Safeguarding is a key governance priority for all charities, says charity regulator
The Charity Commission has published a new safeguarding strategy and says safeguarding goes beyond protecting at risk groups
Trustees should take steps to ensure no one who comes into contact with their charity suffers distress or harm, as well as safeguarding children and adults at risk, says the regulator of charities.
The Charity Commission’s new safeguarding strategy says that safeguarding is a key governance priority for all charities, not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk.
The strategy explains that trustees should ensure their charity provides a safe environment for staff, volunteers, and anyone who comes into contact with it.
It also makes clear that safeguarding goes beyond preventing physical abuse, and includes protecting people from harm generally, including neglect, emotional abuse, exploitation, radicalisation, and the consequences of the misuse of personal data.
Where a charity funds other organisations, such as overseas partners, that work with children or adults at risk, its trustees should carry out appropriate due diligence so that they can be confident that their partner has in place appropriate safeguarding policies and procedures.
Safeguarding is one of the three areas of risk facing charities that the Commission priorities in its work, alongside fraud and financial abuse and mismanagement and the extremist and terrorist abuse of charities. It says trustees always remain responsible for safeguarding, even if some aspects of it are delegated to staff.
To help charities meet this requirement a revised version of the strategy, published on 6th December, sets out the reasonable steps charities should take to safeguard beneficiaries, especially those charities that work with at-risk and vulnerable adults or any children aged under 18.