This blog post was originally published on The Safeguarding Company website >> https://www.thesafeguardingcompany.com/resources/blog/strategies-for-effective-proactive-safeguarding/
STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE PROACTIVE SAFEGUARDING
We all know that having a more proactive approach when it comes to safeguarding is the best possible way to safeguard your children and young adults. However, when you are having to constantly firefight, it can feel almost impossible to be proactive. In this blog, Vikkey Chaffe will look at ways in which to be proactive and how you can put strategies in place by using the information you have.
USE THE DATA TO TRAIN YOUR TEACHERS
Look at your safeguarding data, whether that be paper or online. What categories have had the most concerns? For example, in the last month, you have had the most concerns raised about online bullying. So, what can we do with this data? Use this to inform your training, now I don’t just mean save it for an inset, I mean drip-feeding! You can find more information about drip-feeding in this blog.
Make this your target for weekly scenarios, of daily conversations and of your 5 mins of every staff meeting. Send your staff regular updates on what to spot when it comes to cyberbullying and help them understand the full consequences of cyber-bullying and where this could go if pupils aren’t supported at the right time.
USE THE DATA TO TEACH YOUR STUDENTS
Taking the example of cyberbullying as being the increased category, what can we do to give our pupils the tools to safeguard themselves and understand the ramifications if they are the perpetrator. Firstly, let's get into classes, exactly as you would do if you see a child is off track with their academic progress. If a child is off track you would give targeted lessons to support their gaps in learning, exactly the same goes for teaching the children to safeguard themselves.
There are plenty of resources to support the teachers in teaching around abuse but where else can you look for support? Speak to your local police person, they will usually come in and do a workshop to show children what they can do to help themselves. Reach out to some charities too, they are always happy to support where they can. We can’t be with our children and vulnerable adults 24 hours a day so we need to give them the tools to safeguard themselves. This is not only proactive but it is sustainable to helping our children to break cycles, especially if they are dealing with ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences).
GET YOUR PARENTS/CARERS AND COMMUNITY ONBOARD
Just as our children need to be educated so do our parents, especially if they don’t understand the dangers of their children being online. Put up posters at all the entrances/exits of your organisation, by the office, in the sports locker rooms and changing rooms, even in the toilets! Hold workshops where you can teach them what dangers their children are facing and how to protect them.
Get your ICT leader to hold meetings on how to have filters and blockers on web pages. Get the police to come in and speak to them, making sure that the parents/carers understand that they aren’t being judged, it is just to support them in the best way. Make sure they know to come and speak to you if they have any concerns at all about their own children or others. Open this up to the community, and educate as many people as possible.
I hope this blog has given you some ideas. Another way to support you in being proactive is to ask others what they are doing. You can do this here in our Safeguarding Community.