A wide range of organisations need to have safeguarding policies and procedures in place. They are a key part of ensuring that people are clear about what safeguarding is and what should be done if there is a concern a child or adult is at risk or has been harmed. It is often a commissioning or funding requirement for organisations to have appropriate safeguarding policies and procedures in place. Whilst the NSAB and NSCP are unable to advise on, or approve, an organisation’s safeguarding policies and procedures, the following content provides some helpful tips and resources.
Some organisations have one safeguarding policy and procedure that covers adults and children, whilst others choose to keep them separate. Both approaches have their merits. If the policy and procedure is joined up, there needs to be caution that key child or adult-specific detail is not excluded. If they are kept separate, there should be reference and links to each within the respective documents.
- Tailor your policy and procedure to suit the needs of your organisation.
- Use words and phrases that will mean the most to the organisation and the people that you work or have contact with.
- Involve people from different parts of the organisation to make sure the policy and procedure is relevant for everyone.
- Think about how you can involve children or adults with care and support needs and incorporate their perspective.
- Ask different people in different roles to read the policy and procedure and feedback to ensure it is accessible to everybody.
An organisation might have a separate policy document or a policy section within an overall policy and procedure. As a minimum, the policy should include:
- A policy statement, making it clear how the organisation is committed to keeping children and/or adults safe. This might include key statements related to: training, partnership working, organisational culture, and zero-tolerance of abuse and neglect.
- Purpose of the policy, explaining why it is important that the organisation has this in place.
- Who it applies to, including the scope of the policy (defining children and/or adults at risk) and who needs to follow it (staff, volunteers etc).
- Context, briefly referencing key legislation (e.g. Working Together To Safeguard Children 2018 and/or Care Act 2014) and links to other relevant policy and procedures (e.g. Information Sharing, Recruitment, Whistleblowing, Complaints).
- Date of issue and review.
- Details of Safeguarding Leads.
- How the policy will be disseminated and reviewed.
The procedures should detail what happens when there is a concern about the abuse of neglect of a child and/or adult. As a minimum, the procedures should include:
- Recognising abuse and neglect, detailing the key types of abuse and their signs and indicators.
- Identified roles and responsibilities, including a named or designated person/people responsible for safeguarding and their contact details.
- How concerns of abuse or neglect will be responded to using a step-by-step process. A flow-chart/diagram might be helpful to include.
- Details of how and when concerns will be shared on a multi-agency basis.
- The process for recording and safe storage of safeguarding incidents, concerns and referrals within the organisation.
- The system for dealing with allegations against staff/volunteers/people in a position of trust.
- How the procedures will be disseminated and reviewed.
- Useful contacts, within the organisation and other agencies.
It might be helpful to include any relevant recording or referral forms as appendices.