Support the mental and physical wellbeing of young people and their families in Gloucestershire
Embracing Growth and Innovation at Young Gloucestershire

Evolving Safeguarding

Young Gloucestershire has undergone a significant transformation in its safeguarding policies and procedures over the years. As the charity has grown in size and increased the number of young people we support, the need for robust systems to protect both staff and young people has become ever more crucial. Previously, safeguarding responsibilities were shared among senior management, but we are now pleased to have introduced a full-time designated safeguarding lead. This ensures consistency and allows us to expand our safeguarding initiatives across the organisation.

Jessica John joins Young Gloucestershire with a strong commitment to educating and safeguarding young people, ensuring the next generation in our community and county can lead happy and successful lives. Jessica has a keen interest in cognitive behavioural development, which complements her natural nurturing instincts and patience. This combination allows her to effectively investigate and respond to concerns, as well as assess risks that impact the safety and welfare of young people in the county.

Here, Jessica shares her experience and insights into the evolving landscape of safeguarding within Young Gloucestershire:

“Since joining YG, I’ve loved getting to know the staff and have a great deal of respect for their diverse experiences. They’ve taught me so much already! I find it fascinating to observe how people learn, and I’ve enjoyed sharing new safeguarding concepts and methods with the team, who have been really enthusiastic.

“We’ve been busy reviewing our processes and conducting audits to make sure we’re giving the best support possible, so everyone can feel safe and happy. Taking action to look out for our young people and keep them safe is a top priority for us here at YG. And you know what? We’re all in this together! We’re here to be accountable for our decisions and actions, always aiming for the best outcomes through our advice and guidance.

“Our journey of learning has been quite the adventure! We’ve delved into legislative frameworks relevant to safeguarding, which has led to rigorous staff training and ongoing improvements to meet the changing needs of government and society. Thanks to all this hard work, we’ve earned a reputation as a trusted partner in the safeguarding field. We’ve been fortunate to put our expertise to good use in effective multi-agency collaborations.

“Currently, we’re actively involved in local council meetings, especially those focusing on safeguarding at a subgroup level. Our dedicated workers also attend social care meetings to support families through multi-agency efforts. But it doesn’t stop there! We also contribute to education and practice reviews.

“Recently, we were part of a huge effort with over 700 organisations to review the changes in the DFE Working Together guidelines for 2023. This work led us to conducted a skills audit of our staff, and we are now reflecting on our practices to implement changes, particularly in areas like historical abuse and hoarding, which have become policy priorities. It’s all about staying proactive and making a real difference where it matters most.

“Our involvement in multi-agency settings has really made a difference! It’s resulted in better outcomes for children, young people, and families all around. At YG, we’re constantly strategizing and making changes that lead to improved services and strong partnerships with parents, children, young people, families, and various institutions and settings.

“By working closely together, we’ve been able to develop and enhance service provision, ensuring that we’re always meeting the needs of those we support. It’s all about teamwork and making positive strides forward, hand in hand with our community.

“As safeguarding needs continue to change and grow, we are always looking for new ways to meet needs and ensure the best support for our young people. We have now introduced a dedicated team of safeguarding consultants and champions who act as experts in each department and are always ready to advise staff on any concerns.

“In the ever-changing world of safeguarding, recent events like Covid and the rise of technology have brought about new challenges, especially with online harms. That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce our new programme aimed at tackling these issues head-on: ‘Online Modern Harms.’ Thanks to funding and support, we’re diving into the realm of contextualised safeguarding, addressing risks beyond the home and finding innovative ways to support young people in the digital world.

“We are able to work with 11-18 year olds, either one-to-one for 12 weeks or in small groups of 4-8 for 6 weeks. We are also happy to address larger school groups as part of assemblies. It’s all about staying ahead of the curve and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our community.”

Find Out More

Check out YG’s safeguarding team and policies, or get in touch to find out more about our ‘Online Modern Harms’ Programme.

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