Safeguarding- What is it? How can we help? And where did it come from?

Let’s start off with the ‘what’. Safeguarding is to protect an individual’s health, wellbeing and human rights which allows them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect (or things similar).

Safeguarding isn’t just about adults or just about children. It’s about everyone and a way of coming together as people or communities to prevent and stop both the risks and experiences people may have based upon many things, one of which being the protected characteristics regarding the Equality Act of 2010, these are as follows: Age, gender, race, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage/ civil partnership and pregnancy/ maternity. Along with this, Safeguarding has 6 key principles: Empowerment, Prevention, proportionality, protection, partnership and accountability which need to be understood and taken into consideration (because they wouldn’t be a thing if they weren’t important.)

Moving onto ‘how’, the way in which we can each help with these issues are by following ‘Notice’, ‘Check’ and ‘Share’ because it is all about coming together- it’s a responsibility for EVERYONE.

‘Notice’ what has happened and observe it, ‘Check’ the information that you have got and ‘Share’ the information if you need to. It could help save a life.

Now although this is a majorly serious topic, a fact for everyone – Legislation to prosecute people accused of child cruelty has been in force since the 1880’s, but this has been reviewed and changed to the protection system that we have today’. This just reiterates how important a topic this is and how seriously that it should be taken.

And finally, the ‘where’- Safeguarding’s origin is actually ‘Old French’ in the 13th century, way before any of us were alive BUT still as important if not more important today. ‘Salve’ or ‘Sauve’ means to keep safe and ‘Garde’ means a keeping which is where the French saying ‘Sauve garde’ came from which means ‘Something that offers security from danger’ (if you don’t recognise it that’s okay!) But that’s the origin of the word Safeguarding and what it is and how still to this day its as important and meaningful as it was hundreds of years ago.