Safeguarding is a key governance priority for all trustees, not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk.
The Charity Commission advise you to carry out a thorough review of your charity’s safeguarding governance and management arrangements and performance, if you haven’t done in the last 12 months.
It is also important that you contact The Charity Commission about any safeguarding issues, or serious safeguarding incidents, complaints or allegations which have not previously been reported.
Manage the risks
Protecting people and safeguarding responsibilities should be a governance priority for all charities.
As part of fulfilling your trustee duties, you must take reasonable steps to protect people who come into contact with your charity from harm.
- people who benefit from your charity’s work
What you need to do
What you need to do depends on what your charity does and who it works with.
The Charity Commission expect you to:
- make sure all trustees, employees, volunteers and beneficiaries know about safeguarding and people protection
- have appropriate policies and procedures in place
- check that people are suitable to act in their roles
- know to spot and refer or report concerns
- have a clear system of referring or reporting to relevant organisations as soon as you suspect or identify concerns
- set out risks and how you will manage them in a risk register which is regularly reviewed
- be quick to respond to concerns and carry out appropriate investigations
- not let one trustee dominate your work – trustees should work together
it may also include other people who come into contact with your charity through its work.
Risks to be aware of
Risks you must be alert to include:
- sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation
- negligent treatment
- physical or emotional abuse
- bullying or harassment
- health and safety
- commercial exploitation
- extremism and radicalisation
- forced marriage
- child trafficking
- female genital mutilation
- discrimination on any of the grounds in the Equality Act 2010
- people may target your charity
- a charity’s culture may allow poor behaviour
- people may abuse a position of trust they hold within a charity
Policies and procedures you need to have
Your charity should have safeguarding policies and procedures which are:
- put into practice
- reviewed at least once a year
- available to the public
Make all trustees, staff, volunteers and beneficiaries aware of your policy. They all need to know how to apply it.
For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safeguarding-duties-for-charity-trustees.