Voluntary Sector Information
Many organisations, both charitable and commercial, work with
groups of children and young people. These may be: sports
clubs; Religious groups; theatre groups; outdoor activities
It is good practice for organisations such as these to have a
safeguarding policy and related procedures for their staff and
volunteers. Such policies and procedures will ensure good
practice in relation to child protection and give a measure of
protection to workers from placing themselves in a vulnerable
It is important that these organisations write their own policy
and procedures, to suit their individual circumstances.
Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board has produced a checklist
of issues to be considered to support this process.
For guidance only
Guidance for writing policies and procedures for Safeguarding
This document has been prepared by the Worcestershire
Safeguarding Children Board to help organisations to develop their
own policies and procedures for safeguarding children. It is aimed
at any organisation, be it voluntary, commercial, charity,
religious or sporting which involves children and young people in
No organisation should be providing services for children
without a policy and procedures for safeguarding children. This
will not only help to protect children from abuse, but will also
provide guidance to staff and volunteers in your organisation to
ensure that they are acting appropriately at all times.
It is important that each organisation gives thought to
safeguarding children and develops their own procedures which will
fit their organisation. It is however recognised this can be a
difficult task for those with no experience of writing such
procedures This checklist is therefore designed to provide an
indicator of what needs to be included. The policy and procedures
must be developed to fit the organisation.
Safeguarding Children And Young People.
Writing the Safeguarding Policy.
This is a statement of your organisation’s aims and objectives
in providing a service for children. This should include:-
- your responsibilities in safeguarding children
- what you intend to encourage in the children you will be
- what kind of environment/culture you intend to provide for the
This policy is only a brief statement and does not need to go
into any detail about how you will achieve your aims. Remember that
your procedures are a system for ensuring that your Policy is put
into practice – so keep your Policy simple and realistic.
Writing the Safeguarding Procedures
In writing these procedures do not lose sight of their purpose
and for whom they are intended. They are a tool for your members of
staff and volunteers to use when they are concerned about a child.
They need to be clear and concise. The basic principles should be
as few as possible.
The procedures are designed to protect children from any harm or
abuse, to ensure that children who wish to report any kind of abuse
or harm are listened to and this is acted upon, to protect workers
from placing themselves in vulnerable situations.
What The Procedures should include
- What course of action is to be taken if a child reports abuse
happening at home or elsewhere outside of your organisation.
Remember workers must not question the child, beyond clarifying
what is being said. Professionals who are trained in interviewing
children will do this.
- What course of action is to be taken if you suspect a child is
being abused. Record keeping is important
- How are you going to deal with suspicions of abuse by a member
of your staff or a volunteer? What are the lines of responsibility?
What is to happen if the person suspected is the leader of your
- The welfare of the child is paramount and this overrides the
need for confidentiality. The right of a child to be protected may
mean that you must breach your organisation’s rules of
- Will your organisation have a designated person to whom
concerns about children are reported and who will be familiar about
the necessary course of action to be taken?
- What will your procedures have to say about recruitment and
vetting of workers and volunteers
- What safeguards will you put in place to protect children (and
workers) when they are supervising groups of children?
- Are children ever alone with a worker and how will you ensure
this is a safe situation?
- How will you deal with allegations of abuse by other children
in your organisation?
- How will you ensure that your policy and procedures are
disseminated to all workers and volunteers?
- How will you deal with complaints?
Points to Remember
- Most children are not abused
- The best way to safeguard children is by working in partnership
with parents and children
- Children rarely lie about abuse, so if they tell you something
is happening to them, believe them, however unlikely or shocking it
- It is not your duty to investigate allegations of abuse, only
to report them to Social Services or the Police
- Occasionally false allegations of abuse may be made, so don’t
allow workers to put themselves in vulnerable positions. This
protects children as well as staff.
- If someone feels uncomfortable about another worker’s behaviour
they should share their concerns. It is often only by fitting
together the jigsaw pieces of information that children are
- It is better to discuss concerns about the welfare of a child
with a duty social worker than to keep your worries to
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This page was last reviewed 20 March 2013 at 15:20.
The page is next due for review 16 September 2014.