Unit 1. The Context for Children
Unit 2: Understanding child abuse
Unit 3: Understanding child safeguarding
Unit 4: Safeguarding concerns and abuse

3.1: Where does child abuse happen?

Where does child abuse happen?

So far we have been looking at abusive practices without identifying where they might happen. Child protection describes the work being undertaken to strengthen laws, policies and systems to protect children.

We know that child abuse can happen anywhere, including inside an organisation. Even if that organisation was established to help and protect children. This can be caused by an organisation’s staff, partners, programmes, partners or as a result of its operations, for example, communications or fundraising. We are now going to talk about child safeguarding, which is the responsibility of organisations to protect children from harm.

Think about the possibility of abuse in the organisation you work for, either as a paid employee or as a volunteer. This may make you uncomfortable. We are not suggesting that your organisation abuses children but is important you are aware of the possibility that abuse may happen. Once that potential is recognised then it becomes easier to develop and put in place safeguarding measures.

What is the difference between child safeguarding and child protection?

Child safeguarding is the responsibility that organisations have to ensure their staff, operations and programmes ‘do no harm’ to children and that any concerns the organisation has about children’s safety, within the communities in which they work, are reported to the appropriate authorities.

Child protection, in the international context, describes the work being undertaken to strengthen laws, policies and systems, which are designed to protect children in a given country in his or her own family and community.

Now that we have clarified the definition between child safeguarding and child protection, let us move on to a collaborative exercise.