Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:

• 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.

Child protection generally refers to the action taken when there is 'reasonable cause to suspect a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm' resulting in a need for the local authority social care services to make enquiries and decide if any action must be taken under section 47 of the Children Act 1989.

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