What is Safeguarding?

Many people think that the words Safeguarding and Child Protection mean the same thing. ‘Safeguarding’ and ‘Promoting Welfare’ are relatively new terms. They were brought into practice with the Children Act 2004 and are much wider used than Child Protection.  Child Protection forms just a small part of Safeguarding and Promoting Welfare.

The statutory definition of Safeguarding and Promoting Welfare is:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment;
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
  • Undertaking that role so as to enable those children to have optimum life chances and  enter adulthood successfully.

Safeguarding covers a wide range of activities and actions taken by a number of different people and agencies.  By ‘Safeguarding’ we mean 3 main types of activities:

  • Specific action to identify and protect children;
  • Activities directly designed to identify and  support children who are vulnerable to poor outcomes and life chances;
  • Ways to improve the general health and wellbeing of all children.

Safeguarding is about keeping children safe at all times.