Safeguarding children is of paramount importance to all organisations, but Councils have a statutory duty to keep all children safe.
For Officers in Councils, this is part of their work, frontline social workers, clearly understand how their role impacts on the safety of children, however, elected councillors are at least one step removed from the actual carrying out of safeguarding practices, as they do not deliver services; yet the responsibilities that they have are wide-ranging and often scary.
How safeguarding is governed is a major part of any organisation, how councillors can get the assurance that the services that their council delivers, and the work that they do, protect children.
How we help?
Our work helping elected councillors to get to understand safeguarding responsibilities, practices and how they can embed a ‘reality check’ into the way that they govern, has helped us to develop ‘Steps to safeguarding children’.
Our steps encompass roles, responsibilities and reality checking, which councillors can build into their daily governing practices to help protect children:
Roles and responsibilities – understanding their role and that of the organisation, including legislation and practice.
Working together – there may be many organisations involved in safeguarding children, and there is a need to understand how the local safeguarding system works, and how the council should be leading this.
Who are the children? Understanding local demographics and challenges.
Gaining their perspective – effective listening and involvement of children is needed to find out whats really happening – and get a ‘reality check’.
What effective governance is – using and understanding how governance can be improved with the use of effective challenge and questioning techniques
Making a difference – ensuring that your practices can work on a daily basis to safeguard children and make a difference.