What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding is sometimes perceived as being an alternative word to describe child protection.  However, they are not the same and to think they are, can leave people and organisations vulnerable. In Safer Organisations, we acknowledge how if you focus on being a 'Safer Organisation' you safeguard everyone and by default encompass being 'Child-Safe'. 

It is similar to Safeguarding and Child Protection. If the organisation focuses on 'Safeguarding' they will by default encompass 'Child Protection'. However, as with only holding a 'Child Safe' focus, the same does not necessarily occur if the organisation purely focuses on 'Child Protection'.

Child Safety =

Safeguarding + Child Protection 

Both Safeguarding and Child Protection have their place and are needed. However, one aims to keep you free from the cliff edge, to begin with, the other, despite its best intentions, pretty much remains the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.


With safeguarding being pro-active, preventative and protective, and doing so for all people, in all environments; it basically acts as the path that aims to keep you free from the cliff edge, to begin with.

  • Safeguarding: is holistic (it includes all people and environments) and is a continuum.

  • Safeguarding: Is mostly being proactive by putting measures in place to help prevent any risks to any person from occurring.

  • Safeguarding: Any risks that do occur are mostly low level.

  • Safeguarding: Covers all levels of vulnerability and encompasses child protection.

  • Safeguarding: Is a shared workforce responsibility.

  • Safeguarding: Families may receive support from the organisation and possibly other community services.

  • Safeguarding: Involves working with children and their families, e.g. needing their consent for interventions and referrals to support services, etc.

Child Protection

Child Protection only protects the most vulnerable children, not ALL children. Also, it only does so once they are at their highest level of need. 

  • Child Protection: is only applicable to those children we believe to be at risk of suffering or suffering from abuse and neglect.

  • Child Protection: It is mostly reactive, due to the risks having already occurred.

  • Child Protection: Risks are high level, including the potential to be life-threatening.

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  • Child Protection: Managing the risk environment may be outside of the organisation's control.

  • Child Protection: Only certain staff are usually identified to assist with child protection concerns, e.g. Management, Organisational Safeguarding Staff, etc.

  • Child Protection: Requires support from child protection services.

  • Child Protection: May require working without the family's consent, e.g. sharing concerns with child protection services.

Efficient and effective safeguarding requires solutions to be based against 7 key principles. 

We call these the 7Ps.