Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 2.2: Understand legislation relating to the safeguarding, protection and welfare of children
Learning outcome: Understand how to respond to evidence or concerns that a child has been abused or harmed
Assessment criteria: Explain child protection in relation to safeguarding
Child protection is a term used to describe the actions taken to protect children who are suffering from or are at risk of, abuse, neglect or exploitation. Safeguarding is a term used to describe the broader range of measures designed to keep children safe from harm.
Both child protection and safeguarding encompass a wide range of activities and interventions, from preventative work with families to support them in providing a safe and loving home for their children, to investigating allegations of abuse and taking action to protect children who are at risk.
There is no single definition of child abuse or neglect, but there are some common characteristics that are generally recognised. These include physical abuse (such as hitting, shaking or burning), emotional abuse (such as constant criticism or belittling), sexual abuse (including rape or sexual assault), and neglect (such as failing to provide basic needs such as food, shelter or medical care). Further information about the signs and symptoms of abuse can be found here.
Child protection is the response to actual or suspected cases of abuse or neglect. It involves taking action to protect a child who has been harmed, or who is at risk of being harmed. This may involve working with families to provide support and keep children safe within their homes, or it may mean taking more formal action such as removing a child from their home if they are deemed to be at risk of harm.
Safeguarding is the broader term that includes all the actions taken to keep children safe from harm. This might include initiatives such as campaigns to raise awareness of child abuse or support services for families who are struggling and at risk of harming their children.