What is a risk assessment?
Under the Children First Act 2015, organisations providing a relevant service, must undertake a risk assessment. This considers the potential for harm to come to children while they are in the organisation’s care. It should be noted that risk in this context is the risk of abuse and not general health and safety risk.
A risk assessment is an exercise where the organisation examines all aspects of its service from a safeguarding perspective, to establish whether there are any practices or features of the service that have the potential to put children at risk.
The Online Safety Addendum to Children First National Guidance includes a specific reference to the need to consider online safety in the context of completing the Child Safeguarding Statement.
The risk assessment process is intended to enable the organisation to:
- Identify potential risks
- Develop policies and procedures to minimise risk by responding in a timely manner to potential risks
- Review whether adequate precautions have been taken to eliminate or reduce these risks
After the risk assessment has been completed, organisations are required to develop a Child Safeguarding Statement that outlines the policies and procedures which are in place to manage the risks that have been identified.
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