“Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.”
Are our communities safe for young people?
Courage. Our first value. Introduced last week through our first blog in this series. Consider the historic and documented serious case reviews in all of the major settings that involve young people in our society: schools, universities, the church, social care, sport, hospitals and charities.
Is our community safe for young people? How many instances of abuse could have been avoided if leaders had the courage to stand up and seek the authentic answer to this question, from the young people we are here to safeguard?
To authentically seek the answer from our communities and empower the young people to solicit honest responses requires courage from both our community leaders, to meaningfully ask the question, and for the children to safely respond.
As leaders responsible for the safety of the young people under our care, being courageous has to be a fundamental prerequisite for doing the job.
My NSPCC training taught me to have the courage to:
- Find out what the young people see as being risks to their safety
- Accept that my setting, along with everyone other setting, will have safeguarding issues to address
- Understand that if I am not busy and/or worried and concerned about young people then there is something wrong
- Own the issues my setting has (only when we have done this can we progress)
- Make sure that those responsible for making a difference know and understand all risks to safety and are acting on them