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Safeguarding children and child protection

All organisations that work with or come into contact with children should have safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure that every child, regardless of their age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation, has a right to equal protection from harm.

Setting up and following good safeguarding policies and procedures means children are safe from adults and other children who might pose a risk. This includes voluntary and community organisations, faith groups, private sector providers, as well as schools, hospitals and sports clubs.

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

Safeguarding means:

  • protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
  • preventing harm to children’s health or development
  • ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.

Child protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child.

Resources and guidance

For schools and colleges

Training, lesson plans, guidance and resources for schools and colleges.

 

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For health professionals

Resources for health practitioners, strategic leads and commissioners including specific guidance about harmful sexual behaviour. 

 

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For performing arts

Advice and guidance for keeping children safe in music, drama, dance, TV and theatre.

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Deaf and disabled children

How organisations can protect d/Deaf and disabled children from abuse.

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Writing a safeguarding policy statement

Guidance on setting out a safeguarding policy for your organisation.

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Safer recruitment

Explains what organisations need to do to make sure the people who work or volunteer for them are safe to work with children.

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Safeguarding self-assessment tool

Our free online tool helps you audit your school or organisation's current safeguarding arrangements, supporting you to make any changes and identify areas for improvement.

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Photography and sharing images

Guidance about taking, sharing, using and storing images of children. Includes information about CCTV, social media and livestreaming online events and activities.

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Recommended adult to child ratios

Guidance on staffing and supervision ratios for working with children.

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Child protection system in the UK

Information about how child protection works in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as a list of key dates and terms.

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Early help and early intervention

Explains what early help is and early intervention is, how to identify a child or family who may need early help and how to provide appropriate support.

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Managing allegations made against a child

Explains how an allegation of abuse may be made against a child, how people who work with children can respond and how to decide if a concern is a child protection issue.

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Preventing abuse in positions of trust

How to recognise, respond to and prevent abuse from people in a position of authority such as teachers, care workers and doctors. Covers current legislation and guidance.

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Healthy and unhealthy relationships

Find out how to recognise the signs that a young person is in an unhealthy relationship and what action you can take.

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Radicalisation

Organisations can help prevent radicalisation. Find out more about why it's a safeguarding concern, what can make children vulnerable and what you can do to help protect them.

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Training

Browse our list of online and face-to-face training courses to gain the skills you need to help keep children safe from abuse and neglect.

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Safer activities events

Advice on keeping groups of children and young people safe during activities, events, visits, day trips, outings and overnight stays.

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Managing allegations of abuse

Best practice for managing allegations of abuse against someone who works or volunteers with children.

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How to have difficult conversations with children

Guidance on how to prepare for having difficult conversations with children and young people and what you need to keep in mind when discussing sensitive topics.

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Charity trustees

Discover more about the safeguarding and child protection responsibilities that charity trustees have.

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Working with young volunteers

If you work with young volunteers, find out what you need to do to best support them and keep them safe.

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Safeguarding examples issues concerns

Our practice examples explain what you need to do to keep children safe in certain situations. 

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Lone working

What measures you need to consider when working on your own with children.

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Safeguarding and child protection for tutors

Explains what measures tutors need to take to help keep children safe when conducting tutoring sessions in their own home, at a child’s home or online.

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Continence issues and safeguarding

Explains why some children experience issues with continence or incontinence, what schools and organisations can do to support them and when it might be an indicator of a safeguarding concern.

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Safeguarding children from Black, Asian and minoritised ethnic communities

Explains the key issues facing Black, Asian and minoritised​ ethnic children, with guidance for how anyone working with children can help support and keep young people safe.

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Safeguarding LGBTQ+ children and young people

Explains why LGBTQ+ children might be at greater risk of some types of abuse and shares best practice for professionals on supporting and protecting them.

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Talk Relationships

Training, lesson plans and a dedicated helpline to support secondary schools teachers to confidently deliver inclusive sex and relationships education.

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Grooming

Explains what grooming is, how to recognise it and how people who work with children can respond to it.

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What is safeguarding in sport

Safeguarding in sport means protecting children and young people from abuse, preventing harm and promoting their wellbeing.

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What is duty of care for safeguarding?

Find out more about what duty of care means in child safeguarding and what you need to do keep children safe.

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Online safety

See all our information, guidance and resources to help you create safer online spaces for children and young people.

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