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TerraQuest News

- Jul 2020

The Importance of Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the action taken to protect health, well-being and human rights. This involves keeping children and vulnerable adults safe from maltreatment, neglect, and abuse. When vulnerable groups are in the care of others, safeguarding ensures they are provided with safe and effective care.

What are vulnerable groups?

The term vulnerable group refers to children, elderly people, people with disabilities, pregnant women, prisoners, malnourished people and people who are ill.

The importance of safeguarding

Vulnerable groups often rely on others for help so there is a big responsibility to ensure they get a high standard of care. These people may be less able to protect themselves, so organisations must protect them. Over the years safeguarding has improved but unfortunately, abuse and neglect are still happening.

Around 10% of the population aged over 65 experience a form of abuse every year. The NSPCC estimated that over half a million children are abused in the UK every year. It is almost impossible to find out exactly how many vulnerable people experience abuse, as a lot of people do not report the issue due to fear, embarrassment, etc. Although DBS checks are an important factor in the safeguarding process, there needs to more measures put in place to ensure safety.

Safeguarding policies and procedures

Safeguarding policies and procedures within an organisation are an important part of protecting children and vulnerable adults. They should all be supported by good governance, health and safety, staff supervision, financial management, and management. They should make clear what the organisation and staff need to do to keep people safe. The documents should outline the following:

  • People or situations that increase a risk
  • How to ensure candidates are suitable to work with children/vulnerable adults
  • The ways someone may raise a concern about well-being
  • How to respond to concerns/allegations of abuse/neglect
  • How to ensure all staff are aware of how to spot and respond to concerns