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In this assignment I will discuss one social policy; Safeguarding children and Young People (July 2014). This policy discusses the importance of safeguarding children and how important it is for service providers to be aware and up to date with policies and of possible changes that could have occurred. The policy stresses how important it is to ensure children are safe and states how the welfare of a child is paramount and will examine why this is so. Lastly, I will explain how I think the policy benefits service users, why it is vital for service providers to understand the policy before concluding on my thoughts on this policy.
Firstly, this policy aims to ensure that all children, are safeguarded from harm. Safeguarding is not just child protection but keys in on promoting the welfare of children. This is the main goal and objective and the policy suggests many different ways that service providers can ensure that safeguarding is being carried out thoroughly. This policy also states that “Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.”,therefore it could also be argued that this policy also intends to support families, schools, and society as a whole by guiding them through the best ways to then support children and ensure that families are being made aware of how to maintain the wellbeing of their children.
This social policy is very relevant to social workers and is important in their practice. It firstly focuses significantly on safeguarding and educating social workers and other service providers on how to ensure safeguarding is always taking place. Most importantly, as well as this policy being helpful when trying to educate social workers because it is, in fact, a statutory obligation for all social workers to safeguard and also promote vulnerable children’s welfare, they are legally and professionally required to use this policy to help them ensure this. Furthermore, some points within the policy that can influence social workers and their practice is how it goes into depth and detail on the importance of protecting children from any forms of harm or abuse. It is mentioned several times within the policy which suggests to the social worker how important it is. An example of when safeguarding children is mentioned could be in the introduction of the policy; it states that “children and young people under 18 years of age are an especially vulnerable group and therefore the commission is concerned to stress the importance of charities having proper safeguards in place for their protection”. This statement focuses on how safeguarding is a national situation and it can be inferred that the government believe that protecting children from harm is essential and that those put in place to make sure of this, in this case, social workers, must take care when doing their job and follow the required guidelines and procedures to make sure they take the correct steps to keep the child safe. Doing so can avoid any problems for the social worker and the child. The repetition and stress they put on this show social workers just how important their jobs are and that can cause them to be extra careful when handling children or children related cases. A social worker seeing how dear the wellbeing of children is to the government could influence them to understand the severity of safeguarding.
Additionally, in the commission’s role section of the policy, it talks about how the commission expects those providing services to vulnerable children to do their best to minimize the risk of abuse to children. The Charity Commission role is to produce guidance for trustees on how they should meet their legal duties and responsibilities. It is important that social workers follow these guidelines in order to the best job possible as these guidelines are put in place to help professionals.
After reading the policy, I was able to identify positives to this policy and ways that it will positively affect service users. Firstly, this policy stresses how important it is to maintain the wellbeing of children and keep them away from harm. A social worker will understand this and ensure that they are taking all necessary steps to keep the children safe ultimately benefiting the service users. Another positive effect this policy will have on children is that it discusses the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and how it is compulsory for social workers to go through this process in order to ensure they are suitable to work with children and other vulnerable groups. This is great for the children as it guarantees that there will be in the hands of trustworthy professionals who are dedicated to trying to help them and improve their situation. Finally, the last positive I will discuss is that this policy has other sources within itself that can help social workers. In the guidance and legislation section, it gives resources to help social workers get a better understanding of what is required of them. The more knowledge they have, the more the children benefit.
However, there was one way that the policy could potentially negatively affect service users. Firstly, this policy is very strict in the sense that it only talks about the formality of social work which could potentially frighten social workers and not allow them to do their job properly as they are worried about messing up and getting reprimanded. Although it is important to follow the procedure as a social worker, when working with children you must be unrestricted at times in order to relate to them. It is helpful to focus on how the child is doing rather than on the policy and its formalities which will ultimately help you to help them.
In conclusion, this policy is very clear in what is required of social workers and is full of important information to aid with a social workers practice. As mentioned before, it keys in on the importance of safeguarding children which influences social workers to ensure this when doing their job.
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