Safeguarding children What organisations need to do to protect children from harm

Boy in puddleAll organisations that work with or come into contact with children should have safeguarding polices and procedures to ensure that every child, regardless of their age, gender, religion or ethnicity, can be protected from harm.

Setting up and following good safeguarding policies and procedures means children are safe from adults and other children who might pose a risk.

The information and advice on these pages was provided by the Safe Network service which closed on 1 April 2016.

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

Safeguarding means:

  • protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
  • preventing harm to children’s health or development
  • ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.

Safeguarding children and child protection guidance and legislation applies to all children up to the age of 18.

Everyone has a responsibility to keep children and young people safe

All organisations that come into contact with children should have specific safeguarding policies and procedures in place. This includes voluntary and community organisations, faith groups, private sector providers, as well as schools, hospitals and sports clubs.

What do I need to do to safeguard children in my care?

Organisations need to make sure that the way they work with children keeps them safe and does not place them at unacceptable risk of harm.

They can do this through:

  • establishing, implementing and following good safeguarding policies and procedures including safe recruitment
  • ensuring all staff and volunteers are aware of and follow the organisation’s safeguarding policies and procedures
  • ensuring that all staff and volunteers receive child protection training.

Safeguarding deaf and disabled children

How organisations can protect deaf and disabled children from abuse.

Find out more

For schools and organisations

Safeguarding tool

Our free online tool for organisations working with children and young people provides checklists and resources to help you safeguard children.

Access the tool

Helping schools protect children from abuse and neglect

Learn more about the advice and training we offer to help schools keep children safe from abuse.
Find out more

Writing a safeguarding policy

Guidance on how to set out your organisation's approach in a policy with tips on what to include and an example policy you can tailor to your needs.
Read the guidance

Photography and sharing images

Guidance for organisations, clubs and schools on photographing and recording children during events and activities.
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Recommended adult to child ratios for working with children

Guidance on staffing and supervision ratios for organisations and clubs working with children and young people.
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Are they safe?

Step-by-step guide for setting up safeguarding measures in your group or organisation.
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Safe Network standards

Recommended standards and guidance to help non-statutory organisations that work with children and young people to put in place clear safeguarding arrangements.
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What makes children feel safe?

This film from Safe Network shows young people talking about the things that make them feel safe. It's a good resource to use with groups to encourage the participation of children in safeguarding plans.

Guidance and legislation

Government guidance for each UK nation sets out the responsibilities of different organisations to work together to safeguard and protect children. The guidance also sets out what they should do if they have any concerns that a child is at risk of abuse. Find out how the child protection works in England, Northern Ireland, Scoltand and Wales.

England

How the child protection system works from reporting, investigations and care proceedings including facts, statistics and case reviews.

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Northern Ireland

How the child protection system works from reporting, investigations and care proceedings including facts, statistics and case reviews.

Find out more

Scotland

How the child protection system works from reporting, investigations and care proceedings including facts, statistics and case reviews.

Find out more

Wales

How the child protection system works from reporting, investigations and care proceedings including facts, statistics and case reviews.

Find out more

Support for organisations

Information Service

Our free service for people who work with children can help you find the latest policy, practice, research and news on child protection and related subjects.

For more information, call us or email help@nspcc.org.uk.

0808 800 5000

Submit an enquiry

Get expert training and consultancy

Grow your child protection knowledge and skills with CPD certified courses delivered by our experts nationwide and online.
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CASPAR

Our Current Awareness Service for Practice, Policy And Research delivers free weekly email alerts to keep you up-to-date with all the latest safeguarding and child protection news.

CASPAR is currently being upgraded but you can still sign up by contacting our Information Service.

Sign up to CASPAR

Follow @NSPCCpro

Follow us on Twitter and keep up-to-date with all the latest news in child protection.

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Research and resources

Read our latest research, leaflets, guidance and evaluations that share what we've learned from our services for children and families.
Find research and resources

Library catalogue

We hold the UK's largest collection of child protection resources and the only UK database specialising in published material on child protection, child abuse and child neglect.

Search the library

New in the Library

A free weekly email listing all of the new child protection publications added to our library collection.

New in the Library is currently being upgraded but you can still sign up by contacting our Information Service.

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