An Overview of Safeguarding

Safeguarding practices are applied to children and young people up to the age of 18 and are equally applied to vulnerable adults. The term also includes those aged 18-20 who have been looked after by a Local Authority from 16 or who have a Learning Difficulty and/or Disability.

 

The Working Together to Safeguarding Children Act 2017 confirms professionals and Local Authorities responsibility regarding the protection, safeguarding and welfare of all children. It confirms that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and for services to be effective each professional should play their full part.

 

This is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1992 which highlights the importance of treating every child as a unique person, which helps to ensure that all of their needs are met in a way that is specific to them, enabling them to have a high quality of life.

 

Similar standards of protection are also applied to vulnerable adults under the Care Act 2014. This places responsibility on professionals to report and prevent abuse or neglect and then stop it quickly when it happens.

The main categories of people covered by this definition of an adult include people aged over 18 with:

 

  • Learning Difficulty and/or Disability;

  • Physical or sensory impairments;

  • Mental illness including dementia;

  • Detained in custody or under a probation order;

  • Considered at risk due to problems with substances or vulnerable due to other circumstances such as asylum seekers.

 

Whilst it is important to recognise that certain groups of people are legally defined as at risk, and the Service must have relevant policies, procedures and practice in place to cover them. It is better to have inclusive and integrated ‘safer’ practices that apply to all staff and learners. This creates a safer environment for all and ensures that no one is left out which is imperative for the Hartlepool Learning & Skills Service.

Meet the Safeguarding Team

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