Writing a safeguarding policy statement

Last updated: 04 Sep 2018
Introduction

How to set out an organisational approach to protecting children

Children have the right to be protected from harm. Any organisation or group that works with children or young people must have a clear set of guidelines about how they will keep children safe and respond to child protection concerns.

This page explains how to write a safeguarding or child protection policy statement that sets out your organisation's commitment to keeping children safe.

What is a safeguarding policy statement?

A safeguarding or child protection policy statement makes it clear what your organisation or group will do to keep children safe.

It should set out:

  • your organisation's commitment to protecting all children
  • the more detailed policies and procedures your organisation will put in place to keep children safe and respond to child protection concerns.

 

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Getting started

Getting started on your policy statement

There are different ways to write a safeguarding or child protection policy statement, but before you put pen to paper it’s helpful to think about potential risks to a child in your organisation, how someone might raise a concern and the practicialities of who should be involved in writing the policy statement.

Things to consider

  • What are the potential risks to children - who may pose a risk? what situations may increase risk?
  • How do you make sure the people who work or volunteer for your organisation are suitable to do so?
  • What are the different ways someone might raise a concern about a child's wellbeing?
  • How should you respond to concerns or allegations of harm that has happened within your organisation?
  • How does this overarching policy statement link up with your more detailed child protection procedures?
  • How will you make sure everyone involved with your organisation is aware of how to spot and respond to child protection concerns?

> Find out more about best practice for recognising and responding to abuse

Practical tips

  • Tailor your policy statement to suit the needs of your organisation.
  • Use words and phrases that will mean the most to the group or community.
  • Involve people from different parts of the organisation to make sure the policy is relevant for everyone.
  • Think about how you can involve children and incorporate their perspective.
  • Ask different people in different roles to read the policy statement and feedback to ensure it is accessible to everybody.

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What to include

What to include

Aim to keep your policy statement under two sides of A4 paper and try to cover all the information listed below.

Purpose and aim of the policy statement

Identify the organisation, its purpose and function. Set out the organisation's overarching commitment to keeping children safe.

Scope of the policy statement

Be clear about who the policy applies to. It should cover all children under 18 but does it apply to all adults in the organisation? Should it just be staff and volunteers who work directly with children? What about those who have occasional contact with children such as a caretaker?

Context

Briefly state the main legislation and guidance that supports the policy statement. Explain how this policy statement links to more detailed child protection policies and procedures.

> Find out more about the child protection system in each UK nation

Policy statement

Set out your organisation's beliefs about the importance of child protection.

  • For example, "we believe everyone has a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them".
  • Include a statement about equality and a commitment to anti-discriminatory practice. For example "we will make sure that all children and young people have the same protection regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation".
  • Make sure your policy statement recognises the additional needs of children from minority ethnic groups and disabled children and the barriers they may face, especially around communication.

Explain how, in broad terms, the organisation will meet your commitment to keeping children safe. For example:

  • by listening to children and respecting them
  • appointing a nominated child protection lead
  • by writing detailed safeguarding and child protection procedures
  • by making sure all staff and volunteers follow the safeguarding and child protection procedures.

Supporting documents

You need a set of more detailed policies and procedures which explain the steps adults within your organisation must take to keep children safe. Your policy statement should include a list of these.

When writing these policies/procedures, you should consider:

Contact details

Include the names and contact details of the people responsible for safeguarding and child protection in your organisation.

Include the contact details for the NSPCC Helpline so that people know they can contact us if they need child protection support and advice.

Dates

Provide the date the policy statement comes into force.

It's important to keep the statement up to date so you should include and a review dates and make sure the review happens on time.

Signature

Your policy statement should be signed by the most senior person in your organisation who has responsibility for safeguarding and child protection.

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Next steps

Next steps

Once your organisation has an  overarching safeguarding and child protection policy statement, there should be a plan of action to make sure all adults and children are aware of, understand and can access your safeguarding policies.

Things to consider include:

  • how you will tell everyone about new or updated policies and any challenges that might arise
  • how to ensure your policy is accessible to people with communication difficulties or different language needs.

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