I read many Serious Case Reviews, because its is part of my job at CR&A to look for what is not being understood in society regarding safeguarding children. Nevertheless it never fails to surprise me just how many people just don’t realise that safeguarding children means every adult being mindful and alert to what they see and experience in day to day life. Something is not working regarding the widespread dissemination of this information. We certainly cannot know, what ‘we don’t know we need to know’ !
If we think about the many opportunities that ordinary people have, going about their daily jobs to come into contact with children, this is how many opportunities we have to make sure children are being cared for. This does not mean only Children’s Social Care. Consider it: there is the postie, the people we invite into our homes to fix stuff, deliver stuff, environmental health officers, housing officers, all the people that deliver stuff from our shopping trips. So we just need to keep aware. We can ALL be the eyes and ears for children in vulnerable situations.
If you are concerned, the next step is to inform Children’s Social Care/the Police/the GP, Children’s Safeguarding Board. You can do this anonymously if you feel you have to, but always do something. You may well have the well-being of a child in your hands.
Catherine Rushforth & Associates will always help you if you believe a particular child or children are being harmed and want to know what to do next. We give advice on this matter free to anyone.
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010
Department for Education website