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Understanding the topic like ‘Safeguarding of children and Vulnerable Adults’, first try to understand the meaning of safeguarding.
When there is a need to protect the vulnerable class or section of the society from harm, the action taken is called safeguarding. Adults, other children, close groups working with vulnerable groups might harm the vulnerable sections. The environment plays a significant role in it. Harm can be physical, emotional or in any other form.
The definition of a child differs from country to country. Generally in legal terms, the adult is above 18 years and below 18 years of age group is considered a child. So when we are talking about the safeguarding of children, we are talking about the persons below 18 years of age.
What you need to do to safeguard the children:
There is a need to protect the child from any sort of harm, there are many ways, here some are quoted.
- Guard them against mistreatment abuse, and exploitation.
- Ensuring that they are growing up under safe and effective care.
- Prevent anything from harming their health or development.
- Ensuring the best outcomes of their effort
Safeguarding actually ensures that children are protected from various identified processes which may cause significant harm and can restrict the overall development of a child.
Safeguarding the Vulnerable Adults
The right to live a life free from abuse and fear is necessary for an adult to live with peace and calmness. Whatever their circumstances are, all adults are entitled to live abuse-free life. All service providers and authorities statutory or non-statutory should ensure that all adults are treated with dignity and respect and they should promote the environment of welfare which is free from any sort of abuse.
Policies of Safeguarding in Ireland
Ireland has its own policy of safeguarding the interests of children and adults. The “Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons at Risk of Abuse -National Policy and Procedures”, includes a prerequisite that all services must have a publicly declared “No Tolerance” approach to any form of abuse and must endorse a culture which supports this code. It applies to all funded services, plans a number of principles to ensure the welfare of vulnerable people and safeguard them from abuse.
Some of the principles behind the policy include:
- A person-centered approached of caring
- Ensuring advocacy.
- Empowerment of every one
- A collective approach.
- Respecting human right
- Respecting the confidentiality
To safeguard one should also understand the kind of different abuses
- Sexual Abuse any sexual assault, or act which happens without the person’s consent or by compelling the consent and makes them vulnerable is considered to be a sexual abuse
- Psychological Abuse It is emotional abuse that harms the emotional state of an individual. For example, creating isolation for a person, deprivation of contact, humiliation, accusations, controlling, intimidation, forcing, harassment, threats of harm or abandonment verbal abuse, isolation, or withdrawal from supportive networks like friends, lovers, etc.
- Physical abuse can include hitting, pushing, slapping, drug-abusing, kicking restraint or unsuitable sanctions
- Institutional abuse may happen in an institutional setup like home, nursing home, hospitals, and any other in-patient settings may involve, for example, rigid routines or inadequate responses to complex needs, poor standards of care,
- Financial or Material Abuse it comprises of fraud, theft, exploitation; compelling in making wills, property, any financial transaction fraud; or the misuse or misappropriation of property, cutting the benefits, etc
- Neglect and Acts of Omission includes failure to provide access to appropriate health, social or educational services, ignoring physical and clinical care needs, the withholding of the necessities of life such as medication, proper nutrition
- Discriminatory Abuse includes all isms related to age, caste, sex or race or based on a person’s disability, harassment, etc
- Institutional abuse may occur within residential care and acute settings including nursing homes, acute hospitals, and any other inpatient settings, and may involve poor standards of care, rigid routines and inadequate responses to complex needs.
There should be appropriate measures for safeguarding to protect vulnerable sections, individuals from abuse. Concerns should be raised regarding their abusive experiences. Every individual has a right to be treated with respect and to feel safe, regardless of the setting in which they live.
Importance of safeguarding
It is a great responsibility to work for the vulnerable section to protect their interests. Working for such groups includes ensuring the protection of their basic human rights. Even ensuring their living in a safe and fear-free environment is required.
It is the responsibility of the authorities to create such awareness in people so it doesn’t leave vulnerable class open to exploitation, abuse, and neglect. There should be enough warning signs to curb the vulnerability of any individual or group. Any organization will not be willing to have the poor safeguards as it can cause:
- Increase in the severity of abuse and neglect and the number of cases if they go unnoticed
- Vulnerable individuals or group can lose their dignity which can harm their emotional state of mind.
- Decreasing empathy for the vulnerable class and sections.
- It may also result in distressing vulnerable class who are suffering from the abuse which may further adversely impact their behavior or can lead them into anarchy.
- The cases involve abuse and neglect may go unnoticed and uncured.
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