Safeguarding is an essential aspect of any organisation that works with vulnerable groups, such as children, young people, and vulnerable adults, but do you know what the 6 principles of safeguarding are?
The 6 principles of safeguarding are the guidelines that organisations follow to ensure the safety and well-being of those they serve. The 6 principles of safeguarding are,
- Empowerment: People should be supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed choices. Their autonomy and ability to express their views should be respected and upheld as much as possible.
- Prevention: Steps should be taken to prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse, neglect, or harm. This involves identifying potential risks and acting to address them before they escalate.
- Proportionality: Interventions and actions should be proportionate to the level of risk and the seriousness of the potential harm. In other words, the response should not be excessive or unnecessary.
- Protection: The primary duty is to protect individuals from harm and to ensure their safety. This includes taking appropriate actions to intervene and provide support when someone is at risk.
- Partnership: Effective safeguarding requires collaboration and cooperation among different agencies, professionals, and the individual themselves. This ensures a holistic and coordinated approach to addressing the individual’s needs.
- Accountability: Those responsible for providing care, support, and protection have a responsibility to act in the best interests of the individual. There should be clear lines of accountability to ensure that actions are taken and decisions are made responsibly.
In the principles of safeguarding, the principle of protection, in particular, is relevant to DBS checks.
How do DBS Checks Relate to The Principles of Safeguarding?
DBS checks are background checks that are carried out on individuals who work with vulnerable groups. The purpose of a DBS check is to identify individuals who may pose a risk of harm, abuse or neglect to those they work with. DBS checks are a crucial tool in applying the principles of safeguarding, as they can help to prevent individuals with a history of abusive behaviour from working with vulnerable groups.
There are three levels of DBS checks: Basic, Standard, and Enhanced. Basic DBS checks are the lowest level of checks and are used to check an individual’s criminal record. Standard DBS checks are used to check an individual’s criminal record and any relevant information held by local police forces. Enhanced DBS checks are the highest level of checks and include checks with local police forces, as well as checks with other relevant organisations, such as social services.
How to Use DBS Checks to Uphold The Principles of Safeguarding
DBS checks are not a guarantee that an individual is safe to work with vulnerable groups. However, they are a vital tool in safeguarding practice, as they can help to identify individuals who may pose a risk of harm. Organisations that work with vulnerable groups have a responsibility to ensure that they carry out appropriate DBS checks on their staff and volunteers.
The use of DBS checks must be proportionate to the level of risk. For example, it may not be necessary to carry out regular Enhanced DBS checks on individuals who work with vulnerable groups only on an occasional basis. However, for individuals who work with vulnerable groups regularly or in a position of trust, an enhanced DBS check may be appropriate.
The use of DBS checks also needs to be balanced against an individual’s right to privacy. It is essential that organisations do not carry out unnecessary checks or use DBS checks as a way of discriminating against individuals. DBS checks should only be carried out when they are necessary and proportionate to the level of risk.
Are DBS Checks Enough to Uphold The Principles of Safeguarding?
DBS checks are only one tool in safeguarding practice. Organisations that work with vulnerable groups also need to have robust safeguarding policies and procedures in place, provide appropriate training for staff and volunteers, and encourage open communication and reporting of any safeguarding concerns. It is also essential to create a culture where safeguarding is taken seriously, and concerns are responded to promptly and appropriately.
It is important to note that DBS checks are not a one-time event. Organisations must ensure that they carry out regular checks on their staff and volunteers to identify any changes in their circumstances that may affect their suitability to work with vulnerable groups. This includes individuals who have been convicted of a criminal offence, cautioned or released from prison, or are subject to a safeguarding concern.
To read more articles on safeguarding, why not read one of our latest posts about the 5 R’s of Safeguarding. What Are The 5 R’s Of Safeguarding? Or our article on Martyn’s Law, Martyn’s Law – What Businesses Need To Know
DBS Checks And The Principles of Safeguarding: Conclusion
In conclusion, safeguarding is a critical aspect of any organisation that works with vulnerable groups. DBS checks are a vital tool in safeguarding practice, but they should be used proportionately, and combined with other safeguarding policies and procedures. By following the principles of safeguarding, organisations can ensure that they create a safe and nurturing environment for those they work with and prevent harm, abuse, or neglect.
After reading all that, you may have decided you need to get on-top of your DBS game – If you need fast, error-free DBS checking at a great price, you’re in the right place!
At Aaron’s Department, our team are here to help you complete your checks using our Online DBS Application Service, where you can get a check from as little as £3.11!
Should you have any questions, you could find the answer on our help and advice page. Or, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring us on 0113 877 0171, we’re always happy to help.