What is Safeguarding?
Safeguarding is sometimes perceived as being an alternative word to describe child protection. However, they are not the same and thinking they are, can not only leave people vulnerable but also organisations. A protection focus, only protects the most vulnerable, and only at a time when they are at their highest level of need. The ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, as it were, as opposed to clear and supportive approaches that keep us walking clear of the edge, to begin with.
Safeguarding is not child protection but it does encompass child protection. However, that is just one critical part of safeguarding. To be a safe organisation is to recognise that safeguarding is critical to protecting everyone (including the organisation) and primary in preventing risks of harm from occurring or in escalating if they have occured.
Child Safety = Safeguarding + Child Protection
Safeguarding: is being pro-active, preventative and protective. It is holistic, covering all the organisation's environments, practices and people. Safeguarding aims to prevent risks and stop any that are occurring from escalating.
Child Protection: is protecting those children suffering from, or at significant risk of suffering from abuse and neglect.