Safeguarding and child protection is a continuous process and it’s vital every organisation assesses whether what they’re doing is working.
Our free self-assessment tool provides a step-by-step guide to the review process. The tool can help schools and other organisations:
- identify areas for development
- find advice and resources to help improve policies and practice
- access a bespoke action plan
- update your progress as many times as they like.
Following a clear and proportionate review process can help you can ensure your policies and procedures are up to date and working well.
Making sure your safeguarding policies and procedures are effective
Start using our free self-assessment tool
Our tool will help you quickly identify areas for development and support you in making any necessary changes.
> Try out our safeguarding and child protection self-assessment tool
Establish who should be involved in the review
The review should be led by your nominated child protection lead. Depending on what you’re reviewing and the size and type of organisation, it may help to form a working group to make sure all relevant people are involved.
> Find out more about the role of the nominated child protection lead
Consider what you need to review
Start by identifying all the written policies and procedures which need reviewing, before moving on to other related systems and processes such as training, recruitment and governance.
Agree criteria and ratings for the review
Decide how you will you assess your safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures consistently. Whatever rating system you use, it needs to be clear and measurable.
Identify any internal or external changes
Evaluate any changes that have occurred since the last review, both within the organisation and externally.
Internal changes that may impact child safeguarding and child protection practices could include changes to personnel, organisational structure or size, who your organisation works with, or how you work with them.
Policies and procedures may also need to change to reflect external changes, such as new guidance, emerging technologies or societal changes.
It’s important to stay up to date with the latest child protection and safeguarding legislation and guidance to stay aligned with the legal requirements and standards.
> Keep up to date with the latest child protection and safeguarding news by signing up to our CASPAR newsletter
Check files and paperwork
Performing a file audit will help you assess whether current safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures are being followed.
For example, were vetting and barring checks done in a timely manner and did staff and volunteers receive safeguarding training when they started?
Talk about your safeguarding measures and gather feedback
Speak to everyone involved with your organisation, including employees, volunteers, parents and carers, and children themselves.
Conduct surveys, interviews, or focus groups to gather their perspectives on the effectiveness of the current policies and procedures and any areas for improvement.
Assess policy effectiveness
Review your findings and evaluate the existing policies and procedures against current best practices, legal requirements, and industry standards. Are there any gaps, weaknesses, or areas where policies may need revision or enhancement?
If there have been safeguarding incidents, are there lessons to be learnt from how they were dealt with?
> Create a tailored action plan using our self-assessment tool
Update policies and procedures
Incorporate the findings from the review process into the safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures.
Organise training and raise awareness
Develop a plan to ensure that all relevant individuals within the organisation are aware of the updated policy and understand their roles and responsibilities. Training should be ongoing to ensure that all employees understand their responsibilities, recognise signs of abuse or neglect, and know how to respond appropriately.
> See our Introduction to safeguarding and child protection training
Set regular review dates
Schedule regular reviews of the child safeguarding policies and procedures, typically at least once a year or whenever significant changes or a local incident occurs which highlights that a review is needed.
Make sure your plans are achievable and you're able to properly assess what's working well and what isn't.
> Get tailored help with reviewing your safeguarding policies and procedures through our safeguarding and child protection consultancy service