Effective safeguarding procedures are essential for organisations working with children, including community and voluntary organisations, schools, sports clubs, hospitals, religious groups and providers from the private sector. Safeguarding practices reach beyond age, gender, ethnicity and religion to ensure all children are protected from harm.
What does safeguarding mean?
Safeguarding is the act of advancing the wellbeing of children and shielding them from abuse. Examples of safeguarding include making sure children have care that is safe and nurturing, and protecting their health and wellbeing from all forms of abuse and neglect. Child protection is an element of safeguarding that focuses on children deemed likely to experience abuse, and the processes that are in place to deal with issues of concern about children.
How you can safeguard children in your care
It’s important to ensure your team of volunteers and staff have training around child protection. Develop and implement a set of safeguarding actions and processes that your team understands and follows through. Make sure you check all candidates’ eligibility to work in the UK.
When hiring members of your team (both staff and volunteers), it’s also crucial that you conduct the appropriate background checks. If you need to arrange a DBS check, engaging the services of a professional organisation, such as Care Check (http://www.carecheck.co.uk/) is recommended. A professional service will be aware of any legislative changes and will understand the most efficient way to expedite results.
Criminal records check: what you need to know
At the end of 2012, the Disclosure and Barring Service was created through the merger of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). The focus of the DBS is to assist employers make positive recruitment choices and to ensure all inappropriate people are kept away from working with vulnerable people, including children. As a result of these structural changes, CRB checks are now referred to as DBS checks.
Concerned about someone working with children?
If you’re an employer and you’re concerned about an individual working with children, you’re required by law to inform the DBS. If you’re not an employer, but are concerned about an individual, you must inform either social services or the police. Trust that your concerns regarding the welfare and wellbeing of children are valid, and let the professionals make sure.