What is a Child Safeguarding Policy?

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Nathalie Swanwick

Abuse Claims Solicitor

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A Child Safeguarding Policy, or Child Protection Policy, is a statement that makes it clear what an organisation or group will do to keep children or vulnerable adults safe. Schools, nurseries, faith-based organisations, charities, visitor attractions, sports clubs, day care and higher education institutions all require such a policy.

For more information contact our specialist Abuse Claims Solicitors.

What Should Be in a Child Safeguarding Policy?

A Child Safeguarding Policy must include a statement setting out the organisation or group's commitment to protecting children in its care, and a detailed set of policies and procedures explaining the steps adults within the group must take to keep children safe.

These policies would cover a child or young person who has not yet reached their 18th birthday (or an adult at risk, which is a person aged 18 or above who is unable to look after their own welfare, property, rights and is at risk of harm because they have a disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity).

A Child Safeguarding Policy must be drawn up with the following considerations in mind:

  • Who or what within the organisation could present a potential risk to children?
  • Does the organisation’s recruitment policy ensure staff and volunteers are suitable to work with children?
  • Is there a mechanism in place to ensure child welfare concerns can be raised with the right people?
  • How should the organisation respond to any concerns or allegations concerning child safety?
  • Does the Child Safeguarding Policy fit in with other procedures and rules throughout the organisation?

Organisations must also go beyond simply drawing up a Child Safeguarding Policy and ensure every member of staff and volunteer is aware of it and knows where to find it. For full transparency, it must be accessible both to internal and external stakeholders, including members of the public, and reviewed on a regular basis. If any changes are made to the policy, people should be informed so they know about the latest updates.

Any Child Safeguarding Policy must be in line with the legal framework set out in the following:

There is additional related national guidance, which needs to be followed where appropriate – for example ''Working together to safeguard children'', 2015 and Adult safeguarding: Policy and procedures, 2011.

Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills) has such a policy in place, which attempts to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults.

It applies to all aspects of Ofsted's work and everyone working for Ofsted, including permanent and temporary employees and contractors. All staff and contractors undertake initial training and training reviews on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.

If you’re worried about the safety or welfare of a child or vulnerable adult, you should contact the NSPCC and police.

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What to do if you Think a Child is Being Abused

It is extremely hard to tell if a child is being abused, as accidental knocks, marks and cuts are part and parcel of being a child. Along with this, moods can fluctuate as you grow, so it gets increasingly harder as your child grows up. 

If you notice something that doesn’t seem right, then if you can, you should talk to the child when they are alone. First, start by building up trust and encouraging them to open up and talk to you about how they’re feeling. You could also try talking to other people who know the child to see if they’ve noticed anything unusual, for example a teacher, family member or friend.

There are also helplines available, such as NSPCC and Childline who offer confidential advice and support.

Why Should I Make a Claim?

It can be a difficult decision to make, but for some abuse survivors, making a claim through the civil courts can be the only way to get some form of justice and recognition, particularly if the abuser was not convicted in a criminal court.

It’s often not about the compensation you’ll get in a civil claim, but any compensation you do receive should reflect as much as possible the pain and suffering you’ve been through and may still be going through now. It can also help you to get the treatment you need to help your recovery from the abuse you’ve suffered.

We’re happy to talk you through the claims process so you’re clear about what will happen and you’re under no obligation to make a claim

How Simpson Millar Can Help People who have Suffered Abuse

If you have sustained sexual, physical, or psychological injury because of the abuse that happened in your childhood, or at a children’s home, or other institutions, such as a church—it can be difficult to cope with what has happened to you. When you’re ready to talk about what you have been through, we’re ready to listen and adviseyou on what steps you can take. We will be there every step of the way, just reach out and talk to our friendly team.

Our team of Abuse Law Solicitors has many years of representing survivors of child abuse, including people who were abused in children’s homes that are both privately run, and run by Local Authorities. You can read more about how we can help with institutional abuse claims like these. We also have experience dealing with instances of non-recent abuse, if you were abused in your childhood. If you would like to speak confidentially to a member of our team, please call us on 0808 239 1287.


Save the Children. (n.d.). Safeguarding Children. Retrieved from https://www.savethechildren.org/us/what-we-do/safeguarding-children

Legislation.gov.uk. (1989). Children Act 1989. Retrieved from https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/41/contents

Legislation.gov.uk. (n.d.). Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved from https://www.legislation.gov.uk/

Legislation.gov.uk. (2004). Children Act 2004. Retrieved from https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/31/contents

Legislation.gov.uk. (2008). Children and Young Persons Act 2008. Retrieved from https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2008/23/contents

Legislation.gov.uk. (2014). Modern Slavery Act 2014. Retrieved from https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/23/contents/enacted

Legislation.gov.uk. (2014). Serious Crime Act 2015. Retrieved from https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/contents/enacted

Legislation.gov.uk. (2015). Psychoactive Substances Act 2016. Retrieved from https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/9/contents/enacted

Legislation.gov.uk. (2015). Children and Social Work Act 2017. Retrieved from https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/30/contents/enacted

GOV.UK. (2018). Working Together to Safeguard Children - GOV.UK. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-safeguard-children--2

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). (2011). Serious Case Reviews. Retrieved from https://www.scie.org.uk/publications/reports/report41/

Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). (n.d.). Ofsted. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofsted

Nathalie Swanwick

Abuse Claims Solicitor

Areas of Expertise:
Abuse Claims

Nathalie began her legal career in 2009 after completing her law degree at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2008. She has specialised in abuse claims since 2010, and went on to qualify as a Solicitor in 2013.

Following her qualification Nathalie specialised in a range of personal injury claims including abuse claims and criminal injury claims. She has acted for clients who have suffered life-changing injuries such as brain injuries.

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