Published in 2009, ‘Safeguarding disabled children: practice guidance’ is an important part of the guidance for everyone involved in safeguarding. Children with special educational needs and disabilities are at higher risk of harm than most children, yet keeping them safe can be more of a challenge. For children with the most profound difficulties, with little or no verbal communication and a need for intimate care, their vulnerability is extremely high.
Key issues for safeguarding children with disabilities include:
- social isolation
- reliance on others for personal care
- impaired capacity to resist or report abusive behaviour
- reduced access to someone to tell
- especially vulnerable to bullying and intimidation
- more frequently away from home, eg. in hospital, respite care or residential living