Safeguarding adults and children is everybody’s business
Voluntary and Community Organisations (VCOs) have a responsibility to ensure that people who use their services or who are involved in their activities are kept safe and not harmed because of their involvement. They have a duty of care to everyone who comes into contact with their organisation including staff, volunteers and the public. This also means supporting the key principle that all children and adults have the right to be safe from harm and should be able to live free from fear of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Safeguarding is about actively preventing abuse and harm and making sure that your organisation has the relevant policies and procedures in place that support this.
What should my organisation do to meet its safeguarding responsibilities?
It isn’t possible to completely remove all risk, but organisations can do many things to improve their safeguarding arrangements and make sure any risk is kept to a minimum. This can include but is not limited to:
- Having robust safeguarding policies in place and keeping them under regular review - see Policies and procedures — NCVO Knowhow
- Clear procedures to handle safeguarding concerns including identifying, responding and reporting
- Making sure all staff and volunteers understand your safeguarding policies and procedures
- Making sure all staff and volunteers who may have a safeguarding concern know how to report their concerns
- Nominating a Safeguarding Lead Officer within your organisation
- Safe recruitment processes (see Choosing staff, volunteers and trustees - NCVO Knowhow)
- Undertaking a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check where it is relevant and appropriate to do so (see Disclosure and Barring Service - gov.uk)
- Ensuring staff and volunteers undertake appropriate induction and training relevant to their roles and responsibilities
- Understanding risk relating to your premises and activities (see Understanding the risks - NCVO Knowhow) and undertaking appropriate risk assessments
Local Safeguarding Links
South Tees Safeguarding Children Partnership
Teeswide Safeguarding Adult Board
Reporting abuse or neglect of an adult in Middlesbrough
Worried about a child
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) Guidance
Concerns that an adult who works with children who has, or may have caused them harm - LADO Information Leaflet.pdf
There are many opportunities to access local online training relating to children and adult safeguarding via the Teeswide Adult Safeguarding Board E-Learning Portal. This site covers both children and adult safeguarding.
All courses are currently free of charge for staff and volunteers working within the Tees area in Statutory, Voluntary or Not for Profit Organisations. You can easily access the training by creating an online account.
The training is flexible and course times vary but take on average between 30 minutes and 2.45 hours to complete with a short test at the end. If you pass, then you will be able to print a certificate of completion. You do not have to complete the training all at once, you can dip in and out of the modules, at work or at home and the system will monitor your progress.
Definitions of adult and child for the purposes of safeguarding
An adult at risk is defined by The Care Act 2014 as
Someone who is aged 18 or over and:
- Has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of these needs); and
- Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
- As a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect him/herself from either the risk of or the experience of abuse or neglect.
- If an adult is at risk of abuse or is demonstrating any risky behaviour, then we need to consider if any children with whom the adult is in regular contact may be at risk.
A child is defined as:
Anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. The fact that a child has reached 16 years of age, is living independently or is in further education, is a member of the armed forces, is in hospital or in custody in the secure estate, does not change his/her status or entitlements to services or protection.
National Safeguarding Links
NAVCA - Are They Safe Campaign
- Steps to a safer organisation
- Guide to Safeguarding for Trustees
- Choosing staff, volunteers and trustees
Ann Craft Trust
- What is Safeguarding? - Ann Craft Trust
- Advice for friends and relatives
- Our Safeguarding Checklist- A Free Assessment
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
- Disclosure and Barring Service - GOV.UK
- Find out which DBS check is right for your employee
- DBS Checks: Working with Adults in the Charity Sector in the Charity Sector
- DBS Checks: Working with Children in the Charity Sector in the Charity Sector
- Eligibility Roles Leaflet_Adults_v2_EB.pdf
- Eligibility Roles Leaflet_Children_v3_EB.pdf
Easy read resources
- What is safeguarding?
- Staying safe out and about
- Safeguarding Adults with Learning Disabilities - Easy Read
We've provided lots of useful links to both national and local resources relating to safeguarding, however, if you require any additional support please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.