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Professionals and volunteers

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and in particular protecting them from significant harm, depends on effective joint working between agencies and professionals that have different roles and expertise. Individual children, especially some of the most vulnerable children and those at greatest risk of suffering harm and social exclusion, will need co-ordinated help from health, education, early years, children’s social care, the voluntary sector and other agencies, including youth justice services.

What role do professionals and volunteers play in safeguarding children?

For those children who are suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm, joint working is essential to safeguard and promote their welfare and, where necessary, to help bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against children. 

All professionals and volunteers should:

  • be alert to potential signs of abuse or neglect;

  • be alert to the risks of harm that individual abusers, or potential abusers, may pose to children particularly within their organisation or group setting;

  • prioritise direct communication and positive and respectful; relationships with children, ensuring the child’s wishes and feelings underpin assessments and any safeguarding activities;

  • share and help to analyse information so that an assessment can be made of whether the child is suffering or is likely to suffer harm, their needs and circumstances;

  • contribute to whatever actions are needed to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare; take part in regularly reviewing the outcomes for the child against specific plans;

  • work co-operatively with parents, unless this is inconsistent with ensuring the child’s safety.

Allegations of abuse against people who work with children and young people (pdf 624kb opens in new window)


East Riding Safeguarding Children Board Procedures and  Guidance can be accessed here.

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How do professionals and volunteers make referrals to local authority children’s social care where there are concerns about a child’s safety or welfare?

Referrals should be made in accordance with the thresholds of need and intervention guidance.

Thresholds of need and intervention (pdf 774kb opens in new window)