Earlier we thought about the barriers that can prevent children from disclosing abuse to us, but there is also another challenge that we must be aware of.
It is important that we are honest about the fact that safeguarding is difficult and there are many factors that can hinder our own ability to respond to safeguarding concerns. These would include:
- Our own values and beliefs about particular situations
- Our own previous experiences as a child, parent, or professional
- Over‐identification with, or a reluctance to upset or anger parents
- Fear of the perpetrator
- Fear of ‘getting it wrong’ and losing control
- Fear of the consequences of reporting either for the child, for the parents or even for ourselves
- Fear of being seen as a troublemaker
- Insufficient information or clarity of information
- The culture within the organisation such as school, college, setting
- The systems and processes for raising concerns
- Busyness and the time to think, reflect, analyse and report
- Assumptions about race and culture and the fear of appearing to be judgemental.
It is important that we recognise these pressures and that we don't allow them to prevent or hinder us from raising concerns with our safeguarding lead in a timely manner.