The Definition of Safeguarding Children

January 30, 2014
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Working Together 2018 is a publication by the Department of Health and the Department of Education that aims to set out how organisations and individuals can work together to safeguard children.


What does Safeguarding Children Mean?

According to Working Together 2018, safeguarding children is defined as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment: Protecting children from harm, abuse and neglect.
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health or development: Ensuring children have access to the care and support they need.
  • Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of
    safe and effective care: Enabling safe and effective parenting.
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes: Giving children equal opportunities in life.

Teacher and students getting on a bus


What is the difference between Safeguarding Children and Child Protection?

Safeguarding children is the term used to cover all aspects of promoting a child’s welfare, including all the things listed in the definition above, such as protecting a child from maltreatment, aiding their development, keeping them safe and ensuring they have the best outcome in life.

Child protection is the single aspect of safeguarding children that is focussed on protecting a child who is suffering from, or has the potential to suffer from, significant harm. Significant harm can include maltreatment, abuse and neglect, pre-meditated abuse, a single traumatic event or an accumulation of events that damage the child’s physical and/or psychological development.


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