Safeguarding in play provision
Safeguarding is what we do to ensure the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
Child protection is an important part of safeguarding. Children need to be protected from:
- predatory adults
- deliberate and serious harm
- domestic violence
As playworkers, our emphasis should be on supporting and empowering children. This involves balancing children’s enjoyment of their everyday freedoms with our child protection role. For this reason, safeguarding is something we should consider as part of a balanced approach to risk management.
In playwork settings, it is essential to have suitable policies and procedures in place but safeguarding goes further than this. Playwork settings need to maintain an open and honest approach. They need to ensure that everyone understands their responsibilities and feels supported so they can share any concerns.
Children sometimes explore difficult or traumatic experiences in their play. Playworkers can become trusted adults for children and playwork settings are places where children can feel safe. This may mean that children feel able to tell playworkers about abuse.
There are a variety of ways of supporting safeguarding in playwork settings. They include:
- having safeguarding training
- having adequate safeguarding policies and procedures in place
- listening to and having conversations with children about things that are important to them
- being non-judgemental
- developing relationships with parents, carers and families
- developing relationships with other professionals and organisations
- working together.
Child protection procedures
Your child protection procedures should explain what to do if you are concerned about a child who may be suffering abuse or neglect. Playwork settings in Wales should follow the Wales Safeguarding Procedures. These procedures set out:
- practitioners’ roles and responsibilities
- practitioners’ duty to report concerns
- how practitioners can report concerns.
Developing and managing a playwork project
Volume 3 of our playwork guides includes more information on safeguarding.