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Responsibilities in safeguarding as a responsible citizen

Introduction to safeguarding

Safeguarding refers to measures to protect individuals’ health, well-being, and human rights. It mainly focuses on children, young people, and vulnerable adults. And it aims to help them from abuse, harm, and neglect. Safeguarding is applicable in any circumstance. It includes all the procedures to be safe from any harm. It gives the utmost care and safety to both children and adults. In addition, safeguarding assures that vulnerable children or adults are not suffering abuse or neglect. This is why our responsibilities in safeguarding are important.

It is the health and social care workers or a carer responsible for safeguarding the vulnerable individuals of society. As a result, their roles and responsibilities in safeguarding are very important to ensure that a society is a safe place for everyone. So, every health and social care worker should ask himself, what are my role and responsibilities in safeguarding individuals? And what is the cost to children if we fail in our responsibilities in safeguarding? Because these are questions to which health and social care workers should answer to themselves and society. Because these are among their professional responsibilities around safeguarding.

The easiest way to implement safeguarding in a society is to practice certain appropriate measures. This puts up the systematic method of preventing physical or verbal abuse towards any individual. 

Who should get the Protection

Being aware of safeguarding and making use of it is a great thing. The safeguarding process, at times, will have very specific advantages. There will be a high reach for safeguarding far more than expected at times. Governments should provide safeguarding to vulnerable parts of the population like children, elderly citizens, or people with other physical or mental difficulties. Safeguarding applies while taking care of them. 

Safeguarding is not something that aims at a special category of people. It is the right of every person who is weak or disabled. They deserve it. However, one should consider the hierarchy in various situations as well. For example, take the case of an office. Safeguarding in an office helps to prevent any exploitation in the workplace. And this includes health and social care workers.  

As per the six key principles in the 2014 Care Act, there are six key Safe Guarding Principles; these include

  • Empowering people – Grooming people to come out independently and make decisions. This means to make people confident and informed.
  • Preventing any occurrence of harm: to keep away from harm, being conscious; for Prevention is always better than cure.
  • Proportionality: the very intruding response to the risk presented.
  • Protection: helping the most vulnerable of all
  • Safeguarding through Partnership: Including the community services, maybe from the families, educational institutions etc. Combining the effort for good fine results.
  • Being Accountable: the practice of safeguarding should be transparent. The people involved ought to be accountable for this.

 What is abuse? Or what makes abuse?

Knowing the possible elements that constitute abuse is important to fully grasp the very concept of safeguarding and its importance and impact. It may be physical abuse or verbal abuse. It can even be something related to wealth or emotions. Even a person’s ignorance might abuse someone by hurting them. This may also put the person in fear, depression, and pain or cause him to lose their confidence. Abuse also includes forcing a person to do something they do not wish or are doing for fear etc. And protecting an individual from abuse includes carers’ responsibilities in safeguarding adults and children.

Safe guarding

 Different Types of Abuse

One could be suffering many kinds of abuses. Many types of abuses can happen to a person all at once. Identifying the type of abuse is very important because this plays a key role in helping the person abused accordingly.  

  • Adults abuse can happen in any of the following ways:
  •  Discriminating on some basis
  •  Abusing through some means of domestic violence
  •  Abusing in some matters of wealth or money
  •  Being abused with some material things
  •  Some form of being treated as an enslaved person
  •  Neglecting and ignoring
  •  abuse from or in an organisation
  •  Being abused Physically
  •  Mental or Emotional abuse
  •  Being abused Sexually
  •  Self-neglect

 For children, abuse can happen in any of the following ways:

  •  neglect
  •  Physical Abuse
  •  Sexual Abuse
  •  Psychological Abuse
  •  Abuse from Institutions
  • How to safeguard people

 There are many ways to safeguard people who are victims of abuse. It is among a carer’s professional responsibilities around safeguarding. Some of the most common ways of safeguarding the victims of abuse are,

 Gather maximum information regarding the incident. Analyse it to get aware of the risk involved

 Get in touch with the people who are in a greater chance of being abused

 Do a complete case study of the happenings, document it by reporting it in detail with the conclusions

 Do not hesitate to safeguard vulnerable people anywhere, anytime.

Law regarding Safeguarding

The Safeguarding laws and Acts were strengthened in the year 2006 after the Soham incidents, wherein the two children were mistreated or, in a way, abused by the school caretaker. As a result, the parliament passed the Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. In addition, it formed The Independent Safeguarding Authority. Further, this authority ensures that vulnerable groups do not come in contact with the people on the list at any cost. They would neither get employment in such places nor come across the vulnerable group. 

 Teamwork for Safeguarding children

Most people who are in touch with the children somehow or the other will be well aware of the ‘Working together to Safeguard Children. In addition, this is an important document for people working with working related to children. Further, tt includes criteria which are being implemented in a combined agency working model. So, this works for the all-around welfare of children from any background.

 Mental capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty 

The mental capacity act 2005 provides a statutory framework for acting and making decisions on behalf of individuals who lack the mental capacity to do so for themselves. Though vulnerable, some people or groups do not take themselves as safeguarded. In addition, at times, they deny being safeguarded. This is because of the lack of their mental ability to do so. The social care workers should take them to a facility and provide them with proper care. This can be a care centre or a hospital. However, one needs to prove the person’s vulnerability credibility before this. One shall consider this the last option if all the other alternatives have been tried and failed. This is mandatory if the risk of the person staying at the same place is very high. 

Deprivation of liberty is sometimes essential to make people overcome their vulnerability to issues somehow.

 responsibilities in safeguarding

Employer’s Responsibility

 Employers have the high responsibility of deploying selected persons with the vulnerable group. They must be very careful and ensure the vulnerable group is safe. In addition, they will have to do this by checking with the authorities and background verification on whom they are employing. Further, they should be confident enough to make them mingle with the vulnerable group of children or adults.

If something bad happens with the employee and the vulnerable group, it may be the first time; even after all the precautions, you must expel the employee at once. Also, inform all the Safeguarding authorities about the happening.


Safeguarding is not just a carer's responsibility; everyone has the responsibility to prevent any abuse. So, everyone should look at a mirror and ask, “ what is your role and responsibilities in safeguarding individuals?”

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