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These pages are dedicated to practitioners working with children and young people whether in a paid or unpaid role.

For a particular subject area please see the list on the right and link on that page for more information on that subject.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and in particular protecting them from significant harm, depends on effective joint working between agencies and practitioners that have different roles and expertise.

Individual children, especially some of the most vulnerable children and those at greatest risk of suffering harm and social exclusion, will need co-ordinated help from health, education, early years, children’s social care, the voluntary sector and other agencies, including youth justice services.

What role do practitioners and volunteers play in safeguarding children?

All practitioners/volunteers should:

  • be alert to potential signs of abuse or neglect
  • be alert to the risks of harm that individual abusers, or potential abusers, may pose to children particularly within their organisation or group setting
  • prioritise direct communication and positive and respectful; relationships with children, ensuring the child’s wishes and feelings underpin assessments and any safeguarding activities
  • share and help to analyse information so that an assessment can be made of whether the child is suffering or is likely to suffer harm, their needs and circumstances
  • contribute to whatever actions are needed to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare; take part in regularly reviewing the outcomes for the child against specific plans
  • work co-operatively with parents, unless this is inconsistent with ensuring the child’s safety

Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board Procedures and Working Together Guidance outlines the statutory responsibilities of agencies.

Useful leaflets

Child Protection leaflets

Child Protection Medical Examinations

Please visit the Pan Bedfordshire Interagency Child Protection Procedures for guidance, flowcharts and forms when you need a child or young person to be examined as results of a child protection concern.

Photos on websites

The use of photos on websites and in other publications poses direct and indirect risks to children and young people. Organisations wishing to use images of the children they work with or are otherwise in contact with must therefore have a policy in place to safeguard the children involved. For more information visit the NSPCC website.

Safer Working Practice guidance

Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and Young People (PDF).

What to do if you are worried about a child being abused has been updated in March 2015

If you are worried a child is being abused find help and advice on GOV.UK here.

Working Together to Safeguard Children

Revisions to Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2015

Following consultation the government has updated and replaced the current statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children revised and published in 2013.

The revisions include changes to:

1.    the referral of allegations against those who work with children;
2.    notifiable incidents involving the care of a child; and
3.    the definition of serious harm for the purposes of serious case reviews.

Please find a link to the revised guide.