Life at Home - Safeguarding and Children Protection

You may have heard the words child protection and safeguarding loads of times. But what does it actually mean?

Child Protection/Safeguarding is making sure that children and young people:

  • Are protected from any kinds of abuse.
  • Live in a place that is safe
  • Live with parents/carers that can provide all the things you need to grown and develop.  This includes food, clothing, medical care and going to school.  It also means talking and playing with you, putting your needs first, setting boundaries and being consistent.

If your parents/carers are finding this very difficult you may have a Social Worker to help your family.  You may have other people who help to; School Nurse, Doctor, Health Visitor, Teacher, YOS Worker, Family Support worker etc.

Your Child Protection Conference

What is a Child Protection Conference?

This is a big meeting to find out information about your family to see if you need a Child Protection Plan.  Everyone working with your family will be invited to come and share their information, your parents/carers will also be invited to give their information too.

The professionals at the meeting will decide if you need a child protection plan, and what help and support your parents and carers need to keep you safe and developing well.

How can you have your say

  • If you are in senior school (and your parents agree) you should be invited to attend the meeting. 
  • The social worker should go through their report with you so that you know why people are worried about you and your family.
  • You can have an advocate to support you at the meeting.  An advocate can help you prepare and support you to say what you want.  It is important that everyone at the meeting knows what is important in your life.
  • You don’t have to go to the meeting and can ask your advocate to send in your views. You could also meet the Chairperson separately.

What is abuse and neglect?

Physical abuse is when someone hurts you. This can be any kind of hitting, shaking, burning, pinching, biting, choking, throwing, beating, and other actions that cause physical injury, leave marks, or cause pain. It could be when someone pretends you are ill when really you are not.

Emotional abuse happens when yelling and anger go too far or when parents/carers constantly criticise, threaten, or dismiss you until your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth are damaged.

Domestic Violence can also cause Emotional and Physical harm to children and young people. This includes witnessing any violence in your home, including between adults, children and other adult family members.

Most people use the term to mean any abusive, threatening or violent behaviour between one intimate partner and another. Emotional abuse can hurt and cause damage just as physical abuse does.

Neglect is when you don’t have enough food or suitable housing, clothes, medical care and parental supervision. Emotional neglect happens when a parent doesn't provide enough emotional support or deliberately and consistently pays very little or no attention to you. This refers to more basic needs like food, shelter, and love.

Sexual abuse is when somebody touches your body or your private parts in ways that make you feel unsafe (even with your clothes on).  It can also be when they make you touch them, make you watch pornography or take photographs of you when you are undressed. It can also involve kissing and cuddling. Sexual abuse can happen over the internet and on your mobile phone.