The Contextual Safeguarding course will develop your understanding of the ways, particular to your setting, in which safeguarding concerns may affect young people, and help you to develop your safeguarding policies according to contextual safeguarding.
Keeping Children Safe in Education emphasises the importance of organisations coming into contact with children having a good understanding of their contextual safeguarding, also known as extra-familial risks.
This course is suitable for anyone who is involved in the safeguarding of young people in their organisation. This course will complement any existing safeguarding courses you have completed.
Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to understanding, and responding to, young people’s experiences of significant harm beyond their families. It recognises that the different relationships that young people form in their neighbourhoods, schools and online can feature violence and abuse.
Safeguarding in earlier childhood primarily focuses on risk and harm located within the family setting, often connected to caregivers. This tends to change somewhat in the teenage years. Developmentally, adolescence is a time of exploration, increasing independence and risk taking.
Young people become more engaged with, and influenced by peer norms and relationships, and other adults, groups and communities not connected with their families, including online. These extra-familial contexts can pose a new set of complex risks as the interface with criminality.
Extra-familial abuse is linked to ‘contextual safeguarding’ or ‘complex safeguarding’. These concepts refer to harm that occurs to children outside of their family system, often during the adolescent years because at this age their social networks widen.
You should be aware of the prevalence of peer-on-peer abuse. You should understand social norms and peer pressure. You should be in a position to recognise early signs that might indicate abuse. You should know what action to take if you know or suspect that a young person is experiencing abuse.
This course has been created and delivered by Milly Wildish, a child protection specialist who has worked in criminal and education settings. Milly is a national safeguarding panel member and is currently engaged in a large-scale independent investigation, into current and historical allegations of child abuse.
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