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What are my legal and moral duties when it comes to safeguarding?

What are my legal and moral duties when it comes to safeguarding?

Safeguarding is governed by a range of laws and regulations, which vary depending on the type of vulnerable individual being protected. Some of the key laws and regulations related to safeguarding include:

  1. The Children Act 1989 and 2004: These acts provide the legal framework for safeguarding children in England and Wales. They set out the duties and responsibilities of local authorities, health services, and other agencies to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
  2. The Care Act 2014: This act sets out the legal framework for safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect in England. It places a duty on local authorities to investigate suspected cases of abuse or neglect and take action to protect adults at risk.
  3. The Mental Capacity Act 2005: This act provides a legal framework for making decisions on behalf of individuals who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves. It also sets out safeguards to protect vulnerable individuals from abuse or neglect.
  4. The Human Rights Act 1998: This act incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. It provides a legal framework for the protection of human rights, including the right to be protected from abuse and neglect.
  5. Safeguarding policies and procedures: Many organisations, such as schools, hospitals, and care homes, have their own policies and procedures for safeguarding vulnerable individuals. These are often based on statutory guidance and best practice and set out how to identify and respond to concerns about abuse or neglect.

Overall, our country has a comprehensive legal framework for safeguarding vulnerable individuals, with specific legislation for children and adults at risk. Local authorities and other agencies are responsible for implementing these laws and ensuring that vulnerable individuals are protected from harm.

In addition to these legal duties, there are also moral duties to safeguarding vulnerable individuals. These moral duties arise from the fundamental principles of respect, dignity, and autonomy.

  1. Respect for human dignity: Safeguarding is important because all individuals, regardless of age or ability, have a right to be treated with dignity and respect. This means protecting them from harm, abuse, or neglect and promoting their well-being.
  2. Duty to protect: There is a moral duty to protect vulnerable individuals who may be unable to protect themselves. This includes children, elderly individuals, and individuals with disabilities.
  3. Autonomy and consent: Safeguarding also involves respecting an individual’s autonomy and right to make decisions about their own lives. This means seeking informed consent for any actions or interventions that may affect them.
  4. Social responsibility: Safeguarding is also a matter of social responsibility. We all have a duty to ensure that vulnerable individuals are protected from harm and that their rights are respected.

Overall, the moral duties to safeguarding are rooted in the principles of respect, dignity, autonomy, and social responsibility. These duties go beyond legal requirements and reflect our shared values as a society.

If you would like us to help you with your legal and moral duties then please do get in contact with us on


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