The idea of this research emerged from the author’s interest and fascination in how could practice designed to safeguard young people? The discussion seeks to answer the question: Why all of a sudden ‘safeguarding children’ has become an issue?…
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This research will begin with the statement that the world is changing and so are the people living in it. Every day we are bombarded with news of new technology evolving, new cures for the ailing and progress and research in every field. Unfortunately, the changing world has also given us a reason to fear for our safety. Since the 9/11 attacks on the world trade center, terrorism has become the ‘it’ word and our times has seen quite a few examples of terrorism already. The US attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq has instilled fear of attack against all Muslim nations just because terrorism and Islam have time and again wrongly been used concurrently and many times interchangeably. However, the successes and concerns discussed above have all been on the Macro level. It is important that these successes and concerns be judged on an individual level too. At this microscopic level, we can find out lesser issues of life and the little reasons happiness. Scoring a good grade on a term paper might be the source of happiness for a student while family pressures may be a distressing factor. This paper aims to discuss these micro-level problems the youth face in that period from birth becoming young adults. “Today’s youth is tomorrow’s future”. This adage holds true since children of today will inevitably become important people in the future. Protecting and looking after them is not only a duty of the parents but also of the whole society. Sometime in the future parents will expect their children to look after them, and the society would want that the children take care of the society’s values and beliefs too. ‘Safeguarding’ is the term that is used to describe the caring and protection the youth need against the various harms and risks they unknowingly face each day. (Safeguarding, Page 257)
The example in Activity 1 (page 257) helps us to discover the concept and meaning of ‘Safeguarding’. In the example, Carl is described as an outgoing person who hangs out with his friends. He is abused at home so he goes out with some street friends who are of the wrong type and so he gets involved into wrong activities as well resulting in his grades at school to drop.
Evaluating this scenario we can say that everybody near him is at a risk of getting hurt. Hanging out with the wrong type of friends may harm the whole society. Being irregular at school and a source of getting bullied also poses risk to the school environment and other students. However a social worker would describe as Carl being at the highest risk. Domestic abuse, bullying, lighting a fire and abusive language are the risks that Carl faces in his life. He might be kicked out of school and since his parents don’t care about him, and end up with his hooligan street friends stealing to live his life and if he gets caught someday, he will end up in prison. This is how easily a person’s life can be destroyed if they are not safeguarded. Therefore it is our binding duty to protect such innocent children and show them the correct path to the future.
Children usually perceive their problems to be connected with the broad domains of school, family and friends. These are usually the domains through which the children get to interact with others and learn. Problem such as domestic abuse may lead to pervasive and persistent damage to health. Family and social relationships will inevitably decrease and the child will become anti-social. Getting bullied in school may hamper the education capability of a person and can downgrade the emotional and behavioural development. The child then might just want to hide his social presence and not participate at all in collective activities that are prompted by the society. (Safeguarding, Page 258, 259) (Young People and Welfare, Page 1)
It is observed that when young people are able to rid themselves from situations of harm, they make them vulnerable to a different sort of harm that is usually more dangerous. A child, who runs away from home since his father abuses and hits him, might adopt a more passive
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