaving in their best interests of the children and considering their feelings and desires is the most helpful output of this law.

The Care Act 2014

The Care Act of 2014 extends to support the needs of children, young people, and adults in need of exceptional help. While protecting children and older adults, this Act also promotes a person-centred approach by adhering to the principle of a child’s safety and needs first. This Act again reforms the law relating to adult care and support and the law relating to support for carers. The law has provisions for: 

  • Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect 
  • to make provisions for care standards 
  • to establish and make provisions for Health Education England; 
  • to develop and make provisions for the Health Research Authority; 
  • to make provisions for integrative medicine

Concluding remarks

There is a lot to know about protecting disabled adults; laws, duties, values. A great deal of common sense is incorporated into the process; behaving in the best interests of the disabled individual while not transcending borders is an integral part of the procedure. Any part of the United Kingdom has its Adult Safeguarding Board. If you’ve ever been concerned about protecting problems, here is where you should transform.

Keep in mind the core values of the 2014 Care Act before making any recommendations or judgments without taking any steps. This means that you ought to empower the adult with their decisions, avoid harm from occurring where possible, only do what is appropriate to protect the adult.

May 20, 2021

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