The Safe Network is here to offer advice, guidance and resources to help groups meet the safeguarding criteria now expected by many funding organisations.
Many voluntary and community groups that provide services for children and young people need to apply for funding in order to set up and sustain their activities.
They may find that this funding is available through statutory organisations such as local and central government as well as larger charitable trusts.
Funders will usually require full details of how money is to be spent and accurate monitoring of expenditure. They also need to know that appropriate governance arrangements are in place.
Good governance is essential for the success of voluntary and community groups. It encompasses areas such as policies and procedures, management, administration, financial arrangements and the effective delivery of what a group has set out to achieve.
Many funding organisations will only provide support to groups working with children and young people if sufficient evidence can be provided to show that they have the protection of children at the heart of their activities.
The following items may be asked for when you apply for funding, or they may be included in the eligibility criteria:
- An up-to-date child protection policy.
- Evidence of appropriate insurance.
- Evidence of appropriate health and safety procedures.
- Equal opportunities within the provision; for example, whether efforts have been made to make sure the service is available to all eligible members of the community.
- Proof that staff, volunteers, board members and trustees have been safely recruited/CRB checked.
- Proof that staff and volunteers have attended child protection training.
- If funding is for play equipment they may ask to see a risk assessment and policies on accident prevention.
- If funding is for computer equipment funders may ask for a rationale as to how this will benefit children in the group and how it will they will monitored and kept safe online. They may also ask for an acceptable use policy to be put into place.
It is also important that good communication is maintained between organisations and their funding provider after funds have been allocated. Groups should regularly check their contracts and keep in touch with their funding link person to make sure they are on the right track with reports and reviews. Funders will expect organisations to gather and collect the relevant information as they go along. By doing so, you will avoid a last minute rush when reporting time comes around.
Funding from statutory organisations
If a statutory organisation contracts out any of their services to the private or voluntary sector they must check that the provider complies with safeguarding requirements under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004.
These requirements need to be met to ensure that services are provided with due regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Local safeguarding children boards (LSCB's) have the task, under this legislation to make sure that the duties under Section 11 are complied with. However, this job is often delegated to local authorities.
Many LSCB's and local authorities have their own audit tools to help the carry out Section 11 assessments. If you are a provider that has a contract with a statutory partner you should ask whether your funder has such a tool and when they might want to carry out an audit under Section 11.
The Safe Network’s FREE Are they safe? pack includes a step-by-step guide to safeguarding children in your group, a DVD resource, posters and templates.
We have also developed the CD-ROM resource Keeping our children safe: Raising awareness in BME communities resource to help facilitators and trainers raise awareness of child protection issues in black and minority ethnic communities.
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