Care worker

How to Become a Safeguarding Officer?

Some professions have a virtuous effect on society. To become a safeguarding officer, you must possess both dignity and employment. As a Designated Safeguarding Officer, you can protect children, vulnerable adults, and staff.

You also oversee the security procedures and legal work. Every organisation needs a safeguarding officer for the safety and well-being of its manpower.

So the job can be worthwhile for you.

This blog enriches your knowledge of becoming a safeguarding officer, their duties, responsibilities, qualifications, skills, and training.

a safeguarding officer

What is a Safeguarding Officer?

A Safeguarding Officer is known as Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), primarily responsible for managing and reporting concerns about children and vulnerable adults within an organisation. He also leads child protection officers in the child-based association. As the person in charge of all the safeguarding procedures, he delivers training, keeps policies up to date and reports any concerns or cases to the relevant authoritative parties.

Sometimes, the role may be split between staff members. Large organisations may have a team of designated safeguarding leads. Basically, they take care of children, including the below concern –

  • Promote health-related issue
  • Wellbeing of children
  • Ensure all parents and carers have access to information
  • Provide helpful services to children

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What Are the Duties of a Safeguarding Officer?

A safeguarding officer has a variety of duties, which are carried out along with their central role within a company or organisation. He takes the lead in safeguarding children and protecting them from harm.

The critical functions of a safeguarding officer are given below:

  • Making decisions regarding child protection issues
  • Monitoring and reviewing child protection policies and procedures to ensure they are current
  • Promoting the health and wellbeing of children
  • Working directly with children, families and staff
  • Organising appropriate training for all the staff and volunteers associated with the child protection team
  • Promoting a safe environment for children
  • Being the very first point of contact for all the staff and volunteers
    to go for advice if they are concerned about a child

safeguarding officer doing discussion

What Are The Skills Required to be a Safeguarding Officer?

There are various skills which can support you being a potential safeguarding officer, which are as follows:

  • Good People Skills- Safeguarding officers must speak to colleagues, parents, and carers about safeguarding issues. That is why good people skills are required for them so that they can talk to children with calmness and patience about delicate topics. You should be supportive and understanding instead of judgmental if you are a safeguarding officer.
  • Active Listening Skills- This is a vital skill that every safeguarding officer should possess. Active listening helps you understand the message that the speaker is trying to convey. Staff and volunteers should listen actively since they are approached for advice. Both parties listen carefully and get the right message.
  • Organisation skills- You must be responsible and organised as a safeguarding officer. You can be in charge of keeping records of any complaints or questions, whether from children, their parents or other staff you are working with. An excellent organisational skill would help you remember and keep the documents safe. However, administrative work adds extra value to this skill.
  • Ability to Work under Pressure- You must deal with difficult situations and listen to distressing information, which often becomes stressful. So, safeguarding officers must stay calm and focused on working under pressure. Sometimes they need to do many things at one time.

Qualifications:

Besides these skills, you need to achieve the following qualifications-

To become a designated safeguarding officer, you must undertake relevant training. Each class can take responsibility and perform well. Therefore, you need to undertake appropriate safeguarding training.

    • Level 1 training provides students with an understanding of the signs and symptoms of abuse and how to report it.
    • At Level 2, learners gain insight into safeguarding legislation.
    • In level 3, learners will learn how to contribute to and manage individual safeguarding plans.
    • Levels 4 and 5 are for those involved in the protection process of children or young adults at a higher level. These advanced levels include case studies and group work.

You can consider the following tips to be an effective and confident safeguarding officer:

  • Stay up-to-date with your knowledge and understanding of child protection and safeguarding issues, including forms of abuse and harm vulnerability factors.
  • You should participate in DSL training every two years and refresh your knowledge and skills.
  • Provide regular updates to all the staff through briefings, staff meetings, emails, newsletters and noticeboards.
  • Develop strategies to keep children safe while using social media or technology.
    Talk to the parents and your team to help them understand the risks and keep the children safe online.
  • Learn about your organisation’s norms and culture.
    Take part in online courses and training.

How to Become A Safeguarding Officer?

Explore the different ways to get into this role and become a safeguarding officer. You can get into this job through:

Work: You could do professional development training with your employer and then go into child protection work. For example, you may be a police officer and complete relevant courses before moving to a child protection unit within your force.

Volunteering: Experience in working with vulnerable children is essential. You can get experience by volunteering in the community, with a charity or through paid work. You can get information on volunteering opportunities from:

  • NSPCC
  • The Children’s Society
  • Do-IT

Direct Application: You can apply directly for jobs if you’re a qualified professional. Employers often look for social workers, but other relevant roles include:

  • Youth worker
  • Teacher
  • Police officer
  • Family support worker
  • Probation officer

You’ll need years’ experience working with children, young people, their parents and carers. Management experience will also be helpful.

Employment: You can find out more about working in child protection from the British Association of Social Workers and NSPCC Learning.

taring for safeguarding officer

Know Your Responsibility If An Allegation is Made

Be clear about your statutory responsibilities in the event of an allegation against a team member. Cooperate with your local authority’s designated officer and follow your setting’s procedures. Action can still be taken that may prevent further harm from taking place.

Other vital information that should be handled carefully are as follows :

  • The details about the incident
  • Where and when the incidents are taking place.
  • Known family members who may be involved.
  • What exactly has been seen, heard or reported to the person making the referral.
  • Any other relevant information.
  • Lead the assessment with appropriate guidance.
  • Carry out enquiries in a way that causes minimum distress for the child and their family.
  • See the child or staff who is subject to concern about their wishes and feelings.
  • Ensure that they fully understand the situation and assess it in as much detail as possible.
  • Interview the child’s parents and determine any broader social or environmental factors that might impact them.
  • Gather information about the child’s family history.
  • Analyse the findings of the assessment.
  • Determine which interventions will be most effective.
  • Determine the level of risk faced by the child.

Above all, you have to be aware of the following issues-

Be Tech Aware:

Develop strategies to keep children safe while using social media or technology and be aware of the risks. Talk to the parents and your team to help them understand the risks and keep the children safe online. You can arrange some workshops and educate them about actual incidents.

father training daughter for safeguarding

Be Clear About Policies and Records

Know your organisation’s policies and records and ensure that all the policies and procedures are effective and up-to-date. Review them at least annually. You can suggest, amend or reform the policies if required.

Work With Your Team and Parents

Carefully select your staff and volunteers and keep records of all adults working in your organisation.

Ensure that team members get the following things while working with you –

  • Feel safe and confident
  • Acquire perfect protection knowledge and concerns
  • Share space for professional challenge
  • Capable of dealing with any kind of situation.
  • Able to take on challenges.

In a school setting, develop effective relationships with parents and work together to keep their children safe. Parents should know what action they will take if there is any safeguarding concern.

How Can Study Plex Help You to Become A Safeguarding officer?

Study Plex provides you with the best support in your career-relevant field. All classes are endorsed to ensure your professional development.

Let’s see how can Study Plex help you to become a safeguarding officer:

  • Gain a solid understanding of the core competencies required for a successful career in safeguarding
  • Learn from expert tutors with industry experience, teaching you the latest expertise and best practice
  • Eligibility for an Endorsed certificate upon successful completion of this course
  • Earn industry-recognised credentials to demonstrate your new skills and add extra value to your CV
  • Master the skills you need to propel your career forward in preserving.
  • Take control of your learning. Study at a time and pace that suits you, from anywhere, on any device, 24/7
  • Get unlimited lifetime access

Conclusion

Hopefully, the blog helps you find a path to take the first step in the safeguarding field. Safeguarding officers actively participate in maintaining safety and protecting children from any unwanted harm or risk.

Their contribution to ensuring the health and wellbeing of the vulnerable group cannot be denied. So, start your career as a safe safeguarding officer and be the noble one.


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