Contextual Safeguarding is an approach which responds to children and young people’s experiences of harm wherever they are.
In practice, for those working in education this means reporting all information relating to the safety and wellbeing of students regardless of whether it links directly to school or not.
There should be multiple processes for reporting concerns that allow staff to contribute to an overall picture of a child’s wellbeing in context.
In your setting there should be multiple opportunities for staff to contribute to building a picture of a child or young person’s wellbeing and safety. This information will be gathered through some of the following processes:
- Reporting of concerns through a digital system
- Reporting of concerns through regular brefing / de-briefing activities
- Recording of behaviour including any changes in behaviour
- Incident reporting
- Direct emails to the DSL / Deputy DSLS(s)
Your Designated Safeguarding Lead and/ or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead(s) will look at information about a child or young person from multiple sources and begin to build a picture. For this reason it is important to report changes to behaviour or other concerns even if you aren’t sure if they are indicative of a safeguarding risk.
The DSL/ Deputy(s) will recommend in-house intervention, a referral to support, or possible a MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) referral. They will do this by considering the information in the context of other information they already have.