What is Safeguarding?

‘Safeguarding children is the action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm – it is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.’ Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015

Safeguarding is:

  • protecting children from maltreatment;
  • preventing impairment of children's health or development;
  • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
What is Child Protection?

‘Child protection refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.’ Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015

Working Together to Safeguard Children sets out the statutory functions under the 1989 and 2004 Children’s Acts that places duties in relation to children in need and children suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.

Working Together to Safeguard Children (opens a pdf on an external website)

Childcare providers may be the first people to notice possible signs of abuse and neglect so it is important that all providers feel confident in knowing what to look out for and what to do if they have concerns.

You must contact SPA if you have concerns about:

  • A child or young person who you suspect is being neglected or subject to physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • Family issues that are affecting a child or young person
  • An allegation of abuse against an adult

SPA acts as a central hub and front door for Children Services. Professionals and members of public who have concerns around children and families refer in to SPA where information is collated and decisions are made within 24 hours. Police officers, health professional, CAMHS clinician and Early Help and Education Consultant are all part of SPA team.

SPA offer phone consultation to professionals and will provide advice and support in managing concerns. If the concerns are of safeguarding nature or the family are in need, SPA Social Workers will advise that a referral is made to ensure all the information is reviewed and safe decisions are made.

Phone: 020 8547 5008 from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, or 020 8770 5000 out of hours.

Phone: 999 in an emergency

The local authority designated office (LADO) works within Children's Services to help safeguard children in accordance with the statutory guidance, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015. The LADO should be informed, through SPA, in all cases where it is alleged that at person who works with children has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child; or
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children


​Kingston and Richmond Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCB) are statutory bodies which are responsible for ensuring that all agencies working with children, young people and families work well together to promote children’s safety and welfare. The boards coordinate the work of local agencies and check their quality to ensure children’s safeguarding is effective and identify improvements where necessary. Both boards are led by an independent chair.

Both LSCBs monitor and review child protection and child safety policies, procedures and practices. They coordinate and provide inter-agency training for staff across the boroughs who work with children and families.

LSCB website 

Read the latest LSCB newsletters

LSCB leaflet (opens a pdf)

LSCB leaflet (Korean version) (opens a pdf)

Richmond LSCB poster (opens a pdf)

Kingston LSCB poster (opens a pdf​)