Safeguarding Children and Young People

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
(1989) includes the requirement that children
live in a safe environment, be protected from
harm and have access to the highest attainable
standard of health. Statutory guidance on
making arrangements to safeguard and promote
the welfare of children under Section 11vii of the
Children Act 2004 was published in August
2005, with health organisations having a duty to
cooperate with social services under section 27
of the Children Act 1989.viii These duties are an
explicit part of NHS employment contracts, with
chief executives having responsibility to have in
place arrangements that reflect the importance
of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of
children within organisations.
NHS services are constantly changing and
evolving. Over recent years many previously
NHS funded services are being commissioned
and provided by non-NHS organisations. Society
is also changing with staff needing to be aware
of differing and emerging forms of abuse such as
social media, modern slavery, human trafficking
and recognition that young people are vulnerable
to abuse in a range of social contexts.ix
To protect children and young people from harm,
and help improve their wellbeing, all healthcare
staff must have the competencies to recognise
child maltreatment, opportunities to improve
childhood wellbeing, and to take effective action
as appropriate to their role. The importance
of prevention must not be overlooked as this
is integral to safeguarding. The competencies
therefore relate to an individual’s role not their
job title and apply to all staff delivering, or
working in settings which provide healthcare.
It is the duty of employers to ensure that those
working for them clearly understand their
contractual obligations within the employing
organisation, and it is the responsibility of
employers to facilitate access to training and
education which enable the organisation to
fulfil its aims, objectives and statutory duties
effectively and safely

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