University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Common Vigilance: A Perspective On the Role of the Community in Safeguarding Children

Richards, Claire ORCID: and Gallagher, Stuart (2017) Common Vigilance: A Perspective On the Role of the Community in Safeguarding Children. In: Contemporary Issues in Childhood A Bio-ecological Approach. Routledge education studies series. . Taylor and Francis, Oxon, pp. 84-93. ISBN 978-1-138-20086-9 ebook: 9781315513843

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Since the Children Act 2004 (HMG, 2004), it has become commonplace to read that
safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. No distinction is made, though, between
‘everyone’ individually and ‘everyone’ collectively, with the result that efforts to unpick
exactly how everyone is able to respond to children’s safeguarding and protection needs
are frustrated. This chapter asks whether or not ‘community’ is a useful concept to help
organise these efforts and to prevent the slogan from unhelpfully collapsing the issue of
responsibility together. It considers Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model (Bronfenbrenner,
1979) and bio-ecological model (Bronfenbrenner and Ceci, 1994) to understand how
community might animate child protection efforts at a level beyond the scope of distinct
families but without encompassing statutory responsibility either. Bourdieu’s concept of
‘habitus’ (Shusterman, 1999) is used to examine the social worlds of children in their
respective communities to understand the risk and vulnerabilities of children, on the one
hand, and the safeguarding responses by concerned adults in the community.
Recent analysis of serious case reviews (SCRs) and inquiries relating to child sexual
exploitation to understand how the ‘community’ inform the discussion of communitylevel
communication regarding common concerns for children’s safety and well-being.
The chapter proposes that common vigilance may serve as a more robust concept than
does community in efforts to produce social conditions that secure children’s safety from
maltreatment. The chapter encourages you to consider your position as a professional
who embodies interest in children’s safety from harm as well as compliance with
statutory procedures and expectations of competence.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information:

A copy of this title is held at the Hive. Shelf mark: 304.2083 BRO. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: children, childhood, safeguarding, child development, child psychology, children, environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Claire Richards
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2018 13:32
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:21

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