What does safeguarding mean?
There is no single, recognised definition of the term ‘safeguarding’. It is a way of describing a proactive approach to policies and procedures that protect people from possible harm. This includes all people, but is particularly relevant to those who are most vulnerable to harm, such as children or adults at risk.
Safeguarding is different from other associated terms, such as child protection. Child protection involves a more reactive approach to protecting children who are suffering or are at risk of suffering significant harm. Safeguarding should be a pro-active practice that becomes embedded across all your work.
The Charity Commission defines safeguarding as “protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect”.
The NSPCC defines safeguarding children as:
- protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
- preventing harm to children’s health or development
- ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
- taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.
Charity Commission Guidelines
The Charity Commission expects all charities in the UK to take steps to protect the people it works with from abuse or mistreatment of any kind. These are described in its guidance Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees, updated in October 2019.
The guidance states that all charities working with children or adults at risk should:
- establish good safeguarding policies and procedures that all trustees, staff and volunteers follow
- make sure all staff and volunteers receive regular training on child protection or working with adults at risk
- appoint a safeguarding lead to work with local authority safeguarding boards and/or create a plan for responding to concerns overseas
- manage concerns, complaints, whistleblowing and allegations relating to child protection or adults at risk effectively
- have clear policies for when DBS checks are required, how you assess the level of check needed and how you handle the information
Youth Music’s Safeguarding Policy and Requirements for Grantholders
We are currently reviewing our safeguarding policies and practices to ensure that they align with the Charity Commission’s latest guidance to grant making organisations, so the following is subject to change.
Youth Music’s Safeguarding Policy states that all organisations receiving grant funding or applying for grant funding from Youth Music have the primary responsibility for safeguarding beneficiaries, staff and volunteers, and must take all the necessary steps to ensure that their organisation is operating in a safe and secure environment. This includes:
staff and volunteers receiving appropriate training and support to prevent safeguarding issues arising, and to spot signs of abuse
carrying out DBS checks where appropriate
robust procedures for reporting abuse in a timely and objective manner
clear accountability structures, including a named contact for any safeguarding issues.
Our funding agreements contain clauses on safeguarding children and adults at risk. If you have a grant with Youth Music, it’s important that you read your funding agreement carefully, and ensure that your organisation is compliant with all of these clauses.
- The NSPCC have a range of useful resources available, including:
- An introductory guide to safeguarding and child protection for the voluntary and community sector – this is aimed at organisations who do not have safeguarding measures in place yet, or have not reviewed their measures for some time.
- Safeguarding and child protection standards for the voluntary and community sector – this resource is designed to help non-statutory organisations in the UK to strengthen their safeguarding and child protection arrangements for children and young people aged 0–18.
- A resource hub for voluntary and community groups, including links to training and a safeguarding checklist to help you self-assess your organisation’s approach to safeguarding and identify next steps.
UK Youth’s Safe Spaces Framework sets out what it considers to be the minimum levels of safe organisational practice in a number of different areas, including Health and Safety, Safeguarding, and Leadership and Governance.
NCVO’s safeguarding guidance is a hub of tools, resources and guidance, including links to training and further support. This includes:
guidance on the difference between safeguarding children and adults
Getting Started With Safeguarding – a useful resource that summarises Charity Commission’s safeguarding principles and provides links to further guidance
The Ann Craft Trust have a range of safeguarding resources, including:
The MU and ISM’s Music Sector Code of Practice is a set of principles intended to prevent bullying, harassment and discrimination for all those working in the music sector.
Safeguarding - guidance and considerations as organisations move learning online. In April 2020, Youth Music ran a virtual network meeting on safeguarding online learning. This blog summarises the key learning from the session and signposts to further resources.
There are laws and statutory guidance that underpin the broad legal basis and duties for safeguarding that apply to organisations who work with children and adults at risk.
Keeping Children Safe in Education - statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment.
Prevent Duty guidance – guidance on the duty in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.