Social worker Ruth Watson has some 35 years’ experience of working with children and families, both in a statutory and voluntary setting. Currently, I work for a large children’s charity as a Development Children’s Services Manager. I also deliver training on Safeguarding Children and Young People as part of my job and on a private basis.
Safeguarding children is everyone responsibility so training sessions are designed so that everyone contributes and learns, regardless of their role within the school. I tend not to use much, if any, power point …..it is hard to tell who is engaging when people are looking at a screen, and Safeguarding Children is too important a subject to risk participants leaving the training session not knowing what their responsibilities are and what to do if they are concerned.
School staff have to work together openly and effectively so that they can share concerns about children and young people, (both internally and with the relevant external agencies), and help to mobilise support for them and their families as early as possible. Along with this key message, training sessions emphasis the need for everyone working with children to place them at the center of all the work they do. They explore the obstacles to doing this, as well as raising awareness of signs and signals of abuse, policy and procedure, family circumstances that can make children more vulnerable and the importance of good practice and robust professional boundaries.
I have so far met around 130 school staff in Tower Hamlets, over 3 training sessions. I hope to meet some more of you soon.