Keeping children safe in general and supporting them to feel better is everyone’s job. This is often referred to as Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of children. This involves:
Child protection is about keeping children safe who may be at risk of serious harm, which is also called significant harm. Emotional abuse is when people hurt children’s emotions so badly that it stops a child from doing well at school or really affects their mental health. Physical abuse is when someone hurts a child by hitting them or pushing them causing an injury on purpose. Sexual abuse is when someone hurts a child by doing something sexual to the child or making the child do something sexual to them. It can also be when someone makes a child do something sexual to other people, including taking photos and making videos, as well as an adult talking to a child in a sexual way. Neglect is when a child is not looked after properly, like when children aren’t fed enough food, or they have clothes that are too small and ripped, or that their house is really really untidy and dirty.
Safeguarding children, which basically means to keeping children safe, is something everyone working with children has to be responsible for. The Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership explain to adults working with children how they need to keep them safe, including giving training and explaining who to tell if they are worried about a child.
In 2018 the government released a document called Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018. This explains why adults working with children need to communicate with other adults working with the same children. Before the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership was made, there was a group of people called the Bristol Safeguarding Children’s Board, who were in charge of making sure that all adults working with children in Bristol do the best that they can and would find new ways to help everyone keep children safe. There was also the Bristol Safeguarding Adult’s Board, who did the same thing but for adults who needed some extra help in their lives. The Community Safety Partnership had the important role of helping keep places like streets and buildings safe, working with the police and other people in the community. Now, all three of these groups have joined together to make one big group which we call the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership.
When there are tasks that need doing about children only, the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership has a smaller group called the Keeping Children Safe Business Delivery Group who are asked to do these tasks.
Child Protection is based on the law. Section 14 of the Children’s Act 2004 says that people working with children need to support families when there are early signs that they are struggling. It also says that people working with children need to talk to each other to prevent children being hurt. The Keeping Children Safe group works with everyone in Bristol to make sure people follow the law to keep children as safe as possible. The Keeping Children Safe group are also responsible for looking at whether services are doing a good job, and then paying for those services to keep going if they are positive for children.
Some of the things the Keeping Children Safe group do;
When a child is seriously hurt by the people who are meant to be looking after them or by people in the community, the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership looks at what could have been done to stop the child from being hurt. This is called a Child Safeguarding Practice Review. The Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership’s job is to agree if a review needs to happen and then decide what will change in the way people work for a child to not be hurt in the same way again. They also look at reviews that are done across the country so that we can learn from other sad events to try and stop them from happening in Bristol. To read more about these reviews please have a look at the CSPR page. (Child Safeguarding Practice Review).
The detailed arrangements for Safeguarding Partners can be found in the KBSP Local Arrangements 19/20.
The requirements for the Safeguarding Partners laid out by the government are provided in the Children and Social Care Act 2017 and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, while the obligations of LSCBs can be found in Chapter 14 of The Children Act 2004.
The KCS Business Plan will be published here once available.