Most of the areas to consider with your safeguarding procedure are the same for your safeguarding policy, but there are another five areas that I think you need to consider specifically for your safeguarding procedure.
Is it legally compliant?
A good place to start is with the legislation and guidance.
Does your procedure comply with Keeping Children Safe in Education?
Does it comply with Working Together to Safeguard Children? Does it reflect the guidance in terms of the different types of harm (if that’s where you’re choosing to place your categories of home rather than your safeguarding policy)?
What about local safeguarding protocols from the Safeguarding Partnership, Local Authority, Police and/or Health?
Is it current?
Your procedure is only as good as the version you are using. There is no point having an up to date policy, but not having an up to date procedure.
Consider the following when reviewing the procedure:
- Is your terminology correct and current?
- Are contact names up to date?
- what about contact details?
- Have key persons moved offices?
- Have they moved roles?
- Is that role vacant?
- Are any links still accurate?
- Are they still relevant?
- Do they still work?
There is nothing worse than going to a newly updated document to find that the links have been copied from one document to another and they’re broken and they don’t work.
And therefore it makes the document much harder to use.
Keep it simple
As part of your safeguarding procedure review consider whether it is simple.
Consider the language used and phraseology. Acronyms and jargon are exceptionally common in safeguarding and child protection. They can be really helpful or very distracting. If you are using acronyms or jargon you will need to ensure everyone understands what you mean.
Consider also whether it is simple to follow.
Remember, just because it makes sense to you (as the creator) it may not make sense to those who need to use and follow it.
So is it simple in terms of the language you’re using? Is it simple in terms of the processes you’re asking people to follow? Or have you provided three or four different processes to do ultimately the same thing. Because if it isn’t simple, and it isn’t accessible, it isn’t going to be used and you’re going to be in a worse position than you currently are. So think about the language, the layout, the ease of use of this document, you want it to be used, you want it to be followed, does your document make that Easy.
Make sure it works
You can spend ages creating these documents.
Hours can be lost creating flowcharts.
But do they actually work?
when you have created your procedure, test that it works in practice. Check that staff can follow it and understand it easily. it can be useful to work through it, stage by stage. That way you can check for errors, or bottle necks within the process.
Even better, can someone else work through it to check for these issues? That way it is having an ‘independent’ review which may raise issues or pointers you had not considered.
Have a process for reviewing your procedure
And finally, when are you reviewing this? How often are you reviewing what’s included? If we think of our policy as setting out our overarching process: our procedure is the how to
It is a living document and oje that should be referred to the most by staff.
As such, this means it’s a document that has to be kept current and up to date.
You should review your procedure at least annually. However, you may choose to review it more frequently, particularly if there are staff changes or internal/external process changes.
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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Safeguarding Practitioners Ltd & Kate Young disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.