Safeguarding thoughts

Our challenge in safeguarding…never to lose the voice of the person at the centre of our concerns, be that a young child, teenager or an adult at risk and we should always put safeguarding first. 

Over the last few weeks, I have been busy delivering Safeguarding training. One organisation asked me to look with them to consider the impact of this training. It has been a privilege to hear from learners about 6 weeks after the course reflection on their learning. As always, the difference between the initial feedback around what you have learned, and the responses a few weeks later is interesting.

At the same time, I have been reviewing several courses for a client. This has involved making sure I have read recent practice reviews and considering how their recommendations can impact the training I deliver.

Some recent high-profile reports have highlighted few themes:

The review of the strip search of Child Q – widely reported at the time – reminds us:
Child Q should never have been strip searched, and there was an absence of a “safeguarding-first” approach from many of the professionals involved.

And from Child Protection in England – review into murders or Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson June 2022:
The rationale for not visiting on date X seemed to take more account of adults in the household rather than placing Arthur’s needs at the centre of decision making….
Professionals had only a limited understanding of what daily life was like for Star…. disruption due to constant moves…the face that she may have been experiencing serious and systematic physical and emotional abuse was never really considered and addressed

We all dread being the professional at the centre of a large, high profile safeguarding case.  Indeed, this worry can impact on our ability to make good decisions.
But reading and reflecting on these reports has challenged ME – what can I do? Am I making sure in every training I deliver; in every professional discussion I am part of that I am putting safeguarding first?  Making sure the person at the centre of concerns does not get lost?

That is the challenge I am setting myself following this time of reflection. I hope I have inspired you too. 

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