What is Safeguarding?
Safeguarding is all about having the knowledge and awareness to understand various types of abuse and neglect, being able to identify the signs and what to look for; knowing what steps to take if you suspect abuse is happening and knowing what to do if a child or an adult discloses abuse. Understanding the Safeguarding agenda will also help ensure your organisation works responsibly and safely, without putting staff in vulnerable positions.
A relationship between an adult and child, young person or vulnerable adult is not a relationship between equals. It is vital for all those in positions of trust to understand the power this can give them over those they care for and the responsibility they must exercise as a consequence of this relationship.
A relationship of trust applies to staff or volunteers who are, as a result of their knowledge, position and/or the authority invested in their role, in a position of power or influence over a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
The Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) is in just such a position and therefore must be equipped to deal with a situation in which this relationship of trust is abused. Safeguarding policies are in place to help.
Safeguarding has been defined as:
All agencies working with children, young people and their families taking all reasonable measures to ensure that the risks of harm to children’s welfare are minimised; and
Where there are concerns about children and young people’s welfare, all agencies taking appropriate actions to address those concerns, working to agreed local policies and procedures in full partnership with other local agencies.
Who does Safeguarding protect?
Safeguarding protects vulnerable people falling under the following headings:
Children with Disabilities
Who are Vulnerable Adults?
A vulnerable adult as described by the Care Standards Act 2000 is a person aged 18 or over who has a condition of the following type:
A learning or physical disability
A physical or mental illness, chronic or otherwise, including addiction to alcohol or drugs; or
A reduction in physical or mental capacity
Whose responsibility is it?
How does safeguarding protect my organisation?
Understanding the Safeguarding agenda will also help ensure your organisation works responsibly and safely, without putting staff in vulnerable positions.
What should your organisation be doing?
A safe organisation: Ensures that its governing body, all of its employees, commissioned or contracted agents and volunteers or adult participants are aware of their responsibilities to safeguard children and vulnerable adults.
Your organisation should have policies and procedures regarding Safeguarding, particularly if you work closely with children or vulnerable adults.
If you are working directly with vulnerable persons, all individuals within your organisation should be able to recognise the different types of abuse, identify the signs and where to go for help. The most important aspect your organisation should be ensuring is that all staff members keep accurate records.
How can Community Waltham Forest help?
Community Waltham Forest can help by:
signposting to appropriate support including DBS check agencies etc.
providing Safeguarding Policy and Procedure templates and advice
free fact sheets to help you become more informed about safeguarding (see below)
Community Waltham Forest Useful Resources
Community Waltham Forest - Staff & Volunteers: for further information about DBS and other related issues
Children and Disabilities: a brief overview of some of the key issues and legislation surrounding safeguarding children with disabilities
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS): a brief overview of DBS checks with further resources
DBS True or False: some frequently asked questions and answers.
Model Child Protection Policy: for use by voluntary organisations
Model Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy: for use by voluntary organisations
Safeguarding Children: an overview: a concise overview of some of the key issues and legislation surrounding safeguarding children with signposting and extra reading.
Safer Recruitment: an introductory fact sheet looking at safer recruitment and how organisations can recruit effectively and safely.
Counselling Directory - connecting individuals with qualified councellors
The London Community Foundation 'Developing your Safeguarding Policy,Practice and Procedures for Vulnerable Adults. Resource Pack for Groups'
The Munro Review of Child Protection: Final Report A child-centred system by Professor Eileen Munro
London Safeguarding Children Board: Pan London Child Protection Procedures 2016
For a Child in Waltham Forest contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
T: 020 8496 2310 or 020 8496 3000 (out of hours)
For an Adult in Waltham Forest with care and support needs contact Adult Social CareT: 020 8496 3000 E: WFDirect@walthamforest.gov.uk
Waltham Forest Child protection and support: https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/service-categories/child-protection-and-support