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Reasons adult care practitioners need to be aware of national and local requirements that seek to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: Although this page has been marked as complete, it has not yet been peer-reviewed or quality-assured, therefore it should be considered a ‘first draft’ and any information should be fact-checked independently.

For this assessment criterion, you will be required to explain why you need to be aware of and understand local protocols and procedures in relation to safeguarding children.

Although you work primarily with adults, there may be times during the course of your work when you come into contact with children. For example, if you work in a care home, young children may come to your setting to visit an elderly relative. It is important to understand that as a care professional, you have a legal and ethical duty to report any suspicions that you have or disclosures that are made to you relating to child abuse or neglect. The protection and safeguarding of children is everyone’s responsibility, not just those who work directly with them.

Reporting suspicions or disclosures of danger, harm, suspected abuse

As stated above, it is the responsibility of all care professionals to report suspicions or disclosures of danger, harm or abuse relating to children. Therefore, you will need to be aware of the local systems and processes that are in place as well as the agencies and organisations that are involved in local child safeguarding. The implementation of the safeguarding and protection of children varies between regions so you will need to be aware of how it works in your area.

You must also ensure that staff understand their responsibilities relating to the safeguarding of children and that they have been provided with sufficient training in this regard. They should also have read and understood your organisation’s policies and procedures relating to child safeguarding and you must ensure that the policies and procedures adhere to current legislation and reflect best practices.

The government have published the guide Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018), which explores how agencies should work together to safeguard children – this document is essential reading for anyone involved in child safeguarding.

Preventing child abuse and neglect

There are some types of abuse (e.g. radicalisation) that are typically associated with children, however, they could also apply to vulnerable adults and so it is important to have an awareness of the signs and symptoms related to them. Some of these types of abuse include:

  • Radicalisation
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • Child trafficking
  • Domestic violence

Further information about child abuse, including related signs and symptoms, can be found on the NSPCC’s website.

We have previously discussed the government’s PREVENT strategy, which aims to prevent individuals from being involved in or supporting terrorism by extremist groups. Staff should know the signs and symptoms of radicalisation and understand that their concerns should be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Officer in line with organisational policies and procedures.

Staff should understand the scope of their role and responsibilities relating to child abuse and would usually only report and follow-up their concerns, leaving any investigation or information gathering to professionals that have had specialist training in this area.

Monitoring adults who are known to have abused children and young people

Individuals that have a history of abusing children and young people must be monitored to ensure that the risks of them abusing again are minimised and that children and young people are protected.

You may be informed that an individual poses a risk to children as part of your work. For example, a potential employee may be flagged whilst performing a DBS check or your organisation may provide care services for a previous offender. This information must remain confidential and only be shared with others on a need-to-know basis. You may need to work with local child safeguarding agencies and staff should be clear and confident that they know what they need to monitor and how to report any concerns they have.

Assessment criteria

Learners explain why they need to be aware of and understand local protocols and procedures when working in partnership with other local agencies in relation to safeguarding children and young people to include:

  • Reporting suspicions or disclosures of danger, harm, suspected abuse
  • Preventing radicalisation
  • Preventing child sexual exploitation
  • Preventing female genital mutilation
  • Preventing child trafficking
  • Preventing domestic violence
  • Monitoring adults who are known to have abused children and young people
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