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Prevention and your safeguarding plan

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Overview

As the main source of advice and expertise for safeguarding, you’ll play a key role in developing and establishing your organisation’s approach to safeguarding. To do this successfully, your organisation will need a plan to make sure that its policies and procedures are being well used and that it is making everyone aware of how to stay safe.

This may be a single document or plan or it might be part of other organisational planning tools and documentation. This section is written for creating a single standalone document, but you can apply the thinking to other approaches.

Your role is to co-ordinate and maintain the safeguarding plan and review it on a regular basis. 

Remember, developing a safeguarding plan takes time and is the responsibility of everyone in your organisation – not just you. 

Once you know what you need to do, make a realistic action plan with your senior staff and volunteers. Agree the timeframe, who’s responsible for what and the resources needed to implement ideas. 

It’s also a good idea to make safeguarding a standing item for any senior team or trustee meetings. This means you can regularly provide an update on the safeguarding plan and escalate any issues. 

In your safeguarding plan you should cover four key areas. Remember that in each area, approaches to safeguarding adults at risk and to safeguarding children should have clear differences that reflect the needs of each group.

  1. Policy and guidance.
  2. Awareness and prevention.
  3. Staff and volunteer training. 
  4. Reporting and response including internal reporting 

Policy and guidance

Once you have a safeguarding policy, your role is to make sure it gets distributed throughout the organisation – to staff, volunteers, and individuals you work with. This could be as simple as including it in all new inductions or having a copy on internal websites. It’s also good practice to make sure the policy is available to the public, for example, by putting it on your external website or a poster.

Example
Seahaven Community Trust reviews all its policies on an annual basis and their DSL realised they did not have anything public. This was added to the safeguarding plan and various teams were allocated different actions. The Communications Team added the policy to their website and the Volunteer Team led a project to design a poster. The Volunteer Team consulted with members of the community who came up with the final design. The poster included the three commitments Seahaven made to keeping people safe and who to contact if there was a concern. The poster was put up in all Seahaven’s office and community spaces. 

As with other organisational procedures, your safeguarding policy will need to be reviewed regularly to make sure it’s still fit for purpose. If new legislation or safeguarding guidance comes out, you need to let the senior team know that the policy needs to be updated. 

Awareness and prevention

As well as the policy, the plan should consider any other guidelines or activities which help staff and volunteers conduct themselves in a professional and safe manner. 

Examples of things to include

  • A Code of Conduct, which provides the standards expected of everyone in your organisation.
  • Safe recruitment guidance, which outlines how your organisation minimises risk of harm to others from the people you recruit.
  • Communication guidance, which outlines acceptable and safe ways to communicate within your organisation.
  • Digital technology and social media guidance which outlines how to use technology safely and your organisation’s standards for using social media. 
  • Photographs, films and media guidance which outline how you will take, store and use media safely and ethically.  
Example
Redburn Youth Club works with 13-16 year olds. Volunteers often used social media to communicate with the young people and promote their activities. They asked the senior team for some guidance to make sure they did this safely. This was added to the safeguarding plan and the DSL agreed to coordinate a project team. The team included both volunteers and young people so that everyone could agree together what was safe and appropriate together. 

Staff and volunteer training

Training helps staff and volunteers to do their role safely and effectively. In your plan you need to identify what your organisation’s training needs are, and how you are going to meet them.

Things to include in your plan

  • Induction training 
  • Awareness training for staff and volunteers
  • Designated Safeguarding Lead training (for your or for your deputies if you have them)
  • Safer recruitment training 
  • Training for trustees
  • Training on specific issues relevant to your organisation, like mental health, female genital mutilation or child sexual exploitation

Safeguarding should be included as part of any induction process. It’s also a good idea to work with other teams to keep a record of training, including the type of training and dates. Training should be offered on a regular basis. 

Example
Rei is a DSL for Elmsley Apprentices and knows training needs to be added to the safeguarding plan. As no one at Elmsley Apprentices has experience of delivering safeguarding training, part of the action plan is also to research suitable external organisations and prices. Rei asks the training team to take on the action, as they have the most experience in this area.
  • Read our training page for more information about training and different providers.

Reporting and response

In your plan, you need to include ways you’ll develop or improve the reporting or response procedures.

Things to consider

  • Systems and processes. For example, a new way of reporting, moving from paper based to electronic or setting up a confidential helpline for those you work with. 
  • Internal reviews on safeguarding concerns. You might decide to conduct an internal review, following the closure of a safeguarding concern. This will determine if there are any practices or behaviours which could be changed to make sure a similar incident doesn’t happen in the future.
  • Improvement plans. Practices or policies that have been identified as unsafe may need to have a formal improvement plan in place, to make sure changes are made. 
Example
Following a safeguarding concern, Nima, the DSL at MagicMums identified that volunteers needed help with security protocols at the venues they used. Nima supported the volunteer manager to create an improvement plan. This was added to the safeguarding plan as an action assigned to the volunteer manager. Nima met with the volunteer manager once every month over a six-month period, to monitor the actions, after which the improvement plan was closed.

End of year safeguarding report

Every year you should provide the senior team and trustees with an annual safeguarding report.

The report helps your senior team to know how they’re meeting their safeguarding responsibilities. It also highlights the work you’ve been doing and any new issues or challenges faced. You can also use this as the basis for public statements in your Trustees Annual report. 

Things to include in the report

  • Summary of the actions completed from the safeguarding plan, including the key achievements and any issues encountered.
  • Summary of safeguarding concerns for the year, and any lessons learned.
  • Any new issues or risks identified and how these will be mitigated.
  • Recommendations and action for the next year. 

More information on trustee and annual reports

Page last edited Sep 30, 2019

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