Guidance for Safe Working Practice for adults who work with children and young people
The vast majority of adults who work with children act professionally and aim to provide a safe and supportive environment, which secures the well-being and very best outcomes for children and young people in their care.
It is recognised that achieving this aim is not always straightforward and sometimes tensions and misunderstandings can occur. The behaviour of practitioners can give rise to allegations of abuse being made against them. Allegations may be genuine, malicious or misplaced. They may arise from differing perceptions of the same event, but when they occur, they are inevitably distressing and difficult for all concerned.
Tameside Safeguarding Children Board has published 3 guides and procedures to help managers and practitioners to ensure that these matters are responded to with a balanced and sensitive approach.
Some concerns have been raised about the potential vulnerability of adults working with children and young people. There is a need for clearer advice about what constitutes illegal behaviour and what might be considered as misconduct. This document has been produced in response to these concerns and provides practical guidance about which behaviours constitute safe practice and which behaviours should be avoided.
This document seeks to ensure that the duty to promote and safeguard the wellbeing of children is achieved, in this context, by raising awareness of illegal, unsafe and inappropriate behaviour. It is hoped that it will also assist adults to monitor their own standards and practice.
Whilst every attempt has been made to cover a wide range of situations, it is recognised that this guidance cannot cover all eventualities. There may be times when professional judgements are made in situations not covered by this document, or which directly contravene the guidance given by their employer. It is expected that in these circumstances adults will always advise their senior colleagues of the justification for any such action already taken or proposed.
It is also recognised that not all adults who work with children and young people work as paid or contracted employees. The principles and guidance outlined in this document still apply and should be followed by an adult whose work brings them into contact with children and young people.
Practitioners, volunteers and their managers should be familiar with, and know how to access, Tameside Safeguarding Children Board’s (TSCB) Safeguarding Children Framework and the TSCB Procedure for Managing Allegations against Adults who Work with Children & Young People.
If you have a concern about actual significant harm to a child or young person, or the risk of significant harm, then you should immediately activate your own agency safeguarding children or child protection procedures, use the TSCB Safeguarding Children Framework and make a referral to Children’s Social Care. If a child or young person is in immediate danger then contact the Police on 999.
Read the full Guidance for Safe Working Practice for adults who work with children & young people here:
Please note that the former Government Office North West produced a version of this document, derived from the same source content. This can be accessed here