Below is the advice given by the Charity Commission on child protection procedures and systems to be used within charities.
“Procedures and systems provide clear step-by-step guidance on what to do in different circumstances and they clarify roles and responsibilities. Systems for recording information and dealing with complaints are also needed to ensure implementation and compliance. Child protection procedures should be linked with the Local Safeguarding Children Board’s procedures or the All Wales Child Protection Procedures, as relevant.
The procedures and systems should include:
- A named person (and deputy) with a clearly defined role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, appropriate to the level at which s/he operates.
- A description of what child abuse is, and the procedures for how to respond to it where there are concerns about a child’s safety or welfare or concerns about the actions of a trustee, staff member or volunteer. Relevant contact details for children’s services, police, health and NSPCC helplines should be available.
- A process for recording incidents, concerns and referrals and storing these securely in compliance with relevant legislation and kept for a time specified by your insurance company.
- Guidance on confidentiality and information sharing, legislation compliant, and which clearly states that the protection of the child is the most important consideration.
- A code of behaviour for trustees, staff and volunteers. The consequences of breaching the code are clear and linked to disciplinary and grievance procedures.
- Safe recruitment, selection and vetting procedures that include checks into the eligibility and the suitability of all trustees, staff and volunteers who have direct or indirect (e.g. helpline, email) contact with children. In the case of trustees, because of their position within the charity, we take the view that whenever there is a legal entitlement to obtain a CRB check in respect of such a trustee, a check should be carried out. This goes beyond circumstances where the trustee comes into contact with children.
- A complaints procedure which is an open and well publicised way in which adults and children can voice concerns about unacceptable and/or abusive behaviour towards children.
- Systems to ensure that all staff and volunteers working with children are monitored and supervised and that they have opportunities to learn about child protection in accordance with their roles and responsibilities.
- Requirements for trustees, staff and volunteers to learn about child protection in accordance with and as appropriate to their roles and responsibilities.
- It is important that each charity’s safeguarding policy and procedures are tailored to the type of contact that the charity has with children and it also needs to take into account any particular vulnerabilities of the children with whom the charity has contact; for example disabled children who are at increased risk of abuse; babies and toddlers who are vulnerable due to their age and dependence on adults.”