5 Tips for Best Safeguarding Practice in Your Organisation
You may believe that this article doesn’t concern you, but if your business employs staff, or offers opportunities to young people on work experience or apprenticeships, it absolutely does. Safeguarding concerns more than the internal workings of your company…maybe you or your employees have contact with children or adults as part of your work. Perhaps you provide services for local government, education, housing, health, or charitable bodies.
Safeguarding is best described as the action taken to identify and prevent harm to children and vulnerable adults. This includes keeping the most vulnerable safe when working or interacting with them. A term often used is: ‘Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility’.
If your organisation delivers services to, or has contact with, children or adults at risk, you have a legal obligation to put structures and processes in place that address safeguarding. Here are five easy-to-apply tips that will help you comply with what you’re required to do:
1. Appoint at least one Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) to take responsibility for safeguarding within your organisation. They should be of appropriate status and knowledge to represent your organisation at multi-agency meetings and should receive DSO training. They should be supported by at least one deputy who can step into their role when they’re absent.
2. Ensure written policies are in place, such as a Safeguarding Policy and a Code of Conduct for staff. Keep these simple – think about who will read them and what they really need to know. For instance, does the policy tell them what to do and who to contact if they’re worried about someone?
3. Make sure your employees hold relevant safeguarding knowledge. Depending on how much involvement they have with vulnerable members of the public, a reputable online course may be sufficient. Ensure all staff know who your organisation’s DSO is.
4. Offer support to staff involved in any safeguarding cases, as such experiences can result in anxiety and distress.
5. Review any incidents. Are there any changes or improvements needed? Has there been good practice which should be recognised and shared across your organisation?
By following these simple steps, you will be prepared for any safeguarding issues. Your employees will know what action to take if an incident occurs, and your clients can have confidence in your ability to respond to any safeguarding issues. Most importantly, your organisation may play an important role in keeping someone safe from harm.
Adele Gladman is an independent safeguarding consultant and the Director of Safeguarding Children Training and Consultancy Limited. She works across the UK with organisations such as central government, the NSPCC, local authorities, education, and private companies. Adele’s work involves staff training, independent investigations, safeguarding audits and policy writing. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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