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Practitioner & Volunteers

How to write a safegurding policy

A written policy makes it clear to everyone in your organisation what is expected from them and what their safeguarding responsibilities are. 

Solihull MB Engage Service Community Development Team provide help and support to the Third Sector, voluntary, community and faith groups to develop their safeguarding requirements and will help you to develop a safeguarding policy for your organisation. 

A safeguarding Policy should include the following: 

Introduction- this should include the name of your organisation and give a brief outline of the work that you do with children & young people. There should be a clear statement of commitment to the safeguarding of children and/ or young people within all activities that you undertake. 

A named person - the name of your chosen designated safeguarding person and their contact details; this person should take responsibility for providing advice and support to other staff, and ensuring that safeguarding children remains a priority in all that you do. You should also include a name and contact details of a deputy should the designated safeguarding person be unavailable. 

Recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse - Child abuse is quite rare however, it is important that staff and volunteers and those in a position of trust understand the different types of abuse that some children may experience and the signs and symptoms of such abuse. The LSCB recommend that all staff that work with children and young people access training to help them not only identify but also act upon any form of abuse that they may identify. 

Becoming aware of safeguarding issues- it is important that your procedures provide some detail about how you become aware about a child or young person's safety. For example, a third party or anonymous allegation is received; a child or young person's appearance, behaviour, play, drawing or statements cause suspicion of abuse and/ or neglect; a child or young person reports an incident(s) of alleged abuse which occured some time ago; a written report is made regarding the serious misconduct of a worker towards a child or young person. 

What to do if you are concerned about a child - it is important that you treat any allegation extremly seriously. Never think that someone else may be dealing with it. If you receive information that a child may be at risk of, or experiencing harm make sure your organisation and staff know how to respond appropriately.  A3 and A5 posters can be downloaded for display in your organisation. 

Safe Recruitment- sometimes there are people who work with children and young people who may pose a risk to children and who may harm them. Ensuring that you have a clear process for recruiting staff/ volunteers/ people in a position of trust should help reduce this risk. Even if you know someone very well you must ensure that they go through the same recruitment and selection process as a paid worker would. 

Management and support of staff/ volunteers/ people in a position of trust- it is important that all staff have an opportunity to discuss with their line manager any safeguarding matter giving them concerns and this is best done by providing regular supervision. Your procedures should indicate the supervision arrangements in place for your staff/ volunteers/ people in a position of trust. 

Allegations against staff- all groups should have procedures in place to ensure that any allegation made against a member of staff is dealt with appropriately. Any allegation made against a member of staff should be discussed with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). If the allegation is about a lead person in your organisation then the matter should again be discussed with the LADO. The organisation should ensure that the child is safe and away from the person against whom the allegation is made. Regardless of whether a police and/ or childrens social work service investigation follows, an internal investigation should take place and consideration given to the operation of disciplinary procedures. This may involve immediate suspension and/ or ultimate dismissal depending on the nature of the incident. 

Distributing/ reviewing policies and procedures- all organisations should have a sytem for writing,distributing, displaying and reviewing their overall policies and procedures. They should be reviewed annually, good practice would be to involve members of staff/ volunteers/ people in positions of trust, and sometimes children, young people and families. They should be approved and signed off by the management/ governance committee. Policies and procedures should be displayed in a prominant position and available on your website, if your organisation has one. They should be easily available to all staff/ volunteers/ people in a position of trust, children young people and their families. 

Responsibility of governance/ management committees- All groups need to make sure that their policies and procedures are approved by their governance/ management committee. These committees need to understand that they are ultimately accountable for all that happens within their establishment and that includes the implementation of effective safegaurding procedures. Some ways in which this can be achieved  is to provide written guidance to all staff/ volunteers/ people in a positon of trust and committee members; ensure everyone understands their legal duties and responsibilities. Governance/ managemnt committees should also: develop a clear framework for behaviour management towards children & young people; provide information about procedures to follow if an allegation is made; ensure all workers/ volunteers/ people in a position of trust have training to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse; ensure that all staff/ volunteers/ people in a position of trust have enhanced DBS checks; have correct policies in place covering your activities e.g. health & safety, lone working etc.; understand what is good safeguarding practice and take responsibility for ensuring this is undertaken by all staff/ volunteer/ people in a position of trust within your organisation; ensure all workers/ volunteers/ people in a position of trust understand that physical punishment or threat of physical punishment must never be used; ensure that all workers/ volunteers/ people in a position of trust understand that verbal humiliation of children and young people is unacceptable.

Governance/ management committess should also agree a way of involving young people to ensure they feel safe in the group/ activities they take part in. This could be done in a variety of ways and more information can be found in the voice of the child section of this website.