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Keeping individuals and workers safe

Everyone has the right to be safe no matter who they are or what their circumstances. Safeguarding is about protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect.

We are all responsible for the safety and welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. We have to ensure that we do all we can to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.

What's it got to do with my council?

Every town and parish council has a statutory duty to ensure the safety and welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. Safeguarding involves all services provided by town and parish councils. It applies to all organisations and individuals (including volunteers, partners and contractors) that are involved in the work that parish councils do.

An example could be looking after a play space, running the village hall, providing a village event and community and volunteer schemes.

Other reasons why safeguarding is a priority:

  • Delegated or devolved services from West Berkshire Council require suitable arrangements for safeguarding to be in place
  • A condition of receiving a grant might require you to have adequate safeguarding policies and procedures to be in place
  • There is a public expectation on public bodies to have effective safeguarding arrangements in place
  • A safeguarding policy is about protecting your town and parish councils too - they provide councillors and officers with advice and information to help ensure that you don't put yourself in a situation where false allegations could be made against you

What are the key things that I need to know?

  • Keeping children, young people and vulnerable adults safe is everybody's responsibility
  • You must never keep concerns about safety, abuse or neglect to yourself
  • It is not your responsibility to investigate concerns, but you should tell an appropriate professional about it
  • If you have significant concerns for someone's immediate safety, you should call 999
  • By law, individuals up to the age of 18 are considered to be children

Employing staff or contractors

If you are employing staff or contractors to deliver services and this activity could require them to work in an environment where children, young people or vulnerable adults could be present then you should consider having a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check carried out on the employee or contractor.

Please contact us if you have any questions about safeguarding.

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