An introduction to safeguarding

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Safeguarding is about working with children, young people and their families to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of harm to children’s welfare.

Where there are concerns about a child’s welfare, a multi-agency approach is taken to address these. Safeguarding is broader than ‘child protection’ as it also includes prevention.

This guidance has been produced to offer an introduction to safeguarding for lead members. It aims to outline:

  • your role and responsibilities for safeguarding as lead member for children’s services; what ‘good’ looks like in regard to robust local safeguarding practices
  • what questions to ask to ascertain with confidence your council’s performance
  • how to champion safeguarding through your relationships with officers, members and partners
  • the national safeguarding agenda for children’s services in 2013
  • where to go if you need more information or support.

Within legislation the term ‘child’ refers to anyone up to 18 years-old. This guidance similarly uses ‘child’ and ‘children’ to encompass children and young people up to the age of 18.