What you need to do to protect children from harm

All organisations that work with or come into contact with children should have safeguarding polices and procedures to ensure that every child, regardless of their age, gender, religion or ethnicity, can be protected from harm.

Setting up and following good safeguarding policies and procedures means children are safe from adults and other children who might pose a risk.

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

Safeguarding means:

  • protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
  • preventing harm to children’s health or development
  • ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.

Child protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child.

Safeguarding children and child protection guidance and legislation applies to all children up to the age of 18.

Everyone has a responsibility to keep children and young people safe

All organisations that come into contact with children should have specific safeguarding policies and procedures in place. This includes voluntary and community organisations, faith groups, private sector providers, as well as schools, hospitals and sports clubs.

What do I need to do to safeguard children in my care?

Organisations need to make sure that the way they work with children keeps them safe and does not place them at unacceptable risk of harm.

They can do this through:

  • establishing, implementing and following good safeguarding policies and procedures including safe recruitment
  • ensuring all staff and volunteers are aware of and follow the organisation’s safeguarding policies and procedures
  • ensuring that all staff and volunteers receive child protection training.