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Working with partners

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When you are working in partnership with another person or organisation, or receiving funding from an organisation, you must make sure you have considered all the additional risks of working together as well as the benefits. Safeguarding makes that even more important.

You must check that your partners or funders: 

  • are reputable and that their values are in line with your organisation
  • have effective, recently revised policies and procedures in place, including safeguarding
  • meet other requirements such as demonstrating relevant qualifications and training for staff, having the right insurance and registrations with the right professional bodies. 

You must put in place a written agreement, formal or informal, whenever you work with other organisations. In it you will want to be answering the following questions.

  • What will each organisation provide or deliver? Who delivers what activities, on whose premises with what managers?
  • How the costs will be met and by whom?
  • Who will lead on responsibilities? For example, risk assessments, safeguarding concerns, and which policies you will follow.
  • Whose safeguarding policies and procedures will be used when managing any concerns?
  • What are the information sharing procedures, particularly in the event of a safeguarding incident?
  • What will each partner do in the event of a complaint or incident? For example, if you feel the lead partner has not properly dealt with a safeguarding incident.
  • Which lead manager is accountable in each organisation?

It should be signed by someone who is senior enough to represent each organisation. All staff and volunteers must have briefing sessions to make sure they are familiar with the shared code of conduct, what to do in the event of an incident and who to report to.

If you work in partnership regularly, or are a large organisation with multiple teams organising partnerships, it will be much smoother if you have a policy in place on how you do so. This will make  clear in advance:

  • how you will work with other organisations
  • what checks you will do
  • how you will decide whether to work together or not. 

If you frequently accept funding, donations or sponsorships, consider having a policy that sets out how you make decisions about who you will accept these from. You will also want to make it clear in what circumstances you may decide to say no.

Example
Hemberton League are a football club for visually impaired adults. They have a strong commitment to the LGBT community. They want to increase their income through getting sponsorship. They create a policy that refers to their mission and values stating they will not accept funding from organisations or individuals who are openly opposed to LGBT. The statement makes it clear about when they will accept or refuse funding.
Example
Genda care home and Appletree nursery decide they would like the volunteers who run arts and crafts activity sessions at each venue to work together, so their participants can work together. They start at looking at their individual safeguarding policies highlighting any differences for open discussion. They then moved to reviewing the processes that would support the shared activities. They discover lots of similarities – both organisations know they have to work hard to encourage people to speak up, and some differences, especially in terms of keeping children or older people engaged in activities. The team comes up with a plan for the activities and develop an agreement, choose which code of conduct and reporting procedures will be followed and a briefing session for the activity to clarify this with staff and volunteers.
Page last edited Oct 04, 2019

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