Safeguarding - SEND

Safeguarding refers to the actions taken to protect vulnerable groups from harm. This applies to children as well as adults. The laws vary across different groups and change when a young person turns 18.

It is the responsibility of councils, health services and the police to make sure they are keeping vulnerable children and adults who may be at risk of abuse or neglect safe. Abuse can be physical, financial, emotional, sexual and institutional.

How does it work?

For children:

The Children Acts of 1989 and 2004 specify what services the council should provide to children who are identified as ‘children in need’. They can make enquiries if they believe a child in their area has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm. A child-centred approach is fundamental to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of every child.  Further information on how organisations do this.

For adults:

If the local authority believes an adult may have been abused, they will ask that person what they want to happen. They will assess whether the person has been harmed and work with them to agree how to protect them from being harmed again. They will consider the person’s ability to agree to support and whether the harm could affect other people. There is more information about keeping adults safe from abuse and how organisations work to do this on the Leicester City Council website.

Who is involved?

Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play. However, a range of individual organisations and agencies working with children and families have a legal responsibility to promote the wellbeing of children and protect them from harm. These include:

  • council services such as children and adult social care services, public health, housing, sport, culture and leisure services, licensing authorities and youth services
  • the police
  • NHS organisations

For adults, the Care Act 2014 places a duty on councils to have a system that aims to prevent abuse and neglect and stop it quickly when it happens. This can include NHS organisations and the police.

The role of parents and carers

Those with parental responsibility have a vital role in looking after the wellbeing of their child. They are often best placed to identify what is needed. Parents have an important role in helping their child stay safe.

Related links

Safeguarding adults