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Safeguarding

Guidance on writing a safeguarding policy

If your organisation works with children, young people or adults at risk, it should have a safeguarding policy.

The policy should communicate your commitment to safeguarding and clearly set out the role that all volunteers and staff have to play in protecting vulnerable people from harm.

It should also give clear procedures for how to report and record any concerns and incidents.

You should make sure that all staff and volunteers are familiar with the policy and know where to find it.

What to think about before writing your policy

• How do you check staff and volunteers (both existing and new)?

• How should someone raise a concern?

• How will you respond to concerns or allegations?

• How does your safeguarding policy relate to other policies and procedures?

• What training do you need to offer staff and volunteers? What will you do to make sure everyone is aware of your policy?

What to include in a safeguarding policy

• A statement of your commitment to protecting your clients, employees and volunteers from all forms of abuse, including physical, emotional and sexual harm

• Guidelines on what to do if there is an allegation or incident, or if concerns are raised about the welfare of a vulnerable person

• Who vulnerable adults and children can contact if there is an incident

• Definitions of abuse (whether emotional, physical or psychological), harm and neglect

• Complaints and disciplinary procedures that are in place to manage concerns about the behaviour of staff or volunteers

• Procedures for recording allegations and incidents, and the disciplinary action that will be taken if these aren’t followed

• Who is responsible for recording abuse or harm

• Practical advice to staff and volunteers on dos and don'ts within the organisation.

Please note that this isn’t an exhaustive list of the areas that you should cover. Your safeguarding policy should be tailored to your organisation and its activities.

Making sure everyone is familiar with your policy

Whatever the size of your organisation, you should make sure that staff and volunteers are familiar with the safeguarding policy.

It’s a good idea to cover the policy as part of their induction and training. Make a record that they’ve seen it – for example, you could ask them to sign a statement saying they’ve read and understood it.

As with other organisational procedures, review it regularly to make sure that it’s still fit for purpose. Keep a record of when the policy was last checked.

Guidance on writing your policy

Page last edited Jun 15, 2017

Comments (2)

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Pat Reynolds
Pat Reynolds on Mar 02, 2017 10:47 AM

Do you have any advice for a charity which is 'virtual' - Free UK Genealogy provides free access to historical documents, it is rare for anyone in the organisation to meet anyone else, we have no offices but all work from home. We don't have a safeguarding policy at the moment. We have no way of knowing if our volunteers are children or vulnerable adults, nor our users. We have a generic procedure covering raising concerns (e.g. harassment, financial misconduct) is that sufficient?

Sarah Crisp
Sarah Crisp on May 30, 2017 07:18 PM

Hi all,

Just a quick observation - organisations do not need to work 'extensively' with vulnerable groups in order to need a policy. Organisations with any contact have just as much of a legal 'safeguarding duty of care' as those with extensive contact although of course, the measures and types of training will differ and need to be adapted based on each individual organisation.

I would love to see a correction made, to state 'If your organisation works with children, young people or adult at risk, it should have a safeguarding policy.'

It may also be worth noting that these vulnerable groups do not have to be service users, for example those who hire apprentices (under 18 years old) need policies and appropriate training also, even though they are considered part of the workforce.

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