On Tuesday 22nd January 2019, Melinda Connelly, Regional Manager, BBC Children in Need shared the funder’s approach to safeguarding in their assessment, monitoring and work with grantees that support children and young people. BBC Children in Need take seriously their commitment to ensuring that appropriate safeguarding measures are in place when supporting charities and are leading good practice for independent trusts and foundations. Her presentation can be found here.
More recently safeguarding has been making headlines and charities have been responding to review and tighten up its policies and procedures. The Charity Commission launched a suite of measures to help ensure charities learn the wider lessons from recent safeguarding revelations involving Oxfam and other charities, and to strengthen public trust and confidence in charities.
However, what does this mean on a practical level and how should the sector interpret safeguarding for its trustees, staff, volunteers and services and users? Melinda shared with members how they have looked at safeguarding measures when assessing applications, particularly from organisations working with vulnerable groups of people, and what they have considered as appropriate to ensure that measures are being put into place to reduce the risk of harm, abuse and mistreatment, and protect vulnerable groups. A copy of the slides can be found here.
One of the key points made in the presentation is that BBC Children in Need do not seek a copy of an organisation’s safeguarding policy on its own, but actively ask a set of questions to understand how it is implemented and used by the organisation. For smaller funders where capacity to discharge their due diligence when assessing how appropriate and proportionate safeguarding measures are in an organisation can be limited. All funders have a ‘duty of care’ to ensure that if their funds are being used to support vulnerable children, young people and adults, that they have a framework by which they are able to consider safeguarding issues as part of their own reputational risk as well as that of the applicant or grantee.
Guidance for independent foundations can be found on the Association of Charitable Foundation’s website.
a set of key questions asked at the early stages of applying can help to quite quickly get a better understanding of an organisation’s approach to safeguarding and how appropriate and proportionate it is to the vulnerability of the users and clients they are working with. Below are some resources and links to other materials that can help funders better understand safeguarding needs and issues and what is considered as good practice.
NSPCC Safeguarding – https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/research-resources/2017/nspcc-safeguarding-standards-and-guidance-england/
Social Care Institute for Excellence – https://www.scie.org.uk/safeguarding/adults
Office for Students The Prevent Duty- https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/regulation/counter-terrorism-the-prevent-duty/
University of Bedfordshire, Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking – Range of research and resources
Safeguarding Matters – http://www.safeguardingmatters.co.uk/uk-safeguarding-approach/other-influences-on-safeguarding/best-practice-vulnerable-adults/
The Learning Exchange, bringing together best practice on safeguarding adults – https://lx.iriss.org.uk/content/safeguarding-adults-national-framework-standards-good-practice-and-outcomes-adult-protection