Posted 6 months ago
Anyone who works with children in the UK must follow safeguarding policies and procedures that keep those under 18 safe from harm. If you’re a charity that works with or for children, it is vital that all volunteers and trustees are up to date on the latest child safeguarding measures, and that everyone knows what to do if they suspect that a child may be at risk.
Statutory Requirements - What the Law Says
Safeguarding duties apply to any charity that works with or comes into contact with children. Under these statutory requirements, every member of your team must follow the measures set out by your local authority safeguarding partner or your local safeguarding children or adults board.
As well as implementing safeguarding procedures, it is also required that your team receive regular child protection training and that there are clear guidelines in place that outline who needs a DBS check for their work with children and what level of check is required. You will also need to appoint a safeguarding officer within your team, who will handle any concerns about a child’s safety and liaise with your local authority’s safeguarding board.
Getting DBS Checked
In most cases, if you are working with children as part of your charity then you will need a DBS check. This used to be known as a CRB check and is an assessment of your criminal record by the Disclosure and Barring Service to make sure you don’t pose a risk to the children you are working with.
You can request a basic DBS check through the UK government’s website, which will cover you if you support or work with children through your charity. Your safeguarding officer may be able to organise this for you, but in either case, you’ll need to provide your passport, driving licence and national insurance number.
If you’ll be frequently supporting or working with children, caring for them or taking charge of groups, an advanced DBS check will be required. This is a more thorough check of your criminal record and any cautions, warnings or reprimands you may have received, and can only be applied for through the charity you work for.
Safeguarding training is a legal requirement for anyone that works with children as part of their job or volunteer role. It will take you through the latest legislation that relates to safeguarding, discuss signs of child abuse and how to report any concerns, and outline relevant key terms and procedures.
Different levels of safeguarding training will be required depending on your position and what responsibility you have. For example, volunteers who only briefly come into contact with children in their role will only require Level 1 safeguarding training, whereas those more directly involved will need to undertake a more intensive and thorough course. You can get started with free children protection awareness courses that will help you to demystify the process and highlight the key themes before you decide if you need a higher level of training.
Whilst most people don’t ever need to act on the safeguarding training that they receive, it is still a necessity for those who are going to work with children through your charity. Following the correct procedures and taking advised measures protects you and the children you support from harm, and there is a wide range of training options out there that allow teams or individuals to stay up to date on everything you need to know about child safeguarding.