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Why is safeguarding important?

Experiencing abuse and neglect can have a serious and long-term impact on a child’s wellbeing, which can last into adulthood.

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.

Safeguards are measures that an organisation should put in place to help reduce the risk of children, young people and adults being harmed.

Child protection is a part of safeguarding. It refers to the action taken to protect specific children from abuse or neglect.

A child protection response may be necessary in any case where a child or young person under the
age of 18 may have been abused or may be at risk of abuse. This should include policies, processes, procedures and measures to guide staff and volunteers in what to do if they are concerned that a child or young person may be at risk, and to empower children, young people and/or their families to seek help if they are worried about anything.