A framework for creating safer places
We've developed a framework of ten safeguarding standards known simply as our '10 standards' to help organisations operate safely and in a manner that complies with UK law and best practice whichever stage of the safeguarding journey they're on.
Organisations should adopt a formal working safeguarding policy.
The government expects all organisations open to or likely to have contact with children or adults at risk to adopt and implement a safeguarding policy. It is important that leaders and workers know how to respond to concerns about possible abuse, recruit safely and follow safe practice guidelines in their work.
This standard includes the appointment of a Safeguarding Coordinator who will deal with concerns and suspicions of abuse on behalf of the leadership. Their job will also include promoting safeguarding throughout their organisation.
The leaders and the safeguarding Coordinator should make sure everyone knows where they can see or get a copy of your safeguarding policy.
More Information on Safeguarding Policies
Organisations must develop safeguarding awareness and provide training
Everyone needs to know how children and adults with care and support needs are being kept safe and what to do if there is a concern about possible abuse. This includes the leaders, safeguarding Coordinator, workers, parents/carers and children.
The organisation has a responsibility to provide training and development opportunities for all its workers, including paid and unpaid staff and volunteers.
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Organisations should adopt a formal safer recruitment policy for both paid and voluntary workers.
Safer recruitment is often the first opportunity any organisation gets to safeguard the vulnerable people it works with. It is vital because it minimises the likelihood of people being harmed by those in positions of trust. Leaders, workers and others with particular
roles must undergo a thorough recruitment process.
This includes the creation of a job or role description, an application form, an interview, taking up references and criminal records checks (where eligible) all of which have a part to play in the assessment of a candidate’s suitability. If this is done, then the chances of someone who could pose a risk to children and other vulnerable people being able to work with them will be greatly reduced.
More information about Safer Recruitment
Workers, paid and voluntary, should be appropriately managed, supervised and supported.
Workers need encouragement and help, particularly when they are first appointed. Abuse is more likely to occur where workers are not accountable to others. All workers should be given the opportunity to attend team meetings and training to help them develop their skills and to work as a team.
Working as a team will help people show responsibility for and to each other and motivate them to strive for the best possible practice in their work. All leaders and workers need to know who to talk to if they have a worry or concern. Procedures should exist to help and encourage workers to report concerns (commonly known as ‘whistleblowing’). Organisations also need to have procedures in place for managing allegations against workers that will involve contact with the statutory authorities.
More information on our Safeguarding Manual
Organisations must ensure they adopt safer working practice.
Working safely means the organisation must think about the safety aspects of every organised activity, including outings and holidays, and then do what is necessary to keep children and adults safe. This is called a risk assessment.
Working safely also applies in areas such as transportation, pastoral visiting, discipline, dealing with bullying and first aid. If the organisation is committed to making sure children and adults are safe, workers will feel more confident about running activities, develop good relationships and minimise the risk of unfounded allegations.
Places of worship often provide different activities in different locations (e.g. toddler groups, Sunday school, foodbanks, lunch clubs and other support groups). This makes it even more important to follow and have guidelines for running these activities.
More information on Working Safely
Organisations should ensure that workers know how to listen and relate to children and adults with whom they come in to contact.
Effective communication helps develop positive and trusting relationships, build self-esteem and create an environment of acceptance where those being cared for feel able to share what may be troubling them.
Effective communication not only encourages people to speak out, but it helps to create and embed a positive and safer culture in an organisation. The way in which we communicate can either give confidence to those who struggle to find their voice or can have the opposite effect. Leaders and workers have a joint responsibility to set and maintain safer cultures - this often begins in the manner we communicate, demonstrating commitment, sensitivity, compassion and adopting appropriate boundaries around confidentiality.
More Information on Safeguarding Children and Adults
Workers must develop awareness of the issues surrounding abuse, be able to recognise possible signs and indicators and respond appropriately.
Where there is a suspicion or allegation of abuse the organisation must know who to contact. In the case of sexual abuse, deliberate injury or where there are concerns for a child or adult’s safety, the Safeguarding Coordinator should contact the appropriate statutory agency (Children’s Services, Adult Services or the Police) for advice without delay.
Sometimes people are worried about doing this but both Children’s Services, Adult Services and the Police are highly trained to respond sensitively and appropriately. Medical help should be sought in an emergency and the doctor informed of any concerns.
More Information in our Worker's Pocket Guide
Organisations should ensure pastoral care and support is available to all those affected by abuse.
It may be in the present, recent or distant past, but the effects of abuse can be devastating and long term, not only for the person who has been abused but also for family members, friends, social groups and the organisation or faith community.
Those affected may struggle with a range of issues, including aspects of faith and spirituality – particularly where the abuse occurred within a faith context. So, this needs sensitive handling.
Showing care and compassion, being available to listen and offering support are important in responding to the needs of adult survivors. Some people will need professional help and it is important to recognise this.
More Information on Pastoral Care Training
Organisations must supervise and manage those who may pose a risk to others.
There are those living in the community who may pose a risk to others. They may wish to be actively involved in local organisations or groups. Some violent or sexual offenders genuinely
want to change but others try to join places of worship and faith communities because they see them as places where they will easily gain access to children or adults. This is because forgiveness, mercy and unconditional acceptance are often important aspects of faith and belief.
Organisations and faith communities must understand that no matter how well-intentioned some people are, sex offending is often addictive. However repentant a person may appear to be, it is potentially very dangerous to allow them to be in contact with children and/or adults with care and support needs. This does not mean the person should be rejected but it does mean organisations must have strong policies in place to supervise, manage and support anyone who has committed or been accused of sexual or violent crimes against children or adults at risk. This also means that people who pose a potential risk should not be given any position of responsibility that may be perceived by others as a position of trust. Accountability is crucial and where operated effectively can act as a protective factor and reduce re-offending.
More information of Risk Assessments
Organisations working in specialised areas, culturally diverse settings or through partner organisations or agencies must ensure appropriate safeguarding policies and procedures are in place.
Organisations working in specialist areas may include overseas projects, independent schools and a range of support services to the local community like education, domestic violence, counselling and pregnancy advice.
The diversity of such organisations and settings mean there can be great variation in practice when it comes to safeguarding standards perhaps because of legal frameworks, law enforcement, cultural tradition, belief or religious practice.
There must be an understanding and clear guidance given on how safeguarding policies can be applied in ways that are sensitive to cultural tradition but without condoning practices that are harmful, abusive or neglectful.
More Information on International Audit Tool
Our 10 safeguarding standards
View or download our 10 safeguarding standards framework for creating safer places in a handy printable pdf format.
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