SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
All professionals and volunteers working in Derby and Derbyshire should read this chapter which provides information on the roles and responsibilities of practitioners in keeping children safe and describes the key features of effective safeguarding practice.
The Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Boards' procedures reflect current legislation, accepted best practice and comply with the government guidance: Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.
Safeguarding children is the action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. It is everyone's responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:
- Protecting children from maltreatment;
- Preventing impairment of children's health or development;
- Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
- Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
(Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015)
A child centred and co-ordinated approach to safeguarding
Effective safeguarding arrangements are underpinned by two key principles:
- Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility; for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part; and
- A child centred approach; for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children.
Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility
Everyone who works with children - including Teachers, GP's, Midwifes, Health Visitors, Nursery workers, Youth Workers, Police, Accident and Emergency staff, Paediatricians, voluntary and community workers and Social Workers - has a responsibility for keeping them safe.
No single professional can have a full picture of a child's needs and circumstances and, if children and families are able to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identify concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.
In order that organisations and practitioners collaborate effectively, it is vital that every individual working with children and families is aware of the role that they have to play and the role of other professionals. In addition, effective Safeguarding requires clear arrangements for collaboration between professionals and agencies.
This guidance sets out clear roles for individual organisations and our local arrangements for effective safeguarding.
Children, young people and their families will have different levels of needs and these may change over time. The majority of children and young people have low level needs that can be supported through a range of universal services. These services include education, early years, health, housing, youth services, leisure facilities and services provided by community organisations.
Some children may have additional emerging needs that can be co-ordinated through an Early Help Assessment. Other children have more serious or complex needs including child protection concerns, and may require access to specialist services, such as local authority (LA) Children's Social Care, to support them.
The Derby City and Derbyshire Thresholds Document (updated 2017) is designed to help professionals identify when a threshold - or trigger - has been reached which means a child, young person or family might need support.
Click here to view Derby City and Derbyshire Thresholds Document (which can be found in Documents Library, Guidance Documents).
What to do if you are worried a child is being abused – Advice for Practitioners (Department for Education, 2015).
2. Child Centred Approach
Effective safeguarding systems are child focused. Failings in safeguarding are too often the result of losing sight of the needs and views of the children.
Children and young people have told us what they want from an effective safeguarding system (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015):
- Vigilance: to have adults notice when things are troubling them;
- Understanding and action: to understand what is happening; to be heard and understood; and to have that understanding acted upon;
- Stability: to be able to develop an on-going stable relationship of trust with those helping them;
- Respect: to be treated with the expectation that they are competent rather than not;
- Information and engagement: to be informed about and involved in procedures, decisions, concerns and plans;
- Explanation: to be informed of the outcome of assessments and decisions and reasons when their views have not met with a positive response;
- Support: to be provided with support in their own right as well as a member of their family;
- Advocacy: to be provided with advocacy to assist them in putting forward their views.
We have, and will continue, to listen to the voices of children and young people. These procedures will enable and support all professionals and volunteers to safeguard and protect the children and young people across Derby and Derbyshire.
3. Equality and Diversity Statement
All members of the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Boards will actively ensure an appropriate response with regard to safeguarding all children and young people, whilst recognising and supporting issues of equality and diversity.
Discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, pregnancy or any other unjustifiable criterion will not be tolerated.
We are opposed to all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination (including harassment of any kind) and will take appropriate action wherever instances of discrimination and harassment occur.
We will work with our partners to develop effective procedures and policies to combat intentional and unintentional discrimination and to share good practice.
4. How to use the Procedures
If you have not used these procedures before please see Using this Manual for further information.
These procedures need to be used in conjunction with the guidance and protocols of individual organisations. When in doubt regarding issues relating to safeguarding consult with the safeguarding specialists within your own organisation in addition to consulting these procedures. Procedures indicate what must be done in specified circumstances and define the limits of professional discretion. The procedures have the status of instructions to practitioners in LSCB member organisations and any inability or failure to comply with them should be accompanied by a recorded explanation.
The contents of this manual are for application by those working, whether paid or unpaid, in Derby and Derbyshire SCBs member agencies and in private or voluntary sector organisations with responsibilities for children living or present in the Derby and Derbyshire area. Any supplementary internal procedures developed by organisations should also refer to, and comply with these procedures.
These Derby and Derbyshire SCB procedures will be updated bi-annually.