Children’s safety is of paramount importance and remains a pertinent issue in today’s society. To ensure children’s well-being is protected within the UK, we have Child Safeguarding Policies. A child safeguarding policy is a document which explains what a specific organisation will do to keep children safe in the workplace.
But what exactly is involved in producing a Child Safeguarding Policy and what role do DBS checks have in this process?
What is the Purpose of Safeguarding?
Safeguarding exists to promote the welfare of children and young people and to prevent any harm or abuse in relation to their health and development. According to the NSPCC, safeguarding is a broad term which aims to ensure that minors have the best outcomes.
What Should the Child Safeguarding Policy Include?
The Child Safeguarding Policy should state the measures the relevant organisation shall take to enforce child protection and prevent young people from coming to any harm.
It should also:
- describe the aims of the organisation and the overall purpose of the policy.
- explain what will be done in the event of any concerns for children’s well-being arising.
- outline any procedures that will be put in place to safeguard children against abuse.
- state the legislation and guidance that influences the policy itself.
- clarify who is protected by the policy and who must adhere to it.
- address the potential additional needs of those with disabilities or from ethnic minorities.
- provide the date the policy will come into effect from and when the first review is scheduled.
Once it is written, you must ensure that the safeguarding policy is regularly reviewed and that all staff, both paid and voluntary, are made aware of any amendments to the policy. It also needs to be publicly accessible, so that anybody can view it – not just employees but also any clients, parents or even other external individuals.
Who Do Child Safeguarding Policies Protect?
These policies apply to all children and vulnerable young adults and grant equal child protection to everyone who is under 18. This is the case regardless of a minor’s exact age, religion, race or other factors which should not be grounds for discrimination.
Who Needs to Adhere to a Child Safeguarding Policy?
The policy has wide application, as it needs to be followed by all organisations who work with, or come into contact with, children.
Whilst the guidelines apply to teachers and tutors of children of all ages, they also affect many other working individuals who may come into contact with children in other working capacities.
According to the Department for Education (DfE), organisations that need to abide by Child Safeguarding Policies include, but are not limited to, the NHS, charities and local authorities and district councils.
How do DBS Checks Relate to Child Safeguarding Policies?
Under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004, all organisations that need to have a Child Safeguarding Policy in place should ensure all their employees are checked for a criminal record.
According to the Protections of Freedoms Act 2012, there is a legal duty on any organisation whose employees work with vulnerable people in a regulated context, to make sure that none of their staff are barred from working with children.
DBS checks are there to make sure that anyone who works with children has a suitable background for being in contact with young people.
If your staff and volunteers are in a position of trust with children or young people, it is very important that you take the necessary steps to safeguard the minors they work with.
One thing you should therefore do is make sure that your staff are regularly checked for any criminal activity or background that could pose a risk or bring harm to the individuals they are in contact with.
Do you need to organise a criminal background check for your staff? Or are you unsure of whether this would be required for your company or charity? Contact Care Check today to find out more about our comprehensive DBS and CRB checks.