What is Safeguarding?

Everyone has the right to live freely, without the of any danger or harm! Young people, as well as vulnerable adults, must be protected and empowered to flourish. The concept of safeguarding has been a part of our society for decades now. However, many people are still not sure about what exactly this entails or means.

If you work with groups of people that are unable to defend themselves effectively and confidently against the dangers around us all, it is essential for you to have a clear idea of what safeguarding is, what it involves and how to support these people. This article will give you a brief introduction to this concept and why you should take a safeguarding course.

Safeguarding – What is it?

In simple terms, safeguarding is the actions we take to protect the vulnerable groups of people in our society against any kind of harm. This harm could come from either adults or other children. Safeguarding could be divided into two parts:

  • Safeguarding children and young people
  • Safeguarding adults

Safeguarding Children and young people:

According to the law, anyone under the age of 18 is considered a child. So, when you are safeguarding children, you are guarding all those who are still under 18. Safeguarding a child would include:

  • Protecting them from any kind of abuse, exploitation and maltreatment.
  • Identifying and protecting any child who might be in danger.
  • Making sure their health, wellbeing and development are not affected or harmed by anything
  • To ensure that they live safely, as well as having effective care.
  • Take every action in your power to make sure that they have the best outcomes and opportunities in their life.

Safeguarding Adults

Any adult who is unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm is considered to be vulnerable. When safeguarding adults, you prevent or reduce the damage caused to them by abuse and neglect, while enabling them to take charge of their own lives (again). Safeguarding an adult would involve:

  • Averting any kind of abuse or neglect they might experience.
  • Making sure they live safely and away from any kind of neglect or danger.
  • Encourage them to provide informed consent and make their own decisions.
  • Empower them and promote their well-being.

Why you should you take a Safeguarding Course?

Although rewarding, safeguarding comes with lots of responsibility – the responsibility to ensure the well-being of those who are unable to stand up for themselves. You are responsible for the protection of their safety as well as fundamental human rights.

Any mistakes on your part could have severe consequences and might leave these individuals in danger. They might encounter neglect, abuse or exploitation, and if you are not careful, you might miss the warning signs. In a way the whole course of their life is dependent on everyone supporting and doing the right thing and the right time!

Therefore, it is essential that you invest proper time and effort into a safeguarding course that prepares you the best for your work, whether that be a professional career or voluntary work. The right safeguarding course will enable you to be able to identify the people who are at the most risk of harm. It will give you the all the training needed to recognise tell-tale signs of discomfort, abuse or neglect and make you efficient in your communication with vulnerable groups.