1.1 Explain the term safeguarding

1.1 Explain the term safeguarding

Safeguarding and Protection in Care Settings

Care Learning

5 mins READ

This guide will help you answer The RQF Level 2 Diploma in Care Unit 1.1 Explain the term safeguarding.

Safeguarding is a fundamental concept in health and social care. It is crucial for ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals. This term involves protecting people’s health, well-being, and human rights. It is about enabling them to live free from harm, abuse, and neglect.

Here, we will explore the term ‘safeguarding’ in detail, particularly within the context of the care sector.

Definition and Importance

What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding refers to the measures and actions taken to protect vulnerable groups from harm. These groups include children, young people, and adults at risk. Safeguarding encompasses a wide range of activities, such as promoting welfare, preventing harm, and responding to concerns.

Importance in Health and Social Care

In health and social care, safeguarding is paramount. Care workers have a legal and moral duty to ensure the safety and well-being of those they care for. Effective safeguarding:

  • Protects individuals from neglect and abuse.
  • Promotes trust in care services.
  • Ensures individuals receive support tailored to their needs.
  • Upholds human rights and dignity.

Key Principles of Safeguarding

Protection from Harm

The primary goal of safeguarding is to protect individuals from various forms of harm. Harm can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial. It can also result from neglect or abuse. It is important to recognise the signs and act promptly to address concerns.


Prevention is better than cure. Safeguarding involves proactive measures to prevent harm from occurring in the first place. This could include implementing policies, training staff, and creating an environment where individuals feel safe and valued.


Everyone involved in providing care must be accountable for safeguarding. This means they should:

Types of Abuse and Neglect

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse involves causing physical harm. This could be through actions such as hitting, shaking, burning, or using unnecessary restraints.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse, also known as psychological abuse, includes actions that harm someone’s mental well-being. This can involve threats, insults, or isolation.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse includes any non-consensual sexual activity. This can range from inappropriate touching to rape.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse involves the misuse of a person’s financial resources. This can include theft, fraud, or coercion to hand over money or property.


Neglect occurs when a person’s basic needs are not met. This can be deliberate or unintentional and includes failing to provide adequate food, shelter, or healthcare.

Legal Framework and Guidelines

The Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014 sets out the legal framework for safeguarding adults in the UK. It mandates local authorities to take a leading role in safeguarding. The Act also places an emphasis on:

  • Promoting well-being.
  • Preventing harm.
  • Providing personalised care.

Children Act 1989 and 2004

For children and young people, the Children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004 provide the legal framework. These Acts focus on:

  • The well-being and safety of children.
  • Inter-agency cooperation.
  • Assessment and early intervention.

Safeguarding Adults Boards

Every local authority must have a Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB). The SAB is responsible for:

  • Developing safeguarding policies.
  • Coordinating responses to safeguarding concerns.
  • Reviewing serious cases to learn lessons and improve practice.

Role of Care Workers

Identifying Concerns

Care workers must be able to identify signs of abuse and neglect. They should be vigilant and observe any changes in behaviour, physical signs, or other indicators.


It is crucial to report any concerns promptly. Care workers should follow their organisation’s safeguarding procedures. They must escalate issues to their line manager or safeguarding lead.

Record Keeping

Accurate record keeping is essential. Care workers should document all concerns, actions taken, and the outcome. This helps in building a clear picture of the situation and provides evidence if needed.

Working Collaboratively

Safeguarding is a multi-agency responsibility. Care workers should work collaboratively with other professionals, such as social workers, healthcare providers, and the police. Sharing information helps to provide a comprehensive response to safeguarding concerns.

Creating a Safe Environment

Training and Awareness

Regular training on safeguarding is essential for all care staff. This ensures they are aware of the latest guidelines and best practices. Training helps in recognising signs of abuse and knowing how to respond.

Policies and Procedures

Care organisations must have clear safeguarding policies and procedures. These should be accessible to all staff. Policies should outline steps to take when concerns arise, including reporting mechanisms and contact details for key safeguarding personnel.

Promoting a Culture of Safety

Creating a culture of safety involves promoting openness and trust. Care workers should encourage individuals to speak up about any concerns they have. An environment where everyone feels safe and valued can reduce the risk of harm.

Example answers for 1.1 Explain the term safeguarding

Here are example answers from the perspective of a care worker completing the unit on safeguarding.

Example Answer 1: Definition of Safeguarding

“Safeguarding means protecting people from harm, abuse, and neglect. It involves creating a safe environment where individuals can live free from danger. In my role, safeguarding is about spotting signs of abuse, reporting concerns, and making sure that the people I care for are safe and well. It means following procedures and working with others to keep vulnerable adults and children safe.”

Example Answer 2: Legal Framework

“The Care Act 2014 is really important in my role because it sets out the law that we must follow to protect adults at risk. It says we must focus on promoting well-being and preventing harm. This means I have to make sure the people I care for are safe and their needs are met. It also means working with other agencies, like social services, to share information and ensure proper safeguarding procedures are followed.”

Example Answer 3: Reporting Concerns

“If I have a safeguarding concern, the first thing I do is document what I’ve noticed. I then report it immediately to my line manager or the designated safeguarding lead in my organisation. I make sure to follow our internal procedures and use the proper forms. If it’s an emergency and someone is in immediate danger, I would contact emergency services first. It’s important to keep records accurate and factual.”

Example Answer 4: Working Collaboratively

“Working with other professionals is crucial in safeguarding because it ensures a comprehensive approach to protecting individuals. Different professionals, like social workers, doctors, and police officers, have different expertise and information. By sharing what we know, we can build a complete picture and take the best action to protect someone. It also means that any safeguarding plans are well-rounded and effective.”

Example Answer 5: Creating a Safe Environment

“I contribute to a safe environment by being aware of the safeguarding policies and making sure they are followed. I attend regular training to stay updated on best practices. I also encourage the people I care for to speak up about their worries and make sure they know they can trust me. Creating a safe and open atmosphere means everyone feels valued and respected. I also keep an eye out for any potential hazards in the environment and report them immediately.”

These example answers show a care worker’s practical understanding and commitment to safeguarding within their role. They highlight awareness, vigilance, and willingness to work collaboratively to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals in their care.


Safeguarding is a crucial aspect of health and social care. It involves protecting individuals from harm, preventing abuse, and ensuring their well-being. Understanding the principles of safeguarding, recognising types of abuse, and following legal guidelines and procedures are essential for care workers.

By prioritising safeguarding, care workers help create a safe and supportive environment for those in their care. Always staying vigilant and proactive can make a significant difference in the lives of vulnerable people.

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