Welcome to the NISB Website

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Welcome to the National Independent Safeguarding Board Wales website

Wales’ National Independent Safeguarding Board came into being during November 2015 and became operational in April 2016. We think it’s a first because we do not know of any other countries that have created a Board with nation-wide responsibility for a subject which is as much about how human beings self-right as well as how they may be broken. Our website is one way of sharing what we are doing and learning in Wales.

Perhaps we should begin by explaining “safeguarding.” All sorts of words and terms such as abuse, child protection, violation, cruelty, neglect, mistreatment, humiliation, exploitation, scamming, self-neglect, the protection of vulnerable adults and the prevention of abuse and neglect all sit under the umbrella of “safeguarding.” There are lots of professionals in health, in social care and criminal justice services whose work concerns safeguarding. There may be people in our own families, neighbourhoods, schools and churches whose goodwill and resourcefulness enhance our understanding and protection of our rights – and they may include those who harm children and adults.

We know from the media that poor care and neglect can happen anywhere. We know too that there are children, young people and adults of all ages whose lives are blighted by the destructive impact of abusing power and position, chronic family discord, sexual assaults, parental fighting, substance misuse and harsh disciplining for example. The safeguarding responses of services such as health, social services and the police seek to support those who make allegations. They also have a duty to report children and adults they believe are at risk of harm; a duty to make enquiries where reasonable grounds exist to believe that a person is at risk of harm; and powers to intervene where necessary to safeguard people.

Gillian Clarke, the National Poet of Wales from 2008 – 2016, was commissioned to write a poem about abuse and the NISB is delighted to publish it on our website. We are also grateful to Ceri Wyn Jones whose Welsh translation of Gillian’s poem is also published. “The Silence” is relevant to all of us.

Margaret Flynn, 21 June 2017