Child Safeguarding Policy History
The Every Child Matters policy was launched as a response to the death of Victoria Climbie. Victoria was neglected, abused and tortured by her guardians. Organisations such as social services, police, NSPCC and the NHS had repeated contact, but failed to protect her. Victoria’s death and circumstances surrounding it caused a public outcry. This led to a public inquiry, which in turn produced major changes to child protection policies in the UK.
Anyone who worked in any capacity with children had to adhere to the Every Child Matters child safeguarding policy. The purpose of the policy was to ensure that all children are safe and given the best chances in life.
In 2010 the Conservative/ Liberal Democrat coalition moved away from this policy. This Government put the emphasis on health visitors and social workers to carry out health checks at the child’s home. Under the 2010 government, the terminology also changed. Anyone now working with children will be familiar with the term, ‘safeguarding’.
Currently, all organisations that work with or come into contact with children must have safeguarding policies and procedures. Current guidance and legislation applies to all children up to the age of 18.
The UK Government states safeguarding children means to:
- protect children from abuse and maltreatment
- prevent harm to children’s health or development
- ensure children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
- take action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes
Safeguarding extends to all areas of children’s lives from their home life, to school, healthcare, recreational activities, extra-curricular activities and so on. Failure to do so is punishable by Law.
The Importance of Child Safeguarding Policy
This protection begins at home and is provided by parents and carers. Children are raised in a variety of settings and by working together and communicating information, carers and statutory services monitor the wellbeing of children from before birth.
As a child develops and grows they will quickly enter into the wider community where they will access a wide range of services and experiences. Responsibility for safeguarding, therefore, extends beyond the child’s immediate home life and primary care. Any setting which involves provision for children must be carefully considered and adhere to a policy and procedure framework which takes into account issues, which include amongst many others, Health and Safety, risk and codes of conduct.
The importance of working together to safeguard children and young people is paramount. On a small scale failure to do so can result in incidents and accidents that are detrimental to the children’s lives and costly and damaging to an individual, institution, organisation or company. On a greater scale failure to adequately safeguard children can lead to emotional, physical and mental damage to a child which will impact upon their entire life. Failure to safeguard can result in catastrophic outcomes.
Engage in Learning provide eLearning solutions to help your organisation. Their interactive Safeguarding Children training course will help you to reduce organisational risk and make a positive difference to lives. Child protection courses form an integral role in the compliance strategy for anyone working with children or in an environment where children are present.